Here’s a great post about how we can react when we are situations that are rubbing us wrong! It’s not always easy to be “controlled” in those moments! My friend Bradley Grinnen gives a thoughtful view on confrontations….”Don’t Engage…Be Present”
Full disclosure… I am unmistakably a believer. In this space I often use the term ‘The Divine’ to refer to the Higher Power. Please allow yourself to replace ‘The Divine’ with how you’ve come to know and understand God.
The world has a funny way of bumping into us and completely changing our inner state of being. One moment we’re happy and content, going through our day, and then BAM! Someone that we really don’t feel good being around runs into us with the kind of passing comment that can immediately derail us. We end up having 4 or 5 different conversations with that person in our head for the rest of the day. Maybe we tell them off. Maybe we logically box them into a corner and then knock them out with the tremendously practiced words we’ve worked so hard to come up with. All in our head…
Many of you know how much I adore The Rock. What you may not realize is why. Yes…he’s big tall handsome guy with muscles and a star! That’s not why (I know…it doesn’t hurt!). Rather than put too much into my own words, I thought I’d share a video of his. From all that I’ve read and seen from him, he is a guy with real class. An encourager of others. A dreamer who’s made it all come true!
I like him because if he can do it…YOU can do it!
Someday, I’ll get the chance to interview him and give that story to all of you! In the meantime, check this out! Be sure to follow him in the Social Media world and get encouraged each day!!
I see men struggle…putting too much faith in what they do and forgetting just simply who they are. They are loved…just for being themselves. Unconditionally.
I have two boys….one is almost 22…My “Man” and yet…he’s working hard on his identity.
The second is 11 and a new middle schooler…My other “Man” Still innocent and full wonder…it will tested just like his older brothers.
What I want them and other men just like them to know….
Love is Unconditional.
Not what you do
Not what you’ve accomplished
Not who you hang out with
Not your grades
Not how well you do your job
We all slip and fall…make mistakes…and struggle through our learning curves…it’s ok.
Jars of Clay have a great little song called Boys (Lesson One)
Take a listen…the lyrics are to follow. Know…you are loved…just the way you are. No need to hide from that…ever! It’s a baseline to start all other endeavors! I know there are many! Men are our hero’s and protectors. The ones that charge forward..fearlessly. Just remember…the Baseline!
Lesson one – do not hide
Lesson two – there are right ways to fight
And if you have questions
We can talk through the night
So you know who you are
And you know what you want
I’ve been where you’re going
And it’s not that far
It’s too far to walk
But you don’t have to run
You’ll get there in time
Lesson three – you’re not alone
Not since I saw you start breathing on your own
You can leave, you can run, this
Will still be your home
So you know who you are
And you know what you want
I’ve been where you’re going
And it’s not that far
It’s too far to walk
But you don’t have to run
You’ll get there in time
Get there in time
In time, to wonder where the days have gone
In time, to be old enough to
Wish that you were young
When good things are unraveling,
Bad things come undone
You weather love and lose your innocence
There will be liars and
Thieves who take from you
Not to undermine the consequence
But you are not what you do
And when you need it most
I have a hundred reasons why I love you
If you weather love and lose your innocence
Just remember – lesson one
I’ve been hurt in my past. Maybe you have to. Love seems too many times something that I have to earn or justify or work so dang hard for! Like the paycheck from work, so don’t screw up too much or you’ll get fired! I guess it’s because I’ve lived long enough to deal with friends walking away from something I’ve done. Wonder what it was? Hurtful words are sometimes thrown around – even from me! And they bite! Or, the one I care for just slips away…I’m left wondering what went wrong!
I’ve studied behaviors and thinking patterns and personalities from people for years! I’ve read so many books on the subject – I’m fascinated with it all really. I am certified in what’s called “Formal Axiology” which is the Mathematical Measurement of the way people think. Now that’s a mouthful. I’m also certified with Personality tests…I was asked If I can read minds last night…well, no. But it would feel like that if I did open up about how you think and what makes you tick. I’ve had countless people in tears…grown men cry over me talking about what’s in their lives. Things that I shouldn’t know because I don’t know them!
I get messages every day about personal things from people who know that I write for Red Fox. They struggle with issues…honestly, I think people just want to know that they are ok, to know a direction, and to be reassured that it’s possible to achieve. We are really hurting out there!
When I met my Jimmy, what struck the most was that no matter what came his direction from me or my four children (two were teenagers), he reassured me often that he wasn’t gong anywhere! He wasn’t leaving or walking away. He loved me. He loved me and let me know this WAAAY before I would allow myself to believe it! Like I said, I had been hurt! I had conditional love before and I wanted no part of it!
I tell my children that I may not like what they have done, but no matter what I still love them and will never walk away! Why? Because no matter what I do or how much I “miss the mark” God doesn’t ever walk away from me! He loves me unconditionally. He loved me while I was still in the midst of my sin (and still does when I sin!) I don’t go out and test the love Jim has for me…not on purpose. I stay loyal and helpful and encouraging to him to the best of my ability. I don’t test God’s love for me either…I don’t ever want to grieve either God or Jim. However, that love is tested regardless! I’ve been rude. I’ve been selfish, angry…these things step on the toes of the one that loves me unconditionally. I can hurt those closest to me. I’m sorry. It can happen to me as well! What will I do when it does happen?
To walk away looking for someone else who is going to be “better” or perfect means to let go on love itself. I’m not judging those who have…Jim and I are both divorced. I get it. I don’t wish it on anyone!! It was painful to all parties involved!
I know…I mean I really know that Jim loves me. I know this by how we dated. Poor thing, I put him through the ringer before I would make that commitment to him. I don’t need to test that at this point. We’ve made those vows. Is he perfect??? 🙂 No. But when He or I get off base we have to agree to talk it though (it doesn’t always start out the best way…but we do get there and work it through!) We have two things that we can trust with all our hearts…We both love Jesus Christ and have trusted Him with our lives and hearts…and we love each other.
This past February, Jim sent me a song that I’ve adored ever since. It’s now becoming popular! Here it is with all its beauty. This song is a true statement in every relationship and I believe we all crave such a thing. To not experience it leaves a hole in our lives! It is there for you and for me…first and foremost through God Himself! Next through how we love and take care of ourselves! When we are able to implement this love into our lives through these areas, we will attract more and more of it from the outside relationships as well! Take a listen…
It’s interesting to me how so many think that without even beginning their lives or going through trials they can cut down those who have and share openly where they get their strength! Who are we to stomp on another for going after goals and achieving them through leaning on Christ! I am talking to fellow Christians.
I have entered into a Fitness world where I’ve been amazed at the time, dedication and openness from these people! They achieve and lean on Jesus through it all. Many of them share openly their beliefs and yet without even taking one look at that part, others cut it down! Why? Jesus says that As long as the name of Christ is preached, it doesn’t matter where it comes from. God knows we all walk different paths! We’ve all come from somewhere. Not everyone has been raised in the church or even a solid family. Not everyone has been given the “clean life” In fact, many have slipped and fallen numerous times! God loves those people!! He claimed that He came for the broken! He ate and mingled with them!! He loved their humbleness…that comes from living a life and knowing full well that mistakes and short-comings were made!!
How else are we to reach these people (myself included!) without stepping into their world and loving them right where they are at!! I don’t hide behind the Bible or Church…I do believe and stand on the promises that God gave me and have found them after much testing to be true! I also attend and give to the church…but it’s no excuse to cut down and judge others!! Shame on those Christians who do! God says to encourage others…so do it already!! “Give to one another in ‘Brotherly Love'”
I have found that competitions are one of the most encouraging, uplifting, cheering places both in and out of them!! I’m proud to be associated with all of those I’ve formerly competed with…without a doubt! No matter what size, what the suit looks like, if we have stretch marks, or skin that can’t be helped from losing so much weight-the others cheer on! Proudly exclaiming the long distance we all have come!! It takes hard-earned effort to get there! And very few in my limited experience say that they do it all on their own!! So many believe in the power and strength that they receive from Jesus Christ!!
Does Jesus need us to be thin and fit….no. He loves us regardless!! But to not be fit is to lack energy, inspiration, and many times deal with outright depression. Is that where God wants us?? I say NO!! He wants us to be at our best!! That way we are ready for whatever He brings our way!!
I can’t say enough how amazed I am with the lives that because I’ve gotten into great shape, that I’ve been blessed to know and touch for Jesus!! I’ve shared tears and laughter and stories galore already and I know there’s much more to come! Who am I to stop that work? To me, it’s a ministry in its own right!!
As for lusting…I’ve found ZERO of that within the competitions! None!! It’s just not even a question! I have found that outside of them, but I find that with being fully clothed!! I cannot control what others think… I can only do what God calls me to do and to do it with My BEST!!
Quite a long time ago, I prayed for my “Father’s Eyes”…to see and to love others like Christ loves us. You see, I have children. Four of them to be exact and now two more step daughters. The ability to raise another…to love them no matter what and to be unconditional and understanding even in the face of trials like disregard, hatred, disgust and complete anger is to be like Christ.
My world was a white picket fence, and beautiful two-story with money, kids, reputation, and a dog in the back yard! I prayed for my kids. I prayed for my husband. I prayed for our businesses. And then…My world came crashing down all around me. Lies swirled and hurt and pain ensued. How far would you be willing to go for another? Would you give up your coffee…forever? Would you give up your money? Your businesses? All your clothes except what was on your back? Your cars? Reputation? Your church? Your friendships?
When I was praying for a heart like Christs…I was asked the same question? After much thought (and quite a bit of surprise!), there honestly was only one area that I wasn’t willing to let go of…my children. They were everything to me. And I loved them dearly. Little by little, I lost it all. My coffees to my lifestyle. My reputation and church and honor and even my marriage all became dust from a terrible storm, one that lasted almost 7 years! I went from shopping at the best of places to begging on Food Stamps and getting clothes and Christmas presents (when I was lucky enough to be able to buy them) from Goodwill. The cars, the home, the dog, my friends and my husband…all gone. During this time, I was even hurt where it most struck me…the enemy knew what I held onto the most…my children. During those 7 years, I was tested something fierce! I was constantly being thrown around by lies…all of which in time became evident they weren’t true. I was watched, and sometimes followed-all to find some sort of evidence that the lies were true!! My older two paid a high price through those years! There were times that even though I loved them so much, I had to let them go as well. One of them left my protection and the umbrella of my faith, while the other three stayed with in it. The madness had to stop somehow… With a heavy heart and to avoid more court, I gave the unexpected…I agreed to let her leave. Even the one thing…became necessary to give up.
Through all of this and those awful awful years, I learned. I learned how to love up close and from far away. I learned how to love even when the other is spewing hatred at me. I learned how to give when I didn’t have much myself. I became strong. I became sensitive and understanding. I had to go through those times in order to learn how to trust that God truly does have me and those I love even when life is at its darkest hour. What became important was to encourage and find the best in situations and in people. I learned how to pick my battles more wisely…most fight’s aren’t worth the effort. To be able to weep over actions and behaviors while still loving and believing in the person is to love like Jesus loves us. No matter what, People come before tasks and things and my own pleasures. To hug and believe in my children even when they’ve done something wrong and to encourage & show them a better way for the next time is what a Mother’s love is all about. A mother who’s been through some trials knows what’s most important. They live with heartache every day and yet have joy and peace too knowing that they are in God’s care.
To all those Mother’s who have been disappointed and hurt and insults have come hurling your way and yet…you love. I want to say Happy Mothers day especially because you know how to unconditionally love another in spite of actions. It’s a precious gift to be able to love that deeply. I encourage you to keep going and trusting the True source of strength!! He’s got you! There’s nothing like a Mother’s unconditional hug & love except that which is from God Himself!! He can work all things together for good for those who love Him! That doesn’t mean that all things are good!! I have faced much pain in my life! But I do have joy from it all, knowing that He is at the helm and working it all out!
I am not completely on the other side!! Life isn’t all joy and roses! I have yet to see the happy ending in some parts, but I know and can trust that none of what I’ve put into other’s lives will come back void! God WILL honor all of it…in His timing!
Happy Mother’s Day and continue seeing life through God’s loving eye’s!
I gotta tell ya…today is a bit rough for me! Honestly, I could use a nice punching bag and some kickboxing lessons (they would wipe me out!!) I’ve been pushed and toyed with and it messes with me at times. I find it usually happens when I’m real close to a goal. Ever notice that?? I’m just over a week from my next competition (Grandville ), and the pressure is mounting. I feel I’m waaaay more ready for these next two competitions than I was for Dearborn and Cleveland!!! I’m actually very excited about them!! So why is it that others need to toy with me at this time??? It’s just life I guess!! I know the very last thing that (ok I’m hesitating here but…it is how I believe so…)..the last thing that Satan would want is for me to go and to be successful in any endeavor that I take on!! ESPECIALLY if I’m opening it all up for others to follow. Hmmm… I believe the Competitions and Red Fox Fitness qualifies for this one!!
I’m not going to tell you what all is going on (I know!!! Just know that I’m not dealing with it very good internally!! See, I am just like you!!) However, I will share with you how I’m getting out of the “funk” for the day! For me, it usually doesn’t take too long!! I really do work on sharing with God how I’m feeling and try and let Him show me a better way!!
First I gave myself a pep-talk- you know…I’ve got this. God’s got this. Looked into the mirror and affirmed (funny, when I did this I had a friend message me that I need to do this!! lol). It didn’t work out so good…I was still ticked!
Next, I went for a couple mile run. That does usually clear my head pretty good! It did help a little.
I read a devotion and my Bible and prayed… All that did was remind me to hand it over…I did.
Then I went online looking for some motivational videos or songs…
With all of that, I feel much better (oh and I ate a few crabs!! lol) Did my issues go away?? No. But, I am in a much better mindset to handle them if need be. Sometimes, it’s just a matter of continuing to work the plan and plugging away at the dream regardless of how I’m feeling!! Rodney Atkins has a song that is appropriate for all this…
If Your Going Through Hell, Keep on Going..”
I don’t believe anyone has the right to tear another down. It’s not my place to tell you your dream isn’t going to happen!! God’s word clearly states that we are to encourage and uplift each other!! We all learned (at least I hope so!!) that if you don’t have anything nice to say, say nothing at all!! How awful if you’re the one who walks around silent all the time because you can’t see the good that is in others!! Or worse yet, has selfish negative things to say! OK..enough of my soap box. To honor yourself, honor others, honor faith…Allow belief to come into the picture!
Belief with yourself and your dreams!
No matter what someone else said or didn’t say, I’m not stopping!! This is me taking care of me! I’m loving and kind to those others, but I won’t change who I am and be miserable…this is my life! God gave it to me to use wisely!
Belief in others
OMG!! Please whatever you do, encourage someone today!!! I mean really, it is so important to allow others to try and learn and yes sometimes fail!! Let them fall if necessary and be there loving on them throughout it all!
Belief in that God’s got them!
Someone else’s dream is just that…someone else’s!! It’s their walk with God, with themselves. It’s their journey…not yours! Allow them the space to grow! Give an encouraging word!! Always!! Just smile and encourage instead of talking about and gossiping about them!! You’ll feel better. I promise!
Go on…make today great!! Smile, Laugh, Enjoy, Struggle and by all means look in the mirror and at those around you and ENCOURAGE!!
I believe in you!!
Here are some Other great posts for you to check out on this subject!