The Invitation

As I start my new journey, a journey that I’ve been on for some time now, but yet moving it forward even more. At 57 (almost 58), I’m embarking on a dream that I’ve had since childhood. The avenue of getting there has been long and at times hard but experiences are what can define who we are if we allow them to. They can define us in a negative manner, as Satan would have it, or they can instill in us a passion for the positive, creative and compassionate life. That is the definition that I chose.

As I embark on this journey, I will find truths that tell my story and I will find me in the process. This is one of the truths that tell my story and help to explain who I am becoming.

The Invitation
by Oriah Mountain Dreamer

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 dream, 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.I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own, if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful, to be realistic, to remember the limitations of being human.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’s 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 the 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.
by Oriah Mountain Dreamer
copyright © 1999 by Oriah Mountain Dreamer.

I hope through the journey that I am taking that I will be prepared to take others on that journey for themselves. Finding who they are as they define their experiences & success while also finding Joy. I will continue to journal my journey of becoming a Certified Professional Life & Leadership Coach. If you are interested in following that journey, you can click on FOLLOW in the column to the right. Or if you have questions or would like working with me, you can find me at rhondagouldonline.com under “Contact” or on Facebook @ Rhonda Gould Coaching.

Wound Healer

Matthew 28:19 Therefore go and make disciples in all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the HolySpirit,

And how do I do that, make disciples, when I’m so messed up?

Unless you are just “not normal” or not a Jesus follower, you probably have asked yourself this question. Saying things like, “I’m not able”, “I’m not capable”, “I’m not knowledgeable enough”, “I’m not prepared with all the answer to their questions” or a myriad of other “I’m not” statements.

But have we forgotten? Ephesians 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

In a recent sermon, I heard the preacher call Jesus the wound healer. That really hit home because without the wounds healed, we will continue to spout out those “I’m not” statements.

This life, my life, has thrown so many reasons at me for why I am not worthy or able to carry out His good work. I mean really! Who would listen to me. But I know for fact that many of the men God and Jesus choose also had those thoughts. During the sermon this diagram came to mind.

A visual of “Life” and there is God asking to carry that load for us. He gives us His word. He provides us a way to speak to Him. And He provides us with others who can help us sort those “life” things out. But without JESUS, we can’t do it! Jesus is our wound healer. The one who took those sins and pains from us and placed them on His back. Carried them far and will continue to carry them if we let Him.

Psalm 116:16-17  Truly I am your servant, Lord; I serve you just as my mother did; you have freed me from my chains.I will sacrifice a thank offering to you and call on the name of the Lord.

Read Psalms 113-118 https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ps+113-118&version=NIV

And the cool thing is that God and Jesus didn’t leave us alone. They gave us the Holy Spirit to walk this walk of life. If we are tied into the healing from the wound healer, we will also have the Holy Spirit to guide us in our walk to making disciples.

So when “life” starts hitting heavy on you and the “I’m nots” want to seep back in, try these verses and let them carry you on your path to “I can” through Him.

Isaiah 30:21  Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.”

Joshua 1:9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.

Colossians 2:10  and in Christ you have been brought to fullness. He is the head over every power and authority.

He is our Creator, our Savior and our Provider. Have FAITH in Him, TRUST in Him and He will bring you JOY! HE will Guide your every step!

Thank You Lord for being my wound healer. Amen!

Storyteller Pens

We all have a story. Some are wrapped up in a pretty box with a big beautiful ribbon and some are, at it’s best, wrapped in the comics out of the news paper. Some may even be without a wrapping at all. But there is a story none the less.

By definition, story is an account of past events in someone’s life or in the evolution of something. The pen is a tool for which you can tell that story.

I have been telling my story for years now. The stories may not have had my name tied to them directly but each writing told the story of my heart from the past, current or hope for the future perspective.

It is very therapeutic to write your story. To write from the heart. Sometimes it’s easier to write it than it is to speak it. I know there has been times when this has been true for me. Gathering my thoughts and putting them down on paper has been a blessing that God revealed to me over time.

But my story is not the most important story. The story of Jesus coming to this earth for us and dying on that cross to bare the burdens of our sins so that we may have hope for a future with him is the most miraculous story. When we come to understand that story and it fills our soul with Joy and Peace, we then feel the depth of the stories of other’s that much more fully.

That is where Storyteller Pens come into play. I hope that you will take the time to watch the video below and understand what this simple pen can do for so many people and how that pen can change the lives and stories for generations to come. Stories of the past generations can be made new and better for future generations if those of us who know Jesus will help write a new story of HOPE for them.

If you would like to reach out to Mike Allen and become the writer of new stories of Hope, you can reach him at Mantech_2@yahoo.com .

I have found healing from telling my story. I promise that you can too! And remember that Jesus is the ultimate story teller, one that is full of hope and a future. We simply need to be willing to tell that story.

Jeremiah 29:11-14 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.  Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.  I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity. https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=jeremiah+29%3A11-15&version=NIV

Thank you Jesus for loving me enough! Amen

Listen

The fine art of listening. Everyone is capable of doing it. But do we?

Proverbs 18:2 A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion.

I’ve had many of these times of listening without understanding because I was more concerned about how I was going to respond. Or not listening at all because I felt like my opinion of the situation was way more important that that of the other person.

Proverbs 12:15 The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice.

Proverbs 2:2 Making your ear attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understanding;

Or I may listen but am I going to take it to heart? Is what was said to me opening my eyes to truth and am I willing to take that truth and change? I’ve been here too! In denial of what was being said so I didn’t want to hear it. I was polite enough to listen but it didn’t find it’s way to my heart.

Proverbs 21:23 Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue keeps himself out of trouble

I recognized this one so much so that it became part of my testimony saying, “I’ve learned the more I keep my mouth closed, the louder I can hear HIS voice”. That is a hard one! I sometimes find myself not able to listen because my mouth won’t stop moving long enough to.

Ecclesiastes 3:7 A time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;

Even in Ecclesiastes, it says there is a time that I simply need to be silent. I did this many years ago when I realized that the world around me was crumbling and my need to be in control (not listening) was out of control. This was in 2005 when I said NO MORE GOD, I need YOU to take this. It was time to be silent and let others speak and me simply listen to Him. My willingness to let go allowed God to work because my voice wasn’t over powering Him. Messing with the minds and hearts of those around me to the point that they could not hear what HE was saying to them.

Romans 10:17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.

Exodus 14:14 The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.”

I have had many years of not listening to Him. Being in control or the illusion of control. On the outside I looked the part but on the inside the illusion was eating away at my soul.

Some, I believe, would say that I’m a good listener. But I haven’t mastered it yet. I’ve learned over the last several years that listening is a gift, maybe a spiritual gift, but mainly an emotional gift from God. Because when I began doing more listening and less speaking, my world turned into a more beautiful, peaceful and grace giving place.

Try it, listen more………. speak less.

Lord thank you for being patient with me. Amen!