Mimi's Messages

Why Write?

 

Gustave Flaubert said,

The art of writing is the art of discovering what you believe. 

I have found this to be quite true!

In the early nineties I experienced one of the hardest periods of my life. During this time I wrote so much that my hand stayed in a perpetual cramp (no laptops back then!). I had a student teacher at that time who was wonderful with my class. She needed time without my supervision , so I would scoot out and take writing breaks. My brain was so full of turmoil, loss, grief, betrayal, and confusion that I don’t think I would have been an effective teacher. I know how blessed my class and I were to have her.

I filled several 1,000-page journals with my rampaging thoughts. There wasn’t anyone I could talk to. So my journal (and, inadvertently, God) became my listener.

Haven’t you found that if you can talk to a good friend who is a great listener, you usually talk out your real feelings about things? That’s what happened when I used a journal to pour my feelings into. I’d discover things about myself and allow God to give me wisdom and perspective.

Now, believe me, all of my writing wasn’t so lofty and full of good purpose! As a person who’d never  been allowed to voice anger, I finally did so in my journal. In fact, I uttered my first swear words on those pages! I wrote in big, scrawling letters, vocalizing on those safe pages all the anger and hurt I felt. I called people names. I even yelled at God!! And you know what? Lightning didn’t strike!

I needed a place to get through the layers that had built up in my life. And the walls that had enclosed my heart. I needed to understand my conditioned responses and their causes. I needed a place to cry and vent. I needed to record all the awful things that were happening so that later I could read them and know I wasn’t crazy!

Writing didn’t change my situation, but writing as I felt, instead of worrying about it being acceptable–to God or anyone–gave me a freedom I’d not had before.  My crying out to God and allowing Him to soften my heart brought healing. I felt extremely vulnerable, but bit by precious bit I was able to survive. I seriously believe I would have gone into a deep, deep depression or even a breakdown if I hadn’t been processing through writing during those months.

Because, you see, I need to vocalize in order to process. My brain gets so full and confusing that I can’t make sense of the things I need to. Are any of you this way? Not having a trustworthy friend to talk to (part of the loss) and not wanting to share what was going on with people outside of the situation (my sense of loyalty) caused me to be stuck.

Getting the swirling thoughts out of my head and onto paper gave me space to breathe, think, and live. Journaling helped me mentally, even though I was still broken emotionally, and allowed me to continue to function. And eventually, as I wrote, prayed, and studied, God was able to speak to me on those pages, and His healing came.

Does any of this resonate with you? Do any of you process through writing? I’d love to hear about it.

Stay tuned for part two of “Why Write?”

Much love and big hugs,

Passionista

Psalm 51:6 “You teach me wisdom in my inmost being.” 

James 1:5 “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.”

Living With Gusto, Mimi's Messages

Promise…Potential…Profusion!

We are like this flower….

FULL of promise, potential, and profusion!

God created us to bloom!

To be full of life and color.

To spread His joy, love, and kindness.

Right where you are, right now.

Don’t wait for everything to be perfect.

You have a light in you!

See how gorgeous this flower is?

That’s you, my love, in all of your created beauty.

Just like you are.

We need your unique beauty.

Just bloom.

Show your color!

Shine your light in this world!

We need your touch.

 

And I’m rooting for you!

Love and hugs, Passionista

Inspiration, Mimi's Messages, Words To Help

Grandmama’s Quilt

I wanted to tell you that I appreciate you. Is it weird that I think about my readers during the day? Perhaps that’s what bloggers do. I wouldn’t know, I’m still relatively new at this and haven’t talked to other bloggers.

I have been wondering….how are you? No, I mean really. Not what you think I want to hear. Not what you feel you should say. But really. Is your heart heavy? Is your spirit grieving? Do you feel pressured by all you think you should be doing right now? Are you comparing yourself with others?

First of all, WHATEVER you are doing during this quarantine, it’s enough. In fact, you are pretty wonderful to even be surviving what is happening in our world. And if you have been blessed with health, wow, what a gift!! If you know someone who has gotten sick, I know that has been stressful, and I pray they have recovered. If you have lost someone dear to you, oh goodness, I am so very sorry that your heart is hurting. I really am. So much loss and grief right now. It weighs us down. 

Perhaps you haven’t labeled what you might be feeling as grief. But, there is grief from the loss of our normal life. Of losing our jobs and source of income and the camaraderie of co-workers. There is a LOT of grief over the loss of highly-anticipated activities, such as graduation celebrations and vacations that had been planned. There is also the loss of our country’s health and the stress that loads upon us. And the grief from missing family and loved ones and their presence in our lives. There are times that I grieve losing hugs and human touch.

Considering that you are carrying a large amount of grief,

I want you to view yourself differently.

Treat yourself as if you have suffered a huge loss, because you have.

Give yourself grace.

Grace means that you don’t HAVE to perform. Grace means that if you need to sleep more, take breaks to read, spend time outside just to maintain some sense of sanity, then you  give yourself permission to do just that. To do whatever it is you need!

We are conditioned to work hard to be enough. To succeed. To keep up. First of all, that’s a horrid way to live anyway, but especially when the rug has been pulled out from under you. You are dealing with situations that are brand-new to you, for goodness sake!!

You may want to deal with stress in healthy ways:

*Spend less time on Facebook cuz that could lead to comparing.

*Spend less time watching/listening to the news, cuz that builds hopelessness and stress.

*Spend more time talking with positive people and those you love, and laugh, cuz that builds endorphines. 

*Go outside, breathe (the air is cleaner now and it’s SPRING!! Yay!)    Play some. 

*Read, study, discover something new. 

*And lay off the self-pressure. 🙂 

Like Grandmama’s quilt we will emerge from this horrible pandemic stronger, and perhaps wiser, and hopefully more compassionate.  One thing for sure, this season of our lives will affect us. We are all woven together, connected by the threads that bind our lives. I’m praying that you all learn things about yourself, and are able to come out of it stronger.

With much love and gratitude for you,

Passionista Mimi

 

Keepin' It Real, Mimi's Messages

Lean On Me Cuz It’s Lonely Up In Here

Ok, truth; how many of y’all just get stinkin’ lonely right now?

Let me see your hands!

Yep, and it’s one of those emotions that we hide, perhaps afraid if we admit it, there will be a landslide of others to follow. And well they may! But here’s the deal, once we admit that we are lonely, hopefully it will prompt us to reach out to others. And you can be guaranteed that there is a huge, immeasurable cloud of loneliness over the world right now. Isolation is not good for most of us. Perhaps introverts are faring better than those who love to be around people, but not being allowed to choose can take its toll on even those.

What can we do? Lean on each other!!

Loneliness is a room with a door that you open from the inside.

Admit that we need the voice, the face, of another person. No, we can’t leave our homes, but with all the ways to do face time with people, unless you have no phone or computer with a camera, you do have choices. Messaging, texting, old-fashioned email and calling are also choices and create that connection.

Now, because I have two teens in my home with me, you might think that I wouldn’t be lonely (but you do know that one can be lonely even when married or in a group of people, right?). And most of the time I am not, even though there are challenges. My son, who is mentally like a 5 year old, talks incessantly about Pokemon and what they do and who he has evolved into and who he caught–on and on continuously. Every 5 to 10 minutes all.day.long. Yeah, it gets a little tiring and challenging for my own mental health. (And makes writing, praying, and reading a bit tough, ha!) By the end of the day my ears are tired. If it would just warm up a bit here in Michigan we’d be outside more! My sweet daughter is usually holed up in her bedroom most of the day, only coming out if I make her do something or to get food, during which time we connect a bit. Our conversations are minimal because she has always struggled with communicating face-to-face and “doesn’t know what to talk about”. Thank goodness she likes to text! She is a true introvert. But, I do get a couple of hugs a day from them, and I treasure being with them. I am not alone. (By the way this is Day 33 that we have stayed at home. All three of us are at risk, so when they closed the schools on March 13, that was it for us.) 

What I long for is adult conversation. The kind where you talk about what you are thinking and look into each other’s eyes, and laugh at the funny stuff. And give hugs and eat together. Good thing I have to stay behind the door when the UPS guy comes by, or else I’d tackle him and say, “TALK to me!! Tell me anything! What is it like on the other side?”.  🙂 

So anyway, I found this video while chasing other rabbits, and thought it quite appropriate, especially since the participants are from all over the world, and this loneliness is worldwide. 

When my heart begins hurting with the loneliness I feel, I start jabbering to Jesus. He is with me. That’s what His name, Emmanuel, means: “God with us”. Yes, loneliness could take me down a dark hole, (shoot, even writing this is stirring those old feelings) but here’s what I do to stop it in its tracks. I say, “God my heart hurts right now. I miss having friends around me. I miss having someone to love me. I hate being alone. I need to talk to someone. But I know you are there. So will you please touch my heart? I want to be released of this hurt. And show me how to help someone else, so my mind is off of myself. Thank you for your love and faithfulness.” 

And then I get busy. I read (something fun to give my brain a rest), cook, walk outside, text or message someone, go sit with my son and see what he’s doing, (as if I didn’t already know! Ha!) 

I know that this time will pass, but loneliness is not something new for me. All of my immediate family is gone, and the rest live far away. I’ve had a lot of grief to deal with (loneliness, to me, is a kind of grief), even the loss of close friends when I retired. Perhaps that’s why I have tools to deal with it. Doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt, and that sometimes it doesn’t take a while to ease. It does. But I’m so thankful and blessed that I have Emmanuel beside me, walking this crazy journey with me!

The most terrible poverty is loneliness, and the feeling of being unloved.

Mother Teresa

Reach out to others. Especially those you know are alone. My heart breaks for the ones in hospitals and nursing homes who can’t have family with them. And I pray that those who haven’t, in the past, been very attentive to their loved ones in nursing homes, or with their elders home alone, can now understand better the importance of contact with them. I know that when I was in my twenties I sure didn’t see the value of a visit with my grandmother, and I regret it now.  Let’s just say that the hardships of the past have given me more compassion. 

That’s all for now. Please be safe, stay home, find ways to reach out, and pray for others. And hey, please comment below so I know you are out there! 🙂

Much, much love. (I appreciate you!)

Passionista Mimi 

P.S. If you have ever wondered if God loves you, read my post “Does God Know Me?”

 

Supporting verses:

Joshua 1:9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

Matthew 28:20 “And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

Romans 8:38-39 “For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

 

Honest, Keepin' It Real, Mimi's Messages

Quit Yer Yappin’ And Pray!

Fear divides us. And I know that there are so many things that cause fear right now. I’m not down-playing the dire situation our world is in. But honestly, how does it help us to bash people, to write ugly comments about our leaders, to become hateful about certain people?

Y’all, our strongest weapon is prayer! God is the source of our strength, our faith, and our love. And He is the One who will bring an end to this virus. It IS scary. Do I worry? Sometimes. Do I doubt? Sometimes. But do I pray? All the time.

Did you know that you can keep up a steady stream of communication with God as you go throughout your day? You do not have to “assume the position” on your knees or with hands clasped. You can position your heart toward God. He has promised to be listening and waiting. He is a wonderful, attentive listener.

I like to focus part of my prayers (actually most) on thankfulness, because it really clears my mind and puts things into perspective. Perhaps you think it’s easier for me because I have food and shelter, and my family is healthy. My heart goes out to those of you who are heartbroken and struggling. It really does, and if I could help you, believe me I would.

So your thankfulness may sound more like this, “Thank you God for your love. Thank you for dying for me so I have the hope of a joyful life here on earth, and the promise of being with you when I die. Thank you for the sacrifice of your son, so I may become a child of yours. Thank you for the air I breathe, the beautiful world you created, the sun and rain, and the peace you bring to my heart.”

As I go throughout my day, my heart is turned toward God. I ask Him for wisdom dealing with my kids. I ask Him to provide for us financially. I ask Him to turn my worry into faith in His provision. And I ask Him to protect the mamas and unborn babies He has assigned me to pray for.

I thank Him for my washer and dryer. I thank Him that my children can tell me they love me. I thank Him for you, my readers, and ask that my words will touch and help someone’s heart.

Y’all, this whole blog thing is for YOU. It is an outpouring of love, and my desire to help.

So I do pray for my readers. Consider yourself blessed. 🙂 

And if the shoe fits…….try a little less yappin’ and a little more praying.

All said in love.

Passionista Mimi

Mimi's Messages

Praying For The Babies

On March 20, 2020, as I was spending time with God, praying against the COVID-19 virus that was overtaking the world and now our country, I felt led to start praying for the unborn babies and the mamas who carried them. I put on my Facebook page that I was doing this, and if they knew anyone who was pregnant let me know. Well, that list has now grown to 105 babies! Eleven have been born during this time and they are all healthy. No virus!

But besides these eleven miracles, here is what else is happening. (God does not waste an opportunity!)

*“Warrior Women” are uniting to pray for these babies.

*It’s bringing us together, creating a connection between us.

*We are focusing on others, not on the virus, and on something positive, rather than negative.

*We are being reminded daily that there are “others” out there and we are not alone.

*It is giving us hope, and it is wonderful to focus on new life.

*And it is helping our own spirit to pray for someone else, to have a purpose.

I know that even in the best of circumstances sometimes babies are born with problems. But by faith I am asking God that these will be healthy, that they will be protected from the virus, that their mamas will feel peace and calm, that all of their physical needs will be met, and that there will be joy in the home and family.

I am not telling this story to bring any notice to myself. I am truly honored to do this. And thankful I have the time, as I am sequestered at home these weeks.

I’m sharing this because you may want to do the same thing. And as usual, God intended this prayer focus for more than what I thought it would be. That’s God’s economy. 

If you do start a prayer focus like this, PLEASE let me know.

I pray that you are well, and the ones you love are safe and well also. Let’s unite in praying for our country and world.

Many blessings and hugs,

Passionista Mimi

 

THE WHY:
Rather than make this post too long, I put this part here so if you are tired of reading you can quit now.  But maybe you want to read something about me, personally, so here goes:

In 1993 I believe that God told me I’d have a ministry with babies. You see, He had given me a passion—not just a liking or enjoyment—but a passion for newborn babies. If there was a baby in the room, I was the one who ended up holding it, and most likely feeding and rocking it to sleep. So this “nudging” really isn’t unusual.  

In the last decades, I have been honored to pray over pregnant mamas and their unborn. It is always a delight! I had never birthed any children, but the passion for infants never left me. It led me to become a foster parent, so I could receive infants from the hospital until their adoptive family could take them (moms had twenty-one days to consider before it was final).  I had my own ideas of what this meant, but of course, God had His purpose in mind. I envisioned my doing this over the summer in between teaching. Hahahaha!

And so my adoptive journey began when I fostered two precious babies, starting with the first in 2000 and the second in 2001. I was married at the time, and we believed (after a LOT of prayer and consideration on my part!) that it was God’s plan for us to adopt these at-risk children in 2002. Little did I know that over the next eight years I’d become a single mom, and then, tragically, end up parenting completely on my own. I also didn’t know they were special-needs children.

People tell me this is my “calling”. Honestly, I believe every parent has a calling; to be the best mom or dad they can be, to provide all the love and nurturing their children need, to be an excellent role model, and to love with their whole hearts. (Side note—it’s been said that babies do not come with an owner’s manual. Amen to that! And there’s nothing like trying it at age 48 with a newborn who doesn’t sleep, followed by another one the next year who didn’t either—or eat!)

True to His faithfulness, and that He equips those whom He calls, God has provided strength, wisdom, energy, and a closeness with Him I’d never had (funny how reaching the end of ourselves puts us at His feet!). He will do the same for you. And that’s another story for later.

Supporting verses:

 “Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9

“God is able to make all grace abound in you so that having everything you need, you may abound in every good work.” 2 Cor. 9:8

“May the God of peace equip you with everything good for doing his will.” Hebrews 13:21

Mimi's Messages, Words To Help

Yes, My Dear, Your Opinion Does Matter

 

“No one ever made a difference by being like everyone else.”  PT Barnum

Humans are inclined to want everyone to be the same. Why are we uncomfortable with people who are “out there” or who don’t fit into a box very easily? Why is it that those people are often the ones under criticism?

We think, “If they would just be less bossy. Less brash. Less weird. And for goodness sake, quit spouting their opinion about EVERYthing!” Right?

It seems that everyone has an opinion these days and many are not afraid to share theirs on social media. Some even get a bit angry when others don’t support them.

In real life, are you able to share your opinion without getting shot down? I’m not talking about your publicized opinions, because social media is a relatively “safe” place to state yours, hiding behind disconnected print.

I want you to consider your partnerships, relationships, and work places.

For me, during my marriage I heard things like, “Why do you even ask my opinion? You are going to do whatever you want anyway.” And I usually ended up “paying” for having an opinion different from my husband’s. Let me tell you, this led to feeling as if I was stupid, and didn’t amount to much in our marriage (come to find out I was very wrong about the first and quite right about the latter). It’s not a very good way to flourish. When we state our opinions—which results in others becoming angry—we have a tendency to stop expressing what we feel, especially if our nature is to avoid conflict.

To many of us, being able to even have an opinion is difficult. For me, because I was not allowed to discuss or argue with my parents (or teachers), I suppressed what I wanted. As an adult, if someone asked me how I felt about something, I would frantically fumble around inside my brain realizing that I couldn’t get in touch with how I felt. I truly didn’t know. “Going with the flow” kind of does that. Yielding my own voice, ideas, and feelings about things had become a deeply entrenched way of life.

Do we allow our children to have a different opinion than we do? I really try to ask mine to tell me their side of an issue. Of course, I’m still the parent, and must do what I feel is safe and profitable for my children. But if there is wiggle room, perhaps we need to allow our youngest members of society to state their case, and learn how to do so without it becoming a fighting match. Sometimes compromise is possible, and when a child (or anyone, really) feels like their voice is heard, it gives them confidence.

And dear one, you need to use your voice. You have every right to how you feel. You are worthy and capable, and the world needs your light. The world wants to experience your heart and what you are passionate about. You have a beautiful brain, so use it. If you don’t know how you feel, begin investigating facts. Read. Study. And form your own opinion about matters that matter.

In personal relationships, help the other person to understand how you feel by saying things like, “When you react with anger as I give you my opinion, it makes me feel as if I don’t matter and that you are trying to bully me into agreeing with you and submitting to your opinion at the cost of who I am.” Yes, that’s a mouthful, but it’s true, isn’t it?

In the work place, when your boss or another employee belittles your opinion on work issues, perhaps you can say (in addition to the above comment), “I’ve been hired here because I am capable. I have an interest in this job. My opinion matters as much as anyone else’s. I’d like for you to listen to what I have to say without becoming angry or acting like I am stupid.”

Wow, how empowering! Scary? You bet it is! Does it take practice? Yes. Stepping out of our comfort zone is always risky. But would you rather go through your life, remain in a relationship, or be stuck in a job where you feel belittled or stupid? Now I don’t want to give you false hope, because there are a lot of difficult people in our world, and you may be working with some or in relationships with some. Voicing your opinion may bring you physical danger or repercussions. You will need to be smart about it.

A woman with a voice is by definition a strong woman.

But the search to find that voice can be remarkably difficult.

Melinda Gates

Your voice really IS important, and being able to speak what you think and feel is empowering. Test it out and see if perhaps your words can make a difference in your life. Best case would be the other person doesn’t know that their words and actions make you feel inferior. And maybe there can be a compromise. We all need respect, but you must respect yourself first. So speak up!

Cheers to you! I am rooting for ya, and I want you to know that I believe you are smart, fabulous, and have a lot to offer our world!

Here are some great articles for you:

Raising Our Daughters to Speak Up and Why Women Should Reclaim Their Power

 

Mimi's Messages

NEW Cards Listed!

Encourage someone, let them know you notice their perseverance.

I have stocked five new designs in my Etsy shop. They make up the Wings and Dreams Collection.

They have a very glossy front side and vibrant colors.

Great for graduation or anyone who is pursuing goals and dreams!

Stock up now while there is free shipping. Plus when you buy five, you get one free! ($3 savings) Use code BUYFIVE.

Purchase here.

Did your January just fly by like mine did? Goodness! Better make every day count. Thanks for stopping by.

Passionista Mimi

Christmas Reflections, Mimi's Messages

All They Want For Christmas Is YOU!

Christmas gift 12.17.18 logo

We pressure ourselves to get the best Christmas gifts for our children. We just want them to be excited and happy. Well, guess what? This teacher tells us that what has mattered most to her students is spending time with their parents. And as a retired teacher, I can vouch for her.

christmas words from a teacher

Kids want US! They want our attention. They want us to do fun things with them, simple things. Spending time. Cuddling while watching silly Christmas movies. Popping corn. Sledding. Going for a walk. Reading together. Just being together is so special. Without the phone and laptop between us!!

Make traditions of baking, reading special stories each year, playing board games, telling about their yearly ornaments, helping those in need as a family, remembering favorite happenings during the year, attending seasonal concerts, church services, dinners…. there are many ways to be with your children. If you are completely worn out from shopping, and cranky about spending too much money, you won’t even feel like spending time with them. And to our children, spending time together matters. And it doesn’t cost a thing.

Here’s to a Christmas season FULL of making memories and spending time together, connecting with each other, not the internet.

Lots of hugs and Merry Christmas!

  heartMimi

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Mimi's Messages

Do You Love Your Child “Every Single Bit”?

I designed this card to express how I feel about my children. How about saying these words to your own children? Help them feel like precious treasures. Because when children know that they are amazing and wonderful and CHERISHED, they have a healthy foundation for self-love and courage, and know that they have a safe place supporting them. 

 

On the other hand, please don’t let your child hear that they were a surprise, or a mistake, or an “oopsie”. Those words can damage for life. If you were blessed with a child, however that happened, they are a treasure to be cherished. 

 

Am I always diligent about letting my children know I love them, every single bit? No, of course not! I make mistakes, lose my temper, say things I shouldn’t. But I really try. I want them to know the gift they are to me.

 

Side note: Does that mean always sacrificing MY needs for theirs? No. I believe that always making them a priority, even over my own needs, teaches entitlement and expectation that the world will revolve around them, which we all know is not true. I model healthy self-love by taking time for myself and doing things that help replenish my spirit and restore my brain so I CAN take care of them better. 

 

So, my friends, won’t you join with me in telling your children that you love them, “every single bit”?

 

(You can buy this card in my Etsy shop or click on the image to go directly.)

Have a great day, folks!!

Hugs and sparkles, Mimi