Living With Gusto, Mimi's Messages

Tell Your Story!

 

 

Tell your story! Seriously, once you share the hard stuff, several things happen:
* it’s not as devastating because it’s no longer hidden
* you actually “hear” it as told to someone else and often make more sense of it
* your story helps someone
* you take away the paralyzing power of what happened to you, and find redemptive power in the telling
* you look back from a new perspective, perhaps more wisdom, or compassion for the person you were.

We don’t stay the same. Though your story may not change, how you respond to it can. You may gain insight. Or resolve.

I’ll tell you right now that I KNOW you have been through challenges, or hard times, or good times, and that you learned something to either NOT repeat again, or that helped you survive, or made life bearable.

Yes, my dear, you can glean from those things. AND, sometimes realizing that our story is valuable happens as we are just telling someone about something that happened in our life.

It doesn’t have to be big. It is usually just us living our lives, daily working through.

But, when we share those daily walks with another person, somehow it becomes even more real in the telling. We realize that we were (are) powerful and creative problem solvers, and so many other things.

And the person listening says that they are so glad to hear us tell it (our story),

or that they never thought of that,

or that it’s amazing to realize that they weren’t the only one…..

There is so much power in our stories, in our lives.

So, don’t be afraid to share your story. You will find others with chapters of the same. A kinship. A support.

And it matters.

Much love, Mimi 

Inspiration, Words To Help

Onion Layers

 So I saw this meme on the internet, and thought I’d comment about it.

And then God begins to peel the layers off and heal in between each so that your heart can once again love and receive love. 

It’s a real process, for sure. It takes time–for me, several decades.

It’s not a pleasant experience. At times you weep. But the freedom and healing are worth the work it takes to look inward, consider the wounds, allow God to stir up your emotions, and allow Him to have the things that wounded you. And to replace the wounding with healing.

He is the healer. He wants you whole and free from the bondage of those things that you carry, those things that cause you to feel wounded.

Hugs and love,

Passionista Mimi

Inspiration

Can We Trust God?

How do you know that someone is worthy of your trust? Most likely it’s because they have proven themselves to you: they are dependable, they have kept your secret, they are loyal and supportive of you.

It takes time, usually, to establish trust in someone. And a kind of “testing”. 

God knows that it isn’t easy for us to trust Him. We are weak-hearted and easily disappointed by people and the events in our lives. We are constantly being let down.

But God is faithful. He is trustworthy.

He cannot lie:

God is not a man that he should tell or act a lie.” Numbers23:19

He who is the Glory of Israel will not lie, nor will he change his mind, for he is not human that he should change his mind.” 1 Samuel 15:29

He does not change:

I the Lord do not change.” Malachi 3:6 

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” Hebrews 13:8

There are so many scriptures that talk about God’s faithfulness. However, this is an area that often takes personal experience to believe, not just taking someone’s (or the Bible’s) word for it. God’s faithfulness is proven during the course of our life, through provision or protection, and especially deliverance. To me, that one is the first and best proof of His love and faithfulness.

He delivers us:

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”1 John 1:9

We can have absolute confidence that God forgives us. If he couldn’t he wouldn’t be God. Perhaps it takes faith for you to believe that. But let me say that I have experienced His forgiveness, the cleansing of my heart, and the outpouring of his love. It’s not all in my head. It’s a precious way of life that brings me joy.

As far as God’s proving his faithfulness?

He shouldn’t have to because he is God and God is faithful. Period. But yet he does. Over and over to us. There have been times when I don’t even realize he delivered or provided or protected until years later. And when I have those “ah ha” moments it’s pretty incredible.

I think, “Oh that’s what was going on behind the scenes. That is what God was doing!” And my heart fills with gratitude and praise. There are many instances in our lives like this (for example, when I didn’t marry the person who turned out to be of questionable character). We don’t even realize that God has touched a moment in our lives and taken care of something for us. Or sometimes we DO! Like when I was able to pass between two cars that were destined to collide at an intersection. Whew! I praised God for sure while I was shaking in my boots!

You CAN put your trust in God.

“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” James 1:17 

I hope you will risk it. Try him out and see if he doesn’t prove himself to you. I dare ya!

 

Inspiration, Mimi's Messages

Focus On The Light

 

focus on his light

From the book Indestructible by Blake Healy, these sentences really grabbed my attention:

“The enemy is fighting to get you to see things his way because

a simple act can release a massive amount of God’s goodness,

leaving a mark that can last for generations.”

 

Satan does not want us to realize the power that is ours through Jesus!

When we act as “Jesus with skin on” to those around us,

reach out a hand to the hurting, 

when we pray in the mighty name of Jesus and foundations shake,

when we stop hatred and meanness,

when we cuddle a child in need of love……

the plans of the enemy are brought to a halt!

 

“There is no place on this earth that God has not

placed the potential for good.”

 

No place is so “dark” that the power of Jesus cannot break through and shed glorious light! Never give up on someone or a place or a situation!

 

“If we know that God is always ready to do good no matter where we are, then instead of fighting the darkness, we will focus on honoring the glory we see in others, perpetuating the light.”

 

Oh friend, He is waiting to do good. God doesn’t need us at all. But for some reason He chooses to use us as vessels of His light, love, and life. Never think that you are not enough to have an impact for God’s kingdom, or that your calling is too inconsequential or small. It matters! If God has put a niggle in your heart to do something then do it! The rest is up to Him. 

For instance, this blog is not bringing in money, nor do I want it to. I don’t have many who follow me or even read what I write. But I’ve had to come to grips with what my purpose really is. God told me to write, and I believe that those who are supposed to read these simple words do.

So what about you? Have you been hesitant to do something, thinking it doesn’t matter anyway? Hey, are YOU reading this? Then you know the power of one person shining their light. 

And by the way, there is no small act of kindness. It all matters. Just sayin’.

So keep reaching out, touching lives, praying, shining light!!

I’m with you,

Mimi

Inspiration, Keepin' It Real, Raw Honest Brave

A Call to Prayer

There’s a sense of urgency in my spirit this morning. 

We need to pray for our nation!

We have become acutely aware of how helpless we really are.

We need God!

Pray that God will pour out His mercy,

His grace, His love, and cover our nation with it.

The world too.

But today, it’s our nation that needs urgent, heart-felt prayers.

If you are one who prays,

please do that with total abandon, urgency, full commitment.

There’s a shifting going on.

There is a power moving among us.

God’s power! God has commanded His people to pray.

He said that if we will He will hear from heaven and heal our land.

We must, as a nation, turn from our wicked ways.

There is so much evil in our country.

Bad things happening. Besides the virus.

Please pray that God would move in a mighty way.

We are the nation that is “one nation under God’.

It’s time to rise up to that calling!

Only God can heal our nation.

Only God can bring life and truth to our darkness.

Won’t you join with me for the next several days and

pray with an urgency that you’ve never had before?

Won’t you begin to take back our nation for God through prayer? 

“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”  2 Chronicles 7:14

This is not a “pretty” verse in the Bible.

It holds a condition–but also a promise.

We need to stand in the gap before the Lord for our nation,

repenting of the evil and sin that has taken us over.

This is not the time to say “it’s not me”

and just wring our hands about how dire the situation is.

It is time to TAKE ACTION!

Go to our knees before mighty God and

entreat Him to turn our nation around.

To heal our land. 

You may not like this.

You may not like me.

But this is what is on my heart and mind today.

And I am compelled to write it.

Do what you will. I pray that you will take it to heart.

Now is your time.

 

 

Just know that I am there with you.

Much love and prayer, Passionista

 

Inspiration

Come On, Shine That Light!

 

Right now you may not feel much like shining. I know. It’s a turbulent and strange time in our world. But, guess what? YOU are important. Oh, I know, you are aware of this. That’s why you are trying to stay well and not get this virus. Your kids, husband, parents, friends, co-workers need you to survive.

But that’s not what I’m referring to here. You are important because you are YOU and no one else can be who you are with your unique mixture of personality–the things you love and hate and are passionate about.

The things that stir your soul or make you want to pull your hair out. You notice people that tug at your spirit and cause you to reach out to them. You see things that need to be done. You see injustice and evil that lead you to pray. You speak as only you can, with words from your fabulous heart. You create so much out of nothing–ideas, things, occasions, answers to problems, gatherings, love–as only you can create.

I’m here to encourage you to shine your light, my friend.

In the scriptures, “light” symbolizes God, faith, holiness, and truth. If you have it, please shine it!

 

John 1:5  “The light shines in the darkness and darkness cannot overcome it.”

(Goodness, doesn’t our world live in dark times, and don’t we need to shine our light?!)

And this is how we have light to share:

John 8:12  Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

 1 Peter 2:9 “But you are a chosen people…that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light.”

John 12:36  “Believe in the light…so you may become children of light.”

And then, because God’s light has shown on us and is in us:

“Nations will come to your light, kings to your sunburst brightness.”

 

People are drawn to the light.

SHINE BRIGHT!

 

I’m here, shining with you. Encouraging you. Praying for your blessings.

Light-shiner, encouragement coach, Passionista,

Mimi

Christmas Reflections, Inspiration

We Are Not Alone

 

“Christmas is a reminder that we are not alone.”

My aunt shared this quote with me and it resonated within me.
God touched humanity with Jesus—the greatest gift of all. Love came down at His birth. He provided a way to live with HOPE in the midst of despair. To have a FRIEND when everyone turns away. To have STRENGTH in the midst of fear. To have LOVE in the midst of hate. To have FAITH in the midst of turmoil.
HE alone is my Rock, the One who has sustained me through some really, really rough times. He has anchored me when I’ve been adrift and floundering.


I am forever grateful for this Savior who came humbly to walk among us and make a way for us to have lives of fullness and joy, regardless of our circumstances. My heart belong to the One who loves me.

May you be blessed this Christmas

and the year to come. 

Love and big hugs, Mimi

Living With Gusto

Strength: You’ve Got It

“You never know how strong you are until being strong

is the only choice you have.”

Bob Marley

Most of us have been through things that have shown us—beyond our imaginings—what we are capable of. As we think back on those horrible days we are in awe of our perseverance and accomplishment, wondering how we ever survived. But we are strong, and we rise to meet need as the warriors we are.

I have a close friend who has walked through some of the most difficult things life has to offer. A particularly bad season was when she was making the drive to Detroit several times a week to take her infant son to Children’s Hospital. This went on for several months. She barely saw her husband and other infant son and was physically and emotionally worn out—the kind of worn out that trying to sleep in the hospital and fighting for your baby’s life will bring. The kind of exhaustion that causes you to nod off at the red light. When I exclaimed that I didn’t know how she’d done it, her response was, “What option did I have?”

And she was correct. Sometimes we just don’t have a choice and have to keep putting one foot in front of another.  And somehow the strength comes when needed.

One of the most grueling seasons in my life was during the time my mom lived with us while battling cancer. That was difficult enough, but my husband also had two back surgeries which put him out-of-commission on pain meds (so I was basically single-parenting), I was managing my mom’s in-home caregivers, both she and my husband were making frequent trips to the hospital, my two special needs 4 year olds were not sleeping, or if they were my daughter’s feeding pump would jam—sometimes two and three times a night, and I was rising at 4:30 each morning to get everyone ready so I could go teach my second graders—on very little sleep. Oh, and did I mention I was older—fifty-two, but who was counting? Let me tell you, I’m not sure how I ever survived those months!

mimis tea bag

 

So how do we find the strength to make it through these times? Looking back it seems impossible, but somehow I found the strength to do everything that was needed. I know that I prayed a lot! My prayer was often only, “Oh God! Oh God!”.  (Good thing He can read between the lines.) And I talked with my close friend, who gave me amazing support.

Some women turn to yoga, meditating, or exercise to calm and restore. Some attend support groups, community functions, or read. Sometimes just talking to a friend will help us see perspective and cause us to realize how strong we are and how far we have come.

Talking out loud can help us process our next steps, or just receive the support from another that gives us strength. Never discount how powerful helping to bear someone’s burden can be!

It’s important for women to gather, share, and support each other. Women are social creatures and amazing things happen when they gather and hang out together.

Don’t be afraid to tell your “warrior” stories to others. You may well inspire someone and help them gain strength in their journey. Yes, we may wish we’d done some things differently or better, but in the long run we did the best we could at the time. And most likely we were amazing! And look how strong we have become!

Hang in there Warrior Woman. And share your story.

Much love, Mimi

This post was originally an article written for Women2Women Magazine, of which I’m the editor. You may view our digital magazine online to read other great articles.

 

Living With Gusto

I AM

I AM

The words I used to put after “I am” were not very nice words at all. I didn’t like myself much. I felt like I could never measure up or please everyone, although I spent most of my waking minutes trying. When I’d do something just for myself I’d feel extremely guilty and like I had to hide it. It seems pretty silly, huh?

But my beginnings were a bit rocky, which led me–a person of peace, huge emotions, and big heart–to feel as if I really didn’t deserve love, or even much of a place in this world. 

After going through a LOT of healing, prayer, reading/study, and consciously changing my thought patterns, I began to view myself differently. Believe me, this process took a long time, but the journey has set me free. When I begin to think of myself with words that cut me down, words that undermine the fabulous person God created me to be, I pull myself back and change them. 

I remember who I really, really am, the good stuff I’ve discovered about myself, and I change my thought pattern. It does work! I even say some of those things out loud to others, and I haven’t gotten struck by lightning yet!! 

I urge you to try it. This world seems to thrive on criticism (not the constructive kind), comparison, bullying, and zillions of images that could leave us feeling like a mess. We certainly do not need to be our own enemy by fueling that fire with negative thoughts and beliefs about ourselves!!

If you have no idea what makes you fabulous, then ask a friend. (Our friends see and know what we do well, how we have helped them or others, what our personality is like and our strengths.) They can give you a few characteristics to get started. 

But first of all, above everything else, you are loved.

I do not know you well enough to say I love you (but I do care about you). The One who really, truly loves you unconditionally is our Creator, God, our heavenly Father who wants a close and personal relationship with you. And knowing we are loved can change how we feel about ourselves.

So go ahead, discover some good things about yourself, and begin replacing the ugly self-talk with uplifting, affirming words instead.  I’ve given you an alphabet card below full of suggestions. You are welcome to print it, (please be kind and use only for yourself, as it is my own work) or you can buy a 5″ x 7″ hard copy from my Etsy shop if you desire. I guarantee that if you read these words daily–using them to describe yourself–and begin to believe them (because of course you are all these things), you will become empowered and equipped with stronger self-esteem, self-love, and confidence. 

ABCs of me2

Why shouldn’t these words–and more–describe who you are? I now believe that I am these things, and I’m certainly no better than you!

So there you have it–strong, uplifting words to fill in this blank:

I am ______________________________.

 

I am very excited to hear about your journey. Let me know how you do!

And comment below if you, like me, have struggled with negative self-talk. 

 

I wish you blessings, truth, and the heart-knowledge that you are loved. 

Big sparkle hugs, 

Mimi heart for blog

Living With Gusto

It’s So Simple

Be kind2

It really is simple.

Everything we might choose for our goals boils down to being kind:

Be kind to yourself.

Be kind in your relationships.

Be kind to the earth and animals.

Be kind to others.

Be kind in your words.

Be kind in your thoughts.

Be kind in your deeds.

I think that about covers it all.

May you have a wonderful year of kindness.

So what do you think? Let me know below.

Lots of great big sparkle hugs

and blessings in the new year.

heartMimi