Monday Musing – February 18, 2019

IMG_8301Expose yourself to your deepest fear; after that, fear has no power. You are free.

I wasn’t entirely sure if the most influential lead singer in rock history actually said these words. After a little perusing Google, I gathered enough evidence to suggest it’s a strong possibility. Origin aside, the truth they hold is profound.

As humans our natural instinct is to run from anything that makes us feel uncomfortable or unsafe. While that is fantastic advice when getting chased by a bear, in everyday living that instinct can be detrimental to our growth, success and relationships.

As I was pondering this quote on a recent drive home, I began to think about things I am fearful of and I compiled quite the list. Some of them had justifiable and sound rational. For example, my fear of alligators is 100% fueled by the fact that they run faster than me on land and swim faster than me in the sea… and they can bite my face off. I don’t know about you but I would prefer not to have my face bitten off by an alligator. The other fears I came up with were irrational. Take for example my fear of being eaten by Jaws after he crashes through the deep-end of a swimming pool. Even if Jaws wasn’t a great white and he was a bull shark (which can 100% survive in fresh water) there’s no way he’s crashing through the side of a swimming pool in suburbia… I mean unless of course it’s near an inland river connected to an ocean… I digress.

I look a little closer at this list of fears and I start deconstructing them one by one. As I do I begin to see that while some of them are deep-seeded fears, the things they are seeded into are lies and untruths. Little by little I feel myself gaining freedom. It’s a long process of overcoming fears we have held (some since the beginning of our lifetimes) and I don’t think the work is ever completed on this side of Heaven, but the process of moving through it, freeing up our minds and souls little by little is beautiful and gratifying work.

It’s hard work to stare your fears in the face. It’s uncomfortable and scary- but once you come nose-to-nose with the thing that terrifies your soul, you can name it, you can sit with the emotion around it and then, you can watch as these fears crumble and you become free.

Expose yourself to your deepest fear; after that, fear has no power. You are free.

Meet you back here next week, same time, same place,

cheersdez cursiveslope

Happiest of Valentine’s Days

Tom Brady Valentine's DayJudge me if you wish but I will gladly admit I LOVE Valentine’s Day. I love it and I am so extra about it and to be completely transparent… I give zero cares. I could blame it on amazing marketing gurus who work for Hallmark, but really, it was my Mom who took this holiday and grew it to the moon in our lives! My Mama did anything and everything to let us know we were loved. She had Sweetest Day on lockdown and she owned Valentine’s Day like the Boss Mama she was (and still is!) Because of my sweet little Mama (@RockinRoro), I love the hype around the holiday and the pomp and circumstance that accompanies it. I love the chocolate covered strawberries that are currently not part of my eating plan and the overly expensive red roses that make my heart swoon. I love turning the tables and surprising the ones I love with thoughtful gifts that make them feel special. I love leaving little notes behind and I love the joy of surprising perfect strangers with little acts of kindness. With Christmas cheer a distant memory and the January that lasted 700 years officially over, a day to be a little (lot) extra in the love category is welcomed with open arms.

It doesn’t matter if you have a significant other or not- it’s not just about coupledom. Valentine’s Day is about LOVE and that to me is THE GREATEST thing. There are so many people to shower with love on this super special day. There are the obvious ones (spouses, children, family, friends, lovers, co-workers) but then there is the opportunity to think outside the box. Send some love in the form of a free beverage to the lady behind you in the drive-thru line at the Bucks of the Star. Send some love to the elderly neighbor that lives by you in the form of a plant or flowers. Send some love to the person you pass on the street with a smile. On this sweetest, loveliest, most delightful day of celebration, I encourage you to share the love. Go out of your way to put a smile on another person’s face. You never know what they are going through- or who it is that their heart might be missing.

Throw love around like confetti… or if you’re like me, maybe throw actual confetti because that’s super-fun too!!!

I hope your day is full of giddy happiness, wild excitement and maybe even a surprise or few.

Happiest of Valentine’s Days!

cheersdez cursiveslope

Monday Musing – February 11, 2019

This Monday Musing is coming to you as a mash-up of football and the theme of love… fitting for this week, eh?

Inc.com published an article last week that resonated on a deep level with me. It highlighted the G.O.A.T. himself and the 1 word he kept repeating post-Super Bowl win. For you haters I just want to remind you that’s win #6… to really rub salt in the haterade wound, he’s been in 9 total. #yourwelcome I digress. The word Tom Brady had on repeat over and over was the word love. He infused it in every post-game interaction from Cooks to Edelman to Kraft. It was emotional and it was raw and dare I say, it was incredible. I sat watching the post-game chaos unfold and while I deeply wished the media circus would offer these men a moment to pause and bask in the glory of winning, I was grateful we were so privy to moments of raw emotion on such a grand stage.

We live in a world where most of the time, emotion is frowned upon. There are moments in life where our metaphorical houses are behind us, completely ablaze and yet we feel the need to make it pretty and perfect with an “I’m Fine!” and a smile. We live in a time and place where “don’t catch feelings” is actually a goal for relationships.

You guys, What. The. Everliving. Frig. Is. THAT!?

Our need to keep our emotions buttoned up means that little by little we are losing opportunity for raw, beautiful, unabashed connection. Love is mentioned in the Bible 551 times. Five hundred and fifty-one times. I think God is trying to point us to something there? To love, to be vulnerable, to be open and raw. That’s why we are here. None of us will get out of this life alive, so why not at least go through it together?

Imagine what we would create in our relationships if we embraced vulnerability, stopped holding our emotions so tight to the chest and threw around #ILYs like confetti. What would happen in our marriages, in our homes, in our friendships, in our workplaces if we cracked open our hearts and authentically connected with people? The article I read from Inc.com said “If you truly want to be a leader, and you want the people you’re leading to trust you implicitly, I think you have to be willing to let yourself love them.” Can you imagine how we could transform our world with attitudes like that? Can you even wrap your mind around what an attitude like that could do to our relationships?! I can’t help but think that it might feel like a million little Super Bowl wins on the regular in our everyday lives.

This week, I want to do something fun… I want to dare you – because I think a good dare is the most fun EVER! I dare you, for the rest of the week, to be unapologetically vulnerable and radically brave. It will feel so uncomfortable for some of you, but I dare you to let your heart crack itself open. Be open and tell someone you love them. Be affectionate and hold someone’s hand. Be connected and touch someone’s soul.

We only get but one chance in this life- why not spend it loving and uplifting others? At the end of the day, what do we really have to lose?

Happy Love Week!!!

Meet you back here next week, same time, same place!

cheersdez cursiveslope

Read the full article from Inc.com HERE

 

The Day the Game Changed

I LOVE to read so when my Pastor asked me to be a part of his book launch team, I knew I couldn’t say no. Anything that meshes my love for books with my love for Jesus is basically the best thing since a bacon-wrapped filet. I excitedly awaited the arrival of the manuscript- not realizing Pastor Noel had flipped the flow and the game was about to be changed.

The truths that awaited me on those pages were laid out like nothing I have ever encountered. I grew up in an Italian Catholic family, never missing church on Sunday or a mid-week religious education refresher. I prayed my rosary in Italian and English because I thought maybe it made me closer to God. In college, I lived in Rome and visited more churches from Milano to Cosenza than should be allowed… ever! I took shortcuts to class through Vatican City, met the Pope and became besties with a sweet group of nuns. After returning stateside, I was re-baptized as an adult and have been attending a Christian Church for the better part of 15 years. I have read the bible cover-to-cover multiple times over (and yes, even the boring parts.) I have completed more bible studies and been in more small groups than I can count. Heck, I even have my favorite scripture tattooed on my foot and the words “Redeemed by Grace” forever inked shoulder blade-to-shoulder blade. I offer this information to illustrate that I have been immersed in some form of religion/spirituality/christianity my entire life. To say I felt like I understood the whole Jesus Thing is a serious understatement.

81GFY3XfPfLEnter Wretched Saints.

Y’all, Pastor Noel didn’t just up the ante with his newest book, Wretched Saints. He knocked it out of the park and he changed the game.

I have lived my life under the “truth” i.e. lie that God’s love for me (though I know that it doesn’t depend on what I do) increases and decreases based on how much of a jerk-face I am.

Wake up feeling a little off, grumpy and possibly rude to my husband?

God’s love decreases.

Wake up, clap your hands, do you morning devotionals and give thanks for a glorious day?

God’s love increases.

Fall into the trap of a behavior that I know is wrong but totally enjoy?

God’s love decreases.

Push away temptation and run to Jesus like I run to the dance floor when I hear my favorite song?

God’s love increases.

I lived my life in a constant state of striving because of the lies I believed and if I can be super honest- it was exhausting. I found freedom in Pastor Noel’s words. Words like, “When you are tempted to think God isn’t pleased with you, remember that you are right where he wants you.

I wonder what lies you are believing in your life?

“When the warning light in your life says slut long enough, you begin to believe it.

The same is true with liar.

And manipulator, failure, weakling, idiot, reject, freak, embarrassment, loser, pervert

If you stare long enough at the blinking light of a false sensor, you will begin to believe it is true. And when you believe something you act on it.”

How many of us take these lies and believe them- eventually letting them take over who we really are and become our identity. This powerful book was for me, a soothing balm to my soul that set me free in ways I didn’t even know I was stuck.

B1MLuTknVHS._SY600_In Wretched Saints, Pastor Noel takes the notion of grace- a sometimes elusive and confusing thing and he offers it in digestible and easy to understand ways. He uses real-time storytelling that is both unputdownable and relevant, to envelope you in biblically sound truth. Wretched Saints paints a picture of a Father who loves us beyond measure for reasons we could never earn.

Don’t take my word for it though. Read it and see for yourself.

cheersdez cursiveslope

 

 

P.S. You can order your copy of Wretched Saints HERE

Monday Musing – February 4, 2019

figureoutable

There are moments that happen as we traverse this life that we look at and can’t make sense of. Moments where things seem in chaos or unfinished. Maybe a relationship where things are left unsaid. Maybe an actual project where pieces are left undone. At some point, if you are human long enough, you come across something that you just can’t seem to figure out.

The truth is, that’s a lie.

Everything is figureoutable.

WTF.

No it’s not.

She cray.

Yes it is, and no I am not.

Sometimes, in some cases, we actually end up tangibly figuring out the chaos. We find an answer, a solution, a reason that puts our mind, body, spirit at ease. The figureoutableness makes perfect logical sense and it ends up being absolutely and completely delightful.

Other times, the figureoutable rests in the intangible.

HUH? 

I know, I know, trust me. Just go with me on this.

The figureoutable rests in our ability to look at a thing, situation, relationship through a different framework. The figureoutableness of some things rests in our ability to leave them at the foot of the cross. I am not saying give up. I am not saying leave things unsaid or undone. What I am saying is that for the moment, offer whatever you can’t figure out time and space to breath at the feet of the one who can figure it all out- and if we are being honest, already has.

The relationship.

The marriage.

The finances.

The job.

The kids

The workouts.

The diet.

The illness.

The worry

The striving.

The this.

The that.

The other.

Release your white-knuckled grip, stop trying to figure it out and leave it at the cross. I read recently “His arms will go anywhere, to redeem anyone, from anything.” If he can figure it out, it means we don’t have to ruin ourselves trying to do it alone.

Sweet readers, with the right perspective, everything is figureoutable. Even that thing that you are thinking of right now in your head as you tell me it isn’t. Take a deep breath, offer space and breathing room, trust the process and trust Jesus. There really is peace in the chaos. Sometimes we just have to have the perspective to see it.

Meet you back here next week, same time, same place! 

cheersdez cursiveslope

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