Hitting reset

Happy Friday!

First week of 2021 has been a week.

Do you wish you could hit reset?

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I do. I am. My week started off pretty rocky. It certainly started off rocky here in the United States. How did it start for you? You may have had some intentions that you were not quite able to stick with. I know I had planned on not getting on social media which I was doing fairly well with and then that exploded. lol. I saw several posts on people’s dry January plans had gone belly up or their fast on MSNBC was a wash.

It can suck to start something and so soon get off track but remember the good news. God’s mercies are new everyday. We can start over. I started today. I put timers on all my social media apps and I am replacing that with more writing and reading. I feel lighter.

So don’t get mad if you haven’t been able to attack your goals the way you wanted to. Start over. Its better to start again then get mad at yourself for messing up. I pray for my country, the United States and for you as well that we are all able to hit the reset button.

200th post

I have reached 200 posts! I am so excited. When I started this blog in 2017, I would have never thought I would reach 200 posts. I did. It was hard, scary, fun, nerve wrecking, I could go on and on but I loved it. Writing is something I always enjoyed since I was a kid but I didn’t know how I was going to pursue that as an adult. It was a dream, I put on a shelf. I am glad that I finally had the courage to pursue my dream and see where it could take me.

I have not had a year since this blog has been in existence that I have a post every month. I posted the second half of 2020. I only did a few posts in 2019 ( I was pregnant and had a baby). 2018 was my best year, 111 posts but I don’t think I posted every month. I don’t typically make resolutions but this year I will. Posting every month is a goal I am setting for myself this year.

I thank each and every one of you for your support. It makes me feel good that the words of my heart are able to impact so many people. People from all over the world read what I write and I am greatly honored by that.

I am excited to see where my writing will take me in 2021 especially because I am starting to take it more seriously.

I appreciate you all,

Dominique

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.

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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.

Happy Thanksgiving

We talked about being grateful earlier in the month and here is the big day to focus on what you are thankful for.

I challenge you to think of three things a day you are thankful for next month. We shouldn’t only focus on our thanks in November or on Thanksgiving but really all year round. I know things are hard as we are into our 8 month dealing with Covid here in the US. If you were like me, you never would have thought we would be going into the end of the year dealing with this with no end in sight.

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Too often we focus on what do not have, instead of all the things we do have. This Thanksgiving may not be like it was last year, but you are here to celebrate. That counts for something.

Three things I am thankful for today:
1. I still have a job

2. I was able to travel despite most things being shut down

3. No one in my immediate circle of family and friends have Covid.

15 Bible Verses on Thankfulness

Challenge is half way over… (13)

If you haven’t noticed, I definitely haven’t been doing a post a day which, I knew I wasn’t going to do. I am a little behind and feeling the pressure. I have time though, so I am trying not to freak myself out. Its been a good process even if I have done as well as I thought I would. I have already learned some things which I take as a good sign.

  1. I have to be incredibly intentional, which was really my main goal of this exercise.
  2. I have to write even when I don’t feel like writing. I don’t feel like writing more I thought, lol
  3. The more I am hanging out, watching tv, listening to podcasts, things that have a spiritual bend, it also takes away my inspiration to write. I am on summer break because I work in a high school so I am only working part time. That should give me plenty of time to write. Definitely not! I am finding lots of non-productive ways to fill my off time.
  4. I need to be more organized in my time.
  5. Being perfect is not going to happen but I can still put forth 100% effort.

So stick with me. I am just going to continue to trudge along.

*Update

I will say it is getting easier. Post ideas are flowing. Writing is not feeling like a chore. I haven’t run out of things to say and I have only used a few prompts from the prompt list I made when I first started. I’m excited to see what the next two weeks look like.

It’s not you, its me

Such a cliche right? I know but cliches are well known for a reason. It definitely fits my situation.

I have been pretty M.I.A most of the winter and spring. I usually hideout during the winter just because it’s cold and get over that post holiday hump but this year was different.

So many people had awesome things going on around me, new babies, new jobs, new houses and we didn’t have anything new happening. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing or surprising. We have been cruising in a good space for a while, we have found a good rhythm. Its hard to admit you are jealous or envious of your friends or family or coworkers. I don’t want to use the word envious or jealous because those are usually described as negative emotions. It’s more I’m happy for you and sad for me. Nobody wants that kind of energy at their birthday party, housewarming, BBQ, etc. I never want to be a Debbie Downee when I go somewhere so I just decided to stay away. That probably wasnt the best way to do it but hey we do what we know.

I know somebody who has had to watch other people around her have kids for years and she has been nothing but supportive. She is older than me so maybe it takes years to grow to that level of maturity. I admire that because I definitely couldn’t do it. I am not there yet but I’m working on it. God is making it more and more uncomfortable to be in this box. I haven’t been to a baby shower in years but now the people having babies are getting closer and closer to me. No choice but to go. I’m also trying to grow. I know I should be doing better, it is just hard.

The next time you haven’t heard from someone you care about in a while, reach out. I appreciate all the invites I got even though I wasn’t going.

The biggest reason now that’s holding me back from jumping back into the fray of where I used to hang out is because I don’t want to explain what I have been doing or why I wasn’t around.

That’s probably selfish of me. Would you feel like you wanted an explanation? Would you accept its not you, it’s me?

Brave Vessel

This weekend was the annual women’s retreat at my church. Even though I have been a member for over 10 years, this is the first one I have attended. I didn’t know what to expect and I was nervous about going. I went for a lot of reason but I didn’t really have any expectations. The theme for the weekend is Brave Vessel based on Proverbs 28:1.

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As I sit here and try to explain all the things going through my head, I can’t. I may still be too close to it since we just ended this afternoon and we still have the sermon to go tomorrow. I know I am tired from the lock-in the night before. I am just in awe of how God spoke to me that I need some time to unpack everything that I experienced.

Do the right thing

Do you do the right thing just because its the right thing? Is that a bad thing?

I have always tried to do the right thing because it was right even when I didn’t want to do it, sometimes to my own detriment. Interestingly enough I never want somebody to do something for me if they don’t want to do it. I feel intentions matter and if you’re heart isn’t in, don’t do it for me.

In Sunday school we talked about doing the right thing because it’s right and my friend said its like by building muscle memory. The more you do it the better you grow and develop that muscle. I hadn’t thought about it that way before. The more you do something the more you want to do it. Which makes good sense. Joyce Meyer says the mark of spiritual growth is sometimes doing things you don’t want to do. I appreciate that and I am working on it.

I remember when I first started going to Sunday school I didn’t want to go. I only went because the teacher asked me like three times to go. I went and I did enjoy it and I have been going since he invited me, almost 2 months ago.

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That’s the thing with doing what’s right even when you don’t want to, God will change your desires to match his desires. If you are continuously doing something and you still don’t like it and it has been a few months, pray about it. Even though God is more concerned with our character than comfort, he doesn’t want us to be miserable. If you are not growing in a situation then it may be time to reevaluate.

I talked about doing the right thing even when you don’t want in my post WWJD. In that post it was more about doing the right thing when somebody is being reckless and you decide to be the bigger person. In the situation I’m referencing now, I am thinking more about going to church when you don’t feel like it, volunteering, going to baby shower/retirement party/social activity when you don’t want to, visiting your grandma, things like that. Sometimes it is good to push outside your comfort zone because things are usually worse in our heads than in real life. You may even get there, enjoy yourself and want to do it more often.

What are you feeding your soul?

What you feed your soul is just as important as what you put in your body.

  • Poison- Things that will kill you such as self defeating thoughts.
  • Junk food-stuff on tv, no nutritional value, making your spiritually fat
  • super food-bible

Most people genuinely try to eat healthy, whether its organic, vegan, more water, shopping at Whole Foods and Trader Joes, etc. You probably are fairly diligent in your exercise program. Making sure you hit the gym a few times a week or do some type of physical activity. However,are you that diligent about what you are putting in your soul? I would hope so, but I don’t always think that is the case. If you only talk to God on Sunday at church then your spiritual diet is probably a little junk food heavy.

If the only time you pray is over your food or when you are in deep trouble then you may want to make some modifications. You don’t want your spiritual diet to make your soul sluggish. You may not be able to hear God because you have a bunch of things in the way.

Do you ever listen to inspirational or gospel music? Or is it secular music all the time? Nothing wrong with secular music. I enjoy a trap beat as much as the next person but with any diet, it needs to be balanced. You can’t just eat Flaming Hot Cheetos and never have carrots. You should try to balance your secular music with some inspirational music. What are you watching on tv? Is it a steady diet of “reality tv?” Fistfights, drink tossing and love triangles? If so, maybe limit how much of that you are taking in. I enjoy escaping into fantasy, especially after a long work week but I caution that from being the only thing you watch.

priority

Just like a diet is a lifestyle change, your spiritual diet should be one too. Just like you always keep a few staples in your diet, there should be some staples in your spiritual diet. Those staples include a quiet time with God, bible reading/studying, and prayer. I would say those are three main things you need to grow your relationship with God. I try to do those things before I go to work in the morning and before I go to bed at night so I am covered in my comings and my going. It doesn’t have to be anything formal or intense. There are a lot plans you can find that will give you structure to your quiet time. I try to do 15 minutes before work and 30 minutes when I get home. I have my quiet time before I turn my tv on when I get off. I want God to know that he is a priority in my life. There is always time to make changes and adjustments. God sees your heart. No matter how big or small, just get started.

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