Category: self-development

There are 19 posts published under self-development.

Caring For Your Soul

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I prayed as I walked in nature-uninterrupted.

I just spent 5 days at a Trappist Monastery in prayer, silence and meditation.

Why? Because in 7 weeks I will have a significant birthday. This age is bringing on some changes in my body and health.

Why? Because in 7 years my last child will be leaving home and we will be empty-nesters after 30(!) years as parents with a houseful of children. This will cause a major shift in my marriage and my career!

Why? Because I have a lot going on in my life, in my household and in my HEAD!

So stepping away and moving to the other side of Silence is-was MANDATORY!

I read and journaled and COMPLETED thoughts.

I read and journaled and COMPLETED thoughts.

Caring for your Soul is what I call it. As moms, wives & leaders, we spend a lot of time taking care of everyone else. Making sure they are fed, warm, entertained, healthy, happy, sexually satisfied, learning, engaged, trained, etc., etc. Then we’ll try to pull away to have some ME time; where you take a bubble bath with candles or sleep in a bit later. But what about caring for your Soul?

You care for your family’s soul? You pray for them, get them ready for church, look for teachable moments, have spiritual discussions. How do you care for your Soul? You know, that part of you that is the middle gound between God and your Mind.

Yeah, I know you have prayer time. But that’s more DOING and although that may be satisfying it’s still not enough.

Well, let me speak for myself; after a certain amount of time that’s not enough for ME.

Before marriage and children, I would go to a hotel and lock myself in for 2-3 days at least 4-5 times a year. It was refreshing.

After marriage and children those times became less and less frequent.

The last time I got away for silence and solitude was 10yrs ago. My daughter was 4 months

old and I had just had surgery. My mother was visiting to care for me, so you can imagine the GUILT that I felt when my girlfriend said, “Come stay with me at Beauford Island.” Yet, I couldn’t resist. With my mother’s and husband’s approval for 3 days someone else fed me. I didn’t have to get up to take care of anyone. I didn’t have to wake up at a particular time. I didn’t have to oversee the clean-up. I didn’t have to have a conversation about ANYTHING! I laid around and read and prayed and did nothing. It was so beautiful I still get a feeling of relief just thinking about it. It has sustained me for these 10 yrs.

But now,

Shadows of the Cross danced on the walls in my room.

Shadows of the Cross danced on the walls in my room.

NOW there’s a shift that’s about to take place. It has already happened. I can feel it. My soul knows it and knows how to handle it. But my mind, my schedule, my family, has the current agenda in place and we cannot deviate from it. We have responsibilities and soccer practices and art classes and planes to catch and friends and jobs and groceries that must be purchased and cars that must be tended to and places to be and things to do! We must maintain the status quo. Right?

Well, someone in the family must go out and stand on the rooftop to watch the clouds for the coming rain. I know it’s coming. My Soul says so.

Don’t you think it’s rude when you have something important to say and the person is ignoring you, over-talking you, arguing with you, dismissing you and minimizing your message? So does your Soul.


How can you tell it’s time to care for your soul?

For me it looks and feels like this:

  • My Soul has told me what to do about the upcoming transitions. But I can’t hear. I have responsibilities and soccer practices and art classes and planes to catch…
  • My Soul yells the answer but it resonates in me as a mild uneasiness, an irritation, an unrest. And anyway I have responsibilities and soccer practices and art classes and planes to catch…
  • My Soul is exhausted trying to yell through the noise and get my attention but that resonates in me as a feeling of detachment, a mild melancholy and a impression of being lost.  Probably because I have all of these responsibilities and soccer practices and art classes and planes to catch….

Yeah it’s time to care for my Soul. To tend to it by shutting down EVERYTHING!

EVERYTHING!  Homeschooling, Children, Husband, Church, Business & Me.

To care for your soul means you give it attention by:

  • silencing all voices
  • ceasing all activities
  • curtailing all agendas
  • shutting down all plans and expectations
  • eliminating all stimuli

That means no tv, no cell phone, no radio, no internet, no friends. This is not the time for

I even had time to play with rocks.

I even had time to play with rocks.

business planning or goal setting. It’s not a time to catch up on blogging or writing or dieting or learning something new. You minimize all communication and human contact.

You read books that feed you spiritually.

You take walks in nature.

You sleep as needed.

You meditate when you feel led.

You pray without ceasing.

You listen always.

You allow your beloved Soul to receive the message from God and bring it directly to your conscious mind. You trust your Beloved and wait on it to speak.

Don’t you hate it when you have something important to say and the person is ignoring you, over-talking you, arguing with you, dismissing you and minimizing your message? So does your Soul.

Is it time to care for your Soul?

Be Like Water My Friend

Be like water my friend…well…more like the oyster in the water. pebble pond

When a grain of sand gets into the soft tissue of the oyster it covers it with a layer of calcium. Years later, the oyster has relieved itself of the irritant by creating this perfectly round smooth object that mankind has come to treasure and calls a pearl.

When you have a “life irritant”-a situation that’s causing you grief, pain and regret; it’s causing you to harden your heart, be like the oyster my friend. Use your energy to transform it into something that you are proud of. Oyster-pearl

For years my financial situation was an irritant for me. It was a source of contention in my marriage. My husband’s and my differing opinions on spending, credit cards and paying bills got us deep into debt and destroyed my A1 credit rating. I was livid and felt powerless.

There’s nothing worse than being LIVID with anger and feeling POWERLESS to change the events that have you emotionally livid!

Once I became honest with myself I realized that my anger was really about me giving up my power. And the feeling of powerlessness was also about me giving up my power.

Like many Christian women, I have had to find balance in the idea that the man is the head of the household and has the final say WHILE married to a man who had NO training on how to handle certain situations. But he too, like many Christian men, have had to find the balance in the idea of BEING the head, the leader and not faltering in his leadership role by admitting that he didn’t know how to do something that he was never taught to do.

So we had a mess.

And even though we were in it together, we both had to admit to our responsibility and then MAKE A DECISION to change and grow. Neither can make the other change or grow or admit to their shortcomings. Everyone is responsible for his/her own mess even if you SAY it was created by someone else.

I could say our financial woes were created by my husband and it was true…in my mind.

But my angry, sad, bitter, resentful powerless feeling heart was created BY ME!

For a period of time I stopped my public speaking gigs and stopped giving presentations because I couldn’t find joy in it and I didn’t want to be a “phony”  If you had asked me I would have said that it was because I was busy tending to the children-and it was true,,, partially.

I would have told you that I’m “too busy” to come to your location to do a Women’s Empowerment Seminar. In my mind it was very true. I wasn’t lying. Homeschooling, pregnancies, breast cancer diagnosis, moving across 5 states in 7 years with children in tow, going to court to get custody of a nephew, along with money issues were all very overwhelming, time-consuming experiences!

But also overwhelming me was the hardening of my heart and the feeling of powerlessness as I was going through this.

If you had asked me I would have told you that I was honoring my family, my children and my husband by committing all of my energy and time to their development and growth. I was willingly sacrificing my needs (emotional, financial, social & intellectual) for them. And this was VERY true. I willingly sacrificed my time and energy….because I didn’t know any other way to give to them without being the Christian female martyr, just the way the world describes.

But because mommy martyrdom is not what GOD describes, I could only do that for so long without becoming overwhelmed, resentful and angry at giving up so much of myself. My power.

Over the last 10 years I’ve learned how to do it better. I’ve taken responsibility for my role in our money relationship and I’ve learned how to balance my God-given power as a mother, wife, leader and educated woman in the most powerful industrialized nation in the world.

Like an oyster I’ve learned to cover my irritant-not with denial, half-truths and resentments-but with patience,forgiveness and grace. Heres how:

PRAYER: As you are learning to live this life you have to remember that you are LEARNING to live this life. That means ask God to order your steps. To cover your mistakes with Her Grace and to give you eyes of understanding. To send help even when you don’t know that you need help. And above all cover the children so that they aren’t ruined by your issues & ignorance. My conscious everyday prayer! So far God has proven faithful.

FORGIVENESS: Remember that everyone is doing the best that they can, with the mind that they have at that time. There are times when you want to write a person off because, “he knows how to do better. I’ve told him a thousand times, so I know he knows!” Even when you tell someone, the fact that they don’t follow through says that they are missing something within themselves. Even when the person decides not to change simply out of spite, that tells you that they are fundamentally missing something. Sometimes that something is LOVE. Which means that they “are doing the best that they can with the mind that they have at that time”.

PATIENCE:  Be patient with yourself. The statement, “everyone is doing the best that they can, with the mind that they have at that time” also applies to YOU! Be patient with Time as it chugs along to heal, change and recreate situations.  Nothing stays the same and this too will pass. Utter those words to yourself regarding your circumstances and your limited mindset.

OPEN-MINDEDNESS: Be willing to change your MIND! We are ALL products of our society and our society is built on some old traditions. Our Biblical traditions are based on a Middle Eastern culture that subjugated women (it still does so today). These traditions don’t work in our current culture and much of it doesn’t even make sense with current technology. Yet, because we are clinging onto the structure that tradition creates we aren’t being honest about the things that don’t work. For instance, we would never force you to marry your husband’s brother once you’re are a widowed but how easy it is to tell you that you have to submit to a husband who dishonors you with veneral diseases and verbal abuse because he’s the “head” of the family. In order to stay in that relationship you would have to go against everything in yourself just to stay there (and then take prescription drugs to make yourself happy).

Be open-minded and honest about what’s not working for your relationship. For me, I had to “go against” my husband and take on the role of paying the bills. He felt it was his role as a man (and not-stated is the fact that money is power). We had to have our counselor/Pastor intervene (several times) before my husband finally “submitted” and gave up his role as the bill payer. Today we are stable financially and my husband is much happier.

So am I.Oyster-pearl

Cover your irritant with prayer, forgiveness, patience and open-mindedness and let it grow to become your treasure. Be like water my friend…well… like the oyster in the water.

You Are Affecting Me

your behavior, attitude, parenting- ripples out and affects people and THEY affect others. We are all connected.

How to Start Your Day – A Routine for Moms

Whether you are a working mom or a stay at home mom it’s easy to get into a morning routine of go, go, go! Instead take time out to build yourself spiritually and emotionally! Lady T gives
some tips (and a little dance) on how to develop a morning routine to get you focused!

My Definition of Discipline?

 

definition of discipline

I’m working on becoming more disciplined because I’m not a structured, rules and order kind of girl. I

“go with the flow”

and

“fly by the seat of my pants”.

This has served me well as a mother of 5. Children need structure but they are also the same little monsters that will tear up any schedule that you try to implement with their little oopsies and oowies and “i don’t wanna’s”! So I’ve never gotten into the habit of a regiment. Reading the Bible and praying everyday is the only thing that has been consistent in my life but that almost never happened at the same time of the day.

Now that the children are a little older I can become more disciplined with that but it’s the only thing. So as I take this journey of sticking to a disciplined, regimented routine (just typing those words makes me want to backspace and DELETE!) hang in here with me and hold me accountable.