vision boards – why they don’t work

Simmer, simmer … let me explain. I love, love my vision board. Every morning as I brush my teeth I look at the images, the words of encouragement, and think to myself, “today, I will focus on these things of beauty.” And, this morning, I realized why this is the first time a board has ever propelled me to action before.

Because it’s not my vision anymore.

I was first introduced to the idea of a vision board when I was in college, then again later as I was peddling lipstick and protein shakes. Not a thing wrong with either, but my vision boards did little to nothing to elevate my sales person instincts or develop my mental strategy. Not pictures of cars, homes and travel, or even daily words of affirmation, could shake me from my slumber.

Old habits and familiar mindsets always found their way back in to my routine.

Over the holidays this year, I had the opportunity to again create a board. Truly, the only reason I decided to try it once again was because I was excited about the prospect of spending the evening with some lovely and powerful ladies. Surely an evening of inspiring dialogue was worth the tediousness of gluing some fun ideas onto a board which would inevitably land in a closet until I released enough guilt to graduate it to a landfill.

And then I began seeking.

I started out with my word for the year – evoke. Everything else began to hinge on that singular theme, and the board was quickly covered in words that stir my spirit – healing, people, live, inspire, once in a lifetime, she’s ahead of her time, vision – and I realized that my vision for myself had finally found its teeth. My vision was no longer mine.

It was God’s.

There is nothing in this life as powerful as God’s plan for you. Chasing dreams, opportunities, financial reward, acclaim, power, all falls shorts in the shadow of divine purpose. While all those things CAN be a part of His plan, if they aren’t, and if He isn’t first, nothing will motivate you enough to get where you think you want to go. Or, will sustain you for any significant amount of time once there. Nor will it ever be enough.

When there is no clear prophetic vision,
people quickly wander astray.
But when you follow the revelation of the word,
heaven’s bliss fills your soul. – Proverbs 29:18

Easter Sunday is coming, and it not only represents the sacrifice of Christ and the divine power of a living God, it is also an opportunity for new life, fresh revelation, divine PURPOSE. Perhaps this is the week to lay down your old life for a different one…

…catch for yourself His vision…

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communion & yoga mats

When Jesus broke the bread and drank from the cup with His disciples the final day before He was betrayed and gave Himself up for our sake, He said to “do this in remembrance of me.”

As often as we think of Him.

In recent years, taking communion in my quiet time has been a most sacred part of my personal journey of faith. In the solitude of the moment, in the tears and angst of the season, in the celebration of His faithfulness, the taste of the bread on my tongue, the bitterness of the wine, reminds me of the holiness of Christ in His sacrifice.

And, the sacredness of His Spirit living inside of me.

I do yoga at home now, but for years I spent several mornings a week in lovely Eula’s class at the YMCA. The music quiet, breath patterned, and soul at rest, we would focus on the feelings of our fingertips touching, could feel the strength in individual muscles as we moved through each vinyasa. In context, we were becoming more aware of the power and grace within ourselves.

Similarly, and more incredibly, we can experience the same fulness of self-awareness, and also a deep awareness of God, in our times of prayer, focus and sacrifice to Christ. The sensation of the elements as our hearts are bent towards hearing His direction, a calming of our spirit as our fingertips touch in prayerful reverence, and deep rest comes in remembering Who is covering our lives and filtering every day through His loving hands. We listen carefully for the gentle whisper of His voice and the melody in His heart as He sings over us. (Zephaniah 3:17)

This, my friend, is peace.

If you have never taken communion alone, please consider allowing yourself this beautiful opportunity to connect with your Creator. Set aside a space, a time, some worship music and perhaps a candle to establish a moment of surrender to what He might have for you in that moment. Read aloud Mark 14:22-26 or Matthew 26:26-30, or pause to remember the elements as His body and blood given for your mortal soul in pursuit of your eternal love.

Then quiet, listen, and rest in His presence.

XOXO.

battling butterflies

When I was 11, turning 12, I began having significant dizzy spells. Lasting anywhere from an hour to nearly 2, I would lay on the couch (or wherever I landed) and be literally incapacitated until it was over. After countless tests – MRI, CT scan, EKG, assorted blood tests – it was determined they were my body’s response to stress.

And, it was left at that.

As an adult, seasons of stress or loss have been marked by dizzy spells, panic attacks, seasons of depression and suicidal thoughts, along with vomitous butterflies in my stomach. After a particularly long stretch of such shenanigans, I found a wonderful specialist and outstanding counselor/coach, and finally discovered the freedom of breathing freely once again. One thing has not yet completely been resolved, however.

I still get the worst butterflies when I am going to do something new.

Now, I don’t mean new in the sense that it is something I’ve never tried before, or even a coffee date at a new hot spot. No, it is whenever I am going to do something out of my usual kid-family-wifey routine.

Having friends over.

Leaving in the evening.

Meeting for coffee.

A doctor appointment.

Bible study.

Church.

Eek!

Just thinking about my day or upcoming event can send my stomach into absolute knots.

This past week I asked a group of ladies for prayer for relief of some recurring dizziness and feelings of anxiety. One looked at me and said, “Wow! I would have never known!” I smiled, because I get it; I choose joy. Choose to make myself leave the house. Choose to not make it the central focus of my day, or my conversation, and certainly not my identity. But, it is a challenge, nonetheless.

An extremely unwelcome one at that.

The bible tells us that the enemy comes to steal, kill and destroy, and while we often think of major events, we must not be lulled into the complacency which accompanies the ignorance that it is in the small defeats where the enemy works best. If we can be derailed from walking in the fulness of all God has designed for us, distracted by the pains of the day, he has won, and we remain stagnant and ineffective.

The people to whom God has called us to deserve more than our resignation to the half-witted attempts of the enemy of our souls to sideline us.

What is your battle today? What is within your power to address even now? Whether it is supplements, meds, professional health, or personal accountability, don’t YOU deserve the opportunity to walk in the plans set before you?? If nothing else, I personally, desperately need you to do what you are called to, because I can only do what I can do. We are a community of believers, and if we all do our part ….

Don’t give up, my friend. Send those butterflies away on the winds of change.

Today.

Shalom.

what’s in your garden?

I am starting to see a distinct pattern in my thought processes of late … the truth of reaping and sowing seems to be a common, foundational thread, and consistent measuring stick in my daily life.

This morning in my reading (“Leading Lions” by Ronnie Doss), I came upon some words which really resonated in my spirit. Sharing them with a friend, she said that seemed really weighty and necessitating of serious caffeine intervention in order to process well. I responded that it was actually a super easy read for me, and as I sent my respond, enlightenment rose like a phoenix.

Previously sown soil is being stirred.

In college I majored in Sociology and one of my minors was Psychology. As a junior and senior at CWU, I received extensive interpersonal and team training including paraprofessional counseling. In adulthood, I’ve been blessed with the completion of two masters level coaching courses, and lots of personal therapy. With every step, basic and foundational psychological principles, made all the more relevant when interwoven with biblical truth, have become a part of my intellectual DNA. When the busyness and emotional stress of life comes in like a flood, I tend to gravitate to the carnal responses of survival mode learned as a child. When margin allows, however, my mind is able to embrace the truth that I DO have the capacity to operate in my head knowledge.

As I have sown good healthy seed, revisited and watered many times over, the tools I have learned in my head are now becoming a deeply embraced reality in my heart.

What you put in WILL produce the fruit it’s designed to. Positivity or negativity. Faith or fear. Intellect or emotions. Empathy or indulgence. What we repeat over and over becomes a part of who we are, how we respond, and dictates our capacity.

According to the bible, the power of life and death are in the tongue, and as the mouth speaks, so is the heart. The only way to change what is in the heart, is to make the daily decision that what is going INTO our minds is good, so that the day our head and hearts align, life change can spring forth.

Sow, sow, sow. For in due season, you WILL reap a bountiful harvest.