Start looking up, not down.

It’s easy to get discouraged.  If I were brutally honest, I can go from okay to completely bummed out in a very short period of time if I am not vigilant in guarding my thoughts.

I literally need a hall monitor for my brain.

Here’s a trick I’ve learned: look up, not down.

Look up at the things you love, look up at the things you’ve been given, look up at every single positive and good thing that God has put in your path today: got up?  Great!  Remembered to brush your teeth?  Thank you God, that I have teeth to brush!  Showered? Thank you God, that I have adequate water in which to bathe – was the water hot?  Hallelujah!  Have a job to go (no matter what it is) where they pay you enough to afford food and shelter?  Lord, I am infinitely Blessed.

Feeling unloved or alone?  Look up…at the cross.  Don’t feel guilty, don’t feel sad.  Feel, instead, amazed that someone loved and valued you so much that He Gave Up His Life for yours.

(Yeah, okay.  I always get a little teary still.  I know I’m not worthy.  I know I didn’t deserve it.  And I’m still un-learning that God’s love has anything to do with what you’ve done or what you have.  That’s the human, broken down sinner mentality I’m learning to shake off in favor of the “yeah, I’m not perfect but God still loves me where I stand” one.)

We choose which way to look in every moment of the day – head and not the tail, heavens and not our feet.  Only one of those choices will keep us on the right path and help us to create everyday joy in our lives and appreciation for all that we are and have.  Yes, life is difficult at times.  We have challenges and crosses.  We can’t change anything but our own perspective and vision…but when we do, we have the power to transform our world.

Help me Lord, to always look up to keep life from pulling me down.

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Awkward but Unashamed…

“Who do YOU say I am?”

I do not write about God much, though in truth I write about Him all the time.

I use other words.  For instance, when I say “Higher Power, Spirit, Universe etc.” what  I really mean is God.  When I say that I use affirmations, frequently those to me are really prayers.  When I say that I meditate, I’m really saying that I’m trying to shut up long enough for God to be able to talk to me.  (I fail miserably at this and wonder at times how God manages to get through at all.)

I try to write for my specific audience, and to put my thoughts into terms that will most likely reach them on some level.  Most of my writing is business writing, and geared toward life and career coaching.  I write a lot of articles for LinkedIn: all of them are really focused on career and personal development, positivity, creativity, faith and any of the more spiritual stuff I try and couch into other words…even if in my heart they all eventually come back to God.

Really, it all does…I mean, the big everything.  I’ve noticed, though, that if you start using  scary religious-sounding words, people tend to back away.  It’s intimidating.  It can be uncomfortable.  And without knowing your audience, it can be tremendously awkward.  I don’t know how I will be taken, or if people will see something that looks too “Jesus-y” and run if that’s not their thing or something they want to look at right now.

Lord knows I was one of those someone’s for a long time.

Half of the reason I started this blog was that I wanted the freedom to speak about Jesus, to talk about Mary, and to say that for me, whenever I am talking about that universal love or power, or the source of all creativity and goodness, I am talking about God…but it’s nice to be able to use the words.

For me it’s an inescapable conclusion that the source of everything and anything is a power more vast than my limited comprehension or understanding.  I don’t really care who you worship or what you call that power. I don’t care if you are a Buddhist or a Naturalist or a Catholic.  For me, those are just different hats attempting to imperfectly to fit the same thing.

I am not ashamed.  If anything, I am awkward.  And I really want to believe that too, though there is a part of me that feels some guilt that if I am not shouting from the rooftops “Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior” that maybe I am hiding.  Maybe I am pulling a Peter. Maybe I am denying Christ?

I hope to God I’m not. 

But I feel like if everything for me comes from God, I’ve got to believe some of the words I am using also then come from that source.  I’ve been given words.  I’ve been given ideas, and ways to express them.

I’d like to think God speaks to people where they are.  I’d like to think He can use me in the very same way to spread His message and to share love.  I’d like to believe that He too doesn’t much care about the verbiage so much as the ultimate opportunity to reach those that maybe feel a bit iffy about calling stuff “God” and back away from the big “JC.”

My God is way bigger than any names we can give him.  I have to believe my God is therefore way bigger than my awkwardness and my weakness and can use those too.

Dear Lord: Let me be authentic and honest.  Let me stand up in faith.  Work in my words, and help me to understand how better I can serve.  Make me brave.  Make me strong.  Take my fragility, and worry of being judged or misunderstood, and use it to Your Good, knowing I’m working hard every day to do better, and to be better.  Amen.

Birth of a Believer

You would think it would take less than 43 years for someone who was raised Roman Catholic and attended 16 years of Catholic School to call themselves a Believer.

It didn’t.

I may have called myself a believer, but you can’t be a believer if you have no idea what believing actually feels like, or what it is or what it isn’t.  You can’t really consider yourself a believer until you make an active decision to ACT like a believer, to ACT in faith.

When I say I’m a Believer, let me be very clear:  I believe in God.  I believe in Jesus Christ.  I believe in the power of love and in the Universe.  I believe that we are meant for many and wonderful things.   I believe that break it down how you will via religion and dogma, but at the end of the day we’re all really in it for the same thing because we are all inextricably part of it.  I’m not here to argue semantics or rules, I’m here feeling it in my gut.

I’ve never wanted my faith so badly, nor worked so hard on a daily basis to change my own mind into one that could accept that life could be more, and that I am more than I know as a part of a grand whole.

I’ve been wanting so badly to write all of this: not wanting to push my views others but happy to share them as I hopefully start to model the things people more want to be.  I want to attract people with my writing and to help them find their own paths, believing it can be done.

This is a leap of faith for me.  I’m stepping out.  Hello World.  I am a Believer in God and in Jesus Christ and I believe that it is when I say that first that everything else can finally begin.  I am born a new person, with limitless potential.

Thank you Joel Osteen, Marianne Williamson, Jen Sincero, Rhonda Byrne, Zig Ziglar and C.S.Lewis for unknowingly and sometimes very grudgingly, leading me to a place of new wonder and gratitude for all that is in this wonderful world.