Tag Archive | beautifully made

Reflection on What Matters

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Over these past few years, time feels like it is on fast forward.    As the time flies by, I want to be still and to sit and take in the beauty around me.   My anxious heart wants time to stand still.  

We are only given so much time, it is how and with whom we choose to spend time that makes all the difference.    As I reflect on these past 40 years, there were so many good memories, but a lot of my energy has been put into people, places and things that have zapped my core energy.    Do not get me wrong, I am not a heartless person by any means, in fact I am highly empathetic.   But what I have noticed is that the relationships that took so much out of me, and seemed forced were not the ones I needed to concentrate my time on.    Also, the people pleasing nature that has been intrinsic to my soul, I need to let go of.      This past year has been a year of reflection.    I have made small changes in my life for the better, but it is time to keep moving forward and remove the items that get me stuck.

I will adjust my lens and my new focus will be on situations and people that align with my values (integrity, trust, honesty).    The things I am going to work on will be to:

  • Completely immerse myself and energy in my sons, moments that matter to them, to build self-awareness, self-assurance in them. Help them to see that the validation comes from within, and not externally through people, places or things.  I thank God every day for my two boys who are so different from one another, but teach me every day about myself and the woman I want to be.
  • Continue to focus on building strength, support, and deepened understanding of the one person I love most, my best friend, and husband. I am so very thankful for him every day, and I know that God gave me him to help me to grow.
  • Spend as much time as I can with family, this includes extended family such as friends who have been there unconditionally through thick and thin. Take the time to show them through actions how much they mean to me.
  • Continue to extend the hand for those that are less fortunate than I, and to show love and grace for the needy. Give back and expect nothing in return.
  • Lead by example and challenge situations that may not be align with my core values. Pray for the right words in these situations.
  • Focus on being still, realigning my center, with my faith and my Maker that has carried me through so much. Continue to work on loving myself from the inside out.
  • Start and end my day with gratitude and abundance. Take the time to take stock of how fortunate I am every day, even in the pain and difficult circumstances that will challenge that.
  • Let go of the needing to please in all areas.
  • Let go of the worry or what ifs that I create in my mind. They are merely creations that could become reality if I chose to focus on it too much.
  • Let go of the relationships and remove myself from situations that don’t feel good. If the relationship feels heavy, perhaps it is time to let go and adjust for what it is.

 

We only have so much time in this life, and through reflection, sometimes we need to make some tweaks for the good.     Perhaps this reflection for me is triggered by seeing the woman looking back at me in the mirror has only so much energy and time.    I love her, and want her soul and mind to be aligned and to be full of love.    Today as you pause, take stock of the people in your life that make it easy, the moments that warm your heart and allow you to feel full.

May you be blessed.  Abundance is everywhere.

Ness

The Power of Pride

image1It’s that time of year again.    The hustle and bustle begins, schedules start up again.     Over the years, and after experiencing some major life changing events, I remind myself that NOW is all we really have.  I also cannot shake the feeling that I need to be still.    

As the boys get ready for school, anxiousness bubbles all around.  As the school year begins, the first thing that comes to their little minds, is that they hope to be with their favourite friends in their classes.     Once the boys see their class lists, they are beaming, out of the corner of my eye I notice another boy in tears.   My heart breaks.    His mother tries to console him and tries to maintain composure.   I head to my car and pray for him, I pray that his day gets easier.    This may seem like a small problem, but in their little world it is everything.  Someone loses.   It is like a lens is shining on my past.      The new girls sits and looks around, she knows it’s up to her to find friends.    Acceptance is all that she wants.

Days start to fly by, and schedules begin. Classes, try-outs, prep camps are all in motion.    My boys are busy again, and I feel frazzled, as the family time starts to diminish.     How can I control all of this?  One activity – but seems to be taking up so much time.   Is it that I am overwhelmed and is it only me?   My boys seem to be full of excitement.   Why is it I feel so unsettled?  

It is such a fine balance, we want to support our children, but who is driving the schedule?   Is it me?  

The drive to be the best, to be an individual surrounds me, and overwhelms me.    It is everywhere, at school, in the workplace and has become part of our culture.    

Time is flying by, and I feel like I don’t know what is best.   The balance is hard to achieve.   I look to Him to guide me.

My goal as a parent is to develop kids that have a heart for the hurting, and realize that within they are good people, but mostly for them to be humble in their accomplishments.    Perhaps this is from going through being an underdog in my childhood – being the new girl and at times feeling like I needed to build a wall up so that I could protect myself against the disappointment.      Disappointment is all part of life; this is something I cannot protect my children from.   

The truth is, we live in a hurting world, and disappointment helps us grow.  Disappointment helps us develop if we are open to it.    I know this; there have been many times where disappointment has turned into something wonderful.   So why is it as parent I want so badly to protect and shelter my children from the reality? It is because I love so deeply.    I love my children, and the people that surround me.

Try-outs begin for sports, and I am reminded again of disappointments and accomplishments.  I see perfection in my children, as I watch them play.   They are so beautifully made.  So many parents looking the same, and at the same time many feeling worried for what is to become.  Why?  We want to shelter them from the disappointment.     But is it a reflection of their ability or ours?   Do you see where I am going with this?  Is it our pride that is driving this?  

Pride. 

 “That is why Scripture says: God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.”  James 4:6b

What I have discovered through this process is that our kids are oblivious to the hierarchy.  They are also acutely aware of what we say and do.  They would not concern themselves with the hierarchy if we were not concerned.    The quest to be the best isn’t achievable.  It may be temporarily, but there are always winners and losers.   

The question I ask myself is what is the balance?   How do I set my kids up for success while ensuring that they live a humble life?

I think the answer is simple – I model it. I have not been always the greatest model, but I strive to be humble, kind, and show my thoughts through my actions.    The reality of every situation is that there will be ups and downs.   It is through the downs or disappointments that we learn adversity and how to overcome it.    But this has to come from within us.  

I will build my children up while reminding them, at the end of the day, some will win, and some will lose. It is in their reaction to the losses that our true selves become evident.

I believe in my children, but also tell them we all have learning to do.   

I recognize I am not in control, all I can control is how I choose to respond.

My choice is living in the moment, encouraging, and believing the best in everyone.  Hopefully by choosing this, my children will follow.

I wish there was a manual – God knows.  But there is not.  One thing I do know for sure – God is in control; when I try to control life – it gets messy.

Dear Lord God,

Open my eyes to reality, lead me in my actions and reactions.   Help me to be the parent my children need.   Life can be  chaotic, but it is through you that we achieve clarity.   Help me to be humbled and to be aware of my actions and reactions.  Show me  YOUR way father. I pray for this in Jesus Name Amen

Be blessed,

Ness

 

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.

His Perfect Plan

meThere once was a girl who looked in the mirror and felt unloved, she put on a mask every day to hide who she really was or how she really felt.    She had parents that loved her very much but wanted to shelter them from the pain she was experiencing.   She had a heart that believed in rainbows and would pray that her dolls would come to life one day so she could have more friends.  Some evenings she would pray to a God that she was unsure if he heard her little voice in this big world.

He heard her, and had a plan.  He planned to show her how to forgive, let down the walls, let go of the pain.  He knew that her warm heart would be used for good.  

This little girl was me.   Looking back on those years I always thought I would never want to go through them again, but now I see the bigger plan coming to fruition.   The ability to see the pain without someone speaking a word…..  The ablility to care and help others see beyond the current moment.    

11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11

 

We live in a broken world.

There is heartache and pain.

But there is always sunshine after the rain.

Every purpose has a place.

We may not see it at first.

Don’t lose heart.

And shine your vibrant light He has given you in the dark.

Concentrate on the moments that take your breath away.

Give gratitude for the day.

There is power in prayer.

Give the pain away.

He is there.

Waiting for you.

May You be Blessed,

Nessa

another related post can be found here https://nesschesters.wordpress.com/2012/06/19/mirror-mirror-on-the-wall/

 

Beautiful You ~ Loving yourself from the inside out

c51f3160ebb0527fb602e23ce49869fcOver the past few weeks, we have embarked on a journey of renewal.    As part of the process, we have embraced the love in this life, the everyday miracles that are revealed, letting go of the past in order to move forward and now one of the most essential steps – Loving yourself.

Loving ourselves is a novel concept, yet so many of us, cannot see past the imperfections.  

What forms this perception?  Why do outward influences shape how we see ourselves?

30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’[a] 31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b] There is no commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:30-31)

Love God first, then Love your neighbor as yourself.

Neighbor as yourself….

This statement implies that we must love ourselves first.

Do you know how to love yourself?

After 37 years, I am finally learning how to love myself.    It seems like so much time has passed, and am finally discovering, that I have not loved myself in the way that I deserve.

God doesn’t see our imperfections, He says we are beautifully made.

Why can we not see the good in ourselves before we pick away at what we perceive to be the bad?

“You are not pretty, you are falling short as a mom or dad, it is not enough, you can do better, you don’t look right, they are talking about me, you can be a better sister, friend, mother, dad….”

The lies, the list can go on if we allow it.   Before we know it, it shapes, defines and we are no longer the person that we were meant to be.  The person God made us to be.

He wants us to see the light, and to feel light.  To feel love, warmth from the inside out.  He wants us to let the good in first.  

He wants us to hear His voice, and that we ARE enough.

See through His eyes a child that is amazingly made.  

I am inspired by people like Lizzy Velasquez who choose to embrace themselves, and choose to be happy.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c62Aqdlzvqk http://www.aboutlizzie.com

Or Jessica as a toddler who tells herself she is amazing (we could learn from her) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qR3rK0kZFkg .

When you look in the mirror, choose to embrace the beautiful you.  Accept yourself, love yourself.    You can define who you are.

It is when we can truly love ourselves that we shine a light on the person we were meant to be.   Amazing things will happen.   Let the good comments in and push those bad comments out.

Let your love for yourself shine through.  You have a choice, we have the power to choose who we are.

If you want to read another related post check out Mirror Mirror on the Wall

May you be blessed,

Ness

How do you choose to focus your lens?

I choose to focus on

Do you ever focus on the things that are not working in your life?

Sometimes I focus on something negative someone said to me, and the comment grows into a
mountain.   There are instances where I also focus on something someone said to me in my past, someone who made fun of me in elementary school, on friends that hurt me in highschool, or moments that
I thought defined me as a person that I chalked up as “not so great”.  The wounds are deep…..  Or else, I am in the present and tell myself, you are not good enough, you can not measure up.    Then my mind jumps into the future and fear, anxiety, and “what ifs” fill my mind.

Yes this is so true, most of us struggle with the voices inside our heads.    The voices that tell us that we are not enough, or that we need to be more.    The mind is such a powerful thing, it can lead us down a path of destructive self-talk.   Truly loving ourselves is sometimes so difficult.

We look in the mirror and see features we would like to change, and our thoughts stop us from experiencing complete contentment.  

What if you could choose to focus on the good?   What if you saw good in all of the moments where it felt uncomfortable, what if you saw good in every moment?  

Imagine this for a moment…

I choose to only see the good in the moments that take my breath away (illness, disappointment or trouble that heads our way),

I choose to only see good in my boss or coworkers, we are all here for a reason,

I choose to only see good in the driver in front of me, he/she might be having a bad day,

I choose to only see good in my spirited family, we compliment each others weaknesses,

I choose to only see good my friends or relationships, can be bumpy but the bumps teach us the greatest lessons,

I choose to only see good in my children that have a love/hate relationship, they are healthy and happy,

I choose to only see good in my spouse who snores too much and likes to be “right”,

And I choose to only see good in me because I AM BEAUTIFUL and have been beautifully made.

Sounds simple doesn’t it?   Could it be that simple????

The one thing we have been given in this life is the power of choice.   

We may not have control on what happens in this life, but the one thing we can control is how we respond.

You can choose to focus within, shift your perspective and see yourself and everything around you through rose colored glasses…. 

You may be thinking, I am a realist… But how does it feel focusing on the bad? 

Let it go, choose to love YOU! Put that STOP SIGN in your head as soon as the bad thoughts creep in.

Start by asking yourself today, what makes me beautiful and unique?   And as you begin to do this, choose to refocus your lens everywhere you go, every moment and everyone you touch.

Only you have the power to do so.

“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” (2 Corinthians 4:16-18)

 Dear Lord God,

Help us refocus on the good.  Help us to see what you have created, the moments that teach us what you want us to see.  Help us to see ourselves, the moments, and the people through your eyes.   I pray for this in Jesus Name Amen.

May you be blessed,

Ness