Revising The Golden Rule

Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets.
Matthew 7:12 NLT

I’ve always liked this rule. Its simple and straight to the point. Don’t treat people like garbage if you don’t want to be treated as such. Seems reasonable to me. However, as I have gotten older I realized that this concept is a little black and white. It is a good idea to treat people how you want to be treated however, it doesn’t really take into account how THEY want to be treated.

Tracee Ellis Ross What GIF by ABC Network
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For instance, my husband and I share a lot of similar personality traits however his love language is different than mine. I can’t approach him the way I would want to be approached in situations because he doesn’t respond to that.

When I was researching pictures to include in this post, I came across an article that talks about what I was just telling you. The man that wrote it is talking about it from a management angle but I believe that it works in all aspects of life. Do you take account peoples personalities when you have a disagreement with them? It doesn’t even have to be a disagreement, but just how you interact with people on a day to day basis.

I had a disagreement with a coworker…but it was really in my mind. If you asked them, they wouldn’t think we had a disagreement. They said some things to me I really didn’t like and I would never say those things to them. I was pretty upset about but I had to stop and think, what was their intention? Were their intentions good? They were. We don’t think the same and that is ok.

I had a friend that asked me for some constructive feedback and I wasn’t able to fully give it to her. I talked about how I don’t like constructive feedback because I am too hard on myself but that may not be the case for her. We all have blindspots and I could have been more helpful, but I was treating her how I like to be treated. I also didn’t want to hurt her feelings because mine would have been hurt if it was me, but this wasn’t about me.

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Finding the balance in how to treat people in a way that works for you and works for them is tricky but doable. Sometimes we get in caught up in our thought process and that is ok as long as your recognize it.

I believe the biggest thing to consider when trying to treat people how you want to be treated is remember compassion, empathy, respect and patience. Those things are universal.

The Golden Rule is a good place to start but its the baseline. If you start with this you will end up in a good space but if you take it a step further, you can probably have a solution that works for everybody.

Being a good partner

I was with my girls last weekend and of course we start talking about our men. Why don’t they listen, why are they so slow, why don’t they do things the way we do? These are great questions. If you think I have the answers here, think again!

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I’m no marriage expert but I have been married almost 10 years. Its wild. When we first got married I couldn’t imagine what 10 years married even looked like. My pastor talks all the time about what makes a good partner and it may surprise you. It certainly surprised me.

He says you shouldn’t tell the other person what to do, you should pray for them.

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That doesn’t seem super helpful. Prayer feels passive. I want action.

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I want to ask him to take out the trash and he just gets up and does it, no questions asked, no comments, immediately, not at the commercial, not after this play, NOW. That’s not a partner though that’s a child. I didn’t get married to have another child.

My husband has expressed to me on more than one occasion that he doesn’t always like the way I talk to him. He also told me he doesn’t say anything about it, he has just gotten used to it. I didn’t like that at all. I need to work on my tone, not him get used to it. I came across this verse in Proverbs that spoke exactly to what he was saying to me.

When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness. Proverbs 31:26 NLT

Gives instructions with kindness. Do I do that? Not every time. Do you do that? I was listening to my girlfriends talk to their partners over the weekend and I didn’t hear a lot of kindness. According to Dictionary.com kindness means being generous, compassionate and friendly. I don’t yell or nag at my husband but can I be short, snappy, or rude? Yes I can.

I don’t much feel like giving instructions with kindness when I’ve had to give them more than once. I don’t feel like giving instructions with kindness when I feel like you shouldn’t need instructions in the first place. The bible doesn’t say that though. We are to give instructions with kindness every time.

If you read Proverbs you will notice there are wayyyy more things about wives than husband’s. I’m going to get more into that next week. I used to have some pretty negative thoughts about the Proverbs 31 woman. Not so much anymore, but we’ll talk about it.

The key thing about being a good partner is remembering you can’t change anyone but yourself. That’s why my pastor tells us to pray instead of nag. You will change how you react to whatever your partner is doing, which is the bigger issue anyway. Right? Right.


Prayer

Lord help me give instructions with kindness. Help me have grace and patience instead of anger and resentment when my husband doesn’t do what I ask him to do in way or speed that I would do it. Help me be thankful that I have a partner that is willing to help me and be an active parent. Remind me of the love that I have for him and how awesome he is. In Jesus name, I pray amen.

Here is a sermon my pastor preached on about the secrets of lasting love.

How to live a blessed life

I just finished a study on Psalm 119. Every week I will give you a lesson on what I learned from this psalm. King David wrote Psalm 119 over a long period of his life. I like King David because God once called him a man after his own heart. I want God to describe me in that way. I also like King David because he wasn’t perfect. We see him make some pretty big mistakes in his life but God still blessed him and his children. It sounds like a good example to follow to me.

God wants to bless us, not only with material blessings, but with peace and love and strength.

Psalm 119:1-16

Blessed are those whose ways are blameless,
    who walk according to the law of the Lord.
Blessed are those who keep his statutes
    and seek him with all their heart—
they do no wrong
    but follow his ways.
You have laid down precepts
    that are to be fully obeyed.
Oh, that my ways were steadfast
    in obeying your decrees!
Then I would not be put to shame
    when I consider all your commands.
I will praise you with an upright heart
    as I learn your righteous laws.
I will obey your decrees;
    do not utterly forsake me.How can a young person stay on the path of purity?
    By living according to your word.
10 I seek you with all my heart;
    do not let me stray from your commands.
11 I have hidden your word in my heart
    that I might not sin against you.
12 Praise be to you, Lord;
    teach me your decrees.
13 With my lips I recount
    all the laws that come from your mouth.
14 I rejoice in following your statutes
    as one rejoices in great riches.
15 I meditate on your precepts
    and consider your ways.
16 I delight in your decrees;
    I will not neglect your word

What is a blessed life?

A happy, fulfilled, contented life. As you can see a blessed life doesn’t have anything to do with possessions, or job or where you live.

Characteristics of a blessed life

Maturing in my Christian walk

Knowing I can trust God

Remembering that everything happens for our good

God is always with me

I win, no matter what!

How to live a blessed life

Blameless, walk in the law

seek him with your whole heart

learn his righteous rules

praise with whole heart

Study his word

When we compare what is a blessed life vs what it takes to get a blessed life, it certainly seems more challenging. We should use this list to strive towards these things, its like our shoot for the starts, land on the moon scenario. If we are doing the best we can, we will achieve a blessed life. In our day to day pursuit of a blessed life, we are pointed towards God. We don’t have to do anything on our own, God is going to walk with us every step of the way.

You see living a blessed life doesn’t have as much to do with being a “good person” and more about your relationship with God. Reading this post could potentially lead to more questions. Don’t worry I got you.

You could be saying: Why do I have to praise him with my whole heart? How do I even do that? Come back. I will let you know.



Resources

I thought I had a better plan

By nature I am a planner. However when I get an idea in my head I jump.

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I immediately get into planner and execution mode. I pray but I don’t always wait for God to answer. I look for signs of what I want to do not necessarily what God wants me to do.

Earlier in quarantine I was feeling promptings from God but I couldn’t quite put my finger on what it is. I thought I should start a podcast. So I immediately found a co-host.

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A girl at church that I know from leadership classes who is funny and smart, young but most definitely a bible scholar. We discussed names, themes, etc.  I even did research  on how to start a podcast but I wasn’t feeling quite right about but I didn’t know why.

In bible study we were studying Jonah and it hit me like a ton of bricks. I thought I knew better than God. If you are doing what God wants, there will be peace. God is not a God of confusion. 1 Corinthians 14:33   Jonah thought he knew better than God, that’s why he didn’t want to go Tarshish like God wanted him to. Jonah 1-2

Just like Saul in 1 Samuel 15. God told Saul to go kill everyone, leave nothing behind.  Saul thought he knew better and decided to save the king and all the best animals. He said he was going to give the best animals to God as a sacrifice. Sounds good, but that wasn’t his instruction from God.

I like this girl from church but I don’t know her that well. I didn’t know if we would vibe hosting a podcast.

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I should have probably asked her to teach a Sunday school class with me first to see how we play off each other on a consistent basis. I should have done a lot of things differently but I wanted to start things right away. Its that microwave growth syndrome. I was supposed to call her a week later to discuss our research but I forgot, which isn’t like me at all. Forgetting to call her was a clear sign that I needed to rethink some things. It wasn’t meant to be right now. I know that because even though a podcast is a great idea and I am not opposed to doing one later, that isn’t what God told me to do. 

I know I you’re probably thinking that this isn’t that serious. What’s the big deal with starting a podcast? The big deal isn’t about the podcast. Its about not doing what God told me to do. Its thinking I knew more than God

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I was really avoiding getting back into my blog. I can’t even say I had a good reason I was just scared. I was worried again about what people would think of me. I was worried that they would reject me the messenger because things I’ve done or things I have said. I am definitely not a holy roller. I felt having a co-host would take some of the heat off of me and my shortcomings.

I didn’t start the podcast instead I prayed. I asked God to give me strength and help me overcome my fear of what people think. Its always better to pray, first and move later.

all gifs from giphy.com

Resources

Jonah 1-2

1 Samuel 15

Impostor syndrome

 Imposter syndrome can be defined as a collection of feelings of inadequacy that persist despite evident success. ‘Imposters’ suffer from chronic self-doubt and a sense of intellectual fraudulence that override any feelings of success or external proof of their competence. They seem unable to internalize their accomplishments, however successful they are in their field. High achieving, highly successful people often suffer, so imposter syndrome doesn’t equate with low self-esteem or a lack of self-confidence. In fact, some researchers have linked it with perfectionism, especially in women and among academics. (Hbr.org)

imposter syndrome

My impostor type is the perfectionist. I have talked before about trying to work on my perfectionism. I didn’t realize that this was a part of impostor syndrome. Honestly, I see myself in quite a few of these examples. 

I came across this verse while I have been studying my identity in Christ. I have been learning who God says I am to combat a lot of things that I have been dealing with in my life. More on that in later posts, but my research and studying has been super helpful.

When I saw this verse, I read it in a few different translations, the best version being in The Message version. Check it out.

We are confident of all this because of our great trust in God through Christ. It is not that we think we are qualified to do anything on our own. Our qualification comes from God. 

2 Corinthians 3:4‭-5 NLT 

We couldn’t be more sure of ourselves in this—that you, written by Christ himself for God, are our letter of recommendation. We wouldn’t think of writing this kind of letter about ourselves. Only God can write such a letter. His letter authorizes us to help carry out this new plan of action. The plan wasn’t written out with ink on paper, with pages and pages of legal footnotes, killing your spirit. It’s written with Spirit on spirit, his life on our lives!

2 Corinthians 3:4-6 MSG

 The Lord wrote my letter of recommendation.

Who can best that? Who better knows your skills, abilities, strengths than God? Often times people get positions because of who they know. I have hired people just on the strength of the recommender. How much better is it when God is our recommender? I know it can be scary and we might not feel like we are ready but you are. The Holy Spirit takes us beyond our natural ability. Remember your natural ability is already the bomb. That’s how you got into the room. God is just going to take you to the next level. God feels in the gaps for you. What you don’t have He will supply. You just have to take the first step.

You don’t have to bend over backwards to prove yourself if God is your recommender. Your work speaks for it self. You aren’t an impostor. You earned this!

 Don’t let anyone, not even yourself, talk you out of what God said you could already do. 


Resources

https://www.themuse.com/advice/5-different-types-of-imposter-syndrome-and-5-ways-to-battle-each-one

https://hbr.org/2008/05/overcoming-imposter-syndrome

Watch this video about impostor syndrome. Its only 4 minutes long. 

Progress over perfection

Is fear of failure selfish?

 

Making bible study interesting

When you hear bible study what do you think? Boring, hard, work, school, too difficult. Too much. Where do I start?

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I used to feel that way about bible study. Some times I still do.

If you have been reading this blog for any period of time you would say, but Dominique you like to read. True. I do. So that helps. I bet you would like to read if it was interesting and didn’t take a long time. Bible study doesn’t have to be like being back in school. It can be as simple as you want it to be. The internet has made it a lot easier to find a method that works for you.

This is what I do. 

Pray. I don’t mean in any overly spiritual sense. Just ask God to show what he wants you to see.

Think. Think about the things you ask God when you pray. Do you ask God to bless you at work? Do you ask God to help you raise your kids? Do you ask God to help you be a better wife, partner, etc? Do you want to know God’s character or promises? You can start there.

Find. You can do this a few different ways. You can look in the bible app and they have a search option where you can type a key word and it will give you all the scriptures in the bible that relate to that word. So when I wanted to know who God is, I type it in the search box.

Tons of scripture popped up. If you’re old schooling it and reading a physical bible, it hopefully has a topic search in the back where you can look up things by subject. If you don’t have a study bible you should get one. Super helpful. They typically have reading plans to help you get started, so you aren’t just opening your bible and trying to land on something that speaks to you. I definitely used to do that. You could also go to Pintrest or Google and somebody has already did the finding for you, you just have to get your verse for the day.

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Pintrest.com livingfreeindeed.com

Write. Once you find a verse or passage that speaks to what you’re looking for, write it down. It can be in the notes app on your phone, but you want to write down what comes to your head or questions you may have so you can refer back to it later. 

Remember this:

The good thing about studying the bible is that it doesn’t have to be done in any specific way. There are tons of methods out there. 

15 minutes is a great place to start. God just wants your time and attention. Reading the bible is good but it just skims the surface. Devotionals are a great place to start if you don’t have a lot of time.

Pray and write, that’s all you have to do, everything else will fall into place.

The more you study the word of God, unlike Algebra, or OChem, the more you will want to study it and learn more. 

Don’t worry I am here to help. I am going to include  in future posts some more bible study methods and tips that will help.


Resources

Good study bibles-Quest, LifeHack, Life Application  

SOAP bible study method

11 Ways to Study the Bible: Methods, Techniques & Tips

 

 

Silencing the inner critic

Do you have an inner critic that harasses you? I certainly do. It can be ridiculous sometimes. I am about to start reading a book, Get out of your head by Jennie Allen to help me deal with this a little better. In the mean time though, I started to research what I needed to do to essentially work on my self-talk. 

I know that if I am more critical of myself I am more critical of other people. I don’t want to be that way. Based on my research this is what I have discovered.

I saw this definition of inner critic vs inner guidance. Wow.

 

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innercriticvs.innerguidance 

I felt both seen and attacked at the same time. This description is excellent. I didn’t even realize that I do some of these things but now that I have the framework I can begin to change my thought process.

The first thing on here is thinks in black or white. I definitely do that. I am not big on seeing shades of gray. Either it is or it isn’t. People have been pointing this out to me recently so I am working on trying to see additional options.

I wrote a post about combating the devil with Gods word.   This a great idea, I just need to be more consistent. I also need to memorize the word. Study it so if you can’t memorize you know what it means. Speak it to yourself. That way as soon as something bad pops in my head, I can tell my inner critic to hush!

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I will also stop rehearsing events. Sometimes after going someplace I would replay things that I said and how I responded to things. Should I have said it differently? Should I have responded differently? This doesn’t help me however because the event has already happened. It does me no good to replay every word I said.

When do you hear your inner critic the loudest?

What books or passages do you read in the bible for comfort?

My inner critic comes out sometimes when I read the bible. That’s not good because I take what should be conviction and turn it in to condemnation. Condemnation doesn’t come from God.  I just read that we shouldn’t just look to the bible for just conviction but also for comfort. Which I know in theory makes sense but in practice is something very different. I have been reading Psalms every night before I got to bed. It has been helping.

The picture below is exactly what is going on in my head. I wouldn’t say that I was being mean and critical to myself. I would say that I just trying to improve upon whatever I am doing. Clearly that is FALSE!

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@justgirlproject I love their page!

 

I don’t mind taking risks but the “putting myself out there” is the hard part. I am learning however that when I am weak, I am strong. I will talk more about this concept in some upcoming posts. 


Resources

https://www.projectinspired.com/how-to-silence-your-inner-critic/ https://thinkdivinely.com/setting-your-mind-on-christ-are-you-ready-to-silence-that-inner-critic/

Bible in a year plan…again

I knew I needed to do more listening to God and less talking and the easiest and fastest way to do so is reading his word. I decided to read the Bible in chronological order. I have read it through in the traditional sense and wanted to try a different way that would keep my interest. By reading it in chronological order I’m going to get some historical context that I didn’t have previously. I found a great article that talks about six benefits of reading the bible in chronological order.

First thing I noticed in reading it chronologically is that Job comes right after Genesis. In the traditional or thematic bibles I’ve seen its not like that. After Job comes Psalms which you’ll definitely need after reading Job lol.

I’ve been reading it chronologically for a week now and its rough. I wanted to read it in a different order to switch it up and get a different perspective. Unfortunately I see myself running into the same problems I did when I read the bible in a year plan in 2019

In chronological order you get 12 chapters of Genesis and boom you’re hit with Job. Job is like 50 chapters long. It’s a hard read. Job and his friends are talking for most of it and God doesn’t even come in until the book is almost over.

I don’t want to give up, no matter how hard it is. God’s word will never return void.

I am going to try and follow these three steps.

  1. Pray before I start and ask God want does he want me to get out this reading. 
  2. Try not to read so fast. If I only do 2 chapters at a time, I can better digest what I’m reading. I can read 2 chapters in the morning and 1 or 2 at night before bed.
  3. Take notes as I read. Taking notes will help me retain what I just read and be able to recall it when I need it later.

These steps will help if you are reading a lot of the bible at once or if you are reading a short passage.

 

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I found this on Pintrest.

Now that quarantine is over

I am in an interesting space as we come out of strict quarantine and summer is upon us. Summer definitely looks different with COVID-19 and protesting happening all across the country. I saw tons of memes on my social media about if you didn’t come out quarantine having accomplished something then you were just lazy. I just don’t believe that to be true. Thankfully someone agreed because they changed it. This one makes a lot more sense.

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reddit.com

 

If I am being honest. I have not completed a ton of projects in the 2 months that we were forced to stay. Posting again was one of the things I wanted to accomplish, so Yay me! for getting that done.

I just felt really stuck with not working in the traditional sense, and my baby and husband being here and the days rolling together.

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I had been feeling really off spiritually for a while, and that’s another thing that quarantine helped me get on track. I have attended more Sunday school and bible study than I ever would have if we were not in quarantine.

I felt bad though. I was spending too much time on Hulu, social media and reading books. I was having a mini vacation from the world and seeing other people have something tangible to show for their quarantine efforts really bothered me.

In my noon day bible study that I go to, she told us to go back and read your old journals to see where God has brought you from. It wasn’t really a pleasant experience, like I see God answering prayers but I also see a lot of heartache. I also decided to go back and read some of my old blog posts. There are over a 100 so it was more a skim, but I came across this one. Its one of the first posts I did and it talks about the name I picked for the blog. That was three years ago and I am still having this same problem. I talk about being stuck in research mode instead of just taking the leap and doing the thing you said you were going to do.

I sat down about 6 weeks ago and laid out my plan of my hearts desires. I asked God to be with me in those plans because there a lot of things my heart desires. After I wrote them down and prayed some more I put dates that I wanted to accomplish them. I continued to pray about those things in my quiet time until my Pastor preached a sermon on fear. Click the link. It’s really good you should watch it. It had a lot of great points but the one that stuck with me is we need to quit praying and move! I felt like God had slapped me, like, Hey, I’m talking to you! All this research and worrying, you are not going to get anything done. Just do it!

Then I had a conversation with my friends one Sunday after a nature walk (more on that in a later post) about pursing your passions and how much people pay for content, how to get things done and my mind was blown. I left so inspired! So ready to hit the ground running.

My next few posts will be about pursuing your passions and how to ensure you accomplish the goals you set. Stay tuned!

p.s-COVID-19 is still a thing, wear a mask.

 

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This may have been in March but its still relevant. 

Let the good times roll

Recently I have been in a very good place in my life, work is good, Being pregnant, my husband got a new job. We have no complaints over here. Its been a long time since I have been able to make this kind of declaration. It’s an exciting time in my life with lots of changes and growth. I must admit that its been going to my head a little bit. Its very easy to spend time with God everyday when things are not going well. When you are in a PIT (personal intense trial, Wendy Pope) all you have is the Lord.

I talked about this some previously in Using your gift about not doing what I knew I was supposed to be doing because I was so sick. I had a decent excuse then. I was so giddy and happy that it was hard for me to focus on my bible reading and nothing was holding my attention for very long. I knew I needed to get back on track but I just didn’t know how. I asked this question in the leadership class I take at church.

How do you maintain the same level of personal relationship with God when things are going well? 

We have seen many fall in the bible fall victim to their own success, Saul, Solomon, Nebuchadnezzar, just to name a few. I don’t want that to happen to me. A young lady in the class gave a great answer to my question. She talked about Asa a king in the Old Testament. Asa was king during a time of peace and what he did during peace time was tear down idols and prepare for war. This makes perfect sense! This brings up another set of questions.

How do we today tear down idols? How do we prepare for war?

Clearly we don’t have physical idols to or battles that we need to prepare for but what spiritual idols do you need to tear down? What spiritual battles do you need to get ready for? I am going to talk about how to do this in my next post.