Archive for September, 2011

Giving Back

Seeking God authentically is not by judging others by religion, race, or sexual preferences. It is digging deep and seeing people from soul to soul. Naturally as humans we are flawed and pass judgement, but it is the lessons we can learn from those mistakes that are important. God loves all souls and sees nobody as “less”. It doesn’t matter who you are per say but what you are. It is the “what have you done for man kind” that matters. He is within all of us, it just sometimes takes some digging.

I am hoping to use examples of this on this blog that I have experienced in my life. Moments that I knew were purposely God-given and orchestrated. People I have met and knew our souls were forever connected. Places I have felt such roots to that I knew met more than just “pretty” or “historic”.

On my 21st birthday I was walking around Boston alone looking at the beautiful night sky. There are so many things I could have been doing that day, but I purposely spent it alone. I did this often. Often my fellow college students found it odd that I actually WANTED to be alone. However, I wasn’t alone. I was having my time to pray. With no surprise I found myself in front of Trinity Church in downtown Boston.
After finding some stillness, and being thankful, I decided to move on to a place a little less spiritual, Burger King.

I had a feeling while sitting at the church that I was meant to cross paths with someone that night. That I was meant to “give back” in some way. Although I was a college student turning 21 and would later celebrate it as such, I was a God-loving soul first.

Outside of Burger King I decided to celebrate my birthday like any poor college would do with their birthday money–with a Whooper! I noticed a homeless lady sitting near the door asking for change with an old cleaned out bottle of detergent. I passed her by, and pretended to not hear her.

Once in the door I felt something in the pit of my stomach telling me to turn around. I did, and saw this very same women counting her change on a table trying to buy a meal. I knew what my “giving back” was that day.

I went over and apologized for my behavior a minute earlier, and asked her if I could be honored to buy her a meal. A meal I normally couldn’t have springed for, but seeing as I had a little birthday money I could. I bought the lady a simple fish filet, fries, and a drink. She thanked me profusely, and blessed me.

I knew walking out it was one of those moments I have had in my life that would teach me a greater lesson then just buying a homeless person a meal. It was looking at a person in need, soul to soul, and doing for man kind.

I went back to my dorm and told a few people what I had done. Although I do not think they got the magnitude of it for me, or the fact I would carry that simple meal with me for the rest of my life. They just got the “awe isn’t that nice” part. That was ok, I moved on with my night like a “normal” college kid on her 21st birthday would. However, I was forever changed. Forever.

My best birthday gift ever was giving it away.

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Sometimes the best gifts you could give to yourself include…
+showing up
+stay present
+dream big
+never saying I can’t
+digging deep
+trying things out side of your norm & without a safety net
+taking time to be in the silence
+love yourself first, while not being self-centered
+not giving up
+leading my example
+taking in the little joys in everyday life (ex. a child’s laugh)
and most of all….
+having faith

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Make Dreams Reality

People often wonder why good things never happen to them. They roam the earth singing “woe is me” waiting for a hand out, or an invitation. The truth is the people they envy are the people who had the courage to dream big, trust in God, and put themselves in places/spaces that may make them uncomfortable but give them a chance.

I keep hearing in prayer “like Oprah”. While watching one of her brilliant Master Classes on OWN I realized that her lessons are life worthy to everyone on every level. Just today her Facebook status read this: “All of us need a vision for our lives, and even as we work to achieve that vision, we must surrender to the power that is greater than we know. It’s one of the defining principles of my life that I love to share: God can dream a bigger dream for you than you could ever dream for yourself.” – Oprah

Do you know how many people told Oprah she would NEVER be OPRAH? Sometimes it is the biggest nay sayers that promote motivation in the soul. Sometimes it is the people that turned your proposals down a million times that end in deep regret because you were right all along. At the end of the day Oprah is no different than any one of us. She is human. She dreamed a dream for herself and made it her reality. She trusted in God.

My experience doesn’t make me any more “special” here on earth. It just gives me a very different perspective of it then those that have never had a near-death experience. After taping the show a few months back I finally felt a sense of deep clarity. I gained that perspective and being more God centered and positive about life has filled me up. My soul has runneth over.

While carrying the words “What have you done for your fellow-man” on my back, I became a social worker and a teacher. Not for bragging rights, but for making a difference-a REAL difference in the heart of what matters-people. I am not “smarter” or “better” because I hold degrees. I am just a lover of learning, a lover of helping, and a lover of God.

The core of me always had this calling. I thought of it often but pushed it down. To big of a dream to fulfill, to afraid to fall. I have way to many people in my life that would laugh at it. I care to much of what others think. The list of self doubts go on and on.

Then I started the walk of complete faith.

If I am not willing to dream my biggest dream who will? If I am not willing to walk the walk in attempts to get there-who will get me there? Maybe all the nay sayers are 100% right but maybe along the way I am supposed to gain something major from it. Or maybe when you dare to dream your biggest dream God opens doors, and you find yourself wondering just how you got there.

I am ready to dream it. Are you?

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Seek Up: Prayer

The images of prayer always seem so man made to me. A child beside the bed with hands together, eyes closed, reciting something they memorized at bible school. The premise is sweet, but the truth is we all pray in moments we least expect.

It’s the inner-voice you often call intuition. You question something and then somehow there is an answer in your heart and mind. You wonder about someone and they call. You think about writing a painful condolence card/letter and the words just pour onto paper and read as if it is not your writing. You surrender and suddenly it turns around.

There isn’t a certain time of the day, or a particular place you need to do it. You don’t need to be in a church or beside a bed. You can be floating on top of a beautiful Aruba ocean with your eyes on the sky (one of my personal favorites), or in the midst of a bustling New York City while speed walking to the subway. You can be anywhere, doing anything, and have complete access to God. It is the beauty of His glory. He has made all things which means he is IN all things.

This is often hard to imagine when someone has really pissed you off, or you have witnessed something really ugly in the world. The thing is we are brought here to feel certain things, see certain things, and have to ability of choice. You can choose ugly, negative, evil in the world. Or you can choose light, positive, joy. People so often forget that they choose the demeanor they want to live. A huge part of being uplifted is being God centered. Being God centered is making the time for prayer.

Prayer often gets a bad rap for asking God for things. In everyone’s time in need it is the “go to” for a quick fix, and the poor man upstairs gets a bum rap when it isn’t answered. The thing is it is always answered, it just might not be the answer you want. Plus prayer isn’t about asking for things. It is about seeking clarity, a closer relationship to Him, concerns for others, and being THANKFUL.

It takes mere seconds to thank Him. Anything and everything that puts a smile to your face or lifts you up is a glorious reason. So is challenging moments when it is so easy to blame Him, or wonder where He is in your time of need. There is always a reason. Always.

Today alone I have learned a dear friend of mine is pregnant with twins (JOYOUS) while a fellow uplifting blogger is living her last days on earth. You may not think the latter is a joyous occasion too, but it is. She is finished with her journey here and going to a place that can only be described as euphoric and incredible. I am thankful to two new lives coming to this earth, and for the one that I have never met but shared such glorious, positive words to her readers.

Take time just in thought to think of what you are thankful for today. Think of those that need your prayers. Ask questions you are deeply seeking answers too. He is listening. He is there. He is everywhere.

Seek Up.

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Rise Above It

I am not here to tell you who God is to you. Your relationship is between the two you and a sacred one. Everyone has a unique space within Him, and on this earth for a very purposeful reason in His name. What you do or do not do when it comes to church, prayer, or anything else that seems “Godly” is 100% your call. He loves you no matter what. If someone tells you different they are speaking from their own space, not with God’s intent.

What I personally have been trying to do lately is living God centered. No I am not at church everyday, nor am I taking a vow of silence. I am just being conscious daily of what I am doing for man kind, and the energy I am putting out into this world. Is it negative or positive? Was I kind to someone today? Did I help someone today?

Hey listen, we all have a bad day. We all get stopped in our tracks with negative people, and chaos/drama. The real test is if you can rise above it.

Rise Above It.

This is the line that continually has played in my head every night for the past week I have prayed. I was recently dealing with a negative soul and the entire time I wanted to feed myself into it, I kept telling myself self-rise above it.

When you let yourself get caught up in negativity and stop noticing the silver lining, your start to take the life you are blessed to live for granted. You get caught up in yourself or others chaos, that you forget to breathe in the pure joy of your childs giggle.

Staying God Centered for me is about reminding myself of my purpose. I am still not exactly clear on what that is, but I still need to be reminded that I am needed in this world for positive things not negative ones. I do not need to sacrifice my soul to negative people, places, or things. I can, after all, rise above it.

So shall you.

May you find even on your worst day, in your darkest hour, the light in which we are blessed to be here. May you rise above it.

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