So… Have you ever encouraged people to the point you are more so encouraging yourself?
I happened to me, this week… yes it did. It seems like I’ve been giving everyone this word all week… and then.. it appears! Be Still.
But maybe God has been really speaking to my soul.
I had a vision or a dream the other morning. It was about My Grandmother , Mae. She was in my spirit this morning. Her resoluteness. Her certain magic. I saw an image in my mind of how she used to stand over her kitchen , & just look out and stare straight ahead… or look at her children and grandchildren while standing resolute at that counter… the only one still… the only one… quiet…
I used to catch her eye sometime and he’d just stare at me with a lil smirk, & say nothing.. yet she would smile… as though she had a secret. I know she didn’t do this with me alone, yet it often felt like she did. I felt like she was Present. And Happy.
We are- My family- The Stenson’s- are a family that’s known for being Present.
So I wrote my families a letter and emails this A.M.:
“Let’s redeem that, this week.
Let’s be still enough to notice. “
Just exactly what my grandma Mae was praying and thinking deeply….contemplating… feeling…or feeling about her people in that place. In her kitchen,… just …Being Still . Will forever have me wondering.
I had a week sort of like this , this past week ,in quiet contemplation.
Yet I was blessed to find peace this week in being still. My grandmother visited me, this week. Mae practiced that regularly. Stillness. I believer this where I get that stillness from.
When I’m not still my mind and world turns upside Down .. Things are out of order …what ‘s important sort of diminishes and I get distracted.
My Priorities shift.
So in the spirit ofMae, I ask you to be still this week, spend time alone and with God and think… just be resolute … find resolve … find peace.
I looked up STILL in the dictionary and the word STILL meant” ‘ to be (current, to make motionless.)’
Whew, that just took me some place! In my book, Red Sea Situations, I wrote a chapter called ‘What’s Your Positional Stance?’ I recall several motionless nights…just siting there waiting on God. Not moving. No deciding, but waiting to hear his voice, look for an impression, let him decide my fate, etc… Then, I looked it up n the Hebrew language concordance to gather deep meaning… Being “Still” in the concordance means to: (relax, abate, withdraw, to let drop, refrain, or forsake.) Funny that I found words that pertain to such life-giving spiritual purpose. Intertwined with the words often my husband and I use to encourage one another: We always tend to say to each other:” Just Sit Back, relax and Enjoy the ride..”
Because our pilot, who’s sits in the heavens knows we are just co-piloting. We must know it, too. Life is too busy when we attempt to take over the reigns.
Being Still… is a gift . It can be such a ” wonderful adjective”, yes, I said adjective! Because… “Being Still.” Takes active intention, and quite a bit of WORK! So… Be Still and listen to your little soul while you do…
So it’s been a wonderful month, and over at the Mentor my Sister Blog, I’m celebrating a new identity . One thing I want to say though, it’s that
Here are a few incidents that happened during a grace -filled year for me and gave me a totally invigorating sense of newfound identity (it takes a while to establish that!!)
“Grace will take you places hustling cannot.”
I’m grateful to have started 2020 on a new and gracious time in my life. Here’s what I know:
1. Grace come disguised as Failure.
I took an exam, I flunked it- I find three part-time jobs and I maintained an income for a few months then, my money began to run out. ( Long story!) Finding myself one a new city, was scary and illusive. As I thought about returning to NY, I met my divine mate. In fact I’d been praying for him, for several months. I told God everything I wanted in a man and told him if he gave me that, I’d forever serve Him. (But to be honest, I wasn’t really expecting him.)
I am not the same I was when I lived in New York in 2005. Almost 20 years ago! Back then , I was getting divorced , I was hurting from another relationship that basically stripped away my dignity, and trying to remain friends with the guy who literally broke my heart and I thought my new future would begin with! (I realized I didn’t have to be kind , and I could forgive from a distance . I finally let that dysfunction go, thank God!!)
I was naive. I didn’t listen to my intuition , and I found myself feeling lost. As I left New York, I didn’t look back. I was ready for a new experience with friends and sisters who lived in Maryland, and they supported me through one of the toughest times of my life . Maryland grew me up. Though it was one of the toughest times, it proved my strength. I started a prayer group, decided to give my all to God, had awesome girlfriends, and a social network, but my career was not taking off, and my identity was taking a huge blow! Near mid October 2005; I had felt rewarded. I literally met a young man I Considered a friend- and I never expected to meet- and he wanted to know all about me- asking me in the same breath “What it would take to move me to Texas??” I responded by saying: “ a good job, and hey ,…maybe getting married…” ( What was I saying!?? I’d just gotten divorced!!)
2. Grace Comes As Risks of Faith.
He gets on the plane, with that being his very last question, before I see him again 1 month later, after he sends me a ticket to come and spend Thanksgiving on Texas. And since I didn’t have the money, I did!🤷🏽♀️🤷🏽♀️ Texas was warm, in November , enlightening, bright and sunny – and I was re-awakened!! While there it was calling me! I looked into apts. and found out I could live in a nice apt with cable, and a gym membership for less than $600 bucks! I decided no matter what, I’d move to Texas FOR MYSELF- and of this relationship didn’t work out, at least I’d have a good job.. .if I found one… so I set out to find a good job! Well that happened within before I got there; but after two months it folded . (Within weeks another job I’d interviewed on the phone in NY had called to see if I’d arrived!) ‘And I was SHOCKED! So with loads of prayer and a cautious mindset – I heard a still small voice say say: say: “Go and get your job!”
3. Leaping With God May Save Your Life.
It may seem odd , but I was literally leaping this entire year and it felt like the leaps were taking me far, so I jumped some more! I got a great job paying more than I’d ever made, I moved to my own place, cause I was trying to depend on no one… and my best friend ( who eventually became my husband), became my neighbor, confidant and spiritual partner, all within one year.
I finally realized I had met the love of my life and got married in March, of 2007 , and we set off that same year to building our dream house. I was in heaven. I learned three lessons about life and myself:
My Lessons Of Grace in 2005:
A. When you give God your all, put your heart on the altar and let Him love you and love you forward into purpose, abandoning all… He understands you, trust Him. Surrender. And His every desire- even after the pain and heartache, is to meet you, and meet you well. When you leap for God He leaps for you! Just make sure you hear from him, and you can measure up your thoughts and run those curious notions by someone who is just as strong in the Lord.
B. I learned that life is too short to be afraid.
The time to have courage and start all over is when you need to shift and someone is graciously saying “over here, come live on this side of the world.” Trust God and be in expectation. I’d had enough bad luck that year, and I didn’t want any more . So I quit all my jobs AFTER I got a dream job, and skipped town.
C. I learned that I was stronger than I thought. That I’m my best, when I believe it. And if all I have is belief, that’s enough to trust . And that was my motivation.
Looking back tat this I realized my faith was on overdrive. If I had not gotten hurt, my desires to move to a new state after my divorce would not have happened, I would not have found a blessed girlfriend community to catch me, and lead me; and I would not have taken an even greater risk on friendship and love, had this new move had not worked out. Had several of these disappointments had not happened,…I may not be were I am today: Happy.
I’ve made a career out of lots of jobs I wasn’t even sure I wanted, but they sure helped me decide what I ultimately needed, and wanted to do… and most of all, I found out my best friend ever – was ultimately meant to be my husband . The one person I entrusted my heart to after all this pain and heartache God had given to me as a gift, forever .
Blessedness : the state of being blessed with divine favor.
I’ve been creating more of an ambiance of peace. It involves yoga, meditation, practicing stillness, and quiet. I’ve learned when I take care of my being; I thrive. I become my best self.
I’m not certain anyone told me this, it just occurred. And so I’ve decided the best way to be should involve : care of my soul. My mind , will and emotions . You see, I used to be really depressed. And I found out when I placed everyone’s well-being before my own, I faltered. I became stressed out, depressed, depleted, and downright sad. So I decided to change that a few years back.
And I did a lot of following of blogs and people – mostly women, who wrote about it and just followed their lives and expressed it with purpose.. It was intentional. One wrote about photography , which I loved, and another wrote about her spiritual life and I considered those two to be most priority at the time. All were authors .
What Is it about my mind will, and emotions ? Well, all are pretty important . And all three are attached to my heart. I suppose that’s why I consider them to coincide with my internal peace, so well.
Loving this life I’m living in a blessed way. Join me as I settle into it, with great expression.
It’s so very interesting how patience plays into our care of the soul. Almost two months ago, I left Tulsa Oklahoma, tense and overwhelmed and anxious. Across country moves just seem to impact me in that way. I’ve done two of them, in my lifetime. And as much as I plan to be calm and take time off in advance, it just doesn’t work out that way. There’s always something to be concerned about:
Will there be enough income for the transition ?
Will we like where we are going?
Will totally dislike the cold?
Wil I make friends easily?
Will I enjoy my job?
So I’ve been out of work now for almost two months. I didn’t plan on that. Just took them a month to have me approved. It’s like, really? (They don’t manage job contracts as smooth as they used to .)
Okay, so now I’m in this place of much more calm and grace and gratefulness. It seems like no matter the amount of time it took, it took this ‘much needed ‘ time to rest and rejuvenate and re- order my steps.
Everyday I’ve tried to stop and be grateful for at least one thing, then I’d acquiesce ll over again . And breathe. When I’m anxious and uptight , I tend to forget to breathe , and I tend to forget to express thanks for where I am.
I really didn’t think I needed this, but apparently my soul knew I needed it. I’m currently in central NY in a beautiful hotel for the past few days – soaking up sunny days and breathing in fresh fall air. Enjoying time as the trees change into their beautiful autumn hues. And I have time to do this, so I’m thankful.
So the next time you’re complaining about how long something takes, just stop and think about where’s the grace in it. What are you grateful for?
Where does your soul align with the process?
And how much are you frustrating grace in the process?
Receive the good, and abandon the eat that isn’t quite helpful.
What keeps you motivated? I remember grappling with this question over a period of time- maybe ten years.
I was so discouraged with myself. I couldn’t remain motivated. But I was also depressed, in a long marriage that had run its course, and I need a new take on life.
With motivation, it seemed as though I’d start, feel good about myself & my life, , then I’d lose motivation . Couldn’t seem to figure out why, though .
I didn’t connect my love life, my relationship, and my sadness to my motivation. I needed an encouraging partner, I needed to value myself and my friendships and have friends that helped motivate me and kept me accountable, and I needed self-care. All these things were missing in my life. Once I had had a friend who was willing to help keep me accountable and kind of tutored me in this area, it seemed to help. I would keep her accountable for a few things, and she’s do the same for me.
For a while, we realized we weren’t using our time right. So we’d study a few things about developing margin in our lives and that helped immensely.
We even prayed together about what our goals were and what we wanted to change.
I found out later on, that motivation comes from within. It’s discipline of the heart and soul. It’s being specific about what you desire, then finding courage within to pursue it. I didn’t know this at the age of 38 years old . Wish I did. I might have been more focused, much sooner.
Sometimes we live thinking there’s so much more out there than what we’re living. The truth is, we haven’t really lived until we’ve possessed what our soul really desires.
For instance, my soul wanted the best visit to a beach, last weekend. And I sought it out until I got it . I received best experience… because I was open to receiving it. And … I went with my best friend …(he enjoyed it too, after I asked a few times.)
So the first question is:
“What does your soul desire?”
The second question is:
How bad do you really want it?
The third question is:
How do you make room in your life to do it? ( I highly recommend getting a partner.)☺️
And sometimes you have to just try several ways of meeting the needs of your soul, before you find out. Pull out some paper and brainstorm some tactics that might work.
Do you need to go to that special place ‘right after work’ so it really happens? Do you need to get a babysitter on Saturday morning while to kid is still in bed – for a few hours to make it happen ?
Or do you simply need to just be spontaneous ? ( You know I forgot that was my one word this year? Spontaneity? Gosh, how’d that happen?)
Just remember, how ‘you’ possess your soul , how someone else possesses theirs, may be totally different.