Tuesday, October 14, 2014

ALLOWING ME {Day 14} Giving up struggle...

Oct 14…Already?

I have been reading posts from other 31 Days writers and found a similar story. For those of us who don’t write ahead, some days slip away. For me, there are blocks I can’t seem to get past on certain days.

But, here I am…back to ALLOWING myself to give up.

This morning, as I rush to do nine things before I need to be out the door - and one of them is be creative – I am reminded that it is okay to give up struggling and trying so hard.

It is.

I am not suggesting laziness. Or unwillingness to push through. Or lack of commitment.

I am certainly not suggesting we quit every time something is challenging.

I think you know what I mean, don’t you?

Do you struggle with things…To quit smoking? To get your partner to quit smoking? To lose weight? To find a new job? To do what everyone else identifies as the most important tasks? To make peace in a quarreling family?

To runkidsbakecookiescleanthehousemkesurehomeworkisdonebuygroceriesfeedthedog…then stare at the ceiling and wonder why you can’t sleep and feel bad for not doing your devotional or writing a blog.

Do you struggle with ALLOWING yourself to stop doing and just BE?

I surely do. I am rarely still. Rarely doing less than two things.

If you have been following this blog, you know one of the results is the lack of a daily post.

But the results go much deeper. On days there is no post, it means I never took time to ALLOW thoughts to simply flow. Didn’t take five minutes to relax – because if I had, the thoughts would flow freely. Couldn’t stop doing/trying/pushing long enough to breathe.

Do you ever think about how struggle affects you?

I have been dealing with some big challenges for much longer than I anticipated. Some days I simply want a task that has a beginning and an end. I want to feel like SOMETHING got done.

Do you know what I mean? I think you do.

Here is a song from one of my favorite artists that speaks to this:

And this:

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (Phil 4:6-7)

I am heading to the sauna to be quiet, maybe read, hopefully listen.

Since I have some catching up to do, we will talk later…

BP

I am participating in a 31 Day blog challenge. My topic is Allowing Me… You can see preceding days below this blog. You can see other bloggers here.

Beth Painter is, among many other things, a writer and motivational speaker. You can follow her on Facebook on the “Think Big focus small” page.
Beth is available to speak to your group about how to make your dreams and desires come to life! 

Saturday, October 11, 2014

ALLOWING ME {Day 11} Remembering part of who I am...



Today I am ALLOWING myself to take a break from the planned blog and remember a bit of who I am.

This is stuck in my brain…Oct 11, 1972.  In the fifth and deciding game of the NLCS at Riverfront Stadium, George Foster scores the winning run from third base in the bottom of the ninth on a wild pitch thrown by Bob Moose, giving the Reds a dramatic 4-3 walk-off victory over the Pirates. Earlier in the inning, Johnny Bench hit a home run off Dave Giusti to tie the score. (nationalpastime.com)

It was a Wednesday afternoon game. I grabbed my ball glove and tennis ball, ran out the back door, and cried and slammed that ball off a wall behind my house until I couldn’t throw or cry anymore.

My grandmother loved the Pirates. I can see her sitting on the front porch with iced tea, a pack of Kools and a transistor radio, complaining that Bob Prince talked too much. She passed that love on to my mom, who passed it on to me.

This is stuck in my heart…Thursday, Oct 11, 1984. I had been living with my Grandmother for several months, caring for her after a stroke and diagnosis of congestive heart failure.

The day before would have been my grandfather’s 82nd birthday. He had been gone 31 years. We had talked briefly about him.

Thursday was one of my days off. Grandma surprised me with a grocery list. Ingredients for city chicken, mashed potatoes, apple pie – Grandpa’s yearly birthday dinner. While I was shopping, she called a few family members to invite them. Grandma made most of the dinner herself. She seemed to be in better spirits and healthier than she had for months. We had dinner and ate the whole pie. A good day and evening for all of us.

Friday, Oct 12…Grandma smiled and greeted me on my way to the shower. 

As soon as I stepped out of the shower, I heard it. When fluid was building, Grandma made a distinct noise like a hiccup. I threw on a robe and ran for the phone.

She told me not to call the ambulance.

I called my aunt who lived across the street. She called the ambulance then ran to us.

24 hours before, she was planning dinner.

12 hours before we were eating pie.

At that moment, I held Grandma’s hand as she went to be with Jesus…and Grandpa.

Tomorrow it will be 30 years since that day. I learned so much from Grandma while she was here. I still miss being able to sit with her, eat her pie, watch the Pirates with her.

Since she left this earth, she has taught me something else…people don’t go away entirely. I can’t touch her face, but I see it in my mind. I hear her voice. I feel her talking to me. Sometimes I sense her presence so strongly.

Mortal bodies have an expiration date. Souls are for eternity. I know it. I feel it. I feel the love and encouragement of people who have moved on.

It helps make me who I am.

Sometimes it is good to ALLOW myself to stop and acknowledge that.

How about you? Do you need to take a moment to remember?

We will talk again tomorrow,

Beth

I am participating in a 31 Day blog challenge. My topic is Allowing Me… You can see preceding days below this blog. You can see other bloggers here.

Beth Painter is, among many other things, a writer and motivational speaker. You can follow her on Facebook on the “Think Big focus small” page.
Beth is available to speak to your group about how to make your dreams and desires come to life! 

Thursday, October 9, 2014

ALLOWING ME {Day 9 Redux} I GIVE UP...again

It’s still Day 9….long day. But I am still thinking about giving up.

First, I need to clarify something. I am not being flippant when I use the phrase “giving up.” Depression and I have waged many battles, and I know how it feels to want to give up truly and completely. If you are there right now, please know that I can empathize with your feelings.

One of the weapons depression brings is telling me I am responsible for making other people feel better. I’m not talking about being rude or uncaring. I am talking about being a pleaser.

Certainly we all have people to whom we are responsible. Partners, children, parents, friends, family. But that isn’t what I mean either.

Sometimes we attempt to please people for unhealthy reasons. Lack of self-esteem, fear, learned habits, an unnatural feeling of responsibility.

There are a hundred scenarios…but if you allow yourself to be a pleaser, read this truth:

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb…
My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth…all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.
(Psalm 139)

The Creator of universe also created me. From the beginning of time, there was a plan for my life. A plan that maximizes my gifts, that expands the world, that is meant only for my good and the glory of the Creator.

Same for your life.
Do you have trouble believing that?

How about these words:

Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you…” (Jer 1)

It is my determined intent to give up trying to make people happy at the expense of knowing and honoring who I am and the purpose God has for me.

I don’t mean to imply my life is bad. But I do this. 
Sometimes I do not ALLOW myself to say NO.
Sometimes I do not ALLOW myself to rest.
Sometimes I do not ALLOW myself to listen to my heart/head.

How about you? Any place in your life you would do well to give up the tendency to be a pleaser in such a way that it stifles who you are?

My determined intent…meaning it won’t happen overnight.
My determined intent…meaning I will still wrestle with guilt at times.
My determined intent to be who God created me to be – loving, kind, caring, helpful all the while.
My determined intent to give up being anything outside of the person the Creator of the universe sees in me.

We will talk about giving up again tomorrow… so much more good stuff!

See you then,

Beth

I am participating in a 31 Day blog challenge. My topic is Allowing Me… You can see preceding days below this blog. You can see other bloggers here.

Beth Painter is, among many other things, a writer and motivational speaker. You can follow her on Facebook on the “Think Big focus small” page.
Beth is available to speak to your group about how to make your dreams and desires come to life! 

ALLOWING ME {Day 9} I GIVE UP

It is Day 9. 
I have already missed three days, for which I am beating myself about the head.

This day looked full from the time my feet hit the floor. I couldn't see a way to meet all my requirements. Frustration about being behind in more than one part of my lifemounted. In my quiet time this morning, I said to God, “I GIVE UP!”

He said, “Okay. Good,” but I was busy ranting.

I said, “I can’t do this anymore!”

He said, “Okay. I knew that,” but I was busy ranting.

I said, “What is it You want me to do??”

He said, “Give up,” which stopped my ranting. I sat quietly. I put in a new spiritual teaching CD I have. I listened. I read my devotional and listened.

And I am here to make the declaration that it is my dominant intent to give up.

This will take more than one blog post to dissect. I hope you will stick with me.

A few words sent me over the edge…

Come to me and I will give you rest—all of you who work so hard beneath a heavy yoke. Wear my yoke—for it fits perfectly—and let me teach you; for I am gentle and humble, and you shall find rest for your souls (Matthew 11:28)

So I just give up….

I give up attempting to control the uncontrollable. If numerous things don’t rush into your head, you must live in a universe parallel to mine. 
For the most part, that’s everyone and everything who isn’t me. I can’t control any of it. I can’t control any of it. I can’t control any of it…

I give up struggling so much. There is no point in rowing upstream. 
Jesus said, “The thief comes only to steal, kill, and destroy, but I come that they might have life and have it in abundance” (John 10.10)
Abundance is downstream. Well-being is downstream. 
At the very least, I could sit sideways…but rowing upstream is futile and steals my energy. Instead, I fuss and fume and worry and get myself all balled up. Then I cry or yell or both.

I give up.
It isn’t a way to live. It isn’t what was intended for any of us.

I give up.

How about you? Either of these a challenge for you? Do you need to give up too?

I have a couple more tasks and am going to focus on these two areas for a couple hours.

Maybe we will disucss more before I sleep.

Talk to you later,

BP

I am participating in a 31 Day blog challenge. My topic is Allowing Me… You can see preceding days below this blog. You can see other bloggers here.

Beth Painter is, among many other things, a writer and motivational speaker. You can follow her on Facebook on the “Think Big focus small” page.
Beth is available to speak to your group about how to make your dreams and desires come to life! 

Monday, October 6, 2014

ALLOWING me {Day 6} Be Still...AGAIN?

I’ve been struggling with these blogs.
I know, I KNOW – it’s only October 6, so I have 25 days to go.

My challenge is the topic of ALLOWING is huge and important. I want to get it right every day.

Ironic, isn’t it…I want so much to get it RIGHT that I don’t ALLOW the words to simply come out.

ALLOW.

I watched Joel Osteen today. Psalm 46:10 was referenced in his sermon as well.
Be still…I can’t seem to escape the concept.

And ALLOW…Joel said it numerous times.

Here’s what jumped at me…
25% don’t like me and never will; 25% don’t like me but could be easily persuaded; 25% like me but could be easily dissuaded; 25% like me and will stand firmly by me.

Hmmmm….

And then these words:

Don’t waste time trying to win over people who aren’t for you. Be still...

Don’t waste energy trying to get people to understand me. Be still...

Don’t waste time trying to prove yourself to people. Be still...

Run your race, focus on your goals, put up your walls and don’t let the mudslingers bother you. Be still...

Joel has a way of getting better pumped up. 15,000 people in the Compaq Center were nodding, shouting out, clapping, along with one person in Butler.

It sounds like such a relief, doesn’t it? Don’t let the 75% bother me. 
Don’t give away my power. 
Don’t allow anyone who doesn’t like me, doesn’t support me, distract me from my goals.

Some folks seem to do this easily.

Are you one of those folks? I am…sometimes.

But sometimes I ALLOW poison in. I ALLOW myself to be distracted by negative emotions. I ALLOW time to be wasted on “proving” battles.  I waste energy being aggravated by silly life things – a line at the grocery store, a slow driver, a person who wants to tell me a 10 minute story when I really just want to short version.

Sometimes people and their unproductive emotions come against me and Be Still seems a hundred miles away.

How about you?

The subject of ALLOWING cloudbursts to dampen my day is important and worthy of more than one day. So we will come back to it.

Until then, you can laugh with me and/or ponder this crazy question I heard yesterday…Why do bad things happen when I am already in a bad mood???

Oh yes, ALLOWING is a large topic.

We will talk again tomorrow.

Right now, I am off to Be Still...

BP

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Allowing Me {Day 5} Two Challenging Words


Sometimes I am simply handed a message.
Today it came through The Rev. Dr. Eric Park, my dear friend and pastor.

Be still…no matter the present circumstance.

Come and see what the Lord has done,
the amazing things He has done on the earth…
God says, “Be still and know that I am God. (Psalm 46)

I don’t always ALLOW that.

Especially when I am waiting for God to do the amazing thing I want or need.

Be still.

Can you identify?

Shabbat. The Hebrew derivative of “Sabbath.” Be still.

Let it sink in and roll around…think about where these words might apply. Listen for the nudge.

Be still.

We will talk tomorrow.


BP

Friday, October 3, 2014

Allowing Me {Day 3} The Silly Toad Hunter...




It’s Friday. For this adjunct college English instructor, that means grade day.

And the grading website is timing out erratically.

And I have only slept four hours each of the last two nights.

And, oh yeah…this just happened…





My nine year old Westie got in touch with her ancestral roots this summer and became a hunter. Birds and rabbits amuse her.  But toads are her real joy.

My neighbors are treated to a nightly routine of Tori outside for the final time, and me following her around the yard saying, “Go potty. NO TOADS! Go potty. NO TOADS!” 
It’s delightful.

While I was focusing on grades tonight, she was outside on a mission. The dog who obediently stays out of flower beds all summer has now trampled many of them down as she sniffs and searches.

She was dirty and stinky. I was fighting with a wonky grading website and facing an unwritten blog, which was mapped out in my head but not on paper at all.

Sometimes Allowing means letting myself  BE something.

Sometimes Allowing means letting myself BE FREE of something.

Tonight this had to happen…


..which means my blog is about how it’s okay to not have a planned out, edited, masterpiece of a blog…or a meal…or a clean house…or a snack for work…or an empty dishwasher…or or or…

Sometimes I must Allow myself that freedom. 

How about you?
No? Just me?

We will talk tomorrow. More intentionally, I hope!
For tonight, the grades are done and the dog is clean.


BP

I am participating in a 31 Day blog challenge. My topic is Allowing Me… You can see preceding days below this blog. You can see other bloggers here.

Beth Painter is, among many other things, a writer and motivational speaker. You can follow her on Facebook on the “Think Big focus small” page.
Beth is available to speak to your group about how to make your dreams and desires come to life!