Tag Archive | Goals

Negative Focus

focus

He has to renew my mind because I can not.  I am flawed and lack focus.  Well correction.  I can focus on the wrong things. I can focus on the problem not the solution. I can spin in circles draining my joy trying to master the problem, make it make sense, understand it and still find no way to control it.

“A renewed mind is Presence-focused.” That comes from a daily renewing of my mind.

Not every mountain is mine to climb.  Not every problem is mine to solve.  At the last minute there may be a detour and if I am focused too far ahead I have wasted so much time and energy that I fall out of focus on the today, on the now.  He ALWAYS makes provision, I have to seek Him, renew in Him, focus on Him and stay immersed, in Him.

The result is I lose my Joy and I have days like I had yesterday where I allow outside stuff to steal my peace.  I lose my focus.  I think it was last week I read a devotion on Choosing Joy. 

“. Jesus did not come so that we can merely survive life. Pagans can survive life. Jesus came to be our joy…..Joy is not the result of outward circumstances. Joy is an inside job, a deeply rooted confidence that God is in control. Every trial or loss, every defeat or victory measured against this confidence can be counted as joy….The Apostle Paul was a man of great joy. By human terms, he had every right to be angry and even bitter. Instead, he chose joy. Persecuted, imprisoned and facing His own death, Paul says, “I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through Him who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:12-12, NIV)…..We cannot avoid pain but we can avoid joy. Our inward perspective does not have to reflect our outward circumstances. The pursuit of joy is a matter of choice…..

A little boy was overheard talking to himself as he strutted through the backyard, a baseball cap on his head, ball and bat in hand. He was muttering, “I’m the greatest hitter in the world!” Then he tossed the ball in the air, swung at it, and missed. “Strike one!” He picked up the ball, threw it into the air and said to himself, “I’m the greatest hitter ever!” He swung at the ball again. “Strike two!” He paused, examined his bat and ball and threw the ball into the air, missing a third time. He cried out, “Wow! I’m the greatest pitcher in the world!”

Yes, the pursuit of joy is a matter of choice and perspective. It is also a matter of obedience. As Christians, one of our spiritual priorities should be joy.

“One ship sails east.

One ship sails west.

Regardless of how the winds blow,

It is the set of the sail

And not the gale

That determines the way we go.”

(Author unknown)

Set your sails for joy, girlfriend! Celebrate! Revel in who God is, in what He has done, is doing and will do in your life when you choose joy.”

 

And there it is.  Perspective.  Choice. A matter of obedience.

Keeping it real….today is a new day.

 

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P’s

pp

When I was little I hated peas. Seriously my mom and dad would have to give me and my little sister Danielle a $1 a spoon and then I would swallow them whole with a huge gulp of milk. While my sister Brooke would just eat the whole bowl, for FREE.  EWWWW

I’m older now and I actually will eat some types of sweet peas on occasion but still find my self struggling with other types of P’s in my life.  You know:  procrastination, problems, pressure, people, perspective, peace.

I am learning continually the art of perspective and the lessons are coming as fast as I can  focus/refocus.  I can’t always look ahead, plan out, control what is happening.  Too many variables.  In my readings this morning a light bulb moment- when the wave is headed at me it seems so treacherous.  If I focus on the circumstances and spring into control, kill or be kill, knee jerk reaction mood I surely will drown when that wave hits. I will most certainly blow it into something larger than it was ever intended to be.  Yet if I keep my focus in the moment firmly planted in and on GOD and trust Him with the circumstances, trust Him with the storm, then by the time the wave reaches me it is shrunk to proportions of HIS design.

Philippians 4:4-7The Message (MSG)

4-5 Celebrate God all day, every day. I mean, revel in him! Make it as clear as you can to all you meet that you’re on their side, working with them and not against them. Help them see that the Master is about to arrive. He could show up any minute!

6-7 Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.

Perspective is a lesson I am learning every day.  As I continue taking moment by moment, living in the here and now and looking ahead, I have to remember continually to assume nothing, to release that which is not mine to own, to seek HIM first in all my Steps and not focus on what seems to be headed my way.  I can control nothing but boy do I think I can.  When I keep my perspective in check and on him then the circumstances of my day, the events, the interaction with people ( and traffic) are manageable.  When I change my perspective then peace follows.  And these are P’s I can devour.

(Jesus Calling devo inspiration)

 

Do the 1 thing

be who So I had a total different plan for my blog this morning.  Each morning I spend some time in the word and read a few devotions that have ministered to me over the years.  I just love it when the words for the day are so intertwined and link together.  When the word just leaps off the page and penetrates my soul.  After some time in the word this morning I opened up my Proverbs 31 email to read today’s devotion and wow-

“God’s voice thunders in marvelous ways; he does great things beyond our understanding. He says to the snow, ‘Fall on the earth,’ and to the rain shower, ‘Be a mighty downpour.’” Job 37:5-6 (NIV) – See more at: http://proverbs31.org/devotions/devo/#sthash.8tA9L5y8.dpuf

Today’s devotion is about being who God created you to be.  A common theme maybe but as I have spent the last few months trying to find my place, own my own stuff and find a way to define what I need and where I stand and my direction, today really ministered to my heart.  The devotion goes on to say:

“So God says to the snow, “Fall on the earth.” That’s it. Just do one thing. Just fall. And then He says to the rain shower, “Be a mighty downpour.” Essentially, He’s saying: Just do the thing I’ve actually created you to do. You’re rain … so rain. You’re snow … so snow.

I love the simplicity of that, the tremendous weight it takes off my shoulders. God’s asking me to be the thing He’s already created me to be. And He’s asking you to be the thing He’s already created you to be.

He doesn’t tell the snow to thaw and become rain, or the rain to freeze itself into snow. He says, essentially: Do your thing. Do the thing you love to do, what you’ve been created to do.”

JUST DO THE THING!  If I am snow then snow.  If I am rain then pour down!  I have reread this a dozen times.  With tear stained cheeks I realize that yet again I get so lost in all the expectations and seemingly necessary stuff that I end up dancing to a song I created instead of the play list He set apart for me.  Yes, there are things I must do but, when and why did I stop JUST DOING THE THING?  I let too many other things define me.  I get stuck in a Martha habit when a Mary heart is sometimes needed.  Oh my goodness I am moved today, moved to rediscover and redefine and reignite.  I am excited that though this word wasn’t written just for me today it found me right when I needed to be pushed to the next level.  Right when I needed to define the next moment by moment thing for today!  Right when I needed to JUST DO THE THING!

With great anticipation I step boldly……….

Just a number

scaleDay 15 Project 365

We were moving! Moving in to a 3200 sq ft house. I was excited and exhausted. The previous owners had left a mess. ( HUGE UNDERSTATEMENT!) No part of this house didn’t have to be cleaned, painted or repaired. So after weeks of work we were down to the final steps. We needed to prime and paint every room so we called in the troops. Literally a dozen people on top of the 9 of us, descended upon our house in a paint party to end all paint parties. We had started early in the morning and by lunch time we were a tad punchy. It was about then that we realized that most of the punchiness was due to the fact that for the last hour we had been using the 2nd bucket of primer we had opened and it was oil based and we were all pretty much high. The jokes were flowing and the laughter was too. I remember a friend pulling up in the drive way and hollering in, I can tell you are all high from the fumes out here. We laughed and went back to painting. We were almost done and finishing off the formal dining room. It was me, my oldest son Nik and my friend Mary. The ‘Your MOMMA” jokes had started about 20 minutes earlier. Nik says to Mary your momma is so fat she eats Wheat Thicks instead of Wheat Thins! I think we laughed so hard we cried. Mary called her husband and told him about the paint mistake, the fumes, the wheat thicks. We laughed some more.

My friend is telling me the other day about the show Duck Dynasty and how one of the guys is going mattress shopping. I guess one guy says he doesn’t like to have to shake the sheets to find his woman. He likes that all he has to do is look for the low spot.

Once I was standing in line at the store when this guy says to his friend, “If she needs to eat a sub, I ain’t interested!” Now every time my husband sees a really skinny girl he says, “she needs to eat a sub!”

We have all heard the jokes and funny stories and laughed a little. As someone who struggles with the issue of weight I have laughed and cried my share of tears at the rude comments, hurtful looks, lack of self-esteem and self-confidence. I have been convinced I am not good enough because I don’t look a certain way. I have heard the “your kids will be ashamed of you comments” one too many times. I have tried every fad diet and tried and tried and tried. Some successes and some failures. I have been slave to the number checking and re checking. I have allowed outside sources to determine the number attached to my goal. What would make me beautiful to be defined my things that fade away. I surely wasn’t design for YOUR idea of what looks good on me or what it looks like to be in my skin.

Even my perspective on this issue has to change. A number on a scale doesn’t define me. Your idea of beautiful should not define me. I might never be what you think is skinny enough or pretty enough.

I love the commercials, I think it is for the Dove campaign for real beauty. Real women loving who they are and being comfortable in their skin. Could I do it? Probably not! Not quite there yet!

Being comfortable in my own skin means way more than being okay with what I see when I look in the mirror.

I have lost and gained and lost and gained and though I have been in the mode of losing since my son’s wedding it is quite different this time. I haven’t made a big deal. I haven’t shared my “new number” with many. People have noticed and made comment. I have thanked them. I am trying to not allow a number to be what it is about. To be my focus. I am not a slave to a number. I am not following some crazy set of rules that are destined to fail. (I can say that with complete certainty because I have done this before). As I examine my perspective I know that even this area of my life needs a change of my vision. It will never work if I don’t change my insides. My outlook starts on the inside too. Just like guns don’t kill people, people kill people. Food in and of itself doesn’t make me fat. I know my thoughts have a huge part of what I look like on the outside. As I identify my real feelings I find 95% of the time I am not even remotely hungry. I am finding that as I acknowledge my emotions and my thoughts I can deal with them instead of self medicate with food.

I have a lot of things I am learning right now. Perspectives that are changing and even in this moment I am making an active choice to do just that.

I don’t share the stories above without a point. I laugh differently today then I did back then. I used to laugh with an over whelming sense of guilt and shame. Today, I laugh because it is just a number, a thing. It doesn’t define me nor is it who I am destined to be. I am making strides, huge leaps and bounds above where I used to be. Maybe you can’t see it but, its okay! The biggest change is in me. Is in the things that no longer have the power to pull me.

Continuing to change..

Picture Credit
Resource-
Lose it For Life This book is pretty awesome. They have a little daily devotional/inspirational book too that is great. It really addresses the change in thinking needed. It is a great resource if you have the time to read it.

MORE BEAUTIFUL YOU – Johnny Diaz

Bitter Root

dogDay 14 Project 365

And so it continues into the night.

I have these nights when I can not shut off my brain. I do everything I know possible to relax and shut down but, sleep is nowhere to be found. Instead, a whirl of thoughts and before I know it sunrise is approaching.

Last night was one of those nights.

After days of thoughts on perspective, changing my outlook, inner healing I have been in some deep thought.

Like a dog with a bone, I have a hold of something I can’t seem to let go. I spent the day yesterday talking to myself wondering why, why can’t I seem to shake this one thing. Some where around 2 a.m. it dawned on me. I don’t think I want to let it go. I think if I let it go I know I will have to actually participate in life with people I don’t want in my life. Even the not wanting in my life is a problem. I don’t feel I created the problem. Yet, it has become one. A big one! What part is mine? What is really not? A mix of hellacious crap.

Deep breath and small side note. No names are needed and please, if you “think” you know to whom I am referring because you are in my “inner circle”, please don’t even ask.

It is enough to know this. I have some deep seeded un-forgiveness. I have some bitterness and resentments and I don’t want to let them go. I know I need to. I know un-forgiveness is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die. I know it is the bait of satan. I know that my issue lays a lot in how I perceive people and situations and the need for “justice” and validation and (gulp) revenge! I know that I can not move forward until I address this and let it go. I also know that some of this is misplaced and that in itself is a hornets nest. I know! Understand? I really KNOW! I have let it go before AND gone RIGHT back.

Part of getting whole and changing perspective is admitting, painfully, honestly, completely admitting. There is something I have allowed to take took root in my life. Deep root. I allowed it. I welcomed it in, polished it, made it comfy and poured it some tea. There are moments when I am in a situation and I have a thought and think WOAH Who have I become?

There is a fear if I cut it out I might be required to participate again and in that case get used and hurt and some how validate the crap said persons have put me through. Validate the lies the hurt the abuse, the crap! After all, why should I be the only one willing to admit and make amends? Why is it I am the only one that has to deal, face and “grow up”?

I read back, I know better, I know. I have worked recovery enough to know. I know for the LOVE OF GOD I KNOW! (yes, I am yelling. Screaming actually because it is very overwhelming.)

And in this knowing is chaos. Maybe I have become comfortable in it. I know what to expect. I am used to it. It is every single day. Maybe, just maybe I have never required anything different. Maybe some of this rests on me.

I have to address this until it is gone. I have to deal with it and yet in needing to start I don’t know where to start and then I don’t want to start. Not really. However, I know, that if I continue “using this drug” it will surely kill me, kill my dreams and my otherwise “healthy” relationships and poison my life source!

So ensues tossing and turning and the battle within my mind and heart and oh how thankful I am I can have real conversations with God and He hears me. I know that there is no condemnation. I know that grace abounds. I just have to decide to walk back out and be honest about what I see. Half the battle is in admitting and then comes the need to surrender.

It is the knowing I need to know that I need to know that I need to let it go.

I know! Did I already say that a few times. I KNOW!

I surrendered to the fact I wasn’t going to sleep last night and finally drifted off somewhere about 3. By 5:15 a.m. I was back awake and instantly my head was overwhelmed.

The cry of my heart today is pretty intimate. The requirements that are necessary for recovery will come with a price but, not as high as the cost if I don’t surrender and allow Him.

In my life I have learned when I don’t even know where to start just the name of Jesus is enough.

Jesus.

HEALER by Hillsong

Surrender by Marc James

Another blog about letting go.

Root of Bitterness bible study

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I jumped! UGH

finger pointingDay 13 Project 365

I have been chewing on yesterdays message from TD Jakes.

Listen. I used to think something was wrong with me. I bought into the no grace concept that if I didn’t get freedom the first time something was wrong with me. I wasn’t really saved. I didn’t really know Jesus. I didn’t really want it bad enough. I was a “sinner” unrepentive. It took a while but I broke free from the lies of that mess and I know not everyone is free on the first touch. I will even tell you that there are some things I struggle with that I believe I might always struggle with, not because God can’t take this thorn from my flesh but, because I would tend to think “I got this now!” and need Him a little less mindset might creep in if it was gone.

Make any sense? I might be wrong but I also know there are things HE did take from me but I walked back into the city. I stepped back into the same crap different day and out of His covering. I walked right out from under His hand, His plan and His will. I know it! I even jumped the whole time looking back saying out loud, I know I shouldn’t do this but….

Ever since yesterday afternoon I have been battling myself. The knowing that I have to walk out of “Bethesda” yet again. I stood in the middle of my back yard (by now my neighbors already have it figured out I am sure- I am nuts!) having quite a conversation with myself. I find speaking words out helps them lose their power so I needed to get this crap out. There are things, things I have said and things I hold on to and wrong types of wishful thinking that are keeping me from seeing clearly. Keeping me from being fully free to move forward in the purpose He designed me for.

GOOD GRIEF LESLIE- what were you thinking? Maybe that enough was enough. That it was my turn. That I deserve this. That the moment mattered more than the mission. I know but I don’t know. What I do know is I jumped. Both feet forward, well down really, into a mess and in turn took a detour knowing full well it was the wrong way and that it would cost me more than I could afford to spend to find my way back to the right way!

So today, the fingers point at me. ME ME ME and only ME.

And even in knowing all this, I am still arguing doing the next right thing???? HOLY CRAP girl. What will it take?

I know the answer. Total rhetorical question.

(Disclaimer: I have asked Him over and over to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be and now as I know that prayer is coming again this time I think I need to add the AND KEEP ME THERE part. Buckle up yet again, this could be a bumpy ride! I know I need Him to unclutter my life. I know I have to change my inner perspective on so many things.)

Through the Veil by Gwen Smith
UNCLUTTER by GWEN SMITH
Photo Credit

Outlook

prescottDay 12 Project 365

For days I have been getting message and after message about perspective and changing and why it is we repeat and repeat. So today I sat to listen to some TD JAKES and the message was on changing my outlook. So what follows in todays blog is my notes as I listened along with a link to the videos of the two messages this notes are from. The messages can be found under the POTTERS TOUCH tab at the top of the webpage.

TDJAKES Importance of Right Outlook

Mark 8:22-26
New International Version (NIV)
Jesus Heals a Blind Man at Bethsaida
22 They came to Bethsaida, and some people brought a blind man and begged Jesus to touch him. 23 He took the blind man by the hand and led him outside the village. When he had spit on the man’s eyes and put his hands on him, Jesus asked, “Do you see anything?”
24 He looked up and said, “I see people; they look like trees walking around.”
25 Once more Jesus put his hands on the man’s eyes. Then his eyes were opened, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly. 26 Jesus sent him home, saying, “Don’t even go into[a] the village.”

Could you be busy doing stuff that does not even matter, neglecting stuff you were created to do?
I pray that you get your head on straight because it isn’t what’s on the outside that is the problem. It is what is on the inside.

What did GOD hope for when He created me? What did he have in mind for me to do while I am here?

I pray that the eyes of your understanding might be enlightened, that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what you were created for, what He hoped for when He made you. That you might know the riches of inheritance. Your own hidden treasure hidden inside of you. What God placed what gifts lay inside of you.

There is treasure in your trash!

I want you to know what is the exceeding greatness of His power, if you only believe. How much power God when invest if you believe. He healed blind people over and over and over- he is not after disease on the outside he is about disease on the inside. How important it is to get your head on straight.

Your in-look determines your outlook!

Healing of blindness-not just physical but on the inside!

He doesn’t want us to develop a recipe for healing blindness- we all have different ways of coming to a moment of greatness where we see things and get it together. It can be that we have childish things in our lives while we pray adult prayers. Some of us are in the process of being healed while we are trying to heal everyone else. Could it be we have become a judge jury and hangman all while afflicted ourselves. It is much easier to fix someone else then fix ourselves.

One touch doesn’t always do it. One time might not always do it. Two might not be enough. We could be functioning up under a first touch experience.
Until the blind man sees in environment correctly his outlook will never change. First thing Jesus did was lead the blind man out of the city he had just be brought into. Why does Jesus turn around and walk the man out of where he just walked into? What do you want the blind man to see about his environment? Jesus brings the blind man out of the city and then says your healing will take nothing once I get you out of your environment. He used spit. His foolishness is better than the wisdom of this world. You are trying to have a GOD experience in a worldly environment- dab my world with religion and wonder why things don’t change. Jesus spat on him- there comes a time you don’t care what it takes to get out of your situation you simply want out.
When you are in trouble you can’t afford to be insulted. You just want out. You need the help too bad to be insulted. When you get in real trouble you no longer care- no more excuses- you get help at any cost. When you get sick and tired of being sick and tired you get help at any cost. Desperation comes when you have been in the condition too long. You stop making excuses and blaming people. You say whatever it takes. Whatever it takes.

Help me!

Jesus spits in his eyes, lays hands on him and says what do you see?

Are you willing to challenge your perception?

He says Lord I see men walking as trees! He determines the depth of his inner healing by his outlook. How do you see people? Distrust, fear, anxiety, disdain, crave them, long for their approval? How you see them says something about your recovery. Why didn’t the man test his eyes on something else? Your outlook is a reflection of what is going on inside you. It is far more important to you then what you are looking it. Is the problem with the eyes or with from in. You can have a touch from GOD and still not have the right outlook. You can be saved and still not have recovery. This man has a legitimate experience with Christ that has made him better but not whole. This first stage of recovery represents most believers= better but not whole. The difference btwn better and whole is determined by outlook.

Jesus didn’t need to ask him a question to know the state of his recovery. He already knew. He has asked how are you doing and what do you see. He asked so the man could confess that one touch is not enough. I’m not what I ought to be but thank God I am not what I used to be. I have had a touch but my outlook is still not good. Why I am like this? Because I still don’t see people clearly.

Change your life change your mindset.

In spite of my past, my circumstances, my need, my lack, my afflictions, I still made it- FOCUS on that!
There is a they in your life- for the blind man they brought him to Jesus. Maybe for us it is a grandmother, a friend. Someone that brought us the first time.

A closed mind never receives anything from GOD. Perspective is everything! If you are disciplined in your perspective you will be victorious in your outcome.
It’s not what happens to you it’s about what you feel about what happens to you. Proper perspective is critical and takes discipline.
I’m saved but I’m still negative, I’m saved but I’m still controlling I am saved but I’m still…..Why ? Because I still don’t see people clearly.
If I get my outlook right you can’t stop me from being blessed. Discipline to hold on to your perspective. Be sober and vigilant. Your perspective is under attack. The enemy wants you to think you can’t.

DON’T ALLOW PEOPLE TO ANCHOR YOU DOWN AS AN ALBATROSS AROUND YOUR NECK AND LEAVE YOU LIMITED SO THEY CAN HAVE FELLOWSHIP AND YOU CAN HAVE FAILURE.

You must be new. Your perspective must be new. Newness begins inside then spreads to environment around you!

I know I need another touch because of how I see people, because of my outlook. I am still negative, unforgiving, controlling.

Do you want a miracle or are you satisfied to be half way there or do you want to be whole? Do you want it bad enough? I am glad for what you did but before you leave do it again! I need a touch! I need to be made WHOLE. My outlook is not right. If you walk away seeing men as trees you will contaminate everything you touch because you don’t not have the outlook that is necessary to move you into your destiny. If you think that where you have been hasn’t affected your outlook one touch won’t do you and you might just need to keep going back. Jesus looks at the man and says come here let me finish what I started. This time you don’t need a they. You come. You bring yourself. You know where you are. I am alpha and omega I am the beginning and the end I am the first and the last I didn’t bring you out of that mess to leave that mess in you.

Declaration of faith today- I am coming all the way out. I am getting my vision back, my outlook back, my integrity back. I am going to start doing the right things for the right reasons.

He didn’t spit the second time. He said you are close enough now I won’t have to do what I did the first time to finish doing what I started doing in your life. This time I am just going to lay my hands. I know you are close because you know where you are. He said Lord I want to be your disciple. To be a real disciple means I want to see like you see. I want to get your insight. I want to know what you think, measure my sight against your sight. Do those look like trees to you? Jesus said I need to lay hands on you again so you can see like I see. If you see what I see you can have what I have!
The devil tries to contaminate our outlook because our power is in our outlook!

The man is whole. Completely healed. He has the same vision as the Lord has.
DON’T GO BACK! Once your head is on straight don’t go back. You can go anywhere but backwards.

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