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Hurt People Hurt People by Sandra Wilson

I read this book during my graduate work, but trust me it is an easy read mainly because we can all relate.  If you are looking to gain some answers and understanding as to why people continue to bleed from the pains of the past – pick up this book today.

Do you think crying is a sign of weakness or a strength?

Please weigh in your thoughts to this often silently pondered question.  I will share my thoughts at the end of the week.

Thanks, I enjoy interacting with you all!

File a Restraining Order

Today’s post is connected to this week’s Question of the week: If you had a friend who spoke to you in the same way that you sometimes speak to yourself, how long would you allow this person to be your friend?

My son is one of the most creative, funniest, left of center, out-of-the-box thinkers that I know.  And I seriously do not say that because he is mine, anyone who knows him would say that same.

  Which brings me to this little gem I found in his backpack: letter2c

Yes, you read that correctly, he wrote (and served) a restraining order!  He’s in middle school and the son of a therapist, so maybe that gives a little explanation as to how he came up with this? lol! (Though I absolutely take zero credit :))  Raising Isaiah has been a wonderful adventure and I am grateful for the opportunity to lead himI will say that when I slow down and press in close enough, he has often taught me.

Now, I have blurred the names to protect the ‘innocent’- 🙂  But I wanted you to have a real visual as to what he did.  When I asked him why he “filed” a restraining order, he said he and a friend had continually asked the classmate to stop bothering them in class and he wouldn’t stop, so they took the next logical step 🙂 and drafted a restraining order, with witnesses and all!  He had a problem, he addressed it directly, that didn’t work and he took it to another level.  (He is friends with the ‘defendant’ in this case, but he just wasn’t going to tolerate the persistent irritation.)  He wasn’t content with the constant negativity that met him each day and he wasn’t going to allow it to become the norm.  We should all do the same – why do we allow our negative thoughts to drive our behavior and dictate our mood?

2 Corinthians 10:5, reads, “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”  NIV

That is some pretty strong language there – demolish, take captive…God knew how difficult it was going to be to wrestle our thoughts to make them fall in line with His truth about His creationHis masterpieces.   He gave us directives, not suggestions.  He gives us His word to cling onto to remind us that we do not have to live captive to the lies we tell ourselves.  So today, on Isaiah’s birthday, I present to you the “Isaiah Challenge” and implore you to file a restraining order against the lies that bind.   The lies that tell you you are not good enough, that keep you wrestling with jealousy, that keep you pinned down by the memories of the mistakes of the past…that stifle your voice that prevent you from fully experiencing the freedom that you have been given through a relationship with Christ.  Tell those thoughts where they need to go and what they are and are not permitted to do.  Take back the control over your temperament and your feelings.  If you feel heavily weighed down by these thoughts I highly suggest that you seek out a Christian counselor in your area to help walk you through this process.  YOU DO NOT NEED TO LIVE THIS WAY.  Get your truth in order and serve the devil his papers today!

Negative Self-Talk

If you had a friend who spoke to you in the same way that you sometimes speak to yourself, how long would you allow this person to be your friend?

This week’s question is rhetorical and will tie into a post I am working on.  As always please feel free to comment – we want to hear your voice! …stay tuned!

Do you think it is possible to lie without saying a word? – Update!

Thank you all for chiming in and joining the conversation on Facebook, Twitter and below!  As promised I have my response today, taken right from the parenting and relational gurus themselves Mac and Julie Richard of Lake Hills Church in Austin, Texas.  I heard this at a parenting seminar they led last year, and it covers the gamut of outright and “creative” lying — verbal, nonverbal, gestural or via Jedi mind tricks (my fave!).

Mac & Julie RichardParaphrased they said: “If you allow a person to walk away believing something other than the truth – you are lying.” BOOM!!  I’ve held onto that truth ever since.  Thanks Mac and Julie!

Why I had to get ‘offline’ to get ‘inline’

The days of social media have gotten us so “engaged” in each others’ lives…virtually engaged.  At the beginning of this year I came off most social media sites: facebook, instagram, etc.  I know—the majors.  I kept twitter mostly for work/educational purposes, but rarely viewed it.  As a result I had to continually remind my friends (my real ones) that if you want me to know something, “You’re going to have to tell me, not tag me.”  It’s wild that that is such an abnormal idea these days.  I fear for the millenials and beyond.

One common question I heard during this transition was, “Oh are you fasting?”  My response, “No, I am just off of social media and I feel better for it.”  My mind was clearer, I was focused on things that mattered; things that required my full attention.  I became more intentional to spend time with people in real life, to check on people in person – to engage in this new invention called “eye contact”.  Try it – it’s amazing! 🙂 I had to get “offline” to get back “inline”.  It became so draining, so dissatisfying! I needed to detox from the whole system of caring about likes (to be honest I really didn’t care about that part) and perusing others’ posts and profiles and get inline with making time for family, friends, proper rest and accomplishing goals instead.  For the purposes of this website I am back to using Facebook, but only to engage others —I login and log right back out.  I refuse to allow myself to sit idle anymore and allow time to fly by and have nothing of value to show for it; especially when I knew God had called me to greater things. Yikes. 

Social media does have its notable benefits, naturally, but I do challenge you all to assess your use of social media and find a healthy balance.  I found mine and am better off for it! Please share your tricks on how you manage your social media mania.

Thanks!  Joycy

by Prince Ea

Do you think it is possible to lie without saying a word?

Every comment holds value and I would love to hear yours! I will share mine at the end of the week!

Highlighted Hero – Helen Keller

Question of the week – Who is your Hero and why?

Thank you for sharing your heroes with me on Facebook, Twitter and here on this site.  A hero by my definition is anyone who does the extraordinary for another or the greater good – we all have the capacity to be heroes in someone else’s life.  As promised I did select one extraordinary hero from your submissions – Helen Keller.  Thank you @irrationalliving for your comment:

“Definitely Helen Keller. The reason is because, before she existed, what she did would have been considered impossible. And then she was born blind and deaf, into a family that didn’t know how to help her…and she became a famous inspirational author and speaker. I think anyone who does the impossible progresses the human race because the only limits we have are the ones we impose on ourselves. Now no one can say what she did is impossible for someone else to do, because she has already done it. She is absolutely my hero.”

Helen Keller2

When I think about Helen Keller and what she was able to accomplish it seems impossible.  She is exceptional and known worldwide because of her ability to push far beyond the “apparent boundaries” set before her.  This information is commonly known.  What stood out to me was the possibility as to why she was able: it was her disability that gave her the ability to supersede all expectations for her life.  Think about it — what often stops us from achieving our dreams?  We conceive a thought, it sounds wonderful, it looks amazing but often once we start moving in that direction we are faced with opposition.  Opposition that we must push through in order to make our dreams come to life.  I propose that what Helen was lacking was the very thing that kept her focused.  She didn’t have access to the wealth of opposition!  She couldn’t hear the voice of distraction, she couldn’t hear people tell her no.  She couldn’t reflect upon the looks of disappointment, disdain or discouragement.  She didn’t know people didn’t believe in her.  What she did have was her innate desire, her passion, her drive and her determination…and ultimately her success.  What are you going to push away to achieve greatness?  Stay focused and you will give your autobiographers something to write about!

Don’t compare yourself to the devil to make yourself look good!

Before I dive into unpacking this phrase with you guys, I am inclined to remind you that you are about to get the “Unplugged Joycy” – direct, unfiltered and to the point.  For those that know me in person, this would consist of a calm, eyes-locked-in, admittedly intense demeanor as I deliver this phrase, “Do not compare yourself to the devil to make yourself look good!”  I’m getting fired up even writing this!

What do I mean?  I find that we can easily short change ourselves by comparing ourselves to mediocrity in order to boost our self-image.  We don’t ever hear the phrase, “Aim low!” So why would we entertain a thought that allows us to compare ourselves with mediocrity to make ourselves feel good.  Be honest!  Assess yourself!  Identify your strengths and your weaknesses.  Set your goals, make a plan, give yourself grace when you mess up, but KEEP MOVING!  Be the best you that you can be and you will be surprised at what you can achieve.  You know your gifts, you know your talents, you know what you are naturally drawn to — develop those and see where that leads.  Do not fear the unknown.  Today was unknown until you got here and you survived it!

Often times when we are fearful of stepping into the places where opportunity has been created.  We create excuses to rationalize and justify our stagnancy.  BUT please know you are only holding yourself back from the best of wherever and whatever God has for  you…i.e…if God has called you to the mountaintop, do not make your tent by the hillside and call it cozy.

I am speaking from experience on this and likely why I am so passionate to motivate you all.  If this describes you, know that I have been where you are and I challenge you to join me on the other side.  You can be fearful as long as you move through your fear and press on – your best life is yet to come.  Go seize it! Start by taking one courageous step at a time :).