On the Quest for What’s Next #Confessions #Faith #PolishingMyShine

There are moments in our life where we find ourselves searching for a sign, for validation, for some form of the truth. We’re looking for that pat on the back that bit of praise and positive reinforcement that we’re doing the right things with our lives, our careers, and our relationships. Sometimes we get those confirmations and they almost make us fall off our chairs. And sometimes we don’t.

I consider that to be a part of our human condition. The need for approval. The desire for direction. I’m just as human as you are. I feel that, too. I want so badly to do the right thing that sometimes I get stuck on what I think is the right thing instead of what God is showing me to be the right thing.

I can rationalize my “right thing.” In my mind I can map it out and see exactly how this will or won’t work out. (Even as I type that I’m rolling my eyes at my arrogance in those words.) I can’t always rationalize God’s “right thing.” And that makes it incredibly frightening and illogical. For a woman who seeks reason, logic, tied up with a bow that tugs at my heart strings it makes things quite difficult.

You would think by now, I would’ve have settled into the adventure that comes with not only seeking God but following His commands. He’s asked me to do things that continually stretch my comfort zone and sometimes He throws things right into my path that I can’t ignore. I’m forced to look at it. *insert eye roll* So annoying, yet so necessary.

In How I Learned to Shine Again, I document the transformation of my inward person (and eventually outward person.) Through the unraveling and processing of my grief I found my way back to Michelle and in that process I rediscovered my faith and relationship with The Man Upstairs.

Good relationships are continuously changing and growing. Jesus and I have really been on quite the adventure together. He’s always refining me, polishing my shine so to speak.

If you’ve read any of my posts, you’ll find I’m very open and honest about a lot of things happening in my life. Our story is not our own. Stories are meant to be told. Lives are meant to be shared. And somehow my confessions of life’s hardships not only help me but through God’s grace they help some of you. (This continually amazes me.)

You know I’ve been praying for my family for a long time (even as a child.) But in order to get there, I’ve had to do a lot of work on me. I’ve had to overcome many things from finding my self-worth to overcoming my distrust of men. I’m so grateful God has moved so many honorable men into my life as evidence that good, quality men exist. Those men are great blessings. (Those of you reading this know I mean you.)

My heart is finally at a place where it is truly open to this dating thing. How did I get there? By doing “crazy” things that God asked me to do, like becoming Catholic and working on my relationship with Him. Every single time I’ve tried to approach dating it’s felt wrong for a plethora of reasons. I’ve read books on dating, talked to people about it, and it lead me to one conclusion: There’s no real formula for this. There’s no procedure to follow. No “right way” to do this. Well that made my head hurt. I couldn’t figure this thing out. How do I meet people? Who do I give my precious time to? And then it hit me. Don’t do this your way. Don’t do it their way. Do this God’s way.

I’ve come to learn I have no idea what I’m doing. BUT whenever I follow my gut (which to me is where God speaks to us) it leads to wonderful things. This is tough because often times our gut doesn’t align with our feelings (stupid feelings) or our mind (over analytical meanie head.) Because of that most people will have no idea why you’re doing what you’re doing or how that’s even going to work out. People will worry about things that don’t matter distracting them from the things that do matter. You must be careful NOT to fall into your “people’s” pools of worry.

I’ve come to trust God more than myself. Each day that trust grows through prayer, scripture, worship and good friendships. With the whirlwind my life continues to be, I’ve been able to witness God working in it and through it and that has helped me to take this leap of faith. I’m determined this go around I’m not picking my men. I’m leaving that job to God. He knows me better than I know myself anyways.

How am I going to do this? Well, so far my plan includes prayer, listening to my gut, and stepping out of my control and into His flow.  This is going to be a relentless process of letting go of the wheel. You know me, I’ll let you know how this all goes. 😉 Who knows maybe my journey will end up in another book or maybe it will be too embarrassing to share. Hahaha! Either way, time will tell. 🙂

This is me, never giving up on my always and forever. Remember to never give up on yours. <3

Love, Hugs, & Sunshine,

Michelle

 

How I Learned to Shine Again can be found online at these retailers.

Amazon

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Back At It Again #MyConfessions #RevoltOrSettle

I’ve been struggling lately. No doubt about it. You can tell when I’m struggling because I disappear a bit from social media and blogging. It’s my process and it is necessary for me to retreat inward at times. But it’s never where I’m intended to stay.

This past fall life started to get a bit tougher than the norm. My safe places kept getting knocked out and soiled. While this may not have been the intent, God brought some serious lessons out of those situations for me. And I’m very grateful for that. 🙂

Earlier this week I was talking to a friend and he brought up something that really stuck with me. Something that made me stop and seriously assess my situation. Without explaining the entire conversation (that would be a whole other blog post and well I don’t think I could fully do his words justice) here’s what he said, “The challenge for us is to strive daily to not lose the ‘saltiness’ of the revolutionary life we are called to live.”

What did that say to me? Well it made me start to question myself….

Am I working daily to pursue my passion?

Am I pursuing the life God has called me to live?

Am I pursuing my revolutionary life? And if I am, how does that life look? How would that future look?

Confession. My pursuit has been lukewarm at best and certainly lacking the serious intent my “call” requires.

These last few months, I felt myself getting lost. It’s like I stopped fanning the flames of my fire. I’ve been so busy sharing my fire with other people who need it (and that’s very important and I’m grateful I’ve been able to do that) but I haven’t been putting the fuel back into my fire to keep it going.

Side note here: It is imperative that we share our fire with others. We must extend kindness and helping hands to those in need. I know from experience that in my darkest days I needed those angels showing up with the flames—flames of life, flames of hope, and most importantly flames of love. We must share our light.

BUT we have to continue to grow our light at the same time. That can prove to be a difficult balancing act.

Recently I have fallen short in growing my light. In the moments I’ve had to myself, I’ve found myself again looking at the missing pieces of my puzzle. Getting lost in the hurt and disappointments instead of the possibilities. I’m getting distracted by my plans instead of looking towards His plan. What I should be doing is trusting The Planner NOT the plans. When I lose sight of God my hurt flares up and it shuts me down. It snuffs out my fire. Every. Single. Time.

You’d think I’d know better by now, but apparently I’m human. *insert eye roll* What an annoying AND humbling reality.

When I retreat, I stop being the person I’m called to be. The fear of pain and loss–that muscle memory is deeply rooted, and I hate it. (And I don’t hate many things.) The agony of feeling my life shredded into little pieces rises up and shuts me down. I start lying to myself, thinking I want a “normal” life. One with routine and consistency. One of those boiler plate checklist lives. Then those thoughts slowly start to suck away the vibrancy of my spirit—little by little by little. As my spirit bleeds out an IV of anxiety and sadness flushes in.

But thank God, He shows up to wake me up from these lies! He shows up in the middle of the day-to-day moments. He shows up in the faces of my friends and family. He shows up in the middle of an accounting lesson. He shows up in a much needed hug. He shows up in messages from my readers. He shows up in my reflection. He shows up again and again until I take note. Until I look and say, “Okay, God. I see you. I hear you. What’s next? What do you need me to do?”

What did He “say” to me?

It’s time to move again. It’s time to do the things I keep asking you to do. It’s time to remember who you are. You know the places you DON’T belong, let me show you where you DO belong.

Okay, Lord. I hear you.

Is that an easy thing to do? Nope. Not typically. Once I “get the message” it’s followed up with more distractions and more nastiness trying to get me off course. Sometimes it’s a fender bender or a stomach full of knots or a deep unexpected disappointment. It is every little thing trying to keep you from walking through that door with your name on it. In those moments I remember the other gifts God has given me: strength in the midst of weakness and courage in the face of fear. I remember I’m His little girl and nothing is going to change that. I reach for that door knob, chin up, shoulders back, with a stomach full of knots but I open it anyways. As soon as the door is opened there’s no going back. My future is ahead of me and not behind. (Same goes for you, peeps.)

And so, I’m starting to move. And remember (yet again) I’m being called to live this revolutionary life. You’re being called too. I’m not the only winner here. 😉

This is me in the middle of the chaos, remembering to use my gift—the gift of storytelling. Your story is not your own. Our lives are meant to be shared! And so here I am back again at the other side of the keyboard confessing to you I’ve been ignoring my gift, allowing it to get buried beneath other commitments and not making the time to use it. I’m so thankful I’ve been reminded of this. Hopefully, me and my crazy life reminds you to pursue your passion and purpose. Onward and upward, my friends! Let’s keep moving and remember to…

Never Give Up On Our Always and Forever!

#LoveHugsSunshineAndPrayers #Confessions #LiveARevolutionaryLife

 

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