God Will Guard Our Hearts And Minds Against Those Who Judge

How does He do that, God is invisible. He does when we decide to believe in His Power, Goodness, and Wisdom. We then sense His presence. It is a hard task because flesh and blood people can be imposing and forceful especially when you are the one being called out as ab outsider not typical in abilities/looks/etc. This is especially hard for the families/ parents of someone who is not typical. You watch the pain and isolation on the face of your loved one. You want to protect them  and teach that person a lesson or at least convince them of the merits of accepting each person as an individual not putting people into boxes but looking at each person’s strengths/ weaknesses as opportunities for growth. They mostly do not listen!

There is one catch for God to do what He says He will….We strive for no revenge, ill thoughts, hatred, judgment on our part as much as we can manage ourselves then Christ through the Holy Spirit makes up the difference. It not about perfect behavior, it is about your heart’s intent!  We pray for and bless those who we consider our enemies leaving them in God’s hands to work out the details that we can not control.  It is about casting our cares upon the mighty capable shoulders of Christ who has full authority in our matters when we release them into His care. He will work everything out for our good as we chose faith over our own reasoning of what to do to take care of the situation. The Holy Spirit will direct our words, actions, and even emotions if we allow Him to do so unknowingly hurt or judge those who they don’t understand or chose to not understand for a large number of reasons. He will guard are hearts whose mind is stayed on Him. Yeah God!

This is not easy by any stretch of the imagination! but by my testimony and by many others it is true. As a new creature in Him we are so much more than what we came into the world with the first time around. As the reborn into the Kingdom of God, we have amazing possibilities. ( see list available as pdf. knowing who I am in Christ- Joyce Meyer)

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Accommodations, a Slippery Slope in Education for Those With Disabilities and for Teachers…..

If I haven’t heard this once, heard it a thousand times plus…
Today as I rest my sick body my brain doesn’t stop and a thought came to me. Accommodations, It’s a different perspective and human nature that make something so complicated that seems so logical and reasonable to some of us but not to others.

Accommodations seem to be exceptions that require reciprocal responses when you don’t needs them. When you need them they are your normal way of working which does not require a favor.

I will say many things out loud that others think about and in the trenches of teaching those with disabilities we are not making a lot of headway or progress because the day to day process are based on an ideal setting, a trained and willing staff that is not overwhelmed with the great many other things that are asked of them. This is special educators and regular educators. There are limited resources and unchallenged preconceived notions that make progress like pushing a Cadillac up a steep hill.

So what is the solution…unfortunately there is one way to solve this issue but maybe our perspective changing can help. The change being oiled by understanding, compassion, knowledge. I know that is what has helped me. Coming in to education with guns blazing to be someone to convince and change my sphere of influence to be one that is a well oiled special education setting, to win over the hearts to be a school that serve each child to meet their needs teachers eagerly seeking my knowledge and experience to fill in their gaps of experience and knowledge. I’m a nice, compassionate, team player! Well that got me through the first five years ending in cynicism and burnout.

I saw the magnitude of burden laid on my shoulders and those of the  regular education teachers shoulders was great. Parents going through a gambit of emotions- cycle of grief- most times not knowing what to do and what to expect from their child and the school/ teachers.

I know I am setting up a pretty grim picture… but we live in a broken world where there are no direct paths for teaching and seeing progress in students who learn, think, speak, write, move, see, hear atypically. That’s why they have an Individualized Education Program but people are still intent on having them fit the mold because it  makes it easier for them to understand.

Once we leave the standardized comparison of students’ performance, it’s a whole new ball game and how do we grade that on a report card?

This may sound like some spiritual cop out but it isn’t…

I know from personal experience God has an individual plan for each of our lives from my experience as a person with learning disabilities that far reached anything that a school could have come up with. I prayed even as a young kid for God to help me because I knew I was different from my peers and they knew it too. The fallacy of not wanting to label your child is not valid. Pretty much an alert person knows when they are an atypical person in their environment. I think it’s the uncomfortable part of not knowing in which way they are atypical and what  to expect.

He has always been faithful to me but He didn’t not take my differences away which I wish He would have many times over. But He has told me He has set me apart for a good purpose and an life to be lived as an individual. I did OK in K-12 grades not great because of the overwhelming experience of it academically and socially. And you have to know my disabilities were not defined for me until I was 26 years old in community college which I did very well in college because I had more control.

At that point, I had a whole load of baggage concerning my self-images that He is helping me still unpack and put nicely back into my soul according to my identity based on His opinion of me and the way He sees me20170406_221001.jpg.

Which brings me to the spiritual aspect of accommodations, seeing people as God sees them as someone with strengths, gifts, and talents not focusing on their lack or differences. Asking God to lead and guide us in this seeing of the person to see what His plan for them is because He knows exactly who they are, what they needs and where their future will take them.

So I have come back to a place where in my job and the lives of my own children into the hands of God asking for His hands to be the director and follow His lead. He knows and all my training can not make it work out ideally as everyone would like, including myself. He knows best and I rely and trust in Him completely! As I rest in Him and partner with Him my burden is significantly lifted and burn out is stayed off.

This is not to be a popular way of developing an educational plan for students in public schools but it takes the person, their family putting it into God’s hands wherever they attend school-public, christian, or home-school. Christ is big enough, strong enough to take the lead wherever that person goes. When we put Him in control by asking for help, the battle becomes His. He will lead and guide through His Holy Spirit in your or your child’s, your student’s education that equips them for their purpose and life.

 

 

Finding Peace instead Of Grief…..

Some of us have had a job reviews/ observations/ interviews and others have had presentations or had to get up in front of people to perform where there was a super sense of stress because what you did could make or break you! Now imagine having that feeling everyday of your life! That is the equivalence of having a learning/ working difference and when there is a lack of understanding, acceptance and you are constantly being judged and criticized on your demeanor, work habits, work outcomes, process that you use to work. And the worse part of it, most times individuals see nothing wrong with their actions towards you, in fact many times they feel justified in their actions which makes it so much worse when you advocate for yourself because they don’t recognize you as valid.  They see you as a troublemaker, someone defying their authority or someone who is trying to get out of work, Wuff!  

These thoughts and feelings are genuine I know because20170831_155133.jpg I have had them. You are reading this because of one of three reasons- you have a processing disorder/suspect something like it is going on, you have someone in your life that has a processing disorder, you happened upon this blog- read it and it sounds crazy.

If you have a processing disorder or ADD/ADHD,  you experienced a cold sweat and know exactly what I am talking about, or you have watched someone go through this experience and felt helpless or wanted to over-dominant them to take the experience away because they took to long, you were angry, confused, or in pain watching them go through it. Lastly, if this is new you have had an ah-ha moment into the lives of people you have met in you life. All of this information is valuable and important.  It. It will be pieces of a puzzle to help you find peace.

You need to know yourself or the person very well to know what is a strength and weakness.  You need to determine where the trigger area for self-defeating emotions and thoughts. You need to know who your brain works, on good days and bad days. You really need to know the creator who designed you with a plan for good not evil in mind whether it meets others ideas is another thing. You need to know He has your back, He has prepared a path, and He is walking along side of you willing to lead and guide you giving you what you need and at the right time on His timeline not ours. Roman 11 tells us that God depth of knowledge, riches, and wisdom are beyond our own! In  chapter 12 it tells us we are not to be conformed to the this world but be transformed an renewal of our minds by the new ideals and new attitude so we will prove for ourselves what is good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect in His sight for you!

He asks us time and time again through out His word to trust and rely on Him, not to worry or have anxiety for God loves us and has mean all things to work out for our good as we do just that. Again it may not be when or how we would work things out but it is the perfect will of God in an imperfect world. This sounds like a short answer to a long problem, but we have to chose to think He is doing the work. We are trusting, following, and obeying the Holy Spirit’s prompting which mean you have learned and practiced how to do that. That may be the learning curve here. Engaging in a personal relationship with Christ in order to gain what we need each day to be who He created us to be. He is faithful, loving and trust worthy!

 

A Plan to Attack the Anger

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It’s a new day!

Now I have to be honest- I am still working through this because I will need God’s Strength and help to transform how I approach life without anger. I have decided peace in my life has become more important than most other things I have sought after. I did say to God, please I don’t want to be a doormat or someone who lets others disrespect me or those who look to me for advocacy. I do want His intervention and authority to bring justice to those who have suffered injustice, to bring joy to those who have mourn the lost of understanding and connection to others, to bring laughter where there has been tears of grief and sorrow regardless of the circumstances we find ourselves in. It sound pessimistic but I am not so sure most of the population will become good Samaritans. He does promise us who believe, trust in and rely on Him, we will find peace regardless of our circumstances. He said He will do this-

Isaiah 61

61 The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed and qualified me to preach the Gospel of good tidings to the meek, the poor, and afflicted; He has sent me to bind up and heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the [physical and spiritual] captives and the opening of the prison and of the eyes to those who are bound,

To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord [the year of His favor] [a]and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn,

To grant [consolation and joy] to those who mourn in Zion—to give them an ornament (a garland or diadem) of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, the garment [expressive] of praise instead of a heavy, burdened, and failing spirit—that they may be called oaks of righteousness [lofty, strong, and magnificent, distinguished for uprightness, justice, and right standing with God], the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.

And they shall rebuild the ancient ruins; they shall raise up the former desolations and renew the ruined cities, the devastations of many generations.

Aliens shall stand [ready] and feed your flocks, and foreigners shall be your plowmen and your vine-dressers.

But you shall be called the priests of the Lord; people will speak of you as the ministers of our God. You shall eat the wealth of the nations, and the glory [once that of your captors] shall be yours.

Instead of your [former] shame you shall have a twofold recompense; instead of dishonor and reproach [your people] shall rejoice in their portion. Therefore in their land they shall possess double [what they had forfeited]; everlasting joy shall be theirs.

For I the Lord love justice; I hate robbery and wrong with violence or a burnt offering. And I will faithfully give them their recompense in truth, and I will make an everlasting covenant or league with them.

And their offspring shall be known among the nations and their descendants among the peoples. All who see them [in their prosperity] will recognize andacknowledge that they are the people whom the Lord has blessed.

10 I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul will exult in my God; for He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with a garland, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.

11 For as [surely as] the earth brings forth its shoots, and as a garden causes what is sown in it to spring forth, so [surely] the Lord God will cause rightness and justice and praise to spring forth before all the nations [through the self-fulfilling power of His word] Amplified Bible Classic Edition

Action Plan from God’s Word When Anger ( other strong emotion) Comes A Knockin’

KNOW– 2Timothy 1:7 For God did not give us a spirit of timidity (of cowardice, of craven and cringing and fawning fear), but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of calm and well-balanced mind and discipline and self-control.

DO- 1 Corinthians 13:4-5 Love endures long and is patient and kind; love never is envious nor boils over with jealousy, is not boastful or vainglorious, does not display itself haughtily.It is not conceited (arrogant and inflated with pride); it is not rude (unmannerly) and does not act unbecomingly. Love (God’s love in us) does not insist on its own rights or its own way, for it is not self-seeking; it is not touchy or fretful or resentful; it takes no account of the evil done to it [it pays no attention to a suffered wrong].

HE WILL PROVIDE- Psalm 138:3  In the day when I called, You answered me; and You strengthened me with strength (might and inflexibility to temptation) in my inner self.

HE WILL DIRECT- Proverbs 3:5-6 Lean on, trust in, and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and mind and do not rely on your own insight or understanding.In all your ways know, recognize, and acknowledge Him, and He will direct and make straight and plain your paths.

A PLAN FOR US- Jeremiah 29:11- 13 11 For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts and plans for welfare and peace and not for evil, to give you hope in your final outcome.12 Then you will call upon Me, and you will come and pray to Me, and I will hear and heed you.13 Then you will seek Me, inquire for, and require Me [as a vital necessity] and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.

HE MAKES US NEW- Ephesians 4:22-24 22 Strip yourselves of your former nature [put off and discard your old unrenewed self] which characterized your previous manner of life and becomes corrupt through lusts and desires that spring from delusion;23 And be constantly renewed in the spirit of your mind [having a fresh mental and spiritual attitude],24 And put on the new nature (the regenerate self) created in God’s image, [Godlike] in true righteousness and holiness.

RESULT- One acts on faith in God to be there to do the things He promised instead of giving one over to the temptation of anger at the the failings of ourselves and others.  There is peace and anything one gives up is so worth it. I have been haunted by the issues that come up and they are ignored when things can be done to resolve them, now I have a course of action that ends that haunting. I can have peace regardless of circumstances because of the presence and relationship with Christ, Holy Spirit and God, the Father! I have HOPE!

 

 

 

Anger- What Shall I do With You?

As a Christian I continued  to see the lack of concern and compassion for outliers although many recognize the needs but they don’t develop ownership of reaching out to the outliers. Much like those in the story of the good Samaritan who walked by because of variety of reasons who also did not they don’t develop ownership of reaching out to someone in obvious need.  When faced with the choice of getting involved there is the thought someone else will certainly take care of this!

People don’t respond well to anger to create change. It only in20170206_055224.jpgcites and gathers others around you that are angry as well.  I recently found less obvious forms of anger in my life that need to change to grace, mercy, forgiveness, hope and faith.

I had allowed myself to become motivated to action by this behavior where as I needed to concentrate on being the one who did not walk by and had compassion and used his own resources and time to help the vulnerable person in need. I need to let God handle the situation and provide as I release the injustices into His hands. Why should I do this when it is harder than swinging into action to make a difference.

This is a tall order and I will need the Holy Spirit to make these changes and transform.

In Colossians 3:8 We are to put away and rid ourselves of all of these things- anger, rage, bad feelings toward others, curses from our lips! 11 We put on a new spiritual self, being renewed and remolded into a new image of Him who created it.  12 We are His chosen on , who are purified and  holy and well beloved by God Himself by putting on behavior marked by patience, long suffering with power to endure whatever comes, with good temper. 15 letting peace which comes from Christ rule in our heart to be our umpire deciding and settling all questions that arise in our minds. Being thankful, giving praise to God always.

Next an action plan to help guide that transformation! Then we can see some real progress in dealing with this situation that instigates the emotion of anger…

Justice Satisfied to Handle Anger

This is a great gift to have questions of injustice and many others things that come up for which there is no direction or standard in place which is most common in learning to live as a person who doesn’t fit in the proverbial box.

This is good wisdom because when we are anger or in a heightened state of emotion most of us lose our ability to make well thought out decisions and it is giving a foothold of the enemy of our souls to derail our actions and purpose. God can arrange and do a greater work in correcting injustices than I can. And He wants to as we allow Him to do so. This requires us trusting Him, relying on Him and His unconditional love for us as His Children.  This is well documented in The Bible that is His intention.

I know I will be lead by Him to act as an advocate, expecting people to comply with the laws governing the treatment of those with disabilities but when they don’t and I have done all I have been lead to do, I must give it to Him to intervene, believing He has heard me and He is acting as an advocate now to provide all that is needed for that situation.

And as the beloved of God, He intended us to be healthy and for another reason to not be angry, it can cause unhealthy conditions in our lives. While researching on anger I ran across an therapist who specializes in dealing with anger she has written and posted many resources to do so one such article by Michelle Farris, LMFT*, talks about different signs of anger and the affects that has on a person’s life. Here is a portion of her article from a free 5 day course on anger that you can find on her website. These jumped out to me because I find them often in the lives of outliers including mine.

Physical Signs of Anger:

  • Muscle tension
  • Increased heart rate
  • Sweaty palms or perspiration
  • Clenched jaw and tightening in the throat
  • Dry mouth
  • Stomach or headache
  • *flight or fight reaction- much like anxiety ( my addition to her list from another of her articles. I find this VERY common as a reaction and I am interested to explore how much of this reaction is anger or anxiety as a secondary conditions caused by circumstances brought on by having a disability or being an outlier/ atypical. )

Emotional Signs of Anger:

  • Irritability
  • Confusion or feeling numb
  • Resentful
  • Tired
  • Negative thinking
  • Assuming the worst

Behavioral Signs of Anger:

  • Pacing
  • Swearing
  • Compulsive behaviors like drinking, overeating, smoking
  • Threatening gestures
  • Silent treatment
  • Slamming doors
  • Breaking cell phones
  • Negative thinking

Now I have to be honest- I am still working through this because I will need God’s Strength and help to transform how I approach life without anger. I have decided peace in my life has become more important than most other things I have sought after.

Read on in my next blog how God strengthens me and guides me to a new approach to life without unhealthy anger….

 

*mft@counselingrecovery.com

 

 

ANGER-Enemy of HOPE and PEACE

As of late I have been shown my life in a self-reflective mirror that has revealed one of my greatest causes of a loss of hope and peace-Anger. I have had this constant companion in my life for a variety of reasons. Most of these stem from a lack of justice and those in the position who did not take ownership and do something about people who were marginalized- in my case someone who didn’t measure up to other’s ideal. The anger shows itself in different forms. And in some cases very justified in its expression. It had become part of my identity to which has not served me well.

Some of the more obvious forms I thought I had tackled and removed. Be angry and sin not…  My rational was Jesus became angry at injustice and expressed that to right a wrong so I kept some of my anger to push me, to drive me for a greater good but it didn’t create good, only division. The anger unchecked turns into something unhealthy.

I had made a vow to change things to help others to not experience the same damages I had experienced but it was not happening but I did find myself preaching to a choir of people that felt the same.  I now realize there is something that I can not change- people to become compassionate and do the right thing but I do know someone who can!

…..to be continued