Goodbye Lies, Hello Truth: Enough is Enough.

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So, I confessed one of my annoying one-liner lies, “You are not enough.”

Have you thought about yours? What one-liner lie tries to keep you from fulfilling your destiny and living the abundant life promised to each of us (John 10:10)?

I’ve been thinking quite a bit about Monday’s post and wanted to really understand more about that little word, enough.

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Defined, enough means several different things:

  1. adj., occurring in such quantity, quality, or scope as to fully meet demands, needs, or expectations <enough food for everyone>
  2. adv., in the amount needed : to the necessary degree; to a degree that is not very high or very low : to a reasonable extent
  3. sufficient.

For me, I know the root of my feeling “not good enough,” stems from pageants and competitions. First runner-up. Good enough to place, but not good enough to win.

But, now that I am 54, it’s time to rally the mental troops and say, “Enough is enough.”

Yes, enough is definitely going to be enough.

When I truly feel as though I’ve done my best, given my best effort, and done “enough” in a situation, circumstance, or relationship (as defined in #1 of our definition), I am going to rest in that truth. I can’t do or give anymore than that. And when I “am” enough (having given 100%), I’ll have to let GOD take over and come in with His amazing “MORE THAN ENOUGH” power.

I’m not sure this means as much to you as it does to me, but I hope so.

The bottom line is simple: say goodbye to debilitating one-liner lies and say hello to becoming a whole and healthy person who operates from healthy thoughts and behaviors!

To celebrate, I did one farewell mirror-cise today.

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I clouded up my mirror with an overabundance of cleaning spray. All I could see was a very blurry shadow of myself.

This is what it is like when I allow the one-liner lies to cloud my true self. I am only a blur of what God intended.

But when I wipe away the blur, I can see a true reflection of who God made me be.

And that is enough.

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Praying, we usually ask too much. I know I do. Sometimes we even demand. I think I am learning to ask enough for the moment–not for the whole year, utterly veiled in mystery; not even for the week, the month ahead; but just for today.

Jesus said it all when He told us to pray: ‘Give us this day our daily bread.’

That bread is not only material, it is spiritual; in asking for it, we ask for a sufficiency of strength, courage, hope and light. Enough courage for the step ahead–not for the further miles. Enough strength for the immediate task or ordeal. Enough material gain to enable us to meet our daily obligations. Enough light to see the path–right before our feet.”
Faith Baldwin, Many Windows, Seasons of the Heart

Goodbye Lies, Hello Truth!

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Authenticity is a collection of choices that we have to make every day.
It’s about the choice to show up and be real.
The choice to be honest.
The choice to let our true selves be seen.
-Dr. Brene Brown

Sometimes our greatest strengths can be our greatest weaknesses.

Would you agree?

I spend a great deal of time talking. Sometimes from a platform. Sometimes in my quiet counseling room. Sometimes on the phone. Sometimes in a parking lot.

Talking is what I do. I like to think it helps others. As I listen in-between the lines of their words, it is my earnest hope that I can help take the scattered pieces of a broken puzzle and somehow offer guidance on how to put them all back where they belong.

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But to every strength, there is a tendency for weakness. Meaning, I can talk too much. Say something that shouldn’t be said. Sometimes we need to give others space to figure things out for themselves. And then, sometimes, I need to listen to my own words and take my own advice.

Dr. Brene Brown says it this way, “I will talk to myself the same way I talk to the people I love.”

I am my own worst critic.

Over the holidays, a very loud one-liner came through a difficult conversation. I was exhausted from cooking and cleaning and shopping and hostessing and etc. etc. etc…you know the drill. And when we are exhausted, it seems the adversary, who I unaffectionately call Red Tail, loves to hit us hard. Throw a strong left punch into our tired gut. Knock us down and out.

The very loud one-liner that tries to knock me out exists of four little words, “You are never enough.” Your best isn’t best enough. You can do better. Just try harder.

I went to bed defeated. Beating myself up.

But when the sun rose, I rose. Much like a prize-fighter, I felt strength rising. I might have even heard the theme to Rocky playing in my head.

After my shower, I had a thought.

Girl, it’s time to say goodbye to that lie,

Never enough.

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Because, you are

Enough.

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And take that one step further. When you aren’t enough,

God is more than enough.

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All day long, I found myself repeating that brand-new powerful one-liner: God, You are more than enough.

Is there a lying one-liner that keeps you in a state of defeat?

Girl (or guy), it’s time to say goodbye to that lie and hello to the Truth.

My little “mirror-cise” only took a few minutes, but boy, the visual of seeing the lie slowly disappear, was worth it.

Goodbye lies, goodbye.

Release your hold on me, now.

Hello Truth, hello!

imageThank you, Dr. Brene Brown, for your insightful work on authenticity.
This exercise was part of Dr. Brene Brown’s six-week online eCourse.

So Long 2013: I’m Not Really Sad to See You Go!

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“It’s the emptiest and yet the fullest of all human messages: ‘Good-bye.”
Kurt Vonnegut, Bluebeard

Living is a form of not being sure, not knowing what’s next or how. The moment you know how, you begin to die a little.  The artist never entirely knows. We guess. We may be wrong, but we take leap after leap in the dark.
-Agnes de Mille

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Once every year
We look back. We look forward.
Ask, how did we do?
New Year Haiku, Written by me

I love writing Haiku’s.  At a recent High School Girl’s Retreat, we spent time writing haiku’s about light and darkness. The small poems left a big impression on my heart. I’ll be sharing those over the next few weeks.

I’ll be honest (and I never want to be anything else with you), I’m not sad to say goodbye to 2013. Without a doubt, it was quite possibly one of the hardest years of my life (and I’ve had some hard ones, as I’m sure you have, too). I haven’t written about a lot of it, because I just couldn’t find the words or the energy to process the shadowy corners of my heart. One thing is certain: I made it through the valley and am now able to see the deep life lessons God had for me. Oh, I didn’t have a clue at the time, because the dark was so dark, but now, as the light of hindsight begins to glow, I am seeing and hearing from God. He had work to do in my heart and in my life and for that, I am grateful. So, as I bid that deep, dark valley adieu, I am not sad. I am open and eager and expectant for 2014’s work to begin.

But, today, on the very first day of 2014, let me encourage you to take just a few minutes to haiku about your desires for this brand new year.

I’ll get us started:

A clean slate awaits.
What will be written on it?
My heart seeks fresh starts.
-January 1, 2014

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Goodbye to harsh winds
that tussled my heart and soul.
Leaving me breathless.
-An Ode to a Deep Valley

Hello soft breezes
that revive, renew, restore.
Leaving me hopeful.
-An Ode to Revival

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Okay, grab a pen and paper. Please share your insightful haiku’s with us. They are a powerful way of reflecting and envisioning. I am ready and waiting!

And remember, this is a no-judgement zone. I feel so much better after writing these little poetic messages. I bet you will, too!

Let There Be Light: A Christmas Meditation

Find somewhere to take a big deep breath of spiritual renewal.

A Note from Christmas Day 2013:

A Very Merry Christmas to you and yours! About now, the afternoon gloam is beginning and if you are like me, you are starting to unwind from all the planning, prepping, wrapping, running, cooking, cleaning, and so much more. My family is dropping like flies. One by one they are falling asleep for their cold winter’s nap. Stomachs full. Hearts blessed.

Before you close your eyes for your winter nap, I pray you enjoy this post from a couple of years ago. It blessed me today. May it do the same for you.

“Yes, my soul, find rest in God.”

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From the Archives

This morning, a great post on (IN)Courage caught my attention. It asked, “What burns you out? What makes your light dull? Well, it took all of two seconds to figure that one out. I posted my comment, so I thought I’d share this ADVENT MOMENT with you:

“I tend to wear the RESPONSIBLE-FOR-EVERYONE-IN-THE-WORLD button, so I wear MYSELF out. I’ve gone back to some “maintenance” counseling, esp. to prepare for the self-induced holiday madness. Just Saturday, I went to lunch and shopping with my Bible Study Girls and every two seconds someone had their hand out for money. One older woman, who I mistakenly looked in the eye, carrying wilted roses, asked, “Can you give me $1?” It took every ounce of my being to smile and say, “I’m sorry, mam.” Now, I could have given her a dollar, yes, but something told me to resist. The internal cacophony of voices that ensued were fierce. The bottom line: we can’t help everybody. God will tell us who and where and when.

So, the next day, on the way to church, I saw a banner flying over a neighboring beautiful historic church, “Taize Prayer Service” at 6:30 pm. Having read a little about such a service, I exclaimed, “I’m there.” So, all by myself, I went. Talk about restoration. WOW! In the midst of a very busy, draining, burn out season, I sat in a hallowed church, lit by candlelight, and listened to the ethereal voices of a cantor and two vocalists lead us in rhythmic cadences and chants. It was as if I took a very deep spiritual breath. I left feeling completely renewed. For a few moments, I felt as if I was in an entirely different world, reminiscent of Evensong at Westminster Abbey. Hidden in the silence. Wrapped by the loving arms of my Heavenly Father who knows exactly what I need.

Reigniting passion for Christ.

Today, our Advent Moment is to be on the lookout for sacred spaces and little respites just like my Taize Prayer Service. It was God’s Christmas gift to me! Here is a taste of the peaceful service. Light a candle and hold your own four-minute Christmas Meditative Moment:

Wait for the Lord

This is how I love to unwind. What do you do? Please share. Learning from one another is a powerful life force!

Let There be Light: Creating a Hushing Atmosphere

Work is not always required. There is such a thing as sacred idleness.”
George MacDonald

IMG_0124Enjoying the lovely hushing atmosphere of my new favorite restaurant,
Pazza Mezze, Norfolk

“Mom, you doing some yoga down there?” Candace called down from upstairs.

“No, just cleaning my office and listening to some Christmas music…”

A few minutes later, she bounded down the steps, off to see a friend.

“What are you listening to?” she asked.

“Enya. It’s her Christmas album.”

“Since when do you listen to Enya?” she smiled.

“Since now,” I twirled.

“Wow. I see.”

“You’ve created a little Janell bubble here (as she drew an air rectangle).”

“Enya.

Let Nothing Disturb You (beautiful devotion by St. Teresa of Avila).

Do you want me to bring my incense down?” she laughed.

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It was a fun little moment.

In actuality, I was following the advice of George MacDonald and creating a hushing atmosphere. Giving myself some space for “sacred idleness.” It only lasted about 20 minutes, but what a rich 20 it was!

Are you giving yourself permission for “sacred idleness” or “from-rushing-to-hushing-time” this week? Time to let the Light of the World shine down on you? I hope so. It is so very important to do so. If you need to, write yourself a permission slip.

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Let me offer one of Teresa of Avila’s beautiful prayers to help you along:

We hear the Lord calling to us
and promising us his peace,
even when we are still caught up
in the pleasures and vanities of this world.
But so desirous is our Lord
that we should seek him
and enjoy the peace of his company,
that in one way or another
he never ceases calling us.

However slow we are to answer,
however unable or unwilling we are
to do his bidding at once,
we need not be downcast or discouraged.
God is willing to wait for us many a day,
and even many a year,
especially when perseverance
and good desires are in our hearts.
Perseverance is our essential first response
to God’s invitation to peace of soul.

What need we have of God’s mercy,
lest the easy attractions of the world
delude us into forsaking
what we have so tentatively begun,
lest we fail to persevere
in our desire to answer God’s invitation to peace.
We need to persevere
in our desire to love the Lord
and in our attempts to make some return to him
for so many proofs of his love,
especially his constant, persevering presence
in our soul.

This faithful lover never gives up on us.

However long we live,
we could never wish
for a better friend than God,
who even in this life
grants us a far greater peace
than we are able to desire.

Let There be Light: The Arresting Pause

Without the genealogy of Christ, the limbs of His past, the branches of His family, the love story of His heart that has been coming for you since before the beginning—how does Christmas and its tree stand? Its roots would be sheared. Its meaning would be stunted. The arresting pause of the miracle would be lost.

-Ann Voskamp, The Greatest Gift

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Checking in today to see how your light is doing.

Mine fizzled out a bit yesterday. Faced some hard truths about myself via a conversation and for a few moments (well, actually a very few moments), a Harsh Breath blew against my light.

Oh, you thought you were glowing again. Felt good, didn’t it? Well, I’ll take care of that.

For a time, I listened and even began entertaining the Harsh Breath’s whispers.

Yes, I did think I was getting my glow back. Oh, how wrong I was. It seems I’ll never be enough. I’ll keep making a mess of things.

But then, I made a decision.

No, Harsh Breath, you are a Liar. I am choosing not to listen to you anymore. Take this.

At that moment, I popped in the brand new Sidewalk Prophets Christmas CD I downloaded on iTunes and something quite beautiful happened.

The Light touched my fading flame.

Track 1, “Oh What a Glorious Night,” permeated my soul and much like you’d see at the end of a Hallmark movie, it began to snow in my heart.

One little flake of light at a time.

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I hit repeat and listened over and over and over again.

The arresting pause of listening to such a powerful song brought a much-needed hush.

Within some time (not really sure how long it was), my flame was flickering bright as ever.

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The words spoken in that conversation made me face some things about myself that need changing.

I am so grateful to be held accountable by those who love me.

Christmas can put undue stress on relationships, but sometimes in the midst of such stress, truth can be spoken and change can occur.

My prayer for you today is simple. If and when you feel a Harsh Breath try to extinguish your light, make a decision to call out to the Light.

Light overcomes Darkness every single time.

Lord Jesus,
You are the Light of the World.
When Harsh Breath comes and speaks words that pierce,
Words that twist and turn and tighten.
Help my dear friends to make a decision.
An immediate and assertive choice to turn to the Light.
The Light that will touch their fading flame.
Remind them that Light overcomes Darkness.
Always. Face the truth, yes, but don’t allow
Harsh Breath to wreck havoc and fade your flame.
Embrace the truth and face transformation.
In Jesus, the Light of the World’s name,
Amen.

A great reading for today: John 1: 1-9.

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Let there be Light: From Rushing to Hushing

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“Have you ever heard the wonderful silence just before the dawn? Or the quiet and calm just as a storm ends? Or perhaps you know the silence when you haven’t the answer to a question you’ve been asked, or the hush of a country road at night, or the expectant pause of a room full of people when someone is just about to speak, or, most beautiful of all, the moment after the door closes and you’re alone in the whole house? Each one is different, you know, and all very beautiful if you listen carefully.”

Tis the season to shine our lights so brightly that those around us have to put on sunglasses.

Unfortunately, it can be one mad season of rushing and more rushing and even more rushing.

What if…and this is one big what if….

We make it a season of hushing and more hushing and even more hushing.

One aspect of hushing is “to calm or to soothe.”

Something that helps me “hush” is creating.

Creativity calms my soul. Whether it is writing in my journal, crafting, creating movement in a yoga class, or setting a beautiful table, creating serves as a soother.

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This past week, I hushed some inner rushing by finally revisiting some recipes I’ve been wanting to try. First on the hushing menu:

Cranberry Nut Chocolate Bark

This far exceeded my expectations! YUMMO! So easy, so delicious and so great to give away. Wrap it up in a cute little cellophane bag or box and tie with a Christmas ribbon! This is sure to help friends and neighbors go from rushing to hushing in just seconds. Give it a try and let me know what you think!

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You are one click away from the recipe:
Cranberry Nut Chocolate Bark

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I used the new Ghiradelli Melting Wafers, Dark Chocolate. A simple two minutes or so in the microwave and presto.
Then just pour onto a piece of parchment paper and let it harden. Next, melt Ghiradelli White Chocolate Melting Wafers.
The rest is easy — just follow those simple directions.

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And then, OOH LA LA! Enjoy!

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