Birth

Today I am grateful for the birth that gave hope to the hopeless. In this season of birth and renewal in the midst of confusion and fear, I am praying for sufficient strength to be hopeful, effective faith to believe, and enough compassion to be loving…

“For a child has been born—for us! The gift of a son—for us!
He’ll take over the running of the world.
His names will be: Amazing Counselor, Strong God, Eternal Father,
Prince of Wholeness.
His ruling authority will grow, and there’ll be no limits to the wholeness he brings.” Isaiah 9: 6-7, MSG

Inhale Creation, Exhale Suppression…
Inhale Inclusion, Exhale Exclusion…
Inhale Compassion, Exhale Separation…
Just Breathe…

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#ThisISAmerica

I saw the #ThisIsNotUS hashtag trending this past weekend and was gratified to see so many pointing out the obvious…that white men carrying torches, white men beating people of color, white men murdering those with whom they disagree is about as American as it gets.

Now what?

Each moment describes who you are, and gives you the opportunity to decide if that’s who you want to be.” ~ Bruce D. Schneider, Energy Leadership

Inhale What IS, Exhale Illusion…
Inhale Knowledge, Exhale Willful Ignorance…
Inhale Transformation, Exhale Status Quo…
Just Breathe

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Compassion

Have you ever watched someone you’re close to make a stupid choice and wondered, “Why can’t she see this is NOT going to turn out well?”

I’ve done that…and then I remember the stupid thing I did when I didn’t pay attention to my accountability partners or my own inner knowing…my God voice whispering, then shouting… “Don’t. Do It!”

And I work on being a little more compassionate…

It’s easy to see a smudge on your neighbor’s face and be oblivious to the ugly sneer on your own. Do you have the nerve to say, ‘Let me wash your face for you,’ when your own face is distorted by contempt?” Matthew 7: 3-4 MSG

Inhale Compassion, Exhale Judgment…
Inhale Compassion, Exhale Hypocrisy…
Inhale Compassion, Exhale Contempt…
Just Breathe

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Chemistry

In our relationships, whether business, friendship or romantic, we are often most attracted to the person with whom we share similarities.

And then we find out the hard way that the similarly dispositioned, similarly skilled, similarly talented person you’re most attracted to, may not be the best complement to who you are or what you’re trying to accomplish.

A soul mate is…someone whose way of viewing life is not necessarily the same as yours but complements yours, so that there is not a compromise, there is a complement.” ~ Paul Robear

Inhale Diversity, Exhale Sameness…
Inhale Complementary, Exhale Uniformity…
Inhale Variety, Exhale Routine…
Just Breathe

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Precious Present

Every anxious thought we have about what might happen, every moment we spend replaying and regretting an action we took or something we didn’t say…every time we give into anger over something done to us that we perceive as negative, we stray away from the precious present.

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Matthew 6:34, NIV

Inhale Present, Exhale Past…
Inhale Now, Exhale Future…
Inhale Peace, Exhale Frustration…
Just Breathe

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Unstuck

I recently had a really clear instance of being triggered by the memory of a bad experience. And because our bodies can’t always tell the difference between a thought and reality, my body reacted as if it was happening in real time. In an instant, joy and hope were temporarily replaced by despair and fear.

Temporary because I recognized what was happening and quickly took action so I wouldn’t get stuck where I was. After some prayer and deep, deep breathing, I was able to get to a state of equilibrium and peace. For that, I’m so grateful.

Life is a creative process and our thoughts, beliefs, assumptions, choices, actions, and words are the tools that we use to invent our experiences and our circumstances.” ~ Katherine Woodward Thomas

Inhale Responding, Exhale Reacting…
Inhale Action, Exhale Stuck…
Inhale Creation, Exhale Victimization…
Just Breathe

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Protected

This week, between traveling in traffic and sleeping in a hotel, I experienced insomnia. I felt like I was in a thick fog and found myself moving like the walking dead. And because I was physically tired and mentally drained, I became emotionally exhausted. With my emotional energy depleted, I started to feel sad.

It was a personal manifestation of all I know to be true about holistic health; that a glitch in one system impacts all other systems. So I thank God for spiritual protection and for guiding me to the tools and the pathway to wholeness.

Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.” Ephesians 6:13-18 MSG

Inhale Protection, Exhale Illusion…
Inhale Peace, Exhale Chaos…
Inhale Prayer, Exhale Uncertainty…
Just Breathe

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Perfect Peace

We try so hard to understand what is beyond our comprehension, to explain what we don’t fully understand. What if we just rested in the flow and trusted in the All-Knowing…

You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.” ~ Isaiah 26:3 NIV

Inhale Peace, Exhale Strain…
Inhale Rest, Exhale Fatigue…
Inhale Trust, Exhale Weariness…
Just Breathe

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Space for Grace

I didn’t really become an Oprah Winfrey fan until I retired and started working from home. At the time, I was surprised at how spiritual she was because I recalled people questioning her beliefs, her faith, her Christianity.

Since she launched her OWN network, I have come to realize the questioning was and is because her worship looks different, because she honors others’ beliefs … because she lives authentically and offers space and grace for others to do the same.

It’s who you are and the way you live that count before God. Your worship must engage your spirit in the pursuit of truth. That’s the kind of people the Father is out looking for: those who are simply and honestly themselves before him in their worship. God is sheer being itself—Spirit. Those who worship him must do it out of their very being, their spirits, their true selves, in adoration.” ~ John 4: 23-24, MSG

Inhale Love, Exhale Suspicion…
Inhale Love, Exhale Separation…
Inhale Love, Exhale Segregation…
Just Breathe

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Compelled to Purpose

Our purpose is sometimes revealed in unexpected, sometimes sad, even violent ways … like when we experience something personally or something happens to someone close to us and we feel compelled to act. Candy Lightner founded Mothers Against Drunk Driving after a drunk driver, who had a history of arrests for intoxication, hit and killed her daughter.

Whose life will be saved by the protection your passion puts into place?

The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Inhale Purpose, Exhale Despair…
Inhale Focus, Exhale Discouragement…
Inhale Action, Exhale Distraction…
Just Breathe

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Reflections With Renita

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