You’ve Been Warned!

Recently my brother and I were discussing some fixes that were needed on my Jeep, which is a six-speed, manual shift. I would have it no other way. At any rate, for some reason we then started talking about the emergency brake, aka the e-brake. I told him about what my mechanic said the process would be to tighten the e-brake. He asked why it needed to be tightened. I told him that (there are no hills where I live) when I park on an incline, I tend to roll back a little. Listen really closely here, or should I say read really closely. He asked my if I relied solely on my e-brake. I said yes. I have since I learned, um, taught myself to drive a stick shift, in my 20’s. He was shocked!

My brother asked me over and over, if all I have ever relied on was my e-brake. He asked me the question in several different ways. It was the same question though. ‘You never put it in gear, in first or second gear?’ ‘No.’ There was silence, and then he said hold on. A few seconds later, there was a third person on the line. His mechanic. Yes, my brother called me out! But that was not his intention. I know, because I know his heart. He asked his mechanic how to secure a manual shift vehicle, whether it is on a flat surface or on a hill. The mechanic said he, along with 95% of the manual shift driving population, use their e-brake; but they also leave their vehicle in gear. Furthermore he said, and I knew this although I never did it, (remember, there are no hills where I live) you turn your wheels toward the curb so that if your vehicle does roll, it would roll into the curb.

OK, OK, I get it! So today, for the first time in my life, I parked my vehicle, and left it in a gear. I had to think about what I was doing. It really was a process! But wait, by now you are wondering what the point of this story is right? Here is the point: I believe I have been warned. I told my brother the same thing, and he readily agreed. But actually, I learned two lessons after that conversation with my brother. I had been seriously protected from tragedy over the years, having taken the risk to only use my e-brake. The other thing I learned was that I, we, could be doing the same thing for years; but one day find that it was wrong all along. We may have been putting ourselves and others at risk unknowingly. On the other hand, we could just be realizing that it is time to do some things differently than we have been.

After all it is not illegal to use just an e-brake. It is not bad, and if you live in a state or country where it there are no hills or mountains, it may never be an issue. But what if you need to learn the proper way to do something for a reason? What if God is getting you, me, ready for something new; and the only way I knew to approach this new thing was in the old process? A not necessarily bad way, but not necessarily the best way. Of course, the way we learn is being open to even listening and trying new ways in the first place. I am proud of myself for teaching myself to learn to drive a manual shift. I even later taught one of my sisters how to drive a manual shift.

It is OK to learn, teach, and continually expand your mind. But that expanding and stretching includes listening when God speaks to us directly, through others; and through situations. Have you been warned about anything?

Brain Food

 

No, I am not referring to a scene from The Walking Dead, I’m referring to food for your brain. You see, when we eat, we typically do so for two reasons: for nutrition and to quench hunger. We may even ask ourselves, ‘is this good for me?’, before we take that bite. But how many times do we ask if that piece of food is good for our brain? stock snap photo of sliced apple photog Krzysztof Puszczynski 03162016

No, this is not a nutrition blog. Well, maybe a little, but humor me. I think you will appreciate the point I am going to make. Many of us know that just as there are foods like fruit and vegetables, that are good for us. There are other foods, like cake and ice cream, that are not so good for us. We know that the nutrients in carrots are good for our eyes. The nutrients in beets build the blood and are very good for several internal organs. The nutrients in tomatoes are good for our skin! Who knew? Well, the list goes on. Bottom line, fruits and vegetables are good for our bodies, our brains! You know that old saying, ‘an apple a day keeps the doctor away’.–Benjamin Franklin. It really is true.

But I would like to add to the list, a different type of brain food. This food should be pretty easy to ingest, but unfortunately for many, it is a process. This is because there are things that can block this food from getting in. It’s almost like you have to fight to get the food in! But I would suggest you fight. What is this brain food you ask? Well different people call this food different things, but it’s the same food. Here are a few of the different names this food goes by: positive self-reinforcement, daily self-affirmations, positive self-speak.pencil on a pad, to make a list

You see, we all know there is a big bad world out there. There are mean, hurt, difficult, people out there.

You’ve heard the saying, ‘hurt people hurt people.’ Unfortunately, some of these mean people exist right in our homes! Some people must fight against difficulty and hurtful words the moment their eyes pop open in the morning. In fact, some people even sleep with their eyes open! From the time some of us are very young, we have to fight against the words family members tell us. Words such as ‘you will never amount to anything’, or ‘you are stupid like your father’, or ‘you are not smart enough to go to college’.

But no matter what negative word has been spoken to or over you, you still have a choice. It does not matter how young or how old you are, you can make this choice. When you make the choice, there is nothing the perpetrator(s) can do about it. The choice? Create your own brain food. We should eat the natural brain food I mentioned earlier, as much as possible. But when we create our own brain food, we can eat as much of it as we want, day and night. There are no calories, and we receive tons of positive self-reinforcement. And the wonderful thing is, the perpetrators do not need to know you are consuming this food!

So here is how it works. If we find ourselves in a situation where we are being punched and pummeled with negative words from family or from strangers, we must have something good to say to ourselves. It’s that simple! But you have to be ready. You have to practice these positive words and phrases.

When you hear ‘you will never amount to anything’, say to yourself, ‘I am a child of God. I know I’m somebody, because God does not make junk.’ If you hear ‘you are stupid like your father’, say to yourself, ‘that’s not true. I am smart and getting smarter every day!’ If you hear ‘you are ugly’. Say to yourself, ‘I am beautiful because I was created in God’s image.’ Get the idea? Always be ready with something positive to say to and about yourself. And please know, it is not vanity to speak positively to yourself. You, we, are created by God. No one has a right to mistreat us or call us names.

Unfortunately, people do and say ugly things because those things were done to them. Maybe you are beautiful inside and out, so they are jealous. Maybe people love your personality, but theirs not so much. There are many reasons human beings mistreat each other. But that is not your problem. Maintain a good attitude about yourself and others. Say positive things to yourself daily. Every good thing you say to and about yourself, builds you up. Our brains are the most awesome machines on earth. Did you know that? photo-1436564989038-18b9958df72b

Did you know that I create lists of affirmations and positive self-speak for people? Email me at www.civilla@civillamorgan.com, or inbox me on Facebook or Twitter for details. In the meantime, remember, no matter what anyone says, you are awesome! You are handsome! You are beautiful!

Cold Leftovers and Side Items

I think about leftovers quite a bit. stock snap photo of sliced apple photog Krzysztof Puszczynski 03162016

I’m one of those people who does not mind eating left overs. In fact, my favorite leftovers are cold pizza and cold fried chicken. Sounds like high school or college kid food right? Unfortunately however, as I get older, I am finding my body is becoming less agreeable to this diet plan. I am changing my ways though. I do not eat those foods as much as I used to.

Unfortunately, leftovers are not always about food. Sometimes we as human beings can feel or be made to feel like left overs. Over 40 and single? Maybe you have never married? Those of us in that demographic can sometimes feel like leftovers. Forgotten leftovers.stock snap photo of people holding up hands at a concert photog John Price 03162016

To make matters worse, some of the more disingenuous members of society tend to want to take advantage, or perceive there is an opportunity to take advantage of a situation. But it is up to us to hold ourselves in high esteem, because we are of high esteem. We are human beings who deserve to live our best, most fulfilling lives; regardless of our marital and family status.

Over the years I have witnessed a phenomenon. I would tell my mom about it, sometimes annoyed; sometimes with a laugh. I have witnessed women draw their husbands closer whenever a single woman was in the room. I believe many single women have witnessed this phenomenon. My mom finally told me one day, that when a woman draws her husband closer, it is because she knows what kind of man she married.

I had never thought of it that way! There is nothing like a great mom to put life into perspective. I mean, I do not want anyone’s leftovers. I do not want to be treated like left overs, or a side item. I want what is rightfully mine, even if what is rightfully mine is a life of singleness. I would rather have a clear head and a clear life, than to play telephone games.

So, my life did not exactly turn out the way I expected. I thought I would be married with children by age 25. Yes, I even had the age of marriage scheduled, and then children would follow two years later. Have I had moments of asking God what exactly I did to deserve this? Yes, every once in a while down through the years. But it really does not matter does it? It is better to live a life of self-respect. I would rather earn my own money. I do not want to have to rely on someone else for a place to live, or food to eat. Unless that someone is God.

I have been told at various times through the years, that my choice of good, available men is greatly diminished because I prefer not to be unequally yoked, and I do not believe in dating for dating’s sake. But hey, we all have our preferences, belief systems, and levels of understanding right?

So I have learned to live a life of thankfulness for what I have, and I have learned to be thankful for what I do not have. God knows why and why not. I want to live my life as a fresh plate of food, instead of a side item of cold leftovers. What about you?

Women, what does God think?

What is God’s view on women?
What do you think? As a woman, I may have differing opinions than many men. But I am not sure why. It’s something I have been thinking about for quite some time.  stock snap pic of a young woman partially back turned 03012016

Down through my years of Bible reading, I have seen nothing but good from God (Old Testament), and Jesus (New Testament). I think of the story of the woman at the well, the Samaritan Woman (John 4): Jesus met her where she was, in her element, her world. In all of the stories of Jesus’ interactions with women, He never made women feel uncomfortable. But He always made his point. His conversations with women always brought about life-changing revelation and change.

The woman at the well was OK in her sin, at least she pretended to be. Jesus took a detour to go talk to her. And he talked to her one on one, instead of embarrassing her in front of an audience.

Jesus healed Mary Magdalene of seven demons (Luke 8). This tells me what we all know, that Jesus cares about every aspect of our lives. He wants us to be healthy and whole mentally, physically, and emotionally. After Mary Magdalene was healed, she became a follower of Jesus. But what I find interesting is that on at least one occasion, several women who were also healed of demon possession, had traveled with Jesus at least on some occasions. In fact, there were other named women, women Jesus had healed of other physical issues.

Almost from the beginning of time, women have been mistreated. Traded like property in many cultures, like slaves in other cultures. But every where Jesus went, every interaction he had with women, he treated them as equals. And He loved women regardless of their status in life. The woman accused of prostitution by the Jewish leaders (John 8) was no different. Imagine, these leaders ‘made her stand in front of the group…’ (verse 4). But Jesus put the ball back in their court, asking if any of them were without sin.

So why do some men in every culture, mistreat women? Why are women’s wages just a percentage of their male peers. Why are women still traded like livestock in certain cultures? Why are women stolen and tricked into going into sex-trade slavery around the world?

In the Old Testament, God spoke to Eve as though she were equal to her husband Adam. In fact, when God created Eve, he didstock snap pic of a young woman walking through green garden 03012016 so by putting Adam to sleep and taking one of his ribs. He did not create Eve from the soles of Adam’s feet. It’s true, God did not create Eve from the top of Adam’s head to rule him. God created Eve as a helper to Adam, not as a slave, not as property.

Even in the case of Miriam, Moses’ sister. She spoke against the fact that Moses was the only person who ever heard God’s voice. She also did not like the fact that Moses was getting ready to marry a black woman. Again to my point: God created us all, from the darkest skin, to the lightest. We are all God’s creation. As punishment, God temporarily struck Miriam with leprosy because of her rebellion. I have always marveled at the fact that Miriam’s seven-day bout with leprosy meant that the entire camp had to wait until her punishment was removed. She delayed progress. But that’s another story for another day. I have also marveled at the fact that God’s punishment was temporary, and that his love for Miriam was not lessened. God loves His daughters AS MUCH as He loves His sons.

I continue to hope that one day women will be treated with equal respect, from the rib and not from the head or the feet. Given equal pay, and equal safety. I believe that is what God wants too.

Zero Growth is not Okay!

tape-measure-07302015Every once in a while I conduct a mental, spiritual, physical, and emotional review…of myself. I am not searching for a picture of perfection, because that will never happen.  But I am hoping to find growth.

I am hoping that I have grown since the last check-up. I’m not OK with zero growth.  It’s nice to know I am not the same person I was five or ten years ago, but I still want to be further along than I was six months or one year ago.

What is the point of living a stagnant, never-growing life? Always with the same thoughts, limiting beliefs, knowing there is more; but preferring to remain in the status quo. Some people are willing to remain in the status quo so as not to lose friends or family members due to personal growth.

Those of you used to reading my blogs or listening to me on my Podcast, http://traffic.libsyn.com/21stcenturyhannah/MON _080315_DONT_BE_A_STATISTIC.mp3, or my YouTube Channel,

have heard me say on a regular basis, that life is short. Tomorrow is not promised to any of us. Yet we continue to sit in our comfort zone, sticking with what and whom we know.  We remain in the familiar because we do not want to risk suffering any type of loss—physical, emotional, financial, etc.  I mean, stepping out of your comfort may mean

moving, changing jobs, changing churches, even changing friends! Oh no!

So you fight that inner voice that’s telling you to step out, and you stay. But there is a constant discomfort on the inside.  No one else can sense that prompting but you. No one else understands that prompting but you. Yes, a close friend or family member may sense something, and if you are fortunate, that person or persons may confront you, nudging you into the direction you should go. Unfortunately, you may also have friends that want you to stay right where you are. It could be for their comfort, jealousy, or fear of losing you.

Trust me, stepping out of your comfort zone is never easy.  There WILL BE change and growth. But if you ignore that voice, that prompting in your belly, that dream or invention may never happen. And you will regret it forever, trust me.

Listen to that voice. Step out, grow. Because the fact is, that voice will never allow you to feel ‘comfortable’ again. Ever. You will always feel that nagging of the unknown on the inside. Always.

pic of a wooden pathway through the woods 102615

My Birthday Gift to You!

pencil on a pad, to make a listWell, this is the end of August! I tried so hard to make it to the beach during my birthday month! But never ye fear! I will
get there!  In the meantime, here is a top 10 list in honor of my birthday! Consider it my gift you! You all know I love lists, especially top 10
lists!

1)    photo-blog pic from UnsplashKnow your faults, work on doing better, but act accordingly.  If you know you are not a patient person,
recognize that. Don’t pretend that it is OK to be rude or mean. It’s not
OK.  For example, don’t go to the big box
store on a Saturday if you know you do not have the patience.

2)
Know your
weaknesses
. I mean seriously, there would be a lot less busted marriages,
lives, bank accounts, etc., if you admitted your weaknesses.  Admit them and then plan accordingly. Doing
so does not make you weak, it makes you strong. You have to be accountable. Yes, when your weaknesses
know you are in control, they lose control. It does not mean they necessarily
go away, no one will ever be perfect; but you are in control, not your
weaknesses and emotions.  Believe me,
there is nothing wrong or boring with the straight and narrow.  I’m sure the clients of Ashley Madison were
wishing for a little straight and narrow living right about now.  Hey, maybe they can use a copy of my book
“Down Again”!

My book Down Again

 

3)
Listen to
your gut
. It is ALWAYS right. Please, know the difference between your gut
and your prejudices. That’s all I will say about that.  Your gut may be saying “no, never, ever, ever, no!” Or it may just be saying “not today, maybe tomorrow.”  Know the difference. Point number six goes
into more detail. Keep reading!
4)
Be OK
with not being liked by everyone
. Try to get along with everyone, but choose
your friends wisely. When you choose your friends wisely, you will choose your
time wisely. I mean, who has time for gossip, nosiness, drama, and instigation?
Yes, I checked, and instigation is a word.
You know the title of my blog site is DramaFreeZoneReligionFinanceLife
right? Note the drama free zone portion. If you want to live in peace, be at
peace with everyone.  Hebrews 12:14 says “Make
every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no
one will see the Lord.”
5)
Be kind.
You can be kind without being a doormat.
This is where setting boundaries is important. There should be
boundaries in every relationship.  Learn
more about setting boundaries by reading the works of Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr.
John Townsend.  If people become upset
when you enforce your boundaries, see point number four.
6)
Get to
know yourself. Like yourself, warts and faults, and all. 
People like to say “God is still working
on me.” That’s a cop-out. God is still working on all of his children.  If you need to apologize just do so. If you
need to fix a situation, just fix it. Stop with the excuses and blame game.
Learn you, work on you, and see point number one.

7)
Understand
that when people act inappropriately towards you, most of the time they just do
not know better. 
Sometimes people
are taking out their frustrations and their demons on you. Choose your battles,
and if something is really bothering you, address it. Did I say it already?
Choose your battles.  If you stop to
address everything, you will be viewed as cray cray, also known as crazy; even if you do have a valid
point. Oh, and see point number five.
8)
Kenny
Rogers said, “You gotta know when to hold ‘em, know when to fold ‘em, know when
to run.”
He’s right. It’s not about being mean.  You would be just as dysfunctional if you
continued to accept bad behavior after the same discussions with that person or
people, over and over.    See point number five.
9)
It’s OK
to make mistakes.
There is no perfect human being on this planet! We will
make mistakes, say dumb things, and trust the wrong people.  The key is to learn from our mistakes and to
allow those mistakes to happen less, as we become older. See points four
through eight.

10) Pray!
Whether you believe there is a God or not, there is one. Whether you
believe there is a    hell or not, there
is one. Whether you believe there is a Heaven or not, there is one.  Oh, and whether you believe there is a devil
or not, there is one.  We are coming down
to the last days where right is wrong and wrong is right.  Many children are rude and abusive to their
parents and elders.  Many parents are not
stepping up to their role of readying their children for the real world.  The world has turned upside down and inside
out.  We don’t know who to trust anymore
because everyone is either wearing a mask or they are showing their true
colors.  They are showing their true
colors while in a role they probably should not be in.  The only one we can trust is God.  He will direct our every step if we allow
him.  But we must allow him. I know he
does not answer every prayer the way we would like, but we have to trust that
he knows why.
Hang in there, do the best
you can, and re-visit points one through nine!

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