Tag Archives: better ourselves

You Are a Masterpiece. – What?

absolutelyMasterpiece: a work of outstanding creativity, skill or workmanship.

You are a complex being.

You are a masterpiece.

Your thought life, your experiences, your physical well-being, your perceptions, who you think you are, are all vital components that help make up the quality of your existence.

I want to encourage you to not just accept what is o.k. or passable, but to challenge yourself to live fully. But I would remiss if I did not touch on the importance of recognizing the God of the universe and how much He digs you.

It is not about what you’ve done, or what’s been done to you.

It’s about who you are, and what He’s done for you.

There is no shame in who He created you to be. You are a masterpiece, though you may have had a few mishaps or tragedies along your way. You’re still a work of art, and He is the artist.

I used to think that God had to love me because it was just how it worked… I didn’t see His love as a deep, all-encompassing, knock-your-socks-off kind of love, because well, that was kinda weird. I was just one of the gazillion people ever to walk the earth and therefore not very important.

Funny thing is, when I slammed to the bottom of my pit of hell and finally reached out to God, begging for mercy, you know what happened? He gave me more than I ever dreamed.

It hasn’t been easy. I’ve had a lot of work to do, skewed perceptions to right, and responsibility to take; but not once have I been alone. Because I took the risk to ask Him to walk with me, He has never left my side.

It’s been hard.

It’s been painful. But it’s also been full of joy. And now, as I continue this journey of becoming all that I was created to be, I recognize His smile. His beckoning. His direction.

Friend, it all comes down to this: His love and mercy is free. It cost Him immensely, so that you and I could benefit. He gave us the ability to choose. (Why do you think the world can be so messed up, and yet so good? Because He gave us the freedom to make choices and we regularly exercise that.)

When we choose to do life with Him, and when we choose to let Him love us completely as He so longs to do, that is when transformation happens.

God’s love isn’t some wishy-washy-fruity-kinda-icky-sweet-mumbo-jumbo for the weak and flighty. It is a powerful force that completes.

It is the gas in the car, the food in the system, the reason for all that is good. It makes life happen.

And it comes from one source. Jehovah.

He is Absolute, and He loves you. Absolutely.

He desires for you to become all that He intended for you to be. And He will be right there with you if you ask.

I hope you ask.

Be you. Absolutely.

Tell me, what are some of the things holding you back?
I can’t wait to read your answers.
– love,
Shev

Fear, Anger, and Dying a Slow Death

angerIt feels wrong to complain. With all the horrific things going on in the world, I am really and truly grateful, way down deep.

But times like this tend to transport me to days in the not so distant past where I was existing on the dregs of yesterday’s coffee and whatever sugary treat I had baked for “the kids”. Juggling three children along with the denial of my pent up anger, my feelings of never-quite-doing-it-all-good-enough, and my fear of the unknown was wreaking havoc on me.  I was exhausted.

Rolling out of bed in the morning was an act of sheer will.

I knew I wasn’t supposed to complain. To rock the boat. My marriage was not ideal, but I said vows, and I didn’t believe in quitting, so tough luck. My middle daughter had special needs that I was continually struggling to understand, but I had suffered the loss of her older brother, so I would suck this up too.

The result was a slow death of who I was because I could not reconcile the pain I endured, building walls around it to try protect myself from further damage.

Desperately afraid of the next wallop that I could not predict or control.

Maybe it would be an accident involving either my oldest or youngest daughter.

Maybe a freak natural disaster, like a tornado, would flatten our house and we’d be left homeless.

Maybe there’d be a fire and I would survive, but barely.

Or an intruder, or a stalker, or a drunk driver, or a wild cat prowling too close to our home, or, or, or…

Fear is debilitating. It sucks the very life out of you, leaving no room for anything else. And it got free reign in my little world because I couldn’t trust that God was good. To me.  You know, beyond sending Jesus to die and give me a ticket to eternity if I wanted it.

As a result, anger was the go-to emotion for years, fueled by my fear of … everything.

What a way to live.

I was completely at a loss as to how to stop the continual anger until I was able to reconcile that fear was at the root of it all. Fear was the reason I was dying a slow, uncomfortable death.

So what now?

Well, interestingly enough, it’s right around this particular time of enlightenment when God began to woo me. Began to teach me that He is good, and that He can bring good out of my pain. I would have preferred no pain at all, but since we were past that point I found myself drawn to know more. And as I drew closer to Him, He came closer to me, just like He promises. He taught me to trust Him in various ways, and spoke to my heart so softly, so firmly, that I slowly learned to live again. To breathe again.

Rediscovering who Sheavaun is has been a bit of an adventure, but I am grateful that I did not remain in a charred heap, never to experience the full life I was promised.

I am not a particularly “special” project for God. It’s not just for me, this change from a slow death to new life. It’s for you too. All it takes is a first step, and the willingness to hear Him, to rant and rave in His presence, and allow Him to persuade your heart to trust Him.

I hope you do.

So on days like today where I feel frustrated with my circumstances, and feel tired of waiting for things to turn around, I know I can lay it all out with this God who loves me and has made an unnecessary effort to convince me that He is trustworthy. And I can rest.

Living life is good.

– love,

Shev

Is God Personal?

churchThere was a time in my life when God was merely someone to be respected, revered, and even somewhat afraid of. I learned about Him when I was 11, then sailed through the rest of my school years attending churches and youth groups learning about Him, but somehow never actually caught on that I could know Him personally.

By the time I hit my twenties, I wasn’t ok with going to church just to follow a bunch of rules that seemed more geared to please people than to please God… if there was more, I wanted to know about it. I asked questions, I got aggravated with the answers because they seemed out of my reach, and I felt myself spinning my wheels while reaching out to try to grasp something — anything-– that would give me a taste of what I seemed to be craving.

Then life rolled off-kilter for me, and I got down to the task of barely surviving each time my heart was broken.

  • Deaths of two loved ones
  • raising a child with special needs
  • feeling alone in my marriage

I didn’t know how to process the disappointment I felt with how my life was turning out. This wasn’t what I had dreamed of.

When the only thing left for me to do was cry, I knew I was at the end of everything in my power. I did not give up readily, but this was it. The straw that broke my camel’s back was when my husband moved out, stating “it” just wasn’t working. I had nothing left in my survival arsenal to help me cope with this last blow, and I collapsed in a bedraggled heap.

It was there, in that heap, where I first experienced the presence of God. Something outside of myself covered me with a feeling of comfort, of rest, and calm.

I decided to investigate. I was hungry for more of this. Thirsty for it. Ached for it. Craved it.

And He made Himself known to me.

I have had many storms since, but God has faithfully walked with me through them. When the hopelessness weighed so heavily that I could not even raise my head, He came in and lifted it.

Time and time again.

Is God personal?

Yes.

Is God worth getting to know?

Yes.

I believe it with all I am.

– Shev

 

“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” – Jeremiah 29:13

“Call to me and I will answer and reveal to you wondrous secrets that you haven’t known.” – Jeremiah 33:3

 

Ms. Crabbypantscontrolfreak

My name is Sheavaun and I’m a recovering codependent. Or rather, a recovering Ms. Crabbypantscontrolfreak.

I’m discovering all sorts of new things as I look through this new lens.

Take for instance that it is not uncommon for a codependent to become addicted to something as well as be attached to someone else who has an addictive personality. Drumroll please.

cakeYes, that is right. I am a food addict. For close to 10 years I have been fighting my weight thinking that the solution or cure for my then 20, now close to 40 pounds of extra weight I lug around is just around the corner. When in fact the thing-behind-the-thing in my case is that I have made food into my comfort. And allowed it to control me. I had an inkling of this truth, but the clarity in which I now view this astounding revelation is sharp and cuts to the quick.

The 12 steps I received from my counselor and which are taught in my al-anon group are now not only vital for my ability to survive and thrive in my relationship(s), but also in my very personal life as a now confessed food-addict.

(1) I admit I am powerless over my husband, as well as food. My life has become unmanageable.

(2) I wholeheartedly believe that God is so much more powerful than I and has restored me to sanity and wholeness.

(3) In bed last night as the picture of my condition sharpened in clarity I made a decision to turn my will and life in this regard over to God. I had done this for many other instances after giving Him my trust and heart as a young girl, but this is new information for me, and I give it over willingly. I can’t do this on my own. I have allowed something else to master me and ruin so much of my joy and sap my strength for too long. I don’t want that any more.

I’m not sure what it is about this particular revelation that makes such a difference in how I function right now. In the past I have been able to manage a handful of diets that resulted in a wee bit of weight loss that got packed back on sooner than later because I went straight back to eating too much. I was aware of this.

I was aware that I shouldn’t give in to food, yet continued to do so.

I was aware that it meant more to me than it should.

burgerI was aware that skinny girls didn’t eat as much as I do. They weren’t chained. Weren’t obsessed with it.

They could say no.

I couldn’t.

So what’s so different now?

Is it the mere power of words?

No.

There’s more to it, and I realize that it is in this one more thing that I must relinquish my stranglehold on what I think I can control, or… what I can’t.

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

I am more than a conqueror through Him.

I am new.

I recognize that I am powerless over food, but I believe that God is greater and can restore me.

I turn my will over to Him, ready and willing for Him to remove this from me.

I’m ready to be free!

Bring it on.

Alone

No One Likes To Feel Alone

I hate feeling alone.

cryinggirlNot being alone, I love that. No, I hate the feeling of being all alone.

Helpless. Hopeless. Small. Invisible. Unable to fix whatever is wrong, and not knowing what to do. Loved ones console as best as they can, but are at a loss to truly help.

What a horrible feeling.

I’m pretty much a do-it-yourself-er, so the few times that I have felt utterly alone have been awful experiences for me, and it’s been an automatic reflex to vow I’d never be put in a position like that again.

Keep my emotions well concealed, careful not to take too much joy from any one thing in case it’s taken from me.

Close friends few and hard-won. Emotional intimacy a risk not relished because being alone by choice was far safer than feeling alone and helpless.

Interestingly enough I discovered that I couldn’t completely shield myself. I was alone, though I wasn’t meant to be. I realized this for the 1st time as I lay fully clothed heaving in emotional agony in a dry bathtub, listening to my mother pray for me over the phone. I can distinctly remember thinking that I was not finished sobbing, yet this foreign feeling of calm or peace just washed over me. I had never experienced anything like it, and I just relaxed and absorbed it. It made me think for days afterward that I should break out of my tightly bound world of control and do some exploring. That’s when I started reading the Bible, books about the Bible, books about God, books about me and God… I had to find out what I was missing.

I’m telling you, He met me there and has never left. If you know anything about me, you’re aware of my many faults and idiosyncrasies, never mind my pride, temper, and mouth. But He’s stayed with me, and you know why? Because its not about me and whether or not I’m good enough for Him. I am because of Jesus. So I’m free to discover Him, which in turn allows me to discover myself. Sure I have my slip ups but I’m learning that I can trust Him. The same God who spoke the universe into existence gets a kick out of me, and wants me around. Cool!

As far as life being easier because of it, I’d have to say nuh-uh. Sometimes I’m sure things are going to come completely undone and I’ll never survive, but then He shows up and flexes His muscles. I love it! The things He pulls out of His hat are sometimes crazy and backward to my way of thinking, but I trust Him.

Did you know this is the same God that told Abraham he and Sarah would have so many descendants they would outnumber the stars in the sky? He waited til they were both so old and pruney they couldn’t possibly conceive on their own, and then gave them their son Isaac. It’s the same God who protected Shadrach, Meshach and Abednigo in the fiery furnace, and protected Daniel in the den of lions. The same God that David wrote and sang about in Psalms of how great His love and power was. The same God who rose Jesus from the dead.

It’s a relationship He’s looking for, not a rehearsed set of motions and words. God wants our heart and our trust and He promises to care for us as His own.

“Seek first the kingdom of God and all these things shall be added unto you.”

Its quite possible that many believers in the name of Jesus aren’t necessarily believers that His heart and intentions are good.

What about you?

Beauty and our Beast

beastWe are our own worst critics. We notice every little line on our face, every pound we gain or lose, remember every time we said something stupid, or didn’t say anything when we should have, worry about what the neighbors will think, who will see the house if it’s a mess… when it comes to judging ourselves, we have ice in our veins. And why? Fear’s ugly face comes to mind.

When we peel back the layers we will usually find the underlying motivator beneath our nasty critiques is that we are afraid we are not enough. That in some way we won’t measure up to expectations swirling around “out there”, or, heaven forbid, we are too over-the-top to fit in. There’s this bizarre notion that we’ve fallen for hook, line, and sinker, that we must conform in order to be worth anything. Don’t get me wrong. I am all for taking care of ourselves, feeling great, doing what we love. But that’s just it: it’s the why behind it all that matters. Do we live our lives fearful that someone might discover who we really are and all our hard work to get somewhere and mean something is gone down the drain? What makes who we really are so bad anyway?

Everybody is trying to make their mark on this world. Everybody has a purpose. And everybody has choices. We can choose to embrace who we are and our God-given purpose, and flourish despite our many mistakes, our upbringing, our social or economic status, our scars and our sins, or we can live a farce. Pretending to be someone we’re not in order to please God-knows-who. It’s definitely not Him, and it’s definitely not ourselves.

Life is short. We all know that. And there truly is joy to be found in amongst the pain, sadness, hardships, and other junk we get bombarded with. One of the ways we find that joy is by dropping the facade, and firing the imposter, the beast. Be true to you. Be happy, healthy, and beautiful while operating in who you were created to be. In doing that you will discover how much you truly are worth.

Oodles.

Written with love,

Sheavaun

The Power Has Shifted

joyA personal revolution can be a beautiful, strengthening, energizing experience, but true revolution means that a transfer of power must take place in order for change to follow.

My personal revolution began the day that I said “O.k.” to God. The day that I started to slowly realize that He wasn’t apathetic toward me, nor was He out to get me every time I crossed a line… rather I discovered that He was for me.

When I allowed the idea that God loves me with no strings attached, that I don’t have to fit into a religious pair of spanx in order to cut it with Him; when I began to explore the whole idea of grace, and what it means for me… well, the power shifted. Where fear once reigned supreme, love came into power. Where self-deprecation and hopelessness once held sway, hope, trust and faith took root.

There is a revolution taking place and it is inspired by God Himself. The chains of religious cloning, lies, hatred, and control are being broken. The vile nastiness that has given Him a bad name for so long is losing it’s foothold. We are loved, dear one. Great sacrifice has been made in order to be close to us. To have relationship. To live life fully.

The long list of do’s and don’t’s, the schedules, the can and cannot’s can wait. First thing is first:  to soak in the love that is poured out generously for me. To praise and worship the Giver of such extravagance. And then to live my life out of gratitude and love, instead of shame and fear.

The power has shifted. The Revolution has begun.

Join me?