Tag Archive | relationships

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.

 

Pause

pause

In just one pause, one deep breath, one slow down there can be peace.

….And just like that a few days slip past and I am absorbed back into the chaos and perspective and peace are in my rear view mirror.  Lesson number one for me today- relationships doesn’t take the weekend off.  Lesson number two in direct line with lesson number one- I need to stay dialed in to my pursuit of perspective and peace by staying dialed in to my relationship with God.  Lesson number three- my days are filled with me, an imperfect person, moving through an imperfect world, surrounded by other imperfect people doing less then imperfect things so why expect anything less?

I must keep my perspective on the things that matter- on GOD.  On the one perfect in my imperfect life.  Things seem great I must trust Him.  Things are falling apart I must trust Him.  Its a lazy Saturday afternoon I must trust Him.  Its a world wind Monday I must trust Him.  When my bonus is big I must trust Him. When I don’t know how we will make it through I must trust Him.

I have to build in the pause.  I have to build it in as I start my day and every hour of every day because life is going to through me crap, curve balls, distractions and sometimes even good ones.  I have to have those 10 second windows built in to remember HE is perfect.  To see things through Him.  To ask. To wait. To listen.  To hear.  It is not about my circumstances but about my reactions, about my right responses and the ONLY place I will find those is in the Pause- in the Purposeful Perspective that comes with Peace.

So as I am hurrying to do something last night that was good but not necessary, as I missed my exit and back tracked around, as I walked in to just turn around and walk out, as I grumbled the first 1o minutes of my ride back home I heard that small voice. ” Not everything that is good is worth it and did you even take a moment to pause today?”

Ps 73 21-28

21 Then I realized that my heart was bitter,
    and I was all torn up inside.
22 I was so foolish and ignorant—
    I must have seemed like a senseless animal to you.
23 Yet I still belong to you;
    you hold my right hand.
24 You guide me with your counsel,
    leading me to a glorious destiny.
25 Whom have I in heaven but you?
    I desire you more than anything on earth.
26 My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak,
    but God remains the strength of my heart;
    he is mine forever.

27 Those who desert him will perish,
    for you destroy those who abandon you.
28 But as for me, how good it is to be near God!
    I have made the Sovereign Lord my shelter,
    and I will tell everyone about the wonderful things you do.

Probably won’t but I should

rainy dayDay 32 Project 365

Been awhile since I did more than a quick post from my phone. Though I am actually logged in tonight I am not quite in a place where I am ready to really write. I am recovering from feeling like death warmed over and still not myself. I am exhausted and emotionally feel like I have been ran over. I can’t quite explain that either. I mean I can, but, I probably won’t. I am stuck and feeling like I am going through motions. I know what I would like to do, but, I probably won’t. On that note I need to go back to some basics. Some things I know pull me out of this place. I need a new direction. I need ………to catch my breath!

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

Picture Credit

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.

Photo Credit

Pass the bar of soap and hand that kid a bill!

soapDay 10 Project 365

“Okay so let me make sure I understand what it is you are saying. I have no idea what I am talking about because I am old and I couldn’t possibly understand!”

I about spit my water a crossed the waiting room yesterday listening to a mom and her daughter have a conversation. It took everything I had not to laugh out loud but when the mom repeated back to her daughter the above sentence I about fell out of my chair choking.

We all remember what is was like to know our parents had “NO CLUE!” We thought we knew it all and now, today our kids are living up to the threat of our mothers. “I hope when you grow up you have a kid just like you so you can see what it feels like!”

This mom and her daughter had quite the conversation and it wasn’t pretty. I felt very bad for the mother as what started out kinda funny turned into something very disrespectful. When did things change and becoming about entitlement? Have we always been so entitled? Did I miss it somewhere along the way and throw the paperwork out with the junk mail. You know, the paper that makes todays mom and dads have to hand over every modern convenience so their kids lives can be comfortable? The paperwork that says whatever it is that makes you happy at whatever cost I will do? Did the fine print say you can call me names and belittle me and I am supposed to talk it.

This mom sat there for about 10 minutes as this child who was probably 16 or 17 rattled off.

Yeah know, I know what it is to parent out of guilt. I know what it is to beat myself up. Sure, I wish I could provide for my kids a more comfortable life and be able to give them some of the things they want. Yet, it is in moments like this when I hear a kid who has a newer car than mine her parents pay for, no responsibilities, because as she stated her car insurance, phone, clothes, entertainment and wants are her parents responsibilities I thought WOW. I have 3 kids on their own right now. I couldn’t be more proud of them and I am thankful that along the way I tried to be real. It isn’t easy but all along the way they had to pay for their cars, insurance, cell phones and lots of things they wanted. I wasn’t in a place I could and in the times when I was I did what I could. The point is this. As I listen to this kid I thought what happens when she faces the real world? What prepares her then? Then I think to the grown lady in the store line behind me the day before Christmas that about took out my tonsils because I looked at her. According to her my white self shouldn’t be glancing in her direction. Then there is the two men I heard fighting over a parking spot at the gas station. One even said “Do you know who I am?” How about the little girl I met the other day. Her dad looked at me like I was crazy when my mouth fell open that his little girl just used a full sentence that included the f word. I was speechless but his sentence of explanation included the f word too so why was I surprised. Does who we are, who are parents are, what color or skin is or isn’t, where we went to school, what position we hold at work on in society, or any thing else for that matter grant us permission to wear entitlement like a right?

Call it reaping what we sow. Giving someone everything they want with no responsibility does what? Where and how do you learn value? Value of things, people or ones self? How is hard work and ethic taught? Where do we learn boundaries and motivation. How about how to achieve a goal or the sense of accomplishment when we earn something? Really, are we afraid to hold them to a higher standard? Might that then mean we have to tow the same line? We seemed so shocked at certain things but would those things be happening if people, places and things actually held VALUE!

As this mom walked away after attempting to tell her daughter that she had just humiliated her and disrespected her in public that daughters reply, “I don’t really care you are childish and ridiculous. You think you scare me with your idol threats? You will still pay for my stuff and I will still go to that party!”

See, I think the paper with the new rules never existed. I think our sad departure from morals and values that are real and teach of value changed and weakened and this thing called entitlement is an infectious disease. An excuse in some ways and in others a sad cop-out.

You say to me yesterday, I buy her everything she wants I know its tough being 15 I know its hard being her I know that kids are mean.
My reply today, the answer isn’t in the gifts, in the lack of rules or the extra privileges. The answer is in us getting real and involved and in teaching our kids to take pride in who they really are and stuff doesn’t make you cool, or liked or valued. If stuff taught that this kid sitting beside her mom yesterday would be up for daughter of the year award instead of in need of some soap in her mouth and an attitude adjustment.

Not saying I have done it all right parenting, that my kids are perfect. Just a wake up call to think about every action having a ripple effect on everyone watching, everyone including our kids. After all we live what we learn.