Is It Your Place to Tell?

“Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue keeps himself out of trouble.”  Proverbs 21:23

Gossip.  We know it is bad, but we do it anyway.  Each time we tell the story to someone different, it changes.  It becomes the game “telephone” in real life.  Unfortunately, someone or many are hurt in the process by lies and rumors. 

Many years ago, I began a job a few months after graduating from college.  I worked in an office that had seventy plus employees.  Right before  I started at my new job, my father gave me wise advice.  He said, “stay away from gossip.”  My father worked in a similar place, where there were a lot of employees.  He told me, you can say one thing to someone on one end of the office and run as fast as you could to the other side of the building and that piece of gossip is already there.  I wish I listened to my father.  Sadly, one has to learn the hard way.

My daughter has had a tumultuous “friendship” with a classmate.  One day my daughter mentioned to her other friend when we were in the car about how upset this other student has made her.  I chimed in, saying it has been rough for my daughter and sadly nothing has changed.  We stated facts, not gossip.  Unfortunately, the friend in the car, told this student we were speaking badly about her and her family.  None of that was true.  Then the student in question started bad-mouthing my daughter and blocked her from her phone, all because of gossip.  Read the room (or car). If people you speak to like to gossip, be careful what you say around them.

Another time, I was the subject of gossip.  After I found out I was pregnant, my husband and I were excited to tell people.  We told family members first.  As I started to dial my sister in law, I received a phone call from her.  She stated how happy she was for us.  My husband and I told the news of my pregnancy, for the first time only 10 minutes beforehand.  I understand people were excited.  However, telling that news for my husband and me to tell.  The plan was to only have one child.  And now, we didn’t have the opportunity to say it ourselves.  As excited one is to share the good news, always ask the person if you can share it.  If they say no, be that friend who is trustworthy.

Imagine a world without gossip.  There would be no celebrity garbage news.  People could ask directly to the source and get the right answer.  Non-existent details would not come out.  People would not get hurt.  Painful secrets, would not have to be news for others to dish out.  

Gossip hurts.  Gossip can be deadly.  It is like a drug, don’t be the dealer or a user.  

Lesson Learned: Be a trustworthy friend and do not be the dealer of gossip.

Prayer:

“Dear Heavenly Father, forgive me for gossip.  Holy Spirit give me discernment when to share information.  Convict me when I want to talk about someone to others. May my words be encouraging and uplifting.  In Jesus’ Name, AMEN!”

When the Healing Takes Time

God can heal in an instant or the healing takes place over a period of time.

Jesus had the power to miraculously heal. However, in this passage, he chose to heal this blind man in stages. He showed us, healing may take time.

I’ve been dealing with anxiety most of my life. I wanted to be healed instantly so the suffering would stop.

I’ve been active on a journey for 7 years to overcome anxiety. I am better now than I was 7 years ago and even 1 year ago.

If you are on a journey of healing, physical or emotional, please do not be discouraged when the healing takes time. Let your faith grow when you see the changes. If you are better for even a little, relish in the fact you are better. God is good. And good things are to come.

Don’t Cheapen Yourself!

I saw this Instagram post from @thefemalewarhol. This quote shot me right through the heart.

Many times when we feel lonely, we devalue our worth to be noticed. This can happen with a romantic interest, at work, with friends, or in a family dynamic. Friend, it isn’t worth it.

May your eyes open and see your value today. May your heart open up to know that you deserve better.

Five Years of Anointed Courage!

“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9

Online shopping has become a way of life during Covid-19. I prefer to go to a store and see the product I need. But many times, we can only find the products online. I had a return to make to Amazon. I went to my local shipping store to send back a package.

There was a clerk who was by herself, managing the store. She tried her best, but you could tell she was new and having some trouble. The owner happens to walk in a few minutes after and jumped in to complete my transaction. She patiently walked the new employee through the steps.

The transaction finished. The new employee apologized to me and said she only started two weeks ago. I told her that she did great and that one day, soon work will be automatic for her. The look on her face was priceless. She thanked me for the comment and said it meant a lot for me to say. Sadly, the customer base in our town wreaks of entitlement and rudeness. I think she was relieved I wasn’t mad at her.

That time inside the shipping store got me thinking, whenever we start something new, most times, it is a beginner level. We fail, make mistakes, and wonder when things will get better. Today marks the 5th anniversary of me starting this blog. I started with no prior knowledge of writing a blog or managing a WordPress site. I did not know anything about advertising or social media marketing. Sadly, my confidence level was quite low. I felt like the clerk at the shipping store regarding my ability to write and blog.

God spoke to me at the beginning of this journey, that five years was the amount of time God wanted me to write before I would see any results. I wish I had an epiphany today, but nothing yet. I don’t know why God put that number in my heart. Maybe it was to only write for five years, or something big would happen after five years, I still do not know.

What I do know is this has been a growing process for me, and I have learned a lot. I may not be where I wanted to be, as far as success goes. But I know that I didn’t give up, even though I desired to quit many times. And I only had one anonymous hater who thought I only cared about making money for the church. The funny thing is I don’t have any church affiliated with my blog. While I wish I had a book deal or thousands in my audience base, I do not. The truth is, I have a handful of people who like my posts or will message me that my blog helped them that day. As simple as that may be, that makes my heart full.

While the future is still unknown for this blog, as I long as I have something to write, I will continue to do that. The dream of being a writer is still there, and I will work towards it no matter how long it takes to achieve it.

My hope for all is what God presses upon your heart to become a reality for you!
Thank you for reading!

Lesson Learned: If God places a dream in your heart, tend to it and watch it grow.

Prayer:
“Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for giving me the courage to begin this journey. Thank you for blessing my blog. Direct my path. Forgive me when I doubt your plan. In Jesus’ Name, AMEN!”

Exhausted Temporarily

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I have a terrible habit of comparing my beginning to other’s years-long journeys.  The social media posts out there drip with humble brags and accomplishments.  In my early twenties, many of my peers had finished college and entered the workforce, I was right in the middle of enduring trauma.  My confidence and motivation were squashed by my circumstances.

As life progressed, I got married, and we had a child.  Also, I have been a stay at home mom for the last 12 years.  Even though I was productive in raising a child and running a household, I felt low because I did not make any money or feel I was in the right place in my life.  My past tormented me, and my self-worth was still low.

Yesterday, my friend sent me the above-referenced meme.  Even though she sent it to me to show how it encapsulated her life, I felt it represented my life as well.

Honestly, I am exhausted.  Years of anxiety and fear have drained my mind and body. But I have worked on restoring my nervous system and quelling the anxiety and fear through therapy and self-reflection.   I have learned I cannot expect to change overnight when I have endured years of turmoil.  Every so often, I see a reminder that success can happen later on in one’s life.

Do not let a bad day, week, or even year persuade you that your breakthrough will never come!

Lesson Learned: Your timeline does not need to reflect the successful person next to you.

Prayer:

“Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for saving me from the trauma I have endured in life.  Remind me of your plan and purpose for my life.  Expose the lies from the enemy and show me the resources that will help me become committed and prosperous.  Forgive me for not trusting in you, Lord.  In Jesus’ Name, AMEN!”

 

 

 

 

Uncover Your Faith

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Today, I saw a feature on a television program about Reverend Dr. Lakeesha Walrond.  She became the first woman president of the New York Theological Seminary.  The feature story contained her recollection of when she heard her calling in the church, her plans for her presidency and how she endured sexual molestation at the age of nine.

The interviewer asked her how do you talk to people who have lost their faith.  Rev. Dr. Walrond answered, “Faith isn’t lost, it’s just covered.”  I felt this surge in my spirit.  Faith is covered by many things, such as our circumstances, fear, anxiety, health issues, and doubt.

Our God is bigger than our greatest obstacles.  Be encouraged today to uncover your faith!  Remove that negativity and put your thoughts towards God.

Prayer:

“Dear Heavenly Father, may I put my trust in you each and every day.  May I remember all the blessings in my life and for my faith to increase.  Give me strength and endurance during difficult times.  In Jesus’ Name, AMEN!”

 

Everyone’s Journey is Different

#165 Blog Post-Everyone's Journey is Different

“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.” Jeremiah 17:7-8

As I entered adulthood, I began to have debilitating anxiety. I would receive (unwanted) advice from people regarding anxiety. Their advice of “stop worrying so much” hurt me more than it helped.

A former co-worker of mine wanted to become an esthetician. She asked me if she could practice giving a facial. Of course, I jumped at the chance. For some reason, those intimate environments cause people to open up. I brought up the subject of anxiety and the troubles I had. She scoffed at me and said, “aren’t you a Christian? I thought your God helped you?” Her words hurt me. I wanted to melt into the table and evaporate.

My issue was this, the trauma that I experienced in my life clouded my ability to trust in the Lord. She was sort of correct, though, in a mean and condescending way.

Everyone’s journey to healing is different. Here has been my path (so far). I prayed. I cried. I had others pray for me. I read the Bible. I did Bible studies. I attended church and weekend conferences. I had years of therapy, coaching, and bodywork. I took medication. I ended toxic relationships. I kept boundaries. All of these things helped me to get on the path of healing. I did wish for God to heal me after one prayer. However, I know every hurt I experienced brought me the knowledge I have today. Neurolinguistic trainer, Al Sargent said, “There are no experts in a new experience.” In my young adult days, I wasn’t experienced yet to walk in victory. As I look back, it was okay that I didn’t have all the answers.

My name, Colette, means victorious. The enemy knows my weaknesses and wants me to forget God has already made me victorious. God doesn’t want me to suffer but to thrive. I can rest in His arms and allow Him to fight my battles for me.

Lesson Learned: My journey is different than others, but I am already victorious in Him.

Prayer:
“Dear Heavenly Father, I praise you, Lord! Help me walk victoriously in you. Remind me of all the times; you have carried me. Thank you for your grace and mercy. I believe I am healed. In Jesus’ Name, AMEN!”

Making Waves

“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” Psalms 147:3

Certain situations rile me up with anxiety. A visit to the dentist guarantees an anxiety attack. It would upset me that I couldn’t go to the dentist without an issue. The shame was real. I would ask myself, “why couldn’t I get past this?”

A typical visit would entail sweating through my clothes, crying, or blacking out. I remember the dentist shaking me as she yelled my name and telling me to breathe. I gasped for air and came back. It was embarrassing and scary.

I experienced trauma as a child and adult from trips to the dentist. One hygienist yelled at me when I was seven years old. She said, “I will sit on you if you don’t stop moving around.” She was a large woman, too. As an adult, one dentist told me to never come back to his practice because he couldn’t handle me. Those situations, combined with the money I spent and the pain I endured, made dental visits unbearable.

As I sought therapy for anxiety, I worked on settling my nervous system and giving myself a lot of grace when I knew I had to face a difficult situation. I have to go to the dentist every four months to get my teeth cleaned and checked. My dentist is near the beach and a beautiful Outlet Mall. I decided after a dental visit, to go to the beach and do some grounding work by stepping into the sand and water and watch the waves go back and forth for about 15 minutes. Then I would get lunch at the Outlet Mall and walk around and window shop. After a few times of doing this practice, I soon looked forward to a trip to the dentist.

Here are some pictures of going to the beach after my last dental visit.

I never took a gentle, loving approach in dealing with difficult situations. I took the advice of “suck it up, stop complaining and deal with it.” That approach hurt me instead of helping me.

My healing from anxiety has not been quick. It has been a long journey. As much as I wish God took the anxiety away, I needed to go through a process. There are three therapists who I have come to know that have helped me get through anxiety. I have also learned to eliminate a perfectionist attitude.

My road to recovery has looked like this. Seeking God first, establish boundaries, treat myself gently, learned ways to ground to keep my nervous system out of fight or flight, and know I am worthy and deserve peace.

If I can stop being anxious, you can too! Healing and restoration take determination and consistency, and it is worth it.

Lesson Learned: I am deserving of a life that has joy and peace. Victory over anxiety is worth the work.

Prayer:
“Heavenly Father, I allow you to heal me in the areas of my life that need healing. Forgive me for holding onto things I cannot control. Reset and restore my nervous system. Remind me who I am in Christ. Whenever I face scary situations, show me that you are right there beside me. Thank you for the victory over anxiety! In Jesus’ Name, AMEN!”

Spring Forward

“But the path of righteousness is like the light of dawn, which shines brighter and brighter until full day.”  Proverbs 4:18

 

Springtime brings forth growth and possibilities.  We see it in nature with beautiful blooming flowers and the birth of baby animals.  The winter snow begins to thaw and we feel like we can take a breath. I feel renewed during this time of year (along with my allergy medication).

 

The time change happens this time of year, as well.  Though, this is no fun. I feel like I have jet lag for 3 weeks until my body adjusts.  After the adjustment, though, I feel like I have energy and motivation to do better.

 

One morning, I woke up to the words, “Spring Forward!”.  It felt like bolt of electricity and it jolted me to sit up quickly in bed.  I knew it was the Lord. I don’t know who the word was for, but I knew it was important and I had to share it.  There was a sense of joy and confidence from that term. Usually, when I hear “Spring Forward”, I think of the dreaded time change.  However, this time, I knew it was a comforting word from the Lord.

 

I feel there is a shift in the atmosphere for a lot of us.  This is the time, where many things we have been waiting for or working towards, will happen in this season.  We must remain alert and open to hearing direction from God.

 

There is no time to quit.  The work of God will be complete.  Remain hopeful and expecting for this season.  

 

Lesson Learned:  When you hear a word from the Lord, test it out and share it with others!

 

Prayer:

“Dear Heavenly Father, I pray for ears to hear and eyes to see and a heart open for towards you.  I am blessed to hear you, Heavenly Father. Help me remember what you say and direct my ways. Thank you for renewal, restoration, and answered prayers.  In Jesus’ Name, AMEN!”

Don’t Get Sucked into Overreacting

“But if you bite and devour one another, watch out that you are not consumed by one another.”  Galatians 5:15

Confrontation is a part of life.  Some people avoid it; others engage happily.  There are times, where we will have conversations with people, who want to suck the energy out of us.  Try to avoid having your power from getting sucked out of you!

Many years ago, I was the office manager for a Family Practice Physician.  When people are sick, it can bring the worse out of them. Add in, owing money for services rendered, makes people even more upset.  

I had to deal with a trying patient, who owed a large balance.  She began to argue with me. I said, “the doctor deserves payment for the services you used, so how would you like to take care of this payment, today?”  She tried to rile me up.   I paused and repeated the same thing. After the third time, I replied, “since you cannot speak to me politely, you have a choice, you either pay now over the phone or by 5:00 p.m. Otherwise, you will be sent to collections since you are 180 days past due. The choice is yours.”  Thankfully, she paid.  She tried one more jab and said, “I don’t want to be a patient here.” I told her, ‘“sounds great! Let me know when you decide for sure so that I can assist you,” and I hung up the phone.

It is never easy to deal with people who have messy lives.  They want to blame everyone for their unfortunate situation and bring everyone down with them.  Your energy and health will suffer when you try to converse with people like this. It is just not worth it.  God wants us to have healthy boundaries with unhealthy people. It is not our burden to try and save everyone; only God can do that if they want it.  Free yourself from any unnecessary drama.

Lesson Learned: Do not engage with people who are energy suckers.

Prayer:

“Dear Heavenly Father, give me discernment when I deal with difficult people.  Remind me not to get involved with the drama of the situation. Help me be a light to those who need you.  In Jesus’ Name, AMEN!”