simplyenjoy


Simple (?) forgiveness.

A good message for a Monday, to clear any residue or debris.

Sometimes others hurt us. And sometimes we allow them to. And yes, sometimes we hurt others, consciously or not.

It’s a fragile dance – this life. A dance between loving, forgiving, yielding and interacting.

How can we soften what has been hardened?

How can we begin to bend freely to the whispers of forgiveness, making them an integral part of our daily life?

Those who life has hardened have buried their trust. Stuffing down any lingering “childish” fantasies in adulthood that life is anything but disappointing and people do not meet our expectations, we decide walls and grudges are more important than forgiveness.

Only a relationship with God can teach you where you could reach and where you can rest.

How far do you go?

Where do you go?

Forgiveness seems simple, but the work it takes to get there is not always simple.

It’s uncomfortable to let go of our opinions and judgement. It’s uncomfortable to hold pain, yet it’s uncomfortable to release it, also.

What are you holding today?

Are you ready to let go?

What would happen if you did?

What would happen, if, just on the inside, you said to your self, “I forgive ________ for ___________. And I also forgive myself for being hurt.”

True forgiveness takes place in the heart.

It always has.

Psalm 130

1 Out of the depths I cry to you, Lord;
2     Lord, hear my voice.
Let your ears be attentive
to my cry for mercy.

3 If you, Lord, kept a record of sins,
Lord, who could stand?
4 But with you there is forgiveness,
so that we can, with reverence, serve you.

5 I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits,
and in his word I put my hope.
6 I wait for the Lord
more than watchmen wait for the morning.

7 Israel, put your hope in the Lord,
for with the Lord is unfailing love
and with him is full redemption.
8 He himself will redeem Israel
from all their sins.



Simple changes.

Good morning!

As we creep into Fall, I’m very reflective of how I spent the summer. I’m not going to write about how time flies or the theory of relativity or anything, but seriously, moving to a new state and starting two new jobs at the beginning of the steamy season surely does have a way of making the days seem more rapid and complex. Hence, less blog entries. But, oh, how I missed WordPress. And though I wasn’t writing, I was thinking about writing, and talking to plenty of new peeps about this spectacular site and the blogging world.

Who do you know that has a blog?

How do they generate traffic?

What makes a blog entry worthy of being Freshly Pressed?

These are all things I’ve been pondering on my little hiatus.

And I simply decided I’m just going to continue blogging for the love of it.

Simple as that.

I love doing it.

And if what I share resonates with someone else, if it helps someone else or even cracks a smile… then that’s GRAVY, baby.

Now that the newness of my recent life changes are settling and the crisper air outside is reminding of the slow change upon us, I plan to steal more cozy moments with a cup of tea and my familiar WordPress.

Today, though… it’s THIS: A delicious protein and fruit smoothie…

No exact measurements, well, unless you want to count my half-hazard methods.

A fist-full of crushed ice.

A few strawberries

A pour of blueberries

A couple scoops of Greek yogurt

A spoonful or two of Hemp Protein Powder

Matcha Green Tea Powder (tear open a tea bag and pour it in.)

A squirt of flaxseed oil

About 1/4 to 1/2 cup orange juice to help it all swim and blend together in a peaceful coexistence.

image

In this busy season, I’m reminded by my dear loved ones (whom I also call to accountability) to remember to care for myself mind, body and spirit as I work to help others in my job. It is all too easy in the care-giving field to teach, instruct, help, listen and care and at the end of the day to forget yourself.

This is truth: you can not help anyone before you help yourself. You cannot give anyone a glass of water from an empty well.

Taking the time to replenish yourself is not selfish… it’s necessary… and it’s a beautiful gift to those around you, provided you’re sharing it and helping others along the way!

Joy is contagious.

We can’t help everyone, of course, but we can help some, and, at the very least, you can help yourself.

image

Amidst all the busyness, hubby and I are undergoing some external renovations as well – a new bedroom look and an orderly office and arts space for me. Here’s the sign I got yesterday for my office door. It’s not just a warning for outsiders (hubby and the cat,) but a reminder for myself.

Am I taking responsibility for my words today? For my choices? My actions? The way I handle things?

What about my mood? Do I take responsibility for that?

It’s a daily practice, this taking responsibility for your choices. Like it or not our behaviors not only affect us, they have a lasting impact on those around us.

I used to believe that I was responsible for so much more than I actually am. Guilt and shame were like a second skin.

These days, it’s much easier for me to say, “I don’t choose guilt or shame. I choose to focus on what I can change. I choose to be free in Christ and ask Him to lead me.”

He is the one we proclaim,

admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom,

so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ. 

Colossians 1:28 NIV

I realize that when you give something to God, He takes it, He bears it and He does not throw it back in your face later… “Love holds no record of wrongs.” You can totally trust God with abandon. This isn’t how life in the world works, of course. If you mess up, you better own up and be held accountable for your mistake. Hopefully, you’re surrounded by merciful people who can be understanding of said mistake and that help you through it. But whatever the error, God is always willing and able to listen and take it and help you grow through it. There is life beyond mistakes through Christ.

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This is artwork I painted on my kitchen back splash. Remember Jesus loves you… Simple as that. Life gets complicated and has a way of trying to make us forget.

Have a blessed weekend!



How we behave.

The true test of character is not how much we know how to do,

but how we behave when we don’t know what to do.

– John Holt –



TGIF (The Goal is FOrWARD.)

This is one of the most empowering and up-lifting tunes! Perfect Friday song.

Ain’t no other direction to go except forward.

Get rid of emotional hindrances…

self-pity

shame

depression

being thin-skinned

easily offended

unforgiving.

We may feel these things from time to time, but that doesn’t mean we have to believe these things.

Today I simply choose peace.

I choose life!

I choose to move forward.

What can you leave behind today?

“Therefore, since we have these promises, dear friends,

let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit,

perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.”

2 Corinthians 7:1

 



There’s Hope.

“The difference between a successful person

and others is not a lack of strength,

not a lack of knowledge,

but rather a lack of will.”

– unattributed –

Sometimes there is a gap between knowing what to do

and doing what needs to be done.

Call it confusion, ignorance, being lost, being alone, being broken, being afraid – whatever it is – it blinds us from having a clear vision for the future.

It can be difficult to decipher in these times what the next step to take is…

We may have a dream,

or a goal,

or a vision for our life,

but we are not sure how to approach it, achieve it or move forward in the moment.

In these moments we can trust that God has an ultimate purpose and vision for our lives that is far beyond our comprehension.

“Listen to advice and accept instruction,

and in the end you will be wise.

Many are the plans in a man’s heart,

but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.”

Proverbs 19: 20-21

Hope is like an anchor for the soul.

Hope keeps us patient while we wait for answers.

Love keeps us secure while we trust for guidance.

Forgiveness keeps us free from the failures of the past that dare to steal the hope of the future.

God tells His people that His plans are good and their hope shall not be cut off.

Jeremiah 29:11

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord,
“plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Faith keeps us on the path with God, moving with the leading of the Holy Spirit and helping us to discern God’s will for our lives.



Healing and connection.

As I love myself,

forgive myself

and allow myself to surrender healing to God,

I unconsciously grant other people

permission to do the same.

A person can never heal

all by themselves.

(Courtesy of Google images.)

Secluded.

Alone.

Crouching in the shadows.

No man is an island.

When we tell our story, we share our story.

And it can resonate – or not.

Our job is not to heal.

Our job is to share

and

surrender

to love.

(Courtesy of Google images.)

 

A wicked messenger
falls into trouble,
but a trustworthy envoy
brings healing.
Proverbs 13:17



Responsible emotions – a simple approach.
Have you ever worked with an individual that seemed extremely adept at shifting blame or complaining about how the actions and attitudes of others were making them feel?
Most of us know that gossip, venting and complaining in daily repetition can create a toxic environment and build extra stress on top of the stress of doing the job. There are certain people who just always seem to paint a situation with a negative brush, but it somehow is never the fault of themselves, their attitude or their perspective.
So why do we keep allowing this kind of communication to occur?
Why do we listen to gossip?
Why do we participate in gossip?
Why do we allow for others to project their feelings onto us or even onto other people or coworkers?
If you listen closely to how people talk about a situation, their complaints and gripes are normally not about the other person, but about what they can or cannot handle emotionally themselves and take responsibility for, thus shifting the blame and the focus to an outside source.
It’s very easy to do!
But when a work environment becomes “he said, she said” and full of pointing fingers, productivity plummets and stress increases.
I’ve been presently dealing with some of these very issues at work and in my personal life and found this great article regarding responsible sharing of emotions.
Imagine if more people stopped, thought about it and took responsibility for their emotions at work and at home. How would life be different? What would change?
But since we can’t depend on other people changing, we have to start with number one.
That’s the simple truth.
“I can make a change. I can take responsibility for my emotional health.”
Today (as in the past,) I’m personally committing to taking full responsibility for my emotions, my life and the results of my choices.
When you fully work on owning and growing your own emotional health, you grant your loved ones and coworkers the emotional freedom to do the same. The space becomes healthier and the boundaries become clearer. Owning your own emotional health means you don’t demand, blame or attempt to control the emotions of another person in order that you “feel better” or “feel a certain way.”
Are You Expressing Your Feelings, Or Just Creating Drama?
BY SHELLY BULLARD
JULY 31, 2013 5:00 AM EDT

 

Most of us are feelings-illiterate. I don’t say this as a judgement; I say it as a sad truth.

We live in a culture that emphasizes most things masculine (doing, progressing, thinking) and undervalues the qualities of the feminine (being, reflecting, feeling). While we all experience the entire spectrum of emotions, most of us get lost in this territory.

Hopefully I can help with that.

In this article I’m going to discuss feelings and drama, and why your relationship depends on your knowing the difference.

Feelings and drama get grouped together all the time, as if they’re the same thing. Most commonly in this way: That emotional chick = drama. But it’s not necessarily true.

Yes, women tend to be more feeling-attuned and emotive, but this isn’t a bad thing. In fact, it’s part of what makes us so attractive — expressiveness, vulnerability, and openness are all beautiful qualities of the feminine.

However, there’s one way our feelings take a turn for the worse into the realm of drama. And that is: Blaming your feelings on someone else.

Drama is making your feelings someone else’s responsibility!

It’s crucial for you to understand that your feelings are YOUR feelings. They belong to you. So they’re yours to work through. Lots of us didn’t get that memo.

Here’s the thing: we all have very unique personalities and triggers. What makes me feel bad is very different from what makes someone else feel bad. That’s because my wounds greatly influence my uncomfortable emotions.

My wounds (and subsequent feelings) are not caused by someone else (in the present moment). I know it feels like they are, but they aren’t.

Are my feelings provoked by someone else? Yes! All the time! But this doesn’t make it their fault or their responsibility to fix. The sooner we recognize this, the happier we’ll be in relationships.

When you take responsibility for your feelings, you don’t have to deal with the madness of trying to get someone to make it better (which never works anyway).

So how do you avoid drama while simply feeling your feelings? The easiest way is this:

When communicating an emotional experience to whomever you feel provoked by, say, “I feel _____.”

Seriously, that’s it.

I feel scared.

I feel really angry.

I feel sad.

You can say it while you’re hysterically crying (even better, actually; it’s authentic and therefore elicits an empathic response); you can say it when you’re fiery angry. You can say these words in the midst of any emotional experience. And that’s all you have to do.

The reason “I statements” are such an important tool to use in relationships is because they promote connection. An “I statement” is the opposite of blaming; it automatically keeps the person you’re talking to undefended and therefore, more likely to stay open and caring towards you (which, of course, is what you want anyway).

When we don’t use “I statements” in describing our feelings, we sound like this:

You made me feel _____!

The message in between the lines is:

You screwed up.

You did something I don’t like.

You’re wrong.

This communication style makes us defensive and furious! It’s attacking to the person you’re talking to, which is why it almost always leads to a bigger fight. “You statements” = drama. They just don’t work.

Also, be careful for the sneaky “I statement that’s really a you statement”: I feel like you _____. This is just undercover blaming; keep “you” out of it.

It’s very important for us to learn how to live with our feelings in a love-promoting way. Because we all have feelings! They’re a natural part of life. They’re a beautiful part of life.

Instead of labeling feelings as something to be ashamed of, why don’t we embrace them, and try to do them right?

The next time you feel something, think twice before you make it into drama (someone else’s fault.) Simply go the route of feeling your feelings, take responsibility for them, and communicate them in a way that will keep the other person open to your experience. Connection and love will follow as a result. That’s a guarantee.

 



Encourage one another.

2 Corinthians 13:11

Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice!
Strive for full restoration,
encourage one another,
be of one mind, live in peace.
And the God of love and peace will be with you.


Little things add up.

Is there anything stronger in the human life than habit?

Habits are like tiny incremental choices and behaviors guiding our lives.

LIttle things like habits add up to be very big things like lifestyles.

(Courtesy of Google images.)

“Unless we form the habit of going to the Bible

in bright moments as well as in trouble,

we cannot fully respond to its consolations

because we lack the equilibrium between

the light and darkness.”

– Hellen Keller –

(Courtesy of Google images.)

I just thank God that no chains are too strong for Jesus Christ.

There is no bad habit too deeply entrenched that cannot be loosened by prayer, practice and faith.

It’s never too late to begin new habits and make new decisions about who you are and where you are going.

But you have to start now.

I say this as much to myself as to my blog subscribers.

We are what we repeatedly do. And we are already being what we will become.

With God’s grace we can become so much more!

It’s truly amazing grace 🙂

Psalm 119: 33-45

Teach me, Lord, the way of your decrees,
that I may follow it to the end.
Give me understanding, so that I may keep your law
and obey it with all my heart.
Direct me in the path of your commands,
for there I find delight.
Turn my heart toward your statutes
and not toward selfish gain.
Turn my eyes away from worthless things;
preserve my life according to your word.
Fulfill your promise to your servant,
so that you may be feared.
Take away the disgrace I dread,
for your laws are good.
How I long for your precepts!
In your righteousness preserve my life.

 May your unfailing love come to me, Lord,
your salvation, according to your promise;
then I can answer anyone who taunts me,
for I trust in your word.
Never take your word of truth from my mouth,
for I have put my hope in your laws.
I will always obey your law,
for ever and ever.
I will walk about in freedom,
for I have sought out your precepts.



Just for today…

Just for today, I will choose to let go of the negative people, events and circumstances in my life that I cannot control or change.

Just for today, I will thank God for my blessings and continue to ask him to light my way according to His will.

Just for today, I will breathe in and be grateful for the life that I have been given.

Just for today, I will greet all with a smile and do my best with the talents I’ve been given.

Just for today, I will nourish myself with exercise and wholesome food, thanking God for the vessel He has given me.

Just for today, I will listen without judgement and answer with kindness to those who would seek counsel.

Just for today, I will accept who I am, where I am and that the God of the universe loves me unconditionally.

(All images courtesy of Google images.)

“It is one of the most beautiful compensations

of life that no man can sincerely try

to help another without helping himself.”

– Ralph Waldo Emerson –

 




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