Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Wednesday, February 29, 2012
~* LEAP *~


Good morning and Happy Leap year! Today I read Proverbs 29. I could really relate to verse 6  which reads: "Evil people are trapped by sin, but the righteous escape, shouting for joy!" WOO~HOO, YEAH!!! Happy, happy, joy, joy!!!

Today is a bonus...of course everyday is, because each new day implies that GOD is giving you another opportunity to do something great! This morning, when I woke up I just felt extra blessed! (psst...That really is a loaded  statement...let me explain!) Being blessed means that you have so much to be thankful for, yes, but if you are not careful about taking every thought captive... your blessings can become overwhelming as you realize that they are also responsibilities! Blessings are definitely worth it, no doubt about it, I would not rather have the alternitive: NO BLESSINGS! But let's get real , life is organic! As a Mama those "blessings" can sometimes feel like a lot to be responsible for. It can become overwhelming, really, but I am learning that it doesn't have to be that way! Some days I teeter on the edge of my blessings, and I have on occasion fallen into the pit of self pity. I'm just sayin'!

It is all in the way you look at things, for example:  The sun is shining, I am saved, I am blessed, I have food to eat (and I "get to" feed my flock), I am blessed, I have a family  (to take care of), I am blessed, I have dogs (translation "Sometimes I have to pick up a dog turd!") I am blessed, I have a home (to clean), I am blessed, I have some really great clothes that I enjoy wearing (which translates to laundry!), I am blessed, I have a bed (to make), I am blessed.... you startin' to get the picture? With great blessing comes great responsibilty...but don't let yourself loose sight of the blessing.

How do you look at life? Tough minded optimist, or patheticly unpleasant pessimist? I have decided to excersize my optimistic muscles this leap year and leap forward into a new mindset! It is going to be life changing!

Being a home school Mama, wife and human living in this century is a blessing that sometimes requires a cheer leader to get me fired up about the whole daily grind! I have to admit this... sometimes, honestly I do feel overwhelmed! I have found that I can loose sight of the blessing if I focus on me...translation = self pity = which is a sin and I have the keys to set everyonefree who is trapped by this sin! THE KEY IS TO HAVE AN ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE, and of course have a love relationship with JESUS CHRIST! It is that simple...I used to be in lock down and now I am free...Does anybody out there need an escape? Am I alone here? Am I talkin' to anybody in cyber space? Contact me, I don't have all the answers, but I know Someone who does!

 I have found that the HOLY SPIRIT is the best cheer leader EVER!!!  HE is my teacher, and HE is so patient!

Old Mr. Webster defines "Leap" as:

leap

[leep]  verb, leaped or leapt, leap·ing, noun
verb (used without object)
1. to spring through the air from one point or position to another; jump: to leap over a ditch.
2. to move or act quickly or suddenly: to leap aside; She leaped at the opportunity.
3. to pass, come, rise, etc., as if with a jump: to leap to a conclusion; an idea that immediately leaped to mind.
...Sooo, yeah, I am going to "spring through the air from one point to another quickly, suddenly, leaping at the opportunity to see my blessings as they really are BLESSINGS and come to the conclusion that... It is going to be a great year (starting with now!)
Today is the first day of the rest of Eternity...Right now I have the power to tackle that load of laundry...Wash, dry fold and put away! Start to finish. I can do this! I can do all things through JESUS CHRIST who is my strength! Today I will leap over tall buildings in a single bound (built with dishes and laundry & I will do this without getting distracted!), I will run faster than a speeding bullet (through the supermarket since dinner has to be RTE (ready to eat!) before prayer meeting tonight!) REALITY CHECK: I'm going to go grab a cup of coffee and start that 1st load of laundry! I will check back in with ya' tomorrow!
Blessings,
Shawnie

Monday, February 27, 2012

Monday, February 27, 2012     
 ~* Life Lessons For a Rainy Day in Georgia*~

Pat, pat....pitter, pitter, pat....tweet!  Mmm, its nice wakin' up to a rainy (really rainy) Monday morning in Southern Georgia (when I don't have to go anywhere!) I wish mornings like this lasted all day long! Today I choose to just stay in my jammies and slippers 'til noon, and have my coffee by my side! Sit in my chair and read my Bible...and oh, yeah...I wanna' share with you what I have learned! (If you don't have time to read the whole lesson skip down to the 2nd to the last parragraph where I sum it all up in 3 short sentences!!!) & come back and visit when you have more time!

I home school my son, and while I have learned that I can not force him to be successful at anything, I can be a good encourager. I encourage him very strongly to get out of the bed daily, and get on school. Then I get to go to my quiet place and sit with my Bible and my coffee and read, study and learn from HOLY SPIRIT. I am so blessed. I get to meet with the MAKER OF THE UNIVERSE every day, and HE is actually waiting for me...HE is jealous of me, of my time and of what I focus my attention on... oh, how HIS LOVE is intimate and I am so sure of it.

While growing up, my father taught me that when I am not sure what to read in my Bible I should always turn to the Proverbs. There are 31 chapters in Proverbs and never more than 31 days in a month, so it is a perfect place to start each day if you have no other plan to follow. Since today is the 27th, I am reading Proverbs the 27th chapter.  I usually read from my "Life Recovery Bible" in the New Living Translation, because GOD's word is better than any 12 step program out there! I know that it is important to have accountability, and I have been through some Bible studies and counseling programs that offer me that accountability, just to make sure that I am keepin' it real!!!

So today's verse that hit me right in thinker was Proverbs 27:3 "A stone is heavy and sand is weighty, but the resentment caused by a fool is even heavier..."

I'll spare ya' the gory details of why that verse hit me so hard today, but let me suffice it to say, I am daily in the presence of foolish people. Some times the fool is me. Sometimes the fools are the ones I do life with. Honestly, I hate to think of people as foolish, but ignoring reality itself is foolish. The Bible defines a fool in a lot of ways, and Proverbs is a great place to learn those definitions. I am where I am, because of the choices I have made. While I do not feel like I am "stuck"... I have to just deal with what I've got...and let me just say this with love...(because I choose love) I married a foolish man when I myself was in a very foolish season of my young adult life. I was not obeying GOD, and I landed myself in a difficult marriage....People tried to warn me, but I would not listen...I did not heed the creepy, goofy signs that read, "TURN BACK NOW!"... 20 years later, we are still married. One thing is for certain: We do love each other, we just don't always perfom that love with perfect execution!!! We both fail, but we are committed to this marriage. Divorce is NOT an option. I am a tough minded optimist, while he is a tough minded pessimist... I know that sounds harsh, but really, it is a fact... at least for now.... he'll learn!

I am an open and blatantly honest person, for one simple reason... I hope that by sharing my life (which includes my foolish mistakes) openly and honestly I can process what I am learning. Not only for my benefit, but also for the benefit of anyone who is willing to share some of this journey with me and listen to what I have learned. I am a teacher. Not a traditional teacher, but I have learned a lot of life's lessons...some the hard way, and some were just mercifully easy. Marriage has not been easy, but it is worth it. (Honestly, somedays I don't want to admit that, though because it really is just so hard.) But it is a choice. Love is a choice. Marriage is a choice. Life is not easy, but one thing I am certain of: LOVE NEVER FAILS!

I have also learned that family, and friends are an important help in life recovery. We need people. We can not live a healthy life bricked up behind walls of resentment, brought on by a fool. Sometimes, I feel like I am carrying a back pack full of bricks, of sticks and stones that threaten to break my bones...and by the way words really can hurt me, if I let them. I remember telling people that rhyme as a child, "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but your words WILL never hurt me!" Thank GOD I have learned that I can take authority over the words people have tried to hurt me with. People have tried curse me, or call me names or threaten me, and I stood there with my hand upon my hip shoutin', "I'm rubber you're glue, whatever you say bounces off of me and sticks to you..." I do really have the faith of a little child! Thank GOD! I have learned three little words that are life changing: "let it go."

We all have a deep need for love, intimacy and security. Even though I am married, my spouse does not fill the deepest needs I have for love, intimacy and security. GOD does. If I expected my husband to fill those empty places, I would be left extremely disappointed. We may have taken the long road to a happy marriage, but we're "gettin' there".  We are recovering from an unhealthy relationship with each other, by the Grace of GOD. Anything is possible with GOD, but NOTHING AND NO ONE CAN REPLACE GOD. If we do not fill our needs with GOD's love, intimacy and security, then what we choose to fill ourselves with instead are a drug. "As time passes we will need more and more of our "drugs" of choice to make us feel good, and we will gradually become enslaved to our impulses." (Life Recovery Bible, page 816 notes from Proverbs 27:20)

I tried a lot of illegal drugs about 20 years ago. Some how I thought that drugs, alchohol and unhealthy relationships could be a part of my life and I could manage to still make life work.  Of course it could not work, it goes against GOD's plan! When problems naturally came with that lifestyle...broken relationships, pain and suffering, trouble with the law in the form of speeding tickets...I really got off easy when it came to not getting what I deserved. I never got caught in the worst of my sins, I got by with so much... that was the danger... but I did not have to pay the price for my sins, thank GOD.

It was not until after I was married and pregnant with my first child that I realized that somewhere, I took a wrong turn. At the time I was in "party mode" I felt like the party life was really living, but it only left me always wanting more and never feeling satisfied. Now that desire for more, more, more happens when I go after GOD too, but unlike Mick Jagger...
...I can get some satisfaction! Being satisfied in GOD is such a blessing when it happens that it is way better than any illegal drug high I have ever been on... and then of course I want more, more, more of HIM!!! With God, instead of feeling empty of love and peace but full of shame and guilt I am the opposite. I am enjoying peace and love... and in HIM there is no shame, guilt or condemnation. Filling those 3 needs for love, intimacy and security with anything but GOD were a mistake. It didn't work! I hope someone out there can relate to what I am saying here, and turn around before it is too late. Living La Vida Loca is dangerous, and some people never make it out. Living on the edge of a slippery slope is not wise. Eventually you fall in the pit, but often you do not even realize it before you are already so deep in it that it is really, really hard to get back out. Why is is that curious people usually do not heed the creepy signs that read,  "TURN BACK NOW"? Is it because they seem so goofy? Is it because they don't think the rules apply to them? Or maybe they think they can handle whatever jumps out at them? Or they like the thrill of the anxious feelings of rebellion? What~Ever!!! A slippery slope is a slippery slope, and people who fall in are just being stupid! I was.

I was raised in a loving home, and this year my parents will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary. Their love is healthy. Their marriage is healthy because they BOTH put GOD first. While they can not imagine life with out the other, they are not sinfully addicted to one another, like many relationships today are. They enjoy each other's company and they are best friends. They are a perfect example of a great marriage, and I honor them for their committed love for one another. They have disagreements, but they have learned to work through them in love. I am so blessed to be a product of love! But in reality, EVERYONE is a product of love, no matter what environment you were raised in or what ennvironment you currently find yourself in...GOD produced you, HE created you and you are so loved by HIM. HE wants more than anything for you to know and experience HIS love, intimacy and security... it begins with your faith, and it grows as you spend time with HIM and in HIS word daily. You would die if you did not eat food. GOD's Word is likened to food, it is often called "Daily Bread".  Ooh, I love bread and HIS Daily Bread is carb. free!!! So you can fill up on it with no worries. What it will do for you is make you strong emotionally and spiritually. The health benefits are miraculous!

So, if you skipped to this point, I have learned to FORGIVE! Let it go! I choose to let go of the "resentment caused by a fool" beacuse it is too heavy for me to carry!

I need to get on with my day now...go do something creative and make sure that my little boy is doing his schoolwork. Have a blessed day, and check back here again soon at www.cre8ivespirit.blogspot.com  for another helping of daily Bread! If you want to subscribe you can do that somewhere on a sidebar of this page to get this blog sent directly to your inbox daily... (or whenever I get the chance to do a new post!) My intention is to post several times a week, at least! If I can do this daily I will...taking one day off for rest of course! Which reminds me...have you thanked GOD for the commandment to rest one day per week?  What a blessing that Sabbath day of rest is !!! Woo hoo, Yay, GOD!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Sunday, February 26, 2012    Finally~* THE BEGINNNING*~

It all began with a prayer.... "GOD help me!" I knew that I was in life over my head and that I could not sustain my state of treading water any longer... I knew I needed to do something more, but I thought at the time that I was doing all I could just to keep my head above the water...to get through the day and make it till bed time... when I could dream! I am a busy mom, whose children are growing up very fast (too fast!) but who will one day have a whole lot more time on my hands...what then? I have been thinking about that a lot in the past few years! "What's next, GOD? What now?"

Back in September of 2011 I began working on a website that was going to be a wonderful platform for selling my wares. I make stuff. I love to make pretty things and be creative everyday. I believe that it is a gift I have been allowed to pursue for reasons I still am not fully aware of.  I am not sure if it is for my benefit, or if it is for the benefit of others...or both? But how awesome would it be if the reason I get to pursue my "dream job" is because it is GOD's will, and by doing it I will be able to help others? I would surely love that! We'll see...time will tell...but for now I will pursue that dream job!

I decided that I would use the internet to sell my handmade items. I thought for sure I would begin to make money right away with my website so that I could help support our family. After five months of paying for a website and not selling one item, I made a great business decision to pull the plug! At first it felt like I was failing, and I did not want to shut down my website... then I realized that I was failing... duh...this was the definition of failure... but I determined in my heart to fail forward!

 I still believe in that dream.... I might have to take the long road though, and that is fine. Everything takes time to grow...I am like a farmer right now, who is planting seeds, one day they will grow...I am making sure that the seeds I plant are good seeds, I know that the soil I am planting them in is rich, so that the harvest I reap will be a good harvest.

I just found this new venue to pursue that dream...one that won't cost me a monthly subscription fee, and I don't have to pay any fees (unless I sell something.) But this option does cost me a lot... my time, work and money to buy inventory! GOD is my provider though, and I am not worried about having enough seed to plant. Every day I have faith to believe for growth. HE brings the rain, HE gives the sunshine and HE too will bring forth a harvest.

 I found this blog spot which is free, and I have opened an Etsy store that can be found at www.cre8ivespirit.etsy.com . That is where I sell the things that I make by hand.  I finally sold a few items, and I know that this is just the beginning...One of my goals is to have happy customers! I still believe in the "American Dream". I believe that hard work, determination, great customer service and finding a need and filling it (and most importantly OBEYING GOD) will result in success. I know that GOD's HOLY SPIRIT guides me. HIS voice is a gentle whisper, and HE gives me a choice...HE is not going to force me to do anything. Sometimes I have missed HIM because I was distracted, but I have learned that quiet time with HIM daily is key in hearing from HIM. I have also learned that on the important stuff HE gives me a "do over"! (He is such a good Teacher!) I realize now, that it takes time to build things. Growth takes time. I have time, I have all of Eternity! I am willing to invest my time into my dreams, into my family and into our future.

I want to work. I love to work. I am a good employee, responsible and honest and a hard worker, but I am human and often I fail.

I love people. I have met a few in my life that have been a challenge, but I honestly believe that JESUS CHRIST issued that challenge to us all when HE said, "Love one another!" LOVE is defined in Corinthians in the Bible, and I have read it many times over the years. It was not until recently, in the past couple of years, that I began to really try to understand LOVE. I enjoy the song from the 80's "I wanna know what LOVE is, I want YOU to show me..." And I have come to the understanding that LOVE IS A CHOICE, it really is! I know that there have been people in my life who have had to love me in spite of my failures. But love me they did, and I grew in that enviroment of LOVE. I want Cre8iveSpirit to be an environment of LOVE.

My Mom tells me that I am a super woman, but to remember that I am not "Super Woman!" I tried for many years to be Super Woman, but I quickly realized that I could not fly, I could not answer every call to save the world and I often did not arrive just in the nick of time... I got burnt out trying so hard, honestly.  Finally I decided to give myself a well deserved break. Life is not easy, and I realize that it is just so darn l-o-n-g! But now I thank GOD for that. I know that the Bible says that man's life is like a wisp of breath, implying that it is so short, but I am 44 years old. I have three kids and a husband and I have spent many sleepless nights lying awake caring for, working for and praying for those people! In the wee hours of the morning, or in the final lap of a marathon jog, or after cleaning up after a weeks worth of flu bug...life (to me) seems really long!!! I realize that in the whole big scheme of ETERNITY my few years on planet Earth will have been brief. Brief maybe, but my hope is that it will not be pointless. I'm going to quote one of my favorite songs here, "I want to leave a legacy. How will they remember me?  Did I choose to LOVE? Did I point to YOU enough to leave a mark on things? I wanna leave an offering. A child of Mercy and Grace, I'll bless YOUR NAME...unapologetically....I wanna leave a legacy..." (Of course I am singing this to GOD!)

I have thought a lot about promotion in the past few years...  is it kosher to promote myself? when I used to work for others and punch a time clock, obey their rules and promote their agendas I began to realize that GOD created me with a purpose...a purpose that HE intended to back me up on.  I really believe it is important to  find that purpose, and to follow your dreams, so long as your dreams are GOD inspired. How do you know if your dreams are GOD inspired?  Oh, trust me... HE will confirm them with success, or failure. HIS success that is.... His success may not look like what you think it should look like. But success is being obedient to GOD. When you are following GOD's dreams for your life, there is peace. DO NOT confuse peace with your own happiness, because your happiness is not the point here. But when you are obeying GOD, ultimately....you will be happy....hey, there's always Heaven to look forward to, right?! 

I began to wonder,  "Should I leave the decision of someone offering me a promotion to someone in corporate America who has the authority to judge me (often wrongly) and base my financial worth on their personal opinion?" NO WAY! I decided to give myself a promotion. Not an increase in pay, mind you, but a promotion! I decided to follow GOD's dreams for my life, at least to do what HE created me to do. I am actually giving GOD the promotion, by allowing HIM to use me as HIS hands and feet. 

My Creator gave me a purpose, and I have faith that my dreams are HIS dreams for me, because HE put them in my heart. I choose to obey GOD and HIS WORD, I still fail often, and that is why I need a Saviour!  But eventually, I will not fail at the same things twice, and eventually I will be victorious! 

I have home schooled three children for eleven years...graduated two and still working with one. I almost decided to go back to college in the Spring of 2012, but now I am feeling led to pursue my business full time for one year and see where that leads... I am not suggesting that I have all the answers, but I am learning! I have learned what NOT to do ( a whole lot!) and I am still learning.

This year my "words" for the year were "Asking" & "Humility"...My pastor's wife prays and puts words into a sack and we all draw out one or two for the year, believing that these are GOD's individual "theme" for our year...since I have been doing that I have not made a New Year's Resolution, but I resolve instead to try to understand the meaning of that word and how it applies to my spiritual growth for the year...it is very interesting! I realize that humility does not mean humiliation, but that in order to be successful you must be humble. Humble is the way! This year I am asking GOD to show me what to do (almost) daily...(I said "almost daily" because sometimes I fail to ask daily!) Some days I wake up and I hit the ground running. I have not taken the time to read my Bible and pray and seek GOD's will for my day. Those days usually end in the prayer of "OH GOD help, I can't do this without YOU!" I hope that by the end of the year (2012) I have grown a business that brings glory to GOD by being a blessing. Blessing HIM first, my family second and my business third. By blessing those with whom I come in contact, and be choosing love everytime I have to make a choice. The year will come one day at a time, but when it is over it will seem like it flew by. I would like to use this blog to promote GOD and what HE is teaching me through life, through my business and through successes and failures. I am tenacious. I am committed to this blog... for the rest of this year anyway (2012). If you find it a blessing I would love to hear from you. I can be contacted through email at Cre8ivespirit@live.com or like I mentioned above through my Etsy shop at www.cre8ivespirit.etsy.com On Etsy you can send me a conversation which is private. I also have a Facebook page Shawnie Hendrix is my name or Cre8ivespirit is another page I manage. I also have a Twitter account which is MYCre8ivespirit and I just opened a Pinterest page under Shawnie Hendrix. Yup, I am planting a whole lotta seeds...can't wait to see the harvest!

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