Tuesday, July 26, 2011

What the Scale Doesn't Say (part two...sort of)

One of my sista/girl friends emailed this to me earlier. The subject of her message was "This could help us tremendously with our Weight Loss Goals." In the body of the message she wrote, The correct way to weigh yourself:

I think she might be on to something...

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Monday, July 25, 2011

Monday Morning Reflections...

I know most people don't care for Monday mornings, but I have to admit, I absolutely LOVE Monday mornings. Perhaps it is because my week flows a bit differently than most, so Monday mornings are usually a time for a wee bit more rest, a burst of domestic energy (vacuuming, anyone?), and a renewed commitment to my goals (spiritual, vocational, physical, etc.). Plus, Monday functions in some ways as my official Sabbath, so I usually plan to do something nice for myself on Monday. So, what's on for today, you ask?

On this particular Monday, I plan to lounge at the pool before the impending rain makes its appearance, get a mani/pedi (these yellow toes are NOT working for me, though they seemed like a good idea two weeks ago), and create a vision board.

It dawned on me last week, as I taught a digital art class during our Vacation Bible School, that my feelings of purposelessness and stagnation are a direct result of my creativity being put on a shelf and being unclear about where God is leading me and what I desire in my life. Last week I had energy, on the inside and out, that was amazing (even with over 100 screaming children running around). Being with the children reminded me that my creativity is important, that I LOVE being in the classroom, and that there is so much that God has in store for me to be and achieve.

Back to vision boards. I created my first vision board when I was living in DC. They are simple to create. All you need is paper/poster board, a glue stick, some magazine, and--for me--my Bible, some good music, and the capacity to be unafraid of my dreams. Oh yeah, a pair of scissors can be helpful, but they aren't necessary.

I can recall the last vision boards I created. I made five of them, each four by six inches in size. One simply had the word "love" pasted all over it from different sources and included the words of the Apostle Paul found in 1 Corinthians 13. The second had the phrase, "something beautiful is about to happen" juxtaposed next to a recent picture of me. Another had an image of my five-year old, sassy self, surrounded by words about strength, courage, and the power of using my voice. Honestly, I cannot remember the others, but I do know that there was something affirming and motivating about seeing those vision boards hung on my wall. Sometimes I would stand in front of them, intently listening to what they had to say to me. Other times, they would whisper sweet somethings to my soul, gently encouraging me to be the woman that God created me to be.

The prophet Habakuk was given these instructions from God:
“Write down the revelation
and make it plain on tablets
so that a herald may run with it.
For the revelation awaits an appointed time;
it speaks of the end
and will not prove false.
Though it linger, wait for it;
it will certainly come
and will not delay. (Habakuk 2:2-3)

Creating a vision board is my way of writing the revelation/vision for my life. I must tell you, my vision boards have evolved over the years. My first board, some ten or so years ago, had an image of a big sparkly wedding ring, some luxury car, and dollar signs. As I've matured, they have included less of the stuff of life, and more of the qualities and characteristics I desire for my life. I traded a ring for righteousness, bling for beauty, and a car for compassion.

During the periods of winter--when the vision is growing out of sight--the vision board reminds me that a seed has been planted. Memory and speech have tremendous power. So much so, that I have taken to writing my name "Reverend Dr. Donna Olivia" in as many places as I can. I may not have the PhD yet (part of the vision), but seeing my name written in such a way pushes me to press through the application process, to trust God with the language requirements, and to make all that I pray/say/do/think part of getting me to that place. Don't get me wrong, a doctorate degree can be understood as part of the stuff of life--a degree that comes with the trappings of status and privilege--but for me it is less about the title and more about the places the title affords me access to, namely the hallowed halls of the academy where I hope to teach in a way that impacts the witness and growth of Christ's church.

My question for you, dear readers, is: Do you have a vision for your life?
If so, is that vision inspired/breathed by God? Have your written/drawn/painted the vision? Is it in plain sight?
If not, why not? Are you afraid to dream? Have you listened for God's voice concerning your life's path?

I would encourage you to create some kind of vision board. It can be as simple as a list and as elaborate as a poster...but do it, and put it somewhere where you can see...

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Think on These Things...

A quotation from my latest read, Anonymous: Jesus' Hidden Years and Yours by Alicia Britt Chloe...
Life does not sleep—though in winter she retracts all advertisement. And when she does so, she is conserving and preparing for the future. And so it is with us. Seasonally, we too are stripped of visible fruit. Our giftings are hidden; our abilities are underestimated. When previous successes fade and current efforts falter, we can easily mistake our fruitlessness for failure. But such is the rhythm of spiritual life: new growth, fruitfulness, transition, rest . . . new growth, fruitfulness, transition, rest. Abundance may make us feel more productive, but perhaps emptiness has greater power to strengthen our souls.

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