See Yourself Through My Eyes

I coach individuals in an academic setting.

I propose you see yourself as I see you.

 I have a student who is unclear in his communication. He is a naturally outgoing very intelligent person yet he wants to enlighten people with ideas/concepts/ things that they may not know or understand. To him everyday topics are not interesting so he engages conversation with unusual  topics. Most people ignore him or placate him with a nod or ask a polite question.

But if you ask him to define it and explain it he’s patient.  He explains all the details. He understands that  he comes up with things  people don’t understand yet he is driven from within to inform people about interesting things. You can see it in his eyes that he wants to engage and doesn’t get frustrated.

Also he’s made an acquaintance and he’s very protective of this person. The individual doesn’t engage with other people very easily .  You can see his compassion and understanding for this person and he shows support for them. These are huge strength personal strengths and a gifts. They show his character and  personality traits being used with a positive application in his life with others. He needs to focus on these and develop and enhance them. He is problem solving the obstacles that are getting in his way of becoming a person of excellence.

Each person has strengths in character and gifts that make them an individual rather than a part of the crowd. It is how they perceive them, then how they  treat/behave makes them negative or positive character traits and a strength or weakness. It’s all in how you think about it then apply those thoughts in your life.  I strive to define my students and clients in a positive way. I also strive that they learn how to define themselves in this way by their strengths and the positive application of their character traits/gifts to be the best version of themselves.

Meanwhile they also see where they need to grow, mature and develop. They can compensate and delegate areas of challenge. They are not letting areas of challenge keep them from realizing their potential as a person.

When one sees areas in need of work and weakness, solely focusing on them because they think that  they are not okay. If this is you,  if you’re focusing only on your weaknesses! Stop it!

And not everything will be worked out to the best functioning levels and efficiency at once. You need to be patient with yourself and be kind, all the while never giving up.

You are not changing yourself to be something acceptable. You are adding to yourself to be a person of excellence then you problem solve your difficulties as obstacles and mainly focus on developing and enhancing your strengths.

Please see yourself as I see you.

Most of this information is not new, but the great news is you don’t have to do this on your own and with your own strength.

This is how God sees you in your strength, if you ask Him to partner with you. He will back you up because of the sacrifice of Christ as our representative. His presence in us by His Holy Spirit brings out our strengths and gifts meanwhile He works with us in a loving and patient way to lessen the impact of our challenges and weaknesses. He becomes our strength. My coaching is only temporary and limited. His is 24 /7 and limitless.

21 And your ears will hear a word behind you, saying, This is the way; walk in it, when you turn to the right hand and when you turn to the left.

Isaiah 30:21 

Amplified Bible (AMP)

He is motivated by his love for you.

He has a great plan!

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Stuck Between Kingdoms….

When you feel like you don’t fit into the Kingdom of the Earth or the Kingdom of God, I ask you to not listen to your thoughts but please listen to God’s words.

We have impressions of what is true because of the way it has always been or what people have said to us. Again I ask you please listen to God’s words. 

Be in the world but not of it…..

Do not be conformed to this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs], but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His sight for you].

Romans 12:2 (AMP)

When you join your life with Jesus’s you gain entrance into the Kingdom of God as an heir with responsibilities and privileges which are perceived and performed with the help of Christ and instruction through the Holy Spirit.

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.

Jeremiah 29:11(AMP)

I was raised in a home of a pastor but that didn’t mean I blindly followed what was said without question..

I asked my Dad more than once, “Dad, what does God mean by that? How can you be in two places at the same time? choosing to participate in daily life and not be hyper-spiritual so that people who don’t know God can relate to us?” He never had a definite answer.

I struggles most of my life having a strong spiritual connection and not fitting the stereotypical good Christian girl. I was a risk taker, impulsive, creative, always coming up with some brilliant idea or project. Yet I was the teen who decided not to drink, party and waited to get married for sex. Needless to say, it took me a while in my little town to find friends to hang out with, but I did. They didn’t go to my church but we had fun and they accepted me for me.

College came and I decided to attend a small liberal arts christian college, all by myself. I was the first person in my family to go away to college which my parents were not completely on board with. When I got there the people had this legacy of classic church-ese. They all read the same books, went to the same camps, and clubs. They acted according to the expectations of their family’s and friends. That wasn’t me either! Who was I and was there anyone like me, where and what was I to do?

What I did learn was I only needed to follow the path God was opening up before me, the Holy Spirit was my mentor and guide. I lived a life that desired to follow God, but it didn’t always go smoothly. If you read my earlier post that referred to following God is much like riding a very safe roller-coaster at night where you vision sometimes is blocked but you trust. I don’t need to fit into anyone ideas or plans but God’s. In hindsight, He has made provision after provision for me that pointed and guided me to learn, understand, and connect with the people He wanted me to. His ways are not my ways- my understanding is so limited.

I grieved for years and years for not having a stereotypical life and being like others who I thought had it so easy because they knew what to count on and where, when, and who was all laid out for them. But I learned they didn’t always like what they had or what they looked like, where they lived. They had insecurities. They were all in the same boat together that didn’t always go where each one of those people needed to go. They clung to each other in fear. I had been fearless in my faith and in my life. I celebrate that heritage now, it has gotten me to this place. Silhouette of a person seated on a rock, contemplating a beautiful landscape

The place where I know how to be in this world and not be conformed to it but to be transformed by God, His word, His guidance, His presence. He has been faithful, always listening to me. He understands every word and very crazy idea I get which I am glad some of those He didn’t allow to happen because they weren’t in the plan He had for my life. I would not be here.

I am not longer stuck between Kingdoms but it took a life of ups and downs, questions, answers, learning to trust God to keep His Word. I had to make a priority to spend time with Him and in His word so I could recognize and know what  the Kingdom of God is. As I learn more each day, it pulls me away from the ways of the Kingdom of the Earth. Just like when you travel to a new place no matter how many travel guides you read and accounts of other travelers you hear, you don’t know how your trip is going to play out and what you will end up doing. The principles of what you need to do are the same but our experiences and relationship with Christ will be individualized for just us.

Yes, I finished college, found someone to share my life,  have children,  have friends and hobbies but the most important part of my life is making sure I stay within the boundaries of the Kingdom of God and keep in touch with my fellow heirs and my Lord to get the details of my individualized plan for each day!

God Bless You this day and if you have not entered the Kingdom of God, He is calling to you to join your life with His. He has the most excellent individualized plan for your life!

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As For Special Education…..

Whether you’re a SPED teacher or have a connection to a student or you are the student, I have a word for you! Think of your life as a marathon race. We are compared to others in our culture to hold us to a standard. This is to ensure that we are hitting the mark to continue on to success! Which in theory it is a good idea but it is always leaving someone out because we are not standardized models like automobiles we are people.

We have very varied strengths and challenges which make us unique so when we say there is a standard we are missing the boat. In the body of Christ, believers make up the Kingdom of God on Earth; we all have our place and purpose uniquely designed for us. 

      Jeremiah 29:11  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.

We don’t need to compare ourselves with others. I am not saying to cash it in and not strive to grow, but it is a different approach. There are basic things we need to learn: skills, background knowledge- a foundational education that maintains rigor, but let’s not force everyone to be march at the same pace, learn the same way, and show what we know in the same ways.  School is for the learner to gain an education not to showcase the teacher and knowledge.

              Hebrews 12: 1 Therefore then, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses [who have borne testimony to the Truth], let us strip off and throw aside every encumbrance (unnecessary weight) and that sin which so readily (deftly and cleverly) clings to and entangles us, and let us run with patient endurance and steady and active persistence the appointed course of the race that is set before us,   2 Looking away [from all that will distract] to Jesus, Who is the Leader and the Source of our faith [giving the first incentive for our belief] and is also its Finisher [bringing it to maturity and perfection]. He, for the joy [of obtaining the prize] that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising and ignoring the shame, and is now seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

You think what does that have anything to do with school? Well, a lot! God means to have a personal relationship with us, 24/7 and wants to be involved in everything-not in a creepy way but in a loving- I want to make sure everything is going OK for you. So He wants to be the center of education because it is forming who you are, what you are thinking, how you think of yourself! There is free will.

We choose to include God in what seems to be a impossible situation. We are asking Him to give wisdom, power, love, and discernment for what course of action to take in education. There are great schools, great teachers, great intervention tools for struggling students and one must understand the student to find the right fit for any of those things, even then the student needs to be ready and they choose to believe that they can learn. When we have God in the middle of that situation He can make things work out for our good as we trust Him.

As we choose to trust Him and He leads us by His Holy Spirit to the right educational setting, then He helps those in that setting to meet the needs of the student(s) to help them progress forward with their purpose and plan considering their strengths. talents, and gifts. They see themselves as a developing individuals not comparing themselves with their peers which is a natural thing for us to do. The analogy that we are running a race is a profound thought in Hebrews 12 and we can apply it to the idea of not fitting into a certain group performing like them. We aren’t meant to compare ourselves with others but to strive to find our purpose, strengths and gifts.

 Let’s consider two types of running, short distance sprinting and long distance marathon running. They run very different races, train differently for competition, different mindset for the race. We should consider ourselves as marathon runners- we train for endurance, training to better our own time and performance. Many times a long distance runner will be running alone then come up to a group and pace themselves with the other runners but if they continue in that manner they will not progress. We need to be looking to God through His Holy Spirit to train us as individuals for our own performance and task then we will find our groove, our niche in life.

There are great demands on special education teachers, Speech,Occupation, Physical Therapists , instructional aides, paraprofessionals who work day in and day out to bring an individualized education to students in a system that believes in standards and routine to get the job done. As believers we can bring our beliefs and our kingdom perspective to school believing God can work through all situations for our good. We can’t expect the school and people to meet every expectation even with a legal document, but as we trust in God. He can work through them or move you to a setting that will.  This is where the story of riding in the boat with Jesus as He rides out the storm with us is a something to meditate on.

We will explore what it means to be in the world but not of the world….

Blessings!

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As Far As Finding God’s Protection from Things that Cause Distress…..

Can we find God’s protection from things that cause distress. The interesting thing is the cause of the distress is not always removed, but the we find relief from the panic of the experience. What?

 God gives us the Word which we can apply to our life as an outlier.

Let’s keep in mind who God is:

  • He is based in Love not judgement even though as a just God He calls things that are not beneficial to us and hurtful wrong then expects trust  from us enough to listen and change with His help. He knows more!
  • He sacrificed His most precious person/relationship for us
  • He created us to be in a  relationship out of love and not out of a need for domination- why there is free will
  • He has a good plan for each person
  • He is no respecter of person- all are equal and loves us equally
  • He is all wisdom, all goodness, and all powerful
  • He is on our side
  • He’s got our back,
  • He has provides a power source, mentoring, comfort, guidance, knowledge, counseling, peace, assurance, resources through His Holy Spirit, 24/7 absolutely free!
  • He does expect us as His adopted children to be trusting and obey His leading but if we blow it He does not abandon us. He is patient and goes over it again and again until we get it
  • He treats us all as individuals- how he relates to me will/may be different than others but the principles (found in Bible) remain constant and well as His character
  • God wants to you to seek Him and join your life with His just as you are, no preparation necessary

YES REALLY! This is not a fairy tale or ploy to give false hope or manipulate you

The Bible gives us visual images and settings that we can understand. Of course as individuals God uses images and settings that will speak to each one of us that will give us a sense of God’s protection. What you read or hear from God’s Word will resonate with something in your own life.

For example, in  Psalm 91 :1-4 ,the whole thing is awesome!

      1 He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall remain stable and fixed under the shadow of the Almighty [Whose power no foe can withstand].

      2 I will say of the Lord, He is my Refuge and my Fortress, my God; on Him I lean and rely,and in Him I [confidently] trust!

     3 For [then] He will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence.

[Then] He will cover you with His pinions, and under His wings shall you trust and find refuge; His truth and His faithfulness are a shield and a buckler. (Amplified version)

When I read this I had an image of a giant umbrella from the commercials for an insurance company with the red umbrella that follows you everywhere. You are always protected. Under that umbrella I think of it as God covering me. I am completely safe. I am under His care and no matter how hard someone or something tries to override His authority, it can not. He has the last move and word to work everything that happens to me for my own good as long as I am trusting Him to do so.(Romans 8:28)

The conditions are in the first two verses, I will trust in you, no matter what!  He has made good on His promises. My life is not perfect, but it suits me and I really enjoy what I do! He has made it possible.

How does this apply to an outlier, how does it not!

When you feel out of sync with those around you/ misunderstood, please fall back on God’s Word rather than your limited emotions and thoughts. Hang on and trust God in the situation. Ask Him, “Hey what’s going on?”Then listen and watch, He’ll make himself known. Sometimes it takes awhile and the what, why, and how may not be what you expected but it always works out. It’s like riding a roller-coaster in the dark. It’s scary and exciting. You get off and then you want to go again! TRUST is the word to focus on.

In Mark 4:35-41.

Jesus and His disciples were crossing a lake. It had been a long day and Jesus had fallen asleep and a storm of hurricane proportions came up and water began to fill the boat which scared the disciples enough to wake Him. His response-

       39 … He arose and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, Hush now! Be still (muzzled)! And the wind ceased ([sank to rest as if exhausted by its beating) and there was [immediately] a great calm (a perfect peacefulness).

      40 He said to them, Why are you so timid and fearful? How is it that you have no faith (no firmly relying trust)?

     41 And they were filled with great awe and feared exceedingly and said one to another, Who then is this, that even wind and sea obey Him? (AMP) 

Our response to life’s storms is Trust in the love and character of God as we join our life with His. As we get to know Him then your trust and love of God grows.

How does this apply to someone with continual difficulties that won’t go away. He sometimes leaves the storm but He calms us with peace and a sense of security in His abilities. He sees us through the storm. He rides the storm out with us. He becomes our umbrella in the middle the rolling and crashing waves, horrific winds, and the filling boat that threatens our security in life.

But how does that play out in everyday life? to be continued….

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As Far As Finding Hope for/as an Outlier….

I continue where I stopped; it was sounding pretty depressing. When you feel different and an outsider from what is suppose to be, you feel angry. But there is a different way. I know because it is my story. And most times others would never would have guessed it was my story because in many ways I didn’t look different.

I always had lots of questions and confusion because I just worked things out differently. I grew up in a  family that loved God and went to church but so many times what I saw and could understand didn’t give me the answers I needed, so I thought.

As I look back I was getting pieces of what would be the answers I sought. God never left, but I seem to look for hope and answers in so many places that fit my ideas of what I wanted to hear rather than waiting to hear what He had to say.  What I did get from Him didn’t match what is expected by our culture.

As a teenager I wanted to be other’s idea of beautiful not the kind God had created in me. I was so blinded. As I look back on mementos of school one classmate wrote to the ugly duckling who turned into a swan. Who reads that and is still dissatisfied with who you are in other’s eyes? apparently I was. I still wanted someone’s version. I now know what God has created in me is very good, sometimes different but good. He just needs to help me everyday to know what to do with it, to be satisfied with my life. As far as finding a safe place when all I could sense was a storm….I needed to realize God never left and I needed to learn to come closer to Him so I could hear Him that He protects me from the storm

How does He do that?  to be continued….

As far as Finding A Good Place When Those Around You Create a Storm…

Everyday we have expectations/needs that are not met. Some of us rely on others to understand and be strengths we do not possess. Examples would be; you are in a constant social setting yet it is hard for you to reach out and connect with others, you are creative and have lots of ideas and love working on them rather than the ordinary work of life which also means your sense of time is nearly non-existent or you have a processing disorder/ attention issues that hinders your work flow that requires accommodations and they are not given without a discussion that ends up with a quizzical look on the other person’s face while consenting to the request.Image result for storm

You feel somewhat trapped in a box where you know and understand yet others who are in the majority haven’t allowed your POV to be  included in general knowledge and understanding. They keep you at bay, separate . Why? who knows. They are so many reasons and excuses and after a while it doesn’t matter. Because of an area or challenge in your life you have been placed in the outlier position in that setting. Sometimes you cave and give in to their lack of understanding and live within their expectations, be predictable, not to have any unusual traits/needs so we blend in. Or we become a fighter who refuses to be boxed in without always looking for an opening for your POV to become general knowledge and understood because it does matter. You are here for a reason not to fit in but to contribute.

Either way many efforts fall flat and you fall flat exhausted in your efforts. This is starting to sound depressing! Well reality of it is many of us to fall prey to that emotion, but I propose an alternative which to some it may sound like a fairy-tale or just wishful thinking, but I can tell you from life’s experience it is NOT! to be continued…,