Sunday, December 25, 2016

the meaning behind the 12 Days of Christmas song

Did you know this?  I didn't and found the information interesting as to the development of this song.

The Partridge in a Pear Tree is Jesus Christ.

The Two Turtle Doves are the Old and New Testaments.

The Three French Hens stand for Faith, Hope and Love.

The Four Calling Birds are the Four Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke & John.

The Five Golden Rings recalled the Torah (or the Law), the first five books of the Old Testament.

The Six Geese a Laying stand for the Six Days of Creation.

The Seven Swans a-swimming represent the seven fold gifts of the Holy Spirit...Prophesy, Serving, Teaching, Exhortation, Contribution, Leadership and Mercy.

The Eight Maids a-milking are the eight beatitudes.

The Nine Ladies Dancing are the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit...Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self Control.

The Ten Lords a-leaping are the ten commandments.

The Eleven Pipers piping stand for the eleven faithful disciples.

The Twelve Drummers drumming symbolizes the twelve points of belief in the Apostles' Creed.

Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 24, 2016

12 reasons I get to Celebrate Christmas

12 reasons I am blessed as I celebrate my 3rd Christmas:
1. I get to learn more about Jesus each year as I am willing to replace all the lies I was told as to why Christmas was wrong, why Jesus didn't want me celebrating his birth, and uncover the truth about the meaning of Jesus birth and life for me with new perspectives.
2. I get to enjoy songs I have never heard before or know the lyrics to, that share the message of Jesus through my Meredith Andrews Pandora station of Holiday Music!
3. I get to celebrate friendships in a new way with events and parties that are focused on connection and love!
4. I get to look someone in the eyes and say Merry Christmas and not feel condemned, shamed or that I am wrong to do so.
5. I get to share my story with others who can't imagine what it is like to be raised without Christmas or who can't understand why anyone would think this is wrong.
6. I get to have unique opportunities on how I spend Christmas Day since I do not have my immediate family in my life and my Aunts and Uncles and Cousins I am connected to (the ones that want me in their life), do not live in Texas. So though I am "alone", I get to do things others wouldn't be able to do and get to see first hand how others celebrate this season and I get to do it with them!
7. I get to receive Christmas Cards with joy and pin them up on a wall in my living room and think about the friends who took the time to send me a message, and not just throw them in the recycle bin as soon as I got them because it was ungodly stuff to have in my house.
8. I get to be intentional in my celebration of Christmas and create my own traditions!
9. I get to wrap beautiful gifts and shower others with a token of my love!
10. I get to be reminded more frequently and in new ways just how much Jesus Loves Me!
11. I get to share the light Jesus has given me because of his birth and what His life has done for me in a different way!
12. I get to reflect even more on what love is. What Jesus wants from me. And how I can live that more prevalent in my every day life!

Friday, December 23, 2016

I would have lost heart...

I would have lost heart...when my employer fired me for a blog post on my personal blog August 2010...unless I knew what I had written wasn't wrong or out of place or dishonest, but in reality it was his excuse for letting me go for not lying and covering for him to the partner of the business.

I would have lost heart...when I filed unemployment and the claim was denied and I had to appeal it...unless I believed God had my back and I would win the appeal with additional facts.

I would have lost heart...when a girlfriends husband reached over and put his hand on my upper thigh in the middle of watching a movie with him and his wife when I was over at their place for New Years Eve...unless I believed that God wanted me to work through my fears of men again on a deeper level and to show me that I was strong, that I had to honor my values and integrity and ask him to confess to his wife (not knowing that she had seen him do it) and if he didn't, I would.

I would have lost heart...when a client didn't pay me after doing 5 years of accounting within a 4 month time frame to release the pending IRS lien on their business, forcing me to file a lawsuit to get paid...unless I understood that not everybody keeps their word and not everyone is ethical in how they do business.

I would have lost heart...when I found my boyfriend texting a previous girlfriend "I frequently think of you and your gorgeous butt."...unless I believed God was showing me signs that he wasn't committed to this relationship like I was and these were ways that he was giving me clues that this wasn't the man God had for me to avoid further heartache and emotional pain in my life.

I would have lost heart...when a terminated employee kept client files and ignored all communication from me...unless I believed God was having me go through something that was going to teach me a valuable lesson.

I would have lost heart...when life got messy, ugly things happened, hurtful things were said, chaos unraveled, people walked out of my life, finances got tight, health issues continued, many nights I couldn't sleep, and life consumed my heart and mind.


Unless, I believed in God.


...I would have despaired and lost heart, unless I had not believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord! ~ Psalm 27:13 AMP
#TheSassyVoice #DontQuit #KeepTheFaith #GodsPlan #HaveFaith #Believe

Thursday, December 22, 2016

the expectations vs no expectations rule

Misty, if you just didn't have expectations you wouldn't get hurt. You wouldn't get let down. You would be able to flow with life easier and be able to accept what happens. You would understand things differently.

Maybe you've been told this. Maybe you think this. Maybe you feel that the whole root issue is people have expectations and they shouldn't. And that life would be what it is supposed to be if you had zero expectations.

As usual, I agree and disagree.

When I come to a 4 way stop on the road, I expect you are going to stop. I do not assume you aren't. I assume you are.

When I put money in the bank, I expect it is going to go into my bank account, not yours.

When I order an alcoholic beverage, I expect you are certified and know how much of what to put in the drink to make it flavorful and delicious and that you are paying attention when you create this.

When I kiss you, I expect you are going to kiss me back.

When I buy a book, I expect when I open it up to find printed words on a page.

When I turn the light switch on to illuminate the room, I expect that it is going to work and help me to see.

When I put the key in the ignition of my car, I expect it to turn on when I create the force and energy to rotate it into motion.

When I mail a package at the post office, I expect that they are going to ship it and the receiver will get it.

When I tell you that I am going to do something, I expect myself to follow through on this commitment.

When I throw something up into the air, I expect it will come back down.

So...should we have expectations or no expectations?

I think that it goes back to one of my core beliefs: There is a time and place for everything and what works or will be appropriate at one point in time, might not work or be appropriate at another.

There is a time when we should have expectations and a time when we shouldn't.

There is a time when expectations help us to receive the results we want and there is a time when having expectations hinders us from getting the results we want.

There is a time when expectations will create connection and a time when expectations will result in a wedge and disconnection between people.

There is a time when expectations will show you what needs to happen and there is a time when expectations will tear down or hinder what you are trying to make happen.

There is a time when expectations will create energy and momentum and there are times when expectations will deplete us and cause things to come to a standstill.

Making hard and fast rules that you can't have any expectations to create the life you want, is putting a focus on creating a rule that may not always work and thus create frustration in your life that could be avoided.

What would happen if you realized there are times you need to have expectations and times you shouldn't? What would happen if you were open to having some expectations in your life and realize that sometimes you can't? What would happen if you saw the benefit of expectations and the benefit of not having any expectations?
#TheSassyVoice #TwoSidesToEverything #ADifferentPerspective#Reflections #Expectations

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

yes, rejection hurts...but choose love

When I attended the Growth Summit Conference in September 2016 in San Jose, one of the things that Brendon Burchard - Live. Love. Matter. said is that we have all faced rejection. Some of us more then others. He went on to share that studies show that most people have been rejected by one or two people, usually though most have been by a few people, like a handful that could be counted on one hand. He said the studies show that the most was generally an average of 7.

Brendon then asked each of us: With 7 Billion people in the world, will you let 7 people stop you from pursuing your life? You dreams? Your vision? Your goals? Your purpose given to you by God? Will you let 7 people keep you from having love, joy, peace, happiness, gratitude, courage and hope in your life?

I wish I could say that my "list" was only 7 people of close people connected to me in my life. I wish I could say that I haven't experienced rejection, so many times, by people that say they love me and will always love me no matter what. By people who say that I was their only close friend and they were so thankful for my part in their life. By people who were the executor of my will but resigned and asked me to never contact them again. By people who were signers on my bank accounts. By people who I did volunteer work work with. By people I donated to their charity organizations to make a greater impact in the world. By people who brought me into this world. By people who were blood family. By people who wanted to be stand in family.

Like me, you may have people that remove themselves from being the a part of your life because they don't agree with how you live your life or won't accept that you wish to transform your framework and remove all negativity and replace it with positivity. You will have people who say they believe in love and being loving in all ways and through all things, but when it comes down to a direct application in a relationship between you and them, they won't be able to love. They won't love you for you. They may expect you to be someone you are not and try to mold you into the friend they want you to be. They may say that they will be there forever through all circumstances and situations, but when the tough shit happens, they will back away, walk out, leave you or give you the silent treatment. They may actually do more and attack you, slap you in the face, stab you in the back, stomp all over you, do everything to take you completely out. They may tear down everything you thought you had in your connection and the connection you have with others. They may choose to get offended over something you said that was from your own beliefs, perceptions, and feelings. They may not accept: I am sorry, I still love you, I still believe in you, I still want to work this out, I believe in healing, love and grace. They may prefer to hold onto the grudge and not forgive or give grace. They may be people who take someone else's word for what you said or did, unwilling to find out the facts or the truth directly from you, or at minimum ask questions to put pieces together. They may not be willing to discuss how it hurt you or how it hurt them. They may not ever try to see it from your perspective. They may never talk it out, resolve the conflict and just shut you out.

Yes, there are people who will come into your life and say they love you but when life gets hard, they don't, they won't, they can't. You will have people who act like love matters, but when they get to choose love, they ignore the calling. These are the facts. And yes, rejection hurts deeply, very deep. But what will you focus on? All those who have rejected you? Or the ones that need you, want you, and appreciate you? All those that don't walk the walk but talk the talk? Or find the ones that do both? All those that won't love? Or the ones that do?

These situations are similar to the Pharisees in the Bible. They said one thing but their actions said something different. We all get to choose whether we will be a Pharisee or we will be a Jesus Follower.

Misunderstandings happen. We do or say things that offend people. We hurt others. We aren't always kind. We aren't always patient. We don't always see another's perspective. We sometimes feel we can't forgive and hold a grudge. We sometimes feel that working things out isn't an option and walking away is easier. But we still always have a choice to love and repair a relationship.

The truth is: Love is loud. Love is action. Love is patient. Love is kind. Love isn't rejection. Love isn't hurtful. Love continues through the painful things that happens and seeks to restore. Love is hope. Love will never end. Love communicates. Love doesn't defend with creating walls disguised as boundaries. Love heals all things.

Will you choose to love on purpose today? Will you create a connection? Will you show love in one small way? Will you live out your life by both walking and talking about love?
#LoveOnPurpose #ChooseLove #HaveLove #LoveOneAnother#LifeLessons #RejectionHurts

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Prayer 12.20.2016

Dear Lord,
As we near the celebration of your birth in just 5 short days, may we feel the essence of this season more deeply. May we connect with you more fully. May we exude more love, grace and mercy not just to others, but to ourselves.
May we reflect on all the fruits of the spirit and what that looks like in every aspect of our lives. When the day feels long, dark, and we are lost, figuratively or literally, may we first seek you for direction, wisdom and guidance. May we have more hope when we feel an increase of doubt. May we find more gratitude when we are seeing and feeling more intense stress.
May we be diligent to pursue you fully with all our heart, our mind, our soul, our strength because you are love, light, life and truth!
In your powerful loving name that brings happiness to my soul, AMEN!
#PrayForOneAnother #PrayerWarriors #PrayerChangesLives #Pray

is your routine frustrating you?

Some of the ways we live our lives and the things we do creates frustration for us. Yet if we would change our method or pattern and do something different we would have different results. What keeps us from being able to do this?

My Dad would wait until the last minute to change lanes on the freeway when he came up behind someone who was going slower then he was. He would not look at the lanes on either side of him well before he needed to change lanes to plan when he needed to move over, he would simple wait until he was say within a car length from that vehicle and then think that he would have space in a lane next to him to shift the vehicle over and keep his speed without having to adjust anything. 95% of the time, another vehicle was there and he couldn't move into either lane. And 100% of the time, he would get frustrated, let out an irritated sigh, and have to put on the breaks and stay put right where he was at. If he couldn't move over into another lane for awhile, he would then start picking at the sides of his finger nails on his thumbs to pull away at the skin because of his anxiety and frustration. We would ask him, why he didn't look in the rear view mirror and side view mirrors sooner to check traffic flow and look for the appropriate slot to merge and move over sooner instead of waiting until the last minute? He would always respond, because this is the way I do things. We would ask him why he would get frustrated then if he wasn't planning ahead and had to stay in a lane longer then he wanted all because he wouldn't do something different? He said he didn't think being frustrated was such a big deal. We would ask, have you thought about doing things different, like Mom does? That was the wrong thing to ask him and only fueled the tension between them both and he would respond stating that he didn't drive like Mom did and had no intentions of driving like Mom did. We wanted to say, yaaahhh, we know you don't drive like Mom, won't go over the speed limit one mph and she goes as much over the speed limit as she can every day!!! Ultimately, we weren't trying to get Dad to change his ways, we just didn't want him frustrated. So we felt there were two options: either change the way you do things so you aren't frustrated, or keep doing them and realize your frustration is of your own making and adds to your disgust with life.

I procrastinate on washing dishes. I don't know why because it isn't a task I hate, it just seems like I am always doing it and I would rather be efficient with my time and after making myself a meal and cleaning up the counters and putting stuff away, I don't want to have to wash dishes too! So I let them stack up until the sink is full of them for 2 or 3 days depending on how many there are, and of course then there is much more to do, but I feel like I am doing the task less often. Yet I hate, absolutely hate, the smell of dirty dishes (even if you rinse them a bit there still is some stuff there). I've timed myself a few times, and once I actually stop and do the task of washing dishes, it honestly only takes all of 10 minutes. 10 simple minutes that would make me feel more not frustrated at the smell in the kitchen, that would feed the organized, decluttered, and clean space that I want! And maybe it might take 5 minutes if I did it every day instead of 10 minutes every 3 days.

Maybe there are things like this in your own life. Things you keep doing because you have always done them this way, but you know you aren't happy with the results. Things that add frustration to your daily life that if you stopped, took the time to figure out why you don't like it and what you could do differently, you might just get a more peaceful journey.

What keeps you from changing those things in your life that you don't like? How will you live today more intentionally to connect to what brings you happiness and keeps the flow of life going?
#SimpleDisciplines #LifeLessons #EnjoyTheJourney#CreateTheLifeYouWant #LiveIntentionally

Monday, December 19, 2016

is God silent?

I have had some conversations lately with others that have told me that God is silent. He isn't answering their prayers or giving them direction.

Yet as I think about God and who He is designed to be in a relationship with us, is He silent? When I think about the qualities of a relationship and what it takes to communicate, I wonder if we have misinterpreted God and His ways of communicating? I wonder if we have taken an expectation of how He communicates and made it a criteria of what we think is going to happen in our relationship with Him?

He tells us to: Seek and YOU WILL find. Doesn't that mean answers aren't missing? That they can always be found? That they are always forth coming? Always?

He says to: Ask and it SHALL BE given. Doesn't that mean He wants to hear from you and give back to you? Doesn't that mean He wants you to ask Him questions? Doesn't that mean He gives answers to questions?

He says: Trust, have Faith and Believe. Doesn't that mean you have to trust He is going to answer? To have faith that He is going to answer? To believe He is going to answer?

I wonder if we have labeled Him "unresponsive" when He actually has responded?

I wonder if in reality the silence means He has given you an answer, but because you were looking for a different one or didn't get the answer you wanted, you thought He hadn't responded?

I wonder if you've given God a deadline as to when the answer has to be there and maybe in His limitless time frame, He is creating the right moment for the answer to be dropped, but is sending you clues along the way before the mic drop to continually let you know He loves you and cares about the details in your life, but you are so focused on the BIG question that you aren't seeing the small questions He is answering along the way?

I wonder if in reality you have not asked and thanked Him at the same time, you've only been taking in the relationship?

I wonder if He is nodding His head, listening and working diligently behind the scenes on bringing about the next God Moment for you to see Him, feel Him, and trust him deeper?

I wonder if your distrust, fear, and lack of belief in Him is actually hindering you getting the answer and maybe not that He doesn't want to give you an answer?

I wonder if you have been doing all the talking, kinda monopolizing the conversation, not letting the conversation go back and forth, ebb and flow, give and take, in dialogue?

I wonder if you have been sporadic in your conversation with God?

I wonder if you aren't grateful for the answers He has already given you and you simply just want more?

I wonder if you deleted His email or overlooked His Text Message or were busy doing something else and His Call went to Voicemail?

I wonder if you were just a little more patient and believed the timing would be perfectly on time would help you live today and not wait for His answer?

I believe God is a BIG communicator. I believe God wants lots of communication from you. 

I believe God gives just as much back communication back. I believe it's a two way relationship. I believe God wants to give you want you want. I believe God wants to bless you. I believe God is always loving you, no matter what the situation is.

Please know, I believe there are times in conversations that we have silence. That we just sit and say nothing. That we ponder and mediate on what has already been shared. That we have to take time to contemplate the information and questions we have already put out on the table. That we step back and sometimes have to see the big picture instead of being so focused on the little details. Yet, sometimes we have to be more focused on the little details instead of just the big picture.

So...I wonder if the silence is meant for us to listen more instead of just keep talking?
#ConversationsWithGod #Reflections #LettersFromGod #TheSassyVoice#WhoseVoiceAmIListeningTo #SFT #SeeItFeelItTrustIt #Utopia#GodMoments

Friday, December 16, 2016

using your head for something besides holding your ears apart

One of the things my Mother forever was telling me, screaming at me, drilling into me was: Will you use your head for something besides holding your ears apart?
It was said with an incredulous, frustrated, I can't believe you are so stupid, you really are driving me insane, attitude.

I resented it. It made me angry. It made me frustrated. It made me despise that she thought I wasn't listening. It made me feel small. It made me feel like I wasn't good enough. It made me feel that she didn't think I really was trying to use my head. It made me feel flat out stupid. Many times for even trying.

Yet the older I got, I realized that this was something that actually helped me to become an avid thinker. It helped me to stop and ask:

It also taught me other skills, It helped me be calm in the midst of angry people. It helped me to realize they couldn't see what I was thinking or feeling unless I communicated it. And yes, the risk of communicating what method I had used to get to the decision making process I had gotten to would likely get me into more trouble and I would endure more shame and guilt, but it was a risk I sometimes took.

Learning to reframe those negative experiences in our lives is a choice. Learning to choose to find a way to help it grow us and turn us into a diamond is a choice. Learning to look for the gratitude in all things is a choice.

What will you choose?

How have you implemented something negative in your life to better you as a person?

What were you told in your childhood that has affected how you live your life today?

How have you turned it into something beneficial?

Can I see this from another perspective? - What am I missing here that could be other details or facts that I need to be aware of? - If I do this or that, what will the end result be? - How would my mother think through this situation? - What other questions can I ask to be able to make a better decision?
#TheLifeOfMisty #ThePowerOfChoice #ADifferentPerspective

Thursday, December 15, 2016

I can have peace

I gave a total of $35k to various charity organizations in 2015...because I believe in them, I believe in what they are doing, I believe in their message, I believe in being generous, I believe in the ripple effect, I believe in helping others achieve their goals, I believe in making a difference in the world where poverty is at the lowest level and where the basics of basic needs doesn't even exist, I believe that giving of your time, energy and money are all aspects of philanthropy, I believe giving from the heart because you want to is very important beyond the fact it is one of God's commandments...

You may judge me for making this statement, you may believe I was trying to buy their love, you may feel I am boasting about my giving, you may believe I am proud of what I was able to do financially, you may believe that I am trying to prove a point, you may think that I think that I am better than you, you may believe that I should have taken care of my own needs (like buy myself a dishwasher that has been broken for 5+ years instead of giving money to someone else), you may believe that I am all about show, you may believe that I should not share these things with you, you may believe many different things about this statement...

I can have peace in the midst of being attacked for what I believe, how I live, what I say and what I do, knowing that I live an authentic life, to the core of who I am, because of the values and things I believe are important. I can have peace because I know that I am not trying to live my life to please you but to be a servant of the one who has given me so much. I can have peace as I seek direction and wisdom from the one who promises to give it to me if I just ask. I can have peace knowing that I have a financial budget and whether I make more or less money, my charity activities will be in alignment with that. I can have peace knowing that last year I was able to exceed some of my philanthropy goals I set because my business had it's greatest year ever. I can have peace knowing that as I follow my heart in supporting charities that are making a difference that I am doing what God asks of me to spread more love and to give back. I can have peace that even if you disagree with what I believe, how I live, what I say, and what I do, I ultimately give account to God for my life and that responsibility and accountability is mine. I can have peace that God knows my heart and He knows why I gave $35k to charity and He will take care of the outcome of these efforts, I don't have to worry about their results. I can have peace that the energy you put out in life will come back to you and the results speak for themselves. I can have peace knowing you can create your own life and live it the way you want. I can have peace that even in the midst of criticism, condemnation and judgement, because I know that if you spent more time focusing on your own philanthropy efforts instead of criticizing mine, you might have more love, joy, peace, harmony and contentment in your own life, and this would fill your heart with more blessings and gratitude then you ever dreamed was possible.
#TheSassyVoice #TheLifeOfMisty #Generosity #Charity #OutOfTheHeart#LoveOnPurpose #PursueYourDreams #TheReasonsBehindTheWhy

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

I'll let you open the door, I promise...

I'm still learning...a lot...surprise.

About me. About life. About how to let go. About how to love deeper. First and foremost, myself.

When you have spent 40 years taking care of yourself, from a young age when you were the one to grocery shop, cook and take care of the family when your mother got Hepatitis C when you were 10, to living on your own for 20 years and whether that was changing a tire or doing repairs around the house or moving furniture, there are some things ingrained in your mode of operating that you never think twice about.

I am used to doing it myself. Always. Period. On Everything.

This means when a man is walking behind me, I don't think to let him get the door. If my suitcase is coming off the baggage claim, I get it. I have lifted it up 7 flights of stairs when I stayed at hotel that didn't have an elevator, what's picking it up off the baggage claim dispenser? Nothing, so why would I wait for one of my guy friends who came to pick me up at the airport pull it off? I honestly don't think anything when I do these things. I just do them. It isn't to prove something. It isn't to make him feel less manly or not be able to show an action of chivalry, it's simply because I wake up every day and don't think of anyone else doing my tasks. If it needs to be done I figure out a way to do it. Period. If it requires muscles, I find the strength to do it, a bit at a time until I get it done or I hold my breath and do it in one feel swoop because I don't believe in being a wimp.

Yet, the truth is, I was never taught to ask my Dad for help, because the answer would have been first a sound of irritation, frustration for me interrupting him, and annoyance because I was such a bother, and then secondly, he would have asked if it could have waited because he was always busy at his desk in the middle of something. If there was a remote chance that he didn't respond that way then my mother was upset because I didn't ask her if I could ask Dad for help or she would say that we could do it ourselves and didn't need help. She simply controlled everything. Pssssssttt, yah, a bunch of hassle and it left you wishing you had died trying to do it yourself. So I learned young to not ask for help and just do it. With a grateful heart.

I got this reminder again yesterday, I do what I always do, get the door myself as I exit the office of a friends business. And he said: No Misty, really, please let me. I laugh and say I am sorry, I truly didn't mean to do it on purpose.

But the truth is that sometimes, I just wanna cry. I wanna learn to be better at this. I wanna learn to allow myself to be taken care of. I wanna learn to let someone else share the load with me. I wanna learn to not have to do it all myself. I wanna learn to ask for help. I wanna learn to not feel like I am an irritation or frustration or annoyance to you. And deep at my core, I don't want to be thought less of for asking for help.

I know I can do life alone. I am not afraid of doing life alone. I left that scary fear September 1997 when I moved to Texas being told I would die within 2 Years. I faced that fear and more, so doing life alone doesn't scare me.

But I also know the value of doing life together. And this is what drives me to want to work on me.

I get these are my own internal issues, but I share because we all have life's experiences that shape us to be who we are. It may be a lifelong process to get to the point that we overcome them. But I am committed to doing that. I believe in healing one layer at a time and I accept that my childhood wounds follow me every single day. I know they have created me to be who I am. I am blessed to the strong courageous, generous and loving person I am today because of the tough days I have faced.

But even more then that, I am grateful for my guy friends who continue to show me every day that they love me for me and are patient through each layer that I work through.

Thank YOU. Thank YOU for being a tool in my life. Thank YOU for showing me what a relationship looks like. Thank YOU for being kind to me in spite of my flaws.
#TheLifeOfMisty #MyStory #LifeLessons #OneLessonAtATime#MyHealingJourney

Monday, December 12, 2016

the unfriended wall

Imagine if you could "unfriend" people in real life with whom you disagree just as easily as you unfriend someone on Facebook.

As a society we are finding it way too easy to "unfriend" people who disagree with us, cutting off discourse, compromise instead of finding ways to live with each other. We think we are creating boundaries, when in reality we are just making unhealthy walls.

We aren't practicing ways to show love, kindness and compassion on a foundation of grace.

When we realize that love heals everything, we will then know what it takes to have a successful life with loving relationships.

How will you show love today in a relationship that hurts? 

How will you say I'm sorry in a situation that's messy? 

How will you extend more grace? 

How will you forgive? 

Friday, December 9, 2016

Christmas Reflections

My 1st Christmas was 2014. My dear sweet friends, Miki Aaron and James P Aaron (along with Amanda Moseley and Jonathan Aaron) wanted me to experience the day with them and to show me how they did Christmas. They wanted me to celebrate Jesus and our friendship all in one. I was nervous. I was concerned I was doing the wrong thing. I told them I would join them for theirs but I didn't want gifts. I got sick and couldn't make it. But still took over my Spinach Artichoke Dip for them to enjoy and I left them gifts under their tree while they were out feeding the homeless. You say you didn't want gifts but you left them gifts? Yes. It's a crazy mess that you have to process when you come out of a cult and performance based foundation and the threads of things you have to work through run deep, but the reality is, I felt I couldn't receive, I could only give. They honored me and when I was better, they had me come over and showered me with a late Christmas...ohhhhh and yes, they gave me gifts. 

My 2nd Christmas was 2015 with my boyfriend. I gave him 12 Gifts for the 12 Days of Christmas. I created a fixed dollar amount I was going to spend on Christmas and I bought as many people as I could gifts. I had a pile of gifts in my living room to give and it made me freaking happy!!! I had my first Christmas stocking hung over the fireplace mantel. I had lighted garlands and wreaths in my living room and on my front door. I went to many Christmas Parties and Christmas Concerts and Christmas Events and embraced Christmas fully for the first time. I loved every minute of it all.

This is my 3rd Christmas. I am doing 3 Christmas Parties (all the others I am saying NO to because I do not want to be as busy and on the go as I was last year, along with the fact that I want to be fully intentional in all aspects of the Christmas Holiday and this year, less is more for me). I'm late with my planning and ideas, but I know I will make it memorable. I wish I could tell you what it means to be doing this again this year...

I know no matter the questions you have about Christmas, God still is with you and He wants you to love Him and others every single day. No matter whether you have family to celebrate it with or not (I don't), you can still create an amazing and happy Holiday. No matter if all the peeps you love and have considered your true close friends support you or have turned on you and become an enemy and are against you, rejected you, blocked you, condemn you, judge you, and won't love and be loving and if necessary, forgive you, your Holiday season can be filled with love and loving people. No matter if you feel the Holiday Spirit or hate this time of year because it stresses you out and you dislike all the consumerism of it, you can create the life you want and be intentional in what you make this season to be in your own life. No matter if you feel obligated to give gifts or don't want to give or receive any gifts, you can create a special day with amazing memories.

Love shines through.

Love is the healing action.

Love is needed. matter whether you celebrate Christmas or not...I want you to feel loved. I want you to be able to close the year reflecting on LOVE, having lots of GRATITUDE, and embracing all the ABUNDANT BLESSINGS we each have!

I want you to know that I value you and appreciate you in my life. Today. For who you are. For the gift you bring to the world. For letting me share in your world in one small way. Today, I say please enjoy the #2016Christmasholiday and #CelebrateLife#EnjoyTheJourney because #LifeIsBeautiful!!!