Category Archives: Uncategorized

Rest

Taking time to “just be.”  It tough. Life’s tentacles pull on us constantly…no matter if you’re jonathan-bean-37632married, single, working, not working, parenting, or not parenting.  There’s never a shortage of activity or obligation to fill our time and/or our mind.

I was on vacation recently.  I’m single, I have no kids, unless you count Carmie (my dog), and I chose a “staycation”, so there was none of the hustle and bustle that comes with travel.  There was nothing pressing that needed to be done, but still…I struggled with just relaxing… taking time to “just be.”   It actually took work to “just be”, even for small segments of the day.

I’m going to share with you what a friend reminded me of the other day.  Your rest is also a form of Godliness. God rested on the 7th day, remember? He defined His task, and when that task was finished, He rested…and took time to enjoy the fruit of his work.

Times of rest are part of our obedience to God because it falls within the frame of how He created us.

Now…rest.

God bless, and, as always, thanks for reading!
Margie

3

Your Beautiful Voice

voiceHaving a voice means … being heard, and having what you share be respected.  What it does not mean is always getting your way.

I’ve been in plenty of environments where no one cared to hear what I thought. I don’t stay in those places anymore.  I leave for two reasons. 1.  I don’t need to operate under constant disrespect. 2. If my thoughts are of no value in a given place, then I’m not needed in that place, therefore a new space where my contribution can make a valuable difference, must be found. No need to take offense in that environment. Just move on.

I’ve also been in places where I was given voice, my voice was respected, but rarely followed. Well, in those circumstances, I must respect the decision maker’s overarching knowledge, and privilege to move as he or she sees fit.  This leaves me two options…learn more, in order to provide real value, or move on to a better, more natural fit.  Either works…but here especially, you and I must hear the voice of God before choosing.  God is big on “learning more”, but that’s not without exception so always pray first.

God gave you a super smart mind, and a beautiful voice for expression, for a reason. Be sure you operate in places where both are respected, and appreciated. Otherwise, it’s a waste of precious time and energy for both you and them.

God bless, and as always, thanks for reading,

Margie

66

Loving Life Back Into You

IMAG2076Like many people, I’ve walked through some deep emotional deserts.  The last time I found myself in that emotionally lifeless place, the Holy Spirit convicted me to pour  love out onto someone…tenderly and generously.

Actually…he told me to love on Carmie…my dog.   She is my best little buddy.  She receives love better than anyone I know, and, like most dogs, does a great job of giving it back consistently.  That’s another part of the key…pour into someone who’ll  receive your love in  full, and genuinely return it.  As people can be kinda fickle this way, I would recommend anyone reading this start with their pet as well.

As I moved forward on my directive, I discovered that…the more I poured out, the more emotional refreshment I began to experience.  It didn’t take very long at all before I started feeling alive  inside again . Of course, Carmie loved the extra attention too, so it was a win all the way around.

Please don’t try to do this with someone who has rejected you, or who is unavailable to you in any other way.  The goal here is not to climb Everest. The goal is to bring life back into your own spirit. 

God bless, and as always, thanks for reading!
Margie

 

 

8

No More Nooses

As I sit here…at the end of one of the more frustrating days I’ve had in a while, it occurs to me that going to get the German Chocolate Valium (oops, I meant to say cake 😉) won’t do much for the day I’ve had.  It won’t change my productivity level, it won’t change the news I heard, or fix the mistakes I did not catch before my product went to print.  It will, though, serve to provide a moment of pure joy, and that alone may well make it worth all the calories, at this point.

I’m learning something…in weight loss and in life.  Perfection is a myth.  True excellence is in the effort, and there are times when it’s OK to relax the effort.  Like Joyce Meyer said…“sometimes it’s OK to eat the cookie and/or buy the shoes.” God will love you and I just as much, whether we do or we don’t.

If I can leave you with anything this week…it’s to treat yourself gently.  Learn from me…someone who has had to work hard to extinguish acute onslaughts of self-loathing over the mistakes that I didn’t catch, changes I haven’t made, or the life I haven’t lived.

I’m not saying we shouldn’t consistently try hard…keep reaching. We absolutely should.  We are worth the end result.  I’m just asking that you not let yourself be hung on perfection.  It’s a noose that will steal your peace, your health, and possibly your sanity.

God bless and, as always, thanks for reading!
Margie

14

Let’s Meet For Coffee…

So, you meet “a friend” for coffee, you sit down, sip your coffee and 18 hours later you wake up in another country, chained to a bed, and the procession starts.  A parade of men come through that room, doing as they please to you…while you are still chained to that bed.  Over the course of just the first week, the average number of times per day you are manhandled, while chained to that bed, is at least 25.

This is human trafficking, and human trafficking is the subject of this post.  This story, in particular, had a better ending than most.  After the first week, during a trip to the bathroom, the victim found her backup phone…which the kidnappers didn’t know she had, and was able to call her mother, who in turn was eventually able to find and send help for her daughter.

In Atlanta, GA recently, a victim was rescued because her “trafficker” received a speeding ticket while she was in the car.  She spoke up when she had the chance, and was taken into protective custody. At the time of the rescue, the young woman was, I believe, 17, but had been enslaved since the age of 12…having been sold from state to state, as a sex slave, since day one.

It’s slavery, pure and simple.  The problem exists here in the U.S., having been identified in all 50 states, as well as in Washington, D.C.  If I understood right, the average victim, once bound within the system, has a life expectancy of about 7 years.

I could throw a bunch of statistics at you, but what does it matter.  Wrong is not qualified by numbers, nor is a victim’s misery measured by how much company she has. Human Trafficking just needs to be stopped, and its victims need to be supported, more likely nurtured, back to a normal life.

Since Life Lifted is dedicated to the resurrection of life and spirit within the broken, we can think of no sweeter souls to support, than victims of human trafficking, here at home, in the U.S.

For more information on how you can help support these precious victims, please click the links below.

As always, thanks for reading and God bless!
Margie

942

Failure Doesn’t Finish Anyone

…nor does it remove the call which God has placed on your life. It doesn’t remove your giftings, or any of the skills you’ve picked up over time. Failure, in and of itself, simply provides an opportunity to see where you need to sharpen your skills or redirect your efforts.

In the Bible…Peter failed. He denied Jesus 3 times when it mattered the most.  But still – even after his failure, God chose him to begin building the church.

The people below… as successful as they were, all knew the deep, dark chasm of great failure…multiple failures actually.  Each name below serves as a link back to their respective stories.

Abraham Lincoln
Albert Einstein
Chris Gardener (Pursuit of Happyness)
Dr. Seuss

The only thing that finishes us, besides dying, is our own decision to give up…to be finished. Failure, when we’ve allowed ourselves to learn from it, propels us to even greater results!

It’s never about “what happened”; it’s only ever about OUR OWN perspective on “what happened.” If you’re tired, take a rest.  Take as much rest as you need, but then get up and get back at it.

The decision is ALL YOURS!

God bless, and as always, thanks for reading!
Margie

263

Looking For A Focus?

Trova, e godono, di grande scopo della tua vita!

Translation: “Find, and enjoy, great purpose in your life!” Finding your purpose can be as simple as taking the gifts and talents you’ve been given and putting them to use with your passions in life.

What are your gifts and talents? Generally, you’ll find those to be the things you do the best with the least amount of effort.

What are your passions? Are there news stories that keep you up at night? Are there problems, (outside of your own life) either in the world at large, or right in your neighborhood, that you feel driven to fix? What is it that makes your spirit soar? For my friend Louise, it’s street ministry.  For me…well, mind is two-fold, but both related to ministry.  Nothing makes my heart soar like being used of God to bring a positive change into someone’s life…whether it be through writing, mentoring,  or praying.  That said…I have many administrative gifts and dearly enjoy using all of them in support of someone who is getting started (or restarted) on God’s errand for their life, and doesn’t necessarily have a large staff (or church) to pull from.

A great example of passion, gifts and talents coming together is William Wilberforce. He used his affluence, his aptitude for persuasiveness, and his compassion for the helpless to, among other things, bring total abolishment to the slave trade in Great Britain. It was an issue, of which, he could not let go until it was finished in July of 1833, when the Slavery Abolition Act was finally passed. Your purpose may not be quite as big as his, but it’s every bit as important because it is what you were sent here to do.

Once you find your purpose, focus on it, and begin to enjoy the fruit of your work in that purpose!

As always, thanks for reading, and God bless!
Margie

234

It’s a Trust Thing

The root topic is fear. Anxiety, panic attacks, angst, phobias, nervous disorders…it’s all fear and fear sucks. If you don’t believe me, try it sometime. What I have learned is that, while fear can and often will imprison us, the keys to that prison cell are in our own hands. We are our own jail keepers.

It’s a trust thing. I’ve come to realize this through my own walk with fear. I’ve dealt with it throughout my entire life…I’ve allowed it to hold me back in every area of my life. In recent years, it climbed to a much higher, shinier level. It became so strong that I had no choice but to find answers. The  medication route was an option, and while I did a brief season, it didn’t last.  I’m not faulting people who take meds. I’m just not a fan.

The English translation of the bible says “perfect love casts out fear”… I would tweak that just a bit to say “trusting in (accepting) God’s perfect love casts out fear”.  Trusting that He really and truly will never leave or forsake you, and that He genuinely wants to see you prosper in all things, is the root for casting out all fear, and all fear’s off shoots. Trusting in our own acceptability before God (regardless of our performance or the opinions of others) seems to automatically permit us to accept ourselves. It does for me,  especially when I take the time to rehearse (out loud) all those scriptures that point to His unfailing love for me. In those moments when I find it within myself to make that choice to r-e-a-l-l-y trust that love…fear, rejection, isolation all dissolve. It turns me back into a strong, stable, and peaceful human being.

Like I said, it’s a trust thing, and I believe it will do the same for you.

As always, God bless, and thanks for reading,
Margie

198

Singing … Yet Another Voice

What voice haven’t you given expression to yet?
We have different avenues for voice within us, all of which come from a different place and need the gift of expression.  For me, voice comes through writing what I know…and what I hope uplifts and aids my readers, brainstorming with people to help them move forward in life, and of late…singing.

For the bulk of my adult life, which spans decades now, I’ve not been able to sing on my own. The only tunes I had  access to in my mind were a few TV  themes from childhood, and on occasion, I could take an old song and change the lyrics to leave an amusing voicemails for friends.  I could never just sing to myself for enjoyment. I would try sometimes, but nothing would come.

No…I’m not seeking the stage
When I say singing, I’m not talking about the kind of singing that others would enjoy listening to … or that I would even ask them to listen to.  I’m speaking of the singing that comes from the truest, purest, innermost place, and is generally heard only by my dog, as I piddle around the house.  It’s an expression that carries both joy and healing with it, and springs from a freedom I’ve never felt I had.  It seems to be the sealant God is using to fasten the operational side of me to the emotional/spiritual side of me …the finishing touch to the cohesion of all my parts and pieces.

To bring it home
The bottom line is this… ask God to unlock all your avenues of expression…all the ways within you that carry voice. It’s an integral part of your path to healing, happiness, and peace.   If you have a desire to sing…ask him to help you sing. If you want to write, ask Him to help you write.  If, when you see a blank piece of paper, you dearly wish you could draw…then ask God to help you draw.  No matter what it is, ask Him to help you let it out, let it breathe, then let it do it’s thing in your life!

As always, God bless and thanks for reading,
Margie

6

Change Your Perspective, Change Your Pain.

Hi there…

I say this all the time…. Change your perspective, change your pain.

In the past few weeks I’ve had some challenges. The heater started acting up, my gas range developed a leak so bad that it needed to be cut off and replaced immediately, annnnnnd… (as of today) my car won’t pass emissions without getting hundreds of dollars worth of repair work done, thereby delaying the renewal of the registration tags.   By the time the car news rolled in…I was NOT a happy camper.

I lost track of a few things along the way.
First…yes, my gas heater started acting up…and yes I needed to have it repaired.  But… the gas heater is what brought the gas company out to my house, and it was that same gas company visit which brought the issue with my gas range to light.  The gas range was emitting lethal levels of CO…even when it was turned off.  I never would have known had the heater not needed attention.  So…yes…you could say that the malfunctioning heater may well have saved my life.  Do I focus on the unexpected expense or the fact that I’m still here to talk about it? Changing your perspective changes your pain.

Gas Ranges are expensive…
Dang expensive, if you ask me.  I was bent on finding a good deal (thank you, Anthony Mahathy for the sound appliance shopping advice) on a range with a self-cleaning function.  Just last night I found her…my new gas range.  She self-cleans,  has five burners, convection functionality, delayed start and a host of other delightful attributes that I never would have thought to look for.  She is an $854 value that I paid only $399 for. Do I focus on  the fact that my old range tried to kill me, or the brand new range that is the best I’ve ever owned, and only cost $16 more than the no-frills, manual clean, base level gas ranges I’d seen in several places?  Again…changing your perspective changes your pain.

My car.  Well… in the end my car will be fixed and the tags will be current. There’s not a lot there to overly excited about…the repair won’t save my life, nor will it make my car worth twice it’s value.  The problem is inconvenient to say the least, especially given the timing. However, as the nice mechanic drove me home to await the estimate, he commented on my nice car.  I replied with a “yea…except for what all has gone wrong with it.”  He was silent.  His silence gave me pause to think that maybe he’d be grateful for my problems. It also reminded me of a few times…like the year I spent without a car….when I would have given anything to have the challenges I’m facing today.   Again…changing my perspective , changed my pain.

I’m not suggesting that this approach is a “heal all” but it will lighten the load, if you let it. Will you let it work for you? Where will you let this work for you?

As always, God bless and thanks for reading,
Margie

 

19