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!

"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!
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!  

"Becoming Semply Whole” 

Monday, December 7, 2015

Identity and Value | SEMPLY Spiritual

In my last post , “Why Am I Here” ( 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!  

“Becoming Semply Whole”