Category Archives: Embracing

The Value of Vulnerability in My Life.

As I look back on my life, I’ve had my share of unhealthy relationships. I believe the hardest part during this season of life for me was discerning was what was really “healthy” and what was really “unhealthy”. I don’t really know that Ii had been taught that by example.

I believe I was simply unaware. Looking back, I wish i had spent more time with my younger self to determine who I was and what I desired in life, in order to have clarity about what I needed in a relationship.

I had not defined for myself what I needed, and valued and had not committed completely and wholeheartedly that those values were essential for me to thrive and to grow & thrive, in life .

Looking back: I am thinking of my journey saying to myself:

“What in the world was I doing?!”

Yeah, and it makes so much sense now that I know who I am …what my self -worth needs in order to thrive and be connected to another human being. I know what it means to be loved, and ‘in love.’

So I am going to share some thoughts on being in a healthy ‘vulnerable ‘ relationship, that helps us to thrive and be our best selves in our relationships .

I have decided to approach it from a vulnerable place, because I just like to be transparent . Vulnerability requires trust. And if you love someone vulnerability should be an essential part of helping that relationship to grow completely as individuals and also as a couple. Vulnerability with your partner should never be considered a weakness. You should continually be moving towards fruitfulness and transparency and greater love.

Here are a few things that being vulnerable in a relationship teaches you:

1. Vulnerability teaches you to ask for help. You increase your connectedness to others and learn to empathize with them. It’s essential for growth.

2. Being vulnerable teaches you the unknown parts of yourself. You develop a sense of resiliency and it challenges your authenticity – your heart mind and soul. It also helps you to be more self-aware.

3. With vulnerability, you develop a new appreciation for self-care. Self-care is essential to a certain level of awareness and patterns with yourself. Being able to address them with honesty, help you to grow in vulnerability.

4. Vulnerability teaches you to walk in realness. There’s a level of authenticity that comes from sharing honestly with others and you choose to listen, share and engage differently.

5. Vulnerability teaches you to connect better to your emotional self. Knowing “why” you’re angry; “why “ you’re sad, and why you’re emotional and choosing to do continual, intentional self-evaluation – helps you notice yourself on another level.

6. Being vulnerable allows you to have a better relationship with Grace. Not everyone understands grace and how to live in congruence with it; but what vulnerability teaches you is that grace is something we can ‘expect ‘ and ‘choose’ and live with intentionally, despite how we feel about life and how they occur- that things will get better, we will overcome ; and life can depended upon to operate in a full circle, that’s complete .

7. Vulnerability teaches you to be grateful and share your thankfulness. Appreciation comes in several selfless acts. When you share openly, of what you’re thankful for you’ll find people appreciate you, and consider the same blessings . Is this something that is reciprocated in your relationships? If not, it’s something to consider.

8. Vulnerability teaches you to be patient with yourself . When you push yourself past your limitations and you learn how to deal with successes despite being frustrated. You teach others how to be patient , as well.

9. Author and spiritual leader Spencer Kimball says that “Humility is royalty without a crown.” Humility is learned by truly being vulnerable. Being able to acknowledge your weaknesses and to grow in wisdom and grace daily with intention, are life’s truest blessings.

10. Vulnerability teaches you the most meaningful thing in life are learned by “pacing yourself ” through life. When I ‘slow my roll’ , I am informed, I am clear, I make room for more. Vulnerability leads me into the experience of “more”…

11. Vulnerability teaches you to release. It helps you to recognize when you’re burdened or heavy, and that relationship , or situation needs to be let go. Maybe you’re carrying more than you should, if you have not yet recognized the value of letting go. When you choose to really ‘ think about what you’re thinking’, choosing to let go of weight that causes anxiety and stress helps us find a way to cope with our inadequate thoughts and insecurities. That’s truly being vulnerable.

Well …. we’ve come to the end of this segment. what have you learned that’s new today? Take one element of vulnerability and commit to trying something new in your relationships and trusting yourself to grow just a bit more.

Taking Care of My Soul.

img_9604-1It’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.

Perspective matters.

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.

My soul aligning with “the process”.Receive your new beginning.

Selah.

Clarity.

On the beach in 2019

Clarity.

It’s not easy to achieve. I mean should we even make it a goal? When 2019 happened, I initially didn’t desire clarity. I asked for something else. In fact, that word is a slight misnomer now, because Clarity assumed its position and took a hold of my destiny like none other .

“For sure, you’re wrong”, I said. “It’s not time yet, “ I mentioned as I wrestled with the change and let go of several valuables and said goodbye to friends in the state I couldn’t believe I was moving to nine years ago..

Sometimes Clarity happens so unexpectedly. We ask for it, then we’re really not ready when it comes because it capsizes our entire world.

Or at least it did. mine.

It was my one word for the year, you see. I didn’t intend for it to bring all love and light to pass. To highlight the love of family and allow me to make sacrifices that involved severe change. To move me out of my comfort zone and say: “ Welcome to this New Evolving Space!” Yeah, rhat was Clarity . But she’s become the friend I didn’t realize I had.

When I asked the Universe to give me clarity, God opened the heavens and said: “Take a risk.

And at first, I said “No.” I thought I wasn’t ready, so Resistance spread her wings and tried to escape. But Clarity brought her silence and reminded me how “life really isn’t all about Lil o’ me.” Sometimes the people we love and the lives we love take precedence, as so it was.

Clarity revisited . 2019

So this year, Clarity – my one word – was sort of disruptive of my peace; yet freeing…surrendering, cautious, yet unconditional , loving and necessary, enlightening and freeing. Yeah… Freeing.

Yeah, but it has yielded great results , already. The lesson leavened was to let go of the things we hold unto so tightly because they could free us, almost unexpectedly, if only we were ready for change .

Clarity . (title) On Lake Ontario, N.Y.. in 2017

New Occupation, New Name.

Chaplain Jennifer. That’s what they call me. I’m still getting used to calling myself that. I’m learning everyone that’s in the hospital is not here just for physical healing. Mental, emotional, spiritual and other kinds of healings exist, as well. There is in forgiveness, emotional pain, and other kinds of relief we need to deal with, in order to maintain the proper perspective. It’s all important.

Before you wind up in a medical facility bedridden , take care of yourself and get some daily and weekly self-care. Invest in yourself. It’s important for y’all.

It’s your legacy. If you teach yourself how to do this, you leave a healthy and lengthy  legacy  for your children.

Chaplain Life

Supplication. /Chaplain Contemplations 3

I had chapel yesterday at work , and I shared on the power of supplication. I shared from my book, Red Sea a Situations.

Supplication is that Dee prayer that sets your hearts desire before a living God. That deep, earnest sincere and affectionate prayer that brings you close to Gods heart. Taking our cares and concerns to God when we are burdened in a very intentional heartfelt manner, and rolling those concerns over with every fiber of your being is important. God reaches back when you take the time. I’m a witness.☺️God longs to hear your voice and your feelings about your life & even more, He longs to comfort you. God peace is supreme it passes all understanding. Don’t worry about having the rt thing to say; just say it,& talk it out with Him. He longs to hear your heart.

#supplication #thepowerofsupplication #prayer #chaplainlife

Looking Into The Windows of my Soul…

Sometimes I look deeper..

Deeper within.

‘Cause I hope you know that Vulnerability is an eye to the window of your soul.

I remember a time when I knew I had skills; yet I didn’t use them.

I took no risks.

It wasn’t until I began to “call myself a photographer, that I truly became one.”

It wasn’t until I began to “call myself a writer that I became an author.”

And it wasn’t until I began to find my voice and project vision, that I ‘knocked the socks off’ my listeners with my speaking.

I am somebody.

How do I know? I sow seed and it produces some thirty, sixty, one hundred-fold.

I am Enough.

I Trust enough.

I Lead enough.

I Pledge to BE excellent enough…

I Thrive enough.

I excel enough.

I am God perfect plan to bless the earth with His Goodness , His Mercy, His Light.

The sky is the limit,

The earth is my classroom,

And God people are my prospects.

Let’s Go!

Sharing The Window Of Your Soul

What is your soul, actually?

Your mind is precious and should be given the utmost consideration as to “who” you allow to influence it, and “how” they influence it.  For instance, spending time with people who complain, are envious or talk down to you makes you feel vulnerable , and doubt yourself in such a way that it affects  your esteem and confidence.

Your will is the part of your soul that has everything to do with your motivations, and your heart. Unmotivated? Listen to your heart. Think about what’s near to you and dear to you. What challenges you? Where are you inspired? It’s likely you need to find something passionate to work on, or find someone that has similar passion and match that same attitude.

What moves you to  make the decisions tou do? Ever thought about it? Sometimes those are “inner vows” we make to ourselves and in regard to our past and where we determine to go in our  futures.

Our emotions are simply how we feel. Paying close attention to how you feel around influential persons is key to preserving your soul. Who you allow to influence you, and share with you in such a way they respect your feelings or ignore your feelings is key to maintaining healthy relationships. How you even treat yourself, when you’re feeling down or upset helps to reveal whether you care for your emotions accurately. For instance, do you eat junk food when you’re upset, or do you go for a walk in nature and drink more water and meditate?

It’s time to consider ‘who’ you are vulnerable with, and why?

Are they closer to your heart than they should be?

How do my relationships influence my soul positively?

What are their ‘negative’ qualities – or are there hardly any at all, and do you respect them as a person, or do you just tolerate them?

I’m continuing the conversation on Vulnerability, as a part of the 12 Gems  series and course I am  writing here at Pursuing Life. My hope is as you seek the principles here on this blog you will evolve to a greater part of you.

Peace, JennRene

“We Are All Like Trees.”

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“We Are All Like Trees.”

I’ll never forget how her face lit up when she said these words. I was in South Africa, Kuma, South Africa, in fact. I was teaching in a classroom of South African teenagers, and I was on cloud nine, (naw ….101..)

Her words were so simple and freeing.

Powerful, yet pensive, contemplative yet colorful.

Description causes me to attach meaning to sometimes things I barely notice. I know I’d always loved trees. Yet the trees in South Africa spoke to me. I remember having spoke to this classroom brill of teenagers and then coming back to a Johannesburg and spending time with my new friends  and their friends. I stood quietly in the backyard just thanking God for the experience of being in a South Africa, eating dinner with such focused and thoughtful people. There was a tree in that backyard that spoke to me.

Inlistened to her words all over again: “We are all like trees.”

And  then it hit me: Our strength. Our endurance. The people we are, and continue to become. We dream, we hope, we encourage , we teach.

And yes, I am one of those Trees.

Yes indeed I am.

 

Leaving My Home In Tulsa… & Making Embracing ” My 1st Home in N.Y.” …

IMG_20170801_192926438_HDR-EFFECTS-01-01Simply being this summer.. at home (in Rochester, NY), this summer was amazing.

Even when I just simply sat at home -in the home where I was born- and watched TV with my dad or stayed up late with my mother, I felt like I was in Nirvana.

20374645_10211398725136119_1910213501644863060_nThere were a few beautiful ‘movie moments’ and even some time to stop and  actually spend time dancing and being silly like we were living back in the 1920’s. The women in my family are kind of sassy, have loads of personality, and care. A lot. Sometimes too much, but they’re definitely all kinda cute.

My definite highlight was going to the beach with my sister. It was her idea, because she knows I love the water.

She is much more of an artist than I…I think in recent years I may have caught up with her, though…

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Darryl is a photographer , too. Perhaps we got this great gift from our father. We become excited about capturing highlights on water or in the air or even with people.

My nearly 80 year-old Mama got all dolled -up  for a 20’s Birthday Bash, and blew my mind with her outfit! Yes she did! And her boyfriend didnt look too bad either!

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And last but not least… I got to spend a lil time with our latest angel in the Cox family…

Lil Deion.❤

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4 Reasons Not To Live with Regret.

So… I remember a time in my life when I was really  indecisive.

I remember I was trying to please others so much, I forgot about myself.  In that process, I  made  a lot of decisions that  didn’t give much regard to my life, or  emotional safety. What I wanted out of life, was on the back burner.  I basically lived for the enjoyment and delight of someone else, because I thought that was how you  show you love  someone. I was so wrong. I had love all confused. And because of that, I had so much inner conflict, insecurity and so much  doubt inside of myself. Discord was often in my relationships  and I just had no peace with anyone, so I stayed away from people, mostly. As long as they were not talking about my life, then I was okay with them. I didn’t want anyone telling me what to do and if they offered without my asking,  then I was ready to run from them, even thoseclose to me, and who mean a lot to me.

When you don’t have peace inside, everything you do or don’t do,  feels like a mistake. You second guess yourself all the time, and you cannot trust your instincts. And when you ignore your instincts, man… you are in T-R-O-U-B-L-E!  I operated in this way so often, I didn’t know who I was , or whether I was coming or going. That means I was lost. After a while, I became so hopeless,  I just lost hope altogether. I was just existing. I apologized for everything,   I had many qualms with people  and the places where I was in life. I carried resentments and as a result, I  was  just plain miserable. I was annoyed to the point  that accepting annoyance was how I lived. But I was so blind to this fact, I simply endured it. It became the norm. I was living with regret. When I looked up  the word regret I  found in the thesaurus these words: ”  to prey on the mind…have a weight on the mind; leave an aching void.” That’s what regrets feels like. Sorrow,  pain, hurt – all the time, and  guilt.

Growing up in an alcoholic family, I realized this was the norm for me, ( living with annoyances) which is why I didn’t recognize it when it occurred in a daily basis in my life and relationships. (I know, crazy… right?) But we  do this, because we tend to go with what’s familiar and yet become so comfortable with it, we consider it to be  normal?  How does this happen? You recognize you were annoyed and miserable, yet every single day you find comfort with it? I think deep down inside I knew I was miserable, but I didn’t want to admit it.  I was living with a denial and a numbness that honestly, felt very good, because if I didn’t have to acknowledge it, then  I thought  it was not bothering me. But then, after 11 years of depression, it finally caught up  with me. I was at my wits end.My mental health took a toll on me and I knew I had to change something.

One day my spirit cried out to God, and revealed I was  living with sorrow. I had much so much REGRET about the  situations I found myself in life, the  decisions I had made and  I was suffering from so much sorrow. I was  sad about my life  and I felt trapped. I felt responsible for things I wasn’t even responsible for. The adults in my life blamed me and I took on their issues and their grief to the point, I had no resolve, no contentment and no harmony in my life. It took a lot to admit I was sad. I was really depressed and I had chosen to live like that for  several years. Living in regret.

I remember one morning I spent the entire morning with God in prayer on my back porch.  I was angry, bitter and I was hurting. I was also very stubborn and God used a lot of my grief to help me to recognize  some of the things I held on to were because of pride. I remember  crying out to God with so much pain and  telling God I was  ‘fed up’ and I wanted a new life, and new hope, and a new way of being and doing. As I sat there,  I had a vision in my head of the  image of the woman in the  Bible with whom they  cast stones . (John 8)   These people brought her to Jesus to be condemned. Jesus response  to her accusers was to write on the ground. No one knows what Jesus wrote. But her accusers all left after Jesus  wrote on the ground. He then said : “He who is without sin, cast the first stone.”  I envisioned Jesus as I sat on my porch (with my eyes closed);  write in the ground for me.  As He  wrote, He basically wrote some things  that only I saw, of course.  But what he wrote reminded me of what He desired for me to have.His promises.  I saw that He had much greater intention for me to have good, in my life. I believe it was like that with her accusers, as well. What was important was not what He wrote, but what He said and how what he said, made me feel.  I didn’t feel sorrowful any longer, I was no longer troubled, I was no longer hurting and burdened deeply with regret, and  I  became decisive. I knew instantly that I deserved more, I wanted more and  that I could have more; and I made the decision to do it.

 John 8:7, 10,11 “But when they persisted in asking Him, He straightened up, and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” When they heard it, they began to go out one by one, beginning with the older ones, and He was left alone, and the woman, where she was, in the center of the court. Straightening up, Jesus said to her, “Woman, where are they? Did no one condemn you?” She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “I do not condemn you, either. Go. From now on sin no more.” NASB

Jesus dealt with this woman with such tenderness and grace, that she was in awe.  All the accusers surrounding her also  were also surprised, but they must have understood, because they left too. If we condemn ourselves, with LIVE WITH REGRET.  My relationship with God has taught me I am not worthy of punishment for the  decisions I have made.That’s why he died for us. Once I repent, ask God for help, receive it, then move on. then  comes release. Just like it did for the woman in John 8. This is very important. It’s necessary for living with a clear conscious.

That day on my back porch, I contended with Jesus, in my soul . But I learned three things after my wrangling with God:

1. I had to let go of my past.

2., I couldn’t live in the condemnation, because if I did, I would accept the guilt and regret from my past.

3. I learned I had to move on, because  HE didn’t condemn me, and so I had to stop condemning myself.

4. I had to forgive myself.

When you cannot forgive yourself, you don’t remember to be kind, nurturing and self-loving. You forget to  forgive yourself. It took years for me to forgive myself for  things in my past, even after I made a decision to live a better life and leave those things behind I knew I was worth more, I knew I deserved more, but it didn’t make me leave the situation or change anything. Here’s what made  the difference: accepting  God’s forgiveness and allowing His love for me to redeem me.  For me, this was what unraveled  the love confusionI learned that if I  accepted God’s love first  and  allowed this to be my foundation for loving others and BEING LOVED… then I would be alright.  Once I was certain God has forgiven me and wanted more for me, I began to  move towards freedom, and I never looked back. I fond resolve. But I have to give God my regrets. 

People are often amazed by how much peace I seem to have.  Let me tell you, I am not perfect. I still struggle, even. And although I have peace , now…  It took a very long time to get here. After I  got through the muck and the mess of my own regrets, I was able to stand again on my own two feet.   Of course,  some of the way, God carried me to be honest. But I made it to the other side. Now that I am here, it ‘s pertinent I tell the story of how I made it here, so others could be set free as well.

Amen & Selah.reflection