Shaken and stirred.

Self-acceptance

arid clay close up cracks

by Stephanie Rochelle Redd

“…But now He has promised, saying, ‘Yet once more I shake not only the earth, but also heaven.’ Now this, ‘Yet once more,’ indicates the removal of those things that are being shaken, as of things that are made, that the things which cannot be shaken may remain.” ~Hebrews 12:26-27, NKJV

In the rhythmic words of songstress Carole King, “I feel the earth move under my feet, I feel the sky tumbling down (tumbling down)…

No, I’m not a doomsayer. Nor are these lyrics a declaration of the end of the world, just the end of the world as we knew it. And with our former knowledge of former things coming to an end, we are entering a new world with ‘new’ knowledge about what we thought we knew best–ourselves. Boy, there’s nothing like a pandemic to put yourself in perspective. Sure, the outcry of the outside world is deafening, but it’s actually only an echo of the seismic shifts taking place within our inner worlds.

“See that you do not refuse Him who speaks.” ~Hebrews 12:25, NKJV

God’s presence can move mountains. Yet, when speaking with His prophet, Elijah, on a mountain in 1 Kings 19, God is moved with compassion and communicates with him in “a still small voice” (v. 12). You see, Elijah was on the run. And though it appears that he was running from someone else, who he was really running from was himself.

For those who don’t know, Elijah was a bad man–in the best sense of the word. Chapter 18 tells the story of his and God’s glory when Elijah stood toe-to-toe with 450 false prophets and proved the falsity of their false god. And then he executed them.

No doubt, anyone who could face down as many detractors as Elijah had greatness within him. Yet, when faced with a threat by a demon-possessed woman, Elijah – no longer feeling self-possessed – lost sight of his greatness and the God who gave it to him, and “ran for his life…” (1 Kings 19:3). Thus, when God meets him on the mountain and asks, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” (1 Kings 19:13) we encounter a man who is not only physically lost, but who has also lost his sense of self. In essence, Elijah was shaken to his core.

But there’s good news! Elijah’s core is what carried his calling. (Amen, somebody.) So, the shaky circumstances that threatened to do him in actually served him by leading him back to God, who revealed what was in him all along. As a sign of God’s redemptive recollection, He put Elijah back on his anointed assignment and even assigned him an assistant, Elisha, to help ease his load.

Like Elijah, we, too, are shaken by things – e.g. heartbreak, disappointments, pandemics – that seem to threaten our very existence. And yet, our very existence is made secure by what exists in us–our knowledge of who we truly are. While we’ve contained this knowledge since before our conception, the shaky emergence of our new world has re-introduced us to ourselves in a whole new light. Consequently, many of us are meeting the real us, as God intended us, for the first time. So, as we become reacquainted with ourselves, let us also remember that this is really not the end; it’s just the beginning…

Facebook-iconth If you’re beginning to remember who you truly are and you could use some assistance and/or camaraderie along your journey ‘home,’ then click the links to find and fellowship with us on Facebook and Instagram. It’s a whole new world…for you and me!

 

 

 

Late bloomers rejoice!

Truth
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Snoopy (Facebook)

by Stephanie Rochelle Redd

I love a good underdog story.

Whether it’s the Philadelphia Eagles flying high in the Super Bowl or the Houston Astros soaring to victory in the World Series, you can generally find me cheering in the corner of the one who’s been counted out. That’s why – in case you were looking – you could’ve found me at the ProArts Theater on Maui a couple nights ago, championing the greatest underdog of all time–Charlie Brown.

 

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Growing up, I was hooked on primarily three things: Oreos, chocolate milk, and movies about Charlie Brown and the Peanuts gang. Every weekend, my parents would take me to the video store to rent movies…on VHS tapes. (Yes, Millennials, it’s true.) And every weekend, I’d choose movies from Charles Schulz’s vast array of Charlie Brown’s misadventures.

There was something about Charlie Brown with which I identified. Or maybe it was Lucy and her self-assured and self-obsessed attitude that I detested yet somewhat admired that struck a chord with me. Or maybe it was Linus and his way of positing thought-provoking philosophies while posing firmly with his blankie that held my attention. Or maybe it was Sally and her unbridled passion for Linus which she expressed again and again and again that I, as a kid, gagged over but I, as a romantic, fell head over heels for that caught my fancy.

Nope. It was Charlie Brown.

Whether we’d like to admit it or not, we’ve all felt like Charlie Brown at some point(s) in our lives–or, for much of our lives. Counted out of the in-crowd. Cast down by the higher-ups. Bullied, belittled and bested by ‘the best’. We all know what it feels like to be an underdog. So, too, we all have the opportunity to rise.

No, we may never win a Super Bowl or a World Series championship, but we can win the game of life by simply being the best versions of ourselves. That doesn’t mean to strive for ‘perfection’ though; it means to strive for truth.

“The truth is the mirror that never breaks. We can hold it up to anything or anyone and it will always reveal itself. Our individual truths are reflections of this universal truth; they embody the same principle, just in different frames to meet our individual specifications.” ~ Chapter 2: “Self-Compassion”, Part 3: How to Love Yourself by Stephanie Rochelle Redd

We are guaranteed winners when we are being our true selves, as God created and intended us to be. Talking with truth from our hearts. Walking in truth with our faith. Seeing ourselves and others as we and they truly are with the loving eyes of God. This is better than Wheaties for breakfast, folks. Living in truth is the life of champions!

While it took the Peanuts crew about two hours – plus intermission – to see through Charlie Brown’s shortcomings and value the truth of his goodness, we don’t have to wait that long, nor do we need others’ validation. We can choose, right now, to see our own true goodness – in all its unique glory – and talk it and walk it in ways that only we uniquely can.

super power

MAKERS

th Facebook-icon If you’ve made the choice to talk and walk in your true goodness, and you’d like some truly good company to talk and walk with, then click the links to find, follow and fellowship with us on Facebook and Instagram. Do you boo!