When my dog was a puppy, I used to let her walk to the door, place the leash on her right by the door, open the door, she would walk by herself until she was at the end of the driveway and wait for me until I closed the door behind me. She never took off or ran away. One morning I was distracted and I opened the door but I never put on the leash. It was a total accident. I quickly realized what I had done, but hoping she would be use to the routine, I tried to act just as normal to see if she would wait at the end of the driveway like she did every morning. She walked halfway to the driveway, she looked back at me like saying “something is missing”, she quickly noticed what it was and took off running wagging her tail. It was playtime!
After that day I made sure that I had the leash on her before opening the door. Somehow even though she was lose, the leash was her indicator not to keep on running. Today when I walk her I sometimes let the leash go while I pick up after her and she doesn’t take off, she stays right by my side. I’m not sure that if the leash was not on her she would do the same. It got me thinking. As fast as she is, if she realized that she is free once I place the leash on the ground she could easily take off and give me a good time chasing her.
How many times in our lives we have been freed from a situation and we continue to carry it just like if we were still in chains? I love my dog and of course, aside that its the law that I walk her on a leash for her own protection, but the leashes in our lives are not always good restraints and those are the ones that I’m talking about.
It really got me thinking, of the times that I’ve prolonged with the leashes of shame, condemnation, or pride being stuck when I have been forgiven, delivered, and set free. Sometimes we are so accustomed to the leash, that we don’t even try to run anymore.
I think it’s a good day to remember that who the Son sets free is free indeed. It’s time to enjoy that freedom, starting right now!
I would recommend this book for anyone who would like some common sense and light added to their life. C. Cunningham
Great for meditations and daily devotions. N. Thames
As we honor and keep in prayer those who’s lives were most greatly affected by this horrific tragedy, that ultimately pulled our country together as one UNITED nation…..
I well remember them, and my soul is downcast within me. Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.(NIV)
Growth Lessons http://ow.ly/deZC1
In Growth Lessons, I was reminded of this beautiful truth: Our walk with the Lord is a process of growing up into the image of Christ. P. Yates
I would recommend this book for anyone who would like some common sense and light added to their life. C. Cunningham
Great for meditations and daily devotions. N. Thames
I heard one of the funniest stories the other day speaking to a friend. Her son walked into the living room and announced to his parents that as soon as he graduates High School he will move out of the house so that he can do whatever he wants, without supervision. Why is this so funny? Well, first of all because I think all of us when we were teens thought that we wanted to grow up very fast to get to the point of freedom where we would do as we please. In reality, we are all waiting for that moment. As we grow we discovered that that with freedom came responsibility and that it was easier to respond to our parents than to our new authorities: the government, our bosses, our creditors, our spouses and even our children.
Why it’s so easy to rebel at that age? I think ignorance takes us to think that we know better than our parents what’s best for us and we do that with God every single day. This conversation reminded me of the parable of the prodigal son. He asked for his inheritance while his father was living because he wanted to live his life his way. His father allowed him to and what he found was not freedom but bondage.
In the same way, God as a good father gives us freedom to live our lives, but gives us parameters, boundaries to protect us from getting in trouble. Just like my friend’s son, sometimes we think that we know better than our father, that our preferences and desires are a better follow and that at the end of the day we will be ok. Just like the son, we go outside our boundaries and find ourselves in trouble and we then wish that we could go back home.
The good news is that just like at the end of that story, God is always awaiting for us with open arms. We then discover that freedom is a great thing, but it’s more enjoyable when we live with within the protection of the boundaries set from God to us. Freedom is awesome and well enjoyed when used well.
Look at the picture above. It is one of our favorite mental pictures. It is very easy for us to assign responsibility to others when things go wrong, but do we think what our part in the process was? If we look at the hand, there’s one finger pointing outward and three inward. If you’re doing the pointing there are three fingers pointing at you.
Some things are out of our control in life; I’m not negating that…but it’s not as many as we tend to think.
Have you heard yourself say things like: this person makes me feel (angry, upset, irritable) or made me (eat, scream, nag, throw something)…unless the person has a weapon and threatening your safety. Was is truly this person’s fault or did you allow yourself into the behavior or emotion? We also blame the circumstances around our lives. Most time we created those circumstances as well.
Sometimes we forget to take accountability for our own actions because it’s easier to blame others or the circumstances. The denial of our responsibility falsely releases us from having to address it or work on fixing it. By placing the responsibility outside of us, we convince ourselves that the answer is out of our hands, not realizing that is inside that fist, hidden behind those three fingers that are pointing at us.
Stepping out of that denial is not an easy thing. It makes us see ourselves for who we really are. It also finally addresses the issue that we need to work on, that’s true freedom!
So I just invite you to stop and think; every time there’s a situation in your life and you are ready to blame someone else; ask yourself, what part did you play for things to happen?
Did you enjoy this post? This is one of the lessons included in my book Growth Lessons , get your copy today! Do you already have the ebook and want my autograph…submit your request on kindlegraph and i’ll be honored to process it.
Sometimes we confuse freedom with debauchery. We tell ourselves and others that we have the right to do as we please and as we want. The truth is that our Creator gave use freedom of choice, therefore in theory it is true, but when we exercise that freedom, do we do it in a way that is beneficial to us, or we do the first thing that feels good?
For the enemies of freedom, taking control and restraint is not the way to go. The consensus on that side is that there is no happiness in self-control and discipline, but in hindsight the lack of these usually brings us devastating consequences. Let’s just look at some brief examples of how these things can affect our lives.
I should be the last one to talk about this subject as I love to eat. Why do we have places that promote all you can eat? To survive we should not eat all we can eat. We can exercise the freedom of taking care of our bodies and eat healthy with using judgment into when and how much of little unhealthy things we consume. The reality is that not exercising self-control and discipline brings obesity, diseases and shortens our lifespan. If we shorten our lives we will miss on the blessings laid out for us, but also we would be in disobedience of fulfilling God’s purposes in our lives.
Have you ever heard someone say, I have the right to sleep with whomever I desire? Others say that they need to try until they find someone compatible in that area. Others excuse themselves because their marriages are not satisfying. Our creator calls us to purity in our intimate relations. “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity. 1 Timothy 4:12” What some of those people forget is that our neighbor is our brother or sister and that we are to respect and see about them like if they were our family members. What comes out of promiscuity? Disease, emotional damage. This information is not only spiritually based. Read this scientific article on the consequences of promiscuity http://www.lifeissues.net/writers/she/she_29promiscuity.html
Drugs (legal or illegal)
Yes, there are legal drugs. Alcohol, nicotine, caffeine and prescription medications are some of the things that are at he reach of anyone, including believers. Illegal drugs have the society connotation of them not being allowed. How about those legal substances? Have you thought if you are a user or abuser of these substances? What are they doing in your life? Are you trying to not face some part of your life? ”Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own” 1Corinthians 6:19 NIV
After a difficult day of work, we get to our homes and want to block our worlds out. All of the sudden we get consumed by mindless entertainment like our computers, television, and music; before we realize it we’re too tired to talk to God. He who gave us the 24 hours we just spent and the possibility to wake up the next day doesn’t get from us even praise. We usually say we don’t have time to do lots of things like exercise, volunteer, help others. Do you a favor? Just for this week, write down in a piece of paper the hours that you spend in front of the computer, video games or the television. Think how many nights you have deprived yourself from rest just to feed your flesh with enjoyment.
Remember that everything is permissible but not everything is beneficial (1 Corinthians 6:12). Let’s use our freedom wisely and follow the teachings of our Lord so that we can enjoy the benefits of the real good life. We have the option and the freedom to say NO to a life of sin and devastation.
First of all I want to apologize for not writing in the last few days, between Camp Nano and other distractions I have not been able to sit down long enough to concentrate. I’ve been thinking a lot about how sometimes we are affected by issues regardless if they have direct or indirect impact in our lives.
Life is never without challenges, disappointments and painful events, most of them out of our control. The way we react to those events and the way we view those events will determine our behavior and ultimately potential future outcomes.
When something unexpected affects negatively our lives its very common to feel anger, sadness, shock, resentment, disappointment, grief and many other negative feelings. Ephesians 4:26 reads “In your anger do not sin” : Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry” but I know there are wounds that are longer lasting, however once the sun comes back up, it may be time to start our baby steps back on the road of life.
We believe that we have no control over those feelings and that’s not totally true. Yes, those feelings are normal. We should not stuff them or deny them. We should talk about them and process them, the problem arises when we sulk and get stuck on them.
At some point the grieving process of an event runs its course and yes, the timing is different for everyone, but when the grief hinders you from functioning, you’ve gone too long.
That’s why I say that you can ultimately impact your future outcomes, for example…the loss of a relationship may be devastating, but it could open the door to self examination, discovery and the potential of a new, sometimes even better relationship. The loss of a loved one is devastating, but if you have faith that they are in a place of no pain and no sorrow, that will give you hope. The loss of employment or some other financial loss will not be easy to recover until you get back on your feet.
Feel what you need to feel, process what you need to process, but then it’s time to get up and move on. Trust that God will make everything right and that he’s in control. That there’s no evil that will not be avenged and no good deed unrewarded.
Faith will get you through
With all new diseases and syndromes coming out on the media, it must be concerning to discover that you may have PLMS. However PLMS is a very old condition,as old as humankind itself. So what is PLMS? Poor Little Me Syndrome. It’s the root of jealousy and selfishness when the subject (meaning us) feeling sorry for themselves and comparing themselves to others. Let’s study this syndrome a little closer.
PLMS in biblical history:
- Cain and Abel- We all know this is where it started. A brother jealous of not obtaining approval as his brother did. God even tells him, you did wrong this time, but practice, you’ll get it right (Gen 4:7). He didn’t respond back and resolved that if there was no other to look at, then he would get approved as there was no point of comparison.
- Joseph- He was well regarded. His father loved him, he had a gift of revelations in dreams and they not only were jealous of him, but concern that he would have a higher position than they did. So they felt the need to get rid of him. They dumped him in a well to die. (Gen.37:2-20)
- Jesus- The Pharisees where concern that Jesus was growing in popularity and challenged what they had established. They had control with the government on how things function and that was threaten with His teachings. (Matthew 12,15) Yes, Jesus came to die for us, so what was meant for evil God used it for good, but it was their jealousy that killed our Lord.
There are many examples through the bible, it would take me days and multiple postings to go through them all, but the bottom line, what’s the root cause of jealousy? Selfishness! When things are not about us, we feel threaten.
PLMS is easy to diagnose. There’s no medication for it. Every time you start looking outside of your circumstances to your surroundings to find your worth, you’re in trouble.
Think about it:
- The neighbor that buys what you can’t.
- The co-worker that gets the promotion you wanted.
- The family member that gets the attention that you desire
- The spouse that doesn’t give you the desire attention and instead of fixing the problem you need to find your attention no matter what.
- The “sinner” who gets a leadership position in your church when you’ve been a “saint” for years. (read
- The childless mother about her mother friends
- The single about the married and vice versa
Yes, this list can be exhaustive as well. Bottom line is if we’re honest with ourselves everyone has those feelings, how you act upon them and how long you dwell on them it’s what makes the difference.
How to treat PLMS:
- Make a list of things you’re grateful for. (Hey if you’re breathing and reading this means you have internet and a computer…there you have three already. That’s a start!)
- There’s ALWAYS someone in a worse situation than you are. Think about that.
- Be realistic with your situation and see which things are you responsible for and which ones you are not.
- Create a realistic work plan for those that can be changed.
- Forgive others and yourself for those things that are outside of your hands
- Get up and help someone else, not only they will appreciate it, but it will make you feel better about yourself and realize..its not all about YOU!
- Since PLMS makes you think only about you, let’s do that. Spend time in meditation and prayer so that you can identify God’s plan for YOUR life. (One of the things I’ve learned is that my purpose is not my neighbors purpose and that in life I’ve wanted things that I’m glad I didn’t get because they were not going to align with those things God had planned for me)
Side Effects of this treatment
- Sense of Satisfaction
- Sense of Purpose
So when you start feeling that the symptoms of PLMS are starting to show, get your medicine . If nothing else works, try this:
Have you ever heard that we are affected by things, people and places? The results can be both negative and positive and sometimes without our conscious acknowledgement. We live our life day by day and our life gets transformed for good or bad and it’s not until we make a pause that we realize how far we’ve gone; either towards our purpose or away from it.
There’s a particular thing that was a symbol in my life for a long time without my conscious knowledge, it was a hair clip. Apparently when I was very angry I would pulled my hair up, others will say that it was very high, and that I placed the hair clip on the top of my head. It was an unconscious thing.
I use to be a manager, and I heard some of my employees pass by my cubicle and announce, “oh oh hair clip is on”. I never paid attention, I thought it was a joke, until one day someone who I was in a relationship with and I were having a phone conversation. It was more an argument. He got quiet and said. “I bet your hair is up” and when I touched my hair, he was right. This same individual had a fist fight with his brother. I was called by a neighbor who couldn’t pulled them apart. I asked to be placed on the phone with my boyfriend and announced that I was on my way. When I made it to his place the guys were in separate rooms, I talked to “my guy” and started asking questions about the fight, he kept staring at me in silence. Finally he said,” I’m not talking to you until your hair comes down” I started laughing and pulled the clip off. This was over five years ago.
Why a hair clip story? During the last five to six years God has been working on me. I’m not sure if I had an anger issue, it was more a legalistic spirit. Everything needed to be in a way (usually my way) and I was miserable. If things were not inside the mold I would not only be upset but angry. As things started changing in me I started enjoying my life. I laugh more, I have less concerns and I’m way less affected by sudden changes in life.
When I stopped managing my life and surrendering it to the one that could actually do something about it I had less reasons to worry and less need to control. That gave me more time to enjoy life and do more of what I like: writing! I’m not going to say that I never get upset or angry anymore, but the clip went away from my life as I am not nearly as uptight as I used to be.
I laugh when people say how funny or laid back I am. If they only knew me then. But what about the hair clip you may ask? I have not used it in years. I realized this week how long God has brought me when I found it buried in a box.
Would you like to share things that God has changed in your life? Have you identified things, people or places that affect you positively or negatively? I would love to hear them!
I was working on another article and read this. There’s not much to add or to say about it other than it is a great wake up call for everyone.
Galatians 5:18-24 (The Message)
“My counsel is this: Live freely, animated and motivated by God’s Spirit. Then you won’t feed the compulsions of selfishness. For there is a root of sinful self-interest in us that is at odds with a free spirit, just as the free spirit is incompatible with selfishness. These two ways of life are antithetical, so that you cannot live at times one way and at times another way according to how you feel on any given day. Why don’t you choose to be led by the Spirit and so escape the erratic compulsions of a law-dominated existence?
It is obvious what kind of life develops out of trying to get your own way all the time: repetitive, loveless, cheap sex; a stinking accumulation of mental and emotional garbage; frenzied and joyless grabs for happiness; trinket gods; magic-show religion; paranoid loneliness; cutthroat competition; all-consuming-yet-never-satisfied wants; a brutal temper; an impotence to love or be loved; divided homes and divided lives; small-minded and lopsided pursuits; the vicious habit of depersonalizing everyone into a rival; uncontrolled and uncontrollable addictions; ugly parodies of community. I could go on.
This isn’t the first time I have warned you, you know. If you use your freedom this way, you will not inherit God’s kingdom.
But what happens when we live God’s way? He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard—things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity. We develop willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely.
Legalism is helpless in bringing this about; it only gets in the way. Among those who belong to Christ, everything connected with getting our own way and mindlessly responding to what everyone else calls necessities is killed off for good—crucified”
My grandmother used to say, “Words do not break bones”. I have to add, but it does break souls. I think the hardest part for a victim of domestic abuse is letting go of the emotional grip and the psychological fear from their abusive situations. Physical wounds tend to heal, depending on the severity of them, but the invisible ones tend to run deep and last a long time.
I believe that at some point victims have to make the decision of not being victims anymore. I’m not talking about the ones that are still inside the relationship, although it does apply. I’m specifically addressing those who have finally gotten out and are still living emotionally in the prison of their past abuse. Many survivors carry with them the fear, anguish, that feeling of looking over their shoulders to see if there’s a threat, for a long time after they have escaped the arms of abuse. It’s life consuming. I’m not saying this is an easy process. I do know that it’s easier said than done. I also know that the abuser has taken so much out of their victims that my encouragement is to not give them one more second of your life.
I believe that a conscious decision needs to be made to retake the life that was stolen. God promises to restore your life. “I’ll make up for the years of the locust. You’ll eat your fill of good food. You’ll be full of praises to your God, the God who has set you back on your heels in wonder” Joel 2:25. It may take days, months or years. It’s a journey and a process, and it will require support and healing. God has promised to heal us and take care of those who have hurt us in any way. Jeremiah 30:16 ”‘Everyone who hurt you will be hurt; your enemies will end up as slaves. Your plunderers will be plundered; your looters will become loot. As for you, I’ll come with healing, curing the incurable, because they all gave up on you and dismissed you as hopeless—“. I love this passage because when you’re in an abuse situation that’s exactly how you feel, hopeless and alone. God tells you that he sees your pain and its there through it. He promises to heal you from it.
Abusers have as much power as they are given. Choose not to feed that monster anymore!
If you are in an abusive situation, seek help. If you’re recovering from abuse, seek help. Allow God to guide your way out of your physical and emotional chains. It’s time to start living the life you were created to live. Know this, God is with you, and has a great purpose for your life. Close your ears to the lies of your abusers. God created you; beautiful, smart, strong and capable. You are not alone!!
DVAM-Domestic Violence Awareness Month