Long Distance

During my 27 years in the Air Force, I moved 16 times and lived in five different countries. I was stationed on the West Coast (Cali), on the East Coast (New Hampshire), in North Dakota and Texas and lived in or traveled to many places in between. I’ve kept in touch with many and lost touch with even more.

What I love about my most intimate circle of friends, who mostly live elsewhere, is the way I can pick up the phone and the conversation; no matter how long it’s been since we last talked, I never feel judged or like I have to apologize. I get to fully feel the love.

Inhale Openness, Exhale Expectations…
Inhale Receptivity, Exhale Recriminations…
Inhale Joy, Exhale Judgment…
Just Breathe…

#JustBreathe

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Joy Story!

I heard a woman from Kenya describe her upbringing in truly terrible conditions. She had endured horror after horror: hunger, rape, kidnapping, prostitution and barely escaped being trafficked. But nothing in her voice or body language suggested anger at everything she had experienced or despair over the environment she grew up in. In fact, the joy she felt at having earned a degree and finding her way to Chicago emanated from her being.

It was a powerful reminder that we are not our circumstances, we are not what we’ve been through, and we don’t have to let our experiences define us.

“Strength! Courage! Don’t be timid; don’t get discouraged. God, your God, is with you every step you take.” Joshua 1:9, MSG

Inhale Resilience, Exhale Resignation…
Inhale Persistence, Exhale Powerlessness…
Inhale Joy, Exhale Despair…
Just Breathe

#JustBreathe

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More Joy Please!

One of my colleagues expressed a little guilt about all the joy she’s experiencing in her personal life when the world seems scary and unsafe for so many.

I believe the joy is what we have to focus on in these tumultuous times to stay hopeful. So embrace it, enjoy it…luxuriate in the joy in your life!

“Hope and fear cannot occupy the same space. Invite one to stay.” ~ Dr. Maya Angelou

Inhale Joy, Exhale Overwhelm…
Inhale Safety, Exhale Unease…
Inhale Hope, Exhale Fear…
Just Breathe

#JustBreathe

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Freedom to Give

Have you ever received something from someone that felt like it had a string attached? It could be because the giver really didn’t want to do or give what was asked.

When we do things we don’t want to do out of a sense of obligation or even expectation of reciprocity, we sometime feel resentment. And when our expectations aren’t met and we feel some kind of way, whether we realize it or not, the recipient of our largesse feels something too…confusion.

Inhale Freedom, Exhale Expectation…
Inhale Good Will, Exhale Resentment…
Inhale Joy, Exhale Annoyance…
Just Breathe

#JustBreathe
Reflections With Renita

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Happy

Never, ever again will you tell me it takes you to make me happy.” ~ Carly and Martina Shipp.

These are some of the lyrics from a song I recently heard called “Make Me Happy.” Now fifteen, the authors, musicians Carly and Martina Shipp, wrote the song when they were thirteen. Watch the video here!

Like a lot of the songs I discovered when I visited their website, it is a call to chose empowerment from two young people who are very clear about who gets to make that choice. And I just marveled at their ability to recognize this powerful concept…they are responsible for their own happiness.

“Happiness depends upon ourselves.” ~ Aristotle

Inhale Clarity, Exhale Confusion…
Inhale Happiness, Exhale Discouragement…
Inhale Peace, Exhale Chaos…
Just Breathe…

#JustBreathe
Reflections With Renita

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Peace

Being centered…plunges us again and again, into that unseeable stream in which life is continually vital and refreshed.” ~ Mark Nepo

Everything I read during my morning devotion today encouraged me to get still. I was feeling agitated…nothing debilitating just an increased level of “did I get this done” and “what can I do to make a difference?” I realized I haven’t been doing what I know to do to keep myself centered and receptive. I wasn’t entering my items “to do” in my phone planner app as soon as they occurred to me so I could let them go. I’ve been watching too much news. I rushed through my morning devotion last week. I haven’t taken the time to slow down and really get still. And I was feeling some kind of way that wasn’t reflective of how I want to feel.

Isn’t it true that when we most need the tools to quiet our minds, we convince ourselves we’re too busy to use them? Tweet this now!

It is only when we are in a place of peace, joy and love that we can accurately discern God’s voice amid the chaos, actually perceive our inner thoughts from the external noise and understand we don’t have be anxious about anything. So I took the time to get still, breathe in unison with life and let the truth flow in. And already, I’m feeling more at peace…

“Be still and know that I am God…” Psalm 46:10

Inhale Calm, Exhale Chaos…
Inhale Stillness, Exhale Stress…
Inhale Peace, Exhale Chatter…
Just Breathe…

#ReflectionsWithRenita

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