Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Surprised by Motherhood

My dear blogging friend--LisaJo Baker--is launching her first incredible book, Surprised by Motherhood. She delivered the first three chapters into my ebox so that I may share her story with you. And I can tell you that I cannot wait to read the rest of the tale!

LisaJo in her typical whimsical way weaves her stories of comic humor and spiritual seriousness. She will make you laugh and cry and leave you kneeling in awe of God's grace in our lives.

As women--and we are all mothers in some giving and leading way--we are pulled into this community of shared understanding:
Motherhood is hard.
Motherhood is glorious.
Motherhood is hard.
Amen to that! Even in my own life of mothering I experience tears of anguish and bellows of blissness, and sometimes I think, "When will this end?" But I must concur with LisaJo, Really, deep down, I say to myself "this delivering, shaping, cheering, loving, and bringing into the world, I don't want it to end."
http://www.amazon.com/Surprised-Motherhood-Everything-Never-Expected/dp/1414387857/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1396451397&sr=1-1&keywords=surprised+by+motherhood
Have you been Surprised by Motherhood? Do you need a fresh glimpse of the big picture? Pick up yours toady (the picture will link you straight to Amazon.)
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Friday, March 21, 2014

JOY


Stopping myself just long enough to write for five minutes....takes discipline!
Joining today with other authors who peg a t the keyboard for five minute-only. Then STOP.
Stream-of-consciousness writing with no editing-the best kind.

LisaJo's prompt for today is JOY.

GO:
How appropriate a theme.
I just received a "Yes!" answer to a request delivered with my heart-on-its-knees.

I am flying high and I just let out a YELL!!!! for the excitement. (My family thought I had just seen a mouse.)

Sometimes we hear "no" as answer to a prayer and sometimes just a silence. And we have to trust as a weaned child content of her Mother's lap.
 
But- sometimes  we hear, "Yes! You go girl! Take it and roll 'cause I AM the wind beneath your wings!"
And that's an "ah-hah!" moment.

But, you know, it's not that the "yes" that brings JOY; it's knowing that you are moving with the winds of the Spirit, and, you love doing it. That's JOY.

What brings you joy today?

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Saturday, March 15, 2014

Chorus of Strong Women-Visiting Contributor Desiree Adaway


Hello Ladies. How are you? With the few days of cool air and sunshine with wind-full kisses of Spring, I have decided to kiss Jack Frost "Good-bye till next year." I really do love him, he has overstayed his welcome and I am shipping him out of here.

To celebrate, I have posted the Spring header for LOV. Do you like it?

Also, I have a guest post to share with you. Once in a while we serediptiously meet a kindred-spirit. I believe Desiree Adaway to be one. She kneads together faith and proactive ministry for the voiceless and I am all about it. Please enjoy the post~
 
Chorus of Strong Women


“I write for those women who do not speak, for those who do not have a voice because they were so terrified, because we are taught to respect fear more than ourselves. We’ve been taught that silence would save us, but it won’t.” –Audre Lorde

M_Desiree 
I went through a horrible divorce. Horrible. It was my choosing, but still I felt weak and broken. The fear I felt was real. I had no idea who I was or what my future looked like.
My family felt broken and even though that was not true, the fear I felt around my decision was real. Raising kids by myself? Never wanted it. Did I mention that my husband and I worked together? Not only did I end my marriage but, essentially, my career as well.
I had no vision for my future and no voice of my own.

Today, in honor of every woman that struggles to free her voice but cannot just yet, I ask that we, her sisters, define ourselves, name ourselves, create for ourselves and speak for ourselves–in her honor.

Let’s take a moment to recognize and respect the foundation and nurturing framework women provide to family and community all over the world.
We do epic things, every day, under amazing circumstances.

Because when I felt most broken this is what I needed to see: other women stepping into their power. I needed to hear their voices and stories. I needed their beauty and their scars. I needed them to sit me down and say the following:
You are not your wound, your weakness, or your resume.
You are not your pain. You are not your job.
You are not your income, your parents, your children, your partner, your community, or your circumstances.  

Sometimes we have too much faith in these things, these illusions. Our lives are not defined by these circumstances or by others. Those things may be fact, but they are not always truth.

Who are we? We are the TRUTH we speak about ourselves.
In my weaker moments, it would have rocked my world to hear a chorus of strong women telling me that I am this TRUTH by way of my voice and action.
This has been the hardest lesson of my life: letting go of the labels, boundaries, and stories in order to get clear about who I am. Not the stuff I own or the circumstances that I have helped create through action or inaction, but to get clear about WHO I am and the gifts I have to share.
Beyond our exterior lies an interior that is so dazzling and powerful it can transform lives. This place within shows us that we can love more, accomplish more, do more, and be more. The light that shines shows the way.  To see this in ourselves, we have to see it in others.
Empowerment is a two-way street.

I cannot be whom I am supposed to be if you are not who you are supposed to be. If my sister is not safe, then I am not safe. Her lack of safety reveals my own insecurity at a deeper level. We need to show ourselves to our sisters to help them make it through the darkness and pain.
We often become in people’s presence that which they expect us to be. So I defy those expectations. If they expect weakness, I am strong. If they expect less, I  give more. I let them know who I am.
People may want to hold us to our past, to an old story, to an old judgment. I no longer let them.  My opinion of self can not come from others. That power and light, that greatness, must radiate from within me or it will not come at all.
I share this with all the women I know, so they are clear:

You are more than just any one thing and you are powerful beyond measure.
Desiree AdawayDesiree is a consultant, strategist, coach, speaker, storyteller and explorer. She uses her superpowers–her voice, sense of adventure and belief in the transformative power of community–to help organizations design programs that create unrestricted revenue, volunteers and advocates. You can find out more about her at www.desireeadaway.com, or follow her on Twitter at @desireeadaway

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Friday, March 7, 2014

Willing...

 
Hello Ladies-girls, men, and any literate bunnies....(thinking of Spring, I guess.)
Does every one of you have the hope that Spring will come? I love the snow fall but am wanting the pinks blossoms and green buds to appear soon.

I am joining with the writers at Lisa-Jo Baker's blog today. From her creative basket she grabs a word and we all write with that word in mind-for five minutes, only. Lots of fun. Words tumble out like cookie crumbs from a babbling toddlers mouth.

Today's prompt: WILLING.

Go.
What holds me back? Fear? of failure? of looking silly? of not dong something perfect?

But I do not let the garbled nerves tangle my determination-

       I will do what I am called to do.

                      Write.
                              Speak.
                                   Rally the world to acknowledge the need and stir heart to
                                        help empower those girls and women at risk for sexual exploitation
                                              and gender-based violence. 
What have I (really) got to lose?


                                                          my pride. (It's not about me.)
                                                                     looking silly.
                                                                                    Who doesn't today?
                                                       
                                                                not being perfect.
                                                                                 It's process, not perfection.

                                                                      FAILING.
                                                                            
                                  He has promises to make ALL things work toward my good.
                                       And if I do step out of the beat or off of the path,
                                      His Loving-kindness and Mercy faithfully follow me
                                               and guide my hand onto the lighted way.





I am willing.

Are you?
What are you willing for?

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Friday, February 21, 2014

Small Beginnings

I only seem to have moments to write ever so briefly on this blog...that's why I enjoy Five Minute Fridays. Lisa-Jo Baker gives us a prompt and we write stream-of-conscious for five minutes....
Today the prompt is SMALL.
 
This is what I first thought-a word of not despising small beginnings.
 
Then he said to me, “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel:
Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord of hosts.
Who are you, O great mountain? Before Zerubbabel you shall become a plain.
And he shall bring forward the top stone amid shouts of ‘Grace, grace to it!’”
Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying,
“The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this house;
his hands shall also complete it. Then you will know that the Lord of hosts has sent me to you. 10 
For whoever has despised the day of small things shall rejoice,
and shall see the plumb line in the hand of Zerubbabel . . .
~Zechariah 4:6-10 

Are your hands building a foundation? Are your dreams small, just a wisp of a cloud?

I have had a small dream--well actually a very large dream but is starting small--to help empower girls and women who are vulnerable to sexual exploitation, to point them to the One who washes away dirt and makes us clean, who washes away tears and replaces them with embraces, to point them in the direction of gaining a future and a hope.

The dream is LARGE-so large that I am overwhelmed. I stood at the foot of this great mountain of injustice and oppression and knew not how to begin.

I was reminded of the proverbial saying: One eats an elephant one bite at a time.
Or one climbs a mountain one step at a time. But I have to take the first step.

Zechariah already had the plumb line in his hand beginning the work.
Just a beginning. First thought taking material form.

And He says to him, to me, to you-"the Spirit moves." He takes over. He places the finishing touch on the work.

And when it is accomplished we can only exclaim, "Grace! Grace! All was Grace!"

The Ladies Of Virtue Foundation is forming . . .
What is your work?

"Do not despise these small beginnings, for the LORD rejoices to see the work begin...."  
    -Zechariah 4:10 NLT


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Friday, February 7, 2014

Write Anyway

What a beautiful day, today. The sky is cotton blue, the sun shining, and snow crystals frozen on the trees. It's February-the month of LOVE.

Today is also Friday which means I am linking with other writers at Lisa-Jo Baker's place. We tap out thoughts onto our computers for five minutes ONLY. No editing. I noticed that some are using the prompt "Write." I think I am going to use Lisa Jo's full title: How to write and live brave (when you’re terrified).

GO:

Why do we as writers let fear paralyze the exegesis of our words? As writers thoughts, feelings, opinions, and insights topple in our minds like Chinese acrobats. Why do we let the guard dogs keep us from doing somersaults? Who made them the guard dogs anyway? And maybe they are actually Golden Retrievers.
 
For there is nothing new under the sun. Surely what I think, one of you has as well. The questions of insecurity. The web of dark gossamer strings that I try to conceal. The Oprah-light-bulb-life-changing thought that I think I am the first to grasp . . . you have those too.

So if we are not so different, and every one of us is on this journey of life-why don't we join hands and listen to each other's words.

We will find that we are not so very alone.

 
 STOP.
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Friday, January 31, 2014

New Year-Full of Things that Have Never Yet Been

I have been thinking and desiring to write for months...but then I sometimes wonder if you will be interested in the "goings-on"of my mind. Reluctance put my writing into idle mode. But, I believe that perhaps I should/will share some of the things I have been learning...

For the moment I want us to think about the Year 2014. January, the first chapter, will be the past in a few short hours. All of those dreamy-wishful thoughts for you, and from you, for the New Year...well, they will not fade away with the coming of February; hopefully, they will only intensify!

So here's to you dear reader... some thoughts for the coming year which is just getting warmed up, you know. Or "frozen-up" if you live in most of the continental U.S.

                                                      January
                        "And now let us welcome the New Year
                           Full of things that have never been."
                                                       -Rainear Maria Rilke

              New beginnings.  I love that.  Blank journal pages waiting to be filled with adventures yet experienced and memories yet to be made.  Believe.  Dream.  Stir  up the secret petitions of your heart.  Believe that the Sower of Dreams will give you the desires of your heart.  (Psalm 37:4)

Ask questions.  Contemplate- What would it feel like to be the woman you have always wanted to become?  What would your life be like if you were living the most creative, fulfilling, peaceful life that you can imagine?  What if a year from now you were living that life?  What would you need to change now?

Just ask the questions.  You need not fill in all the answers or concern yourself with the process of getting from A to B.  We are only for the moment opening our minds, stirring our faith and imaginations.
                                               
                                                     "For He can do exceedingly,  
                              abundantly above all that we ask or think
                                 according to His power working in us."
                                       -Adapted from Ephesians 3:20    

"Abundantly," in the Greek, denotes "a starting point".  So imagine what you will-the best, sweetest, most incredulous things-  from THAT point, the Lord can take those (dreams) way beyond our wildest imaginings, excessive beyond measure, superfluous, making them superabundant "in quantity" and "superior in quality" beyond that point (quotes from Strong's Exhaustive Concordance).    

                                                   Photo Credit to Ben Hyland
            So take some time today/ this month/ this year and Dream!            



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