“Coming To a Theater Near You”: Do You Have Too Much Drama?

downloadWhen I was in high school I used to come home every day with my friend to find our mothers clinging to the television set. It was time for the latest version of a very popular soap opera. I have to admit that I also got just as hooked on the drama as our mothers were. Pleas for something we perceived we needed were met with “Shhhh, after the show”! I suppose there is something intriguing about the suspense of not knowing what will happen next and having to wait to find out the next day, or even worse, after the weekend.

The drama would consist of anything from some romantic interlude, to someone finding out they had a terminal illness. I’m still not sure if the main draw to those types of programs is the plot themselves or if they just take us out of our own real life drama. Actually when things are hard in life, I don’t mind focusing on something else for awhile, but there are only so many scenarios that can happen to soap opera characters. After awhile it gets kind of old to hear about the same issues over and over again, only with different people. It got to the point where I would wonder, “Whose turn is it for an affair this time”? Then what made the whole thing even more interesting were the conversations about the lives of the characters outside of the program. Its almost like we talked about them as if they were really living around us and we knew them. “Did you hear what happened to Susan the other day”?

Its kind of strange how we can find those situations so interesting when they are portrayed in a dramatic presentation on TV, but they are not quite as fun when they happen to us in real life. How many times have we watched a sitcom and witnessed a couple having a knock down drag out argument and laugh at the comments they make? The irony is if they were our real life issues they sure would not be as funny. (Probably not funny at all).

Real life drama is draining. Take the issues off of the television set and put them in our lives and they become heartache and hardship. Have you ever had that one friend who seems to dramatize everything that happens to her in life? The one who has to reenact every single scene with you over a cup of coffee? Basically the way I look at this is when a person shovels out drama about their lives, they are only gossiping about themselves. The whole thing is really defeating and quite draining. I’m not referring to when we need to discuss life situations with treasured friends. We need to share one another’s lives in a safe and secure environment. I mean when drama becomes so addicting that we can almost hear the suspense music in the background when someone discusses their latest real life screen play. I used to know someone who would tell me her latest life’s dramatic events only to move on to another fellow friend and repeat the whole thing to her as well. Unfortunately it did not even stop there. There is not much that is as defeating or exhausting as reenacting our own soap opera to a real life audience over and over again, accept maybe hearing it. Again, this excludes devoted friendships where our listening ears are more important than any amount of gold on this earth. I personally have been given emotional healing just having good friends hear my heart. I can thank them for my secured sanity.

But when life is taken over by the discussing of dramatic events surrounding us, we miss so much of the things God wants for us. I’m not sure what makes creating drama so interesting. It might be the need for attention of some sort. Unfortunately the type of attention is not the healthy kind. It’s almost like when a child acts out to get a parents discipline for attention. There are a whole lot easier ways to go about getting the things that meet out needs. I think creating drama is right up there in the devils workshop with being idle in life.

If you really want to be empowered, make your life a drama free zone. We are only given so many minutes in every day. Lets make every one of them a quality moment! If this does not seem possible maybe becoming a real actress is your main calling! Otherwise, go for the things in life that make it worth living, like giving to others, being a good friend, helping others feel more secure, or just plain enjoy the wonders of the world we have been gifted with!

Drama free,

Pastor Jenine Marie Howry

Jenine Marie Coaching

http://jeninemarie.com

** Photo credit: HealthUsNews.com

In Your Defense: Have You Been Wronged?

Rev Jenine MarieI’ve been thinking a lot lately about what happens when others do us wrong. I think if you live on this planet you have been in that situation a time or two (or maybe more). We can be so strong while getting through hard things in life but our hearts still can be so very fragile. It’s hard to even explain why we are that way. Have you ever tried to just get over something to find that it almost feels impossible? I am talking about a situation where you have confronted the issue, given it to God, written in your journal, meditated on solutions, went to hypnotherapy, talked to well meaning friends, got your hugs from family members, or cried your last tear. If the issue has been devastating enough you have probably tripled this list of things you have done to get over it all and let it go. Maybe you have even worked on forgiveness, which is the most honorable thing to do. It can be hard though. I completely understand.

Sometimes I think to myself, “If only that person would be sorry for what they did”. Or maybe, “Things would feel better if that employer got what is coming to them”. These are things that might never happen or it might just take a long time. Going to God and forgiving and asking Him to take the pain, heal it, and help us to move on, is a great solution. I know people though, and I know we take back everything we give to Him and go just “one more time around the same old mountain”. This does not happen every time but it happens a lot. What is it that keeps us tied to situations that were devastatingly hard on us or we were really given the short end of the stick? What about that love relationship that ended up to be nothing you thought it would and your heart was ripped to pieces?

I took some time to pray and ask God what would have made some situations I had in my life a little easier to get over. I really had to dig into the spirit a bit to figure out what would have made things better during those hard moments. Certainly talking to those who care has always helped. There is no treasure in life quite like a good and compassionate friend who will listen and love us through our words and our hurts. Yet, there was something else that came to me that I know really helps when situations are hard to let go of. I came to this conclusion:

When people let us down and do very mean things to us it really helps if someone wisely stands up and defends us.

Of course this can’t occur in every situation, but for those that it can happen for it really is healing when others give us a defense. I worked at a commercial bank a long time ago and my manager really was putting the stress on me. I had to walk away from my job and my life suffered because of it. I move onward but it really bothered me every day because I felt no one understood. Then a phone call came one day and I was told that a co-worker came to my defense before management. She made her case so well that everything that came against me was revealed. I never went back to that employer but I healed a great deal that day! What really made a huge difference is someone came to my defense, and truth was aired out! The truth always sets people free!  I know God had a huge hand in that one because the whole burden lifted from me immediately!

If you ever want to really heal someone who has endured something very hard, then stand up for their character, and tell the truth about them. Defense is something that is so very Godly and so very healing. You need to be brave and also wise as well. First make sure it is a can of worms that should be opened and it won’t cause more issues for the person you are defending. If you can, get their permission first. We need to be wise stewards of our loved ones situations and confidential information. I guarantee you though, if done right, you will be a breath of fresh air for someone who has been really harmed in life. God defends us as His children. He knows he whole truth about every situation. His word says to see wrong doing and do nothing is to condone it. Keep in mind that sometimes being a good listening ear is the door way to  a great healing for someone. Yet, there are times, if we are given the green light, when defense is a real healer and brings a settling into a hurting person that helps them move on with life.

Can you think of times when you wish you had someone to defend you when done wrong? I pray GOD Himself will be your defense, but that He will also send someone special to be your “defense attorney” in that situation as well. We all need a solution that settles our hearts and lives. I hope for you freedom and also opportunities to be the liberator!

In Your Defense,

Pastor Jenine Marie Howry

Jenine Marie Coaching

http://jeninemarie.com

 

 

 

Throw Out the Trash! (This Has a Surprise)!

cover1009-photohedI never knew how much junk a person could accumulate until I was faced with the task of moving it. I mean, how can one person collect so much stuff in such a little time? One time I sat down and counted how many times I had moved in my whole life, and I think the resounding number came to 27. Can you believe that? Who moves 27 times in their lifetime? Sometimes I think God wanted me to move just so I would sort through my things. I always seem to think I will need it one day or I might use something again. This might be true, but in all honesty, if a person does not touch something for at least a year it is not worth saving. Not to mention someone else might need what we don’t. Not everything is valuable stuff though. Sometimes its just added unneeded weight that will ultimately make a move a nightmare. Why do we save things so easily anyway? I mean, we really can’t take it with us, can we?

Have you ever thought about how you might be doing the same thing with life experiences and difficulties? Do you tend to hang on to a bunch of trash from the past and even the present? Don’t you wish a big old dump truck could pull up one day and just collect all of your inner trash for good? If only you could  pull it all out, gather it in a ball, dump it into a dumpster, and wave good bye as the truck drives away. That way there is no heavy load to weigh you down when you encounter the rest of life. But, it is not all that easy, is it? Just like the accumulated junk we tend to save in our homes, we also tend to save junk in our internal caves and canyons. Its only a matter of time when the mounds of stagnated emotion and experience will tend to pour out into present life. Eventually life becomes bogged down with the muck and mire from the past and God begins to call for a troop movement! Are you at that point when past garbage begins to seep through your pores so much that you can’t seem to get anywhere in life? Don’t kid yourself, it will happen if you don’t begin to sort and dump. Sometimes we tend to even get used to our past trash and we just let it sit comfy on the same couch as our present experiences. Anyone smell burning rubber? Darn it, I do! That would be your friends running in the opposite direction! Before you get your feelings in a huff here, think about it. If life is not working out so well right now, no matter what you do, maybe it is time for a little moral inventory. Believe me, it will help to clean out your life if you work on it. Here is the clincher though; you have got to want it bad enough to make the move and continue to sort and dump. How bad do you want your life to become lighter and a bit easier? Maybe you would like a fresh start. We all need that sometimes.

Let me give you some things to jump start your process.

Start with what should be the obvious. Who have you truly not forgiven? Be honest here! No one is watching accept God and He knows anyway. Now ask yourself; do you really want to drag this person into every single argument, every single missed opportunity, every single relationship, or even lack of one? Yep, UN-forgiveness can cause you to lack relationships too! Think about this; how much power do you want to give this person who is so hard to forgive? If you take inventory and realize you still drag them around then evidently you want to give them too much power. Did I hear you balk at this? Come on darlin’ you know you are holding on if you still feel a sense of anger or disruption in your mind space, not to mention your life. Dump it gal! Dump it now! How about this, write the person’s name on a piece of paper, and tell that person they are forgiven for whatever transpired between you.  Then crumple it all up and give it the royal flush! You can forgive their actions and still love the person. Although, bottom line, if they are not good for you give the spiritual wave good bye. If they were meant to be in your life, God would have them there front and center. Finalize this and repeat after me, “Dear God, I forgive _____and today I let them go into Your hands”.

How about your past mistakes? Have you forgiven yourself and let go of the things you wish you could have done better? Did you know that hanging on to your past mistakes can hinder you from achieving some of your fondest goals? Let’s get rid of that little road block right now! God wants you to be successful! Lets chip at the wall here, “Dear God  forgive me for ___________ and help me to forgive myself. I release that experience into Your hands right now”.

This is a great beginning!

If you truly want to experience the kind of freedom God ordained for you to have, then dump the trash as often as you can remember. Your life will change! Guaranteed!

From one dump along to another,

Pastor Jenine Marie Howry

http://jeninemarie.com

** Photo credit: North Coast Journal

 

 

 

 

Don’t Pass This One Up! “This is the Air You Breathe”!

Relaxed woman breathing fresh air raising arms at sunrise
Jenine Marie Coaching

 

I never thought in a million years I would end up teaching myself how to breathe properly! Not to mention, I used to actually make good money teaching women how to breathe right. Our very first action here on earth right after birth is to take a good deep breath. There is a reason for that. It brings life. One would think as an automatic function of the body it would be something we would not really have to think about. This is not so and I will explain to you why.

  1. Women spend a lifetime learning to suck in their stomach! Think about this one for a minute if you will! I’m willing to bet you have been taught to hold your stomach in because it is lady like to do so. Not only that, you have been bombarded with advertisement all of your life that tells you women should have a flat flat stomach. Am I right about this? (I’m not putting down those who have a flat stomach, that is great! I am saying it really should not be a requirement). If you have had kids like I have, it is going to take a whole lot more than just sucking in the air and tucking it all into your jeans! (Contact your fitness coach about this one!) Admit it; you have spent a lifetime learning to make sure that roll in your tummy does not exist by sucking in your stomach. Women pour themselves into clothing that causes us to have to almost turn blue. Have you ever seen those new whole upper body garments that help women make their shape look more hour glass? I think to myself, “Right, that is going to make me feel 100% great while I spring out of the house turning blue from the, “ah hem“, pressure! Honey, this has got to stop!
  2. The anxieties we attach ourselves to in this world cause us to pause our breathing way too much. So, now check this one out! Think about the next time you feel fear, anxiety, or some worry. (Heck, even when good things are happening and excitement takes over we do the same thing). What is the first thing that happens? You hold your breath or breathe very shallow! Witness this in yourself. When you get upset or anxious, just notice your breathing! It becomes shallow and sometimes you might even hold your breath all together. You know this is “truth” here and I feel you nodding!

So, work with me right here and now. Take a moment and completely exhale. Then push your tummy all the way out while slowly breathing in. Now when you exhale, slowly breathe out and then let your tummy just move out to where it is comfortable. Doesn’t that feel heavenly? This relaxes the entire body! Promise me here; for the duration of this article, keep your tummy in the relaxed position. It’s ok! I won’t tell anyone! *wink*

I’ve heard it said that it takes at least 21 days to create a habit. Just think of all of the 21 day segments that have been in your lifetime in order to create the habit of breathing too shallow, holding your breath, or sucking in your stomach until you almost have to breathe into your chest. Honey, life is stressful enough without keeping this habit. I mean, just thinking about what I’m going to make for dinner sometimes sends me over the edge! I’m not going to advocate that you work on this for a strict 21 days. If you are like me, you might not even complete it that way. But, I am asking you to try to be mindful of your breathing. You can create a new habit of breathing right.

Here are some suggestions.

While driving, remind yourself to breathe. I always tend to breathe in my chest when I am in traffic. Chest breathing or upper body breathing does not allow enough oxygen to the body and brain cells.  When you lay down to sleep or take a nap, breathe deep and then blow it out. When you wake up in the morning, let a descent breath be your first priority before your feet hit the floor. When showering breathe in and out the good steam in the shower and let it clear out your sinus cavity for the day. We live in a world filled with toxins and pollution. Let your shower time be a time for a clean body and clean air. Right in the middle of reading, writing, or paying bills, breathe deeply and slowly. Put messages on your phone and computer desktop to remember to breathe! Schedule a phone reminder to beep every hour or so and take the time to breathe right. Let your body relax into life. A life at ease is one with less stress and physical problems. If you remember just some of these suggestions you will begin a new breathing habit. Trust me in this; your body will thank you!

Pass this article on to a few of your fellow breathers. I promise you all, a little more oxygenation will bring a lot more vitality!

Inviting a breath of fresh air,

Pastor Jenine Marie Howry

http://jeninemarie.com

**Photo credit from Dollar Photo Club

 

You Were Made for This Time, So Go On and Soar!

photo 3 (4)One afternoon I had walked into a bookstore on a quest to find a book by a specific author. I bumped into someone I knew and had not seen for quite some time. I asked her, “How are you doing”? Her reply was, “Oh I am just fine, just looking around for some inspiration to read until God tells me when to work out my destiny”. At the time, I really was confused as to how to address her with this. The question came to mind, “Why wait”? I pretty much knew this type of situation before. ( I had gone through this myself). I could only assume at the moment that her destiny confused her. I can understand that feeling; been there, done that. I remember not wanting to feel bossy or like I was telling her what to do. I wanted to shout from the roof tops to stop waiting and just go ahead and do what she was created to do!

Aside from the obvious to love one another, love ourselves, and love God, there are specifics that we all have the pleasure to accomplish in this life. It is not hard to find out what those things are. We recognize them because we are absolutely “in love with them”! I remember the very first time I preached a message after I was ordained many years ago. I was so afraid inside and out. I wondered if I had anything that would make any sense, or if I was going to completely flop doing it. I did it anyway because there had been a love planted inside of me to do just that. God knows I had good education! Not only that I was accumulating life experience to add to the messages. My passion for preaching a message that was given to me was so strong that I could not help but press past any anxious nerves I had. I loved it so much!

Let me just interject to you right here and now. You have been created for a time such as this. God planted things inside of you that you love so much! Once you are honest with yourself about what those things are, there is no stopping you, and no reason to wait at all. In this world, we can think of a million things we could be doing, but the very special ones that we are passionate about will not be able to help but bring passion to others. Our glow in it will outshine any fear at all.

I’ve said this to encourage you today. If you are passionate about creating and completing a household that is welcoming and vibrant to others then do that! If you love the thought of opening a new business and always dreamed of doing it, then do it! If you were called to teach and enlighten others, then please give us the benefit of your ideas! I think you get my drift here. When it is something you are so in love with and the thought of it makes you smile from the inside out, then it is something you should be doing right now. This is YOUR time! You have God breathed life inside of you. You have gifts that only you possess and can give of in this world. We all need you, and we need you working your passion.

Don’t you see? Stepping out in what you love elevates us all. When you shine your light, you bring us all light as well. When you glow in your purpose, we all glow a little brighter because of you. Bringing more joy and life into this world is never a mistake, ever.

Rise to the occasion my eagle! You were made to soar. Block out all the resistance and negative thinking about your ability to accomplish your goals. If you love it, and God has given it to you, then you will not fail. You will make mistakes, but you will not fail.

Do you want to solidify your destiny and dream? Tell someone what it is! Speak it out as much as you can and with all the enthusiasm you can muster! Just be wise in the telling. Tell someone who you know will embrace you and who you can trust with your vision. To be blunt, don’t tell negative Nellie down the street when you know she won’t be supportive. Even more intimate, tell yourself daily. I know this sounds strange but procrastination seeps in like a boil and it will stop you if you let it. Speak to it and tell your dream it will come true. Then take one more step after another. I’ve given you the first one, now soar! If you want, you can tell me! Whatever you do, just own it my dear. The more you own it the more you will make it yours. Make sense? I hope so! I want to see you soar!

So, today, close your eyes and imagine that special “thing”. Take it to the next level. What would you do right after you tell someone what it is? One more step darlin’, that is ALL it takes! Just keep repeating that “one more step”. You’ve got this and God has granted it to you, so go girl, go!

Motivationally yours,

Pastor Jenine Marie Howry

(Yep, I love being a shepherd out in the pasture of life. That is MY passion! Do me, and yourself proud gals. You won’t regret it, ever)

http://jeninemarie.com

 

6 Reasons Why Humility Is Powerful

taolife-c_s_-lewis-humility-is-not-thinking-less-of-yourself-but-thinking-of-yourself-less_For some reason when we hear that a person is humble it almost drums up the negative view that they are weak. Not true! People who have learned how to walk in humility are some of the most powerful people there are! A prideful person might look powerful but it is really an illusion. (False Pride and being prideful is not the same as having pride in what is well done ). There is a huge difference between prideful and confident. A confident person is a humble one as well. Some of the ways that humility is powerful are these:

  1. Humility takes away false pride. It is absolutely impossible to be prideful and humble at the same time. A prideful spirit exalts itself. Humility embraces other things outside ourselves.
  2. We are in a place of more acceptance. We talked about how acceptance is a basic human need. Humility opens us up to more outside acceptance and more acceptance from God. God can not work with a prideful person but He can empower a humble one!
  3. Humility causes us to see things we normally would not see. While pride focuses on itself, humility opens us to see new things as they blossom. Do we really want to miss the blessings we could be receiving?
  4. The human heart loves to give even when we do not realize this. We are always happier when giving toward someone else and their life. Humility creates in us a cheerful giver.
  5. People who walk in more humility learn more things and become more wise in decisions. Ever try to teach a prideful person something that might help them? Its impossible! Humility opens us up to learning new empowering ways.
  6. Humility brings more success in life. Exchanging ideas and learning new things is what makes this world spin for us! A prideful person will never receive the benefit of becoming as successful as God desires our lives to be. Humility breeds success because instead of closing us off, it opens us up!

There are many more ways that humility can be powerful. One is that humility “listens” instead of closes off other opinions. Some of our greatest beauty as people is our diversity. Learning from other cultures, ideas, and opinions, is what makes this world worth living in. We are meant to grow to understand, and to understand in more depth. Our acceptance of one another does not mean we accept all ideas and opinions. It means that we powerfully embrace the hearts of others even if we can not embrace some things about them. Isn’t that what God wants for us?

 

Love Always,

Pastor Jenine Marie Howry

http://jeninemarie.com

 

6 Ways You Can Empower Yourself In Family

familyisforever11Family issues can be a bit complex. On one hand we share many similarities, and at the same time, each family member is a different individual. I’ve often been amazed in looking at my children and seeing that they have grown into people with different personalities, ideals, and opinions, and yet have been raised in the same family unit. We can share genetics, the same DNA, and still be very different. It’s part of the beauty of being among others who have separate experiences and unique personality traits.

There is nothing quite like the acceptance and security that comes from the love within a created family. Yet, often our differences can also cause a great deal of distress. I would have to say that the mass majority of family arguments simply come from different opinions. You know what they say, “Opinions are like (and I will keep this clean) noses, everyone has one”.

Empowering each other as family members is not hard but it does take some work. The extent of that work kind of depends on the depth of disagreement. If the disagreement is about something very sensitive then the work might seem a bit more intense. Usually our differences of opinion and desires are at the root of most family issues. Here are some empowering ways to propel beyond family issues.

  1. Become an active and deeper listener. Listening to understand truly eliminates the bulk part of any issue. A great deal of arguments are simply the inability to understand the others side. Many others are just misunderstandings of opposing ideas. Much of this can be remedied by active and deep listening.
  2. Put yourself in the place of the other(s). This stealthy little move might seem simple, but believe me, it is masterful! You have almost won the battle if you become the master at doing this!
  3. Be willing to examine your own ideas and ways of doing/seeing things. There is a lot to be said for stepping back and taking another look at our own ways of processing and doing things. Our ideas might be very good ones but also upon observation someone else might even have a better idea if we take a deeper look. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. Try a way different than your own. You might be surprised!
  4. Don’t assume you are automatically right. Of course you are right for yourself! Most of the time there is no right or wrong in a situation, just a difference in how it is viewed. I’ve seen more conflict just because people can’t put down the need to be right. Even if we do not agree, we can agree to disagree.
  5. Learn the art of communicating effectively. Take an emotional step back. Not everything has to be resolved right at this moment even when it feels like it should. Taking the emotion out of our communication is the first step toward empowering it. Then think before speaking. Have you ever said something, totally in the heat of a discussion, and wished you had not “gone there”? Need I say more? Once things are said they can be apologized for but they can never be taken back. Practice makes perfect in this area. What we study we become more proficient at. Learn communication skills in advance and you will thank yourself forever!
  6. Learn meditative patience. This is a new thing that I have come up with myself. It’s a kind of meditative mindfulness that begins to readjust my brain when my mouth is tempted to be out of control! It calms the emotions that are going haywire and soothes the body while processing them. It’s a way of calming the “beast” within. Don’t shake your head like you have no beast within! Envision something that is beautiful and peaceful to you, breathe in slowly through your nose and then force the air out quickly through your mouth. (This instantly relaxes the body. If it does not work the first time, then do it as many times as you need). You can add your favorite scripture, affirmation, or saying. Remember, practice makes perfect here. Don’t expect to do it completely effectively the first time around. Exercise patience upon yourself!

Remember the love part above all else! We are only given one family so don’t wait to appreciate it until life becomes difficult. Appreciate it all now while you can. It might not seem like it to you at the moment, but life has a way of moving along pretty quickly. Life is too short to live with regrets. Do the work now and reap the benefits and blessings of an empowered family!

Love,

Rev. Jenine Marie Howry

** Photo credit: http://www.mh-graphix.com

 

Advantages of a Highly Sensitive Person

sensitive-people-300x300Have you ever had someone say to you, “You are being so sensitive”, or ” You are just too sensitive of a person”? It almost sounds like an insult, doesn’t it? It’s like being sensitive is a bad thing to be. In all honesty it really is not all that bad. Personally, I think if I had the choice I would rather be around a sensitive person than one who is insensitive. If you are one of the many highly sensitive people in this world, you have some great advantages to celebrate!

Advantages of Highly Sensitive People

  1. Good things that happen in life are experienced with more depth and can be even more euphoric.
  2. Sensitive people are more aware of things surrounding them and therefore can be more cautious.
  3. Laughter and joy can be even more intense and experienced more often and longer.
  4. All things mystical and spiritual are much more magnified and experienced more profoundly.
  5. Compassion and humility come more easily.
  6. Sensitive thinkers can more readily see things from more than one angle; like both sides of a story or argument.
  7. Service to humanity is more profound.
  8. Love of life is deeper.
  9. Sensitive people can be more intuitive in decisions and wise in thinking.
  10. A stronger appreciation for nature and all things created.

 

Some Disadvantages

Of course, along with anything, there are some disadvantages to look out for. Very sensitive people can be more emotional in a difficult way, respond to bad things more easily, become hurt more easily, can tend to take things out of context and overreact to things done to them or around them.

Learning the lifelong lesson of processing difficult things more slowly is the best remedy for the sensitive at heart. Keep in mind, your sensitivity is a gift to yourself and this world. There is no need for you to change, just work on tempering down overreactions. Remember to act and not react! This means learning the value of taking a meditative pause before acting or answering.

Sensitively Yours,

Rev. Jenine Marie Howry

**Photo credit , powerofpositivity.com

Acceptance vs. Judgement

8902765-Two-beautiful-women-having-conversation-drinking-coffee-and-sitting-on-couch-home-Stock-PhotoI remember sitting in a restaurant one afternoon and happened to overhear a conversation going on at the next table. One woman was telling another, “I really don’t care what people think of me, or if they even like me”. She definitely had a tone that carried an attitude with the statement. I smiled to myself at that moment because I knew that I had thought, and even said, the very same thing at one time or another. Usually we say this when there is some sense of lack of acceptance or scorn as to what we do or have done.

Bitterness aside, we tend to lie to ourselves when we make a statement like this. We all know that a basic human need is to be accepted, and it is totally alright to admit we have this as a need in life. Acceptance tends to be blended in with how we feel we are loved and looked upon by others. Our lives were never intended to be lived as an island without those who love, accept, and care for us. In fact to be without the acceptance and love from people we are basically dead or dying from the inside out.

We all like to know that we have value placed upon us by others. We should know we have tremendous value placed upon us and within us by God. We all need a reminder that acceptance is a gift both to receive and to give. We totally cause people to live when we give them unconditional acceptance in life.

The biggest deterrent to acceptance is judgement. (Something none of us are truly qualified to do). We tend to judge quite often, though. It is easy to do when we are filled with so many different opinions, ideas, and beliefs. Sometimes we forget that we can reject an action or belief and still accept the person. I’m inclined to believe this is the high road to take. I know it can be easier said than done.  A person is a being of many facets and an accumulation of many life experiences. Surely there can be one or even two things one can like or accept about most people. This does not mean we keep the door open wide for each individual to share our more personal life. Discernment in whom we completely relate to as friends and loved ones can go a long way. Still, this does not keep us from showing all others that they are accepted for their strengths and things that we aspire to as well. We tend to attract to us those we are most like anyway.

It is easier to accept the lives of others when we examine our own need for the same thing. As the Bible says, we really should “do unto others as we would want done to ourselves”. It is always nice to have someone in life who will counteract the lie when we say we don’t care what others think of us or say about us. We really really do care. Maybe as a gift to our empowerment process as women, and as people, we need to think of someone everyday and tell them how accepted they are and for what reasons. Complimenting a person’s attributes can be a very empowering thing.

Can I give you the challenge right now to accept something you like about someone whom you tend to not think highly of? Take a moment, close your eyes, think of that person. Tell yourself, “Instead of judging this person for what I don’t like about them, I am going to accept the great things that I do like about them”. I’m willing to bet your attitude will change about them. Again, this does not mean you need to let someone into your life who will come in and just wreak havoc. I have had to let people go in my life who do this sort of thing. Life comes with enough drama to invite more. Living in chaos is not worth the ride.

But, acceptance in the heart can go a long way in helping us all be a little kinder to one another and to judge less. Do you agree? In the mean time, pray about that times you say that you really don’t care what others think of you and what that really means. You probably need some sort of healing for a wound, or there can be something you are not accepting about yourself!

Acceptingly Yours,

Rev Jenine Marie Howry

http://jeninemarie.com

**Photo credit from www.123rf.com

 

Accept and Empower “The Divorced”

1747132-broken-wedding-rings-in-divorceThis morning I was sipping on my usual cup of coffee just beginning my day as consciously as I can, when I stumbled upon an article, “What the Divorced Christian Wants You to Know”.

As I read the article an old familiar road block started to take over my insides as I reflected with an agreeing nod upon my own past experience as a divorced woman. Divorce is a hard thing to experience in this life. No one that I have ever met goes into a marriage with a conscious decision to someday divorce. Most women have high hopes for love, security, sense of family, and dedication. We are created in this world with the instinct to “couple”, and I believe that instinct is in all women whether that life choice is made or not.

I remember a time when I was seeking my first ordination and my admittance to seminary. I was very passionate about seeking and serving the God I have come to love and respect. The task was not as easy as I thought it would be in light of the belief I held that everyone should have the opportunity to serve God. Much to my dismay I learned that “I was divorced” by many organizations not to mention I was a divorced “woman”. I was coming up against a double hitter of rejection there. I did eventually find a ministerial organization who took me in as a divorced woman and gave me the blessing of theological education and also ordination. An opportunity to marry my Lord in an official way was not one I took lightly divorced or not. The situation begged to answer the question, “Am I less worthy to serve God because I am divorced”? This is not just an isolated incident. Later on in life when I was seeking my Master’s Degree in Christian counseling I was also rejected by a Christian university for the same reason.

Allow me to enlighten any of you who really desire to know about divorce and the process. Not only do we not go into a marriage with the idea of divorce on our minds, but who on earth would even purposely want that grief? Divorce is a loss and a very deep grief, no matter how much we might feel we need the process at the time. A divorced woman (or any person for that matter) has been grieving all along. A marriage does not just end, it has been in a process of ending. The process of coming to the final decision of divorce is a very difficult one. Then after all is said and done there is a grief period afterward as well. We allow grief time for most losses in this world but not many recognize the grief process in divorce. We grieve not just the marriage, but connected family, future possibilities, and also our hopes and dreams we have worked hard for. It is a severing of the physical things in this world and the soulful.

I’ve said all of this to state, “please be compassionate to the divorced woman”. For heaven’s sake, accept her and empower her to continue and finish strong. If you have never experienced divorce, kudos to you! What a blessing to never have to endure the grieving and loss that divorce causes. If you can’t empower her, at least give her the benefit of the doubt. No one ever knows the inner workings of another person’s relationship. That divorced woman in front of you might have endured severe abuse. Do we really want to abuse her more by rejecting her? I hope not. Don’t deny her the ability to better herself, but in fact, give to her a hand up in this world. She does not want your pity either. Offer her your compassion instead. I know whomever she is, she will love you for it!

 

Em-powerfully Yours,

Rev Jenine Marie Howry

“A divorced, and remarried, empowered woman”

 

**Image found on www.colourbox.com