Love One Another

 

love oneWe are asked to love one another…

Sometimes it is hard to love one another isn’t it?   Life gets messy, people are emotional, stuff happens.

But we are asked to respond in love.     Before we can do this, we must love ourselves.   Some may be thinking, I already love myself, its simple.   But do you really love yourself from the inside out?

I believe that in order for us to love ourselves, we must nurture ourselves and not look to external means for validation.   Here are a few questions to ask yourself:

  • Do you ever feel envy?

  • Do you ever feel jealous?

If you answered yes to one of these questions, then perhaps you need to investigate the why.

It has taken me most of my life to love myself.   I often wondered why this was.   But as I look back, I know that when I looked in the mirror I did not see beauty.   I saw a blank face staring back at me.   I know that it came from believing what others said about me, in my youth and childhood I was bullied.   I would never change that experience for anything in the world, because every moment helps us become who we were meant to be.     Letting go of the external validation was such a big step for me, and not being critical of myself or others was a leap.

Here’s the thing, when we are critical of others, it is simply a reflection of ourselves.   What do you see when you are looking in the mirror?

Really look to understand the why’s ….

I am so thankful for the love of family.   This is something that has carried me through over the years.   For me the definition of family are those that love you unconditionally.    

mom and dadToday I celebrate my parents 40th anniversary, quite a milestone these days.     What have I learned about my messy life, and sometimes messy family?   We love one another with our whole hearts, and although we may not agree and often have fiery conversations, what you see is what you get.     I was reflecting this morning on how we got through all of the difficult times together, and realized it was through our love for one another.   Every difficult time allowed us to discover something about each other.   Love carried us through.  

I am so thankful for the love my parents show to us.   My mom is the kind of women that shows strength in all she does, and at times will sacrifice and go without to extend the hand.   She is the kind of lady that “what you see is what you get”, and does not sugar coat.   I am thankful for this, because I am pretty much the same that way.   I have realized honesty is always the best policy and although some people may not like it, but this is who I am . Both of my parents are hugely compassionate, they would do anything for a friend or someone they love. I am so thankful for this, and although I wear my heart on my sleeve, anyone that knows me, knows I would go to battle for them.   My dad has a heart of gold, he wants to help and lift up.   He likes to focus on the positive and balances my mom’s pessimism at times.   He wants to let go of the past, and move forward onto the future.     Letting go is something huge – a lot of us carry too much weight…. This holds us back from being all we can be.   One of the biggest things I have learnt from my dad is forgiveness.   My dad has forgiven always, and immolated this.   I have a bit of a problem with forgiving quickly, but I truly believe this is why my dad is always smiling.   Although the years show on his face, the lines show happiness. My dad’s strengths can sometimes be my mom’s weaknesses and the opposite is true as well. This is why they balance each other so well.

Love one another.

Love has carried me through the good, the bad and the ugly.

I am thankful for the love that made us strong. I am thankful for love that is unconditional.

Loving yourself is always the biggest step forward.   And if you are fortunate enough to find someone to share this life with, likely their strengths are your weaknesses. Remember that we were brought together for a reason. Appreciate all those that have been brought into your life. When I look in my husbands’ eyes, I know he was perfectly made for me.  

Love one another as you would love yourself.   In the good, the bad, and the ugly, ask yourself if you can show love first. It has ripple effects.

May you be blessed today, who can you show some love to today?

Ness

 

Dear Vanessa ~ What is your Secret?

nesschesters:

Do you have something deep inside that you need to let go of ? Take a moment and a read #letitgo #secrets hurt.

Originally posted on a beautiful life ministry:

What is your secretDear Vanessa,

I have struggled many years with suffering from mental illness.   I have hidden it from friends, family members, and have masked the pain.   Recently, I revealed it to close friends while in small group.   I was afraid of the stigma, of people looking at me differently.   But this was a lie, my friends embraced me and share stories that they have struggled with.     This made me realize that I should share it with your readers, as it may help someone else.

Letting go of the fear,

Jenny

Dearest Jenny,

Thank-you for your kind note, and the courage to let go of the fear. Secrets can hurt us.

A secret – something that sits unseen deep within…

Something that manifest inside us….

Fearful of letting it out….

There will be judgement….

Do you have a secret that you need to let go of?

The act of letting go has…

View original 377 more words

Fact or Fiction ~ Learning to live fully in the present

imageAs a young girl, I gravitated to a place of fiction, not fact.   What do I mean by that?   Much of my reactions were driven by my emotions.   Much of my feelings were internalized, and I allowed others insecurities or reactions define who I was.

The voices were my truth. The voices defined who I was.

I believe that everything happens for good, and I see the silver lining in my life now.   I am highly empathic, but that does not mean that I should “own” the feelings of others.   The ownership belongs to the individual, and the control is in God’s hands.

I have also had some realizations or aha moments.   These realizations may be helpful for you; in your life, work, or as a spouse, parent, or teen.

Is my response driven by Fact or Fiction?

Ask yourself if you are dealing with the facts in a situation, or is the response driven by emotion.   If your response is driven by emotion, ask yourself if it is because of the other persons actions towards you? Or is your response revealing something about you? Perhaps they are coming from a different place, realize that their emotions are not for you to own. Stick to the facts of the situation, probe for an answer in an inquisitive way.   If the response is revealing something about you, perhaps a fear, insecurity – get to the root and ask yourself is your response fact or fiction.

Another component of life in general is for us to choose to live in the present. Living in present allows us to experience every act, emotion, and situation fully.     Concentrating on what is happening now, and taking it all in for what it is, removes emotional baggage from our lives.     Every moment is not picture perfect, but the elements allow us to discover something about ourselves or others.  

I have realized that I have lived a good portion of my life in past and future orientation.   What does that mean?

It means that I look back on my past and say things like:

  • If they would have not bullied me (victim mentality)
  • If I would have done this differently (regrets – something we cannot change)

When we look backwards, it inhibits us to live in the now.   See how we are creating a fiction story based on past orientation?

When we are looking forwards we say things like:

  • If only in the future I have (regret of the present)
  • When I do this I will be happy (not happy in the now)
  • If I reach this milestone I will (looking forward for gratification)

Looking forward, does not allow us to be here and now.   You are creating a fiction story again.

All we have control of is now, the rest is beyond our control.   The past we cannot change, the future we have no control of.   God is in control; he is the navigator of the ship. If you are struggling with this in your life ask Him to provide clarity and to help you navigate.

Are you living in the present?   Are you navigating through life based on fact or fiction?

Pause now and reflect. Remember you DO have control of your response to every situation, and what you allow in and out.

Two verses that I believe complement this way of thinking are:

Proverbs 29:25 says, “The fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord will be kept safe.”

“He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.” Psalm 40:2 (NIV)

 

May you be blessed, thank-you for stopping by today. Consider sharing an experience or leaving a comment, I always enjoy hearing from you.

 

 

 

Dear Vanessa ~ The Voice Inside My Head

nesschesters:

Dear Vanessa – the voice inside my head #selfesteem #now #livinginthepresent

Originally posted on a beautiful life ministry:

where is your focus

Did you know that if we live in the present we will feelfull? This is what God wants for us. He wants us to experience abundance, to trust in Him, to worry in nothing at all, to love, to forgive, and to know how beautifully made we are.

But there are the voices in our heads that hold us back from being present.

The voice inside speaks up, it tells you:

  • You are not good enough,
  • That doesn’t look good on you,
  • You were not a good friend, daughter, mother, sister, father, brother
  • You could have done better,
  • They don’t like you,
  • Your illness is going to get the best of you,
  • You cannot overcome this,
  • You can’t do it.

 

The list goes on.   Growing up, I was always envious of those that had inner self-assurance. But perhaps what I saw was not the truth. On the outside…

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Sharing Your Story For Good

sharing your storySecrets…. Fear… Judgement… Pain…

We all have experienced these feelings.   We push the event downward, or we avoid talking about it.  But did you know that by sharing we can heal and let go of the shackles that are holding us back from becoming all that we were meant to be?  Step out in Faith.

Do you have a story stored deep inside that needs to find its way out?  Is it a work of God in your life, or an experience that He has delivered you from or given you the strength to endure?

We all have stories that define and refine us to make us new.    Our stories can help others, and are powerful tools for building Gods Kingdom.

We may at times in our lives feel like we are in a storm, but the storm happens for the good of His kingdom.  God calls us to share and it is by sharing that we defeat the evil one and spread the good that has happened in this life. Your story can bring hope, joy and lift the fear whether it is for you or another.

  • “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” Genesis 50:20 (NIV)
  • “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—“ Acts 1:8 (NIV)
  • “Let each generation tell its children of your mighty acts; let them proclaim your power. I will mediate on your majestic, glorious splendour and your wonderful miracles.  Your awe-inspiring deeds will be on every tongue; I will proclaim your    Everyone will share the story of your wonderful goodness; they will sing with joy about your righteousness.” Psalm 145:4-7 (NLT)

We need to realize in this life we are not in control of “what” happens.  The “what” is all up to God, but there is one thing we can control – we can control our response.    If we choose to respond by leaning on God and to respond by opening up and sharing, supporting, and loving one another,  can ignite a power beyond all understanding.  

  • “Listen, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD alone.  And you must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength.   And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today.  Repeat them again and again to your children.  Talk about them when you are at home when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up.”  Deuteronomy 6:4-7 (NLT)

God wants us to share, to support, to love.    He wants to direct our paths, and speak the world through us.   The devil comes to steal and convinces us that our story is not worth sharing, and wants to keep us silent. 

Self-Discovery and Story Framing

Questions to navigate through as we discover the stories deep down inside of us:

  • What were the moments in my life that created changes in me as a person? Who was involved?  (Ponder)
  • Did these moments change the direction of my life? If I was to sum up my experiences into one word what would it be? (DISCUSSION)
  • If I was to sum up my experiences into a statement or sentence what would it be? (DISCUSSION)
  • What verse in the bible has impacted me the most on this journey we call life? (DISCUSSION)
  • Who was I before these moments occurred?
  • How did I meet Jesus in these moments of my life? What did I learn?
  • What was the “good” that came out of these moments?

 

Sharing My Story

It may feel outside of your comfort zone to share, or you may feel unsure.   Remember that the devil comes to steal; are the words that you are hearing – words of love or self-condemnation?   Some key points to remember when you choose to share your story:

  • Sharing my story builds understanding of Jesus’ power to save and heal.
  • Sharing my story builds others and brings down the walls we build inside to protect.
  • Sharing my story can be based on my level of comfort (written, to let go of the feelings inside, or with friends/family). I can pray for direction here.
  • Sharing my story will help myself and others.

 

“Not only so, but we[a] also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance;  perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.”Romans 5:3-5 (NIV)

If you are unsure about how much you want to share, pray, give it to God and He will direct your paths.  The voice inside us is powerful and can build others up.  Shine your light.

Today take the first step, pause and pray, and write down 2 people you can share your story with:

1)

2)

You are also welcome to share your story with me, you can email me at nesschesters@gmail.com

May you be blessed.

What’s Your Secret?

whats your secret

A secret – something that sits unseen deep within…

Something that manifest inside us….

Fearful of letting it out….

I will be judged….

Do you have a secret that you need to let go of?

The act of letting go is an instant release.     Our perceived fear holds us back from really experiencing all we are meant to be.  

I have a secret ~ I suffered from Depression as a teenager and was hospitalized as a result.   I had a nervous breakdown, and medication was used to stabilize a girl that felt empty inside.    

Looking back on that girl; I feel heartache for her.     She didn’t see how beautiful she was inside out.   She was chasing a dream.   She was allowing something or someone else to define who she was.   We look at climbing the corporate ladder, our education, or what people say about us, that next big house or sparkly car, or money to define who we are.     Then when one of these things falls apart, we are broken.   But we can be restored…. We need to realize that our secrets, our wealth, or external validation does not define who we are.  We believe the lies that we are not good enough.

Our secrets hold us back from living in the now.   Fear we can all see it and touch it.

The perceived Shame and The Secrets hold us back. Let go of the fear, and the secret that is holding you back.   Write it down on a piece of paper, share it with someone you love, or share it with me.   Let the secret go and if it requires forgiveness choose to forgive.

Living in the past and the perceived future holds us back from really enjoying the present.   Take a step forward and choose to live NOW.

Life is beautiful when we choose to be present in the here and now.