Category Archives: Dreaming

Yesterday.

Yesterday I had a meaningful conversation with my Pastor, Pastor Mike, Pastor of Transformation Church, in Tulsa Oklahoma. Today’s post is just giving honor where honor is due.

Pastor Mike and I have attended the same church for several years; even before he became pastor . His ability to rally up youth and bring them together in worship of a God they couldn’t see, was tremendous. Most of all, he keeps you laughing. He uses humor to the glory of God, quite unabashedly.☺️

It was awesome to just reflect on years of his service and how his messages have helped shape and transform my life, and my husbands life. This year has been a challenging one , and I’m grateful for Mike & Natalie Todd and how they’ve helped sustain our faith .

My church communities have been literal shelters when I’ve been so far away from my own family of origin ( In New York- where I’m from); and just being able to know people who are in right relationship with God and love us as family has been an encouragement to our hearts and souls

Together, my husband and I have worshipped together on a praise team, led Celebrate Recovery we’ve taught in leadership classes on communication, visited those in mental health facilities, coached lay persons in the church in dynamic ways.

It’s been instrumental in our own faith and how we have grown ourselves .

Thankful for our pastor his wife and family. They are awesome pillars for our church family , and our faith .

Thankful for this journey, and this season. Thankful for a people who love their Lord with all their heart mind, soul and strength. ❤️

Once upon a time…


Once upon a time i turned fifty .

This beautiful chandelier was at a Air B& B home we rented  on my 50th Birthday😍 for a weekend and just chilled out relaxing in it. It was in the country, in Oklahoma. But I loved it. Never considered myself a country girl. But the laid-blackness and old charm gave me a nostalgic feelin’. And the chandelier and art inside the old home just gave me warm fuzzies.

You see, I’m realizing life in my fifties is defining a new me. I was afraid to make a decision today, that involved my future . And I started thinking- Wow, do I want this!?

…Or this?

Becoming 50….was like a huge deal! And then came 51 and 52 wasn’t far away… my fifties have caused me to look at life so differently.

i mean just the other day I was thinking about what I wanted to spend the rest of my life doing. And I thought about pursuing professional goals. I realized with all my experience I could take some tall strides and reach for more. Or I could begin to build towards my dream .

And the dream is paramount, right now. Then I remembered who I’m partnered with and realizes he has a dream quite similar to my own.

So… the dream wins .

I guess for me.. the fifties are all about me. And being me is a challenging job sometimes. Where I find joy and what makes me smile is what I will partake of more… and that’s pretty cool for me, right now. Fifties are defining me.

And… i am so cool with that!

 

Great Question!

Yes…I love thinking and asking questions.

Perhaps asking questions have been my pathway to self- reflection and self- evaluation, personal growth and change.

Possibly a lot more so now that I am married to a man who loves the questioning – even more than me. (smile)

God values our minds. Engaging with HIm and bringing him into our decisions should be a regular practice of ours.
It makes a HUGE difference when when we bring God into our thought life.
I believe I am as successful as I am in life – it’s due to my conversations I have with God.
Listen in and see what Pastor Steph says about it. Listen Here: When Jesus Meets You in Your Thought Life.”


‘God questions us and and considers our innermost tought. How do we engage Him?”

A Hard Year?

Whenever I have a year that starts out pretty severe and intense; I take stock, ‘hold onto my hat’ and I say I’m gonna do my best to stay with the ride. This has been one of those years .

As I speak, the Arkansas River has poured into the backyard of the apartment where I live. I can say I actually panicked , yesterday . And I felt so bad about it . I mean , it puts everything in perspective when have to chose between : “should I grab my bicycle or my amazing photo books and photography, I own?”

Then I realized after a few sweeping moments, none of that matters… and I needed to take a breath , do what I can and what I can’t; just surrender to what I can. . I mean, I can walk away- when it gets too dangerous to stay where I live anymore.

I’ve never experienced a flood. I tried to make sense of it- and even spiritually try to see if I could equate spiritual metaphors that would silence some of my panic. I wasn’t lucky.

These were some of the pics we took out on the river yesterday .

Well the rain stopped, gratefully, but my mind hasn’t , and my contemplation. I have to remember what I’m grateful for, and just let God have this.

I was listening to an Oprah video today, and she said ( I’m paraphrasing) that surrender comes with us letting go of our problems . At the moment in which we release it, it becomes lessened in its intensity in our lives.

It isn’t well with my soul, but it shall be. And I’ll keep praying and focusing on good until that happens.

Peace,

Jennifer

On Being Emotionally Safe.

So about a week ago I was sitting with a group of people and we were discussing a few challenges with conflict; and being and living emotionally safe .

I didn’t realize I that emotionally, I had been holding onto some stuff due to an illness I was having and it made me feel completely vulnerable and as a result, I didn’t trust well. Even myself , and my own thoughts.

I realized I had been having quite a bit of a lack of emotional safety and how I tended to think and reason was skewed. Ever felt that way? Like being ill made you feel even worse than you felt before you became sick?

You see, when I was a little girl I would be challenged around my thinking and sometimes influenced to doubt myself. I would be literally mocked for crying and feeling vulnerable or sad.

As an adult , I had unintentionally learned and operated in this mode of thinking and held on firmly to the belief that is i shared, the same would occur. This was my self – doubt. “No one takes me seriously, ” I would tell myself . And because I had this thinking; I wouldn’t take myself too seriously, either.

I became insecure emotionally ; and was often challenged with this thought so much it became a self -fulfilling prophecy.

It had become a personal infection, filled with self-condemnation. It was a thought that had me trapped in self-protection mode; and I was on the defense.

As I sat around the table with mentors, and came to this awareness about myself, I realized that I needed to be honest about this insecurity and then take back that untruth; and replace it with what was really true about me. What was true, was that an eight year old little girl had become very confused about feeling vulnerable; and today, this truth didn’t serve her.
There was no wisdom and no strength in being and feeling this way. It made her think she was weak and vulnerable and insignificant . Instead of being taken seriously ; when in truth, she was convincing herself that no one really believed in her from the start.

I had to remind myself that the truth was I felt emotionally unsafe and vulnerable because this was a “trigger” in my life that once felt unfamiliar , insensitive and unsteady. And it also reminded me that because I ” felt unprotected “, I therefore was unprotected because that’s what I believed.

Yet this was not true.

A week later , I was in the exact same position. I believed I was emotionally unsafe and therefore I was. I didn’t talk to myself any differently, and I didn’t do anything about it.

But then I began to self-evaluate. I had to ask myself:

Why was I feeling this way again?

What was coming up for me ?

Why was feeling insecure ?

I suddenly realized this pattern had been affecting me in several areas of my life and instead of dealing with the frustration of how I felt, I would emotionally hide myself ; lose my voice – and I would “bail ” and leave the situation that introduced the emotional conflict, before it got much worse.

I was “emotionally stuck.” And the same record kept playing. I didn’t know how to drop this negative behavior. My mentors around this table helped me realize I needed to tell myself this was an untruth when I felt this was or I’d keep reacting, vs. responding.

I was undone.

So… I began to then reason differently. There were tools that helped me release my emotions and think more clearly- like reading , writers no and dumping what was in my head , listening to thinking music, clearing out my head with untruths – and meditation and prayer, and a recognition that I was worthy of everything good and positive- around me and i was safe.

I was done unraveling; I would say a prayer of affirmation of release to release the negative; and stay with the truth; letting it resound as my filter.

When I used the tools, I provided myself a remedy. And as I sought remedy, I began to heal. With consistent acknowledgement and addressing the fact that (I was my own distraction ); and disrupting what could be a “good thinking process”; I began to release the inner conflict in my life. I began to reach for truths that invited inner resolve and peace. This involved some deep, intentional, introspection.

Slowly I became more aware of this challenge; and addressed the instability of emotional vulnerability. I began to serve myself truths; and let go of my emotional hurt patterns from when I was 8 years old.

I am free. I am still noticing this pattern comes up in not so strong moments -and it may take a few more missteps before I am fully aware.

Nonetheless, I am moving forward. Now I am self-correcting my ” stinking thinking.” Where I used to run away from conflict, now I challenge myself and run to it and take care of it.

Selah.

Hey, Give Thanks!

Yesterday these guys serenaded is in the park. It was quite pleasant to be around them and outside on a sunny, ( almost spring ) day.

I had not been feeling very well and this was delight and something to be quite grateful for. They say at the end of every day of you find something to be grateful for, you boost your sense of personal pride and thankfulness.

I would have to say I agree. Once, I spent time writing down three things to be grateful for over the course of six months. What could have been one of the most depressing times of my life then became a time to cherish due to the excitement I had of looking forward to new possibilities.

I encourage you to do the same. Maybe having a little thankfulness will allow you to see colors more clearly; smell the air a bit differently, and receive others more fully.

A certain expectancy of positive energy allows the door to be open for more joy, peace and satisfaction. Welcome it.

Be that positivity, today!

God Overwhelms Our Failure With Grace.

www.bible.com/1849/jas.1.5.tpt

Oh what a wonderful word I stumbled upon today!

I’m so grateful for the overwhelming, GRACIOUS love of God! When I don’t know what the heck I’m doing… it’s a GREAT opportunity to trust Him on another level and lean into His grace.

Grateful that I don’t have to be or do anything more than what God wants me to do; and grateful that He never pressures me. The only pressure received is the pressure I place on myself.

Life is Good.

www.flickr.com/gp/silentwarrior2008/C328Aw

I haven’t quite figured out what this post is about yet, but I loved this picture and wanted to post it.

.. I’ll let you know.☺️

Where does the goodness come out of life? Is it in your friendships? Your health? Is your happiness found in your heart?

Is it with your family?

Is it with your career?

I searched for Happiness for a long time. I realized Happiness was not something both look for in relationships so much with others unless they help mentor and feed and nurture you and you can return that favor.

I’ve learned that goodness from life comes from self-care. Self care can be magical if you give it time and commitment. It often requires self- evaluation and self – examination. And it requires goal-setting and self- determination.

Take a look at my Kamau Meditative series on Motivation and let me know if anything your hear sparks joy for you.

If it does, like Marie Kondo says : Do it!

Spark Joy!

Is Grace A Place?

J.Owens (@jennselah) instapost:

I’ve often wondered :

Is Grace A Place?

These photos were taken looking out into the city of Tulsa Oklahoma one morning as I sat at work and contemplated my new career and future.

I thought to myself: Can a place where you live be graced with benefits for living and work for you personally, to the degree your lifestyle changes to suit you, you are able to feel happier, lighter and more fulfilled in your purpose?

I’d say yes.

I’ve been living in place I was not initially interested in living; but God graces me so much with a life I love living, the beauty of a small time feel, wonderful parks and nature, as well as a place that gifted me with a new career I never imagined I’d ever have.

I have worked in the field of social work for about 27 years. After some contemplation, I realized that I He time in that field was becoming a bit ‘comfortable’ for me. I realized with time I needed some new and fresh and even prayed for it. Sometime later, a chaplaincy program in Tulsa was offered to me, with a residency and full time stipend. It was a program I couldn’t resist. I said yes, and a new career began.

With this blessing, came more opportunity and a happier life. none of this began without a bit of self-evaluation, honesty and prayer. I suggest you consider the same question.

Be on the move, in your city. Take advantage of where you live and the purpose for why you’re there.

Be Active.

Do the Work.

Excel.

Live.

{Follow Me on @JennSelah}

Where I share places where grace shows up in life … sometimes unexpectedly.

What I Gleaned from Autumn, 2018.

So I read this on Emily Freeman’s site and linked up with a bunch of other writers because this fall 2018 has been most profound for me.

Here’s the link: https://emilypfreeman.com/what-we-learned-fall-2018/

Now it’s your turn! What did you learn this fall?

I read this on a blog recently.

I’m new to a chaplaincy residency, and this autumn has been most enlightening. My chaplaincy has enlighten me; although not all the lessons have come from its practice.

1. I am learning how to touch the heart of people. When someone begins sharing their hearts, listen. You may have been the only one who has heard it. Ever.

Being able to pray for people’s hearts is such a privilege and through intercession I believe God reaches for them; and for me. I suppose that is most intriguing.

2. I have learned that lamenting is not a bad thing. Too often we can’t handle people and their complaints or their sadness. It’s so therapeutic for someone to vent. Why aren’t our hearts and heads and ears available to listen sometimes? That’s all David did in the Bible and the Psalms are the most favorite refuge for people who lament and grieve while enduring pain and sorrow

3. I have learned to “bear witness” to life, situations and people in pain. Pain can be a Teacher.

Everyone needs someone. And we all need a cause to support and have compassion for that breaks our heart and gives us a burden to bear. It keeps you in touch with humanity. Just being present with someone or showing support by being present can encourage the soul. I couldn’t walk long distance, ( due to my leg injury this past autumn), but I “stood ” against trafficking against women and girls this Autumn. I was present for them. And that mattered.

4. I have learned I hate division. I hate when communities are ripped apart and people ravage communities and races and undervalue lives. And I learned my light burns brighter now, for those harmed in communities when there is division and discord.

5. Word to the wise: Receive.

Make things easier on yourself by doing something that sounds good, feels good and IS GOOD for you. Life is too short. I’m learning to receive . That i need to treat my friends to my company and vice versa.

6. I have learned a New Kind of Courage

See this link and listen in.

7. Wow, so I’m learning so much. I guess another thing I’ve learned is how much transparency breeds authentic relationships. My husband and I have grown so much over the past three months & I believe a lot of it has been due to our transparency and real was shared in terms of where we are in life.

8. Perhaps the last lesson I’ve gained has to be patient with myself. (That’s the hardest, lesson, actually. ) I am NOT very patient with myself. At all. In a perfectionist, so I often criticize myself before anyone else gets a chance to. I’ve been particularly hard on myself about receiving. Let’s say this is an elaboration of lesson learned number (5A.)

It’s also my word for 2018. Receiving. As if I’ve had this intentional goal of working on Receiving this year.. well, no .. I haven’t . I SAID I would, but I was not AS intentional as I could have been. Which means I haven’t quite finished working on this goal in its entirety.

Why do I do this to myself, right? (Pick crazy-risky words to follow throughout the year, then not fulfill them like I’d like to, as personal goals?)

Well, in truth everyone makes mistakes. I guess as much as I learn to practice self-compassion, then I’ll know how to “Receive”.

I still; however, would not say I have failed at this goal.

I would like to say much of it is still in action.

This is what RECEIVING means:

“be given, be presented with, be awarded. “

So how cool …wow – God wants to reward me with something and I have trouble receiving?!! How absurd, right?

(I know.)

Who has trouble receiving awards , right?

Me.

(And I’ll leave that right there.)

So this is a lesson still in process.

But I’m learning receiving involves the ability to acquiesce and be compassionate and grateful while at the same time enjoying the ‘gifts and rewards’ while also enjoying the success of your accomplishments. In other words don’t be so accomplishment ‘driven’ – you fail to smell the 🌹 roses of your success. And THAT, I have to practice more.

Well that was number eight, and so now I’m done with the lessons from 🍂 Autumn.

Thanks, Autumn.

-Jennifer