Waiting for Abbey and Reading The Gift of Giving Life

I am honored to have been asked to be a “posting participant” in the Virtual Book Tour for The Gift of Giving Life.

When I first heard about The Gift of Giving Life: Rediscovering the Divine Nature of Pregnancy and Birth, I brushed it aside, simply because of the mounting list of books I wanted to read and the growing stack at my bedside collecting dust. And to be honest, I didn’t have interest in reading another watered-down, spiritually “held back”, flowery LDS book on the topic of mothering. After the third reminder, though, via friends and social media, I knew it was something I was meant to experience. The swellings and stirrings I felt from the first chapter, Heather Farrell’s We Are Each Eve, confirmed the deep, timely influence of this book on my walk as a woman and mother.

Not too many are aware that the greatest heartache of my life has been losing babies. I lost my firstborn, a beautiful baby girl, at full term – a story with so many sacred layers and levels that can’t be given justice in the context of this post. Two years after I said goodbye to my firstborn, Jeff and I had our son Noah. Two years later, we were blessed with our daughter Savannah, and two years after that, our son Sawyer. They are cherished, precious angels, each one of them. When Sawyer was two and I became pregnant again, I was glowing with assurance that this next baby was following suit with the every-two-years pattern and would be welcomed as our fourth child.

Not so. I miscarried that little gift of life and would miscarry three more times in the next 8 years. I won’t detail those losses, only to mention that they were soul-ripping. The fourth late-term miscarriage was so physically and emotionally and spiritually painful that I honestly wasn’t sure I would fully recover. Perhaps what made the final loss so intense was my dangling promise of two more children – a boy and a girl – and at 42 years, coming to the realization that my body was not going to cooperate with my spirit’s willingness to bear them.

I read The Gift of Giving Life in 2012, shortly after the miraculous private adoption of our magnificent son, Eli. I wept with the women who detailed their experiences with loss, grief and divine compensation. I felt a rising empowerment, a blazing second witness that women are in a very real partnership with The Creator of All as they sacrifice and bear down and descend. And then nobly and beautifully ascend. The Atonement of Christ is demonstrated more mightily through the sacrificial practice of mothering than through any other practice on Earth.

The Gift of Giving Life is a book about power. Woven into each chapter are stories that affirm the massive spiritual powers of wisdom, love and creation embodied in the Feminine. I love that this book addresses so many women’s experiences, from so many walks of life, who have the same underlying belief: That God knows our hearts and our needs as women and will mold a perfect plan that, through birth and rebirth, will take our souls and bodies to heights and depths we could never before fathom. I have learned that it is not just the experience of giving birth physically that empowers a woman to call herself mother. It is the praying, the losing, the weeping, the waiting. The pouring of her heart and soul into a vision and promise that only she and her Creator can hold form for.

Today I find myself back in this kind of “labor.” I know there is a girl –whom I call Abigael – that will join our home. She and Eli are pretty much a package deal, so when he showed up, I knew she would soon follow. Eli is 18 months, I am 45, and “the promise of Abbey” lives in both of us. When I start to jump to fearful what-ifs in pondering her debut, I’m reminded that time is merely a relative mortal measurement and there is a decree echoing in some corner of heaven (as it is in my heart) that she is coming. It is done.

And so I wait.

We as mothers need confirmation and validation for the dreams and impressions we hold inside for ourselves and our children. To me, that is what The Gift of Giving Life inspires. I was so moved and impressed with the depth of this book that I invited Lani Axman, one of the authors, into my home while she was in town doing book meetings last year. We sat on my couch and talked about angels and purpose and Spirit and loss, the things of which women who’ve suffered can speak the same language. I knew then, and now, that the essays contained in this book convey powerful messages every woman of faith can glean hope and insight from. I am grateful for the courage and wisdom of Felice Austin, Lani Axman, Heather Farrell, Robyn Allgood and Sheridan Ripley. These women have compiled a bold spiritual work that weaves a divine thread of hope and healing to the heart of the reader.

I add my voice to the other women on The Gift of Giving Life’s Virtual Book Tour. Visit their page to receive giveaways in the pregnancy, birth and baby departments. Most importantly, read the book! 🙂

You

This time of year, our souls beg to be examined, nurtured and validated.  In essence, fed.

In 2006, I crafted my first version of Permission to Shine (which at that time was subtitled, “The Art of Being Beautiful”) with a burning in my heart to give good women the go-ahead to beautify and nurture their souls and their bodies.  In that nurturance, they ignite their true essence and inspire everyone around them.  Most importantly, their families.

Permission to Shine has gone through a few revisions, culminating in this latest version – 10 Keys to Becoming Who You Were Born to Be.  I have thrown my heart into its production and feel complete with what it offers.  I believe it is soul food, but further – inspires a divine call to action.  My aim was create a message that, by listening, would compel a woman to take steps NOW to become who she really wants to be.  And change her corner of the world.

permissiontoshine

It’s about beauty.  It’s about confidence.  It’s about spirituality and purpose and shine factor.  The real kind.

I debated about whether or not to call it Womanhood 101.

Permission to Shine is crafted as an audio course in a 2 CD-set, or as an mp3 version, with over 90 minutes of instruction.  You can listen to sample tracks here.

I invite you to listen to this complete course and then share it with other women you care about.  One of the women going through my Stand, Speak, Shine coaching program just purchased 70 sets as Christmas gifts for the women in her life!  I am grateful that she sees value in it and has chosen to extend it as an offering.

Give it as a gift to YOU.

And watch this while you’re at it!

What You Long For…

leaving

Following is my favorite poem, “The Invitation” by Oriah.  Hadn’t read it in awhile, then picked it back up this afternoon as certain phrases from kept ruminating in my busy head…

It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living I want to know what you ache for and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing.

It doesn’t interest me how old you are I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love for your dreams for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon…I want to know if you have touched the center of your own sorrow if you have been opened by life’s betrayals or have become shriveled and closed from fear of further pain.

I want to know if you can sit with pain mine or your own without moving to hide it or fade it or fix it.

It doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling me is true.I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself.

If you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul.If you can be faithless and therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see Beauty even when it is not pretty every day.And if you can source your own life from its presence.

I want to know if you can live with failure yours and mine and still stand on the edge of the lake and shout to the silver of the full moon,”Yes.”

It doesn’t interest me to know where you live or how much money you have.I want to know if you can get up after a night of grief and despair weary and bruised to the bone and do what needs to be done to feed the children.

It doesn’t interest me who you know or how you came to be here.I want to know if you will stand in the center of the fire with me and not shrink back.

It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom you have studied.I want to know what sustains you from the inside when all else falls away.

I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.

– ORIAH

I’m alone with myself today – have been the past couple days, will be for a couple more.  I stole away to write.  It’s heavenly, and I can honestly say that even though I love people and connection, being alone with me is a constant heart’s longing.  I crave solitude almost more than anything else.  Solitude used to feel like loneliness, until I found what I love to do, and now I simply pine for opportunities to be in the company of my Self.

I love The Invitation because it speaks of the ultimate human desire: to feel free.  Soul-level, each of us wants to live intensely, with much love and much passion…We’re just waiting for someone to give us permission.

The permission must come from within, and above.  Not from this linear plane.  People around us – even those who love us – can’t answer the call of our hearts.  Only we can.

And only by the grace of God above can we even hear it.

No more labels and limits and judgments on the desires of our hearts, on what we really long for.  They just are what they are, and someday – somehow – each and every one of them will find expression.  It’s the way of the Creator we worship to give them a voice.

What we love and long for is directly tied into what we were born to do – how we’re going to help heal the planet – what our gifts are.     “Neglect not the gift that is in thee” (1 Timothy 4:14) might as well be translated, “Don’t put a lid on what you love and don’t stop nurturing your dreams because in those dreams lie the potential to express your highest gifts.”

See, THAT is why we needed a few women to write scriptures back then… 🙂  Lucky for us, we now get to expound on them

We all just want to feel free.  Our creativity and femininity are huge factors in this.  Today, as I sit in this hotel room in total solitude (minus the hundreds of people above and below me), I am reminded of the importance of honoring what lies in the deepest recesses of my heart.  The baby dreams that haven’t yet found their wings.

I’ll just try to be patient…allowing them be what they are…loving them onto a shelf until it’s the right season to take them down and let them fly.  To freedom.

Eve’s Role as Helpmeet

eve sculpture

After God created Adam He declared, “I will make an helpmeet for him…” (Genesis 2:18)   What exactly is a “helpmeet”?

I developed my own offbeat translation of “helpmeet” in my early 20’s as I secretly struggled with the idea that woman might somehow be an “afterthought” or second-seat creation.  Jokingly, I would spout off to a few in my circle of friends, “Look – women were created as helpmeets, because let’s face it, men need help!”

But I’ve since learned that “helper” is not the literal translation!

Joseph Coleson, Professor of Old Testament at Nazarene Theological Seminary – a very respected scholar and archaeologist, says that the Hebrew Translation is: “I will make for him an ‘ezer cenegdo.”

Coleson says English versions consistently translate ‘ezer as “helper.”  ‘Ezer is used 20 times in the Old Testament: seventeen times to describe God and three times to describe a military ally or aide.  Even if we translate ‘ezer to mean helper, we must remember that English has different nuances than the Hebrew language does.  In English “helper” implies someone who is an apprentice, still learning, under someone in authority.  But in Hebrewhelper” implies one who has the power to give help—it refers to someone in a superior position.

There is another possible definition for ‘ezer: “power” or “strength.” “Helper” and “power or strength” are words are from the same Hebrew root and the nouns would be identical.

Cenegdo is two prepositions, and together their literal meaning is “facing.” 1) ce is the first preposition and it means “like” or “corresponding to.” 2) Negdo means to stand in someone’s presence.

Paired with ce it means to be in the presence of an equal. Together these two prepositions show the relationship between two people: it means they are standing or sitting facing each other, which shows they are equals.

Coleson:  “How should we translate the entire expression of ‘ezer cenegdo? A straightforward literal translation is,  I will make for him a power like unto him, facing him.”

I have seen other translations from Greek whose English translations read,  “It is not good that man should be alone.  I will make a companion of strength and power who has a saving power and is equal to him.”

Even though I was trying to be funny in my 20’s, there was an intuitive knowing, through my own observation and experience, that great men relied upon great women.  Enlightened men have a deep dependence on feminine help and strength.

And enlightened women have a deep dependence on masculine help and strength.

As I’ve matured and researched, it makes much more sense to me that “helpmeet” would translate to words such as strength, power, companion, saving, and equal.  They provide clearer and stronger insights into the mortal purpose of the feminine creation.

Eve was ushered in to this Earth realm with power – a unique power which Adam did not possess – to assist in the saving of mankind.  Likewise, Adam possessed strengths Eve did not.  Together, and only as one, could they help set the Earth and Humanity on course to fulfill their respective missions.

God’s Ways Are Not Man’s

woman of samaria

Building upon what I’ve shared in the last couple of posts, regarding the “new” way Jesus the man taught and treated women, I want to share my thoughts on one of the most intriguing and least-understood figures in the New Testament…the Woman of Samaria.  Also known as the Woman at the Well.

On His way to Galilee with His disciples, Jesus was “wearied from his journey” and sat near Jacob’s Well to rest and quench His thirst.   He happened to stop near Samaria, the  Jews’ enemy territory (bold move #1) and approached a woman (bold move #2) to give Him water.

He perceived she’d had 5 husbands and that her current partner was not her husband.  She was shocked that He knew so much about her and perceived Him to be a prophet.

Enter bold move #3…Jesus spent time with, taught and nurtured a sinner.  As soon as her heart became sensitive and open to who He was, it didn’t matter what her past – and current – mistakes were.  Only that a perfect and masterful shepherding moment lay before Him with a very teachable subject.

He did not condemn her, He taught her.  The Woman of Samaria/Jesus interplay in the Bible shows us that we do not need to have it all together, living a spotless life, to be visited by the Master.  We can feel His presence, receive His teachings, and be sent forth for a purpose.  Intimately.  In our imperfection.

His disciples could NOT believe that He was talking to a woman, much less a Samaritan.  Jesus was showing them another way.   As He always did.

What Jesus taught the Woman at the Well:

“If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.” (John 4:10, NIV)

“Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” (John 4:13, 14 – NIV)

“Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.” (Jhn 4:23 –NIV)

How she responded:

“Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.” (John 4:15 – NIV)

“I know that Messiah” (called Christ) “is coming…” (John 4:25, NIV)

“The woman then left her waterpot, and went her way into the city, and saith to the men, Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ?” (John 4:28-29, KJV)

How she was received:

“And many of the Samaritans of that city believed on him for the saying of the woman, which testified…” (John 4:39)

As I discussed in my last post about Mary Magdalene, who went running to tell the disciples He was risen, this woman left her water pot and high-tailed it back to Samaria to testify of His divinity.  Despite the rejection she must knew she’d face as a woman of poor reputation.

Isn’t it a beautiful pattern in the scriptures that the Lord uses the “weak things of the world” to accomplish His purposes?  What is weak to the world is strong to the Lord.

The weak of the world are, in Truth, His powerful ones…

“But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, [yea], and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are.”     (1 Cor 1:27-28, KJV)

Bold move #4:

“But God has chosen spiritually-sensitive women to confound the wise, and the worldly ones that appear mighty.  The world has rejected women, but God has chosen them…to bring the Truth to light.”

God’s ways are not man’s.

Thank goodness.

Jesus Came to a Woman First

mary magdalene

Today Jeff and I taught our daughter’s Sunday School class – a group of eager and restless 12 and 13 year-olds.  Because it’s Easter Sunday, we tag-teamed the story of the last days of Christ’s life:  the washing of the apostles’ feet, the Last Supper, the prayer in Gethsemene, betrayal and arrest, Crucifixion, burial, Resurrection…

There was a heavy line of demarcation in the room – loud and rambunctious boys on one side, meek and demure girls on the other.   So as not to let our exuberant male audience overpower our less verbose feminine one, I turned to the girls and pronounced, “Ladies, if there’s one thing you remember after this lesson, I want it to be this:  Jesus appeared to a woman first.”

I explained to our hungry-eyed young ladies that a group of women went to Jesus’ tomb 3 days after His death to anoint His body with spices and precious oils and ointments.  When those women arrived, they discovered the stone had been rolled away.  Upon entering, they saw an angel sitting next to where Christ’s body had been lain, who told them Jesus was not there.  He was risen.

The angel bearing the news of the resurrected Lord spoke to a group of women first.

One of those women literally ran for Peter and James, who followed her back to make the same discovery.  After the whats and the whys and the hows and the something-must-be-done-about-this disorentation…Peter and John left.  One woman stayed behind, weeping outside the empty tomb.

A woman lingered.  A woman mourned.  A woman searched.

Someone from behind started to approached her.  Was it the gardener or caretaker?  “Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou has laid him, and I will take him away.” (John 20:15)  Just tell me where He is.  I just want to make sure He is cared for.

I just want to make sure He is…found.

All He needed to say was, “Mary.”  The most sweet and soaring words to any woman’s ears…her own name.  And then she knew.

Mary Magdalene ran to Him and cried, “Rabboni,” which means Master.  How joyful their reunion must have been.  After the lingering and the mourning and the weeping and the searching, He had come.  To her.  Jesus had appeared to a woman first after His resurrection, and had instructed a woman to report that He lives.

Mary – again – ran to tell the disciples that she had seen Jesus and that He had spoken to her.  Disbelieving and incredulous were many of them.  Later Jesus would appear to them and tell them He was disappointed because they had not believed Mary’s account.

Jesus ministered for 40 days with His disciples – including many women – after His resurrection.  Women were present in the “upper room” just prior to His ascension into heaven.   “And when they were come in, they went up into an upper room, where abode both Peter, and James, and John, and Andrew, Philip, and Thomas, Bartholomew, and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon Zelotes, and Judas the brother of James.  These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren.”  (Acts 1:13-14)

And so I asked our young female friends why they thought Christ came to Mary first.  Why didn’t He just come when Peter and John and everyone else was gathered together at the empty tomb?  I believe by that point it was obvious.

Mary of Magdala, the woman, was seeking Him in solitude.  Her heart was open, searching…breaking.  She stayed behind to find Him, to feel after Him.  As women often do.

One of our tween male participants wisely observed, “And Jesus probably knew that she was going to run and tell everyone the Truth about Him.”  That made me smile.

On this Easter day, I wish to be as Mary, a heart afire, running to tell the Truth about what He speaks to me.  No matter who believes me…

Because He simply is risen.

Were Women Slighted in the New Testament?

woman with veil

What was the “collective ideology – prevailing thought “consciousness” – about women back when Christ walked the Earth?  We all know that the Pharisees and Sadducees (the guys in charge) were very rule bound – very “letter of the law.”  What were the customs and traditions that women were bound by back then?

And NOW…what are we denied as women because of the modern, diminished consciousness surrounding the Feminine?  The world just doesn’t get it, and never has.  That’s why I try not to take chauvanism and the angry “it’s a man’s world” femininist movement too seriously.  I realize that it is just absolute ignorance, and could not be further from the peaceable and powerful Truth of our divine feminine identities.

Back in Christ’s day, women had to have long hair and be covered before they could pray.  Here are some words from the apostle Paul (whom I have to admit I thought had little respect for the gifts of women until I did some research)  Many, like myself,who don’t interpret the scriptures in the right spirit have condemned Paul for demeaning and excluding women:

1 Cor. 11

But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven.   For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered…Judge in yourselves: is it comely that a woman pray unto God uncovered?   But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering.

1 Cor 14

Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law. And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.

I used to wince while reading these passages.  I used to believe that Paul was actually promoting the fact that women were not spiritually allowed to receive what men can.  It really bothered me, until I asked the Lord to provide some insight [ask, and ye shall receive…].  After some research and pondering, I looked more closely at 1 Cor 11 and 14 and attempted to put them into the right context.  Paul’s not telling the women they shouldn’t pray and prophesy, he’s telling them they have to obey the customs…be respectful of traditions they’re largely forced into. He’s saying it was a shame for women to speak in the churches because it was not permitted.

Culturally.

It makes me think of how backwards certain cultures – including our lovely “popular” one – have it regarding the rights and roles of women.

In the Jewish Talmud (written by the Scribes and Pharisees), women were completely denied the privilege of reading and studying the scriptures.  Men had usurped complete authority of all reading, studying and expounding on the scriptures.  Can you imagine how that grieved the heavens?

In Christian assemblies, women -in their fervent zeal to know more- started to act disorderly within the Jewish synagogues because they didn’t know basic points of doctrine, having been denied this privilege.  They wanted more!  And so Paul was trying to counsel these women.  He was showing them ways they could skirt the customs and peacefully receive it for themselves at home, without having to create a public scene.

Adam Clark, leading theologian on Judeo-Christianity, writes:

“It was permitted for any man to ask questions, to object, altercate, attempt to refute in the synagogue; but this liberty was not afforded to the women.  Paul confirms this in reference to the Christian church.  He orders them to keep silence; if they wished to learn anything, let them ask their husbands at home, because it was perfectly indecorous for women to be contending with men in the public assembly on points of doctrine, cases of conscience, etc. But this by no means intimated that when a woman received any particular influence(calling) from God to enable her to teach, she was to ignore that influence; on the contrary, SHE WAS TO OBEY IT.”

So, was Paul telling the ladies to put a lid on it?  Au contraire, mon frere.  Paul was largely admonishing women to obey the laws of the land.   He wasn’t telling them to be quiet or not to develop their spiritual gifts.  He was simply warning them that unfortunately, women had to acquiesce to their messed up culture.  Otherwise, they may lose their right to worship as Christians.  They might get shut down by those in authority.

It is interesting that later in that same chapter (Cor 14), still talking to women, Paul says, “For ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted.”

In Acts 16:14 we read about, “…a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple…whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul.”

Lydia and a group of women in Philippi were the first converts who helped to organized the first local church on the soil of Europe.

Rom. 16: 3 “Greet Priscilla and Aquila my helpers in Christ Jesus:”

Priscilla and her husband Aquila were associates of Paul, and taught Apollos.

When Paul started his long list of greetings to individuals in the church at Rome (Romans 16:1-16):  “I commend unto you Phebe our sister, which is a servant of the church… That ye receive her in the Lord, as becometh saints, and that ye assist her in whatsoever business she hath need of you: for she hath been a succourer of many, and of myself also.

The first name he addressed in his greetings was a woman. In fact, ten of those referred to individually were women.

Philippians 4:2-3:   I beseech Euodias, and beseech Syntyche, that they be of the same mind in the Lord. And I intreat thee also, true yokefellow, help those women which laboured with me in the gospel…whose names are in the book of life.”

Paul encouraged and exhorted Euodia and Syntyche (2 women) as fellow workers in the cause of the gospel.  He entreated his brethren to help the women!  Soooo NOT chauvinist!

See, Paul took it for granted that women would pray and prophesy in church; to pray and to prophesy were to exercise leadership and teaching roles in public worship.

This was uncommon in the Early Saints’ culture and time period…to afford women this kind of inclusion.

And who was teaching PAUL how to deal with women…the rights women should be afforded in the Church…Who taught Paul about the Divine Feminine?  Certainly not his culture.    But Jesus Christ. His mentor.

WHAT JESUS DID TO ATTEMPT TO RAISE THE EARTH’S CONSCIOUSNESS ABOUT WOMEN while He was a mortal?

I love this statement by Joseph Coleson, a renowned scholar and theologian at Nazarene Seminary: “Throughout the Gospels we see—if we are looking—the radically new and different treatment of women by Jesus. He talked with women, ate with, traveled with, and taught women, accepted women’s ministry to him with respect and dignity. Given the social norms of Roman Palestine, it is impossible to overestimate the importance of the fact that women were the first to see Jesus’ empty tomb, and to see Jesus himself after His resurrection, and further, that Jesus directed the women to report His resurrection to Peter and the rest of the men of the company. Women, whose witness was not accepted in a court of law, were charged with first witness to the most important event in all history. This was church leadership of the first order!”   CHRIST SHOWED A NEW WAY TO TREAT WOMEN.  He literally defied the customs of His day.   I want to explore, in a little series of posts, how this was so.  Stay tuned 🙂

What Does It Mean to be a GREAT Woman?

I heard this “greatness” list on a group teaching call recently and loved it.  I love it because it affirms my position that “average”, “status quo”, “getting by” and “doing pretty good” is NOT what we were born for…

THE TEN COMMANDMENTS OF GREATNESS

1. You shall remember who you are.

2. You shall let go of anything that stands between you and your greatness.

3. You shall take the high road in everyday thoughts, words and acts whether anyone is looking or not.

4. You shall Say “Yes” to the Spirit within without reservation.

5. You shall act in Faith.

6. You shall fully express your purpose, innate gifts and talents.

7. You shall live from your highest vision and manifest a life that is worthy of you.

8. You shall Love, be Love and be “in Love!”

9. You shall allow yourself to stand out naturally.

10. You shall assist others in remembering who they are and stepping into their greatness.

– Reggie Odom

This little blurb at the end pretty much says it all:

“Playing small is not what I had in mind for you.” – The Divine

I think many of us hold back from really “being” more because we fear others will perceive us unfavorably.  We go to their level of comfortability – absorbing their feelings of “less than” because we’ll seem superior if we try to be “more than.”  Silly girls.  We so often place the opinions of others before God’s!  HE wants us to soar and shine and be in our gifts and experience bliss and flow and passion and Light.  That way, His work gets done more quickly and we get to expand our souls in the process.

Remember Marianne Williamson’s reminder that our “playing small does not serve the world”?  That when we become liberated from what others think and feel our  “presence automatically liberates others”?

Wouldn’t it be reasonable to assume that if we actually did let our lights shine and play “big” we will set those naysayers FREE on some level?

I know in my heart I’m not trying to outshine anyone.  I just want to bring other women to God.  To peace.  To a knowledge of THEIR greatness and divinity.  Each of us, because of what we have passed through, are experts on something.  Time and experience have implanted within us seeds of greatness that, through our faith and courage, have the ability to spring forth and move masses of other people.

Oft-quoted, but here’s Marianne’s full statement:

marianne“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’s 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’re liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

I memorized this, heart and mind, in the year 2000, as I was going through my own awakening and transformation process.  I felt like it gave me permission to be more than ordinary, to break out of what was around me… a permission slip I desperately needed and was actually begging for, soul level.  I’ve realized that while we all need other people along the way to validate our efforts to move forward and be more, I need to trust that I can give myself that permission.

I need to trust that my relationship with Deity is solid enough that I will not go astray if I play big.  I need to trust the voice of God which to my heart almost constantly whispers, “Permission GRANTED.”

So, what does it mean to be a great woman?  A great woman is a woman who “gets” her Greatness.  She gives HERSELF permission to shine (hey! that phrase sounds familiar…I have a free audio on it on this site).  A great woman LEAPS forward with her heart at the forefront, inspiring others with Love and Light and enthusiasm… couched in her own sweet IMPERFECTION.

Greatness is not perfection, it’s just unabashed desire and courage.  Heed the call to Greatness.  The Earth needs what you have!

A More Passionate and Beautiful ME

Ok, so you know how I talked in my “mother earth is shifting” post about being in the most amazing conference (Ignite Your Spark) a few weeks ago and how I “love-love-LOVED” the way it streamed passion and exuberance into my being?  How it lit me up?

What I didn’t mention is that I was at a very low point  – a big ol’ woe-is-me lull – for several days just prior to that event.  My business, my health, my weight, my personal worth, my role as a mom, a wife…everything female.  I’m not always super transparent about my struggles, but let’s just say that February to early March were feeling scary.

Not a “life is meaningless and I have no purpose” scary, but the kind of scary where you have so much yearning in your heart to do good and just feel like you lack the wherewithal to put it in motion.  Like you wonder if you have the strength to be as much as you want to be and live from the point of authenticity and freedom that your soul is really craving.

Like you needed someone – anyone! – to give you permission to stop playing small and start fulfilling the full and stately measure of your creation.

Honestly, I feel that a big part of feminine authenticity and purpose is being surrounded by beauty.  Not materialistic vanities, just the beautiful things of the Earth.  Surroundings you can create with intention and love.  For me, that includes a nice-sized beautiful home to inspire myself and my family, and those who need nurturance and joy within those walls.  Prior to that conference, I was feeling bugged – triggered- by my uninspiring home.  A little red brick box –  built over 50 years ago- that can barely fit our family of five and dog.  It’s got creaks and cracks and orange shag basement carpet and 70’s cupboards…argh!  We knew when we moved in it would only be temporary, but STILL…feeling bugged nonetheless.

Creating beauty with intention and love – as it relates to feminine authenticity – must involve our physical bodies.  As women, our image and carriage and visual attractivness is so very much a part of our life missions.  Our physical form and confidence are the walking advertisements for our beliefs about our own sacredness and value.  The way I’ve been feeling about my house is almost exactly how I was feeling about my physical body.  I felt more like a neglected rental rather than a temple.  Needing some invigoration, some motivation, some nurturance.  Some Divine assistance.

red brick house

This isn’t our house, BTW…:)

I’m done whining about what I’m lacking, and that really wasn’t the point of this post, anyway.  This post is about what I’m going to claim.  Because I wanted beauty within and around me, I took that desire to God and claimed it as a righteous one – shortly after I left that conference.  The blessings and opportunities that have come into my Sacred Station since then have been a challenge to keep up with!

cottage5

I’d settle for this as my second home…:)

As of 3 days ago, I’ve taken on two new coaches – one for my business/purpose and the other for my body/health.  Both, I feel, will help me create more beauty and value for those I love and serve, as well as more abundance.  I am blessed that my Creator placed them on my path and look forward to taking the next 3 months to be coached rather than just to coach.

I am soooooooooo excited!  I’ll be updating on how this “semi-extreme home makeover”  plays out.

Mother Earth is Shifting

planetearth1

Just sitting here thinking of my brothers and sisters in Japan and the devastating earthquake that has rocked their homeland over the weekend…as well as the unrest in the Middle East, our volatile economy, the political instability, global unrest…

While all that was happening in Japan, I sat in one of the most amazing conferences for women I’ve ever attended – Ignite Your Spark, organized by my new friend Angela Johnson.  The room was electrified with the presence of women who desire to heal the planet and make a difference.  Ideas and inspiration and passion and exuberance streamed into my being while there.  My mind and heart are still reeling from the beautiful insights and impressions I received.  I love-love-love-love LOVE it when that happens, and believe me, I soooo needed that boost.  I so needed it.

It’s been hitting me lately that this is a time of MARKED polarity. Great injustice, disasters, darkness and mayhem on one end of the spectrum.  Truth, Balance, Light, Triumph, and pure Passion on the other.

The Earth has a Purpose, just as we all do.  It is part of the Earth’s destiny and mission to experience this strong polarity (or opposition).  The Earth holds its own vibration and frequency.    It has subtle energies operating within it and around it, and it definitely has an energy field, just as we do.  You could say it has a spirit.

Even wisdom.

We live in an interesting time – the “winding up scenes” of the Earth are literally upon us.  All world religions, Christian, Buddhists, Islam, Judaism, American Indians, The New Age Movement…every culture, religion and peoples believe we are experiencing “the end of times” or a winding up of the Earth’s mission.

As a result, the Earth is experiencing great energetic shifts.  Everything (including time) is speeding up and increasing in force and intensity.  The time has come when you literally cannot fence-sit or stand still.  If you are feeling depressed, it will feel more pronounced.  If you are feeling joy, it will feel more pronounced.  The middle ground is getting harder to exist in or even define.  Few are on middle ground anymore.

Mother Earth knows her mission is in its final stages.  Disease and depression and wars and crimes are rampant, escalating and increasing.  The scriptures and prophets of all ages have told us that the Earth will be destroyed because of the darkness – the low vibrations – that the PEOPLE ARE CREATING.  This is often termed evil or wickedness.  Interestingly, natural disasters, calamities, storms, etc., are a manifestation of the energetic shifts in the Earth in response to the vibrations of its inhabitants.

The Earth is preparing to cleanse and renew.

Along with darkness, Light and Truth are streaming onto this Earth with just as much force and intensity.  People are waking up – searching, becoming enlightened.  Technology and communication have seen huge expansions, and they are increasing exponentially.    What was true in last year’s textbook is already outdated.  If technology is experiencing such rapid, exponential growth, why wouldn’t “unseen” emotional energies and thoughts be experiencing that same rate of growth and “speeding up”?  THEY ARE!!

My experience at the Ignite Your Spark conference this weekend confirmed that.

I want you to look inside and see if you can discern what your experience has been with the energy shifts on Earth.  Maybe you never recognized it as such.

  1. Do you feel “called” to perform a Purpose? 
  2. Are you hungering to learn new truths? 
  3. Do you feel an urgency you can’t explain?
  4. Are these feelings increasing in intensity?

Many women are experiencing strong shifts, right along with the earth.  They are strongly desiring to heal, to inspire others some way, or to live their Divine Purpose.  Unknowingly, we are each in tune with what’s happening on the Earth as the Earth is “winding up.”  IN ESSENCE, BECAUSE YOU LIVE IN THIS DIMENSION, YOU ARE EXPERIENCING THE SAME SHIFTS THE EARTH IS.  (some are aware of this, some are not…)   Just as the Earth desires to cleanse and renew, so do OUR bodies and spirits!!!

There are many, many passages in the Bible and other scripture about these scenes and shifts in our day.  A significant one is found in Joel 2:28-29, in the Old Testament.  This entire chapter is dedicated to what will be happening on the Earth in our time:

And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions:  And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit…

Note that this scripture is including women.  Your sons and your DAUGHTERS,  – prophesy, dream dreams, see visions….your servants and HANDMAIDS  (not just the wealthy, beautiful, privileged or educated).

I have talked to many women who are hungering for more knowledge – but they want it from the right sources.  They desperately want more, but they do not want to be deceived!  This longing and yearning to learn more cannot come from a dark source.  It is in congruence with what is happening with the consciousness of our Mother Earth.

God is pouring out His spirit upon all flesh…and my sense is that if you are reading this, you are feeling it.  You are in tune with the energetic and spiritual shifts on this Earth.  Even more exciting, you are feeling called to be part of a Purpose and to help raise the frequency of the Earth’s vibration by ALLOWING light, truth and knowledge to stream into your consciousness.

I said this in by “About” section and I’ll say it again: IT’S AN EXCITING TIME TO BE A WOMAN OF GOD.

I love this poem that was shared at the conference:

Earth Teach Me to Remember
by John Yellow Lark

Earth teach me stillness
as the grasses are stilled with light.
Earth teach me suffering
as old stones suffer with memory.
Earth teach me humility
as blossoms are humble with beginning.
Earth Teach me caring
as the mother who secures her young.
Earth teach me courage
as the tree which stands alone.
Earth teach me limitation
as the ant which crawls on the ground.
Earth teach me freedom
as the eagle which soars in the sky.
Earth teach me resignation
as the leaves which die in the fall.
Earth teach me regeneration
as the seed which rises in the spring.
Earth teach me to forget myself
as melted snow forgets its life.
Earth teach me to remember kindness
as dry fields weep in the rain.
Ute, North American