Bury My Specialty – um…what?

Is there something in your life that you would really like to do, be, or accomplish – you know, that something that fills you with great passion, that something that seems you were born to do, or be? But…somehow there’s something else that bogs you down, makes you procrastinate, keeps you from seriously pursuing and accomplishing it?

 What is that something? And what is that something else keeping you from it?  Hmmm…is it  IMG_8590                     All my life, one of two things I always wanted to be is a singer. In elemSpecial Giftsentary school, I jealousy watched my best friend sing a solo in our school program. In junior and senior high, I happily sang in choir and took a solo to contest my senior year! 

But that’s when the nerves really kicked in – and began to derail my dreams!

The nerves became fear. The fear grew and took on life of its very own over my gift, leaving it weak and trembling! But, ooooooh, how I wanted to sing! But for the next 10+ years after high school, I hid – I buried my gift of singing underneath daily life and didn’t sing because it was too scary to put myself out there for rejection – yep, that old, powerful critic,

Fear of Rejection got me.

 Are you familiar with Fear of Rejection? That little sinking feeling inside you when you want to put yourself out there where someone has the opportunity to judge you and find you lacking? That little sinking feeling starts in your stomach and begins to grow inside you, swelling up, developing a voice, reverbing and banging around in your stomach, and your chest, then yelling and throbbing in your head and ears along with your heartbeat? Every time you muster up the courage to do that something you long to do, that special something you LOVE to do, this feeling takes over you and your “special something,” and your gift jumps right into the back seat- oh yes, again!

Fear dirtUuuuugggghhhh!

Well…that’s what happened to me every time I got up to sing. When I looked out over those expectant faces, this Fear would take hold in the pit of my stomach, then radiate in neon waves into my throat, effectively squeezing my vocal chords, making my voice into this foreign, wimpy sound no one recognized – every time. Even with constant affirmation, I questioned and doubted my ability. I worked hard at voice lessons, exercises, prayed continually, consulted experts in vocal performance, etc. In the privacy of my own home, I sang out with joy and abandon! In 3 different churches I prayed up and conquered my fear through auditions and made it into choir and amazingly praise team – but as soon as I got in front of a crowd – bam! That Fear slammed me! Year after year after frustrating year! Suffice it to say, I allowed Fear to bury my special gift Fear Burying Special Giftsin the back seat of my life and never realized my hope, my DREAM of being a real singer. This will go down in my life as one of my greatest disappointments.

 So how about YOU – what are YOU allowing Fear to squash and bury in YOUR life? IMG_8590

 My pastor’s message a few weeks ago used Matthew 25:14-26 – the Parable of the Talents to make his great point: Three slaves were each given talents (units of money) to manage for their master while he was away. The first two bravely went out and invested their talents and each doubled what they had been given, and received a great reward. But the third slave was afraid, and in his Fear, went and buried the coin instead of investing it, so nothing became of it. And because, in his Fear, he squandered his one gift and didn’t make good use of it, not only did he not receive any reward, his one talent was taken away from him.

Yikes! I think tFear dirthat’s what I have done! Living in my Fear, I have squandered the wonderful gift God gave me – the gift of joyful singing! I buried it with my Fear and didn’t grow it and share it with others. Now my prime-time-for-singing years are behind me. Opportunity lost. Gift effectively buried. Because of Fear. Friend – don’t let Fear bury your special God-given gift! Special Gifts

 If there is something (positive and legal) you are really good at naturally, that you deeply desire or “need” to do or be in your life, then pursue it!

Pursue it!!

You see, if God has given you a special gift, then He also has already given you the ability to use that special gift for good purposes, to grow, to share, to touch other lives with it. And He intends for you to do so.

Tap into it!

Pray about it, talk to others about it, find a mentor or accountability partner, do what works for you to rise up and conquer your Fear.    Don’t let fearSpecial gift burying fear of failure or fear of rejection keep you from doing or being what God created you to do or be! It will be a great disappointment and regret in your life if you do. But if you embrace your gift, and pursue it and walk in it, well, this is where you will find your greatest happiness and fulfillment!

 Now, go dig up that gift, wash it off and put it to great use! Let’s have no regrets! Special Gifts Burried Fear

 PS – the second thing I always wanted to be is a writer – after dabbling with Fear, I have thrown it in the back seat and am now deep into pursuing my passion – yes with blogging, but also in editing/publishing a book I’ve written!

Will you hold me accountable?

 

Yours,

Mindy ❤ ❤ ❤

A Special Little Treasure

Happy Friday to you all!
How are you today?  What’s going on in your personal world today? 

Well… whatever it is, I hope you have a good day, filled with energy and purpose.  I pray you have good clarity for what needs your attention today, and peace in the decisions that must be made.  I pray you have strength and good health to meet your obligations today, and friendship, love and/or companionship to help along the way.

Most of all, I pray you have sweet communion with the One who made you and created you, for all things good; who knew you and loved you, before you were even born. 

 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you;” (Jeremiah 1:5)

“I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness.” (Jeremiah 31:3)

I know, I can hear you saying it.  These days it does seem particularly hard to rise with a good, positive attitude and be upbeat & hopeful for the day.  I know.  With the “war on terror,” mean-spirited politics, flailing economy, job losses, etc, it’s hard to find much to celebrate in the news, isn’t it?  And frankly, most of us are pretty stressed out with trying to provide for our families, right?  Yikes, so much negative emotion going on!  

Well, let’s take this moment to regroup, to recharge – as I pray peace for you today. Wherever you are, I pray that you’ll feel God’s peaceful presence with you, giving you energy and discernment for the things that truly matter, whatever they may be in your life, and help you let go of the things that don’t.

Let’s just let down and de-stress – for a moment.

Okay, think about when you were young, did you ever find a shiny penny, a pretty little rock or seashell, some little item that was a special little treasure to you?  Treasures for Blog framed Remember that feeling, that excitement in finding, in holding that little treasure?  I pray today that you find a special little treasure – a feeling, an emotion, a relationship, a trinket, a friend, a memory – that brings a smile to your face, a joy to your heart, like that special little treasure when you were young.  I pray for something or someone to be that special little treasure in your day.  

See what you can find in your day today, to be that awesome little treasure, bringing a little piece of positive joy to brighten your day.  Even if it’s just a happy memory hidden in your heart. Find it, pull it out and live it again!

And if you’re able, I invite you to go out and be a special little treasure for someone else today – or how about this weekend?  Take a moment, an hour, a day – whatever you can, and give a compliment, open a door, buy a cup of coffee, help a friend – or even a stranger.   Try making a positive difference in someone else’s life.  You might just feel a little piece of joy stick you right in the heart. (grin)

For it is written, 
Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.  Philippians 4:8 (NASB)

Or in today’s words: Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious – the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse.  Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized.  Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.  (Philippians 4:8-9 The Message)

So, for today, for this weekend, let’s take a time out from all the wars, the anger, the backbiting and cursing going on everywhere.  Let’s instead, find or be a treasure!  How about it?  Are you in?  Let’s make a pact to concentrate on positive thinking today.  Let’s dwell on the good things in our lives and some good things we can do or get involved in around us.  (Remember that “thinking of you” card you were going to send? Or that caring phone call you were going to make, or neighbor’s lawn you were going to mow, or invite to lunch, or helping chore you were going to do? Or how about that prayer you were going to say? Ooooooohhhhh.  Or maybe that book you were going to read, that walk in the garden, or church you were going to check out?) 

Well, today’s the day!

Let’s set our hearts and our heart-longings on things that really matter, things that truly might make a difference, in our lives, or someone else’s.  Let’s forget about all the haters and hate-filled stuff going on and instead fill our minds and words with affirmation and kindness.  Let’s find the positive instead of the negative. Let’s try to build up instead of tear down. 

Let’s ourselves be a special little treasure today.  

Come on and join me?  Let’s do this!

God is My Bowl of Cream of Wheat

Full Fur Lined Slippers   After experiencing my first dry, HOT Nevada summer, I am definitely enjoying this week’s burst of cooler, fall weather – yay!  How about you?  Waking up to a brisk 49 degrees (and after pulling out my warm, fur lined slippers), I find myself longing for a bowl of hot, satisfying Cream of Wheat! Mmmmm…Rich and creamy, made with milk and a touch of pure maple syrup for just a hint of sweetness, topped with dried cranberries and cinnamon toasted walnuts or pecans – oh yes! Just what my tummy is hungering for. 

Cream of Wheat for Blog 2

Mmmmm…that was SO good! Soothed me right up!

     As I was eating, I got to thinking this: my rich, delicious, soothing bowl of cream of wheat does for my tummy and body, just what my relationship with God does for my soul and my life. Oooooh yeeeeeaah!  Here’s how:

The thick, hot cream of wheat itself serves as my breakfast foundation; it’s the soothing, nutrient rich filler that lines my tummy and satisfies my hunger.  Just like my relationship with God.  Believing in God, allowing myself to love Him, and having deep faith, fills me up with goodness, satisfies my hunger for belonging and self-worthiness, soothes my battered soul and creates the rich foundation for everything in my life.

Maple Syrup 2The little touch of pure maple syrup serves as the wholesome little bit of sweetness I need to not crave delicious and tempting super fats like fried donuts and pies in the morning!!  This is like prayer – my conversations with God.  Talking with God fills me up with sweet love from my Maker, satisfying my craving for acceptance and love and all the very tempting but bad-for-me things in this world.  After imbibing in a little prayer time, I feel loved and renewed and good about myself, and relieved of the need to go out and seek the wrong kind of acceptance socially.Cranberries 1 comp

The cranberries lend a little bit of tartness just to liven things up. They get my orneriness and backbone going, just like God’s Word or Scripture does.  When I need a little strength and courage to do what needs to be done, I can always go to the Book and find that encouragement and backbone, and even a little direction for my day to day living.  Plus, cranberries are loaded with anti-oxidants and help improve immune function.  Scripture is also loaded with anti-oxidants for life, and applying God’s words to my life definitely improves my immunity to temptation. (smile smile)

Cinnamon compThe cinnamon adds a little spice for variety and flavor.  Just like my Christian service and ministry work.  I love the sometimes sweet, sometimes spicy flavor of cinnamon, and I love the sweet feelings and spicy variety I find in helping/doing nice things for others.  People and physical work can be great fun, but they can also be quite spicy!  But like cinnamon, mission work is full of variety and adds so much robust flavor to my life!Pecans

And, finally, the nuts give a little shot of protein, a little “meat” to cling to my tummy, which helps the rich cream of wheat fill me up, making me feel that much more satisfied and content.  This is just how I feel when I visit (fellowship) with other believers, whether socially or in church.  They back up and affirm my faith, helping to enrich and shore up my confidence and satisfaction in serving God.  And when I might falter, they are there to help carry me through the empty spots. These friends are God’s little helpers in making my life rich, happy, full and satisfying.

So there, you have it – God is my bowl of cream of wheat 

Yum!