Sunday, March 18, 2012

Are you still here? I'm not.

I've moved to please come over to see me.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Womb Woven and Wonderfully Made

I am letting go of Becoming Me ... and now writing at my new blog. I hope you will stop by and see me and learn why I have ... transitioned.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Drinking Sunshine

I know that I have not been around here much lately...there have been a lot of changes in my life and more to come. I'm excited to share details with you and will very soon. My latest post is up at (in)courage. I hope you enjoy it.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Recovery and Punctuation

Just a few weeks after my blog comeback, I started to experience excruciating pains in my neck and arm. Long story short, I am now in bed recovering from neck surgery. The spinal surgeon did a great job and I am healing. God has shown me so much during the past few months and I cannot wait to share with you. Hopefully I will be writing soon.

You can find my latest post over at (In)Courage. It's about the comma and spiritual growth. Odd combo, but I think you'll like the message.  

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Take Fear Out of the Equation
The stress of the unknown weighted me anxious. I had an opportunity to pursue...a decision to make. A stirring deep within concocted a desire to explore. I didn't know why, but I knew that I must.

I knew that good would come from the exploration. Earth-shattering change was not eminent. Altering my life was not required; but inspection, scrutiny and analysis of situation and self demanded action. Yet, I froze...suspended in a nebula of confusion and fear.

Questions that I did not want to answer hovered. Undesirable scenarios loomed. A visual of potential hurt feelings flashed in my mind's eye. Threats of failure danced around me. Doubts circled and sang what-if?

I  locked eyes with a Godly friend and whined
"I need someone to make this decision for me. Tell me what to do and I'll do it."

"Explore it," she decided...quickly.

"I was hoping for a different answer," I sighed.

Then, she offered instruction. "Take fear out of the equation. Now, what do you want to do?"

I smiled. "I want to see what this is really about."

She returned my smile with one of her own, "Then, that's what you do."

So I explored. And I learned. And I grew.

In its unhealthy form, fear is, at best, an worst, it is an agent of paralysis and atrophy. When removed from the equation, fear is left without power and the right choice rises to the surface.

"And He got up and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, 'Hush, be still.' and the wind died down and it became perfectly calm. And then He said to them, 'Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?'"
  -Mark 4:39-40

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Being an Encourager

 (Warning, this is another one of those posts where I just "talk" to you)

Photo from Show Off Arts - Dayspring. com
 It was my first day on the job as the corporate communications specialist for a well-respected community bank. Two hours after I arrived, my new boss, Laura, announced that the bank's president and CEO had resigned that weekend. Fortunately, the resignation was not tied to even a scent of a scandal, which came as a relief to this public relations gal. But still, a rather monumental change in leadership had occurred and I felt uneasy.

Adding to first day nerves, the interim president and CEO summoned me to his office to discuss an upcoming publication.  Laura volunteered to accompany me to the meeting and I accepted her offer in an instant. I can be brave and independent, but at that moment I reeled with insecurity. I remember very little from that meeting, except for me trying to sound intelligent while I assessed the situation and proposed an idea.

On our way back to the marketing department, I asked Laura if she was fine with the way that I expressed opinions during the meeting ... remember, my tenure was all of four hours old.

Her sincere reply instilled me with confidence and became one of the most influential compliments I have received.

" Angela, you did great. You just make things better wherever you go."

Laura is an authentic encourager. That is how she works, leads and lives. Although our roles have changed and she is no longer my boss, she remains a friend and an inspiration.

The New Testament Greek word for encouragement is parakaleo, which literally means "to call along side." It was often used when writing about battle and meant to strengthen someone by bringing them the appropriate aid.

It is my heart's desire to encourage a wounded world. But, to be brutally honest (and I need to be), my motivation for encouraging others is sometimes blurred by selfishness and pride. Sometimes I encourage with the intent to receive some sort of emotional accolade in return.

Most of the time, I am genuine in my efforts. But there have been moments when encouraging felt like hard work ... and times when encouraging did not bring joy to my heart. I now know that if encouraging someone else does not bring joy to my heart (and I mean joy, not bubbly, syrupy, happiness - although encouraging others can lead to that as well) and if it makes me feel burnt out, then I am simply not doing it right. Oh, I may be doing and saying the right things, just not with the right motives.

The purpose of true encouragement is to affirm, console and  challenge others to keep going forward. As a Christian, I am called to encourage others in the faith. Spurring someone on so I can garner feelings of value is not how Paul intended his words written in Hebrews to be interpreted. Instead, I must humbly put the needs or others before my own ... love them ... and then inspire them as they continue the journey.

"Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near." Hebrews 10:23-25 NASB.

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