You Have A Choice!!! Wednesday, Feb 5 2014 

735178_10200242197079716_77444777_n After reading several statuses, on Facebook, in the past few days, I thought I should share this: I used to question why things have happened to me – why have people treated me as they have – referring to past relationships, past friendships, etc. I would get so tired of being used, hurt, talked down to, made to feel guilty, and rejected.  Yet, I have never been one who enjoys drama (except the kind of drama found on TV and in movies – you have to have a little SVU, in your life!!).  I steer clear of drama, every chance I get, trying to keep the peace, as much as possible.  At times, I have felt manipulated, and only wanted around when needed; at times, I was.  Many times, I felt played; many times, I was.  But, it was easier to just keep my opinions to myself, to just do what I was asked, to give more than what was being received – not because I’m a pushover… again, I was keeping the peace.  You see, I was always told to “be me.”  I didn’t like how others were treating me.  I didn’t want to be like them.  So, I gave of myself, how I would hope others would be to me.  I still do. While reading those certain statuses, that I mentioned earlier, I saw in them pain, hurt, bitterness, rejection.  I saw anger, depression, and shame.  I saw blame, manipulation, and control – blaming another for something (which, may have indeed been true), but allowing that persons actions to eventually control their own; hence, the cross-manipulation, bitterness, anger, resentment, etc.  Sure, my life has not been the easiest.  These last few years – 2010 & 2011 – were two of my hardest years.  2012, was on the verge of that as well, but during my hardest month, of 2012, I was told something that really struck me:

No one can control the actions of others. But, what can be controlled is how you allow others to treat you…and how you react to it.

“No one can make you feel inferior, without your consent.” – Eleanor Roosevelt “Men will treat you the way you let them.” – Tucker Max The realization came to me… It is perfectly acceptable to “be me,” but it is also perfectly acceptable to set boundaries for myself.  I cannot solely fault those, who have hurt or used me, for their actions, for it has been my actions that have decided, in the end, what “happened to me.”  I said all of that, to say this… if you feel used, don’t allow yourself to be used again.  Be you and be there for that person, yet set your boundaries! You may not be able to jump and fulfill their every need… DO THEY HELP YOU TOO?  If you feel manipulated, don’t manipulate back… STAND UP FOR YOURSELF!  YOU DESERVE BETTER!  If someone hurts you.. TELL THEM.. TALK IT OUT.. DO NOT HURT BACK!  (If you do, you’re only stooping to their level.)  If you’re being played… again, you deserve better.  Someone who loves you and cares about you will NOT play you… WALK AWAY!!!!  If you have been rejected… that was that person’s loss… don’t keep looking at the door that’s closed.. there is someone else waiting for you to see them… OPEN THE NEXT DOOR!!!  Be with the person that knows what they have when they have you… not after they lose you. You may think you have such a horrible life, but you’re making it horrible, by dwelling on what is done and cannot be changed.  At this moment, you have the right to change your story’s ending.  Start writing the next chapter.  Stop worrying yourself, with the actions of others.  Sure it’s ok to question, but start controlling the way you deal with it. You may have been the victim, but you have a choice whether or not to stay the victim.  You also have the choice whether or not to be the next offender.  FORGIVE AND MOVE ON!!!!! STOP POSTING YOUR PROBLEMS ON FACEBOOK…. and BE HAPPY FOR THE THINGS THAT ARE GOING RIGHT IN YOUR LIFE!!! Live life knowing that, no matter what others have done, or chose to do to you, you gave it your best shot… for yourself, and for others.  Let people know how you want to be treated.  Place your boundaries.  Don’t lose yourself in others. Stop concerning yourself with trying to make someone else a better person… BE A BETTER YOU!!! Remember this… Disempowerment is YOUR CHOICE and ONLY YOURS!!!   ~Bek

Is it really about Chick-fil-A?? Thursday, Aug 2 2012 

Today, I read the following article about the Chick-fil-A fiasco, which I agreed with and posted on my Facebook timeline.

http://thepublicqueue.com/2012/what-chickfila-appreciation-day-is-really-about/

As a result, this comment, by a Facebook friend, was made:

read phil’s comment about this article and that sums up what christians really think not some reporter who is twisting a few scriptures out of the bible to prove his point. if you really want to know how a christian feels about this, phil’s comment sums it up. God bless

Normally, I would not have much to say to a comment like that; but, this one struck a bit of a nerve.  This was my response:

John 3:17 — For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
Mark 12:29-31 — And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.
I’m sorry, but as a fellow CHRISTIAN, I do not see where the author of this article took the Bible’s scriptures out of context. If Jesus was not sent here to condemn this world…then why do we take it upon ourselves to do so!? While the followers of Christ, and even the priests, chose to condemn and ridicule the prostitutes, liars, murderers, thieves, adulterers…Jesus chose to walk with them, to talk with them…and most of all, He chose to LOVE them.
I will take it even a step further, summing up what THIS Christian feels about this, and quote these scriptures….
Luke 6:36-37 — Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful. Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven.
1 Peter 3:8-17 — Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous: Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing. For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile: Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it. For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil. And who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good? But and if ye suffer for righteousness’ sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled; But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ. For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing.
In Luke, Jesus tells us to be merciful – merciful, meaning to be compassionate towards another, as Christ is compassionate towards you. Do not judge, nor condemn another, if you do not want to be judged, nor condemned. Forgive, so that you may also be forgiven. That is pretty self-explanatory…and very clear and concise.
1 Peter teaches us how we, as Christians, should treat each other, as well as our enemies. While it agrees with the idea of standing united for something that you believe in…it also states that when standing united, you are to do so with compassion…courtesy…and….there’s that four letter word again….LOVE!! The scripture says… do not be vicious (evil) and do not complain by being harsh and angry (railing), just because someone else might be. On the contrary, it teaches us to speak love when others speak hate…to speak blessings, when you are being cursed.
In the last few days, I have been very disheartened by the behavior and words of some of my family, friends, and church family. Those of you who have belittled others, flicking your tongues like a serpent… why don’t you try promoting what you love, instead of bashing what you hate!? Sure, we all have a freedom of speech… and rightly so. However, how are you speaking? Are you choosing to speak with hate? Or, are you choosing to speak with sincerity, love, and with the mouth of Christ??
The Bible says again, in Psalms 34:13-14:  Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile. Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it.  This, as well as in 1 Peter, is saying be careful of your words. Do not speak hurtful things. Avoid negativity and hatred. Rather, speak with kindness and peace.
“If you earnestly desire that your life should be long, and your days peaceable and prosperous, keep your tongue from reviling, evil-speaking, and slandering, and your lips from lying, deceit, and dissimulation. Avoid doing any real damage or hurt to your neighbour, but be ever ready to do good, and to overcome evil with good; seek peace with all men, and pursue it, though it retire from you. This will be the best way to dispose people to speak well of you, and live peaceably with you.’’
It is ok to take a stand for what you believe in, but do so in a way that is peaceable and for the right reasons. Think about it… Did you stand in line, at Chick-fil-a, to promote freedom of speech? Or, did you stand in line with bitterness and hatred in your hearts, because someone does not believe as you do?
If only we, as Christians, would take this kind of initiative to stand in line, giving $5 or $10, to help an orphan….a homeless man or woman….or a child who has no clothes or food. What if? Think of the difference you can make in so many lives…promoting love….rather than promoting hatred and condemnation.
If someone does not believe as you do, and you feel as they should, do not force feed it down their throats…. that will only cause regurgitation. Speak with peace. Speak with love. Pray for them. Leave it in God’s hands. Humble yourself. Live as Jesus did…. walk with those you do not agree with….talk with them….and most of all….LOVE them. You do not have to open your mind, but you must open your hearts. As HIS word says… It is better for you to suffer for well-doing, than to thrive for evil-doing. For when you seek and speak peace, with all men… you will, indeed, find peace within yourself…and you will be happy.
Again, I reiterate the two greatest commandements… LOVE GOD and LOVE PEOPLE
While hanging on the cross between two sinners, Jesus, himself being condemned, mocked, ridiculed, beaten, and hated by many… He looked at the sinner, who asked to be remembered, and said… “Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.”  (Luke 23:43)

Are we, as Christians, capable of that kind of love?

~Bek~

21 Days… Tuesday, Apr 19 2011 

March 28, 2011 – April 17, 2011

21 Days of fasting.  21 days of prayer.  21 days of self-discovery.

What began as a journey for the church family, became a journey that tested my faith, and led me to a destination of self-discovery.

My pastor asked that we write our prayers, the ones we most desired to seek answers for, on our hearts.

March 28th my fast began.  It began with “break” week.

Break to destroy the completeness of; to force one’s way out of; to put an end to; to become fractured or broken; to stop abruptly; to yield or submit to.

I, first, had to break down MY will, so that I could seek after HIS will.

I began to pray, “God you know what my will is.  You know what I hope for and what I desire, but my will matters NOTHING compared to YOUR will.  God, I seek YOUR will.”

As I began to break down, I also began to break in.  I had to allow myself to be adapted for HIS purpose…HIS will.  I had to become broken of all of me, so I could focus on HIM.

When I allowed myself to break in, it became possible for me to break out.  This means that I was “ready for action.”  I was ready for GOD to move in, as my flesh moved aside.

April 4th started “bring” week.

Bring – to carry to another place; to get the attention of.

I began to bring forward everything that I had written on my heart.  I began to present to GOD all of my concerns and all of the situations that have been burdening my heart.

I began to bring forth my prayers….prayers not for myself….but prayers for three people who I have had a burden for since the end of 2010.

During this week, the sacrifices that I chose began to take a toll on my body.  I started questioning, “Why am I even doing this?  Will anything even come out of this?”

My Faith had become tested.

When we fast, we exercise our faith.  Fasting strengthens and deepens our faith.

Fasting requires Faith.

Fasting is a test of faith.  Faith helps us take that step towards something that we cannot see.  At the end of the fast, maybe only one prayer will be answered; maybe none.

Even still, by Faith we believe.  By Faith, we sacrifice.  By Faith, we trust.

On April 10th, my Faith was strengthened.  One of my prayers had been answered.

The perfect example of Faith, in my life, was able to regain strength and share a seat next to her husband during the morning service.

To some, that may seem like nothing, but to me that was everything.  If no other prayer would be answered, the 14 days that I had already sacrificed was indeed worth it.

This lady of Christ, who has had EVERY opportunity to lose her Faith, has instead chosen to HOLD ON to it….through EVERY storm.

It was as if GOD was reminding me….

2 Corinthians 12:9 ~ My grace is sufficient for thee:  for my strength is made perfect in weakness.

2 Corinthians 12:10 ~ for when I am weak, then am I strong.

It was then and there that I decided, though I cannot see the end….I do not know that I will see any other prayers answered…..but I will continue…..I will complete this sacrifice.

April 10th began “break forth” week.

This was the week that all the prayers that had been brought forth, and all that had been sacrificed would stand revealed.

I began to thank HIM, to praise HIM, to glorify HIM for all HE had done, and all HE will continue to do.

Although my prayers were not for myself, through my sacrifice, things in my life, that I have struggled with, have begun to break.

Because these things have begun to break, I have discovered a new truth and a new acceptance of myself.

For years, I have lived with insecurities.

These insecurities have caused me to lose out on things that I truly desired.

These insecurities have caused pain.

 These insecurities have caused me to miss out on opportunities.

I have come to accept the fact that I am not perfect; BUT I am created in the image of GOD who is PERFECT.

GOD makes no mistakes.  I was created the person I am for a reason.

It does not matter what others think of me.

I am who I am.  I live how I live.  I love who I love. I pray how I pray.

They have not walked in my shoes.

It does not matter if I have been in love and lost.

To have been in love and to have lost is better than to have never truly been in love at all.

It does not matter what I choose to do.

It does not matter who or what I choose to become.

I am not perfect.  I am just me.

I am GOD’s creation.  HE loves me for me.

“I am a tree bending beneath the weight of His wind and mercy.

When all of a sudden I am unaware  of these afflictions,

eclipsed by glory and I realize how beautiful You are

and how Your affections are for me.”

The chains of insecurities, surrounding my life, are broken.

New doors, in my life, have begun to open.

I am being remade.

Is not this the fast that I have chosen?  to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke? ~ Isaiah 58:6

Though these 21 days are gone, I will continue to cleave to Faith. I will continue to pray.

I will continue to trust in HIM.

“If my heart is overwhelmed and I cannot hear Your voice,
I hold onto what is true, though I cannot see.
If the storms of life they come, and the road ahead
gets steep, I will lift these hands in faith, I will believe.”

BREAK.  BRING.  BREAK FORTH.

 21 days of sacrifice.

One prayer answered.

Worth it all.

~Bek~

Are you living or just existing? Tuesday, Mar 1 2011 

Each day we awake….we open our eyes….we breathe…

We awake with a choice….

A choice to exist…..or a choice to live….

What’s the difference?

To exist is to have life….

To live is to be alive….

Life is the general or universal condition of human existance….

But to be alive….to be alive is to have the quality of life…..to abound…

I don’t want to wake each day to the same routine…

I want to make each day truly matter….

To live like each day is my last…

I refuse to settle.

I think back to the three amazing women I had the priviledge to spend Christmas with….

One showed me that even through heartache….unconditional love exists…

Another showed me that acceptance isn’t everything….but to be true to yourself and to God is what completely matters…

The third showed me that come what may….through pain and fear….I can find strength….I can find courage….I can hold on to hope and faith…

I began on a journey this year….

a journey to chase after my rainbow….

At the end of 2010 I grasped that rainbow….

Though I am fighting the storm coming against me….

I am holding on…

Because I don’t want to just exist…

I want to live like I were dying….

To live my life to the fullest…

To take it all in…

To be happy…

To love…

TO BE ALIVE!!!

Will you choose to exist or to live?  Will you choose to have life or to be alive?

I Hope You Dance

~Bek~

Be mine? Infatuation vs. Love Tuesday, Feb 15 2011 

Valentines Day 2011

Today, I read many Facebook posts saying “I Love You” – between married couples, dating couples, the old, and the young.  I sat there contemplating how many of these posts were really based on love or just infatuation.

Infatuation

“foolish or all-absorbing passion or instance of this; foolish or extravagant passion”

 

LOVE

“a profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person; a feeling of warm, personal attachment or deep affection; affectionate concern for the well-being of another”

 

Too many times, I see people, both young and old, abusing the word “LOVE.”  It’s meaning becomes diminished by infatuation, instead of the REAL THING.

 

THE SIMILARITIES:

Infatuation and Love, both, typically begin with attraction.  They both give the feeling of excitement and happiness.  They both leave you desiring more.

 

THE DIFFERENCES:

 

Infatuation

carried by attraction; physical desire; crush; lust……based solely on emotions (attraction)……focused on outward beauty……blind to flaws…..avoid problems……anxiety…..insecure and jealous…..fear of loneliness…..you compromise yourself and change who you are for that person….focused on the physical relationship……”I would die if you left me”…..mainly interested in satisfying your needs or wants….you want what you are feeling to be reciprocated above all else…..you aren’t aware of what you are getting yourself in, but rather act on impulse…..”in love” with the idea of being in love……when the excitement has worn off, you begin to see the person differently……weakened by time and separation

 

LOVE

romance; passion; attachment; commitment…..communication and devotion outweigh physical intimacy and emotions…..open and honest to flaws, but accept the person for everything they are……and without trying to change them for you, encourage them to be everything they can be……willing to work through all problems…..compromise through decisions……trusting…..feeling your soul connected with another……you work together as one…….without compromising principles and convictions, because you share common goals, morals, faith, interests……you respect each other….and even though you continue to grow within yourselves, allow yourselves to grow within each other and with GOD…..your emotions deepen with time, even through misunderstandings and conflicts…..you do not expect anything in return……wanting the best for the other person, whether or not you get hurt in the end……you want the other person to be completely happy with our without you…..you are very aware of what you are getting yourself into and you want it with everything you have……you stop and think about it, yet still want it…..when the excitement has worn off, you still feel for that person like you did in the very beginning….you still want to be with that person through thick and thin….strengthened by time and separation….even through the pain…..

 

Infatuation is based on attraction and impulse.  Infatuated with the idea of romance and love.  When infatuation transcends beyond these things….it grows into love.

Love is based on attraction, communication, attachment, passion, commitment.  Love is patient.  Love is understanding.  Love is seeing the person for EVERYTHING they are.  Love is looking into a person’s heart and soul.  Love is trust, not jealousy.  Love is based on mutual respect.  Love, though it involves compromise and effort, is held together because you truly want it to.  Love means having the desire to wake up every morning to that person beside you.  Love means, after time, you are still able to look at that person and say, “This feeling I’m feeling is something I’ve never known and I just can’t take my eyes off of you.”  “For it was not  into my ear you whispered, but into my heart.  It was not my lips you kissed, but my soul.”  Love means loving the little things, the things that most would never see.  Love means giving everything you have to it, because you know it’s worth it.  “To love unconditionally, you give them your whole heart, not just bits and pieces from behind a wall with limits and conditions.”  And love…. LOVE….TRUE LOVE….means wanting happiness for the other person…and there’s nothing you wouldn’t do to make them feel your love….even if it means letting them go.

 

The first time I said “I love you,” it was based on infatuation…..infatuation with the idea of love….the idea of relationship…..the idea of never again being alone.  I spent part of my life in a relationship that was primarily based on that infatuation.  Sure, I grew to care, which grew to love.  But LOVE and being IN LOVE are two different things.  That relationship ended.   I vowed that I would never again say the words “I LOVE YOU,” unless I truly meant it with every part of my body, mind, heart, and soul.  When you know it’s right, you just know it.  When the infatuation, the excitement, the newness has worn off….throughout difficulties and setbacks….and you still feel that nothing will ever change how you see that person……and that you still feel in your heart what you did when it was all brand new…..when you want to wake up to their messy hair every morning….when you want to fall asleep to their warm body and occasional sweet little snores…..when you want to watch them slide across the floor in their socks and listen to them sing to the top of their lungs…..when you think it’s cute when they get sidetracked…..when nothing they say gets old and all you want to do is listen to everything they say and take it all in….when you want their eyes to be the last eyes you look into…..when you want their lips to be the last ones you ever kiss….when you want their hand to be the last one you ever hold….when you want to comfort them when they’re in need….to wipe away their tears….when you want to take away all their pain….when you want their smile to be the last smile you see…when you want their face to be the last face you touch…..when you can see yourself with them and are willing to take it slow to see where things go…..when you can picture yourself starting a family with them…..when you always want to work through complications and misunderstandings…..when you are faced with trials and separations and you feel more for them than you did in the beginning……when you want to wait for the time to be right for them……and when all you want is for your special someone to be completely happy in every single way….even if you must put your heart and feelings aside…… when you feel all these things…..infatuation ceases and LOVE begins….LOVE exists……LOVE…..

SELFLESS LOVE……

 

“To love is to risk not being loved in return….but risk must be taken, because the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing.”

 

You can risk saying those three powerful words, before knowing if it is infatuation or love….that is your choice.

I choose to take a risk……not for infatuation….but a risk……for LOVE!!!

 

~Bek~

walk by FAITH….not by FEAR Wednesday, Jan 19 2011 

In life, we all face many uncertainties – those that require choices, chances, and changes.  At times, we become completely afraid….afraid of how our choices, chances, and changes we make will affect our future….and possibly the future of others.  In these moments, we struggle with doubt, with worry, with fear.  In these moments, we lose our faith.  We pray….we seek answers….but yet, we are walking by fear and not by faith.  Fear causes us to close the doors that have been opened for us, because we are too afraid to walk through them.  In order for us to move forward with our lives….in order for us to allow God to lead us….we must listen….we must follow….we must walk by FAITH.

“Faith isn’t the ability to believe long and far into the misty future, it’s simply taking God at His Word and taking the next step.” ~ Joni Erickson Tada

We live in the season of uncertainty…. the season of questions….the season of doubt.  The Bible tells us to “fear not.”  In fact, Jesus told us to “FEAR NOT” 365 times throughout the Bible.  Three-hundred and sixty-five times!!  Because of that, His Words cover 365 days of each year.  That means that each day we wake up….we know that before we even begin our day….come what may…. God said “FEAR NOT!!”

The Bible specifically tells us that God is not the author of fear.  When God opens the door….when he gives you direction….hold on to your faith…it will get you through.  Doubt, worry, confusion, fear….these are not of Him.

For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace…  1 Corinthians 14:33

For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.  2 Timothy 1:7

When we pray….when we seek God’s face….when we cry out to Him for answers…. when we ask for direction……. He will give us strength…. He will give us peace.  At times of peace, we still question…we still worry….we still doubt….though we shouldn’t…   BECAUSE as HE said…FEAR NOT!!!!!

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.  Hebrews 11:1

For we walk by Faith, not by sight.  2 Corinthians 5:7

Faith means that we have to step out into the unknown…..holding fast and holding strong to the hand of GOD…..HE will lead and guide us….HE WILL catch us if we fall…

Feels like I’ve been here forever,

why can’t you just intervene?

Do you see the tears keep falling?

And I’m falling apart at the seams.

But you never said the road would be easy,

But you said that you would never leave.

And you never promised that this life wasn’t hard,

But you promised you’d take care of me…..

I’ll trust you God….

and believe you will have your way…

It’s time to take the step of FAITH………and FEAR NOT!!

 

~Bek~

 

How WILLING is your HEART? Wednesday, Jan 12 2011 

Two weeks ago, a friend and I had lunch at one of our local Asian restaurants.  Just as the tradition always is, at the end of the meal, the waitress handed us our ticket along with our fortune cookies.  I, for one, never eat the fortune cookie, but I love to read them.  I carefully squeezed the cookie until it split, revealing a small slip of paper.  I slowly removed it from its crumbled shell and unfolded it.  On this tiny piece of paper, read these profound words:

“Nothing is impossible to a willing heart.”

The literal meaning of this proverb is that nothing is impossible to someone who sets their mind to a particular thing, for it will be achieved.  While this is true, my inquisitive mind began analyzing this phrase to find a deeper meaning.  I carefully repeated this phrase in my mind, “Nothing is impossible to a willing heart.  NOTHING is impossible to a willing heart.”  The more that I said it over and over, the more I realized that the focus should not be on the words ‘nothing’ or ‘impossible,’ but rather on ‘A WILLING HEART.’

The word willing, means ‘cheerfully consenting.’  Heart is defined as the ‘center of total personality, especially with reference to feeling or emotion; capacity for compassion and affection; the vital, or essential core.’

WOW!  Right there, in the definitions of those two words, is the deeper meaning to this profound statement. 

We tend to only look at this proverb as something considered meant for ourselves.  We read it and say, “I can set my mind to something and accomplish it.”  But as I read these words and plugged in these definitions, I realized what I was actually reading.  Nothing is impossible to a WILLING HEART.

Today, in this world, most have forgotten what it means to be a Christian and to love.  We look at people and immediately judge them, not knowing what situation they may be faced with, or how far they have come in life after overcoming struggles.  We have never walked in their shoes, why should we be given the right to judge?  I am guilty of this very thing. 

Just the other day, a man, who I assumed to be homeless, walked up to my friend and I asking for money.  I, cold-heartedly, turned away, while my friend reached into her pocket and pulled out a ten dollar bill.  After he walked away, I asked her why she gave him ten dollars….after all, money is hard to come by and my only concern was what he would do with it.  She then asked me why I chose to turn away and not even consider the fact that out of all the people asking for money, this one might actually be wise with the money she gave him.  It was like a slap in the face to me.  I was put in my place.  In just two seconds, with only a few words from his mouth, I judged him.  Because of her WILLING HEART, she opened a window of possibilites for that man.  IF ONLY I had a willing heart, could it have been possible that he would have taken my ten dollars and used it to buy a hamburger or a new shirt? 

Everyone, I am sure, has heard the phrase, “you can’t judge a book by its cover.”  If we know that, then why does it happen all the time?  Why is it that when someone walks up and introduces themselves, some people think right then and there that the person in front of them isn’t worth their time?  Why is it that assumptions are made, that hinder what could become the greatest friendship, or the greatest love that someone could ever have?  Assumption – taken for granted.  Judgement – the forming of an opinion or conclusion.  How can we just make an assumption or a judgement from only the first impression we get from someone?  Shouldn’t we allow a little time to get to know that person, to hear their story, to know their dreams for their future?  We can choose our friends, and the people we are associated with, but we must first have a WILLING HEART to give them a chance.  It is not our place to judge….It is ALMIGHTY GOD’s!!! 

As Christians, we need to remember that Jesus does not look at us for what we look like, or what and who we are.  He looks inside of each and every one of us.  He looks deep within our hearts.  We, as human beings, should follow after Him and His example.  Even some churches push people away.  Discrimination is a major part of this problem.  A church is a haven…..a hospital…..a place that is supposed to show mercy, care,  and love.  It is not a place that determines who can be there because of the color of their skin or the lifestyle they might lead.  Cliques in the church also drive people away.  There are those who no longer feel accepted or wanted by people.  Although it is not intended that a person go to church for others, to feel unaccepted in a place where God wants EVERYONE to be welcome, is not of WILLING HEARTS.  We should see others as God sees them…….a soul.  It is our purpose, as Christians, to show others the love of Christ.  If we choose to judge others, to make assumptions about others, and to immediately turn our backs towards them….what kind of Christians would we be?  Do you think that God would be pleased?  If you judge someone else, then you should stop and judge yourself for judging them.  Most of all, think about how God is judging you.  Judging is a sin.  No sin is greater than another.  Remember that the next time you assume that someone has great sins upon them….for if you are wrong, you will be the only one with sin.  Have a WILLING HEART, that you might show someone God’s love.  Endless possibilities might open for not only them, but also for you; and because of your WILLING HEART, your light will shine…and you will be blessed. 

By having a WILLING HEART, we become less judgemental, more caring, more thoughtful, more loving, and more understanding.  It is time that we look at others, through the eyes of Christ, just as my friend did.  May our WILLING HEARTS be open….to possibilities….

“Nothing is impossible to a cheerful consenting, vital core of compassion and affection.”

~Bek~

“To get to the rainbow, you have to get through the rain.” Monday, Jan 10 2011 

Each day, I usually post one facebook status.  It always pertains to something that is occurring in my life…my thoughts…my feelings…or what I believe could “hit home” with someone else.  I do not anticipate my statuses to be read by many, nor do I expect them to be this life-changing message.  Most are not my own, but all correlate with me and my life.

Earlier this week, I posted a quote that I read somewhere.  It said:  “To get to the rainbow, you have to get through the rain.”

I do not know the dictator of this quote.  I do not know the mindset, nor the situation that this person may have been in, when this statement was quoted.  What I do know is what went through my mind, when I read it.

2010, for me, was a life-changing year.  The life I had been living for almost six years, was no longer existent.  Everything that I had known….Everything that I had become….Everything that I tried to make the best of through the struggles, fake smiles, and the little hope that was left in that life.  Thoughts of what ifs and regrets.  Worried that I would never make it on my own.  Worried that I would never find myself again, in a whole new world….a new life that was about to begin for me.  The stress of the change overwhelmed my mind and my body.  Struggling with major change in my home and life…..struggling with a tough semester of college….struggling with feelings of uncertainty….and struggling with not knowing how to find ME!!

I am 25 years old and I have been a legal adult for quite some time now.  I had made decisions and choices that were, what I thought at that time, hard.  But it wasn’t until I was faced with the “disassembling” of my life that I truly understood how hard adulthood, and the seriousness of the choices I would be forced to make, can be.  I had tried everything I could to KNOW the answers BEFORE making these decisions.  I did not want to be faced with uncertainty.  I wanted to know what my outcome would be.  I was wrong!!

Our lives are not meant to be lived on OUR terms.  They are meant to be lived on GOD’s terms!!  It was a life that I had chosen to live, but was now a life that I was completely unfamiliar with. My life had become just something that I woke up every morning to, knowing the routine I had to complete just to get through the each day.  I will never know why I began a journey just to watch it end.  Only MY GOD does.  He has a plan and a purpose in every person’s life.  Though we may never understand, we have to hold on to the knowledge that GOD is in control.  We just have to completely SURRENDER ourselves to HIM.  Once I realized that, I fell on my knees and cried out to Him.  I prayed that He would clear my mind from all the fear, all the uncertainty, all the what ifs that would be confronting me in this new chapter of my life.  I prayed for strength and determination.  I prayed that I would, again, find me….not just the me that I once was….but the me that wants more of HIM.  In that moment of tears, of prayers, of renewing my relationship with my Heavenly Father….I began to grow.

His Word says that He will never put more on us than we can bear.  I held on, and am still holding on to that Truth!!  I cannot see the destination that He has for me, but  I have begun my journey, into my new life, with my hand holding on tight to Christ’s.  I no longer want to try and make my life what I want it to be.  I only want God’s will in my life.  I want to follow Him and allow Him to lead me.  His plan, His purpose, is greater than anything that I could ever make for myself.  It is in Him where I find my strength, my hope, my faith; in Him is where I will find MYSELF!!

In 2010, my change…my new life…my journey began.  I have no regrets of the past.  It has helped me become who I am today.

I made it through the rain…..

At the end of 2010, I had the privilege of spending time with three of the most amazing women I know.  Each of these women, in one way or another, have suffered through pain, fear, acceptance, and heartache.  After the small amount of time I was able to share with them, listening to their stories, becoming immersed in their emotions, and witnessing their sweet spirits, filled with the presence of GOD…..I realized that through their pain, they gained strength; through their fear, they gained courage; through their struggle with acceptance, they held on to faith in what they could not see, and became true to themselves; and through their heartache, they truly learned to LOVE.

Their examples….their faith….their trust in GOD…..their lives……THEIR rainbows….    Those things and more, inspired and motivated my desire to be true to ME and follow after God….. and HIS plan for my life……

I closed a chapter of my life in 2010.  My new chapter…my “reconstruction” has begun in 2011.

…..I am chasing after my rainbow

~Bek~

 

2010’s song for my life….

 

The Uncertainties of Life Monday, Jan 10 2011 

A friend asked if I had made any New Years resolutions…to which, of course, I replied, “No.”  I haven’t made resolutions in quite a while.  (I have never really believed in them, because you don’t just change the way you are at the stroke of midnight.)  She then asked me what was the one thing that I would choose if I had to.  It really hit me.  What I want this year is to be completely true to myself and to who I am.  I no longer want to worry about how others perceive me.  I am an honest person, but I want to be a more open person to those I love and to those that I truly care about.  I have a problem sharing things vocally at times, usually worried that I will say the wrong things, or worried that I cannot accurately express myself.  I’m tired of living with regrets because of the things I have chosen not to say and/or do.  I do not know what lies ahead of me and this change in my outlook…and my desire to have more self-confidence in this new year.  It will be a challenge…but I will achieve it.

All this triggered my thought process…about change…uncertainties…and regrets.  Who is to know what the future holds?  Who is to know where each step we take will lead us?  But what opportunities will we miss out on if we do not choose to take those steps toward our future?

Life is full  of uncertainties – doubt, hesitancy, indeterminacy, unpredictability, indefiniteness.  We ask ourselves, “what if?”….   What if things never change?  What if they do and it is the wrong decision?  What if I regret taking a chance on something?  What if I don’t take that chance, will I regret never taking it? ….  What if!?  We can ask ourselves that question all day long, but if we wait to do everything until we know for sure that things are right, or certain, then we will never do much of anything.  We have to make choices, take chances, and at times make changes, in order to survive this crazy thing called life.  Uncertainty – worry, skepticism, concern, confusion, indecision.  What if!? …  If – a supposition; an uncertainty.  Asking the question, “what if,” will either make us step back and reevaluate, or make us lose out on greater possibilities.  How will we ever know what the future holds by always stopping and asking ourselves “what if”?  Life is full of regrets…but it’s not the things you do that you regret, it’s the things that you don’t do and wish you had that you regret the most.  No choice, chance, or change in life is ever perfect.  That is what makes life – our existence – so hard at times.  Our uncertainties can either develop us or damage us.  Change can be consumed with fear…fear of heartache or regret.  We have to stop and ask ourselves, what will we lose in this change; but we must also ask ourselves, is this fear of change really worth losing the possibility of gaining something greater?  Choice – selection; chance – possibility, or favorable opportunity; change – to transform, or to pass gradually into.  We cannot predict the future.  We cannot determine what will happen next in life.  All we can do is take baby steps into the next window of opportunity.  Though there are always consequences to every decision made, live in the moment and choose what will make you happy.  Growth does not happen without change.  Change does not happen without fear, pain, or loss.  Without pain, we have no growth.  Every decision can be made without regrets as long as you are able, in the end, to look in the mirror with a smile on your face and say, “life has its uncertainties and its what if’s, but I am determined to live it, knowing that I opened the door of change for greater possibilities.”  Life is full of uncertainties – we can either let them control us, or we can overcome them…we all have a choice…

I, for one, no longer want to live in fear of change and the things that I desire.  I am holding on to faith — the belief in what I cannot see, prove, or touch.  I am choosing to run, FULL-SPEED, into the unknown.

“Sometimes those things that scare us the most are also the ones that have the potential to make us the happiest.”

From this point on…I will learn to care less about what others think of me…and focus more on who I am…the person I am becoming…and my happiness.  I will surround myself with people who know that I make mistakes and still love me anyway.  I will always strive to do my best for others, but I am not perfect.

Take me as I am….or watch me as I go.

~Bek~