Living With Gusto

Is Playing Safe Holding You Back?

 

I read a great article I wanted to share with you. Do you struggle with rejection and what it does to you? Read this: 

Is playing it safe holding you back?

Oh yes, I struggle with it all the time!!

When I first released my cards on Etsy, it was with great trembling and gasping breath! lol Same with when I speak.

But knowing your truth will help immensely.

My truth is that I am called to speak and write truth and to encourage and empower.

Once you KNOW the path you are to travel and use that as your plumb line, it gets easier.

Because then, it really doesn’t matter so much what others think.

And I have learned to laugh at my mistakes, even incorporate them into my writing and speaking. 🙂

Don’t let the fear of rejection keep you from doing something you love. Or keep you from taking the next steps that will get your gift out into our world. Everyone has an opinion, and many don’t hesitate to tell us what it is!

But remember,  

(thank you Terry Cole-Whittaker for your book on this!).

But GOD’S opinion is all that matters. You can do great things. Don’t hold back because you fear rejection!

What about you? Do you find that fear of rejection holds you back from something you want, or feel called, to do? Discuss in the comments. We are all in this together!

And I’m here to encourage you!

Love and big hugs, Passionista

 

 

 

Inspiration, Raw Honest Brave

Are You Believing Lies?

So many of us hold as truth the myths, or lies, that govern our lives, our choices, and our behaviors! I know I did (still do, I’m sure). BUT…
Who taught us these lies/myths we believe are true? The old adage “If you tell a lie long enough it becomes truth to you” applies here! Unfortunately, we accept what society or even family has taught us, believe it as truth, act on it–without even considering whether it is true, much less determining whether it’s something we should embrace in OUR lives. (I’m SO guilty of that!)

“It’s the fact that this principle or value they hold onto so tightly is impeding their progress to move forward that should be alarming.”

Shari Goldsmith

One of the most dangerous results of believing lies is that we let them take control of us! Like when you think, “Oh but I couldn’t do THAT because… {insert lie here such as, I’m too fat, I’m too poor, I’m not smart enough, I’m ugly}” so you never do it, and the lie controls you. When we give lies credence and follow their direction, we delete our own authenticity. We deny who we were created to be. We are designed and created a specific and awesomely unique way by the Master Creator, and WHO should know better about what will please us and fill our soul?

If you would like to “check out” whether you are believing lies, there are many women you already know whom are filled with wisdom–from experience, reading, searching–who would be willing to talk with you. Perhaps some of them are older (thus the experience) but there are also young women who have already “lived” a lot. For me, talking to a friend who displays wisdom and logic (to counteract my sometimes-off-the-wall passion) has been helpful in determining what is actually truth and which lies I’m allowing to take control of my life. I’ve also had to spend time “going inside” (ugh, not always pretty!) to assess and determine my true character and those things I really hold important.

So, do you think it’s easy to avoid accepting lies about us as truth?  Ummm, no! To discern lies, we have to be militant snipers because of the subtle, yet pervasive, nature of them. And if you’re thinking that you are free from this plague, let me alert you to the nature of lies by giving you examples from my life (here I go, being all vulnerable and transparent again). Until recently, I have believed I was too loud, too big, too boisterous, not smart, not humorous, not fun.

WHAT? I know, right? How in the WORLD could I have possibly believed all those lies about me?

Well, it’s pretty easy, because, I assure you, people don’t say to you, “Now I’m going to lie to your face” before their opinions about you come gushing out! We actually begin believing lies from infancy (think of gender conditioning). Here are a few examples of how some of mine happened (in abbreviated narration).

Example: As a third grader I was told I was too big to be a ballerina. Translation: being big would keep me from my dreams. It was a curse. It was ugly.

Example: when I got very excited and “cheered” in support of something (yes, I was in church, but it was a military rally type thing, after all) I was told I’d had “too much coffee”. Translation: being spontaneous, loud, or passionate was a bad thing (especially in church!).

Example: when I’d laugh loudly I was told to shush. Translation: my laugh was bad. Hold it in. Being loud was not a good thing. (Problem is that I’m just a loud person naturally and I was always being told to be quiet).

Example: whenever I’d have an opinion that was different from the significant person in my life, I was told that I am too hard-headed, or that I wouldn’t ever listen to anyone, and why did I even bother to ask if I wasn’t going to listen. So I really began to doubt my own intelligence.

I don’t know if any of these made sense to you, but these are lies that I received whether they were intended or not.

Thank goodness for my friend who helped to identify my false belief system! And I began to read, discover, and analyze only to find that I was believing many lies that others had “said” about me. These people weren’t vicious or even intentional in their lying. In fact,  lies from those who loved me were the hardest to uncover, because they were usually “told” by people’s responses (comments or body language) to my life and actions .

We ALL have opinions. It just happens that the opinions of my family, teachers, and peers were more important to me than searching for truth. For many years, I believed those things about myself, but no more!

I’ve begun the habit of speaking truth to myself. It’s funny, I don’t even care if others believe what I say, I know these things to be true anyway. (I’ve come a long way, Baby!) Here we go–here’s MY truth:
“I am quite intelligent and a good problem-solver. I am lovely. I am creative. I have a great sense of humor and I’m a fun person. Actually, I’m an amazing person. I’m powerful and make good choices. I can accomplish a lot!”

Just a few of the things I now tell myself. First time I said them I was ready to jump back in case lightening struck!! Really. It was almost like blasphemy, or against the rules, to affirm myself. Don’t want to be egotistical, you know. But there is a huge difference between a dominant ego and a healthy self-esteem.

My parents loved me, without a doubt. However, they were short on the words that would have helped my tender ego believe truth. Not a criticism, just a fact. I am trying to be more conscious of the words I use with my children, but I’m not always successful with the positive. So, I make sure to give them tons of praise, love and mushy stuff from my heart. Just in case. In case they “hear” more than I’m saying. In case they ever have doubts about how much I love them. In case they wonder if they are the world to me. Just so they know, without a doubt, they are loved unconditionally, they are beautiful just the way they are, and that they are precious treasures who make my life complete. 🙂

And I deserve the same consideration. I deserve the same love from myself. I am worth believing the TRUTH. And so are you!

Does any of this resonate with you? If so, let me know how you do with your “Lie Busting!”

Hugs and love, Passionista Mimi

OH, and hey, if you like what you read, why not share the love and click, pin, like, etc.? I’d give you an extra big hug. Thanks!

Inspiration

Priority #1

Do you know what our first priority is? To love God.

Not try harder or work harder or strive to get it right to be enough for Him. Just simply love Him. It’s all He ever wants from us. Really. Just love Him.

Like a little child loves a parent. They don’t work hard at it. They just love. They trust us to take care of their needs. Their hearts respond to our love. It’s easy for them and they don’t have to do a darn thing. Just be.

And that is one of the hardest things for a people-pleaser like me. But notice I said people pleaser. Not God pleaser. In order to please God we just have to love Him with our whole heart.

Funny how when we do that, He directs us. He teaches us how to love others and even ourselves. He shows us what is important and what needs our attention. He teaches us how to love HIM.

And he directs us to go to Him and rest. Just love Him. Rest in Him. Just be. And He is delighted with us. Wow! So freeing.

 

“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you will recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

Matthew 11:28-30 The Message Bible

 

“The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.”

Zephaniah 3:17

For those of you who want more, I found this beautifully written devotional while researching scripture: The Father’s Love Letter

 

Blessings, my friends!

Passionista Mimi

Inspiration, Keepin' It Real

Life Ain’t Always Sunshine and Roses

So here’s the deal.

It’s NOT always sparkle and shine in my life.

There are days like this week when I am burdened for a precious friend and feel helpless in the situation. When I am a bit tired of working, parenting alone, being this age with kids, being indoors, wanting something fun, loneliness, just the keeping on keeping on.

And there are some days when the only prayer I can form is, “Oh God, oh God, oh God!”

That is the real truth, folks. I get in those places too.

I thought maybe you should know.

I never want you to feel as if I downplay your pain. Or suggest that your difficult situation can just go away “poof”.

But I post the positive things I do because SOMEONE needs to read them.

And in my inner spirit those things are ME. They are what I do to keep doing.

I smile, I pray, I spend time being thankful, I reach out to others, I help others if at all possible….

All these things help to center me and bring the “yuck” back into perspective.

I do know that when we fill our brains with positive thoughts,

we attract more positive energy to ourselves.

And that is what being thankful is about.

That is what “speaking to the mountain” (see previous post) is about.

We actually DO have a choice in how we spend our focus/energy.

And when I’m in a funk, I choose to spend mine by rejoicing in all the good I see around me.

Being thankful for the many, many good things in my life.

And realizing that these funks don’t last forever.

Two things I know–God is always faithful, and the sun will eventually shine!

 

This is re-posted from three years ago! Really applies to today. 

Be well, safe, and blessed in these crazy time!

Much love and big hugs, 

Passionista

Words To Help

YOU are Amazing!! And don’t you forget it!

You are amazing with a side of sprinkles
You can buy this card HERE!

You ARE amazing!! I finally began to believe that about myself after a few days of saying it out loud in front of the mirror. The year was 2008. For most of my life I’d felt “less-than” so it took a bit of making a firm choice and perseverance to follow this program.

 

I’d sit in front of my empty journal page, pull those truths from my spirit, and begin writing them down in bulleted format. I’d walk around my house, saying, “I’m intelligent. I’m capable. I can do this. I’m creative. I’m a great problem-solver.”

 

Granted, I was almost afraid that I’d be struck by lightning because I’d been raised not to “toot my own horn” or brag about myself. However, I am here to STOMP that lie in the ground! Stating your awesomeness and joy in your uniqueness and abilities, your gifts and wonderful heart, is NOT bragging. It’s just proclaiming truth.

Oh my goodness I'm incredible!
You can buy this card HERE!

We need to both hear and say those truths to ourselves because the world would have us believing that we are stupid, useless, and incapable (to just name a few). Well, dear Passionista, THAT is a bunch of hog wash! Lies, every bit of it!

 

If you have trouble finding the truth about yourself, there are many, many resources even on Facebook that will help you. (I am one of those). But honestly, your spirit KNOWS. Give yourself time to reflect. Probably just choose the opposite of what you most likely believe about yourself, if it is degrading or detrimental to your emotional and psychological health and growth.

 

 To be the very best YOU possible, you need to invest in yourself. Take the time. Even on the way to work if it’s your only alone time. (Ummm, reminding yourself that you are amazing after you swear at that driver might not be the best way, but hey, if it works for you go for it!) Or while you are in the shower—IF you happen to enjoy that by yourself–but getting upset with your body while you are stating your incredible amazing -ness  is quite counteractive.  Our bodies do NOT determine our awesomeness!

 beauty is not in the face

 I just want to encourage you to feed your own soul. As women we take care of everyone else, which can sure lead to resentment and exhaustion. Doing this is a small, but huge and important, way to nourish yourself.

 

 So what do you say? Let me know some of your “truths” in the comment below. I’d love to hear from you! ❤

Love and hugs, Passionista

 

PS Hey, I have created some visuals (cards etc.) for you to place where you will see them to help remind you to state your truths daily. I sell them on Etsy if you are interested. They help, they really do, and I created them with YOU in mind. Luv ya.

Keepin' It Real

Doubt is Unbelief

Stop doubting and believe! John 20:27

Jesus’ disciples had just been through the worst time of their lives. Jesus, their  teacher and friend, had been killed and placed in a tomb. Three days later when some of the disciples told Thomas they had seen Jesus as the risen Lord, Thomas told them he had to see it to believe it. He wanted proof that Jesus had indeed risen from the dead. Jesus, being, well, Jesus, and loving Thomas deeply, appeared again to the disciples when Thomas was present. When Jesus showed Thomas the scars from his crucifixion, Thomas immediately believed that He was the Lord and had returned from the dead.

Are we like Thomas? Do we have to be shown something that is written in God’s word (for example His faithfulness or His promises) to believe it’s true? But what happens to us when we haven’t seen yet? What happens when we are still struggling and God hasn’t provided a solution? Do we begin to doubt if He will? Do we doubt His love for us and His faithfulness? Or even if He can provide what we need?

We are a society of gratification—the quicker the better! But God is not interested in our societal expectations. He loves us and wants us to grow in Him. He knows that adversity can bring us closer to Him, to His heart of love, to closer communion with Him. Even if that communion consists only of, “Oh God! Oh God!” (The Holy Spirit intercedes for us and God knows the cry of our hearts.)

How can our faith grow if it is never tested? It’s often through these hard times of testing that God is able to prove His unfailing love and attention to our needs. Don’t you know that Thomas was at the end of any faith he might have had in his dear friend, Jesus, who claimed to be the Messiah. That “Messiah” had been killed, and in the worst, most agonizing and humiliating way possible. Thomas was in deep, deep grief, and perhaps feeling a bit of anger too. “This is not how it was supposed to go. Where is the kingdom, the reign, the wonderful life I thought Jesus was talking about? I saw him die. You say he’s risen, but buddy, I gotta see it to believe it. I believed once and now I’m paying for it.”

You gotta love Thomas. He said what a lot of us think, really. Jesus commended those who believed without seeing him first (verse 29). But we can ask God if He will prove to us that He exists and give us the faith we need to believe in Him. 

By now in my life, I have firm convictions and believe in God—period. During some intensely difficult times I began seeing items in stores with the word “believe” on them. I picked up a few and it became my “word” for the season. I embraced this word, not because I lacked belief in God’s ability to take care of my problems, but because I chose to believe He would. Those words were affirmations of what my heart chose and reminders for my brain. Around the house whenever I’d see one, I’d breathe the prayer, “Oh yes, God, I believe You will provide.” 

I grew up in an environment of belief. (Many times, my parents had to believe for food on the dinner table that night. And God, being the faithful one He is, provided for our family of five.) I’m very thankful for the foundation that belief provided me. AND the gift of faith that God has given me. Did you know that you can ask God for the very thing He requires from us? That blows my mind. It’s like He says, “Child, I want you to give me your faith, lots of faith. I want you to fill this big box with your faith in me. But first, let me give you a warehouse full of faith so you can give me a box full of it back.”

I know this is very elementary, and probably not exactly scripturally accurate, but faith is a gift from God. And the more we are in difficult situations where our faith in God is tested, the more we choose to believe in His ability and desire to help us, the stronger our faith becomes. Because He will always come through for us.

Lest you think that I’ve had an easy life so it’s easy to talk about God’s faithfulness, I’ll share some of the most dramatic ways God has proven His faithfulness. (Believe me, there’s more!)

Shortly after marriage when our total income for the year was minimal to say the least, the refrigerator broke, my husband’s contact (which was necessary for him to see since he was legally blind) tore, and our car was stolen and joy-ridden until it was totaled (two cars were necessary because I drove 45 minutes one way to work). We had no money in reserve and no way of getting any. But, God came through and provided not only a car, but for our financial needs as well.

When my husband was attacked and chemicals thrown in his face and eyes, not once but twice, God came through and healed his eyes.

When I was left totally alone, betrayed by most of those I’d been closest to, God came through and not only healed my heart toward them, but as a result of that emotionally bereft time, came into my grief with more and more of Himself. I wouldn’t trade those times for anything because He drew me even closer to Him than I’d have ever known. I didn’t much care for the excruciating barrenness and alone-ness at the time, but I say now that the experience was worth knowing deeply, and personally, of God’s faithfulness and love in a way I’d never experienced before.

When I went through another devastating time–this one ended in divorce, God came through and provided a place of safety for my children and me to stay. He provided for all of our physical needs, and also healed my broken heart, helping me to parent my two very hurt and confused seven-year-olds. He knitted us together in a stronger bond, making a sweet, loving family from the three of us. My children were content, even in the midst of their grief.

After a period of years during which I was stripped of all my “identities”—wife, daughter, sister, teacher, pastor’s wife, worship leader, home owner, person with good credit—through the deaths of my family members, my divorce, my retirement, and bankruptcy, I had no idea what to do next. I didn’t have a clue “who” I was anymore, had lost most of my support system, was adrift in emotions, and felt weighed down. Over a period of about two years God and I did a lot of work on me. He came through with direction, provision, and so much love to flood my grieving heart. He set me on a new path that brings fulfillment and allows me freedom to be the person He created me to be.

I have many experiences of my own to prove God’s faithfulness and love to me. I know He has our best interests in mind. Do I ever get willful and try to do things my own way? Of course I do. But I’m better at relinquishing the reins these days.

I choose to believe. I choose to seek Him. There is no room for doubt in my life because to doubt God means that I’m believing the lie that God is not able. And I have learned and know, deeply in my “knower” that:

And you can know it too. Carry this verse with you, say it throughout the day and ask God to help you believe it. In a culture that glorifies the self-made person, it’s reassuring to know that it is GOD in us that is carrying out His purpose and satisfying the desires of our heart—way more than we could imagine.

Be blessed beyond measure, my friends, and thank you for stopping by. 

Love and big hugs, 

Passionista Mimi

 

Keepin' It Real

Too Exhausted For Goals!

January. Ugh. People are like, “Oh I love the beginning of a new year! I’m setting my intentions. I’m writing my goals. I’m picking a new theme or word of the year”. And I’m like, “Nope, just let me crawl back into bed.”  

In Michigan where I live it’s one of the grayest, dreariest months of the year. Holidays and fun are over. Now it’s just the tasks of every day in front of me. Don’t get me wrong. I love my life. I’m very blessed and I’m so full of gratitude. To be honest, though, by January I’m usually pretty tired.

I make a trip to Kentucky every Thanksgiving (eight hours on the busiest travel day of the year—and this year I was battling 40-60 mph winds!).  And then for Christmas I drive eleven hours to Missouri. I take these trips willingly and with joy because I am visiting my closest family members (the rest are even further away) and I love being with them. But I am the only driver so it is a bit exhausting for me.

The months of November and December are full of activities, of course. By the time January comes around, every bone in my body hurts. Did I mention that I’ve lived a few decades? (Ha!) But again, I’m so very grateful I’m able to do these things.

Back to wanting to crawl into bed. Honestly, it’s the best thing for me. After my son is on the bus and my daughter is dropped off, because I work from home I’m able to take a few days in the beginning of January to replenish. For me that means going back to bed or taking several hours to sit and read so my body and mind relax, or just puttering around the house with my plants or cleaning a bit. I try to keep my calendar as empty as possible, giving myself time to rejuvenate.

I spend time in prayer, seeking. My most earnest desire is that others see Jesus in me. So I seek direction on what that looks like. I want to be used of God. Effectively. But I know my ideas are not usually His so I need to hear His voice. I order to do that, I need to be still, and quiet.

Lately, in blogs across the internet-o-sphere, there is much talk about self-care. Taking care of myself has been a work-in-process through the years, and I’ve only begun to give myself permission to sleep when needed and read when I can without feeling guilty. Isn’t that wild? I’ve been a serious go-getter for most of my sixty-seven years, and “deserve” to take breaks now and then. But that old mindset of “I need to be doing something” wants to re-surface constantly. I am a warrior woman, and I’ve done battle with that lie, but it dies hard.

In January I am exhausted enough to put that lie, and myself, to rest. And that is I what I do.

Does this resonate with any of you? Are you like me and kind of detest the “let’s set goals” emphasis in January? Are you also too exhausted for the mental and emotional work that it actually takes? I’d love to hear from you! Let me know I’m not alone in this, or if you have any suggestions for me. This year, if I feel the need to set goals, I think I’ll do it in October! 🙂 

Here’s to a fruitful and satisfying 2020!

Big love and sparkle hugs,

Passionista Mimi

 

Living With Gusto

Wings and Dreams

Is there a goal or dream niggling at your heart?

Do you have big plans on the back burner that you have only shared with your trusted friend?

Perhaps you are just a leetle bit afraid to dream BIG for fear of disappointment.

I understand that. I’ve been there!

But you know what?

This 2018 calendar is one of my dreams,

and although it’s very scary putting it out here

for the public to scrutinize and evaluate,

I do it because it’s important to me.

I hope you find value in this calendar.

I hope you will be encouraged by the pages,

and decide to take the leap toward

your dreams too.

I, like you, walk the journey

not knowing if my dreams will succeed.

And they all may not.

But I’m taking steps to bring encouragement and empowerment into your lives.

If I accomplish that, I’ll be overflowing with JOY!!

Because, you see, bringing encouragement into your lives is one of my DREAMS!

It’s my calling.

And this calendar is one of the ways

I’m able to live MY dream.

And that makes me really, really happy!

 

If you’d like one of these calendars, you may purchase it here.

 

I haven’t told y’all lately how amazing

and wonderful you are!

I hope you know that. Thank you for being YOU!

I’d hate to have to live without you in my life.

And thank you for your support. It means so much to me!!

Lotsa love and big sparkle hugs,

Passionista Mimi

 

Inspiration, Living With Gusto

Life Ain’t Always Sunshine and Roses

So here’s the deal.

It’s NOT always sparkle and shine in my life.

There are days like this week when I am burdened for a precious friend and feel helpless in the situation. When I am a bit tired of working, parenting alone, being this age with kids, being indoors, wanting something fun, loneliness, just the keeping on keeping on.

And there are some days when the only prayer I can form is, “Oh God, oh God, oh God!”

That is the real truth, folks. I get in those places too.

I thought maybe you should know.

I never want you to feel as if I downplay your pain. Or suggest that your difficult situation can just go away “poof”.

But I post the positive things I do because SOMEONE needs to read them.

And in my inner spirit those things are ME. They are what I do to keep doing.

I smile, I pray, I spend time being thankful, I reach out to others, I help others if at all possible….

All these things help to center me and bring the “yuck” back into perspective.

I do know that when we fill our brains with positive thoughts,

we attract more positive energy to ourselves.

And that is what being thankful is about.

That is what “speaking to the mountain” (see previous post) is about.

We actually DO have a choice in how we spend our focus/energy.

And when I’m in a funk, I choose to spend mine by rejoicing in all the good I see around me.

Being thankful for the many, many good things in my life.

And realizing that these funks don’t last forever.

Two things I know–God is always faithful, and the sun will eventually shine!

Living With Gusto

Does It Seem Impossible?

Fear can keep you

from attaining something you want.

 

Whether you think it’s possible or not

depends on the way you see yourself.

 

Believe that you are capable of anything

and you will be.

 

Some days it feels like just getting through the day is impossible!

But don’t ya know? I make it every time, and then ta daaaa!!

It WAS possible.

 

Whatever hard task lies before you, take it one step at a time, and you will make it.

 

You can DO it!!

 

I believe in you, because I know you have the good stuff in you. You are glorious.

 

Here’s to moving forward.

Love and sparkle hugs, Mimi