Monday, December 28, 2015

Dare to Dream Again SEMPLY - Mental

As I reflect on the many associates and women friends that I have acquired over the years, I notice the abundance of potential and talent that lies within each of them.  Most of them have unknowingly been an inspiration to me in some way.  However, as I take a closer look it appears to me that quite a number of them are unaware of the great treasure which they possess.  Not realizing their true worth and what they uniquely have to contribute, they drift in the wind being tossed to and fro by the many circumstances of life.  Let me say right here that I can so relate to that place, which is why I recognize it so well.

These women and women like them are to some degree the reason I am on this journey.  I know that many are like the me I use to be; waiting for someone to validate their significance, to see the sparkle in their dream. They (like me) are waiting to be told that it is doable, it can be achieved, it’s not impossible, you are not asking too much.  They seek a word of encouragement and a hand of help.  A word and hand of help that will assist them in pushing past where they are into what their heart deeply desires, but too afraid to believe they can possess it.   The thought of this pushes me to move beyond my own comfort zone in pursuit of that which I have myself dared to believe I could have.

For some women this seems to come easily.  Pushing the envelope is an innate part of their character, just part of who they are.  Maybe even how they were reared.  If that describes you, then please know that you are needed.  As there are others (like me) for which it becomes an intentional battle. A mental fight where we engage in fierce warfare to tear down old thought patterns of defeat and discouragement, and feelings of inadequacy.

There is something that each of us are designed to accomplish, but for some life events and even people have talked us out of that which we deeply desire (that which we are designed for). In some instances, we discover and uncover our passion as a result of lives happenings. And yet at the same time feel trapped outside the reach of what we were designed to do and accomplish.  For us, much encouragement is required, it is downright non-negotiable!  Because I am one of them, I have found ways to encourage myself, which in turn helps me to change my mindset and know that living my dream life is possible (which by the way, does not come without adversity).

If you are in need of a word of encouragement or a hand of help to push past where you are to where you want to be , here is my list of must reads:

Destiny by T.D. Jakes
The Power of I AM by Joel Osteen
Identity by T.D. Jakes
Instinct by T.D. Jakes
Delivered from Negative Self Talk by Lynn R. Davis
Passion, Purpose & Profit by Dawniel Winningham
The Strangest Secret by Earl Nightingale
As a Man Thinkth by James Allen
This Time I Dance by Tama Kieves

Along with the Bible, these books are my constant companions and I lean on them heavily for encouragement. I read and re-read, I listen and listen again.    I also listen to motivational speakers like; the late great Zig Ziglar, Les Brown, Jack Canfield and again T.D. Jakes.

I have made a daily habit of listening and/or reading something that will encourage me to keep moving forward. If you are among those (like me) with unfulfilled dreams and desires, I encourage you to pick up your dreams, dust them off and bring them to life.  I am told that the journey along will change your life, and the cherry on top will be the fulfillment of the dream!! Won’t you join me on this journey?  I would like nothing more than to take it together.

 Until next time, live life to the fullest, laugh a lot and love much, and remember to never forget that you have greatness in you….. because you were created by a great God!



Marilyn
"Becoming Semply Whole” 
  
           

Sunday, December 20, 2015

He Chose Me – SEMPLY Emotional

On August 8, 2013 during my time of prayer and just laying before the Lord, I heard these words…. “Your destiny is beyond the familiar”.  Hearing the voice of the Lord is not an uncommon occurrence so I received it with excitement. The difference this time was I actually took action.  There was something about that word at that point in my life that was an answer to an unspoken and unconscious prayer.  There had been a longing for something more that I didn’t know how to verbalize and on that night it arose out of my spirit in a way that just seem to fit. Those few words were like the missing piece of a puzzle.   That one encounter with God at the very moment that my heart was willing and ready to receive it, has changed the course of my life, from merely existing to consciously and courageously pursuing life. 

This post is days late because this past week has been a roll-a-coaster of a week, but in all that has “happened” I have new found insight and confirmation of recent decisions made.  I have also learned that I am not the only one in my age bracket seeking a re-connection with  true self and true purpose in life for this season. As I am opening myself up to new experiences and new relationships I am finding that I am not alone in my quest for life more abundantly.  Although not everyone that I have encountered thus far is at the same place in their journey as I am, they are never-the-less on a similar journey.  There are also those who are already at their place of destiny for this season of their life and they are living it out. That image of that so excites me and it give me hope, and  confirms the fact that I do have something of value to contribute.   

I am learning that I am in pursuit of purpose not for myself along, of which I was already aware. However, prior to recently I thought that purpose is what would give "me" as a person meaning.  I thought that purpose would give me significance. However, the truth is: it is because I already have worth, value and significance, therefore I am able to live out my life’s purpose in a way that services the needs of others.  I service not to gain a sense of purpose, but I serve out of the truth that I have value and therefore much offer to humanity.   

I am coming to truly know that all that I have been gifted with, all that my life experiences have taught me to this point is of value and significance.   At this very moment my heart is overjoyed with the TRUTH that God chose me!
"Chosen"
Illustration by: Marilyn Martin

He chose me knowing everything about me!  He chose me knowing all of the mistakes that I would make in life!  He chose me knowing that often times I would not take Him at His word! He chose me knowing that I would (at times) doubt His love for me!  He chose me knowing that I would not always understand what He is doing in my life! Yet He chose me anyway, and set me on a journey to serve, even (and mostly) out of my broken places.  
And I declare to you that He has chosen you as well. It is up to you discover (if you have not already) what God’s gift is to you and how you will use that gift to serve others. 


Until next time, live life to the fullest, laugh a lot and love much, and remember to never forget that you have greatness in you….. because you were created by a great God!  

Marilyn
"Becoming Semply Whole” 


Monday, December 7, 2015

Identity and Value | SEMPLY Spiritual

In my last post , “Why Am I Here” (semplywholewoman.com/2015/11/why-am-i-here-semply.html) I wrote about the insatiable desire that’s has been driving me to know my why, my purpose in life (for this season). I continue to grapple with that and roll it around in my mind and in my spirit.  As a result of this initial question another layer has been revealed, or should I say a deeper question: “Who Am I?”

For some this may seem to be a silly question, because you may be able to tell by my picture that I am no spring chicken!  Although I am no chicken, I have much spring still to be sprung!! J  Despite my age, I am at this point asking the question and I don’t think that I am along in what I am about to say.  

For many years I have ascribed my who, and the value of “me” to external things.  I attributed my who and the value there of to being; a mother, a wife, a minister, an administrator, where I lived, what I drove, and so on.  So who am I without these titles, without position, status and all that comes with it?  If my identity and value is not found in the fact that I am a mother, not found in being a graphic designer, or an aspiring writer, nor defined by where I live, then who am I and how do I determine my worth?

I am keenly aware however of the fact that my do (my purpose & my why) although it’s not my who (not who I am), but it (my purpose & why) is definitely driven by who I believe myself to be and where and what I get self-worth from!

Who I am incorporates all the things God has gifted me to do.  However, those gifts, no matter how great or noble are not who I am, they are simple what I do. They do not equate my value.  So often I have based my value on my do and even my possessions, and title.  So the question remains; without those things, “Who Am I”? Where do I find my value?  I think most people to some degree base their value and self-worth on what they have and what they have accomplished, never stopping to understand that they have value a part from those things.

Well, at this later stage of my life I have come to understand that my value is predicated solely on and founded securely in Christ.  It saddens me to say that have had a personal relationship with the Lord for most of my adult life but until now things were my center. I didn’t think that was the case, but if I got my value from my accomplishments and what I possess, then things were my center and not Christ.  I am now beginning to take in the truth of who I really am.  I am the daughter of the one and only, most-high God of the universe.  I am everything that His word says I am. This is who I am, this is my identity: I am a royal priesthood, I am fearfully and wonderfully made, I am the head (not the tale), above only (never beneath), I am the beloved of my heavenly Father, and the apple of His eye.
I wish I could say that this is it for me, I got it…..but the fact of the matter is I am just beginning to understand who I really am.  I do not claim to have fully comprehended this freeing truth, but this one thing I do, I am forgetting those things which I once ascribed my value to. I am pressing toward the mark of the higher calling.  This higher calling requires that I know myself even as I am known, that I see myself, my value, my worth, my who, as God sees me.   I fully believe that as I accept and live in and out of the truth of my true identity, my do will become clearer, more defined and of better service to those I am sent to serve, thereby bringing greater glory to the one whom I get my true identity.  To my God be all the glory!   

I must at this point say that this is a work in progress for me. To keep at the forefront of my mind and my heart that I am not what I do.  That I am not valued by what I possess and where I live.  So I have asked Jesus to be my center.  

How about you, do you really know who you are and to what do you ascribe your value?   Is your self-worth tied to life accomplishments and possessions?  If so, I pray after reading this you will reevaluate and reposition your heart to say, “Jesus be my center”.

Until next time, live life to the fullest, laugh a lot and love much, and remember to never forget that you have greatness in you….. because you were created by a great God!  

Marilyn
“Becoming Semply Whole” 


Monday, November 23, 2015

Why am I Here? | S.E.M.P.L.Y

Port of Miami * Miami, Fl
Photo By Marilyn Martin
As I face the days ahead and the ushering in of the new year, I ask myself the question, “Why am I here?”.  As I evaluate my life and access past events and look forward to what my future holds, I am more aware of that question.

I began this blog as a result of that question, which was germinating deep in my soul long before I gave words to it.  The purpose for this blog ties in to my lives why.  That purpose: Spiritual, Emotional, Mental, & Physical Love for myself (Yourself), to become whole in my being by really knowing who “I” am. (Hence the name SEMPLY Whole Woman). This is a life time journey of discovery and there is no point of destination.  This is a journey to which the only end is death.  Therefore, since I am in this life until death do me apart from it, I have turned in my hat and badge for the position of life mundane.  I have made a conscious decision to stop going through life without purpose, merely existing.  I have decided to on purpose live a life of purpose, that my life would be an expression of the gifts that God has invested to me. 

A little over 2 years ago there came this sense of unrest, a sense that there was more to do, more to live.   It caused me to move beyond what I have known, beyond what was familiar, and beyond what was and is comfortable. With knees knocking I move forward with anticipation and fear. Yet never-the-less progressing, to discover and uncover the gift of me.  To know and to be intimately familiar with the truth of Psalm 139:4, “I am fearfully and wonderfully made”. To be able to boldly declare the latter part of that scripture (“And that my soul knows very well”) with full assurance and confidence in that truth.  To see in me the beauty, the talent and the worth that God sees in me and has created me to be.  To know the wonders of me, as God has created me.

For those of you who are already well on your way in living a life of purpose, I ask that you allow me to walk with you and glean from you. For those of you who are where I am, I ask that we be a source of encouragement to one another.  Finally, to those who may be feeling the stirring, know that you are my push and I would like to be yours as well.
   
If you are a blogger please leave your site address in the comments section, I would take great delight in your words of wisdom and your take on this journey called life. I am sure that I will be encouraged by your witness and your expression of purpose.  

Until next time, live to the fullest, laugh a lot and love much, and remember to never forget that you have greatness in you….. because you were created by a great God!  

Marilyn

“Becoming a Semply Whole Woman”    
  

Monday, November 16, 2015

Love: What Does It Really Mean? | Love

Webster’s dictionary defines Love as:
a feeling of strong or constant affection for a person


I have always been an admirer of words, which is why I enjoy writing. I am by nature, through God’s creative design, a person who at my core, desires effective communication.  I am a person that means what she says and says what she means.  So by that standard, the way in which words are used have significant meaning to me.  

Over the past few years I have heard on more than one occasion, by a few different pastors that the
Photo by: Marilyn Martin
word “Love” is over used in today’s society, thereby making it under-valued. It has been said that one should never ascribe the feeling of “love” to inanimate objects such as cars, homes, jewelry, or even food. The word love should only be used to describe how we feel about people. I have taken that on as a personal belief.  Often times I will stop myself mid-sentence if I am about to say that I “love” a thing. I have a growing understanding for the importance and the power of words.  Scripture says, “death and life is in the power of the tongue”.  That is not to say that saying that you love apple pie is a death or life situation. However, I believe that as we allow ourselves to be desensitized to the true meaning of words this leads to less effective communications.

If there is no real distinction between how we feel about apple pie and how we feel about our spouse, children or family members, then how do we effectively communicate our love for one another and actually have it mean something.  I am not talking about the way love expresses itself. It is quite easy to express words of love but not have actions that convey the confession. No, I am simply talking about the verbal expression of how we feel about people.  I think in some ways this is why some have such an easy time saying “I love you” so quickly.  I guess if a person can be in love with apple pie after only one bite, then it’s not so hard to conceive that that same person would be able to utter the words “I love you” after only a few weeks or months of knowing someone and then a few months later be totally “in love” with someone different. 
#Imjustsaying 
    
This is just my personal rant on the subject, so please feel free to chime in and give your take.

Until next time, live to the fullest, laugh a lot and love much, and remember to never forget that you have greatness in you….. because you were created by a great God!    

Marilyn
“Becoming a Semply Whole Woman”      

Monday, November 9, 2015

Fitness for Living | Physical

For all of my adult live I have had issue with my body size (my weight). However, looking back at myself, I realize that up until my mid 30’s I was not at all over weight.  Standing 5’ 5” and weighting in at approximately 138.  I was by no means overweight, but that was my perception therefore it was my reality. 

It was not until after I was married for several years that my weight began to escalate.  ( I won’t ascribe numbers from this point forward J ).  But since that time I have struggled to maintain a healthy weight.  The fact that I often use food as my comfort, coupled with the fact that I am a total foodie makes this a constant challenge for me.  I also have a deep abiding affection for sweet dainties! This makes my plight even more daunting, so managing my weight continues to be a work in progress. The up side to this dilemma is that I have always really enjoyed jogging and even lifting weights from time to time.  However, the fact that I enjoyed jogging did not always guarantee that   I would make it a part of my life schedule on a regular basis.  For the longest of time, even though I enjoyed jogging (especially in the outdoors) most of the time I did not make it a priority, unless of course I was attempting to drop a few pounds.

Photo by: Marilyn Martin 
Although I am not at my optimum weight at this present moment and am working to knock off a few pounds, I have a new take on exercise.  Over the last year I have discovered quite by accident that exercise has a dramatic impact on my mental state.   I noticed that when I get out for a run (these days a brisk walk) I am more optimistic about life.  I also tend to be more objective about things that may not be exactly as I wish them to be.  I discovered that not only does exercise (in my case jogging or a fast pace walk) reduces stress, which allows me to think clearer, but it also increases endorphin.  This is why I always seem to have a better outlook after a good run or walk.

This new found revelation has totally changed my perspective on exercising.  Although I still totally use jogging and walking to burn calories to lose weight, I am now committed to making this a life-long habit.  I have made a commitment to myself to walk (or jog) 5 days a week primarily because it helps my perspective on life.  When I first began my commitment to walk or jog 5 days a week, I told myself that I only had to do it for one week.  At the beginning of the next week I told myself the very same thing.  I also put up a calendar on the back of my bedroom door and for everyday that I kept that commitment I put an “X” on that day signifying that I had done it.  On the days when I don’t want to get up I look at the calendar and tell myself that I cannot put an “X” on that day, which means that it will be blank.  That usually gets me going. I also remind myself of the huge benefits this small act will have on my outlook for the day.

If exercise is not already something you do on a regular basis, then I encourage you to consider making it a part of your life’s schedule.  If you already have a consistent exercise schedule, then take a little time to consider the other ways in which you benefit from it. 

I will share other discovered benefits upcoming posts on this subject, so stay tuned.  
Until then may you live well and realize that you have greatness within you because you were created by a great God!  
  
Marilyn

“Becoming a Semply Whole Woman” 
     

Monday, November 2, 2015

What Do You Think About You ? | Mental



Our mental state of mind affects every area of our lives. I know, I know…that on the surface appears to be a statement of the obvious.  But this is especially true when it comes to what we think, reason or feel about ourselves.  The images and opinions that we hold in our own mind about our self has a direct effect on how we live and interact with others and the world around us.

I have recently come to realize that I have held some options of myself that I had not been consciously aware of.  Despite the fact that I was unaware of them, these unnoticed self-options have had a profound effect on my life up to this point. Some of these self -views stem from my childhood, the way in which I was raised and the manner in which I was dealt with as a child. Others came about as a result of life experiences; disappointments, failures, and mistakes just to name those that immediately come to mind. 

Where the mind goes, the man will
follow. Joyce Meyers 

Photo By Marilyn Martin 
Understand me when I tell you that I did not set out to uncover these unconscious believes. I did however set out to learn how to better love myself and to grow spiritually, emotionally, mentally and physically and become whole. Seeking to be healed from the disappointments, wounds, failures and mistakes of my life. I also want to learn to take these seemingly crippling and debilitating issues and find the good in them so that they work for me and no longer against me.

Now I am not suggesting that any one begin digging up past childhood issues or even past disappointments, failures or mistakes.  I am however suggesting that it is a reasonable thing to take an honest look at what you truly believe about yourself.

I have come to understand that I am the only one who can change the negative beliefs about myself. In doing so I change my destiny and the way in which I deal with lives issues, people and the world around me.  I now make it a point to (on a daily basis) read and listen to things that encouragement me. Again, that seems like an obvious point, but I now understand that this must be an intentional act daily, with the targeted negative belief in mind.

What negative thoughts and/or options do you hold about yourself that have unknowing kept you stuck?

Once identified what course of action do you plan to take to get unstuck and move forward?

I will share with you two of the things I do, and will elaborate on them more the next time we are together and talking about our mental health and how it effects our lives.

Until then, may you learn to think well of yourself and realize the gift God made you to be.


Marilyn

“Becoming a Semply Whole Woman”      

  

Monday, October 26, 2015

Our Feelings, Friend and Foe? | Emotional


I have spent most of my adult life holding my breath, waiting for the other shoe to drop.  Allowing myself to be controlled by the evil and negative imaginations of my own mind.  These thoughts and imaginations came as a result of me giving full attention to what I was seeing and hearing. Life’s decisions, my acts and attitudes were dictated primarily by my five senses.

There was no separation. Every part of my being was infused together with what I perceived with my eyes and heard with my ears. This kept my emotions reeling and almost always off-kilter.  Because of this, fear had come in and made a permanent home in my emotions.  If fear said, “don’t talk”, I would not speak.  If fear said, “stand still, don’t you dare try that”, I dared not move. I held my place, even if I was miserable in that place.

Allowing our five senses to dictate decisions and
how we conduct ourselves is dangerous territory.

Photo by: Marilyn Martin
Emotions are God’s gift to women, and in my opinion (in some ways) the best part of us.  It is our emotions that give attributes like: compassion, empathy, sympathy and even passion.  But when we allow ourselves to be controlled by our emotions (driven by our senses) this can cause us to be self destructive and self-defeating.   Emotions are meant to serve us not to control us.

Allowing our five senses to dictate decisions and how we conduct ourselves is dangerous territory.  But as women this is where we so often live.  So what can be done to begin to put a safe distance between reality and our emotions? How do we separate how we feel (based on what we see and hear) from decisions that need to be made and still maintain that positive aspects of our emotions?

How do we begin? Where do we start to push our emotions back down into their rightful place as humble servant and dethrone them as master and reigning lord?  What is the secret, what is the key?


Join in the discussion. How do you keep your emotions in check in times when what you see or hear could possibility send you over the edge or make you feel defeated and wronged?

Marilyn
Striving to be a "Semply Whole Woman"


Monday, October 19, 2015

The Promised Land | Spiritual


As I face this new season of my life I do so with a vivid image in my mind.  It is the image of the first generation Israelites. When faced with the giants in their promised land looked at those giants and renounced the promise of God.

Photo by: Marilyn Martin
So here I stand today not able nor wanting to go back to the way things use to be with me. Facing my “promised land” and feeling much like the Israelites.  Overwhelmed by what is ahead as I move forward to possess all that God has promised me. As I stare at  “my perceived” giants in my promised land (lack, rejections, failure, being misunderstood, and not validated), these things almost paralyze me.  But what propels and moves me past these seemingly huge giants is the fact that the Israelites forfeited what was already theirs because they feared what they saw (or perceived to be a threat) with their natural eyes. 

I too, like the Israelites fear those things that I perceive as being a threat to my welfare, and it almost stops me dead in my tracks.  However, there is something greater at work in me that will not let me stand still. With each decisional step I take I declare that,  “I will not die with my dreams inside of me”. So here I stand on the out skits of my promised land, understanding that the promise does not negate nor come without opposition. I make a conscious decision to move forward, as I declare (the infamous words of Les Brown), “It is Possible!”.  It is possible for God to do exceedingly, abundantly, above all that I dare ask, dream, think or even imagine.  All things are possible to him that believes, and I believe that IT IS POSSIBLE for me!

What dream to do you hold in your heart? What is it that you desire to do and dare not step out on for fear of failure, or some other reason?  

I challenge you today to dream again! Allow yourself to believe again… that “IT”, whatever your “IT” is… that IT IS POSSIBLE! Just contemplate the possibility that IT IS POSSIBLE.  Start there and see where it takes you. 



Marilyn

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Welcome

Welcome
Welcome to: S.E.M.P.L.Y WHOLE WOMAN:
If you have found yourself here, then I am sure you are in search of something. This blog has been erected by a heart in search of respite, encouragement, inspiration, and re-discovery of self.  If any of that speaks to you in any way, then you are welcome to join me in my quest.
As I walk this journey to wholeness and find my own voice, I want to walk with you as well. As I figure it out I will gladly share it with you, and as you figure it out I would love nothing more than for you to share with me. 
Here we will grow:
Spiritually, rebuild Emotionally, fortify Mentally, and find new strength Physically.  
So, let’s take this journey together re-discovering strengths, while moving forward toward Loving Yourself (ourselves) and being a Whole Woman, even in the mist of feeling a mess at times and not always having it (life) all figured out.  
Isaiah 60:1
Arise [from the depression and prostration in which circumstances have kept you—rise to a new life]! Shine (be radiant with the glory of the Lord), for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you! 
Because you have found yourself here, I am certain that it is your time to arise and shine, to be radiant with the glory of the Lord.  It is your time to begin again and learn to Spiritually, Emotionally, Mentally and Physically Love Yourself Whole.
I look forward to forging new friendships while inspiring you and being inspired by you!!

Marilyn