A Season to Dream Of…

A Christmas Special

dreamon

So… I have surrendered a little bit to you about some of my struggles through my time in the desert. However… even though the present may be a long, dry season, we have talked about the harvest that awaits, which we will gratefully enjoy… soon enough. But beyond the harvest… there is plenty more in store to dream about. But why do we have to wait?

The gifts of this season… received in a DASH

dream to laugh

The key to dashing to success in the relationship business is having someone on your dream team who’s laugh is way funnier than the joke, or so I’ve been recently told. Loving life is done right when we are able to laugh lightly at our failure and loudly in our freedom. We all have little events that can turn our world and our crown upside down and the greatest gift of all is having a friend who gets you through them without even trying, and makes the most joyful sound that brings a smile to your heart.

Remix your view on friends for life

Good friends are like the fabulous finds and furniture pieces that fill every room in your home… It just wouldn’t be home with out them. I don’t know about your daily habit but what I truly love about mine is… what makes life worth living daily stands out, usually in crimson red letters, because those I choose to keep close in life… speak life always.

A relationship with more in store

A man hath joy by the answer of his mouth: and a word spoken in due season, how good is it!

Proverbs 15:23

Whale, enough said. Whether you’re interested in what I’ve got or not… I know I got the deal of a lifetime when God saved me. FYI – He is all about saving when it comes to me and you. The best thing about it… is those He saved just to put in my life and yours. God knows what and who is needed for every season ahead my friend.

This battle buddy of mine is top grade. She’s a teacher by trade, fearfully created and wonderfully made. She’s a real piece of “heart work.” Thanks for always keeping me heart strong with a laugh and a smile that is always in style.

 

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Carla

A Reason for the Season

Do you believe in the magic?

the magic of christmas...is to believe

Christmas in July

I know what you’re thinking… it’s August. However, in my reflection of this past month, I have come to realize that my time spent in the desert has given me more than just something to thirst for. Somehow it gave me just what I needed to refill my cup. I suppose you could say, during my search through the dry land, I magically stumbled upon the wishing well of my dreams and all I have to do is draw from it daily.

Each day lived in the present is a gift

There is a saying from Bill Keane, in The Family Circus newspaper cartoon of  August 31, 1994 that goes like this “Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery but today a gift, that’s why it’s called the present.” Not wanting to take time for granted; how can we be sure to make the most of each day we have been gifted with as we fight on for the love we so richly deserve? We need to do more than just aim to feel good… we must fuel good. What I mean to say is… in relationships, we need more that just the gift of good company, we need those that continue to feed us what’s good.

The gift of being fed by the fellowship

John 21:17

Jesus asked a third time, “Simon son of John, do you love Me?” Peter was deeply hurt that Jesus had asked him a third time, “Do you love Me?” “Lord, You know all things,” he replied. “You know I love You.” Jesus said to him, “Feed My sheep.

Since I realized my need to surrender my old way of thinking about preparing to give thanks, I figure… if I’m going all in and looking forward to the miracle of an abundant harvest… the best way to prepare to receive it is to thank the laborers in the field. They are the sheep feeders and they are gifts that God has given to me… to fuel good always, in good times or baa-aa-aa-ad. (insert sheepish grin)

In the next few visits you will get to meet them. No hocus-pocus to keep you focused over here; just the miracle of God in the fruitful friendships that sprung up from a mustard seed planted in the desert.

So grab some jiffy popcorn and stay tuned…a Christmas special is coming soon!

Pulling Up a Second Seat

All things aside, when it comes to the relationship business…it’s your company that matters.

wall mounted open signage
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Monday has arrived and I am ready to get down to business! If you are open to the next step in seeking out the love you so richly deserve, then let’s talk about relationship goals!

#NEWWEEKNEWGOALS

The last time we met at this round table, we were on the subject of the company we will choose to keep in this fight. During my reveal of some of my battle buddies in my last post, I hope you were able to recognize my position at the table. I have pulled up a second seat to sup and drink of my cup with my gate-keeper and king, and I extended an invitation to you. With him at the head of the table, I place the guest list in his hands for a closer look. If you have taken your position, then you’re first in line before anyone else. He’s checking you out and your line up.

“Bad company corrupts good character” 1 Corinthians 15:33

So back to the goal…what are we aiming for again? An affair to remember or a love to be recorded in the history books of all time. Consider this…every great love story begins with good characters… There is a Japanese proverb that says if the character of a man is not clear to you, look at his friends. If we are going to fight the good fight for love for our own selves, we need to be able to be in company with those that are making better choices than we have been used to.

What are we using to measure up

measuring up_gratitude

“You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with” Jim Rohn

In love and life, I want relationships that are above average… especially the relationship with myself. I say a bucket full of hope adds up to a lot be grateful for but in weighted matters of the heart we can’t just hope for the best. The best battle buddies will be those that you are grateful for because they are there, tried and true, at all times… even when the odds are not in your favor. Good quality friends with true character will always be above average when measured on the scale.

“Associate yourself with people of good quality, for it is better to be alone than in bad company.” Booker T. Washington

We have already established that it is not recommended for you to battle this one out on your own, so it is best to use discernment and choose wisely. I know I did. I look forward to seeing you again on the other side of the gate!

Never Second Best

Now that you have succumbed to living your life surrendered to the discovery of true love for your own self….we can discuss seeking help. Yes, that’s right…. I said help! Now since you are a first-timer to the concept of surrender, I know this is a little hard to swallow but that huge lump in your throat is really just your pride. Our need for others is nothing new. Since the beginning of our relationship, when we took our first look at what love is actually, I disclosed that taking the path on the journey to true love is not a trip recommended for one. Especially if we want this battle won.

black and white sport fight boxer
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The Champ vs. Chump Dilemma

Like I said before… the biggest struggle in our fight for love is the battle within. No one feels good when looking forward to a losing battle and the fear of looking like a chump makes the struggle real. Having help does not make one less worthy of the title, and real champs recognize they didn’t get to the top by their own might alone. We all need someone in our corner. In our fight to find a love that is not second best, we just need to make sure we find the right one(s).

Finding your Battle Buddy

the fight in my two handsThe love you’re aiming for is in your hands…” the ME in the mirror

The first thing we need to address is… this is a different kind of fight. In the undying words of Pat Benatar “LOVE is a BATTLEFIELD” and I have been through the battle enough times to know that to keep on soldiering on, one must have a battle buddy. Heck, some of us need an entire platoon or squadron. Determining your need will be based on three things.

Three key things to consider when looking for your battle buddy or squad:

  • Know your position: what kind of stance do you usually take in a fight? Knowing the position you take will help you find those that will give you enough cover in the areas you need. All things considered, in your past experience with love you probably just wanted someone by your side that looked at and did things the same way as you. This time you’ll want someone who sees and is willing to do the things you don’t or won’t.
  • Know what you’re aiming at: To move forward in this good fight you must commit to not looking back. That’s what you employ your special forces for. Let me explain…there is no time for games. This is not your first-time and we are not playing laser tag. This fight is for real! Once you know what you’re aiming at, you need to be able to set your scope and focus on your target. Your battle buddy or buddies can handle the rear!
  • Know who is standing guard: Last, but definitely not least, is the most important player on the field… the gatekeeper. Whether your target in love is in sight or not, you have to know who is at the gate of your heart. If you are going to do this right you must be aware of the gate at all times. You have to be able to trust your gate keeper. Mine is the one that holds the very keys to the kingdom of love and life. Jesus! He never lets his guard down. I count on him as my first line of protection against the enemy that fights from within. If you want him as your gatekeeper…  just ask!

 

Getting ready to get engaged

Once you have determined who will be by your side we can talk about making sure your troop is prepared. Just a side note…. the gate keeper is key! If you have him in place he is certain to only let those worthy of the most honor enter this battle with you. He has already faithfully met my need. Which leads me to introducing someone who is with me on this journey for the long-haul. I have to give a shout out to one of my best battle buddies. She knows that to be the best friend in a fight she has to be prepared daily. She is in constant training and she comes with her own back up…

battle buddy

My friend Pamala… In this fight, she wants the victory as much as I do and so she hits the gym with a trainer that is second to none… Efrain at 24Hour Fitness in Kendall!

Forward march!

So now that you’ve met one of mine… It’s time for you to determine who will join you in this fight. I already have my battle buddies. They are in position and always ready to be engaged. So… find yours and invite them to join us. There is plenty of room at this round table!

 

A Second Helping

woman in purple tank top run olympics games
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Getting over the hurdle of surrendering…

Chances are you’re still needing help to see the light on the subject of surrendering. When it comes to finding the love you long for, you are your own worst enemy. You’re fighting so hard, you fail to realize you’re really just rolling with the punches. What you need is to take a second or two to recover and stop beating yourself up over it.

Love is not about the ring…

Have you considered maybe the reason you’re struggling so hard is because of the object of your affection? Maybe you’re in this race for the wrong reason. If the ring is all that you’re thinking of then you need to get that out of your head! You want the commitment of the love of another but what you really need is to commit to loving yourself first.

You want what you can’t have because you have to do what you don’t want. Real love… the best love…. comes from what’s inside, not what’s outside. In other words… what’s keeping you from the love you deserve is you. So get over yourself. There you go! I said it. The real problem…. is the conflict within. If you want to go forward in the race toward a life that you love, you have to get out of your own way and get your mind off the ring.

Transform what you know to be true about love…

The real truth about love is… True Love changes everything. That means if you’re not ready or willing for change to happen… you can pretty much count on love not happening either. So… are you ready to commit to changing your thoughts on surrendering to love? Let the transformation begin!

“Transformation happens on the other side of surrender” author unknown

man lying on rubber mat near barbell inside the gym
Photo by Victor Freitas on Pexels.com

You may need a second to recover. You may need an extra hand to get up. We’re starting from the ground up!

This morning cup is about to be brewed up with good grounds. Now that we have good grounds to get this day started, we can stand up and fight the good fight for love!

Thanks for coming back for seconds on surrendering.

A Second Opinion

“Health is not valued until sickness comes.” Thomas Fuller

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For all of you Web MD “what’s wrong with me” google search hounds out there… here’s a pill for you to swallow…. you need to stop writing your own scripts. Perhaps you don’t feel the pain quite enough to entertain the thought of surrendering to an authority on the subject of love just yet. I am really trying to make your search for love less of a pain, not the opposite, but some of us can be real gluttons for punishment. It seems the gloves will have to go back on. Don’t worry, if you’re allergic to latex, I have vinyl.

My friend that suffered with the loss of her father came to a point where she realized death was standing on her doorstep. Not a physical death but the pain of what she lost was causing her to take herself out of the race, so to speak. “I literally felt like I lost a part of my life.” is how she describes it. Ironically, when we suddenly find ourselves without, the very pain we have or are experiencing from our loss in love or life is exactly what keeps us from getting it checked out. It’s a sick thought but we’d rather keep the pain we have to prevent the pain we fear is coming.

The diagnosis: You’re Love-sick

“Hope deferred makes the heart sick….” Proverbs 13:12

Where hope for love without pain seems lost we can become ill-mannered. You are love-sick when you are so in love, or missing the one you love so much that you forget how to act normally. Who is this person I speak of… the one you are so in love with? It’s yourself. Rather, the former version of yourself, prior to the loss you suffered. To put it lightly, in the words of Roy Orbison, “You’ve lost that loving feeling” for yourself and you want it back so bad you forget how to act appropriately in response to the pain.

When we refuse to surrender and let go of what hurts…there are three unhealthy ways we respond to our self-diagnosed condition:

  1. Preservation – Self-preservation or the “survival of the fittest” mentality causes us to keep everything to ourselves. No bueno! It means your just stacking pain pills in your mental medicine cabinet to give yourself another dose later. Crazy much?
  2. Pride – Being too proud to seek or take help or advice from another means you think you know better. Proverbs 16:18 says “Pride goes before destruction”. That sounds pretty dangerous to me.
  3. Pleasure – Pleasing yourself to appease the pain means you’re just pushing the issue of your heart to the side for later. Pleasure dulls the pain just enough for you function temporarily… but the high wears off. When what pleases you ceases, that’s when you reach back into the mental medicine cabinet for that self-preservation script. That’s painfully crazy.

The pain of letting go

Going through the motions of the first year after the loss of her father, my friend struggled to find a healthy outcome to her hurt. She was used to being the one there for others but with the one she longed to be there gone, she battled daily over letting it go. There were a lot of days where she threw in the towel emotionally and the ups and downs brought on bouts of illness. So how do you bounce back and get your healthy love of life to return while dealing with the pain of loss? What she did was surrender it.

To most of us surrender means we lose the control, which is scary for pretty much every one I know.  We would all rather stick to what is familiar, even if it hurts us. Letting go means you might lose it all and it’s natural for us to fight to preserve what little we have. However, when you are at a loss, believing in yourself only goes so far. My friend was familiar with the only one that is the authority on all of life and love. It hurt to let go but…. because of Him…

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Take Two…A Second Look at Surrendering

sur·ren·der
səˈrendər/
verb
“cease resistance to an enemy or opponent and submit to their authority.”
Webster’s Dictionary
man doing boxing
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Not ready to waive your white flag and surrender to the enemy? Surrendering is not easy for anyone. But when asked why it’s so difficult; the real challenge is discovering who we think we are surrendering to. Knowing who we are fighting makes all the difference in the world.  This requires looking twice as hard at who we think the enemy is when we are grieving loss in life and love.

Working with nothing

Losing something or someone, is usually not what we choose to happen. But when it does happen, what do we do? When grief strikes, how do we control not losing it all in the process? Most would say… by never giving up… never surrendering.

I was recently talking to a close friend about her losses in life. There were several things that hit her hard in her younger years; the world can be cruel, after all. However nothing she struggled with before compared to the most recent blows she took when losing her father. It was just over two years ago when his death, and the grief from it, took and unexpected and unhealthy toll on her life.

She is a daddy’s girl to the core…. always has been and always will be. Everything she always celebrated and suffered was with him by her side. She definitely had her share of both, but the hard times were always when she needed an anchor the most, and that is what her Dad was for her. He was her listening ear through the teenage years and her shoulder to lean on through much more. Most of all, he just wanted her to be happy and healthy and he was good at reminding her of it. He was everything she always needed when nothing was working.

Working for nothing

The devastation of losing her father was enough to bear on its own. Then, that same night, she got the news that her pastor, the other one that had remained by her side fighting for her and encouraging her all along her way, was leaving too. He was going into the mission field to plant a church in another country, which was something she knew she should be happy about, but she wasn’t. To top it all off she was struggling with her health. She seemed to be headed on a downward spiral and all she wanted was to feel better. All that came to the surface and the tip of her tongue was “Why now? Why me? What now….. God?” Hearing her many questions led me to a few of my own.

So I am asking…What do you do when it seems as though all is lost in life and love and you have nothing to work for or with? Have you ever been there? Are you at a point now, where everything that once made you right seems to be going wrong? Whether you’ve been there or are there…. what happens next? Chances are you’d rather die than surrender.

I am passing you the plate to give you something to chew on. I am not interested in feeding suicidal tendencies here. I am wanting to take a look at what’s really eating us when the thought of surrendering is on the table.

As for my friend who was losing it all… There is more to come about her battle within, the God of second chances and what he had in store for her and what he has for you too my friend… this is not the end, it’s just the beginning of a fruitful fight about the need for surrendering. I hope to see you back for the second round tomorrow.