Archive for November 2013

Perfect   Leave a comment

48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
Matthew 5:48 NIV
These are great words that us perfectionists hide behind . . . My inner voice shouts  “Ha!  I knew it, God expects me to be perfect, and if I’m not, I’m just not good enough”  If that’s true, why does it only ring true with my pride and not the knowledge I have of who God is?
Perfect.  In the Matthew 5:48, it is the word “Teleios”, which means whole and complete in every part, nothing lacking.  (Zodhiates 1993).  For people who are not perfectionists, this is immediately exciting news.  For those of us who find our value in always make the right decisions, do the right things, get the right results . . . it actually means we’ve been getting it all wrong!  How freeing though!  There are so many times I don’t get it right.  It means that mistakes are not fatal, and life isn’t controlled by avoiding mistakes and errors at all costs.  The problem with having the wrong definition of being “perfect”, is that most people who HAVE to be perfect are hiding a lack of wholeness.  I am one of them.  But that is changing.
God has brought two very amazing people into my life.  Two ladies who have learned to walk in their calling and be who God’s called them to be in their own unique styles and personalities.  One is my mentor, the other is my vocal coach.  My first meeting with each of them separately, contained the same phrase:  “Don’t worry about being perfect”
Ummmm . . . have you met me?!
Before my first meeting with my vocal coach, I asked if there was anything I should do in preparation for our first meeting.  She encouraged me to just sing without thinking about technique or how I sound . . . or being PERFECT.  She wanted me to find my natural voice.  So what did I do?  I googled, “How to find your natural voice” . . . because I was going to do this and do it right.
My first meeting with my mentor ended with an “assignment”.  It was to be aware of situations that pull me out of my comfort zone and recognize them as opportunities.  It has also become a practice in recognizing that life isn’t perfect. What I’ve recognized is that in those imperfect moments, there is something beautiful . . . something God wants to show me.  So many of the moments that take me out of my comfort zone involve me not knowing the perfect thing to say or do.  Imperfection.  Look at my imperfection as an opportunity?!
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
2 Corinthians 12:9
As I let go of my false idea of “perfection”, I’m draw so much closer to real Perfection.  Christ.  I am never more “perfect” than when I let Christ fill my weakness with his perfection . . . when I let Him make me whole.  As long as I am covering over all those cracks and weaknesses with my pathetic attempts to be perfect, I’m not letting Him in . . . letting Him fill them with his healing power, making me whole.
I often look at transformation as a process that I need to figure out the steps to, and “get it right”.  But really, it’s about not about getting the steps right, going through the process perfectly.  For me, it’s about letting go of my idea of acting perfect, and letting Christ BE perfect in me.

Zodhiates, Spiros. The Complete Word Study Dictionary: New Testament. Chattanooga, TN, U.S.A.: AMG, 1993. Print.

Posted November 18, 2013 by canadianmeesh in Uncategorized

Monkey Trap   Leave a comment

Monkey Trap

19 See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.

Isaiah 43:19

Someone shared that verse with me a few Sundays ago.  They felt that God had put it on their heart specifically for me.  It’s not surprising, since this verse has seemed to pop up everywhere for me lately.  So exciting, right?  A NEW thing?!  So full of hope and excitement.  Exciting, until reality hits! In order for there to be a NEW thing, there has to be room for it in our minds and hearts.  Unfortunately, there are a ton of OLD things that we have been filling that space with.  We tend to be rather attached to the “things” we’ve filled our lives with.  There’s a reason we’ve kept all that junk around!  Some of it isn’t even bad, in fact, and one time it may have even been the “new” thing that God was doing.   I find myself clinging to all of that old stuff.  Even with the promise of new, it’s hard to let go of the old.  I wish I could say that my “old stuff” was all good stuff.  Unfortunately, I find myself clinging to old defense mechanisms, fear, disappointments and hurts.  I’m always in awe of how patient God is in gently helping my fingers open to release all of those things, so that I can be open to the new things He has for me.

In Southern India hunters catch monkeys using a simple “Monkey Trap”.  The hunters use heavy bottles with long narrow necks.  Inside the bottles they put fruit, nuts and rice.  The monkey is able to get his hand into the jar and grab the fruit.  However, his fistful of fruit is too large to be able to pull it back out of the jar.  In order to escape, he would have to let go of the fruit.  Essentially, his failure to “let go” of what he thinks is a great thing, is the very thing that results in his captivity.  Isn’t that how we are?  How I am? I actually picture myself in a huge storeroom full of treasure . . . real and spiritual . . . dreams and opportunities . . . if you could see them as a physical reality.  Yet there I am, my hand in a silly simple Monkey trap.  My hand stuck in the heavy bottle, too heavy for me to move.  Except, instead of grasping sweet smelling fruit, I’m clinging rotten, old decaying things . . . bitterness, grief, fear, disappointments.   I sit there holding them, stuck in captivity, when all I need to do is LET GO and I could be free.  God wants my empty hands so he can fill them with so many wonderful, beautiful things.

Can you relate?  Are your hands full of things that are keeping you in captivity?  What “old” things do you need to let go of, to make room for the amazing new things God has for you?

Posted November 8, 2013 by canadianmeesh in Uncategorized

Dragged out of my comfort zone . . . kicking and screaming   Leave a comment

You know those days that you feel like crawling up in a blanket on your couch and watching a good movie or reading a book?  Those days that just scream for grilled cheese and tomato basil soup, chased down by hot chocolate with whipped cream?  Well, who doesn’t love those days?  We all love comfort.  The problem is, somewhere in the past few years, I seemed to have crawled up on the couch of life, surround myself in a cozy blanket . . . well, I guess more HID UNDER that cozy blanket. . . and decided that my comfort zone is where I needed to stay.    I wasn’t always like this.  In fact, most of my friends I grew up with would never describe me as a “play it safe”, “minimize the risk” kind of person.  I mean, I moved from Canada to Texas in TWO WEEKS, yes, TWO WEEKS!  Somewhere in the past 10 years of being in Texas, I’ve gotten stuck.   If you knew some of the things I’ve faced in that time, you would probably agree that my new approach to life was reasonable, or at least justified.  But is it really?  Is that all there is to life . . . minimizing the risk? Keeping the status quo?

10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

John 10:10 (NIV)

I’m not convinced that life in the comfort zone is living life to it’s fullest.  In fact, I KNOW it’s not.  So why do we stay there?  There can be lots of reasons:  laziness, fear, ignorance.  If I really got to the source of my adoration of all things comfortable, it would be fear.  There are rules to minimizing risk:  avoid risky people, avoid risky situations . . . avoid LIFE?  Not exactly living like Jesus is it?

I met with a friend a couple of weeks ago.  She challenged me to journal the things that made me uncomfortable in a given day.  The discomfort could be large or small . . . small disruptions to my routine, conscious decisions to face fear, or awkward situations that I find myself in.  It didn’t stop there.  She challenged me to see the opportunity in each situation; to see where a divine plan interjected in my well-planned routine.  Easy enough, I thought.  I had NO idea what I was in for!

In their hearts humans plan their course, but the LORD establishes their steps.

Proverbs 16:9 (NIV)

I thought I was relatively spontaneous.  I’ve come to the realization that I really have my course well planned out.

Are you curious?  Do you want a glimpse into the results of this exercise? Here’s just a sample:

A planned outing with two friends:   My “comfortable” friend is sick.  “New friend”‘s husband comes along.  My thoughts “I have no idea what we’re going to talk about, but hey, I’m not stuck in my comfort zone”.  The result, an AMAZING time with two fabulous people!  Shared information that I would never have otherwise!  Opportunity!!!  A divine appointment!  I see that I had my course planned but the Lord established my steps.

Issue comes up at work: My work process is questioned.  Normal reaction:  Defend myself.  NEW, UNCOMFORTABLE reaction, bite my tongue and look for the solution.  The result:  the solution is found, and it’s obvious it wasn’t my error.  I see God as my Defender.

Helping with a fundraiser: My car battery dies in front of the event tent.  Soooo uncomfortable!!!   I HATE being in the way, and I was PHYSICALLY in the way with my SUV.  I HATE asking for help.  Several very nice people assist me in getting my car started, I make it to ABC on time, and they change it out.  I rarely have the room in my budget, but I had it.  I have to humble myself enough to receive assistance AND I see God as my provider.

There have been several daily.  In each moment I see an opportunity.  Sometimes it’s an opportunity to make new friends or try new things, but most often it’s an opportunity to look in the mirror and re-valuate.  I had NO idea how many rules I had about life . . . rules about where to sit, rules about appropriate responses, rules about how long I need to beat myself up if I make a mistake.  In asking God to be a part of the mishaps of life, the unplanned moments, there has been a door of opportunity opened.  The opportunity to give and receive love; the opportunity to take down my defenses; the opportunity to heal.  I realized that so many of my rituals and plans were attempts to protect myself, to hide hurts and to keep myself from experiencing more hurt.  I HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO LIVE LIFE AND LIVE IT TO IT’S FULLEST.

I have to admit, lately I’ve had to be dragged out of my comfort zone kicking and screaming.  But it turns out that once I am . . . it’s very freeing and even FUN!  Ah, transformation!  It really is UNCOMFORTABLE.  Thank God that I am not alone, that He is with me every second of the way!

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”

Deut 3:16 (NIV)

Even writing this blog is a practice in pushing myself out of my comfort zone.   I’ve only ever shared my writing with a select few, and only after I’m satisfied that it is flawless.  This blog is a place where I am pouring out my soul, sharing my experiences, but it isn’t nearly as edited as I am comfortable with.  There would simply never be a post . . .  it would never make it past my incessant editing.  I’m determined to post regularly, even if it’s an imperfect sentence.  You are invited to watch the process . . . but please know, it’s imperfect and messy. But transformation always is, isn’t it?

Posted November 6, 2013 by canadianmeesh in Uncategorized

Metamorphasis: The process of transformation   Leave a comment

Metamorphasis:  The process of transformation

Who can’t relate to the process of caterpillar to butterfly? At times in our lives we all feel like that caterpillar . . . so much potential . . . but so limited. We hold on to the hope that at some point we will become that beautiful butterfly fluttering around, unhindered. Such a beautiful metaphor, until you look at the messy reality of it. So few of us are willing to be hidden, willing to be turned into liquid and then willing to fight to emerge . . . all the things required for transformation. In all honesty, I am so tired of being that caterpillar, but have avoided at all costs everything it takes to transform. I’ve made the decision that I will be open to the process of transformation . . . hidden, liquid, struggle. This blog is a small glimpse into my personal transformation process. I’m giving you a glimpse through the walls of my cocoon, at the liquid I’ve become in the process of transformation.

Posted November 5, 2013 by canadianmeesh in Uncategorized

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