Thursday, July 7, 2011

What do you stand for?

I have often felt like one “tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming,” - Eph 4:14. I felt lost, confused, stood for everything, and fell for everything. I was also young and immature. However, I truly felt more lost than most. Dazed and confused I like to say. I felt like I could hardly make a decision, and those I did make failed me miserably. I did not know where I was going. I started many things and did not finish them. I laughed one day and cried the next. Any argument could sway me. I did not have many friends. My goals and dreams changed like the seasons. I was truly a rudderless ship.

If you do not stand for something, you will fall for anything.

It is so important for us as women, men, wives, husbands, mothers, fathers, friends, to know who we are and what we stand for. Know thyself.

Over time, I have finally made some concrete decisions about things I firmly believe in. All kinds of things regarding my faith, marriage, parenthood, friendship, and life in general. I truly think that if what you believe about yourself, the world, and life changes constantly, your ship is going to wander around aimlessly.

Grab a pen and paper and start making some decisions about your life. Things you believe in and stand firm on. Sure, your hair color is going to change, and Brad Pitt is so last season, but that is not what I am talking about. I am talking about core things, things of the heart and soul. Truly nonnegotiable beliefs.

Here are some of my more serious ones:

I believe in God the Father and that He created all things. He is the Master of my ship.
I believe in Jesus Christ whom died on the cross and rose from the grave.
I believe in the Holy Spirit.
I believe in the Bible and every word it says.
I believe God has a perfect plan for my life.
I will treat all life with respect.
I will be truthful and honest in all things.
I will not cheat on my husband.
My priorities are God, marriage, children, friends, life. In that order.
I will love my children unconditionally.

And some of my not so serious ones:

Life will not be taken too seriously. There is always time for a little jokeJ
Eat the best food you can afford.
Wear sun block, you only have one skin.
Good friends, good food, good wine fixes many a problem.
Love generously.
You reap what you sow.
Make fun of yourself.

What is on your list?

Happy sailing!
Love always,

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

I am greatly humbled by Nick. Especially on my "grumpy" days. He is such an inspiration. He reminds me that I have so much to be thankful for. Who you are, what you have, where you are at, is somebody else's dream.

Check out his book Life Without Limits in my favorite books scrollbar. He also has a website

Over to you. How did Nick inspire you today?

Friday, June 10, 2011

Breaking the silence.

I often watch the world around me play out like a slow motion movie. I watch the actors play their part, and I watch as the story slowly unfolds. I look at people and see so many of them smiling on the outside, but hiding on the inside. Just acting their part. And at night, at home, alone in their bedrooms, they cry. I often look at people and I wonder what is really going on inside their hearts. What fears, what sadness, what hopelessness?
I am amazed how we as humans today, have this crazy notion that we have to be perfect. We have to have the perfect life, perfect marriage, the perfect body. It’s a world created competition to see whose life is better. And we will go to all ends to portray that image. And then suddenly we hear about a couple divorcing that was apparently blissfully, happily married. We will hear of someone committing suicide that was apparently really content and happy. Woman kill their children. Husbands shoot their wives.

“I’m doing great,” we hear people say all the time. So that’s how it goes. We spend most of our time in active hiding. We cover, we pretend, and we hide. Our personalities, our minds, our hearts, and mostly our true feelings.  We are so scared to show our true selves, tell our real story. We pretend instead, because that’s what the world wants to hear. Or that’s what we think the world wants to hear. We do not know how to be real anymore.

I have too, a long time ago, spent many a day making other people believe that I am someone who I am not. Someone who is happy, content, living a perfect little life. But it was a lie. I was falling to pieces inside.
I have since told my story. Many times. Today, I am free. My heart sings. I don’t cry alone in my room thinking dark thoughts. I don’t cower to the world thinking I am worthless. I don’t smile when I want to weep. I don’t push the hurt somewhere is a corner. I have finally stood up and said enough is enough. This is what has been done to me. This is what I have done.  I have come to understand that there is no light in darkness. There is no freedom in hiding. There is nothing so liberating as to finally sing the song of your heart. There is an enemy who wants nothing more than for you to stay just the way you are. But there is no freedom in that, no joy. “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.” Matt 5:14

I want to tell you that we all have pain. We all have secrets. There is just no point in burying it. Or burying the pain, guilt, or fear that comes with it. It will slowly destroy your heart.
It took me a long time to tell my story. It was buried so deep that I sometimes even believed myself that I didn’t have a story to tell. But slowly I unearthed the demons. Picked them off one by one. Faced the pain. It was not easy at all, but no good or worthy thing in life is. I want to tell you to go fix your heart. Go tell your story. Find a good therapist, pastor, friend. Tell your secrets. Start Being Real. Stop the pretense. There is nothing, NOTHING, that can not be redeemed, fixed, restored. “For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. Plans to prosper you. Plans to give you a hope and a future.” Jer 29:11

Show your heart. I know it is not easy. Yes, you might be rejected by some, but most will warmly embrace you. And when you are real, others can be real around you too. There is nothing quite as comforting as being with someone you can be real with.
Your broken heart can heal another. Your sad story can lift someone out of theirs. I very quickly realized that I shouldn’t try to hide who I am, my story, what has happened to me, but celebrate it. Embrace it.
There is just no point in living life half the you that you can be.

“The Skin Horse had lived longer in the nursery than any of the others. He was so old and most of the hairs in his tail had been pulled out to string bead necklaces. For nursery magic is very strange and wonderful, and only those playthings that are old and wise and experienced like the Skin Horse understand all about it.
"What is REAL?" asked the Rabbit one day, when they were lying side by side near the nursery fender, before Nana came to tidy the room. "Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?"
"Real isn't how you are made," said the Skin Horse. "It's a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real."
"Does it hurt?" asked the Rabbit.
"Sometimes," said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. "When you are Real you don't mind being hurt."
"Does it happen all at once, like being wound up," he asked, "or bit by bit?"
"It doesn't happen all at once," said the Skin Horse. "You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in your joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand."
"I suppose you are real?" said the Rabbit. And then he wished he had not said it, for he thought the Skin Horse might be sensitive. But the Skin Horse only smiled.
"The Boy's Uncle made me Real," he said. "That was a great many years ago; but once you are Real you can't become unreal again. It lasts for always."
                                                                    -The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams.

Please feel free to tell me some of your stories! Do you think a broken heart can be fixed? I would love to hear your thoughts.

Hugs and kisses always,
Nadine S.

PS: Here are some of my favorite "fix your heart" books that really changed my world. Check them out!

Monday, May 30, 2011

So it begins...

Do you know that you are amazing? Do you know that you are meant for great things? Do you realize that this life, your life, has profound meaning? Do you know that you are worthy? Do you understand, fully grasp, that you are worthy of love, time, commitment, warmth, hugs, kisses? Do you realize that you are beautiful? Amazingly beautiful? Do you understand that no matter your size, skin color, gender, the bump on your nose, the lack(or abundance) of boobs and bodily hair, even the odd butt pimple or two, does not disqualify you from the amazing list? Do you understand, even just for a moment, that there is light within you. That your light is unique and unlike any other and that it has profound meaning and impact on another human being? Do you know that no matter where you’re from, where you have been, what you have done, or what has been done to you, that there is hope for you? Joy? Peace? Do you know that you are created for great things? For beautiful things? Do you know that? Do you believe it? Really believe it?

This is what I am here to tell you today. To remind you how wonderful you are. How really magnificent you are created to be. That you can do great things. You can do things great. That you are perfect just the way you are. You can fulfill your dreams. There is hope, hope everywhere. I am so, so, so, sooooo tired of the world beating us down. Discouraging us, dismembering us, killing us. I am tired of seeing people struggle, and fall, and fail. I am tired of only seeing bad and disaster on the news. I am tired to hear that only thinner thighs and a PhD will make you happy.

There are great and beautiful things too. My goal is to find them and only talk about that. Only talk courageous, inspiring, funny, beautiful things. I will not talk about the fight I had with my hubby, but the great revelation that came after. I will no talk about the 17th poopy pants I cleaned that day, but the great stain remover I found doing so. I will not talk about the traffic jam, but the great song I found wile stuck in it. I will find the great things around us and share it with you. I will find the great music, people, ideas, and happenings. Through that I hope your day, week, life will be better. You will find that this world is worth it. You are worth it.
There is light all around us. I just want to remind you to see it, hang on to it, and pass it on. We all need something or someone to remind us that a struggle has an end, has meaning, and has great teaching. We are all in this together- I might just have a butt pimple story too. I am out here holding your hand. Take from it what you need, pass it on when you know another that needs a nudge.

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.
                                                                                     - Mariannne Williamson

Hugs and kisses always,