Chivalry at it’s finest!

When I looked up the definition of the word Chivalry this was the definition that really stood out to me in relation to this picture.

Chivalry: “The combination of qualities expected of an ideal knight, especially courage, honor, courtesy, justice, and a “readiness to help the weak.”

My favorite part of this definition is “readiness to help the weak!”

This is my nephew Eli. He’s 8 years old and on a recent visit I watched him in the park as he helped this little girl try to ride “his” bike, notice how I said “his” not “hers”. When I asked him what he was doing he said; “she’s never ridden a bike without training wheels so I’m trying to teach her.”

He literally was holding on to the bike while she learned to balance. The first time she fell she said to him; “Can you help me, can you hold me?” She would ride, fall several times over and over, every single time he would go and help her climb back on and get re-balanced.

I heard Eli say after a few minutes each time; “You want me to let you go now?” and then when she would start to go for a second she would fall. I heard him tell her; “you got to use your breaks when you’re about to fall.” The final release he let her go and she was able to ride on her own. We both clapped our hands for her and cheered her on as she rode for the first time without her training wheels.

It was so beautiful to watch this wonderful display of Chivalry.

As I sat there and watched, I began to think about my own process in life, thinking about how many times I had fallen off the bike when trying to do something for the first time. Remembering so many moments in my life that I didn’t ask for help! I was determined to ride my own bike my own way! Have you ever been there? There are so many lessons we can learn from these children, it reminds me of when Jesus told us to be as “children”; what does that actually mean? As children you don’t think of asking for help as being frail or vulnerable you just do it because it’s what you need and you are trusting that whom you are asking will be there to meet that need.

When those needs were not met as children we grow into adults with scars and it becomes easier to “do it yourself!” Even in my own life I have had to learn again that it’s ok to be that little girl asking for help, asking to be held! To be able to trust that my heavenly Father will hold me and walk with me every step of the way. After all, isn’t He the greatest example of true Chivalry; “Readiness to help the weak!”

I’m reminded of the scripture; “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me” Corinthians 12:9 When we ask for Him it is not a sign of weakness but rather a sign of strength.

The older I get, the more I realize my need for the loving Father to hold me when I’m down. I can call on Him and He will answer. I can trust Him to teach me how to step out and do things I’ve never done, and yet still watch me to ensure if I fall, He will be there to pick me up and cheer me on. He’s there to keep the balance and reminds me when I’m going too fast or getting ahead of Him to hit the breaks before I fall. There is such safety, security and assurance in knowing He is my help! He is always looking out for my good!

Conflict! What is it teaching me?

Who likes conflict?  I mean who really just enjoys it?  Actually, believe it or not some people do.  Personally, I do not enjoy conflict and we all deal with it in different ways.  Unfortunately, in life we will all face conflict in one way or another.  If you are human and have human relationships there is bound to be a conflict at some point.  If you have a hard time communicating how you feel, expressing your needs or wants and you never learned how to resolve conflict in a healthy way then more than likely there’s something you can learn within the conflicts you are facing.

What does Jesus say about conflict? Mathew 7:5 “First take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.”

What does this mean?  Conflict is a way for us to recognize our own issues.  The internal things that cause our hearts to be angry, our minds to think negatively and then our behaviors to respond from that place.  We too often make conflict about the other person.  We rarely in most cases look at ourselves.  It’s easy to blame conflict on the other person and even easier to ignore it and walk away.  We don’t take time to listen or understand because then it would require me to be responsible for my part.

Phil. 2:4 “Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.”

So, how do we respond?  I can say in my own life the way I learned to deal with conflict was to walk away from you.  That is an easier solution, to protect myself from any further wounding; “You hurt me now I’m going to hurt you by withholding myself from you, by ignoring you or by closing out my heart towards you!” How many have ever experienced this or done this themselves? It’s an unhealthy way to deal with conflict, it leaves you alone, it only further damages relationships and allows us to stay stuck and  leaves internal unresolved conflict that will show up in other areas of your life.  In every conflict there should always be an opportunity to share our thoughts and feelings, we must be willing to listen. We must be willing to lay down our own pride and allow our hearts to be open enough to hear truth about our conflicts, even when it hurts. Fear often keeps us from resolving conflict; fear of rejection, fear of loosing, fear of the other person seeing our insecurities, vulnerabilities or weaknesses, uncovering and revealing a deeper part of our hidden selves. When we walk away instead of dealing with things head on, we could end up missing something great, losing time, live with regret, we can never get the times of being silent back.

Ephesians 4: 15-16 “Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.”

In some cases depending on the situation walking away may be the only solution at the time. However, if we are going to deal with conflict the way Jesus desires us to deal with it, the end result should always be healing and restoration.  It should never be about who is right and who is wrong! When there is honor, love and respect in a relationship this is when we put our guards and our weapons down so that we can hear and gain a greater revelation of what my part is doing to your heart.  When it comes from a place of honor we should be willing to forgive.  Then do our best to become aware, recognize the problem and then work together to rebuild trust, love and respect by allowing God to be the center.  It allows me to come to the throne room of Grace and dwell there, showing grace to the person I am in conflict, remembering that I am imperfect too.  It allows me to respond humbly not in fear but in reverence to the person I love.   It communicates; “I care about you, how you feel, I care about our relationship. I care about Jesus strengthening our walk together, but most of all it communicates love. ” This type of approach works in all relationships. It’s always a “working together”, you can’t resolve conflict alone.

James 5:16 “Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working!.”

Healthy conflict resolved in a healthy way is healing and growth for us as individuals and for our relationships. Conflict is never really about the issue, it’s about you! It’s about self-awareness. Perhaps seeing areas in our heart that still need to be transformed, to see opportunities within yourself about how we respond to those we love and care about. It’s to help us grow into the man/woman God desires us to be,  so that in the end we can have Healthy and Whole relationships.  Conflict, is about maturing us spiritually because now you have to rely on God’s wisdom to teach you how to resolve things His way.  It’s about building the Character of Christ within us because now I need to respond in love.  I have to be willing to humble myself and submit myself to the person I am in conflict with.  “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.” Ephesians 5:20. 

James 1:19 “Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger;”

Ephesians 4:2-3 “With all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”

Next time you are in a conflict with someone you love or care about ask yourself these questions? Will avoiding it heal my relationship?  Can I grow from this? What do I need to see in me? How can I resolve this in a way that is honoring and respecting to the person I love and to God?  If I walk away what will I lose? What can I learn from this conflict?

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What’s your cycle?

Often times we attract what’s in us, which keeps us in cycles of either negative or positive results!  Assess what you’re attracting and what you spend your time dwelling on or investing in, this includes people. If you surround yourself with “like”, it’s what you will get.  Sometimes it takes acknowledging our own weaknesses, in today’s terminology our “stuff”, our “junk”, our “mess”.  If we want a different result then we should sharpen against those who will not agree with us settling for less or staying in those damaging patterns. Those who will help us recognize what God has designed for us when we cannot see it in ourselves. It’s the pricking of the “soul”, it can be painful and cause some to run, hide and avoid. I’ve heard it best put this way; “God can’t heal what we hide.” He already knows so why not just give it to Him.

God created you for a purpose. He has a better plan then you could ever imagine. He has only “GOOD” things in store for you! Your worth to Him is not based on your failures, your past or your mistakes! Others may have said you are used “goods”, you may have said to yourself; “I’m not good enough”,  yet, God doesn’t judge us by our “MESS”.  I will never be “good enough” but because of the “Blood of Jesus” God’s word say’s that we are clothed in “Righteousness.”

“I am overwhelmed with joy in the LORD my God! For he has dressed me with the clothing of salvation and draped me in a robe of righteousness. I am like a bridegroom in his wedding suit or a bride with her jewels.”  – Isiah 61:10

Know who you are and what you are worth and be the best you that you can be, not for others or to prove to others that you are “worthy” or “valuable” but do it for yourself and for those following behind you.  Give Him your cycles, your dysfunction, your pain, disappointments and your mistakes! He will turn it all into something beautiful. In life there will be those who may not understand your pain but Jesus knows. There may be those who might reject you for stepping towards freedom, but Jesus also understood rejection. He was rejected by His own family and was crucified by His own people.

If you are stuck in a cycle you can’t see your way out of,  I want to encourage you today; you don’t have to repeat those patterns of defeat. Christ makes ALL things NEW! (Rev 21:5).  He is only waiting on you to surrender those cycles to Him.  Sometimes we want to hold on to what we have conditioned ourselves to.  A lie we tell ourselves is that it’s more painful to let go and so we hold on so tight that it becomes fearful to release it.  However, the truth is what you are holding on to is causing more pain not only to your heart, mind, soul and spirit but to your destiny and future! Jeremiah 29:11 He still has a plan for you, to give you a future, a hope and an expected end.

So, the question I ask again, is the question I stated in the title; What’s your cycle? What is it that keeps you locked out from your own happiness, freedom, joy and the ability to be what God designed you to be?  Only you can answer that question, but I pray today you will take steps of courage and allow Christ to break your cycles!

 

 

Identity

Ephesians 2:10

“For we are God’s masterpiece, created to do good works which God prepared in advance for us to do”

Do you know that you are more than what has been said to you and about you? You don’t have to fall for what today’s culture tells us. You are more than enough because you were created in His image! You are His masterpiece.  Everything about you is a masterpiece.

Our identity is not determined by what we do, who we are or what we have. You were created with a purpose, you are a child of a King! He desires to give you nothing but good things.

“For Jehovah God is our Light and our Protector. He gives us grace and glory. No good thing will He withhold from those who walk along his paths” Pslams 84:11 (Living Bible).

If you have been in a place of discouragement and you have had painful disappointments in your life, and you placed your value and your worth into what has broke your heart and now you are finding yourself in a place of the “unknown”.   I want to encourage you and tell you that you still have a future!  God still has a plan even though it may not look like it right now.  Be confident in who He created you to be!

Your true identity is found in Him!

I hope this encourages you today

Emergency Interruption

I’m about to age myself here. How many remember growing up watching TV and then all of a sudden a loud ringing noise and the screen is covered with stripes of colors then you hear this message;

“We Interrupt Your Regularly Scheduled Programming (broadcast) to Bring You This Important message”

I remember thinking; “Really!” Just put my show back on!

I am always intrigued by things that pop into my head unexpectedly so I did some research and found this interesting bit of knowledge.

The phrase “we interrupt this broadcast” has been used frequently by radio and television networks when breaking into a program in progress to deliver important news or information.

I found this quote when reading about the history behind that message; “Wherever we may happen to be, our lives stop for a moment, and we experience those few seconds of anxiety between the interruption and the actual announcement of what has happened.”[1]

Have you ever been in a place where you were headed down what you thought was a great story? You were so engrossed in every moment anticipating the next chapter and then all of sudden life brings this INTERRUPTION, and the message is clear; “We interrupt this plan to bring you something unexpected!”  A major life altering experience which changed the course of where you were heading.  Sometimes it doesn’t even make sense! These interruptions can be major inconveniences to our lives. Sometimes they can even be painful interruptions that cause us to be angry and bitter because we can’t see the purpose of them.

Interruptions in those moment can seem like a waste of time, a thought could even be; “why is this happening to me?”, but in the midst of it all we have an omniscience God who can see so far ahead, He knows every step we take, He knows our future and He knows exactly where we are in life.  He is the sound that alarms us to take a moment to notice, to stop and listen to what He is trying to say.  He has a message that is important, He has a plan that is greater than ours!

Those Emergency Interruptions were to warn people of an important message, something that needed to be heard because there could be great impact that could change things drastically.

When you are truly surrendered to allowing God to be the director of your path, sometimes He will step in to interrupt your plans. It’s never to bring pain or hurt us or cause us to live in a state of regret or anger. It’s because He loves us enough to show us what we need to see so that when we continue this journey of life we don’t do it with anxiety or fear of the future. We can step into each new day with the assurance of knowing that when and if things get interrupted we can Trust Him with the outcome!

“We humans keep brainstorming options and plans, but God’s purpose prevails.”  Proverbs 19:21 Message Bible

Valentine’s Day

Exactly 6 years ago today I had one of the most Faith shaking moments of my life.  It was in this moment that He showed me His great love for me.  It was from this place that inspired the name of this blog.

February 14, 2011 I went in for a yearly exam, which I recommend for all. Prior to this exam God had already began taking me through a very deep inner healing process, very painful things of which I will continue to share throughout these blogs.  I never imagined the words or things I would have to go through to get to the place of which I had been crying out to God.  “Make me whole”.

During my exam I was told that I had a mass, the first question I asked; “will I be able to have children?” The Dr’s response; “I’m not sure” at this point we didn’t have all the answers because I had to go for further testing, I had to see an oncologist. I remember leaving the office that day flooded with so many emotions, I got home, closed the door turned the lights off and literally said; “just take me now”, “I don’t even want to live”. I felt hopeless and abandoned.  Like God had left me.  How could a God who loved me, leave me in that moment?  That night one of my closest friends who had been there for me to help me walk through so many of the things God had already begun, had planned a dinner for some of the single folks and invited me over. I did not want to be around anyone, it was the last thing I wanted to do.  However, being alone is never the answer in moments like these, because in these moments you really do need an army of strength behind you. She finally convinced me to come over, I went into the bathroom with her and cried as she held me and said; “I know you can’t see it now, but it’s not by accident it’s Valentine’s Day, He will show you it’s purpose.”

Through many tears, many questions, many moments of even questioning my Faith, the journey began.  I went in for an ultrasound and during that ultrasound I remember thinking in my mind; “this is all my fault, I did this”, as I laid there during the process all I could do is worship to help remove those false thoughts that the enemy had placed in my mind. He’s a liar and in moments like this He will always try to create false thoughts about you, God and what God is able to do.  It was discovered that I had a tumor on my left ovary but didn’t know if it was cancerous.  I went to the oncologist and I was told I would have to have surgery to remove the tumor and once they go in they will determine if they are able to preserve fertility.  Again, I was hit with the words; “possibility”, “maybe”, “we’ll see”.  Leaving me with such uncertainty of Faith, Hope and questioning; “Does God really love me?” I was so discouraged but thankful  for those who walked with me through the journey.  If it wasn’t for those who stood with me in Faith even when I felt I had none, who encouraged me, prayed with me and loved me in those dark moments I don’t know that I could have made it through.  We need people in our lives, community and family when hard times come we should never stand alone!

After several months of procrastinating surgery believing God would miraculously remove the tumor I went back for another ultrasound.  It was still there, disappointed not in God by myself for feeling like perhaps it was me not having enough faith.  God reminded me of great men of Faith who had endured surgery, that it wasn’t me or my Faith. I just needed to Trust Him in the process, knowing that He was still doing the work even if it wasn’t the way I thought it would be and that out of this He would get the glory!

One very important thing I need to share, I believe is crucial to this whole story and understanding God’s grace, love and re-assurance. I know to some this may not make sense, because it didn’t to me either.  Several months before all of this took place I was doing what most single woman do thinking about marriage, starting to put together a hope chest of what that might look like. All of a sudden God said; “Stop, I don’t want you to do that.” He said; “You can buy baby clothes”.  I was like; “WHAT”,  that makes no sense but I stopped in obedience to Him. It was an odd thing for me to even think about buying baby clothes, it wasn’t even a thought in my mind.  I remember the first time I purchased an outfit it felt so strange, after the first time it got easier and I could literally feel hope.  The scripture say’s; “His way’s are not our ways, His thoughts are not our thoughts” Isaiah 55:8-9.

I did not know at the time, but what He was doing was building Hope in me. He was building Hope for the moment I would have to face feeling Hopeless. In the moments that I wold hear the words; “Possibly”, “Maybe”, “We’ll see”.  He was showing me that in the moment when I would question God’s faithfulness, question His promises, He reminded me that His promises are yes and amen. Forwarding to the day after surgery my Dr. came in the room and checked on me, I was full of medication so could hardly say much but heard him say; “looking good, I can’t make any promises”. When he said that in my spirit I said; “You are not my promise keeper, you do not hold my promises!” 2 Corinthians 1:20.

Looking back and  remembering today of that season in my life, I am reminded of His great love for me on this day especially! He is faithful, He is good, He will never leave you or forsake you not even when you “feel” alone, you are Never alone.  Isaiah 41:10  Don’t fear, because I am with you; don’t be afraid, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, I will surely help you; I will hold you with my righteous strong hand.”

I am still waiting on His promises to be manifested in my life and when the enemy tries to steal Hope, I am reminded of these moments.  His love is endless, His love is forever passionate about me and you!   

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Introduction

I’m very excited about this “Blog” journey.  I have been writing things down on a piece of paper for years, literally anything I can grab. I am hoping my experiences and my writings will inspire others to step out and do the things they always wanted to do.  I look forward to meeting new people who have the same passions and also to learn from others.