Apr 7, 2017

Don’t Feed Negativity

I was checking my email when I came across an unfamiliar email address.  It
didn’t surprise me because I frequently received emails in response to articles I published in my teen girl magazine.  I opened the email and then sat there in shock.  It was a short email, only eight words in length and unsigned.

“You still waiting on true love? You fool.”

This happened quite a few years ago, but I remember that as I read the email I felt hurt, anger and shock all at once. I wondered why someone would take the time to send an insulting email to a stranger because of something they perceived to be foolish. I had received negative emails before however, this one felt like a personal attack. 

It is so easy in our social media driven world for people to attack each other.  From behind the anonymity of a computer screen they attack people that they have never met and likely, will never meet in real life.  Why? Because they look different? Think differently? Act differently? Why does someone acting upon their right to think, look or behave in a certain way upset someone so much that they take the time to send a negative message or leave a rude comment?

There’s a name for people who act in such a negative manner on the internet.  They are called trolls.  Their only objective is to cause an argument or crush someone’s spirit.  The best advice I’ve seen given to handle internet trolls is, “don’t feed the trolls!”  There is a saying, “whatever you feed will grow.”   In all honesty, I’ve answered a few of them, inclusive of the one I talked about. There’s no satisfaction in it though. It’s best not to no matter how tempted you are. None of us want negativity growing in our minds. So, ignore the trolls.  Don’t engage because that’s exactly what they want.

Has this ever happened to you, online or in your day to day life? Have you ever felt attacked because of your beliefs, appearance, the way you dress etc.?  It hurts, doesn’t it?  If you let it, you can be left feeling as if there is something wrong with you.  But, there isn’t. We are all uniquely made by God. You are His masterpiece, the apple of His eye.  He loves you just the way you are. Allow those to be the thoughts that you feed.  The thoughts that God thinks about you. Let His positive thoughts towards you grow, bloom and replace the negative thoughts of others.

None of us is identical in the way we think and act. Don’t allow the perception of people who don’t truly know you to become the reflection you see of yourself.

Trusting Him,

Mar 31, 2017

Transparency in Writing

I love to write. Writing has always been my way of focusing my thoughts, sharing what’s in my heart and working through whatever I’m dealing with.  I often find it quite therapeutic to write my thoughts down.  I write often, my writings take the form of journal entries, letters to God, poems, or just scribbles on pieces of paper expressing my thoughts.

My first draft is often raw and filled with whatever emotions I feel at that time.  Then I read it over.  Depending on what I wrote, I start feeling a bit vulnerable and I second guess myself, especially if it’s something I plan to share on my blog.

"Do I really want to say that?"
"Maybe I need to take a, b or c out. I’m sure this post will flow fine without it."

You can guess what happens next… I start editing and I continue editing until the feeling of vulnerability is not so strong. Sometimes when I'm finished the heart of what I'm writing is edited out but I feel less timid about allowing the post to go live.

 Why do I do this? Well, I have a confession…

I sometimes care entirely too much about what others, including people I don't even know think.  I allow it to affect what I share in this space and elsewhere.  It's not that there's some deep dark secret that I have, it's simply that my writings are usually from the heart, no filter, no mask and sometimes life behind the mask feels much safer.  However, God doesn't call us to a life of fear.  He calls us to live bold and authentically before Him.  His word tells us in 2 Timothy 1:7 that, He has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.

I know this verse and I quote it along with many others when I'm faced with different situations. Unfortunately, I still find myself censoring and editing my words because I hate the feeling of vulnerability that sometimes comes with sharing my thoughts. I'm still learning and trying to overcome my fear of appearing vulnerable and become more bold, fearless and transparent in my writing because it's a huge part of who I am.

I’d like to ask you something:

How do you deal with transparency, in your sharing online or in other areas of your life? 
How do you allow yourself to be transparent and not worry so much about what others think?

I’d love to hear your thoughts and maybe we can help each other to become more transparent.

Trusting Him,

Jun 6, 2016

No Fear: Fear Will Grip You or Grow You Book Review

Have you ever been excited about making changes to your life? You finally decided to start following your dreams when suddenly fear reared its ugly head? In your mind you go through all the different scenarios, the what ifs, the what will people think, the I cant’s...  After a while your excitement drains away and you find yourself stuck in limbo with your dreams remaining something that is always in the distant future.  

If this describes you in anyway, or if you’ve ever given in to fear at any time in your life then Lisa Shaw’s new book, No Fear: Fear Will Grip You or Grow You is exactly what you need. 

When I got my copy of No Fear, the first thing I did was scan the table of contents. Topics such as, Who Told You That You Can't? What are You Hiding Behind? Your Internal and External Dialogue and Permission to Reinvent Yourself, made me look forward to having a quiet moment to delve into the book because at one time or another I've been paralyzed by many of them.

I was not disappointed. I found so much eye opening information between the pages. The workbook style encourages you to really look within yourself and find what you're afraid of and confront it. It makes you want to dust off old forgotten dreams and have another go at them. Lisa Shaw speaks to the very heart of the reader and encourages you to not allow fear to grip you but let it be an opportunity for growth.

This book has truly been a blessing. I plan to go through it again more slowly and prayerfully consider the questions at the end of the chapters.

If you’d like to purchase of copy of No Fear, stop by lisashawcares.com  I promise this book will prove to be a tool of great encouragement and motivation.

Trusting Him,