Get READY To Receive

Have you ever been in a waiting period for dreams that you wish for, plan for, and work for to come to fruition? Have you ever wondered “BUT WHEN?!” And then had to get back to a place of expectation and contentedness with your life right now in the waiting?

I have! And it’s a hard place to be sometimes, but then I got a word from a dear friend recently. He said, “Position yourself to receive. Get ready.”

This caught me off guard for a second. I AM ready though. I’ve got all I need! And then I got thinking… If the things I want to happen are about to come, am I really ready for them? What do I need to do to get ready? What steps do I need to take so that I can transact easily with people and get ready to press the “GO” button on the next steps in my business and life?

I have emails to prepare, files to get ready, software to understand better, and scripts I need to write.

Be ready to receive the things that you’re praying to have and want to happen in your life.

There is a lot I can do to get ready! And then I realized how important seasons of preparation are.

When a woman is pregnant there is a whole time period of waiting for the baby to be born, 9-10 months. And in that time, she (and daddy) needs to get ready. There are things that she must do, act on, and prepare for in order for that baby to come and be set up properly in its first stage of life. Whether it’s collecting clothes, setting up a room, buying herself new clothes because of the process her own body is about to go through, and having a name picked out… there is a whole list of items that need to be in place BEFORE the baby takes its first breath on earth.

When it comes to my business, my baby right now, I have been praying and praying for the breakthrough of “birth” as I sell my first products, but I realized I need more in place. Scripts I want to have to be able to quickly respond to messages, pitches for new products and foreseeable investors, speeches to say thank you to specific people for their guidance, payment plans and systems… there are VERY specific things that I need to get ready because when people are knocking at my online door and online store, I need to BE READY with more than just my products.

If I’m not ready—if I’m not prepared NOW, I could land in a whirlwind of overwhelm. Once that baby is here and the breakthrough comes with clients and what I’m prepared to offer and give the world with my digital media and brand strategy coaching services I better be ready with things in place. It will be too overwhelming to step into the next phase and season if I’m not ready for it.

Dear friends reading this now: Do you have something you have been praying for, hoping, wanting, desiring and are you ready for it when it comes?

A new house, moving to a new city, a new job, a new marriage or relationship, a new season of life with new responsibility and new expectations that you have?

Whatever your desire is: be ready. Take the important steps to prepare as much as possible NOW because when that new thing gets here, you want to set yourself and your “baby project” up for success. Posture yourself to receive what you’ve been wanting and then get ready!

You will reduce overwhelm and have more fun when you take the necessary steps to prepare in advance. Press into this season or preparation as much as possible. GET READY to receive.

Drop a comment below: What are your desires and are you ready to receive them? If not, what do you need to do to be prepared for the next season?

Time is Short: Let’s Live in the Moment This Holiday Season

We are RIGHT in the middle of the biggest holiday season of the year, and I wanted to share something new that is on my heart and mind this year more than others.

TIME IS SHORT.

It seems to fly by these days. But one major way I see it, is that my parents are getting older. I still rely on my parents for advice and wisdom. I trust them more than anyone else on planet earth (aside from my spouse).

But. They are still getting older and time is short.

It wasn’t that long ago that as a little girl I was SO excited to make cookies for Santa and would dress up in my best dress for our church’s candlelight service on Christmas Eve.

And here I am at thirty years old recognizing the brevity of the life we have.

The holidays, from Halloween to New Years, is magical. But it’s also painful for so many people.

Pain from loss, pain from finances, pain from health problems, pain from change, pain from not being where you imagined you would be at this stage of life.

But in that pain, time is short. We can hold onto the hope of seasons passing and changing and still press into the good things that offset the painful ones in the season we find ourselves.

My “exhortation” (a very old school word in some ways) is to:

  • Live in the moment.
  • Don’t take anything good in your life now for granted.
  • Be good to your family and friends and sensitive to those who are struggling now.
  • Write down good memories in your journal and take lots of photos of your family and friends.

Time is short, but we can seize the good things and good parts of our day and lives, letting go of the bad. And time is short, so if we are in a painful season, we know it won’t last and we will be able to breathe again soon.

Birds Sing Through the Night…

KevinYoung

PC: Kevin Young

I know because my window is open at night now that the weather is warming up. I like the ventilation and fresh air clearing out my stuffy room after a cooped up winter and chilly spring. More importantly though, I live in a neighborhood at the treeline of the Central Pennsylvania State Gamelands, which means I get a good dose of nature right outside that window.

So, window open, lights out, and for a few nights in a row it’s been nothing but restless tossing and turning. Drinking water, walking around, stretching, and feigning sleep haven’t helped. And the more determined I’ve been to sleep, the more my body and mind have refused that quiet bliss. My bed too hot, the air too cool, but really I’ve been doing what I shouldn’t- stressing about people, relationships, and circumstances that I can’t change. Until last night.

It was around 3:30 AM, I sat straight up with a frustrated sigh when I noticed a shift in the darkness. A quiet singing. It was a beautiful melody, faint and distant in the woods. With each passing note, the voice sounded gentle but determined. I felt like the song was written for me, after all, I was the only one awake in that part of the world at 3:30 in the morning. So I climbed out of bed, leaned out my window, and breathed in the cool air, listening.

Within 30 minutes, more voices added to the melody, each distinct and soothing. Within an hour I saw the faint, faint outline of the sky lighten with the sun. By now my mind felt more at peace, so I closed the window, turned to my bed, and slept for a short 2 hours. That’s when the full choir of birds decided to sing their loudest, waking me up again. Apparently they really wanted an audience. I gave into their song once more, quieting my mind to appreciate their joy in sharing their sweet voices.

I realized then that even in the darkest, birds do sing. When the night is black, and not a soul is around except for you and your racing thoughts and emotions… the birds taught me it is possible to sing. It is possible to hold onto joy. Or when it’s really dark and lonely, it is possible to let others’ joy carry you. Because before you know it, the worries of the night will give way to a pink and orange painted sky and rest will come if you allow it.

So sing in the dark.

It is what brings the light.

 

{October} Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Paula Biggs for Frog Prince Paperie

Photo Cred: Paula Biggs for Frog Prince Paperie

*I originally wrote this post for Wonderfully Made’s blog “Know Your Value” in October.

Have you ever been sick? Have you ever dealt with pain in your body or mind? Have you ever seen a loved one suffer, or maybe even die?

This might sound heavy, but take a deep breath and hang in there with me, because sometimes it is important to talk about heavy things.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Around the nation, people raise awareness about breast cancer, helping to erase stigma for the disease, and encourage early detection of the disease for treatment.

A study and article posted on the American Cancer Society website says that “an estimated 60,290 new cases” of breast cancer in women will be detected in 2015.

As we move through the year and find ourselves in October, it is important that we at Wonderfully Made address the pain and fear that women (and men too) find themselves in when diagnosed with cancer, disease, and illness.

Taking a step back, I want to shift your attention from our world today to go back in time about 2,000 years. Let’s look at one woman who struggled with disease for 12 years before finally finding healing through faith in one Man…

“A woman in the crowd had suffered for twelve years with constant bleeding. She had suffered a great deal from many doctors, and over the years she had spent everything she had to pay them, but she had gotten no better. In fact, she had gotten worse. She had heard about Jesus, so she came up behind him through the crowd and touched his robe. For she thought to herself, ‘if I can just touch his robe, I will be healed.’” (Mark 5: 25-28)

Now I want to take a moment to explain a bit about the culture of Bible times. Women were not considered equal to men, but deferred to them in the patriarchal society that fathers ruled their households, including their wives.

This woman was single, which already puts her in a vulnerable place, and on top of that, for 12 years she sought medical help for a blood hemorrhage. That meant that she spent her entire wealth on doctors to try to get healing, which left her in a worse spot. When this woman met Jesus, she was penniless, sick, and no one was on her side.

She didn’t have medical insurance. She didn’t have a husband to support her. She didn’t have people raising awareness for her. No one started a campaign to helping with the stigma of bleeding for 12 years. She didn’t have specialists she could travel to all over the world, when the doctors she consulted didn’t have an answer.

She was destitute and desperate. And when it came to meeting the most important, popular, and reputable Rabbi of her time, she couldn’t even approach him to tell her story.

She only had one thing, and that was her faith to just touch him. And now, her story is not forgotten.

“Immediately the bleeding stopped, and she could feel in her body that she had been healed of her terrible condition. Jesus realized at once that healing power had gone out from him, so he turned around in the crowd and asked, ‘Who touched my robe?’ His disciples said to him, ‘Look at this crowd pressing around you. How can you ask, “Who touched me?” ’ But he kept on looking around to see who had done it. Then the frightened woman, trembling at the realization of what had happened to her, came and fell to her knees in front of him and told him what she had done. And he said to her, ‘Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace. Your suffering is over.’” (Mark 5: 29- 34)

Jesus never changes, and to this day He wants to heal our bodies, minds, and souls. He wants us to know Him as our Savior and Healer. He wants to call us daughters and for us to seek Him when we need help, medical or otherwise.

As you think about Breast Cancer Awareness this month, and the many who have suffered breast cancer, are seeking help now, or might be diagnosed later, know that their stories matter. Their stories are important to the Father who sees and knows suffering to the point of healing a penniless, unnamed woman of the Bible so long ago. He calls these women His daughters, and He is ready and able to grant peace and healing.

So have hope, my friends, like this sick woman from the Bible. Keep the faith to look up and out. To not give up getting help. To just grasp on the fringe of His robes that He will save.

Jesus turned, and seeing her he said, “Take heart, daughter; your faith has made you well.” And instantly the woman was made well. ~Mathew 9:22~

If you want to learn more about Breast Cancer Awareness Month, or get involved in a deeper way, Komen is a national non-profit, with other great resources, centered on breast cancer.

Shades of Green.

Danist SohPhoto Cred: Danist Soh

I live in a part of the USA overrun with a diversity in weather for lack of other diverse things that could mark this town and region.

Fall is colorful or grey; there is really no in between with bright skies and orange-red leaves one day that turn to a stark grey barrenness as soon as the wind shakes those leaves from the branches. Winter brings ice, snow, sleet, and a bitter cold that reaches its fingers all the way to my bones making it miserable to be outside, or like that one winter, it was in the 50’s for most of January; one just never knows. Spring is wet- colorful like fall with tulips, red clover, and other flowering plants- but it is a long time coming as often it can snow in April and rain through May; sun where are you?

But it is July now, so I want to focus on summer. Summer in my area is marked with rain and overcast skies most days. Sometimes the rain comes out of nowhere in a black-grey, thundering mass rolling through the sky, that pelts the earth with big, hard raindrops. The rain cools down the mugginess and humidity that makes the air heavy. Rain also takes care of the bugs, giving a brief respite to the buzzing around my ears; mosquitoes that just love my skin; bees that have a knack for picking me out to explore and chase around in circles, leaving my friends in peace; or, my favorite was yesterday, I was writing at a park and a daddy long-leg spider literally climbed 1/2 way up my calf before I felt him on me and I karate chopped him off my leg. Gross!

It is these humid, rainy, buggy days that put me in a state where the “grass is greener on the other side.” Moving to the northeast of the US from sunny, southern California, the grass is not literally greener as there is an intense water deficit in CA. But I yearn for the long, dry, sunshiney days that CA is known for. Picnics are never cancelled on account of the weather and the term “rain date” is a foreign concept. I long for heat where I don’t feel sticky, beaches, and palm trees reaching for the cloudless, blue sky above. And most of all, I miss orange and fuchsia sunsets showing off above the ocean.

classbbrainforest.comPhoto Cred: Pinterest- ClassBB.wordpress.com

The rain where I live keeps me inside and I worry about summer getting away from me. When I do go outside, there are the perils of before mentioned bugs and insects and the black garden snake with white stripes lining his back that I saw in my mother’s garden.

Then, in a brilliant moment, the rain disappears and I see a rainbow shimmering in a hazy arch- such a mysterious array of color that MUST have a leprechaun with a pot of gold at the end of it. The clouds part and a mist rises from the trees into the sunlight, radiating an ethereal beauty. The downpour subsides leaving a dripping from the wet leaves in it’s wake, sounding like faint music. And when I inhale, the earth smells mossy, sweet, clean, and refreshed.

Rick McEwanPhoto Cred: Rick McEwan

I realized after the last storm that the sun always shines again and when it does my favorite color green shimmers in various shades of hunter, jade, and sweet lime. Green is everywhere in this piece of the USA that I live during summer. And it’s beautiful, life-giving, fresh, and rich.

It takes the rain to bring out the full force of green in the gardens and woods around me.

Bringing this to a personal level, I can’t have that rich, beautiful, colorful life I imagine for myself with out the rain and storms of life to grow me. Like the earth and gorgeous summer green that marks the east coast, the hardships of growing up are necessary for me to reach my potential.

Whether it’s the job application and resume dance that seems to lead me further down an endless, dark tunnel and I just want to give up; the dysfunctional family drama that seems to pop up just as I am ready to forgive again and take down the walls I’ve built to protect myself; or the financial stress of not having a steady paycheck to pay for medical bills or the last visit to the mechanic for my car…

I have the hope from watching the world around me that these clouds of life will clear! The rain will stop. And in the storm’s place will be a rainbow, sunlight, mist, a unique beauty, a new song, and most of all a full, rich, thriving life in the shades of green that are unique to me. So let’s be real. I love the rain. The world needs it.