Choices We Make That Empower Us

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I entitled this blog post the way it is because I was thinking about choices this morning. My meditative practice was harder than usual because I had so many things swirling around in my brain. As it settled, some interesting thoughts came to me. Even though I don’t believe anyone should live in the past, I do believe the past has lessons we can still learn and sometimes those lessons even define who we eventually are.

A long time ago I worked for a commercial bank called Bay Bank of Commerce in San Leandro, CA. I think the years were somewhere around 1982. I was a single mother with one small son at the time. I loved that bank. I loved the way I was treated by those who founded it and those who appreciated me as a young professional. I have to thank the CEO and founder @DickKahler for the opportunity I was given. I was only there maybe close to 2 years, and worked in the commercial real estate loan processing department. Unfortunately, one person who worked above me gave me a very difficult time during a pregnancy that was pretty delicate. After some careful consideration I had to quit my job there.

No way had that move ever reflected on the wonderful way that commercial bank was built or how business was executed. I knew I had the finest of the best in the business. Yet, I had to stand up for myself due to one person’s treatment. I was a pretty shy and very unassuming person at the time. I have to say, quitting without another job to hang onto was not an easy prospect. It really took a lot of faith. Actually, it built my faith.

I went on to build a family, was married and then divorced. For many years I raised five children on my own with no real help from anyone. After consulting with a superior court family judge, I decided to educate myself. Her advice was straight on for me. Judge Chew, wherever you are, I LOVE YOU! I started at the community college level but that was only the beginning. My education took me to places I never thought I would be.

I was accepted by a pilot program through Stanford University in California. I studied with students from various places on the globe. I did some of my trans-personal/spiritual internship at Mt Madonna, CA. I graduated with a liberal arts degree with emphasis on psychology and human behavior through Southern New Hampshire University. I have three degrees in theological study leading to a Master’s from Grand Canyon University along with 3 years of Clinical Psychology study, and a Doctorate from the University of Sedona. I am excited to have studied in classes conducted by Harvard University. I also have learned from some wonderful spiritual, philosophical teachers from Daytona Beach, Boca Raton, and Miami, Florida. Much of my study led to certifications in Life Coaching, Trans-personal Counseling, Holistic Healing, and Hypnotherapy. Yes, I have a lot of education!

I was surprisingly privileged to conduct a class, a church service, and speak before some of our country’s leaders during one of the dedication moments near Arlington Cemetery on Memorial Day weekend. I was honored to be the Pastor of two small group churches, speak in local places of worship, and now I meet the most amazing people on earth that I call “my clients.”

My major point here is that one move to step into my own personal power, along with the power of God, created who I am today. I am assertive in ways I never would have been had it not occurred. It might seem simple and small, but it created a domino affect of so much more than I could have ever dreamed of. In fact, it changed my life. Over the course of time I have made good decisions and not so good. Fact remains that one step of empowerment made all of the difference in the world.

Don’t ever underestimate your own power to make decisions that could define the rest of your life. Step into it. Yes, you might step into some thick mud but lotus flowers bloom in thick mud, and so can you!

Loving you from here,

Dr Jenine Marie Howry, PhD

832-484-8306

Jenine Marie Coaching and Ministries, LLC 

**Special thank you to @DickKahler, @BayBankofCommerce (Sad to say the bank is now closed)

Keep Your Well Clean: Choosing Empowering People!

I’d like to start of this post by asking you an important question. “How many years do you photo 3 (4)have in this life”? I know it’s an unfair question because obviously none of us really know the answer. We can assume we know but we really don’t. Alright, how about a more fair question? “How much of your time on this earth are you willing to waste”? This is a question answered according to personal choice. Most people would answer “none”. Although, we do waste time sometimes here on earth, don’t we? Since this post is about choosing empowering people in our lives, you can see why I asked that question. I had to set the tone for the importance of this subject. None of us really want to waste any precious moments on energy draining associations. Life is important and your success is important, isn’t it?

This is what the Bible says about giving in to the wrong type of people in life:

Proverbs 25:26The Message (MSG)

26 “A good person who gives in to a bad person
    is a muddied spring, a polluted well”.

Now you know why part of my title is about keeping your well clean. This one is real cut and dry, so I am not sure why we tend to choose to stay around those who are not good for us. Our lives are way too important and our time is way too precious to waste around those who do not empower us but bring us downward.

Here are some examples of empowering people. Maybe you can come up with a few of your own as well. Empowering people are those who:

Want the best for you whether you are doing well or not.

Want the best for you whether you are friends or not.

Will edify you to stay strong in the right things and in the right ways.

Will honor what you pursue and will honor your life lessons.

Will keep your struggles confidential when you need a lift or to be strengthened.

Will honor your faith, beliefs, and pursuits, knowing that your life choices are your own.

Will speak the truth to you even when it is hard to hear because they want the best for you.

Will empower you in relationship with them instead of bring your life downward.

Will celebrate your successes with true joy and admiration.

Will energetically support you and not drain you.

Will honestly and thoughtfully pray for your life and for good things to come for you.

Will not undermine you or the relationship connections that are a part of you by spreading gossip, drama, or create havoc in your life.

If you have people in your life who embody these things, do not let them go! If there are those who fall very short of these things, well, you read the proverb. It is really best to let them go. Of course, people can be redeemed. We forgive them. If they truly have changed then there is no reason not to empower them with your forgiving friendship, but if they have not changed, the only thing to do is let them go.  We should trust people, but I want you to be wise as to whom you do choose to trust. Not everyone in this world is worthy of the trust you give to them. Yes, it is very sad, but it is the truth. Since I want to be an empowering person for you, let me offer you this prayer:

Father God, I will not waste time in my life by allowing those into it who disempower me. I only draw toward me those who will be supportive of an empowered life. I know “if two can not agree they can not walk together”, so therefore, I have only those in my life who agree to be supportive of my life’s choices and who value me as a person. In Jesus’ powerful name and heart. amen!

(Dedicated to those who uplift me, empower me, love me, and want the best for me. Thank you for being respectful of my precious time, breath, and life. )

Empoweringly, (Is that a word? LOL )

Pastor Jenine Marie Howry

Jenine Marie Coaching

Don’t Be a Doormat: Speak Your Truth To Someone

no-bullying-signs-rightJust recently I read another bloggers article about bullying. It is one of a few I have happened to see as of late. Clearly there is a theme going on lately. I’m not sure why this is but some women seem to believe it is powerful to overpower another woman and make them seem “less than”. Before you write this off as complaining, negative, or even petty, consider the people who have taken their own lives because of others unfeeling acts toward them. I wish I could take the time to look up the statistics for you but I don’t want to make this longer than it should be. Please do an online search on the subject if this peaks your interest.

I know what it feels like to be treated disrespectfully by other girls/women. I’ve had the experience in grammar school, middle school, high school, in the work place, and in the ministry.  For a long time I thought something was wrong with me. It took me awhile to come to the conclusion that it was not me who was the one who had something wrong with them. I’ve seen every tactic in the book. There is the “obvious backstab” when someone makes sure they are in a place you can hear or see them and then they will lean over and whisper into someone’s ear while looking right at you. Then with some planting of a few rumors it doubles the affect for sure. There is the obvious bully who will exert their aggression upon someone else in order to intimidate them into giving some sort of power over to the evil of another. Fear is a huge controller. If someone can get you into fear then they have a huge grip on your life. (Please pray against the spirit of fear. You have control of this in Christ Jesus!) We have what I call “the sympathizer” who will go to the person you love the most and try to gain their affections while trying to make you look like a total fool. This one is a sly one because they get you upset at what they do and then tell your loved one, “See, obviously she is out of control, emotionally unstable, ridiculously wrong, or completely petty”. There are more tactics but I think you get the point.

I think one of the more devastating ones for me was when a so called “friend” began to offer prayer requests concerning me in a church  prayer group. By the time I heard about them it was out of control, filled with a lot of partial truths, and out right lies. I walked out when I heard it preached over the pulpit. It took me a long time to get over that one. Please don’t take this as being judgmental or as trying to make others look bad. Someone has to talk about the hard stuff. I’m not trying to foster negativity. I’m trying to be educational, empowering, and hopefully a voice for some good change. Sometimes positive change happens when a tough stand is taken. We need those who are willing to open up the can of worms, and risk exposure of their stuff. Sometimes we can save someone a lot of heartache and sometimes we might even save their life. Since lives are important, then why not open the can of worms and sift through the soil?

When I was having a situation ongoing in grammar school I confided in my 4th grade teacher, Mrs. Hart. (Yes her name was Hart!) I was so distraught about what was going on. I was not sleeping well, was always upset, and was too shy to handle it myself. She looked at me and told me, “Don’t ever put up with something like that. Please come and tell me and I will take care of it”. Then she advised me to not be around that person and group she was playing with. Dang, I loved that woman! “Thank you Mrs. Hart”.

I wish I had the ability to handle it myself but at the time I did not. Mrs. Hart was my go-to person when I needed defense. We need that in our lives! Women, hear me. Please empower one another!

Whatever you do, don’t succumb to being a doormat by allowing others to walk all over you. Please speak your truth. If you can’t do this in a safe way, then find someone who will stand with you, or even many who will. If you see someone being treated unfairly ask first if they need help before stepping in. Not every situation is safe to intervene. Ask God for wisdom as to how to handle things. While you are mulling these things over, don’t ever feel bad for expressing yourself when something or someone is bothering you. It takes courage to swim against difficult waters. Don’t allow the water to overtake you. There are more people who care than you think!

(A huge thank you to those who have recently brought up this subject again. I love your voices and we all deserve to be heard!)

If you are being bullied or messed with by someone. Let me pray for you here:

Dear Lord, I ask for Your divine protection for my sister in need. Please comfort her, and show her how much she is loved. Send her those she can count on, confide in, and will give strength to her. Empower her with Your Holy Spirit and give her the wisdom and courage to handle the situation she finds herself in. Thank You Jesus for loving my sister, Your daughter, and created treasure.

Dear God, I proclaim the name and heart of our Lord Jesus Christ to cast out spirits of fear and intimidation. Dear Jesus, rise up and set a standard for Your people and bring change to the hearts of those who do evil to others. Thank You for loving us! Amen.

Pastor Jenine Marie Howry

“Doormat no more”

Jenine Marie Coaching

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

 

Know Where Your Power is Woman!

ID-100272832I’ve heard it often stated that God is a mystery. I have no doubt that the statement is very true. Not all things about God are a mystery though. Some things are very revealed if we choose to look for them. He tells us to seek Him, to ask Him, and to come before Him. He would never say these things unless He plans on revealing, giving, and blessing.

One of the more powerful places to seek God is within ourselves. We are made in His image which means all of the things that He is, we also have inside of us. The wonders of His love, joy, and passion, are all held deep inside and ready to be activated when we are ready to do so. Our nature is God’s spiritual nature.

In the beginning God created, so we also create with imagination, and dreaming, within our choices and our belief. His desire is to work through us for our benefit and to benefit others through us all. We were a thought in His expansive mind before He spoke us into existence and He still speaks to us today in very powerful ways.

We often believe that God is  outside of us, causing us to only reach outward. There also is a part of Him that lives inside of us and is accessible with every breath we take. This is the place He whispers, gives us vision, and reminds us of who we are. When we make this shift in our focus and see Him inside of us we can use that belief, faith, and understanding to also walk in His power.

I want you to know beloved, that He wants to show you this! He desires to show you that you are His and can bring about miracles in Him! You were created for such a time as this, and through God’s great imagination and creativity, you were made to be powerful on this earth! I challenge you today woman, to arise into the powerful place you hold on the planet. God has blessed you with this ability, so please do it with joy!

Seek Him, with deep innocent awe, and know that you are His daughter, with whom He is well pleased. He dances joyfully over you, inside of you, and if you choose to believe, He will work miracles through you!

 

Sincerely Yours,

Rev Jenine Marie Howry