Friday, April 20, 2012

Weary Traveler, Lay Your Burdens Down

Life is an Amazing Adventure with so many gems to discover. Here is a new one that I just discovered, and I want to "Share It Forward" with you.

Weary Traveler, Lay Your Burdens Down.

A traveler was walking down the road laboring under the heavy burden he was carrying on his back. Along came a man with a horse-drawn cart. Pulling alongside the traveler, the cart driver said, "Sir, I see that you are carrying a heavy load and that it makes you weary. Wouldn't you rather ride in my cart than carry that heavy burden?"

"Yes," the weary traveler said as he got into the cart. "Now I will no longer have to walk with this burden." A littler farther down the road the cart driver looked behind him and was quite astonished to see the traveler sitting in the cart still carrying his burden, held tightly on his back.

"Sir, why do you still bend under the weight of your burden when you could simply set it down?" he asked. "You have helped me so much already," said the traveler, "I would not want to impose on you any further."

"But don't you see," replied the cart driver, "it would not be an imposition on me for you to put your burden down. Look at my horse; he is strong and willing. He was made to carry heavy burdens. Besides, both of you are now carrying your load, yet my horse will carry your load whether you do or not! So please put your burden down or you will wear yourself out and make my horse feel unappreciated."

* story from Angela Thomas's book, Do You Think I'm Beautiful?

Cast “all your care upon Him, for He cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7).

We can rely on God: “Trust in the LORD forever, for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength” (Isaiah 26:4 KJV).

Jesus said: “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Beauty by Numbers

Do you remember as a child we had this thing called Paint by Numbers? Do you recall getting a outline drawing of one of your favorite images, and each part of that image had a designated number that corresponded to a specific color? All we had to do was match up the designated number to the corresponding specific color to create an exact spectacular copy of the original design. The original design on the front cover of the package was the standard we were to achieve. The Standard of Beauty. All we had to do is make sure we stayed in the lines.

Isn't interesting that all throughout our childhood, tween, teen, and young adult life, up to this very moment The Standard of Beauty is still about searching for the right designated number. From the top of our head to the bottom of our toes it is all about Beauty by Numbers.

When we step on the scale, we are searching for the Beauty by Numbers. In this case the lower the number the better the beauty, so we are led to believe by our society.

When we go to the department store, again we engage in the Beauty by Numbers. In high school Levis jeans were the thing. Levis where your numbers, waist size and length were printed on your back side for the entire world to see -- oh how I hated those! I actually tried rubbing the waste size out, I tried to create a "natural fade"so it wasn't obvious I was trying to cover up my waste size, and peers would not ridicule me for being embarrassed for showing my size. I think this was the start of wearing baggy over size shirts that would cover up the listed numbers. Although that did not stop one peer from lifting up the back of my shirt to try and find my numbers.

Every piece of clothing whether be a pair of pants, dress, shirt, skirt, underwear, or the dreaded bathing suit, once again the lower the number the better the beauty.

Then we walk on over to the bra department, still trapped in the relentless pursuit of Beauty by Numbers, yet now we add an additional element, The Beauty by Letters. The Industry's Standard of Beauty which society reinforces is a certain combination of an ideal number followed by and ideal letter. The experts advise that if our letter is not big enough they can fix that, or if our letter is too big they can fix that too, so that we can achieve the Standard of Beauty.

Even to the tips of our lashes, and the tips of our nails, to the bottom of our feet it is all about trying desperately to achieve Beauty by Numbers. Are my lashes abundantly luscious, long enough, and thick enough? Are my nails the right length and shape? How do I look in these shoes? Do these shoes make me look fat? Yes, even our feet have to be the right size and shape, and women are known to endure prolonged pain to achieve the Standard of Beauty.

Well it doesn't stop there. Our hair has to have just the right number, not too thin or too thick. Our eyes, must have the perfect size and shape, not too big, or too small. Our brows waxed or pluck, not too thin, and not too thick, not too long, and not too short. Our nose, must be the right shape & size again, not too thin, and not too thick, not too long, and not too short. Same with our lips, not too small, and not too big. Our fingers and toes, must be not too long, or too short, too thin, or too thick. And it goes on and on from the top of are head, to the tips of toes, and every place in between, adding here, subtracting there all to obtain the Standard of Beauty. So much of our lives are spent trying to achieve Beauty by Numbers.

I hope you will let me take this chance to paint a different picture of Beauty for you. A Beauty that is created by GOD. Our Holy Parent created each one of us with Intrinsic Beauty. We are not to live our lives as a copy, but be valued for our uniqueness. What the world views as flaws, GOD sees fabulous, just the way you are right in this very moment. From the top of our head to the tips of our toes, and all the places in between, GOD created each and every detail especially for you. You are not just a natural beauty, you are a Super Natural Beauty. You are GOD's Girl. His Beloved Darlin' Daughter. You are an Original Masterpiece, that GOD treasures so much that He paid the Ultimate Price.

When we begin to see ourselves the way GOD sees us we see Beauty created by Love.

The first Paint by Numbers I remember having as a child was a horse. I didn't copy the example on the front cover of a beautiful palomino horse, and instead painted a dark brown buck skin with a black mane and tail. I guess I have always had a problem with others defining for me what Beauty is and what it is not. 

Never forget you are an Original Beauty created by GOD's Love to be a Masterpiece of His Glory.

The next time we are tempted to search for Beauty by Numbers,
let us be gently reminded by the Holy Spirit that we are

Now listen, Beloved Daughter of GOD, don't miss a word:
Forget your society's stand of beauty, put your past behind you.
Beloved Beauty, The King of kings is enthralled with you.  He is wild about you

Psalm 45:11 - The Message Bible paraphrased by Anissa Stark

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Saturday, April 7, 2012

The Reason to Live

Do you know all the reasons Jesus Christ was Crucified? There is much more to The Story.

Most likely you have heard that Jesus Christ was Crucified for our sins -- this is True.

AND did you know that Christ was also Crucified for the Hideous Sins of others that were placed upon Us? 

Hideous Lies from others that rob us from our true identity. Lies from our culture, or lies from an abusive person that took away so much. Those who abused us, who damaged or destroyed the very Image & Identity of Who we really are underneath all their sin. All of the sins of Verbal, Emotional, Psychological, and all types of Physical Abuse that cause a Damaged, and Deeply Wounded Soul, these are the toxic things we are not meant to carry, and Christ came to set us Free. 

The Sins of Others, the message of toxic lies that said we are a mistake, a burden, lesser than, not good enough, unimportant, damaged goods, worthless, and unloveable. Lies that we believed about ourselves that damaged or destroyed our Identity, Passion and Purpose. These Sins of others damaged or destroyed the Person we should have been, and could have been had they not put their Sins upon us.

It is not too late my friend, to be free of the damage of the Sins of Others. There is no wound too deep that the Healing Holy Love of GOD can not Heal.

Christ Loves us sooo VERY much, and wants to wash us clean of these Toxic Filthy Sins of others. Wash them down the drain, and back to hell where they belong. We walk around with the wounds that others caused by their sins. Their sins are not our sins. When we carry the sins of others we are held Captive by the Echos of Abuse that weigh us down, and prevent us from moving forward to discover the wonderful things that GOD has planned for us. Jeremiah 29:11

Although we know that we were not to blame for the sins of others, we can still carry the shame.

Every wound we carry holds inside it the Sin of the one who inflicted it upon us. Place that Sin, The Sin of Others at the foot of the Cross. Nail it to the Cross, it does Not belong to You. It is Not our Sin, but the Abuser's. The Sin belongs to the Abusers, it is their's and belongs to Them. Let Jesus release you from it. And by releasing the Sins of others our wounds have the ability to heal, because the deadly infection that prevents healing is now gone.

Christ was Crucified for Healing and Restoration. Our True Self, the one God created us to be is Not Lost forever, and can be Resurrected, Recovered, and Restored through Jesus.

Beloved, GOD knows what we have been through, He understands more than any other.

Let's look at how Christ was Tortured & Crucified for our Healing.

First He was Innocent of committing any Crime of any wrong doing.
Have you ever been blamed for something that was not your fault?
Have you been attacked for something you did not do or say?

Jesus has felt your pain.

Have you ever been isolated, rejected, and alienated by the ones you love?

Jesus knows your pain.

Have you been repeatedly tortured verbally, emotionally, psychologically, and physically to the point that it has deeply wounded you, damaged you, devastated you, and destroyed you, until you feel like you have no life left?

Jesus knows your pain.

These are Verifiable and Undeniable Facts:

Christ had thorns stabbed & violently forced into His Head.

His Head was tortured, so that ours could be Healed, and Set Free from what tortures us.
Has your Mind been tortured from Pain of the Past?
Is your Mind being currently tortured & suffereing from the abuse of Toxic People?

Jesus knows your pain.

His arms were stretched out wide, because His heart is open wide, so that ours too can be open wide, and deeply feel Amazing Holy Healing Love.

Have you ever felt afraid to Love or be Loved?
Have you been deeply wounded by others that you prevent Love from getting to thedeepest part of your Heart & Soul, and you are unable to feel Amazing Joy?
Do you block yourself off from others in fear that if you are vulnerable they will use and abuse you like others have done?
Is there a wall or barrier that only allows people to get so close? Close enough to be friendly, but not close enough to find out what is going on in our life?
Have you been burned by others, and are afraid you will be burned again?

Christ's hands were nailed, and His feet were nailed preventing Him to Move, or to do anything.
Have you ever felt like you were stuck, and unable to Move, or get away from those who are causing you harm? Have you felt stuck in your situation and unable to move? Is there something holding you back, but you are unsure what it is, and afraid to look to find out? Do you know that you were called to do more, but you just can't move beyond this point?

Jesus knows your pain.

Has your Life become stagnate?
Have you ever felt like you could not do or say anything right and that the things you do are not Good Enough? That you don't even want to try any more, because things seem to go wrong.
Are you afraid to do something new, because you might fail?
Do you feel helpless to change your situation?
Are you frozen in fear, and feel like you can't move or change your life and you are stuck?

Jesus knows your pain.

Have you ever felt that People don't know who you are? Do you explain over and over and over again and others just don't see what you mean? Do others fail to get it, or recognize what you are trying to say or do for them? Do you feel that others don't understand or appreciate you? Do you feel that others don't respect anything you do or say, no matter how much you sacrifice everything to help them?

Jesus knows your pain.

Have you ever felt like no one understands or knows what you are going through?

Have you ever felt that others don't see your Value or Worth? Do you doubt your own Value & Worth? Do you doubt your own Strength? Have you felt alone, dejected, rejected, abandoned & forsaken?

Jesus knows our Pain because He has felt our Pain. He was misunderstood, abused, dejected, rejected, abandoned & forsaken, tortured & crucified, so that we could be Healed, Redeemed, Restored, and Transformed through His Amazing Holy Love.

People have asked me, How is it that I endured and survived all that I did and have the ability to Fully enjoy Life and Freely Love Others and Accept Love from Others?
Where does that Resilience, Courage, Strength, and Love come from?

Rent the Passion of the Christ tonight and you will find out. Watch it and actually see what Jesus went through for each of us. What Amazing Holy Love does for us.

If you ever questioned, like I did, if God loves you, or even how much does God Love You, or for a Wonderful Reminder, give yourself the Blessing of Watching The Passion of the Christ. Even if you have seen it before, or even if you have heard about how this Movie ends, I assure you that knowing the ending is definitely Not a Spoiler. Watch The Passion of the Christ, because you owe it to yourself, it will be a Great Gift to yourself, and you are More than Worth It.

Do not get hung up on who directed the Movie, but enjoy the Movie, because it demonstrates just how much 
You are Worth.

Christ was Crucified so that we can be Healed, Made Whole, Restored, and even Better than before we suffered all this abuse, and most importantly, so that Captives can be set Free from the Echos of Abuse.

Christ wants to wash away all those horrible Sins of Others that we still carry with us & deep within us. Won't you let Him wash them away? Won't you allow Him to take them away, so that you can once and for all be Totally Free of them? You can be released from the Sins of others. I pray you will allow Jesus to remove the Sins of others that prevent your wounds from healing.

Jesus was deeply wounded, so our wounds could heal.

Jesus did not die for Junk or Garbage, He gave His very Life for those He Treasures.

You and I are the Reason Jesus paid the Ultimate Price, because He Values us that MUCH.

Resurrection is not only about the Lost being Found, but also the Found laying their burdens down.

May this Easter be unlike any other before it. May you receive a Miracle this Easter.
May you have New Life this Resurrection Day.

Monday, April 2, 2012

When to Submit and When to Quit!

Revisiting the Vacation from Hell

Family Dysfunction leads to Destruction.

Just how bad can it be when your spouse struggles with maintaining strong boundaries?

A few years ago the entire family decided we would travel up north to visit Grandma, Christopher's Grandma. Christopher & his Dad, pretty much entirely his Dad, planned the complete trip. Christopher drove our mini-van with Carissa, in the car seat behind her Daddy, her Auntie D (Christopher's Sister) at Carissa's right, and me upfront in the passenger seat. Dad (Christopher's Dad) drove Christopher's Mom, two siblings, one friend, and himself in the other car. Dad planned out everything. Departure time from his house, gas stops in between which was the only time when we would stop to go to the bathroom, and only one meal break, all so that we could maintain a very rigid scheduled time. This over controlling behavior happened on the way to grandma's and coming home from grandma's, and the entire time we were visiting grandma.

This is bad enough, but it gets worse. Carissa was under 2 at the time, recently achieved potty training, and was only wearing a pull-up diaper in case of an accident while traveling. Well of course the inevitable happened, Carissa had to go potty before one of Dad's scheduled stops for gas fill-up.

Here is where it all went wrong. Christopher asked if his Dad, or anyone else in his Dad's car needed to make a stop? They said no.   When you put your statement in the form of a question you are you are giving others the opportunity to make decisions effecting your life.  Some decisions in life need to be made without the impute of others. Our decisions are not based on other people's approval, they are based solely on what GOD would want us to do in a given situation. Again Christopher asked a question, Can we make a stop, because Carissa has to go to the bathroom? His Dad complained about how the unscheduled plan would put us behind schedule, and that he wanted to get through the pass area by a certain time, etc. Meanwhile, a little toddler in the back seat is desperately pleading with her Daddy, and saying she has to go potty.

Now I am stuck in the middle, my hubby is honoring and submitting to his Dad's horrible decision, and saying that we are not going to pull over, and Christopher is now making a terrible choice by agreeing and supporting his Dad's horrible decision. As a Christian Women we are taught to submit to our husbands, but what if the very thing they are doing is harmful?

Christopher tells Carissa to go in her pull-up diaper. Now it is one thing if your child has to go potty, and you can't pull over, but it is a completely different situation when your child has to go to the bathroom, and you wont pull over. Imagine the confusion of mixed messages, and internal stress that causes a little girl. This entire time we have been telling her how important it is for her to control her body functions, to use the toilet, and how she has become a big girl, because she uses the potty, and now her Daddy is telling her to go ahead and wet herself.

I was sick to my stomach, everything inside of me was telling me that what my hubby was telling Carissa to do was wrong. However, I enabled his terrible decision, and I submitted telling Carissa, go head honey it is okay to go potty in your pull-up diaper. Then the Holy Spirit said STOP. So I said, Wait a minute, told Christopher to pull over at the very next exit. He said he had to tell his Dad first, I said, NO you pull on over, and Dad will figure it out. Carissa needs to go potty right now, so pull over right NOW.

As I grab Carissa's pink plastic potty, I see that the bathroom is far away, so I get her out of her car seat, place the pink potty down, and she uses her potty just in the nick of time without a second to waste.

To make matters even worse, I hear my hubby apologizing to his Dad, and the others in the car for having to make an unplanned stop and slowing everyone down.

We get back on the road, and resume our travels. Eating the snacks in the car for lunch and taking the scheduled stops for gas fill-up. I reminded everyone that Carissa will try and go potty at the scheduled gas fill-ups, but if she can't go she can't go, and if she has to go later before we will stop even though it is not scheduled. Eventually it becomes dinner time, and I see Carissa is fading fast, and she is going to fall asleep soon without dinner. I tell Christopher we need to stop for dinner, so that Carissa can have a regular healthy meal before she goes to bed for the night. Of course this did not line up with what Dad had planned. He wanted us to pull through a drive though, yet the only ones we saw coming up were fast food, and not healthy choices. Of course, Christopher is once again caught between honoring and submitting to what his Dad wants, or what his family needs. There was some disagreement between Christopher and I and we eventually pulled over for dinner.

We told his Dad to travel on without us, but they decided to join us for dinner, yet they were not going to eat because they were not hungry yet. We had to agree that we would stop, and join them when they were ready to have dinner. We agreed, and said we will have dessert when they have dinner. By the time our dinner arrives, of course the others are now hungry, and they order what they want, which the cook has to fix, and it prolongs the process, and slows us down even more. Had they ordered when we ordered they would not have slowed us down.

Since they now decided to eat dinner, and we were not going to stop again later Carissa and I decide we will have dessert. Christopher's Dad says it has to be something fast, so we can get back on the road as soon as the others are done eating. The Bible tells us to honor and respect our parents, but we are not to be their puppets that they can control and manipulate to do anything and everything they want. We do have the right to have a mind of our own, and choose what kind of dessert we are going to eat.

Christopher supports me and tells me to order what we would like, so I order the apple cobbler ala mode. Dad is very grumpy, and I watch others in the family trying to tell him to just drop it. Carissa is sooo very tired, I take her to the Ladies' room, and get her ready for bed, come back out to see Dad still upset as ever, and I have no appetite to finish the dessert. Christopher noticed that I only took a few bites, and says, Are you sure you are done? And I say, yeah I am done for sure. We get back in the car and I explain how all this Family Dysfunction has not only destroyed my appetite for dessert, but this has been noVacation, and instead has been a trip to Hell.

As Christian Men and Women we are taught to honor our parents, but what if our parents are dishonoring our spouse?

As Christian Women we are taught to submit to our husbands, but what if what they are doing is harmful? What is a good Christian Woman to do?

Turn to GOD and His Holy Word.

This explains why a man leaves his father and mother, and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one. Genesis 2:24 (NLT)

For this reason a man will leave his father and mother, and be united to his wife. Mark 10:7 (NIV)

For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother and shall be joined unto his wife and they two shall be one flesh. Ephesians 5:31 (King James Bible)

When our husbands are going against GOD, doing or asking us to do something unrighteous, unholy, and harmful, we do not submit we quit. We continue to be submitted to GOD, and if our husbands sin against GOD, we do not enable his sinning by also going against GOD, and submitting to an unrighteous and harmful decision/person.

Last night Christopher and I Revisiting the Vacation from Hell, and discussed how the long-term effects of him being the adult child of an alcoholic has taken a toll on our marriage and family. We talked about how his Family of Origin's Dysfunction is leading to his Family of Creation's Destruction.

Christopher realized how he has sinned against GOD by failing to protect his family from harm. Christopher is getting professional help to break the Legacy of Dysfunction. Christopher and I are also getting marriage counseling to help heal the damage and break the dysfunctional patterns. Christopher & I hope that in sharing some of the details of our struggles it may help others.

And further, submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. Ephesians 5:21 (NLT)

And Sisters in Christ, when your hubby is not submitting to GOD, and sinning against GOD by making choices that will bring harm to you & your family -- Don't submit, Quit!

When the leader of the family has broken boundaries, and is driving his family off the cliff,  --Don't submit, Quit!

Pay attention to the warning signs otherwise it will be Destination Devastation.

May the Son's Light help you avoid the pit falls, keep you safe, and direct your path through the Wilderness and into the Promise Land.

Momentum Mondays

"Think of these two things: attention and inhibition.....focus on what is important AND limit what will take you away. If you do those two things, you will get way further down the road than if you omit one or both of them." ~ Dr. Henry Cloud

Another name for inhibition is avoidance.
To remove our inhibitions, we must ask ourselves; What am I avoiding?

It could be little things like doing the dishes, or it could be bigger things like doing the dishes to avoid having a discussion.

"Inhibition gets in the way of our Vision & Mission. Our Attention creates our Direction. Spiritual Discernment and Righteous Choices leads to Victory." ~ Anissa Stark

What an amazing gift Henry has given all of us to empower, and take control of our lives. Here are some gems of truth to create Momentum this Monday. Read it and find insight and necessary energy to move closer to your goal/s. ♥ Anissa
In reaching a desired outcome, science has taught us that the brain must do some specific functions....among these are attention and inhibition. For example, if you are going to make a cup of coffee, you must attend to finding the kitchen, turning on the coffee maker, etc. AND inhibiting yourself from stopping midstream when you think of watching TV. Attend to the task at hand, AND inhibit other wishes or desires from interfering. Seems simple enough, but we do not think of it often when there is something bigger, more complex, and more difficult than making a cup of coffee. And, we must, if we are ever going to accomplish those more difficult desires.

For example, let's say that you want to build a good relationship, or reach a career goal, or a health goal, and you have been struggling in your attempt. If you are stuck, look to these two areas for what is wrong: attention and inhibition. If you are not reaching your goal, chances are that one of these is breaking down.

First, ask yourself, "what am I doing that MAKES me attend to, or focus, on what is important?" If it is a relationship, is there a structured time and place where you get together with the person to invest in the things that will build your relationship? If you are trying to work through something difficult is there a time and place to do that, like with a counselor? Or maybe a relationship group or study group that attends to what you need to work on? Provides focus?

Second, have you identified the impulses and desires that must be inhibited in order to build that relationship? You might love shopping, fishing, web surfing, etc. and get distracted by easier things to do, not giving the relationship the time that it needs in order to thrive. In essence, you walk out of the kitchen and don't finish the coffee because a different desire distracted you.

Same is true for a career or health goal. You need some force and some structure to help you stay attuned, focused and attended to the need, AND you need to identify the distractions that take you away and must be inhibited. Remove the distractions before they can get to you, and you will do better. Simple example, when I am writing, I must turn off my e mail application and web browser in order to inhibit distraction.

Think of these two things: attention and inhibition.....focus on what is important AND limit what will take you away. If you do those two things, you will get way further down the road than if you omit one or both of them.