A Work in Progress

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“Any change, even a change for the better, is always accompanied by drawbacks and discomforts.” – Arnold Bennett

Yesterday’s revelation still has me a bit rattled.  For some reason the tears have now turned into a bit of agitation, and I seem to lack patience with others.   This agitation refrains me from extending grace and mercy to random encounters or to relationships that is so needed.

I’m a thinker, that is what I do, but I could not get my arms around this feeling of agitation.  Where was it stemming from?  Was it the truth that I just uncovered or more to the fact that I still don’t measure up?  The fact that there is still improvements to be made.

But part of growing is about changing and making improvements, right? So why is it so hard?  And why do I put so much pressure on myself to be perfect?

“The point is, somewhere inside, you have an idea of who you should be and it is at war with who you are.” – Emily Freeman

A war within my mind.  I cannot embrace where I am because I am always looking at where I am not.  This is a battle where I need to surrender.   This constant turmoil will rob me of my peace and my joy.

“And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.” Philippians 1:16 (NLT)

Just as this scriptures says, I will always be a work in progress.  This internal work will continue until He returns.  And my part is to live for today, not tomorrow, and allow His grace to see me through.

Set Free

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I love when I find time in my day to read some of my favorite blogs.  They inspire, provoke thoughts, and sometimes uncover wounds I never knew I had.

I was reading Stephanie’s post titled Resting as He Chisels and made me think about sharing something profound I read in The Fitting Room.

While most artists create by adding to something, a sculptor creates by taking away. Michelangelo himself said, “I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.”

Now this is a bit off track, but hopefully my two thoughts will merge.

I stumbled across another read titled Grace for the Good Girl:  a peek inside.  The post captured an excerpt from Chapter 1 of her soon to be released book.  This is what caught my attention. 

If my story were a planet, then your rejection of me would be a nuclear holocaust.

That statement alone brought me to a halt.  I can sense the extreme amount of pain she feels by rejection. The act of rejection has been a major source of pain in my life and something I strive to overcome. 

The writer when on further and said “My life tells a small story.  I long to be seen, but feel safe when I’m invisible.”

Oh, how do I relate.

As I continued to read, the tears began to flow.  I knew she was describing me.  It was almost as if her words where a chisel to my heart.  Even though I felt pain from the so-called chiseling, I also felt a release.  Like a long awaiting exhale, I could finally breathe.  The lie I had been living was finally exposed.  Now, I eagerly await her book so I can apply the knowledge and the grace so I too can be set free.

A Heart to Know

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“Wisdom is your perspective on life, your sense of balance, your understanding of how the various parts and principles apply and relate to each other.  It embraces judgement, discernment, comprehension.  It is a gestalt or oneness, and integrated wholeness.” – Stephen R. Covey

Part of the job of a teacher is to teach reading comprehension strategies to students.  Comprehension is more of an abstract skill and can be difficult to understand.

I think of comprehension as this: How can I give meaning to the words and make a connection to what I am reading?

Choice Literacy provides 7 strategies for reading comprehension.

  • Activate background knowledge to make connections.
  • Question the text.
  • Draw inferences.
  • Determine importance.
  • Create mental images.
  • Repair understanding when meaning breaks down.
  • Synthesize information.

When a student asks questions, relies on prior knowledge, creates mental pictures, and strives to restore meaning, they gain a deeper understanding as the words become alive and the students make connections to the text.

Currently, I find myself traveling down the road to a greater understanding and revelation of God, His word, and meaning for my life.  As I set out to write on this topic, the thought occurred to me that I am applying comprehension strategies with my walk with God.

  • I seek clarity by studying His word and asking questions about the meaning of scriptures and how they should be applied.  
  • I rely on past experiences to make connections to my present situation(s) – what have I gained, what have I lost, and how did God prove Himself faithful? 
  • I evaluate what is important – relationships/social calendar/health/serving – and focus and allocate my time on what matters to me. 
  • When there is a break down of communication, I strive to make amends and repair the damage. 
  • The synthesis creates revelation and transformation in my faith as it removes my unbelief.

“Synthesis is about organizing the different pieces to create a mosaic, a meaning, a beauty greater than the sum of each shiny piece.”  Ellin Keene & Susan Zimmermann from Mosaic of Thought.

The sum of each tiny piece is a heart fully trusting and believing God; a heart that has been restored.

“And I will give them a heart to know (recognize, understand, and be acquainted with) Me, that I am the Lord; and they will be My people, and I will be their God, for they will return to Me with their whole heart. ” – Jeremiah 24:7 (AMP)

I am…

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“I am only one, but I am one.  I cannot do everything, but I can do something.  And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do.” – Edward Everett Hale

There are days when I doubt my ability to write and there are days when the writing well goes dry.  It is easy to compare myself with others.  How many followers do I have versus them? How many comments do I receive versus them? If I play into it, I can start doubting my purpose for writing and sharing my stories.

But then, someone sends me words of encouragement just at the right time; thanking me for writing and expressing words that she cannot. 

The writer at Grit and Glory posed the following question: Besides Jesus, who could you say this to?  “I am because you are.”  To expand upon it further, your sense of being is determined by the relationship you have with other people.

I am a writer because I help people heal, and I will not let doubt interfere in what I feel compelled to say or express.  It took the words of a dear friend to help me get this revelation in my heart. 

If I posed the question to you, what would you have to say? I am because…

Infinite Value

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“Treat everyone you meet as if they have infinite value because in God’s eyes they do.” – Joyce Meyer

My new writing project has me versing myself with the game of Chess.  I have studied the design of the game, the purpose of the game, the logic behind the movements, and the value of the pieces.  Each piece, except for the King, is given a relative point value. 

Traditional Piece Values

  • Pawn = 1 Point
  • Knight = 3 Points
  • Bishop = 3 Points
  • Rook = 5 Points
  • Queen = 9 Points

The value of the pieces come into play when making decisions on moves.

Just as Chess pieces are given a value, I think it is human nature to place value on others.  Sometimes we evaluate the person and our relationship with them before we make a move; can I give myself fully to the relationship because I trust them or do I hold back; do I feel comfortable around them and can be myself or do they make me feel uncomfortable, therefore, I won’t approach them.  These are a couple of issues I struggle with as I’m sure you have some of your own.

In God’s eyes there is no limit to the value of anyone’s life.  Their value shouldn’t determine a reaction or action from us. Everyone is worthy of salvation and an abundant life.  James 5:20 (NLT) says, “You can be sure that whoever brings the sinner back will save that person from death and bring about the forgiveness of many sins.” 

…Will save that person from death.  A statement that carries heavy weight in my eyes.  It changes my whole perception in my day-to-day interactions.  The lens in which I see another human being is different from before.  They are special to God and worth being saved. 

Every encounter with a random person or opportunity to spend time with a loved one or friend is a chance to plant a seed and share the love of Christ.  Whether it be the lady on the street corner selling the Contributor, the cashier at Wal-Mart, the ride in the elevator with a random passenger, the family that lives in the Women’s shelter, your neighbor, your co-worker, your best friend; they all have infinite value.

So my next move is to be an active and bold soul winner.  What is yours?

Don’t Look Back

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I once read that you should never look back unless the view is good.  I guess that is only fitting considering this creature of habit has said goodbye to blogspot and found a new home here at word press.  Therefore, I will only look back to celebrate my successes and growth. 

I’ve spent the majority of my lifetime chasing what was taken from me instead of pursuing what was given.  All those hurts, losses, and failures have propelled me to where I am today and it is time I start embracing what I have been given.

I am not sure what God has in store for me, but I know something BIG is own the horizon. 

Stay tuned for my next move

Nichole