Day 3 – Identifying complexities

img_1159

Matthew 6:16 New Living Translation (NLT)

16 “And when you fast, don’t make it obvious, as the hypocrites do, for they try to look miserable and disheveled so people will admire them for their fasting. I tell you the truth, that is the only reward they will ever get.

Where does my value lie? What gives me worth? For so long, I found my value aligned with my accomplishments. Initially, it was being deemed an academically gifted student and making good grades. The type of company I kept also took part. I wouldn’t dare be friends with those not in my social standing- taking honors classes, same or higher tax bracket, married parents, name brand clothing, etc. I can remember my friends and I covering our notebooks with clothing tags. As if to say, “We’re better and you’re not us. Don’t you wish you were?” We were such snobs!

And while I grew out of that over the years, feeling worthy via accomplishments has remained a constant companion.

Have you ever noticed how your day, time with others, sleep, laughter, forgiveness, are enjoyable when you decide not to worry about the outcome and rest in the moment? Maybe the better question to ask is, “Have you ever had a moment where you decided not to worry about the outcome and rest in the moment?” Some may wonder “how can I with so much to do?” Well, if it helps, I’m doing it right now as I write this piece. I felt led to write even though I have a million other things on my to do list. When anxious feelings and thoughts begin to build, I’m practicing to cast my cares.

Here’s an example:  What am I going to fix for dinner? That pile of clothes isn’t going to fold itself. How is it my family can walk right past the basket repeatedly and ignore it? I know my days are the most flexible but I’m trying to build a business, a blog, write a book, stay current with my medical knowledge, make sure the family calendar is current, remember what they won’t and remind them, and put out daily fires. Oh, how I miss full time patient care. I enjoyed the patient doctor interaction where we both come with needs. Mine- the need to feel helpful, to be heard, to accomplish. Their’s- the need to be helped, heard and accomplish.

God, please help, hear, accomplish! I need you to take this! Guide me to where you want me to be. Give me the strength and grace to endure. Show me the truth. Do what I cannot. Be with me. Hold me. Love me. Inundate me with your peace and joy.

Then He says, “I Am whatever you need.”

 

In order to live simply, we must define the process. The process is internal. The process is personal. The process needs no outside validation. 

John 15:5 New Living Translation (NLT)

“Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.

 

The end result shows outwardly but isn’t showy. 

Matthew 6:4 New King James Version (NKJV)

that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly.

As stated yesterday, simplicity is intricately woven with liberation. Duplicity does just the opposite. It leads us to use wisdom one minute and fear of what others think the next. Our lives then become unnecessarily complicated with fear and anxiety as parasitic ride alongs.

James 1:5-8New Living Translation (NLT)

If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind. Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Their loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do.

Our desire is to harness the singular focus of having Christ seen and not ourselves.

James 1:16-18 The Message (MSG)

16-18 So, my very dear friends, don’t get thrown off course. Every desirable and beneficial gift comes out of heaven. The gifts are rivers of light cascading down from the Father of Light. There is nothing deceitful in God, nothing two-faced, nothing fickle. He brought us to life using the true Word, showing us off as the crown of all his creatures.

Liberation lies in knowing the end result is not up to us. And for that, I am grateful!

Be well, Beloved!

Day 12 – Physical affects of complaining

img_2058

Exodus 16:2-3 New International Version 

2 In the desert the whole community complained against Moses and Aaron. 3 The Israelites said to them, ‘If only we had died by the Lord’s hand in Egypt! There we sat round pots of meat and ate all the food we wanted, but you have brought us out into this desert to starve this entire assembly to death.’

Hello Beloved,

Have you ever tried to break a habit? If you have, you know it’s process and not an event. Somewhere during that process the shine wears off and discomfort sets in, or the shakes, or a nicotine fit, etc.

This is a definitive moment. Do I go back to my place of comfort or endure?

I have been here many times before and have chosen both. I haven’t kept score but I’m pretty sure comfort is winning and by a lot. If it weren’t, why would I feel the need to go on a 21 day hiatus from complaining and write about it?

Have I failed along the way? Yep.

Have I thought quitting wouldn’t be so bad? You know it.

It maybe a little shallow that having initial moments of self satisfaction, pats on the back and “you go girls” aren’t enough motivation but it’s true.

So, I went on a search.

I am thankful to have come across research that directly addresses complaining. What I found was that the hippocampus has been shown to shrink from just 30 minutes of complaining. It has the same effects on the body as stress: impaired cognitive performance, suppressed thyroid function, blood sugar imbalances such as hyperglycemia, decreased bone density, decrease in muscle tissue, lowered immunity and inflammatory responses in the body, and slowed wound healing. And it also has a “second hand smoke effect” in that it effects the health of those listening. 

Well, that’s enough sobering information for one day. Tomorrow we’ll talk about ALL the benefits of gratitude.

Be well, Beloved. 

 

Day 3 – Metamorphosis

img_0433

Like with any change in behavior, the trick is to change focus. I use a gratitude app which helps me reflect on my blessings but I still found room to complain. So to help change my focus, I’m looking for ways to compliment those around me and tell them how much they mean to me. Day 1 of this journey, I felt prompted to send my laundry lady an “I appreciate you”message.  (Yes, I have a laundry lady and she’s a blessing. I pray you find one as good as mine if that’s your desire.) I questioned it at first because it was out of the blue and I thought it would come across as awkward. But I did it anyway and here’s the beautiful result:

img_0459

What I learned from this interaction, is the secret to change requires focusing on desired results and not on the “loss” or struggle. It’s better explained with this scripture:

Philippians 4 The Message (MSG)

8-9 Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.

That being said, maybe I should change the name of this challenge. Yeah! I’ll change it to  the butterfly effect. Be well, Beloved! Be well!

img_0432

21 day no complaint challenge

img_0440

Philippians 2:14-16New Living Translation (NLT)

14 Do everything without complaining and arguing, 15 so that no one can criticize you. Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people. 16 Hold firmly to the word of life; then, on the day of Christ’s return, I will be proud that I did not run the race in vain and that my work was not useless.

I’m usually not one to join in on one of the “challenges” going around. I do enjoy watching others participate with ice bucket, U name it, and mannequin being some of my favs. Well, today I started the no complaint challenge. Hopefully, others, like everyone that reads this, will join me. Don’t take that the wrong way. I need the accountability and positivity and to share that with you. So let’s put down some guidelines to give this challenge focus. 

All silent and vocal complaints are applicable. 

1. No getting mad or frustrated or annoyed with YOURSELF.
2. No griping at your pet, children, spouse, friends, parents, strangers.
2. No judging others, even if they are incompetent or at fault.
3. No expressing displeasure about the weather.
4. No getting annoyed about the news.
5. No agreeing to another person’s complaint. That’s like being accessory to complaining.
6. No fussing about electronics or wifi or online apps misbehaving.
7. No griping at your pet, children, spouse, friends, parents, strangers.
8. No feeling sorry for yourself or swearing even if you stub your toe or jam your finger.
9. No complaining about your work, the stupid co-workers or the horrid boss.
10. No criticizing anything, anywhere, anytime, in any capacity.

If you forget the rules, just remember this: Just Don’t Complain!

Can’t tell if it’s a complaint? Like, it could be a valid point or something. Quick test: What would you call it if someone else did it or said it? Let your spouse, a child or the look on your pet’s face be the deciding factor. If it sounds, smells and feels like a complaint, it probably is one.

rules adapted from http://www.prolificliving.com/stay-happy-stop-complaining/

During this 21 day challenge I will keep you abreast of my challenges and hopefully triumphs. Feel free to share yours. Be well, Beloved!

Reasons

Too often I get weary in this life fight or find myself in a messy situation that started with good intentions and apostasy looms. These are times when I need a renascent stirring. Today’s post is a piece I wrote to look back on when at a crossroads.  If you don’t have a refocus tool feel free to use this one.

IMG_1142 (1)

Because it’s the right thing to do

Because now it’s the right time to do it

Because the innocents have paid more than enough

Because He sent me

Because the raping has to STOP

Because I can

Because they did it to me

Because I have the strength and grace to endure to the end

Because I ain’t skur’d

Because there is no way I can lose

Because I can’t wait any longer

Because of my family

Because silence has an expiration date

Because it no longer binds me and I am free

Because I choose love over fear

 

What are your reasons?