Jesus Has Night Vision

jesus vision    This blog post is for anyone with a broken heart right now…anyone with a broken spirit…anyone with broken wings….anyone who is trying to figure out how to put their life back together after extreme darkness.

This is for you……

Your word is a lamp to my feet….And a light to my path. Ps. 119

Do you know when this word means the most?

When you are in the valley of loss, confusion, grief, and profound darkness.  

This is when, to survive, we MUST lean into He who has the answers— for as long as it takes. Think of this:

lantern_forest_by_retrolex   He is a lamp to your feet, when you can ONLY see your feet. He seems far away but He isn’t..

you can see your feet, right?

And one day you will look up and see your path. It will be lit up…finally. And you will gain some understanding why you had to walk in darkness for a while…

Jesus has night vision.

 

A client lamented,

“The depth of my sorrow reaches no walls…it swallows me in a moment’s notice. I have had so many losses of the foundation of my family connections…there is no way to describe the depth and darkness of the cloud that descends on my new reality.   I am not a woman prone to depression or sadness, yet, the onslaught of the losses I am experiencing has shocked me to the core….the very ones who I thought would love me no matter what have left me and I long for their return….I have tried every way imaginable to fix, reason, forgive, restore, and yes, even cling….to no avail.  How could this happen?  I have never felt more alone in this world, and other than Jesus, I have lost most everything I felt love and comfort in.  Confusion abounds as to whether I did anything to cause this, can I change it if I did,   and how come this all makes no sense in my natural mind.   I have loved unconditionally, to the depth of my core…yet, never considered that others journeys may not be the same as mine when it came to loyalty, and deep deep connections.   I do not understand.  I have asked the Lord to show me the escape from this nightmare and darkness.  I have asked him to give me a new outlook and purpose in my life.  I have asked him to help me let go of that which I would cling to til my dying day.     I have asked him to take me home if there will be no restoration here on this earth.  For I know in the world to come there is complete restoration of all that I have lost here.  I don’t like it here anymore. “

 

misty-forest   Fog

Everywhere there is fog.

This lament sound familiar?

 

David said,

“For it is not an enemy who taunts me—Then I could bear it;
Nor is it one who has hated me who insolently exalts himself against me—Then I could hide from him. But it is you, a man my equal and my counsel, My companion and my familiar friend; We who had sweet fellowship together, Who walked to the house of God in company.” Ps. 55

Yes, my friends, God is right there in the midst of your anguish…David laments the loss of his beloved friend, who was closer than family.  He is in despair.  I believe God put that passage in His word, so that we may understand that He, the God of the universe, gets it.

David also says,

My heart is in anguish within me, And the terrors of death have fallen upon me. Fear and trembling have come upon me; Horror has overwhelmed me. And I say, “Oh, that I had wings like a dove! I would fly away and be at rest. I would wander far away, I would lodge in the [peace of the] wilderness. Selah. I would hurry to my refuge [my tranquil shelter far away] From the stormy wind and from the tempest.”

heart-of-stone    Oh yes, we want to escape but can find no way out. We want to fly away and be at rest.

But….what do you do when your wings are broken?wings

…. it doesn’t matter why you feel like you lost your wings or that your soul is broken past repair….whether it’s because your husband cheated on you or your business partner betrayed you or your cancer test came back positive or your house went into foreclosure or you lost the baby that you waited so long for or the parent that you need now more than ever…or that one of your children has gone astray or your husband is chronically ill or you are chronically ill or your business failed or your prayers weren’t answered the way you wanted them to be….

…it all hurts ….and lots of times it leaves you to crash to the ground in a fetal position.

There’s one truth that ties it all together, though…….that we have a healer and One who promises to never leave us or forsake us, even in the darkness.

He has night vision. He can see right where you are….just stop, and cry, or rest…and wait.  He is faithful. 

If He wasn’t then I would not be doing what I do.

I know it’s hard to find hope and it’s hard to find faith when we feel like the whole world just got swept out from under us…..when we feel like we are too full of holes to be anything but empty. But, I promise…you can fly again, and you will. I know that…….because

I’ve been there.

What do you do?

Jesus-By-My-Side-342x200   Hold on to Him in the dark.   Even when you can’t speak anything but sorrow.  He can see what’s happening.

A friend today told me she was so stuck she literally could not move. She saw a huge boulder blocking her path and nothing would remove it.  Then God spoke to her through another friend who said, “Why don’t you just lean back on the boulder and rest.”   It was revelation to her!   She did just that and for the first time in a long time she found peace. 

We don’t have to be ‘doing’ all the time!!

This is the time to trust. Wait. Be good to you…your wing is broken.

He can see into the night. Dark-theme-night-

And He expects nothing from you even if you can only whisper His name in the failing light of pain.

He teaches us to accept those things we cannot change and somehow even in our painful and devastating losses helps us to rest and be at peace once again with HOPE!!

He can see into your night just as plain as day.  

And more than that, He always has a plan and its a good plan for your life. Even in our blind and dark seasons, He is unchangeable.  

Your endurance will come from Him.

And one day soon He will open your vision to see not just your feet, but the trail ahead.   And you will fly again.

He will heal your broken wings.

The people who walk in darkness Will see a great light; Those who live in a dark land, The light will shine on them. Is. 9:2

HOPE

gods glory

If you need a mentor or coach to help you get to the other side, please contact me from this site to sign up for a life changing experience.

 

What in the World Are We Looking For?

world1

Our souls are relentless in their pursuits.

 It seems we are always searching, seeking, and running after something. We seek relationships to satisfy our longing for intimacy. We pursue careers to make it in this world. We search for significance or purpose through various means.

 sad

We must keep a close eye on the direction of our souls (mind, will, emotions). They often have a mind of their own.

Misguided pursuits that have one goal in mind, to satisfy misguided desires that were never meant to be fulfilled. Many feel the only way to satisfy these desires is to yield. They foolishly believe to give in, is the end of the struggle.

But even then, they quickly discover that the surrender leaves them and they succomb to something they quickly regret.

I have a client I’ll call Maddy.   She was constantly searching for meaning to her life.  But she doesn’t understand why nothing she tries ever brings satisfaction.  In and out of relationships, jobs, marriages, and so many other things, she finally reached out for help.  She was so lost and confused.  She had struggled for years, but when she finally reached the bottom of herself she sought help.   Today, she is finding so much purpose to her life and has been set free from that nagging dissatisfaction she lived with for years.  How?  She realized that Jesus can fill her empty self.

The answer is, simple, really.  

And I always feel the simpler we make understanding spiritual growth in our lives, the easier it is to apply it to our lives.

gods-will

I’ll be honest, I once had an addiction to ministry….yes, you read that right. I would spend all of my time developing and teaching bible studies and ministering to people every time the church doors opened and had my own outreach outside the church building.   The problem, though,  was that my personal life had so many serious marital  issues that I was frustrated with and needed to confront, but just couldn’t find the energy to do anything, so I searched for something else to take up brain space.   I convinced myself that as long as I was in service to the Lord  He would take care of my life.   I was so spiritual I ignored my marriage, and ultimately lost it.

 Unhappy-Person

Denial isn’t just a river in Egypt, friends.

 I got my accolades and validity from people and not the Lord.

 and I became addicted to it….

 It was a back and forth struggle. One part of me loved indulging in it, but the other part knew it was not a wise use of my time. I repented several times in my failings, but finally lost most of everything I was ignoring.

 You see I wasn’t using faith….I dismissed my dislocated busy-ness by saying it was for the Lord,

 As if He could only use me and no one else.

 Burnout

I think any human has the capability to become hooked on anything. We generally assume addictions are limited to those who abuse narcotics, drink alcohol to cope, gamble their money away, or view sexual content on the internet regularly.

Addictions can come from any angle. They wrap tightly around us until we are enslaved to them. Why are they so powerful? Because they give us a sense of fulfillment or pleasure−although short lived. They start off seeming innocent, but the more we come back for more, the more we become imprisoned.

Romans 6:16 reads, “Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey…..

 Slaves is a strong word. A word that we don’t like to identify with our own lives.

 Have you noticed how easy it is to identify the problems of others? We thumb_colourbox1908348      may see an area of weakness in their personality and we inwardly identify the changes they need to work on, especially if it is not a problem in our own lives.

 As a person who does not usually get easily angered, I can quickly identity the wrong in someone who is angered or irritated easily. It’s so easy for me to judge them because it’s not a weakness for me. It takes brokenness and humility to turn inwardly and admit my own enslavements, and then turn to God for help.

Broken-Chains 

Are there areas of enslavement in your life that you want to be free from?

 The answer is simple.   We were created with a vacancy,  an empty place, within our hearts that was only…ONLY meant to be filled with God.  

 That’s it!   Not complicated!

 We try to fill that emptiness with everything we can find to satisfy us temporarily.   It will NEVER work.   You will ALWAYS come to the end of yourself and realize you still aren’t happy or joyful or fulfilled….and you move on to something else.

 Jesus-By-My-Side-342x200   Our most lonely place is when we are missing our loving creator, our King, our Jesus and we need to sit with Him and talk to Him about our hearts and what we need.

 Service to Him will follow that relationship of intimacy that will so fill you to satisfaction you can’t help but want to share it with others.  

 Service follows relationship.   No amount of service, if you don’t have the relationship of intimacy with God,  will ever satisfy you.   You will wonder why you feel burned out and disillusioned.  

 Because you were walking in an illusion of thinking “things”  “people”  “service”  (fill in your own word) will satisfy.

 Maybe you like all the things that fill your life right now, and you see no need to examine their place in your life.

 The thing is, we will never come to a place where there is no need for change and growth.

 There is always room for cutting off, turning away from, getting to the root of things. Our pride, selfishness, jealousies, evil motives, and the like require a daily examination…I have many such talks myself.

 You will only get as much of God as you want.

 jesus6    It’s up to us how close we draw near to God. The less we want, the less we will seek. The more we want, the more we will seek.

 Our actions will reveal our pursuit.

 

 

How to Walk on Water

peterwalking

“So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus”(Matthew 14:29).

 I am changed.

 I have been through some stuff lately that I can’t even bear to talk about, but yes, it has changed me.

 I have had to let go of things that have hurt me deeply.   The kind of hurt that centers in your core and takes your breath away.

 And I won’t ever be the same.  

 Oh, yes, I believe in restoration and healing, but some things that happen to us, change us forever.  

 But maybe that isn’t a bad thing.   Nothing, and I mean nothing, the enemy tries to take away from us, will be lost forever.  

 Restoration is coming….deliverance is coming…..healing is coming.

 jesus walking  See Jesus walking on the water to your storm tossed boat.

 My very foundation has been shaken to the core but I surrender it all to Him.  

 He is there in the darkness,

in the sad and lonely,

and in pictures of our lives changing to a sad distortion of what we once knew.

 How would we even survive this world without Him. If you haven’t chosen Him as your Savior, whatever do you do with your fear and pain? How do you find peace?

 We all can get distracted, especially when the storms of life rage around us. 

 It’s not easy to keep your eyes on Jesus in the middle of the night, when fear threatens to overwhelm you.

 Very often our purest vision of Jesus comes when the storms of life threaten to capsize the tiny boat of our faith.

 shack  I love the scene in the movie Shack, where Mac is in the little boat out on the lake and his fears take over. The boat is capsizing to a ravaging black monster of fear that seems very real to Mac and water is pouring in……but then through the raging noise around him He hears Jesus yelling at him, “Mac, Mac, look at Me, look at Me!!!   It took a while for Mac to look up and see Jesus…but, oh, when he did, the deception of fear disappeared….and he reached out and took the hand of Jesus and stepped out of the boat with Him on the water.

 I hear quite often, “Dixie, look at Me!!!   Dixie, look at me, look at me!! Take my hand.”

 The wind always blows around us. The mighty storms come sooner or later. We have no choice or control over when the storm comes.

 Today the sun may be shining;

tomorrow we may find ourselves toiling against the wind and rain, tossed about by adversity. Life can turn on a dime. We all know that.

 What happened to Peter can happen to any of us. And most likely will.

jesus-and-peter-walking-on-water-600

 For a brief moment, Peter forgets about Jesus and remembers who he is and where he is. He is Peter, a Galilean fisherman who belongs back in the boat. In that instant he looks down at his feet and sees nothing but water underneath. His mind comes to a quick conclusion:

I’m not supposed to be walking on this water; this is impossible.”

 When he lost his concentration on Jesus, he began to sink.

 The lesson is clear for all of us.

Pray for “concentrating faith.” 

For eyes that see beyond the present.

Lean into Him with all your focus and might.

You can survive any storm if you keep your eyes on Jesus.

support_groups

 Lord Jesus, help me to walk on the waters of faith because you can calm every storm.

 

4 Myths You May Believe About Your Calling

Thinking business woman looking up on speech empty bubble isolat

As a Life Purpose Coach I believe that we are all called, have gifts and talents, and are incredibly loved by our Creator.  Everything that we encounter in life prepares us for the next season in our calling.

 I also believe that everyone of our gifts are as important as the next persons.   We are all working towards the same goals and each and every one of us are highly loved and valued by Jesus!

 Jesus-By-My-Side-342x200 What I’ve discovered over the years is that many women have an incredibly difficult time discerning what that calling is. The trials of life and the many mixed or misunderstood messages they have heard from various teachers have left them feeling like they never measure up to what God has for them to do.  For these struggling women, certain myths about calling are getting in the way of discovering what God truly has for them.

 If you’re feeling lost trying to discern God’s calling for your life, consider these myths that may be tripping you up.

Myth #1: It’s About You  sb_passiveagressive2

The process of discovering your calling may necessitate some serious self-reflection, but make no mistake: It’s not really about you. Calling is not about self-fulfillment. It is a discovery of your preciousness, your beauty, and your gifting…..a plan set up for you from before you were born to fulfill….and the revealing of it is directly related to what you have experienced in your life through every trial and every experience, both positive and negative, to prepare and train you to be able to see others come to know who He is through your life.

Calling is a revealing and fulfillment of God’s will for your life.

Many people experience a special sense of satisfaction that comes from exercising their God-given gifts, talents, and passions, but that sense of fulfillment is a byproduct of being in God’s will, not the goal.

womanatthewellbylizlemonswindle    To discern what God’s will may be, you do need to look inward. You must seek to “know yourself” in order to discover God’s unique creation in you.   Sometimes we can’t see outside of ourselves and being in community with other’s who know you can help to get a better picture.  This is why we need each other.

 And sometimes we miss the obvious– thinking it couldn’t possibly be important enough to be a calling.  I have had women come to me in their season of child rearing, crying because they just don’t feel important to God because He has not revealed to them a calling.   And there beside them stood their children.  

 hannah2  Do you know raising children is one of the highest callings there is?   To raise a child to love and honor God with their own lives is the calling of a Mother.   Yes, one  day those babies will be on their own and you will be free to pursue other gifts and callings, as each season of your life reveals more and prepares us for the next season.

 

 fear   

Myth #2: If It’s Uncomfortable, It Can’t Be Your Calling

Nope, not even close.   Figuring out your calling isn’t an instant ticket to a smooth life and career.  As a matter of fact sometimes we get so stuck in our comfort zones of dysfunction, we would choose to stay there, because at least it is familiar, right?

 Knowing what you are meant to be doing is really just the beginning of what may be a long and arduous journey of hardship and defeat. Some of the most successful, inspired people throughout history have  pursuit of their paths that has included feeling like a failure….but rest assured,

 Not one of your failures is wasted…it is all a part of the plan, and what makes the difference is that you

 DON’T GIVE UP!!

 

sad  For most of my life I struggled with what I was doing, even when I was very busy doing “the work of the Lord”, the way I saw it…,

God is never finished with us and even while I was so busy, make no mistake, He continued to reveal to me those places I kept hidden that needed to be healed.  I fell flat on my face many times.

I faced plenty of hardships and failures at work and in my personal life. These challenges helped me grow and learn more about God and more about how God created me to serve him, eventually leading me into Life Coaching much to my surprise.   Now that I am a Life Coach and have been for many years, I continue to enter into places of so much pain I sometimes question where He is taking me now.

Your calling is most of the time a stretch assignment. Moses is a great biblical example:

Pentecost_by_purple_whirlpool  He had no doubt about what God wanted him to do.  God spoke to Moses through the burning bush, giving him clear marching orders about his next steps.

 Isn’t this what we all kind of wish for when we’re searching for our calling?

But Moses’ calling didn’t sound all that great to him:

 “But who am I that I should go?”

 004-moses-burning-bush  Moses questioned God, voicing the fear, 

 

“I’m not important enough.”

 But God answered, “I will be with you.” Then, Moses continued pressing back, asking, “What if they do not believe me?” 

 “I’m not impressive enough!” 

 In response, God provided him with miraculous signs. But it still wasn’t enough for Moses, who came back with the worry, “But I am slow of speech and tongue.” 

“I don’t know what to say.”

 God assured Moses that he would speak through him.

 Moses was called to a task God designed for him, but it clearly didn’t feel good.  He tried every way he could think of to convince God that he was the wrong man for the job, and then finally, when that didn’t work, he came right out and asked God to “please send someone else.”

 Alone_in_the_Crowd_by_Cunny1988-600x450     Your discomfort doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re on the wrong path.

 

Myth #3: Choosing Wrong Can Thwart God’s Will

 gods-will   I know women (and men too) who seem to agonize endlessly over every major choice in their lives, calling included, because they’re afraid of choosing wrongly. It’s good to want to make the best choice you can, but at some point you just need to make a choice and go from there. If you find yourself worrying excessively about your calling, ask yourself whether this is really about discerning God’s will or whether you may be trying to control God’s will.

 Your choices are important, but, when you are seeking Him with your whole heart,  no choice you can make is outside of God’s sovereignty.  Seriously…it is NOT that easy to miss God.  Do you think He is not able to transcend your humanness, and lead you right into His perfect will…even when you think you are the one making the decisions?

If you had asked me 20 or 30 years ago where I would end up, I never would have foreseen the course my life would take.    I now look back and am just amazed by God’s providence over all of it.

jesus-and-me 

Myth #4: Your Calling Is Settled

 Discovering your calling isn’t something you do once, or even twice. It’s not something you get to check off of a list and move on from.

The life of a Christian entails a constant process of discovering your calling. Just because God has called you to a particular purpose at a particular time doesn’t mean his plans for you are the same in every season….each season of our lives has a new calling that builds on the last one….nothing stays the same forever.

Looking back at my own life, I can see God shaping and shifting my calling over the years.

 Each chapter of my life God continued to call and lead me through one season to the next.   Some of the things that happened to me to bring me to this place today is astounding, painful, challenging, and sometimes unbelievable.   In every phase my calling has looked and felt different, but God has been a consistent foundation throughout.  And even when I was in total denial about my own issues that needed work, His will was accomplished in other’s lives through my calling.   Astounding to me.

 Who knows what the next chapter of life will bring?

0006948_abide-with-me_1000Everyone’s calling is going to look different—and each season will bring a new process of discernment. Just remember, God is in control. He loves you and me, and his will for us will always bring us closer to him.

May you begin your discernment journey with courage and humility.

 

Me    Of course you know that I am a Life Purpose Coach.  So, I would be remiss to not invite you to contact me if you need help in this season of your life to discern where God is taking you.  You may feel stuck in this chapter and need a mentor to challenge you and help you to move forward.   Just call or email me from my web page and we will chat!!   

9 Attributes to Look For if You Suspect You are Being Spiritually Abused

th  “An astonishing and horrible thing has been committed in the land: the prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests rule by their own power; and My people love to have it so. But what will you do in the end?” Jeremiah 5:30-31 

 We see the Lord’s displeasure being expressed against those who operate an effort to control the people. Consumed with their own ambition, these leaders have convinced the people that their power is divine. Yet in reality, these false prophets are merely wielding their self-imposed influence for personal gain, claiming they speak for God.

Pharisee“From the least of them even to the greatest of them, everyone is greedy for gain, and from the prophet even to the priest everyone deals falsely. And they have healed the brokenness of My people superficially, saying, ‘Peace, peace,’ but there is no peace” (NAS). Jeremiah 6:13-14 

A common characteristic of an abusive religious system is that the real needs of the people are lost in the never-ending quest by the leaders for personal fulfillment and happiness.  

And this has been my story.  Part of it anyway.  You will find my whole story in detail in my first book, ”Climbing Out of the Box, My Journey Out of Sexual and Spiritual Abuse Into Freedom and Healing” 

climbing-out-of-the-box-by-dixie-r_-diamanti-300x300-e1397103388170https://www.amazon.com/Climbing-Out-Box-Journey-Spiritual-ebook/dp/B00AZ9JKG6

 

spiritualabuse-blue 

Some of my spiritual abuse experiences include:

  1. When I needed to go to work to help support my family I was told by the authorities of the church I attended that I needed to forfeit working and stay in the ministry because if I didn’t I would lose all my gifting to ever do ministry again. For years I thought my gifts would not be used again and that I was disobedient because I didn’t obey them. (Until I was shocked when I began to see my same gifts used out there in the market place..aha moment.)

  2. A church that repeatedly told us they basically had the corner on the market of Jesus and they had the fullness of God and His gifts, where other churches did not, and that if we ever had to go elsewhere, we would miss God’s highest.

  3. A pastor who found ministry to be a vehicle for his great gain, lying and manipulating donors to give more and more money. He actually took the offering in decorated trash cans…(not lying).  The wealthy had the high positions in the church.  There was the pastor who had the men of the church build his home for free labor, stating, that as Solomon had to have the temple built before he could help the people, he, too, needed to have his temple before he was free to really be a pastor.

  4. A leader who cornered me in a room alone, threatened me, and yelled because he said I was too “perfect” to minister to women. He said I needed to dress down and quit painting my nails if I wanted women to identify with me.  He also said I needed to project being poor.  I was devastated.

  5. Openly ostracized and lied about to a congregation of people to manipulate me to quit my women’s ministry outside his organization that was reaching hundreds of women. ( I didn’t quit.  I left his church organization that very night.)

  6. Innocently called into a pastor’s office alone and watching him lose his temper at me, yelling with spittle flying, finger pointed in my face, falsely accusing me of talking about him behind his back because I told a sound man I was removed from the worship team and had no idea why.  I sobbed so loudly I couldn’t gain control while he stared me down with contempt until I finally got up and left.

These are all true stories, and I could go on and on but,

…now, many years later I coach so many who relate their own stories of pain and abuse at the mercy of “godly men and women”.  My heart aches for them because I know this is not Jesus.  This is man or woman who wants to control and the power goes to their heads. 

But, this was just the beginning of my story.  Upon leaving these controlling ministries after 25 years of having a church building as home and family,  I went through a 5 year sabbatical where I had an encounter with Jesus such as I never had, after being in church and busy with ministry all those years.  

freedom  It took me many years to be set free from the damage that was done to my spirit and to be able to enter a church building without anxiety and tears. 

 So don’t lose hope in the pain of loss when you know you have to make a change.  Jesus promises to NEVER leave you or forsake you.  Even when you are brave enough to leave and everyone is saying to just overlook the sin.  

When all the control and crutches are gone guess Who is left standing? 

jesus6    Jesus!!  

And oh what a Man He is…never to leave us or forsake us.  He will reveal Himself to you in all truth and lead you to safe places to experience the true love of God in motion, and connect with believers who really care and walk in His love in confidence.

Things to look out for in your place of church community if you suspect spiritual abuse:

  1. Do they say you have to blindly respect and obey them, without having earned it, just because they said so and they are your leader?

  2. Do they demand your allegiance to them as ‘proof’ that you are a follower of Jesus?

  3. Do they use exclusive language: “We are the only church in town really following Jesus.”  “Our theology is the only sound doctrine.”  Everyone else is missing the “deeper” walk.

  4. Do they shame people, without grace, if they fail to live up to the church’s expectations?

  5. Do they quote scriptures about “not touching God’s anointed” when referring to themselves? Yet they often confront sin in others, particularly ones who bring up legitimate biblical issues. Or they have their circle of influence take on this task, silencing their critics.

  6. Do they cultivate a dependence on one leader or leaders for spiritual insights? Personal discipleship isn’t encouraged. Often the Bible gets pushed away to the fringes unless the main leader is teaching it. And if you have an insight from God they have to approve it before you can share.

  7. Do they demand blind service from their followers, but live prestigious, privileged lives.They live aloof from their followers and justify their material extravagance as God’s favor and approval on their ministry. Unlike Jesus’ instructions to take the last seat, they often take the first seat at events and court others to grant them privileges. They typically chase after wealth–at any cost, and often at the expense of the very people they shepherd.

  8. Do they hold to outward performance but reject authentic spirituality. And place burdens on followers to act a certain way, dress an acceptable way, and have an acceptable lifestyle, but they often demonstrate licentiousness, greed, and uncontrolled addictions behind closed doors.

  9. Use exclusivity for your blind allegiance to them. Followers close to the leader or leaders feel like lucky insiders. And, of course, this meant they are more spiritual than the rest of the congregation.  Did you ever feel like you are exempt from the “click” of popular people in the community of believers?  Everyone else is on the outside, though they long to be in that inner circle.

We are all one body in His church. 

hands  You are the church!  

We need safe places to gather together and grow together and share Him together.  Don’t settle for less, and be brave enough to change if the Holy Spirit is showing you that something is just not right.  In fact, run!!  

The longer I stayed out of my ‘loyalty’, the move abused I was in the end.  You cannot fix it!!   Run!

  There is healing and restoration from this horrible sin for both the ones who have abused and the victims of their abuse.    Remember we are all an important part of His body.  We ALL have gifts, callings and talents He wants to use.  We were never meant to sit in a pew looking at the backs of heads while listening to one man  teach, without using our own gifts too!!  No one is more important than the other.

Be set free today!!   

Call me if you need help with this issue and you find yourself sunk deep into spiritual abuse and feel like you can’t get out.  Go to the home page from this blog and send me a message.  Or please comment below.

When He Whispers My Name

jesus-womanGod longs for you to know that He is more than enough in your troubled times.   He desires you to rest and fully embrace that where you are is exactly where God plans for you to be. 

Even in situations like you have never faced before.

It  has taken me so long to be able to write again.   I was frozen in time it seemed–for the last  3 months of 2015.   But the last 2 weeks I could feel it rising up within me again and now I think I can verbalize somewhat of what I have learned in the very hard and trying year of 2015.

I have learned that when I feel like my faith has been shaken to the core that I become~

~stunned and “shell shocked”…

sharksThat it’s a tumultuous venture, this walking by faith. At one time or another, you encounter the completely unexpected followed by the unthinkable.

 

And when it happens, the impact of it brings you to your knees, able to utter only one desperate word – “Why?”

It’s an intense battle when you’re that overwhelmed. First there’s shock and anger, then comes denial, 

 “This can’t be what my loving Jesus has planned for me – not me, not His beloved child.”

 thumb_COLOURBOX1908348You wonder why God doesn’t see that you need a different outcome. Perhaps if you just go slow and lay out the alternatives for Him – each and every one of them – you’ll help Him figure out how to reverse what’s been put in motion… 

But…..

 He whispers my name~~and I feel His presence~~and it is more than enough.

  • When I finally realized that our steady income from investigations was gone for good due to California laws, and if we were to survive in life it would be a miracle…..

He whispered my name…akiane-kramarik-jesus-painting

…and said that I was to take no thought for tomorrow for He would sustain us as a mother sustains her babies life by giving it sustenance from her own body.   He would be our life giving force.  From that day forward we watch daily as He brings in the finances we need from various sources.   He never fails and I have found I can just rest in it and not have to be hyper-vigilant and afraid that maybe today it won’t happen. 

Philippians 4:13 Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am.

  • When my precious daughter had a ruptured appendix and I stood over her bed, helpless, watching her in agony as a result of poor medical care, and fear wanted to grip my heart and squeeze the life out of it;

fear

He whispered my name…

..as I stood there over her bed I felt His hand on my shoulder and his voice in my ear saying, “Dixie, I have this, she will be okay.”

I John 3:22 We’re able to stretch our hands out and receive what we asked for because we’re doing what he said, doing what pleases him.

  • When the horror and shock and fear came when my ‘adopted’ son was in a freak accident, while intoxicated, that took someone’s life ….the father of my grand kids…and I had to tell my babies that their daddy was going to prison. 

  • As I sit in the court room weeks on end gripped by anxiety, unable to breathe– and watched the judge, moved with compassion for a lone veteran gripped with PTSD, miraculously lessen his sentence…  I felt Jesus in the fire with me and with him…and I knew God had a plan.


mary-w-jesus-2He whispered my name….

His plan has unfolded, in the midst of the pain,  in opening huge doors of prison ministry for my adopted son and has brought healing to him in areas that was never able to be reached…but in the midst of the deep valley He has found a very real Jesus.

426__550x413_jesus-and-peter-walking_on_waterI Corinthians 9:8 God can pour on the blessings in astonishing ways so that you’re ready for anything and everything, more than just ready to do what needs to be done.

  • When my father, (who molested me for years) on his death bed, told me he could not forgive ME for exposing  “our” secret to my mother and that I ruined HIS life…and Mom’s life, before she died.   Realizing there would be no closure with my abuser before he left this earth– when my picture was always of his saying how sorry he was for his crime against me and my little girl.  There I was, sitting in his hospital room, with, strangely, no one around, next to his bed, while he told me he could not forgive ME


Jesus-By-My-Side-342x200Jesus whispered my name
~~ I felt Him in the chair beside me and felt His breath tickle my ear as He whispered, “Dixie, I’m right here and I am not going anywhere.  Just lean into me.”    I knew I could endure the pain and shock of it all.  It was the last conversation I had with Dad. Jesus’ presence got me through the funeral of confusion and distress at being so removed from all feeling,  just numbness,  as my husband performed the ceremony.  

Matthew 21:22,23  But Jesus was matter-of-fact: “Yes—and if you embrace this kingdom life and don’t doubt God, you’ll not only do minor feats like I did to the fig tree, but also triumph over huge obstacles. This mountain, for instance, you’ll tell, ‘Go jump in the lake,’ and it will jump. Absolutely everything, ranging from small to large, as you make it a part of your believing prayer, gets included as you lay hold of God.

  • When I read my parents trust sent to me after my dad’s death, and realized that in 2006, my mother and my father stated that they, in full disclosure, and with full knowledge did NOT want their daughter, Dixie, to have one thing that belonged to them; I felt the ultimate abandonment and full force of their anger towards me for stopping my father from molesting again after he molested my daughter.   I was the black sheep of their family and was pretty much hit with it on their deaths.   I had to admit to myself, finally, that I didn’t want their “things” but what I had wanted was their love, and would never find it here on earth.

487580_424694517593102_1292768395_n (1)He whispered my name~~ “Dixie, you have a new name that I have given you.  I will be both mother and father to you. I take the sting away of their earthly rejection. This is the end of years of torment for you and though you didn’t hear what you needed to hear from them, you will hear it from me and I am more than enough for you.”

Ephesians 3:20,21 God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us.

And you know what, HE IS more than enough.  Better.  No comparison.

God wants you to know that He is so much bigger than all the desperate and tragic situations in this life. He wants you to know He is always with you and for you.

His blessing isn’t found in what He gives or takes away. You find it as you abide in Him. 

545570_417758148257124_357419294_n (1)Ask Him to align your heart with His. Believe His Word. Trust Him. 

Count it all joy.

In my journal to Him, He speaks to me too…in one recent one Jesus said to me,

“Don’t count on what you feel but continue to allow me to fill you where you are lacking and believe Me when I say, I know what you lack, and I am more than enough for you…..I am doing a work you cannot see!”

 

Embrace Him as your absolute EVERYTHING.

 

He is, indeed, all you’ll ever need.

 

He whispers your name~~

Can You Consider It Pure Joy?

your plan When I posted this picture on face  book a few days ago it so resonated  with my soul–my life has been so like  this illustration and I know yours has  too….the more I thought about it  however, the more I kept asking  myself if I, indeed, can consider my  life pure joy.   Or have I been caught up in looking at the depth of pain and the depth of trials and sometimes pure craziness in my life, and thought, “Why the heck me, Lord.”  Have I not sown into your Kingdom?   When is my time coming? 

Yes, I am really being transparent here. 

“Haven’t I served you all my life?  Why so much suffering.  Starting from my childhood of abuse and ending up here, years later….still struggling for a reprieve.”

Woe is me. 

Don’t we just get so wrapped up in ourselves sometimes?

de-windstoot-the-gustI like what Michelle Perry says:   “Storms are invitations to dance  with Jesus. When you get high  enough above the squall, even the  most turbulent storm has beauty.  And every storm has lessons.”  Michelle Perry!

 The scripture is actually in James  1:2-4:

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”

The answer is yes, I have, at times,  been caught up in feeling sorry for myself at times and even justifying my right to do so.

We have these preconceived notions in our heads as to how our lives will be, and when it doesn’t fit our pictures we feel frustrated and defeated.  Have we ever considered that the Lord has a different plan for us than what we thought?

freedom Maybe the very trials we are in now  are what is training us for the  journey right into His plan for us in  the next season……

“And let us not lose heart and grow  weary and faint in acting  nobly and doing right, for in due time and at the appointed season we shall reap, if we do not loosen and relax our courage and faint.” Galatians 6:9

Jesus tells us over and over in this life we will face many adversities and trials and temptations.

We cannot get through this life without Jesus, friends.  I don’t know how people who have no trust in Him do it.  Do they just give way to fear?  

Yes, I think so.

Without our faith in Jesus to guide, protect, and rescue us…without Him to rush to in times of pain and grief….without knowing His extreme love for us, who do we turn to?

And what about this scenario?  When it looks like everyone around you is being blessed and seeing the fulfillment of God’s blessings in their lives and yet, you are still struggling and nothing is happening.  What do you do with that.  Well, in Psalm 37: 1-11 it says:

Do not trouble yourself because of sinful men. Do not want to be like those who do wrong. For they will soon dry up like the grass. Like the green plant they will soon die. Trust in the Lord, and do good. So you will live in the land and will be fed. Be happy in the Lord. And He will give you the desires of your heart. Give your way over to the Lord. Trust in Him also. And He will do it. He will make your being right and good show as the light, and your wise actions as the noon day.

woman-praying-clipart-LcKdoepEiSo, we hold on and bear up under the pressures of life and make a choice to put on perseverance…which is a fruit of the Spirit that He freely gives us when we ask for it.

We WILL reap what we have sown if we don’t give up!

And look at this as Psalm 37 continues:

Rest in the Lord and be willing to wait for Him. Do not trouble yourself when all goes well with the one who carries out his sinful plans. Stop being angry. Turn away from fighting. Do not trouble yourself. It leads only to wrong-doing. For those who do wrong will be cut off. But those who wait for the Lord will be given the earth. 10 A little while, and the sinful man will be no more. You will look for his place, and he will not be there. 11 But those who have no pride will be given the earth. And they will be happy and have much more than they need.”

 Do we believe this?  This is why we have to be diligent in His word and in talking to Him. 

It boils down to a choice.  Not a feeling!

I choose to believe that in due season I will reap if I faint not…

I can feel it in my very bones.  How about you? 

Are you ready to give up? 

 Hebrews 12:2 in the Message says it this way: “ Do you see what this means—all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on? It means we’d better get on with it. Strip down, start running—and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!10997005_10206299093105369_4155483824397253812_n

Unhealed Relationship Wounds…The Patterns of Our Unhealthy Choices

Broken-ChainsGeorgia had finally reached the end of her rope when she came in for coaching.  She was on her 3rd husband and could not understand why he was so much like the former 2 husbands who were rageful, controlling and vengeful.  She longed for a peaceful marriage but her feeble attempts to ‘fix’ these men had made her feel like such a failure and her husband helped her along with that by saying that yes, she was a loser in everything she did.

But what Georgia didn’t understand was that she kept seeking her own healing from years of abuse by a rageful father through men that were just like him.  She would just jump into the first relationship that made her feel comfortable– without seeking healing from Jesus so she could walk away from her past and make wiser choices in who she connected with. 

relationship difficultiesThe problem was the men that made her feel comfortable only made her feel that way because they reminded her of her father.  She had this need to repeat the life she had with him– to try to make it come out right in order to fill the gaping hole her father left in her in her growing up years.

And the pattern was bound to be repeated in failed marriages over and over again until Georgia finally found her way to allow the  Holy Spirit into those wounded places.

Unhealed relational wounds drive us to compulsive attempts to repair the damage. Without being aware of it, we seek out people we believe can “fix” what’s wrong with us or help us find a piece of ourselves we feel is missing.

man-crawling-in-desert-dying-of-thirstWe function emotionally like the man dying of thirst who sees a mirage and hurries to it only to find it is dry sand.   His perceptions are driven by his need.

We are rarely aware that something in us wants completeness.  The truth is we long for Jesus continually because He is the one who  has really set eternity in our hearts. Within us, our spirits, we know the answer lies in Him. But our soulish realm, the mind , will and emotions has to be renewed and healed so we can change ourselves from the inside out.

But if we remain unaware of the powerful forces at work within us conditioned by our past emotional injuries, such as our family dynamics and how we responded to it, we can be blind to its influence and seek out the completeness we lack by making all the wrong choices. For example, consider the following scenarios:

  • The codependent person lacks assertiveness and the ability to confront, so she attracts controlling and aggressive people. (Georgia’s case)

  • The rageful person can’t bear to feel emotions that make her sad, so she finds empathic people who won’t confront her moods.

  • The rigid, black-and-white person with walls a mile thick is not able to let go of control, so he seeks out spontaneous, creative people who won’t try to control him.

  • The over-responsible, guilt-ridden person lacks self-care and feels like a loser, so she finds self-absorbed people who care for no one but themselves.

These kinds of responses do not reflect God’s intentions for us in any way. And they don’t lead to healthy or fulfilling connections.

But we are not complete without relationship with Him and knowing Him as our healer from the past.

303161_414645191931368_893377415_nWe have missing pieces— holes in us that we carry from childhood into adulthood.

The path to completeness or wholeness is to find a relational context and healthy relationships within community in the body of Christ…..finding those who you can trust and be vulnerable with and who can help you finish the emotional work that enables you to grow into the capacities you lack and become who you were always meant to be.

The first step is admitting to the pattern and seeking help.

 “You complete me” is a great line from a movie, but it doesn’t work in real relationships.  Another human being is simply not capable of making you feel complete.   Your sense of worth has to come from God and His complete work in your life.   Our pasts to not have to dictate our futures.

That is why most of us need to put less energy into romance and more into personal growth. It pays off later in romance.  I recently saw this posting on Face book that got a resounding “YES” from me.

“A woman’s heart should be so hidden in God that a man has to seek HIM to find her!”

Complete people attract other complete people.

We all need relationships that are supportive and caring in order to thrive. And while there can be excitement and drama with a person who follows your old patterns of dysfunction, it will ultimately be exhausting, if not debilitating. Setting boundaries and expressing your needs clearly will not only detract unhealthy people from seeking you out, and make them less attractive to you, but it will also attract people who are healthy enough to be there for you as well.

10997005_10206299093105369_4155483824397253812_nAnd that is where the real passion, excitement and God’s love will emerge.

Don’t let unhealed relational wounds or the pain of a past relationship affect your future.

You CAN prevent the past from repeating itself. 

Sugar Coated Anger….15 Ways to Recognize Passive Aggressive Behavior!

7699943_f260My belief has always been, when the dark and hidden areas of our minds are exposed to light and truth, the darkness has to go.  Light and darkness simply cannot dwell in the same place. 

So, as a Life Coach, I endeavor to ask the right questions that will uncover areas in ourselves that will ultimately answer our questions and set us free from bondage.  Or to help us see the truth within relationships that perplex us, that also sets us free from the actions of others.

Sometimes our communication and conflict management patterns can be out of whack.  

This can be for a variety of reasons based on our background and learned behavior.  Those patterns can change with some insights, skills and relationship help.

And if you want it to change. 

You have to want it to change. 

It is always about a choice, isn’t it?

So, if this post helps you see your own passive-aggressive behaviors, you will understand why others find it difficult to be around you, trust you, and respect you as you would like to be trusted and respected.

passive-aggressive-spouse (1)You confuse them.  People move away from folks who purposefully confuse them — if they are smart.  It can be such a drain.

Or if it answers your questions or rings a bell in some of your relationship conflicts with the other people in your life who have these traits this will help you realize you are not really crazy–and it is not you!

Just becoming a Christian doesn’t mean that our behavior patterns change overnight.  The minute we become believers of Jesus Christ, our hearts are born anew.  We get brand new hearts, alive unto God.  And we are saved by His grace, not by our own goodness, but by His. 

But our souls, (mind, will, and emotions) have to be renewed on a daily basis by a continued pursued relationship with Jesus.  His spirit helps us to change and it is never ending growth.  We have to learn how to recognize old coping skills from the past and allow the Lord to show us how to move past them and find our security, comfort, and value from Him alone.

So, I am offering you a list of what you can look for in a passive aggressive person, or to even recognize some of the traits in yourself.  If so, I hope you find it home-hitting and immediately revealing and you start the journey to correct it.

passiveaggression1If these traits describe you as you usually are, I invite you to sit up and take notice.  You likely do not even realize you are doing these things.  Once you read them and ponder your own behavior, you may finally understand why you are having difficulties having the relationships you most want, at home and at work or in the church.

More good news, the more willing to work on yourself you are, the greater your chances of having the life with others that you crave.  When you realize how you are pushing them away by your crazy-making behaviors, you can change things within yourself. When you are trustworthy within yourself, you will be perceived as trustworthy by others.

Although men and women express their passive-aggressive behaviors somewhat differently, generally, you are behaving in passive-aggressive ways if you are regularly:

1. Unwilling to speak your truth openly, kindly and honestly when asked for your opinion or when asked to do something for someone.

How this shows up in communication is being “assertively unassertive”.  You say “Yes” (assertive) when you really mean “No way” (unassertive).  Then, you let your behavior say “No way” for you.  People become confused and mistrusting of you.

2. Appearing sweet, compliant and agreeable, but are really resentful, angry, petty and envious underneath and your actions are just off enough to the point that those close to you sense it.  It makes those around you annoyed and confused.

sb_passiveagressive2People who do not get along with others are interested only in themselves; they will disagree with what everyone else knows is right.  A fool does not care whether he understands a thing or not; all he wants to do is show how smart he is. Pro. 18:1&2 NLT

 3. You fear direct communication because you fear rejection. You then often push away the people you care about because you don’t want to seem in need of support.

relationship difficultiesAll the while, you are afraid of being alone and so you want to control those around you so they won’t leave you.  Very confusing!

4. Complaining that others treat you unfairly frequently.  Rather than taking responsibility for stepping up and speaking your truth, you set yourself up as the (innocent) victim.  You say others are hard on you, unfair, unreasonable and excessively demanding.

5. Procrastinating frequently, especially on things you do for others.  One way of controlling others is to make them wait.  Ouch!!  I know that speaks to so many of us.  You have lots of excuses why you haven’t been able to get things done.  You even blame others for why that is so.  It’s amazingly unreasonable, but you do it even though it destroys relationship, damages careers, loses friendships and jobs.

And, you tell others how justified you are in being angry because, once again, others treated you unfairly.

6. Unwilling to give a straight answer.  Another way of controlling others is to send mixed messages, ones that leave the other person completely unclear about your thoughts, plans or intentions.

Then, you make them feel wrong when you tell them that what they took from your communication was not what you meant.  Silly them!

depositphotos_21157319-Man-telling-spooky-story7. The silent treatment.  Passive aggressive behavior is recognizable by the disconnect between what is being said and what is being done. Nothing highlights this more than the famous silent treatment. Silence generally signifies agreement but not in this case.  When you are on the receiving end of the silent treatment, you realize that the other person is far from agreeable.  They have a big problem with you and just to allow themselves the victory, they have no intention of telling you what that is.

There are 2 other common versions of the silent treatment.  One is to answer the question ‘What’s wrong?’ with ‘nothing’, when there certainly is something wrong.  The other is to answer any question with just one word.  This is intended to signal that there is a problem, without you having to say it.

8-Examples-of-passive-aggressive-behaviourBoth expressions say “You poor confused person. You’re not worth talking to.”  But the real reason for their behavior is that they have not, cannot, or will not take responsibility for their own behavior.

I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.  Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.  Romans 12:1-2 ESV

8. Frequently feeling inadequate but covering it up with superiority, disdain or hostile passivity. 

bully-free-workplacesWhether you set yourself up to be a self-sabotaging failure — “Why do you have such unrealistic expectations of me?” or a tyrant or goddess incapable of anything less than perfection, “To whom do you think you are speaking?”  You are shaking in your boots from fear of competition and being found out as less than perfect.

9. Often late and/or forgetful.  One way of driving people away is to be thoughtless, inconsiderate and infuriating.

And, then, to put the cherry on top, you suggest that it’s unrealistic to expect you to arrive on time, or, in your words, “think of everything”.  Being chronically late is disrespectful of others.  Supposedly forgetting to do what you have agreed to do is simply demonstrating your lack of trustworthiness.  Who wants to be around that for long?

Pro. 16:7   When people’s lives please the LORD, even their enemies are at peace with them.

10. Making up stories, excuses and lies.  You are the master of avoidance of the straight answer.  You’ll go to great lengths to tell a story, withhold information, or even withhold love and affirmation in your primary relationships.  It seems that if you let folks think you like them too much, that would be giving them power.  You’d rather be in control by creating a story that seems plausible, gets them off your back, and makes reality look better from your viewpoint.

11. Constantly protecting yourself so no one will know how afraid you are of being inadequate, imperfect, dependent or simply human.

12. Complaints of injustice and lack of appreciation

13. Dragging your feet to frustrate others.  Again, a control move somewhat like procrastinating, but the difference is you begin and appear as though you are doing what you said you would do.  But, you always have an excuse why you cannot continue or complete the task.  You won’t even say when it will be — or even might be — done.  Do you know anyone like this? 

people-running-scared-clipart-1044249-Royalty-Free-RF-Clip-Art-Illustration-Of-A-Cartoon-Fearful-Man-RunningEverything is viewed as an attack on you.  When something doesn’t go your way, it is seen as unfair or an injustice.  It’s all about how the world impacts you.

For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.  Galatians 5:1-20 ESV

14. Disguising criticism with compliments

At first, passive aggressive people may seem pleasant and warm.  They often appear to be complimentary.  It is only after they have left that you realize that the compliment was actually disguising a cheap jibe.

15. Always getting in the last punch.

Passive aggressive people love to throw the last punch.  So much so, that even when an argument has been reconciled, they slip one last insulting remark into the conversation. This remark is often more subtle than the ones which went before but it is still an insulting remark which allows them to feel victorious.

gods-willWe belong to God.  It is time for us to step into maturity and begin to face truth about the strong holds in our lives that hold us back from producing His fruit in us. 

The answer always lies in Jesus.  Our renewed minds will flow out from Him if we are willing to admit the truth of our actions to ourselves and then to Him.  It is not in our own power but in His.  In our weaknesses He is made strong, but we have to be willing to get out of denial and face our truth.  He will help us with the rest! 

loveLove is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 

Who Has the Power in Your Life~Boundaries!

She sat in my office crying her heart out seeking an answer for depression.  A young mother of 3 children who just coPerson-under-doormatuld not seem to get it together or define why she was so unhappy and miserable.  She said she loved being a mom and her marriage was just fine.  I was stumped and began to just call on the Lord to help me, help her!  

Finally, I heard the Holy Spirit whisper to me, “Ask her about her mother.”  Up until that point her mother had not been mentioned.  So I said, “Tell me about your Mom.”

She looked at me in shock and literally crumbled into a sob that went on for quite a while.   She finally was able to tell me that her mom controlled her entire life.  She had no freedom to make her own choices with her own children.  Every day her mom showed up at her house to come in and make sure she was handling her life according to what her mom wanted.   She disclosed she was not free to go out with her husband unless her mom approved and was the babysitter and knew what she was doing every minute.  It was causing problems in her marriage and her husband hated her mom for it. 

I could see the guilt and shame come in as she talked, and the little girl qualities emerge.  This girl had spent her entire life letting her mom rule everything she did.  Her mom never let her grow up and she allowed it.  She hated her weakness for not being able to tell her mom no, or being able to just grow up and take care of her own children or make her own decisions.

She was stuck.

I wish I could say I was able to help her.  Once I began to share with her about boundaries and how the power was hers to learn to say no, she began to back track and make excuses.  Her fear of her mom was palpable and it wasn’t long before I got a call that she just couldn’t afford any more sessions.  I knew she just could not handle making this shift of saying no to her mother. 

door matHow sad we give others so much power over us!

Being set free is being willing to learn to let go of controllers in our lives. 

Even when it is family. 

There are plenty of people out there who live their lives through controlling others.

Self-control is one of the fruit of the Spirit. When we have self-control, and you get it from being with Jesus and asking for His self control to fill you, by faith, we maintain the ability to stand up to aggressive controllers who try to tell us who we should be and what we should do.

Do you have any controllers in your life? 

Consider the following situation in the Bible where Peter, Jesus’ disciple, acts in a controlling manner:

Mark 8: 31-33 “Jesus then began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and after three days rise again. He spoke plainly about this, and Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. But when Jesus turned and looked at his disciples, he rebuked Peter. “Get behind me, Satan!” he said. “You do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.”

bourndariesOne of the most important benefits of having boundaries is that we do have the ability to stand up to others when they try to control our lives.  It is hard to confront but it is absolutely necessary if you want to move forward with God at the helm of your life.

It does take courage.  But God has given you all you need to step out and take control of your own life. 

Peter wanted to impose his own design for Jesus’ life onto Jesus, but Jesus had good boundaries; he stood up to Peter and rebuked him.

Jesus showed that he was in control of himself and would not be defined and controlled by Peter, no matter how good Peter’s intentions might have been. The truth is that Peter was thinking, not of God’s purposes, but of his own agenda. Peter was trying to rescue Jesus instead of turning the situation over to God.

Are you defined by controllers or by God? 

Although we are wise to listen to others and be open to their feedback, we should never allow someone to be in control of us and define who we are.

Setting appropriate boundaries with people helps us to retain that kind of freedom and self-control.

gods-willOur actions have consequences, but If you take responsibility for things that aren’t yours–by not having boundaries, for instance–you put a roadblock into one of God’s best teaching instruments He has for His children.

The young mother I was coaching said her mom was prone to anger if she stood up to her. So, in her timidity, she walked on tiptoes around her mom, trying to placate her, and then when the mom would be pushy or tell her what to do the little-girl-mom-herself would apologize and try to repair the relationship with her mother..thus letting her mother have her way once again. 

She was the one who was reaping the discord in her home, not her mother.

 Enabling someone to control us is NOT walking in the love of God with them.  They do not have to confront their own issues as long as you give them control over you.  Their issues become yours.  How can God work in their life if you are reaping the consequence of their choices and not they themselves?

 That is why they can throw major manipulative fits when you finally say NO to their demands!

We aren’t meant to reap the consequences of the controllers actions of disobedience.  We are supposed to let people bear the consequences of their own actions.

We are each responsible for our own stuff.

Have you ever noticed that Jesus set limits on Himself. He didn’t heal everyone all the time; often He left areas where there were still people who needed His help because it was time to move to the next place. He carved out time to pray, away from His disciples, to spend time with God.   He carved out time away from the masses, just with His disciples, to train and minister to them.

 If Jesus had let His schedule be determined by what people needed Him to do rather than by what He was called to do and what He was able to do, His ministry would not have been as effective. He needed time alone to rejuvenate and time alone with God, and He took it. He knew that He couldn’t do everything–even if other people needed Him.

 He had His limits.

 

Support Groups PicWhen people join support groups for other family members of those suffering from addictions, such as Al Anon, one of the first things they are told is that you can only change yourself, and you must not take responsibility for changing another person.

But at the same time, you must also allow that other person to reap the natural consequences of their actions, or they will not change. You must stop enabling bad behavior.

 Why is it that Christians think that being a pushover, or letting others get away with wrong behavior, is Christ-like?

doormat He didn’t call us to be door-mats.

God’s will is that we look more and more like Christ.

loveIn your family, are your actions encouraging others to look more and more like Christ, or are they covering up and enabling others to look more and more un-Christlike?

 

If you aren’t setting healthy boundaries of responsibility in your own life, then it’s quite likely that others who are allowed to control you will be looking less and less like Christ, rather than more and more like Him.

Queenism photo posted by permission from http://QueenofYourOwnLife.com/

First Day of 2015: Talking To Jesus and What He Told Me.

happy-new-year-cards I found myself alone on New Year’s   day.  On New Year’s Eve I felt the call to start the year with inviting Jesus into the year, and by morning I knew I had a date.  I came with a list of requests to lay down at His feet.  But as I began talking to Him I was overwhelmed with His presence and could not get any of those requests past my tongue.  I could only sit at His feet and love on Him with my whole heart.  His response to me seemed to take on a message for His church as well.  I knew He wanted me to share my intimate moments of this day with you in the context of my blog.

Me:

“Happy New Year, dear Jesus.  You are so precious to me.  I love You so much.  I have gone through so many emotional ups and downs over the last quarter of 2014 and always those ups and downs direct me back to my Center–YOU!! 

545570_417758148257124_357419294_n-1You are the One who fulfills my every need–no matter what the circumstances are, You are there.  You are…

my Anchor,

my Companion,

my Universe.

It’s amazing Lord to witness You in the lives of those I’m vulnerable enough to share my own weaknesses with–and how You take my weaknesses and inabilities and use then to show others they can do it too!  I marvel at Your workings in the lives of my husband and children and grand children…all that pertains to me You are exceedingly interested in and are very much involved in their lives because of our love for each other–me and You–and because Your Word does not return to you void of accomplishing all that you promise–because YOU are the Word!  How could you ever deny Yourself.  I think of what I wanted to ask of You today on this first day of the new year, and my requests pale in comparison to my deep need to…

praise You,

extol You,

glorify You,

worship You,

thank you,

rainfallSoak in Your essence and Your sweet undeniable presence here in this spot of the Divine.

I can’t seem to stop the flow of words of admiration and joy at my delight in You, my Lover and my King. 

I came with requests but somehow I have sensed as I pour out my heart in sweet communion with You that those requests are already taken care of in Your time for You know my heart and what I have need of before I even ask….and because I’m talking to You all the time about those issues that my heart seeks for.

1506500_619449268111523_2092771554_nToday, the first day of 2015, I just want to absorb You, love You, and dance the dance of love with my beautiful, all consuming King. 

I sense a shift in the atmosphere, Lord–something I am not clear on– and I can only trust as I wait expectantly on You.  I know this year will be restorative for so many, including me, and countless others who love You and who seek You with all their hearts. 

Let the rain of Your presence fall on me Lord…let Your glory shine through my countenance…and all the angels of heaven with me….at Your absolute, infinite, and all consuming love. 

You ARE Love Himself.  Let that Love shine so forth through me that it blinds the evil hearts of those who seek to destroy and let that love burn out all deception and wrath of those I meet.  Let that love break down even the most stubborn and fearful hearts and bring Your light into the darkness.

I love You, Jesus!”

akiane-kramarik-jesus-paintingJesus then replied:

“Dixie, I delight in your praise and you have touched on my heart in such a way that I indeed am smiling and dancing the dance of joy with you.  Remember the vision you had of Us dancing above the mountain tops and into the stars?  I see it as our dance of unity and faith and deep love….and all that we have shared this past year. 

But this year of 2015 will hold new depths of dance for us my love.  We will soar into the heavenly sphere of the supernatural.  There indeed will be a shift in the spirit in your life and in the lives of those who seek Me with all their heart. 

When they realize that serving Me is not about where they ‘go’ or who they talk too, but really knowing Me in the truest sense, and is finding the time to talk to me–allowing me to talk back–allowing Me to speak to them in the midst of their business.  Those who desire Me above attendance, works, pride, self absorption, family, friends, obsessions, addictions…in spite of those things, they will still reach out to Me alone….then they will find Me.

530443_10150790377567355_563857079_nI feel such sorrow when my children say they love Me but they don’t pursue this kind of intimacy with Me.  For I have so much more to give them but I don’t because they wouldn’t recognize my voice.  Unless they begin the journey outside of their complacency, their doubts, and their busy lives–those parts of themselves that consume them…they will either forget Me or just be too busy to take a moment to meet with Me.

I will never, ever leave you My love.

The year ahead holds much uncertainty and fear and dread for those who focus on the evil reports of this world.  And they will come, those evil reports.  These days are ones of unrest…of the earth groaning with birth pangs, as if ready to give birth to a new heaven and a new earth.  There is so much destruction, so much pain, so much evil, and so much deception.  Without Me as their Center they will give way to the enemy and be tormented and uncertain.

I am raising up a remnant of the church body to be examples in these last days of what true relationship and intimacy with Me really means in their lives.  They will be the forerunners of strength and faith that my weaker body can run to find hope and example of what the reality of knowing Me can bring them through.  They must learn to turn to me in adversity and trials for it is there they will find my presence and deliverance and stabilization in the uncertain times.

JesusI am not just a ticket to heaven, though it be so.  But I am also here to lead my sheep into eternal Kingdom living.  This, my child, is the beginning of becoming eternally minded and how you can all learn to live IN Me, within My Kingdom.

You are my bride.  I AM your Bridegroom.  I love you, My Dixie, with an eternal, all consuming love.

I love My body with this same love.  I long for them to know it.”

♥♥♥

Change! The Word That Invokes Fear…

gods-willHow do I break this pattern in my life,” he asked.

You have to step out of your  comfort zone, that familiar, cozy place of dysfunction, and be willing to purposely change; make new  decisions.”  I coached.

With his head down, looking up at me, and a smile on his face, “Surely that should be easy, but I am afraid I will fail, ” he said.

Do you want to stay on this merry-go-round of failed relationships?”, I questioned.

circusOf course I don’t, but then again maybe, just maybe, I use these failed relationships as an excuse to stay where I am because I really don’t want to change“, he confessed.

“Wow, did I just say that?”, he continued.

And on it goes.  Do we really want to change or are we just making excuses to stay in that old comfortable place rather than venture into the virtual unknown with God?

Change is hard.  I think we can agree on that.  

I, personally, would rather try sleeping on a bed of nails than to change.  Even when I know it is what I am being asked to do by Jesus.

It is not an easy process and many times we fall flat on our face at our first attempts to make a change.

When you’re in the process of changing, sometimes you will fall back into old patterns and sometimes you’re going to lose your way and wonder why you’re trying in the first place.

So, here’s my reminder for you:

light and darknessOld stuff will come up.  What matters is you recognize them as old patterns.

Patterns that, if not broken, you will live in the rest of your life.

Before, you let these patterns run you – and you let them run you blindly–but now it takes a quality decision to focus on your goal for change.

Now that you see them, trust God to help you make the change.  Ask Him to remind you when you start to fall back.

Stuff will continue to come up.  Old patterns die hard.  But seriously do you want to live in the same spot the rest of your life?

Then we choose differently.

Trust the King who made you to guide you and show you how to surrender that part of yourself that even you don’t understand and help you to change your choices.

I believe in you.

Most of us can agree that at some point in the day, we come up against a battle.  The battle between what we know we truly want to do (what is from our soul) and what our weakness desires to do (from our fears/ego).

mind-clutterIt can be something simple that brings about this “everyday struggle”.  An everyday struggle can be the choice to eat that delish and healthy steamed veggies and fish dish vs. eating the processed junk food.  Or something perhaps more severe.

Perhaps your everyday struggle, is choosing that hit of the drug again versus going to that twelve step meeting.  Or choosing between shining or hiding your truth out of fear. 

Once we begin to perceive our struggles as opportunities for Jesus’ guidance, the struggles become opportunities to strengthen your faith even deeper in that particular area.

We all have an everyday struggle that we face. Paul said in Romans 7:15:

“I don’t understand myself at all, for I really want to do what is right, but I don’t do it.  Instead, I do the very thing I hate.  I know perfectly well that what I am doing is wrong…I often find that I have the desire to do good, but not the power.”

This resonated with me so much.  How many times have you had the desire to do good but felt you didn’t have the power to do it?

Verse 23 goes on to say, “But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me.  Oh, what a miserable person I am!  Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death?  Thank God!  The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord.  So you see how it is: In my mind I really want to obey God’s law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin.” 

On a day to day basis we come up against those fears of “do I have the power to do this?”  I discovered through my own journey, that when I comfort those fears with truth, the fears diminish and truth and courage rise.

What is that truth?  Love is more powerful than fear, always!

When a struggle or obstacle arises in our minds where the warfare takes place, I ask Jesus to: give me the strength to deal with this obstacle and struggle through His power and not my own.  I ask Him to give me the words, the energy, the actions to do this with confidence and love and peace.  Sometimes I am instantly filled with that power, and the revelation that I can lean into Him and He will be my strength and my guide in this journey of change.

If you stop fighting it, another plus emerges.  You begin to learn who you really are.  A divine daughter and son of the King of Kings and He is the one who propels you to great heights in the Spirit.

birdcageIn accepting and remembering who we truly are, we allow our smallness to diminish and our greatness in Him to really come forth.

Then, you can step out in  faith and in truth not in fear and insecurity.  Love does that.

You need not do anything to prove your worth, you simply are worthy.  How amazing is that?

In remembering these truths, you are filled with energy, confidence, purpose, and the strength to move through the struggle and the obstacle.  You are filled with all the power you need to continue to be willing to choose what is good for you.

Remember, you already have what you need.  All the love you desire is within you through His power.

Feel it, remember it, move with it.

All struggles are opportunities for you to practice remembering who you really are and how to step back from the wheel and turn it over to Him.  When you remember this truth, you are unstoppable, miracles flow, and everything becomes a beautiful journey with deeper growth and joy.

Today, remind yourself of who you already are. Strong, brave, powerful, divine.

Now go out there and change! 

378095_526317080764178_826390852_n

I Remembered How Small I Am

september_blog1_daybed_porch_swing_myhomeideasI recently was talking to a client that was being so totally honest with me and pouring out her heart, that I, too, began to identify with what she was saying. 

Ever have that happen?

This, in essence is what she said to me,

“I spend most of my regular time believing that God has a plan for my life, but then I take most of that time trying to figure out specifically what that is.  Knowing that I’m supposed to share my faith with friends and strangers, but usually feeling too exhausted or irritable to actually do it.

I agree that God wants to do great things in my life, but I feel like a failure because all that greatness seems so often submerged in mediocrity.  I am exhausted just trying to figure it all out.”

I thought, ”Wow, this is me sometimes.  I know He has a plan for me and I know it is big.  But today I want to just do nothing.  I want to take a nap from all this greatness!!”

Hmmmm…Maybe all of this striving, and guilt, and frustration, is actually not what God wants most.

530443_10150790377567355_563857079_nMaybe, what Jesus desires for us, more than anything, is that we recover a pace that allows us to breathe and receive.

Could it be possible, that your most pressing personal mission, is not about you doing anything at all.

Here’s a thought!  What if God’s plan for your life right now, was not that you save souls or change worlds, but that you take a nap?

I gave myself permission one day to stop reading, and studying, and writing, and thinking, and doing God stuff, and I simply laid down in our backyard swing by my waterfall.

I purposefully didn’t wrestle with any great spiritual truths, or any nagging questions about the future, or death, or my personal, God-designed plan; I just rested and let my mind wonder.  I “considered the lilies of the field” as it were.  

I let myself become cocooned in the lightness of His presence without thinking I needed to be “doing” anything else.  I drifted in and out of a blissful sleep. 

I could hear birds chirping and I enjoyed the fragrance of my Angel Trumpets blooming nearby.  

And something really great, and quite spiritual, happened while I laid there.

1236314_578921625503723_1622453795_nI remembered how small I am.

I noticed the trees shifting in the wind, and the sounds of  birds, and the shade of blue above me.

As I did, I was struck with the thought that God doesn’t just a have a plan for me,

God HAS ME!

It could be true that God wants you to change the world and as a matter of fact, I am sure of it.  But more than that, God wants you to find peace in His presence…..

…to be able to rest in the questions and in the undone;

…To pause and realize that His greatest plan is not that you save anything.

You are the one being saved. 

If you never went any further than today, I am convinced His highest for you is to have a love relationship with Him that surpasses all else in your life, and to rest in that. 

He is not a driving task master. 

What Jesus wants to teach us is to live at home in Him.  This is not a theology to subscribe to, but a way to live all day, every day.

545570_417758148257124_357419294_n (1)Living with Jesus has absolutely nothing to do with where you are on Sunday morning at 10:00 and everything to do with following Him through each day.  He made all of life sacred by coming to live in us and becoming a part of everything we do.

We sometimes over complicate things.  The reason people have trouble discovering this reality is because they don’t believe it is as simple as it really is.  Living in communion with Him is what He shapes in a willing heart as we learn to relax in His love.

Right where you are He can show you how to live at home in the Father, confident in His love, and at peace even in times of trouble

If you are not at rest in God’s love for you, no amount of human contact will fill that void; it can only mask it.  Let your loneliness draw you into a greater depth of relationship with Him and then a new way of relating to others emerges.

He is the Jesus who has given you freedom.  He paid the ultimate price so that you can be free to just love Him.  It is in that love that you find your place to just BE!  Any service for Him will flow out of that.

So, lighten up on yourself.  I give you permission to enjoy your life and to have fun, and enjoy simple trust. 


nap Now go nap your way into that truth.

Hello, Fear. I’ve Been Expecting You…Five Tools to Combat Anxiety

dixie1My journey over the past two years has been one of disbelief, then shock, then denial, then fear, then acceptance, and finally, faith.

But maybe that is wrong. 

Faith had to always be there or I wouldn’t be sane right now.  I have watched God sustain us on very little work for my husband for at least the last 2 years and before that we slowly watched our work source disappear due to California’s changes and cutbacks.  We literally live with no savings and only Him to provide for us.

(You can read about this journey in my new book, 50 Ways to Meet Your Lover, in the “Warfare” section of the book.)

Manna from Heaven.

Well, not literally Manna…yet.   

But envelopes on the door step.  Acquaintances walking up and handing us money.  The givers, giving as my husband speaks at various church gatherings.  And my own income from coaching keeps me floating.  It is so supernatural I can’t even tell you where it all comes from.   

My journey as a Life Purpose Coach is amazing too.  God seriously brings in the clients and it has been this way since the beginning of this career.  When my clientele gets low, I pray and ask God for more and He sends them.

All you have to do is let God know you are ready to reach out to people and He will send them.  No stress in that one.  He just sends them.  So, be watching or you will miss the opportunity.

thumb_colourbox1908348What one usually fears, at the root level, is a kind of death. We fear a death of a part of ourselves, the death of a job, the death of a move, death of an income, death of ourselves….and the list goes on.  When we think of certain big transitional periods in our lives, we often experience a lot of change.  Change invokes the death of something in our minds…the ending of something.

A change usually requires some letting go of old thoughts, behaviors, people, situations, and ways of being.  And then we can experience the new and fresh.  But if we let anxiety take over we become paralyzed and defeated.

The truth is that we won’t actually die, but somewhere within our psyche, we feel as though we are LITERALLY going to die.

Once we get past that initial fear and insert a healthy comforting tool, we can move towards the new.  We must, in turn, accept what we most fear.  You have to ask yourself…what is the worst that can happen?  

And within that answer comes reality.  I won’t die!

Here are 5 tools for you to begin to gain ground in this fight against fear.

1.  Admit to yourself that you are experiencing anxiety because if you deny it…it only gets worse.  Face it head on.  Make a decision to not react to it.  Instead focus on deep breathing.  Focus only on the breathing and Jesus.  Picture Him right beside you and breathe in His all encompassing peace, and breathe out the anxiety and fear.  Make sure the breaths are from your diaphragm and not your chest in shallow puffs.  Take a deep full breath in through your nose, making sure your belly expands on the inhale, and out through your mouth, and the belly contracts.

2.  Listen to sweet worship music and focus on the words. Drown out the fearful thoughts.

3.  Whisper the name of Jesus…the bible says that at the mention of that name, every knee has to bow, in heaven and in earth….this means that when you say His name, the enemy of fear can’t stay around…it has to leave…

…fear and perfect Love cannot dwell together.

 4.  Learn to train your mind to be on guard against the thoughts that come from–THE VOICE–and that voice usually comes from our enemy or just our own minds (and past voices that spoke negativity into our lives) where the enemy has planted his imagery of death.

 5.  When you feel the thoughts coming of impending doom, immediately start the breathing, the name of Jesus, and a favorite verse you can say over and over again.  And if you need it, put on that music!

Shoulder-Angel-and-DevilTwo thoughts cannot dwell in your mind at the same time.  One or the other has to go.  I choose to eradicate the fear thought.

Trust that, no matter what, within your new heart lies the ability to get through anything.  Trust Him–He will walk you through it.

So, that is how I have gotten through this death of the old in my life.  I still don’t know what the outcome of all this will be.  But I do know Jesus has a plan and it will unfold when He is ready to show it to me. 

Meanwhile, I can’t afford to let my mind wander into the unknown valley of fear for it will lead to a certain death of my peace.

426__550x413_jesus-and-peter-walking_on_waterThis is a battle with the principalities and powers of the air, the warfare for my life and the fight is not mine but His.  As long as I envelope myself in Him He will not let me sink into that raging sea.  

It is not complicated though we try to make it so, don’t we?  

There is no formula, no works, no traditions, nothing that we can fall back on that will move us out of anxiety and into the peace that passes all understanding…except His love.

He is Love itself, and He promises that He will NOT ever forsake us.  

….for He [God] Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support. [I will] not,  [I will] not, [I will] not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor let [you] down (relax My hold on you)! [Assuredly not!]  Hebrews 13:5b Amp.

I will announce the winners of the free books on my next blog.  Read the last blog about the release of my newest book, 50 Ways to Meet Your Lover, and comment if you want to enter the drawing!

 

The Woman Who had No Self Esteem, No Hope for the Future, and No Idea She Even had a Gift…..


50-ways-to-meet-your-lover1-e1397103127321 It is my story.  MY story!  We all have a story.  This is mine.  I  am  getting ready in a few weeks to launch my 2nd book, 50 Ways  To  Meet Your Lover, An Invitation Into a Captivating Walk With  Jesus the Lover of Your Heart and Soul.  

 A SECOND BOOK!   How crazy is that?

 Who knew this would happen in my life.  I could not have  dreamed that the little girl who was a victim of incest, abused by  her spiritual leaders; the woman who endured seeing her  own sweet little girl become a victim of the same travesty; the  woman who had no self esteem, no hope for the future, and no  idea she even had a gift to use for God could be here today  proclaiming to you that God has made me into an Author and a  Life Purpose Coach,

….and yet here I am.

Don’t tell me God can’t use you because of your past.   I am a walking miracle and living proof.   And He uses my past to set others free now! 

Amazing!

You are a walking miracle!!  You may not know it yet, but you are.

After writing my first book, Climbing Out of the Box, My Journey Out of Sexual and Spiritual Abuse Into Freedom and Healing, I learned that it is in our vulnerability and transparency that others can truly relate and be transformed by our stories.   I learned to let my story go for the good of mankind, so to speak.   For I knew if my story could possibly change the life on one person it would have been worth it to me and to Jesus.

climbing-out-of-the-box-by-dixie-r_-diamanti-300x300-e1397103388170

Then I went a step further and realized that even if it was just an act of obedience and I was writing just for Jesus, it still would be more than worth it.  

The surprise was that in writing my story….

I FOUND HEALING!!

And this is why I am such a promoter of journaling your story and thoughts and prayers to God.  If you have coached with me you already know that.   In getting it all out your story begins to make more sense, your life purpose comes into focus, and you find a cleansing of the past like never before.

So, I moved forward in my writing at first never really knowing if it was real.  At first  I had no idea what I was doing.  It was blind faith.  We use the tools and gifting God has given us….sometimes without seeing the completed plan.  He grows us up to reach outside of ourselves to see others walk in the same freedoms.

And that is my goal, really;  To make a difference in the lives of others.

I love to write but I’m not really patient to wait for the plan, the dream, to unfold.  Especially if I have a vision of what I want to put down on paper.  I can see it.  I can feel it.  I am excited about it.  I want to do it now and see it published next week.

But then I wait and write.

And wait and write some more.

And then I don’t want to let go if it, again, and wonder why anyone would want t o read my stuff.

Looking at my motives I realized it is not just about whether my book will be a best seller or not, though that would be wonderful.  It is about being me and being true to who I was created to be and to my calling.  God has a plan.  Then I had to face the fact that even if I knew it wouldn’t be a best seller, I would write it anyway, if only to reach that one person who thought there was no hope left.

jesus-christ-widescreen-wallpapers-04There is a divine journey assigned to just me.   There is one assigned to you too.   It is a journey about reaching out, touching lives, healing hearts and being vulnerable enough with my story that it will truly make a difference in the lives of others. 

I want to flow in His plan and not get ahead of myself.  At least in my heart I do.  My head is a different matter.  It wants everything yesterday.  It’s because I have this dream, and it is not going away.  I have more stories to tell.  They are not going away either.  But when I am writing I have need of patience and I always learn in the process.

Maybe it simply means validation.  When my books make  it into print, it says to me, “Yes, you are doing this right.”  I am doing what I’m meant to be doing.

So, here I am with one book published and one about to be published in a week or two; waiting for them to get in the hands of the right people through social media and word of mouth,

..and being okay with it.

My soon to be released book, 50 Ways to Meet Your Lover, A Captivating Invitation Into a Daily Walk Of Intimacy With Jesus the Lover of Your Heart and Soul  is a compilation of my own personal journey– stories of faith, trial and temptations and humor.   It amazes me that many of you will be reading about my very private times of intimacy with Jesus, and actually growing in faith to the place that if He can do it for me, He can certainly do it for you.  At least that is my prayer.

It’s not as though I have a choice.  I can’t control it, this walk of faith –not if I want to continue upward.  And I can’t control the outcome or the wait.  But God knows and His timing is always best for our journeys. 

He zigs while I zag……I must continue to walk in the light of Him on my journey. It is all about surrendering to the process of growing.

Both books can be purchased on Amazon in a few weeks!!  You can get Climbing Out of the Box right now!

dixie1

I Fell Head-long Down a Flight of Unrelenting, Cement Stairs

stairfallWhen Greg and I were first friends and actually neighbors in our adjoining apartments, he was attending an event one day that he needed support from friends while there.  I decided to  go to the event just to support him.  I spent much time on presenting myself because secretly I was interested in getting to know Greg a little better, if you know what I mean.   I had on lovely white slacks and was coiffed just so.  I lived in an upstairs apartment and cement stairs led down to my car.  As I hurried out the door towards my car, somehow I stumbled heading down the stairs and fell head long down a flight of very hard and unrelenting stairs.

I was stunned and shaken when I reached the bottom and, true to my nature, I looked around to see if anyone saw me and then jumped up and ran back up the stairs in denial that my whole body was in pain.  I hurriedly checked the mirror to make sure my hair and makeup was still in place and my clothes were still presentable and then rushed off to the event, ignoring the ache in my leg and that my body was shaking.

I entered the building and took my seat to observe and when Greg saw me he came and sat with me.  I acted so together as I smiled.  But the minute he looked at me he wanted to know if I was okay…we looked down at my leg with the white pants and there was blood seeping through.  I leaned over and pulled up my pant leg and had a large goose egg on my shin and it was bleeding.  I was embarrassed and said it was nothing and that I just fell down the cement stairs between our apartments before coming.  He looked at me like I was from another world.  Greg still tells the story.

This was typical behavior for me at the time.  I was so good at covering the real me and hiding my imperfections and my clumsiness in most any situation.  I had been through a time of great suffering and pain and was still in hiding from my true self.

Restoration Comedy Mask 1Have you ever struggled with the fear of showing your true self to the world?

Do you back off of things you are gifted in and you know it’s because of insecurity?

Would you be surprised to find that most everyone struggles to reveal their true self instead of a masked version of themselves that they feel is a bit more acceptable?

Why do we hide our true selves?  Are we afraid that no one will like us if they knew who we really are?  And, yet, most of us love it when someone reveals their real selves and all of their imperfections because we then start to feel more “normal.”

I had this recurring dream once.  

I would be rushing to get somewhere…didn’t matter where…shopping, school, parties…and I forgot to get dressed and my make up wasn’t on…fear would grip me in the dream and I would be terrified.  I would be putting on eyebrows, and mascara, and whatever but it would never quite stay on me–it would just slip right off; my clothes kept dropping off.  I would find myself in the midst of people totally undone and without makeup or proper attire, terrified and looking for a hiding place but none could be found.  People ignored me and everyone would just look at me as if I was not even there.  There was nothing about me that made a difference.  I was ugly.  I was unacceptable.  I had nothing to offer if I didn’t look the part, according to my own perceptions.  I would wake up from these dreams in a cold sweat.

hidingThese dreams revealed to me my deepest insecurities born out of being violated as a young child sexually, and for all my years after the violation I tried to paint a picture of a very together girl that had a perfect life.  But inside I knew I was ugly and unworthy and full of shame.

It took a lot of energy to keep my true self hidden and I was always drained.

It takes courage to step out into self discovery and the pain of facing yourself. 

Many choose to walk this way for the rest of their lives rather than be courageous enough to face their hidden pain and let it go.

We fear failure and not being good enough or that we won’t fit in.

I believe on our deepest levels we are actually afraid of who we could be.  Who we know deep down that God has created us to be…so much more than we could imagine and we know it in our spirits!

You are a precious child of the most high God!  Keeping your light hidden only robs the world of what God has gifted you with.  As a Life Purpose Coach I am convinced that He has a plan for each and every one of us.  But not all walk into that plan.  Some resist it because of fear.    

2You were born to shine forth His glory in this world.  That glory is on the inside of you.  As you let that glory shine, you give others permission to do the same. 

Think about how you are one-of-a-kind.  You carry a voice…a resonance.  You have a message. The way you do things is totally you.

 Focusing on this uniqueness will help you to succeed in life.  To grow to love your story.  To find joy in the freedom of being you.

It’s when you discover your uniqueness, that you’ll be open to become who you were meant to be.

The real war is in becoming your truest self. 

I know this struggle too.  Many years I wandered, trying to find who I really was and where I fit in.

But through many years of self discovery in my journey with Jesus, I have to say I am absolutely amazed at how much the struggle to reveal the real me has stopped and I am more comfortable and confident to be who I am called to be.

If you are a regular reader of my blogs you will see I have endeavored to be transparent and vulnerable with my own story…as humorous as it sometimes is…in hopes you will relate and also realize I am no different than you. (Well, maybe some of you aren’t as clumsy as I am.)  

It is through this very transparency that my healing has come.  It is through this vulnerability that others have been able to relate to my story, and feel the courage to share theirs.

How exciting is that?

I am on a mission to proclaim the freedom into the world that deep relationship with Jesus provides for those who want to pursue it and to help them find their voice–the very thing He is calling them to.

I am passionate to help people uncover obstacles that have held them back and to walk with them in a new journey they never knew existed for them and one that  they love.  I would love to work with you in Life Purpose Coaching in uncovering more of “you” and the uniqueness you have to offer the world. 

535697_353910861338135_812640802_nMy friends, you are made unique for a purpose.  Finding your voice starts by being fully alive, inviting people in and having relationship with them by being truly you.

It is letting go of the fear that holds you back once and for all and free falling into the arms of a King who adores you!

Give yourself permission to be free to love you and people wherever you go in life, in what you create and in your business.

Be who you were created to be, find your voice and go change the world. 

 

I’ll Call Her Hannah

303161_414645191931368_893377415_nI’ll call her Hannah.  

Sweet girl, but she walked in that day with a cross between terror and distrust on her face.  On that first day she came she brought reinforcements.  Her protection sat in a car across the street in case she needed to make a quick getaway.

I greeted her with a hug and she was shaking and determined to not talk.

amazing graceShe sat at my table overlooking my flower garden staring at the Amazing Grace plaque I had nailed to the fence, and tears just waiting to be released.

There had been other attempts from other people to help her heal from a childhood that had lied to her and robbed her of her innocence; a childhood that had picked her up and spit her out into the emptiness to fend for herself; a place she had locked herself up within a cage of torment, but was safer than venturing out into the unknown…and so that no one would see or notice.  But those well meaning attempts to help her were not welcomed nor were they successful because according to her she did not trust them nor did she think anyone would love her if they knew her secrets.

And now here she was at my table, eyeing me with suspicion and maybe a little of, “what makes you any different than the others.”

For the first session I did most of the talking.  I explained that for this to work she had to do the work.  She had to talk.  She had to give me something.  She would drop her head and tears would flow down her cheeks and we were left with silence.

I felt Holy Spirit prompting me to just wait, not be in a hurry.  So, I waited and became comfortable with the silence as the weeks turned into months.  Sometimes we sat there for 5 to 10 minutes with neither of us saying more than 2 words.  I refused to speak for her, though it was tempting to break the silence and uncomfortableness.

I just loved her.  Peace

I eventually began to share with her what a precious daughter to the King she was.  I told her He rejoiced at her loveliness and none of what happened to her defined who she was meant to be and would be one day.

I told her God had a plan for her and He was enthralled with her beauty.

And He wanted to heal her from the past.

Week after week, we made little progress it seemed.  Many times she would start to tell me a secret and would take at least a half hour to get out only part of the secret and then she would collapse into sobs.  I assured her it was okay and that we would tackle these obstacles together.

Then one day she finally started coming on her own– without the reinforcements.

She eventually started to trust me and slowly…very slowly…began to open up with her dark secrets.  Sometimes she would only get out a sentence and then crumble again into tears.

She loved to say, “I don’t know” a lot.  I told her she could say anything but “I don’t know”….and she broke the habit of hiding behind those words.  She really did know.

She had tried to hurt herself many times, she finally told me.  She felt ugly inside and couldn’t imagine Jesus wanting her as she was so undesirable. She felt dirty and caged and covered it up as best she could.

10440802_696494227073693_7724385406213002777_nWith each new disclosure, her trust grew, and I began to see a new beauty emerge.  After many months, week after week of spending time just sitting together and her slowly revealing her childhood to me, she began to change more and more.  She eventually gained an empowerment that was solely from the Holy Spirit.

64658_465671946828692_1306119874_nShe confided to me finally that she loved my hugs.  I gave them even more freely then.  I sensed that the little girl inside of her had not received many in her life time…and every time I hugged her she cried.

She would melt in my arms. 

She won her way into my nurturing heart.  But I knew that without His grace reaching down into her heart, revealing to her the value He placed on her, I, myself, could not help her.

Because I had been in that very place myself as a young woman and I knew that without His intervention I had no strength to pass on to her.

But God had plans for Hannah.

After 8 months of our weekly sessions she showed up one day at my door with a smile on her face, anticipating my hug, and I saw no fear.  There seemed to be a break through.  She began to open up more and more and started making herself accountable to me if she was tempted to do something that she knew was destructive.  She began sharing more details of her abuse and her feelings and fears that had entrenched themselves into her very fiber.

And with each disclosure came more healing.

Oh, she tested me a couple of times.  She wanted to see if I would walk away.  But I didn’t.  I am not the walking away type, and by this time I knew God was working in her in a big way and had great plans for her.  I confronted her and loved her through it.

She learned that forgiveness is real.

One day I knew God was going to move Hannah out of the area.  I just knew that she could not stay where she was and continue to grow.

And it was time she left the nest and flew on her own.  Oh, I would still be there, but I knew it would be a different role.

And I had to face my own issues of letting go.

Sure enough she was offered an opportunity in another state to start a new life.  I told her God had told me she would go and that it was okay, it was time.  After a year of coaching she was ready to go into the face of fear and go out on her own.  I wasn’t prepared for the deep sadness that overtook me.  We had become very close.  And those last few weeks before her departure was hard on both of us.  We would sit and talk about all the opportunities God was going to open up to her with excitement and within moment our eyes would well up.

We planned a birthday lunch on the beach.  We went together like Mom and daughter.  I bought her a heart necklace engraved on the back so she would always be reminded that I am close in heart and that Jesus is even closer.  We sat at the beach and talked and talked.

Boy, what a change from that first day of sitting at my table as the clock ticked.

I couldn’t help but remember back a year ago when that pale faced, young girl, showed up at my front door shaking and terrified, not able or willing to utter a word to me.  And now I was looking into the face of a young woman glowing with promise and she had a huge smile of gratefulness and unabashed love on her face; A woman with hope and excitement about her future.

Don’t tell me miracles aren’t for today.

Hannah is one.  378095_526317080764178_826390852_n

Don’t tell me coaching backed by the Spirit of God doesn’t work.  It is revealed in an awesome display of His glory on the faces of those who bravely submit themselves into His trust when they come to be coached.

I wrote a poem for her before she left.  I don’t know if it was as much for me to let go–as it was for her to leave.  She has given me permission to use it here…to share with you…to give you hope in whatever you face.

She came in tears

shredded and spent

sorrow and guilt

hope lost for comfort

destitute

The journey began

into new awakenings

A Princess you say?

alone and shattered me?

hope?

a melody began to play ♫  

1506500_619449268111523_2092771554_nHer Prince  appears

 

“Dance with Me”  He whispers

“Come put your head on My shoulder

let Me hold you

breathe with Me

I’m healing all your wounds

and taking you on a journey

are you willing to go with Me?”

 

adventure and abandon to Him awaits

 

I am taken with your beauty“, He says

My love for you knows no bounds

 

and the true Princess emerges from the abyss

and dances into her new life with Him

and the past has lost its hold on her……forever

 

Do You Want to Be a Celebrity? …..5 Things to Consider!

jesus-christ-widescreen-wallpapers-04Are you frustrated and feel as if God isn’t using you the way you think He should be?  Is it not happening fast enough?  Do you watch other ministries and find yourself envying their positions and wish you could be them?

I always thought that because God had called me to write and teach that I needed a growing audience to validate that calling.  I was so driven to find myself a platform or audience worthy of my calling and found myself sorely frustrated that God wouldn’t bless my efforts the way I thought it was supposed to happen. 

It just wasn’t fast enough. 

It is exhausting promoting yourself. 

Where do we draw the line in losing ourselves and our energy in self promoting, and just allowing Him to get our gifts and talents out where He purposed for them to go? 

50-ways-to-meet-your-lover1-e1397103127321Here I am at the cusp of another book being birthed to the multitudes.  “50 Ways to Meet Your Lover”  is in proof stage now and in a few weeks will be ready to be presented to the world.  

This is my 2nd book and I have to say I have learned a few things along the way. 

I have given myself permission to breathe…. and trust Him to guide me to the next step.

These are some of the things I have learned in the last few years of trial and error in my writing and teaching.  This is not an exhaustive list because I am certain there are still many things He will open my eyes to!  

 But allow me to share a few points that I have learned now:

1.       Being seen as a celebrity in any sense of the word is a deceitful ploy of the enemy.  We have been brought up to admire and envy people who have celebrity status.  Many times celebrities in the church world perceive their value as a human as usually based on a need to be recognized as a person of value. 

Jesus let His disciples know that His kingdom works very differently.

2.       It is often true that those who make such big jumps into perceived celebrity often get twisted by them, and end up crushing others when their influence exceeds their personal character.  Perhaps that’s what Paul meant when he warned us not to think of ourselves more highly than we ought to think, whether we aspire to a place of influence or already have it and think it gives us a place above others.

climbing-out-of-the-box-by-dixie-r_-diamanti-300x300-e13971033881703.       Whatever we do for God must be just that.  For Him.  What He does with our works or service or gifts is up to Him.  We want our message out there, of course.  But according to His purposes, not our own perceived purposes.   When I wrote “Climbing Out of the Box”, I had to give it to Him.  I still do.  And even if my story sets one person free from a life of abuse and into freedom in Jesus then it will have been worth it.  And, to date, it has set many more than just one free.  

4.       Instead of looking for what we don’t have, Luke 14 invites us into responding to God’s working right where we are in life.

Rather than having to make something happen by our own wisdom, the path to God’s life comes by loving the people He has already put before us, applying our gifts to their needs and trusting the rest to Him.

I’m convinced that will create opportunity enough for whatever God wants to give us and what He desires us to share with them.  Yes, marketing a book is necessary so that people will see it and buy it and see their lives changed by it.  But if it isn’t in His timing and it doesn’t sell fast enough, then I have to accept that He knows what He is doing.  He will make it happen.  Not me.  I just do what He tells me to do.

5.       Most of our questions to Him center around how to make ourselves known to the world and usually focuses on our abilities, wisdom, or connections.  He works so differently than we do.

We try to find that one key to open big doors, rather than allowing ourselves to live freely in what God has already given.

545570_417758148257124_357419294_n-1It’s easy to miss His whispers when we’re more focused on our own desires for ministry. He knows how to draw us into relationship with Him and it’s not by following someone else’s steps.  We are unique and what He does for one may not be what He does for me.  

In the end, we are only asked to follow him, not to build an audience or to produce our own transformation.

Whenever you are frustrated at God for not opening better doors for you, that might be a sign that you’re focused at the wrong doors.

I am learning that growth of simple relationship with Him is more trustworthy than the substitutes of self-promotion, manipulation and begging favors from others.

So how do you find ministry, find fellowship, or live transformed as you seek Him?

Simply accept the invitation to live deeply in Jesus and love those around you the way you are coming to understand how He loves you.  Listen when He nudges your heart.  Step out in faith in what He whispers to you. 

If you live in His space you will find His power transforming you, His Spirit connecting you to others and everything He wants to do in you will be fulfilled by Him.

If the disciples had set out to change the world outside of waiting on Him, don’t you think they would have failed miserably and become lost in their own reasoning and ideas to accomplish so large a task?

“We are intimately linked in this harvest work.  Anyone who accepts what you do, accepts me, the One who sent you.  Anyone who accepts what I do accepts my Father, who sent me.  Accepting a messenger of God is as good as being God’s messenger.  Accepting someone’s help is as good as giving someone help.  This is a large work I’ve called you into, but don’t be overwhelmed by it.  It’s best to start small.  Give a cool cup of water to someone who is thirsty, for instance.  The smallest act of giving or receiving makes you a true apprentice.  You won’t lose out on a thing.”  -Matthew 10:41-42 (The Message)

Jesus knew the most amazing things could begin with a cup of cold water.

 

Loving Those Words, “Mom I’m Home.” …. A Mother’s Day Story

A few years back I wrote about how Christmas conjured up images of days gone by with my babies.  Modified a bit to relate my thoughts to Mother’s Day this week, I want to share the story with you once again.

THANKHEAVENFORLITTLEGIRLS-2Tears of longing well up in my eyes thinking of those days gone by, since my babies are not babies anymore.  It was the happiest time of my life. 

Now, I have beautiful and crazy loved grandchildren, and can watch my children experience the same feelings I did as history once again repeats itself.

When Jason and Heather were little I never wanted them out of my sight.  I kept them so close. 

I endeavored to build into them a confidence that I would always be there for them, believing that they would know this is how God is too.  He would never leave them or forsake them as they grew into adults.

Beginning with that first step at around one years old, when a mom has that sense of uneasiness, that already they are beginning to move away from us. 

I sensed it. 

I was like any other Mom when their adorable baby takes that first step.  You just know they are the smartest kid in the world.  But deep down was this feeling of dread; that each step was away from me into discovering a whole new world, until one day, God forbid, they would leave and start a life without me there.  But we quickly push those thoughts from us convincing ourselves that was a million years away.

When they were small my determination was to teach them about Jesus every chance I could.  I would not leave it up to their Sunday school teachers, Christian school teachers, or anyone else to do my job of bringing my kids to Christ and to the best of my ability teach them how to live. 

I wanted them to know that whatever came into their life they would always have Him, and He would direct their paths and be their constant companion.  They both came to me at around 4 or 5 years old and asked if I would pray with them to invite Jesus into their young lives. 

What a joy that day was!! 

Then my babies started school.  And this is how it went: Kindergarten and first grade when they would return to me at the end of their day they were always full of joy to see me, we had a snack together and they would play and rest.  I would say, “I’m so glad you are home”….and I meant it.

The following years came and went.  With each new year they grew a little more independent.  At first they wanted to be where they could see me, but they didn’t want me to be too hovering or clingy.  

Every day when they would come home the instant they opened the door they always said, “Mom, I’m home.”    

Brother and Sister Running… and I would breathe easy once again because my babies were mine again, at least for that day.

Then came Junior High School; the time when I became an embarrassment to them if they were seen with me in front of their friends. 

And the time when you wonder if aliens have inhabited your kids. 

One day they get up and they even look different.  Then they open their mouths and then you know for sure it is not them…and a part of you grieves. 

You know that your babies are not babies anymore.  That time is past.  But wait, they still come home at the end of the day and yell, “Mom, I’m home.”

And for a moment all is well with the world again.  They would still have weak moments of reverting back to their earlier childhood on occasion and when no one was looking they would lay their head on my shoulder or hug me, and my heart would soar once again.

And High School followed.  

This was a tough time for me because it was when my own life fell apart. 

(To learn more about that you will have to read my book, “Climbing Out of the Box” and you will find it on Amazon.)  

The kids’ Dad had left us and so we were driven closer together in adversity by having to move out of our house and into a tiny apartment.  But farther apart, as well, because it was a time they were trying to find their bearings in a life they didn’t expect, and it seems like they slipped right out of my grasp. 

It was painful in not only the loss of my life as I knew it, but also I couldn’t pretend my kids were babies anymore.  And I was alone; double whammy. 

Now, we all went different ways.  But they still came home at the end of their days at some point, and I would always hear, “Mom, I’m home”.

…..and for a brief moment I closed my eyes and hung onto those memories once again.

Then they left.  One day they were just gone.  Does anything ever prepare us for the empty nest engulfment?  

And oh, it was so painful to let my babies go.   

A hole is left in your heart and it takes a while to figure out how to function again without your kids always being in the back of your mind and how whatever you are doing might affect them.   

They have their own life now.

But then they would come back to see me and once again I heard that welcome phrase when they would walk in the door;

“Mom, I’m home”……I realized then that it wasn’t where I lived that was their home…

It was the fact that home is where I am .

They are 37 and 42 today and when I look at them I still see my babies.

And they will flinch when they read this but, no kidding!  

I think that is how God sees us.  Not by our age but because we are His children He always loves us as such.  He sees the real us, our heart.

Of course we have to grow up, even as our earthly kids do, and mature into an even greater relationship with Him. 

And this is what I want for my kids.  My kids still say, “Mom, I’m home”, or sometimes, “Mom, I’m here”, always knowing that I will be overjoyed to see them at any time.

One day my life here on earth will be through and I will be in Heaven. 

My vision has always been that on a given day in Heaven as I am going about my tasks that Jesus and I decide will be my calling there, everything will stop for me.  

Suddenly an awareness will fill my being that something wonderful is about to happen.  Someone I love is coming!

I hear a distant familiar sound!  The anticipation and joy lifts me off the ground in awesome glory.  

And then, I will hear it oh so clearly; the voice of my children is as familiar as my own voice. 

“Mom, I’m Home”….

”Home” now being our real home, Heaven, where we were always meant to be after this brief life on earth.  

Oh what joy will fill my heart.  We will never be apart but we will all be home with our wonderful Jesus and each other.  

“Mom, we are home”….to dwell together for all eternity. 

This is our heritage dear parents.  This life with our kids is so short compared to eternity spent with them in God’s kingdom.  Tell your children about Jesus every chance you get for as they grow in Him He will be their stabilizing force!!  It is never too late, either, to share this good news with your kids if they don’t already know it.  There is a wonderful place we are all going to live after this life.   

IMG_0758“No eye  has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has   imagined what  God has prepared for those who love him.” 1 Corinthians 2:9  NLT

Jason and Heather today……..

 

 

The Food Incident and the Grown Up Little Girl

 

Digital Image by Sean Locke Digital Planet Design www.digitalplanetdesign.com Recently, I was in Costco by myself. I was kind of in     a  hurry– but how do you hurry through Costco? The store was teeming with the masses of humanity, seriously.

I forgot to eat before going, as usual, and of course I was starving. Being on a organic, grain free way of eating these days, the pickings were small when it comes to the free-food-Costco-hand-outs on every corner of every isle.

Because I didn’t take responsibility for feeding myself before shopping and I become a crazy person when I am hungry, (like I am going to die a slow death if I don’t eat), I decided to partake of various and sundry free food items while I was shopping, to assuage my hunger.

I never do this.

Okay, so I tend to be oblivious to everyone around me when I am shopping. I don’t know why, but I have had friends, as well as my husband, grab my cart away from me and pull it out of people’s way while shopping with them. I always thought they were being rude.

Now, I had combined shopping with eating and that is even more dangerous for me. Seriously, I can stroll around with my cart and literally clip other people’ carts (or them) and block them in the aisle or cut them off while I stand in their way looking at something–and not have a clue.

So, I found some veggie burgers that were organic at a food sampler. I ate one and was so hungry I circled around as if I hadn’t been there 2 minutes before and ate another.

I know you have done this too!

Then I went to the next food booth and had some organic turkey and cheese, followed up with a sip of a vitamin drink on the next aisle.

As I was having my feast with myself and feeling pretty smug that no one knew I was doing this, I became entwined in a cart traffic jam. I was honestly thinking, “Why do people always get in my way?”

I glanced behind me and there was a mean looking lady who had stopped behind me and she was just glaring at me. The look was one of disgust and disapproval. I thought, “Ok Dixie, pull up your skills with people, and smile. She’s probably just having a bad day and wants to take it out on you.”

So, I smiled at her.

At that very moment I realized I was in her way. She didn’t smile back.

Trying to be mature with a compassionate look on my face, I quipped,  “Oh, am I blocking you.” And then I moved my cart.
She gave me a dirty look and shook her head and went by mumbling something about stupid people.

At that moment it felt like I had stepped into a time machine.  64658_465671946828692_1306119874_n

I became 5 years old again.

 I wanted to cower down behind my cart, or just disappear into oblivion. All my childhood moments of not feeling adequate and seeing myself as ugly, different and invisible came tumbling back into my mind.

I was no longer Dixie, the mature successful people person, but now I was Dixie, the chubby little girl that her Dad was molesting.

It only took a moment to be catapulted back to my former self. But that feeling lasted all day. I scolded myself and laughed at myself for taking her actions, look, and words on, as if to define who I am.

“I am not who she thinks I am. Wait, lady, I am not her. I am a mature woman of God now, and I am above letting you ruin my day!” I screamed in my head.

And the feeling lingered all day. On the inside of myself I once again had to face the fact that I am still human and still vulnerable to those triggers that can rob me of my peace, in only a moment’s time.

I am reminded once again that our journey in this life is one of pressing on with Jesus, no matter how many times our enemy wants to drag us back into our past. Satan is ever present waiting for the opportunity to catch us unaware in only a moment to make us think we have lost ground in our maturity in Christ. We must be on guard at all times to know that he is ready to pounce.

I Pet. 5:8 says:
Be well balanced, temperate, sober of mind, be vigilant and cautious at all times; for that enemy of yours, the devil, roams around like a lion roaring in fierce hunger, seeking someone to seize upon and devour.”

It only takes a look of disapproval to cause us to lose our footing in only a moment.

John 8:44 says of Satan:
He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”

So, he will use most anyone or anything he can to try to convince us that we are less than what God wants us to be. He will throw the past in your face in a second to try to grip your soul and make you see that you are really no different now, than you were when you struggled with fear and acceptance. It is a lie. Don’t fall for it.543262_360617757356106_884849823_n

Be on your guard. Refuse to believe what you know are lies. Know who you are in Christ and know that our own feelings, fueled by our fears, can lie to us about who we are– in reality– as His precious children.

♥ I am blessed in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing (Ephesians 1:3)
♥ I was chosen before the creation of the world (Ephesians 1:4, 11)
♥ I am holy and blameless (Ephesians 1:4)
♥ I am adopted as his child (Ephesians 1:5)
♥ I am given God’s glorious grace lavishly and without restriction (Ephesians 1:5, 8)
♥ I am in Him (Ephesians 1:7; 1 Corinthians 1:30)

Guilt over our pasts can be Satan’s flaming arrows sent to wound our sense of self esteem. But God has already dealt with all of our guilt; we only need to appropriate His solution for it. To fail to do this only opens the door for the enemy to take over our minds with fear and doubt.

Part of Kingdom living is being aware, that no matter what that person standing behind you thinks of you, you know who you are and how far He has brought you. And to stand in that truth no matter what your feelings are saying.

Jesus will soothe those feelings!!  Peace

Do We Really Understand Grace?

 

The-soup-nazi-no-soup-for-you-seinfeldDid you ever watch the Seinfeld episode of the soup Nazi?  It was very funny.  Seinfeld and his buddies would go to lunch at a restaurant that specialized in soup.  If they said one negative thing or complained about the soup in any way, the soup Nazi (the owner) would grab the soup back and tell them in a gruff and rigid voice to get out of his restaurant and then he would say, “ONE YEAR, NO SOUP FOR YOU!!!”  

I always think of that episode when I meet rigid, religious people, who have these set of rules that their friends should live by when it comes to serving God, and would treat them badly if they didn’t toe the line. 

It is like I can hear them saying, “ONE YEAR, NO GRACE FOR YOU!!!! 

Have you met one of these people? 

I call them the Devotional Nazis.  They live by a set of rules and regulations and meetings and laws that they tend to impose on you as a means to draw closer to God.  They look at outward appearances and proclaim the sins of others without looking on their own lives and realize that we all fall short of living up to Pharasitical standards of acceptance.  It saddens me when I see these kinds of people for they struggle and work and presume judgment of others to achieve greatness in the Kingdom of God, when all along Jesus already paid the price for their freedom from those very laws.  They failed to see those rules only were there in the first place to show us we needed a Savior.  We could never measure up without Him. And it saddens me even more how many people their judgments injure and hinder in their growth because they just never measure up. Pharisee

But it is too hard to change for many and too hard to let go of the control and the superiority of being the judge of others in the Body for then they might have to look inward.  The sin in our lives is often just the surface symptom of a deeper level of the heart that the Lord is working on.  So, how can we look on the outward ‘sin’ of others and presume we can judge their condition when God is the only one who can see the heart and the only one who knows how to heal that heart. 309148_275390375904036_1522969089_n

Do we really understand Grace?  

I think grace is an ongoing revelation to our souls as long as we are on this earth with our limited knowledge.   Everything seems conditional in our lives. 

If you love me, then I will love you. 

If you serve me, then I will serve you. 

If we can find the right set of conditions to meet and we do it, our happiness is secured.    What happens though, if we can’t meet our end of the bargain?  Because for every promise of reward there is a promise of punishment in the world we live in.  This is where anger, fear, and insecurity begin to encompass us.

11_06_13_web We are on a merry go round. 

The message is that accomplishment precedes acceptance, and achievement precedes approval.

And around and around we go.

Are you ready to get off the Merry Go Round?

Have you ever met someone who has lived their whole life trying to live up to someone’s conditions for approval and love that was set into motion by a demanding parent?   And they may be 50 years old and still caught in the pattern of spinning their wheels trying to measure up to someone’s expectations.  They have great potential but are never satisfied so they never accomplish a thing, when, unknowingly to them, God had a plan for their life all along.

Merry_go_round We get caught up in perfectionism and we have all sorts of ways to try to justify our actions, but none of those justifications can change the fact that instead of feeling accomplished, we allow impossible burdens to be put on ourselves that ultimately produces exhaustion, bitterness , shame and a general feeling of failure.   It may be all we know and we may even impose our conditions of acceptance on others.  Maybe even our children.

So, in our Christian life many of us see that it was Gods’ plan to send Jesus in our place, so that we are now “in” and on our way to Heaven.  But then we fall back into that way of trying to achieve His acceptance and think it is our blood, sweat and tears that keep us “IN”.  We think that in order for God to love us, we have to change, and be good.  We think that if we want His love we have to earn it.

I thought that for years.    I was very legalistic and thought that the more I worked for the Kingdom, at the expense of my time with my children, the higher I would become with God and the more accepted I would be by Him.  I managed for years to climb that ladder, (I thought) but as most stuffed down emotions always do it all comes to the surface and sort of implodes our lives into disillusionment and confusion and destruction.

joseph-in-the-pitHave you noticed that the people in the bible that we call heroes are not really heroes?  They were mostly all losers at first, before God got a hold of them. Prostitutes, liars, adulterers, thieves, doubters, scornful, etc. etc.    They fall and fail, they make huge mistakes.  They get afraid.  They are selfish, deceptive, egotistical and unreliable.  Actually the bible is one long story of God meeting our rebellion with His rescue, our sin, with His grace, His salvation. They all became great men and women of God but not until they surrendered to God. Just like us!!

The focus of the bible is not the work of the redeemed but the work of the Redeemer!!  It is not about us.  It is about Him.  He came just so we can be free of the demands of the law.

support_groups Grace is love that seeks you out when you have nothing to give in return. 

Grace is love coming to you that has nothing to do with you. 

It is being loved and accepted when you are unlovable.

Grace has nothing to do with the loved, but everything to do with the Lover. 

You are the beloved. 

Grace doesn’t make demands it just gives.

Seriously, when you think about it doesn’t it look like Jesus is always giving of Himself, and did you notice, according to today’s church standards, He hung out with the wrong people? 

553486_415888875110718_1880467937_nThere were the prostitutes, the adulterers, the tax collectors and the like.  The worst sinners of Jesus’ day received his most joyful, compassionate welcome and love—because He knew that once they hung out with Him they would change from the inside out.

By nature we resist promises that seem too good to be true.  So we feel so much better and SO MUCH MORE IN CONTROL, when we work for His acceptance and then we can feel like it is about us and how much we earned His favor. 

Then we can give ourselves a pat on the back.

The balance for our lives has been settled already folks.  Jesus has already done it all and we are covered and loved and accepted into His beloved fold. 

All we have to do is receive it…take the gift of Grace into our lives and walk in it.

 But we are uncomfortable because grace turns the tables on us, relieving us of our precious sense of control. 

Jesus came to liberate us from the weight of having to make it on our own, from the demand to measure up, and the obligation to fix ourselves. 

Transparent ChainsBecause He came to set the captives free life does not have to be an exhaustive effort to justify ourselves and validate ourselves. 

Only He can fix us!!  Not our husbands.  Not our children.  Not our friends.  Not even ourselves. 

His Grace reaches out and pulls us to His chest and cradles us in His strong arms of forgiveness and love.

We are already accepted.  It is not about us.  It is about Him.

So, when I recently heard a dear teacher proclaim that the only way to spend quality time with Jesus is getting up at 5 am and spending an hour in the bible, and an hour in prayer,  and then they would develop a better relationship with God, and that it was the only way to achieve relationship with him, I flinched.   sadThat is how I used to be.  I would keep myself to strict standards of rules and points to gain entrance into the higher echelon of spiritual people.   It took many years and humongous trials of loss before I finally gave up the fight for control and just let go. And yes, reading His word is part of it as well as talking to Him in length.  But I love my walks with Jesus and chatting with Him in the car, and enjoying His presence in so many other ways.

When I finally let go of all control it felt like I had lost my faith because I wasn’t doing anything to earn it. 

I had given up.  

It was in that time of distress and loss that Jesus came to me and delivered me of some very real attacks in my life.  I cried out to Him and asked why He had helped me because I had done nothing for Him at all.  I wasn’t going to church, or reading the bible, or ministering at all.  And He whispered to me—

“I love you, Dixie.”  

He taught me that He loved me just as much in my losses and depression as when I was reaching out to others.   It didn’t matter if I ever did another thing for my Lord, He would love me just as much as he did in my destitution and rebellion.

Don’t let people put heavy burdens on you.  Walk in your own integrity and know there is not a set of rules to live by to be accepted into the lap of Jesus.  Your service for Him is born out of Him being your Lover and when you get that close to Him you naturally want to tell others about Him.   Otherwise it is a heavy burden and a constant merry go round of trying to get in his good graces.

Let Him love you regardless of your struggle with wanting to earn that love.  Breathe in His peace!!  freedom

The Voice

wordofmouth

You’ve always been like this. 

You’ll always be like this.  Why try? 

No one changes, ever! 

You might as well scarf down that pizza.  Have you taken a look at your behind lately?  

Excuse me, but have you noticed that no one else has accomplished that?  What makes you think you can? 

Why do you even bother? 

You will never amount to anything and you will always be fat. 

You will always be poor.  What makes you think you can be a success at anything you do?  

Better go paint that ugly face and pretend you are pretty, because you are not. 

How many times have you stuck your foot in your mouth?  Just keep your mouth shut.  

You can’t go there.  You know that. 

You aren’t smart enough. 

Are you blind?   Do you always stumble over your own two feet?  

How many chins does that make for you now? You are just a moose.

Why don’t you slap a couple more burgers on those thighs?

 The Voice isn’t just a popular talent contest that is on television right now.   There is another voice we have all kind of put up with at different junctures of our journey in life.  Everyone has “The Voice”.  Psychologists have called it the internalized parent, or the inner critic. It is that record that plays in our heads telling us stuff that is not true, but because it is so familiar we believe what it is saying about ourselves.  We sometimes perceive The Voice as the enemy of our souls attempting to keep us from moving into the plans God has for us because we believe what “The Voice” is telling us.   It is interesting though, that our voices take on the familiar sound of our mothers, fathers, or authority figures

Remember the old picture of an angel on one shoulder and the devil on the other?Shoulder-Angel-and-Devil

As a parent it is a good thing to remember that your words to your children will take on The Voice as they grow older.    The power of life and death are in the tongue.  We can choose to speak life into our kids or death, knowing that what we are saying to them will shape their destiny of success or failure if they don’t discover how to shut it up.

One of the primary jobs of The Voice is to control our impulses but is not trustable most of the time, to say the least.   We want to do good but that persistent voice in our heads tells us it isn’t proper or acceptable, or that only smart people can succeed at that.   Unfortunately, The Voice’s primary function is to suppress behavior that could possibly lead to our success by creating fear of failure.  And with fear the enemy of our souls definitely has a party in our heads leading to the quick demise of our creative and trusting spirits.

My own personal “Voice” has the same tones, the same mocking sarcastic way of putting me down as my mother did.  I don’t blame my mom, for I have since realized that she was broken too, and to her knowledge was doing what she was taught to do, and she had her own voices.    And then I realized that the record playing in my head was fueled and used by satan, using my mom’s voice and old familiar record, to keep me at a place of defeat.

922705_559351900752675_116486065_n    Once we recognize this voice as not our friend, we can begin to tell it to shut up,  that it has no power over us anymore.  We can change!!   Sometimes it helps to write out what the Voice is saying to you and then counteract those negative words with truth from God’s word about you.   Oh, it will keep coming back for a while and yapping in your head, but the more you refuse to pay attention and agree with it the less power it has over you.

The hard part of this is that the Voice feels so much like you because you have been its old familiar friend for your whole life.  Releasing yourself from its grip takes time and patience with yourself.    You need to acknowledge The Voice for what it is.   Ask Jesus to make you aware of when The Voice is speaking.    You then begin to expose the lies The Voice is speaking and truth takes over.   Call them out for what they are; lies!! 

Remember the voice of Jesus always brings life and peace, not fear and dread, and He is not the author of confusion.

birdcage    You will notice that when you start to get rid of The Voice’s accusations against you, where you were feeling defeated and dead inside, hope starts to emerge.  Your energy will return and your passion for life.  You will be out of the cage and the only voice you will heed is the Voice of your loving God who says that with Him ALL things are possible!!!

 

The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit. Proverbs 18:21

This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live. Deut. 30:19

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2

Where Do You Want to Go to Eat?

 

   man-woman-car      “Where do you want to go eat?” He said.

“I don’t know.  Where do you want to go?” I said

“What sounds good?”  He said.

“Hmmmmm, not sure.  We could go here!” I said.

“Nah, that doesn’t sound good to me.” He said.

“Okay, well, how about here.” I said.

“I’m bored with their food.” He said.

“Well, then YOU make the choice.” I said.

“No, because if I do you won’t like it.” He said.

“I promise to like it.  You just choose.” I said.

“I don’t know where I want to go.” He said.

“Oh for Pete’s sake, let’s just go here then.  It’ll be fine.” I said.

“Finally, I’m starving.” He said.

“The service here is horrible.  The food is not good.  YOU should have made a better choice.” I said.

Sound familiar?

bourndariesHave you ever made a choice and when the outcome wasn’t so good, blamed the results of your poor choice on someone else?    Boundary violations are about not taking responsibility for our own choices and trying to lay the responsibility of those choices on someone else.

How often do we use the phrase, “I HAD to”, or “HE made me do it.”   Whom are we blaming for the circumstances of our lives?

The above dialogue is just a comical scenario that many couples find themselves in often, including me. But the truth behind it is that many of us are afraid to set boundaries in our lives for fear of making the wrong choices as if we are powerless over our own behavior.

We have good hearts.  So, we need to trust our hearts to know when to say no and when to take responsibility for our own choices.  We are not victims.  Whatever our circumstances we can make choices to change ourselves regardless of what others are doing.

We are to love one another, not BE one another.  Learning to respect someone else’s boundaries is vital if we want to know how to take charge of our own lives.

We learn to accept other’s freedoms to say no, and not get angry, feel guilty, or remove our love from them.  When we give others room to say no it sets us free as well.

door matNo one wants their boundaries violated. So why do we allow it? Why do we NOT enforce or uphold our boundaries?  The three main answers are:

  1. FEAR of rejection and, ultimately, abandonment.

  2. FEAR of confrontation.

  3. GUILT.

The truth, however, is that if you don’t learn to put up boundaries for yourself and take responsibility for your choices you only enable others to take control in your life.  You will experience the very things you fear the most as a result and the enemy will come in and devour your self esteem.

Establishing healthy boundaries and enforcing them opens the door for you to step into your authentic self with confidence.   You deserve to be authentically liked, loved, and respected.

If you would like to hear more on Boundaries,  leave a comment. 

“It is for freedom He has set us free!!”  Galatians 5:1

If you’d like coaching on boundaries in your life, contact me:  http://www.reflectionsofgracehome.com/lifecoaching.html