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Archive for September, 2010

I had a conversation this week with a client and something he told me has stuck with me all week long.  When I asked him what his greatest desire was he said to fall in love with Jesus and regain his faith.  When I asked him what was stopping him, he replied, “God is pissed at me!”  How often does that belief hold us back from coming to God?

Where did that idea come from?  I’m sure some of us got the idea from our early childhood.  Maybe our parents were abusive.  Maybe they believed discipline was “punishment” and used it harshly and out of anger when we did not measure up.  Maybe it came from our religious experience.  The emphasis of much of my training was to “avoid hell” rather than experience heaven.  I was afraid I’d mess up and make God angry and it would be too late.  The nightmares I had as a child profoundly affected me.

This belief could also link all the way back to what happened when Adam and Eve fell.  The first thing they did, having eyes opened to “good and evil” was run and hide from God.   Yet God never did respond in anger toward them.  He still went looking and calling for them.  They could still communicate with Him.  It was them that had the problem.  They knew good and evil and were forever faced with the question, “What do I do when I do the wrong thing?”

What do we do?  Do we run and hide in shame?  Do we fight by blaming someone else?  Think about that with your own children.

Even when a child is learning to use the bathroom, they often squat in a corner or run and hide when they have to go.  I once had a friend who wet her pants and told her mom I squirted the hose down her pants.  That is so typical of children and us.  We either try to hide our flaws or blame someone else for them.

A healthy child-parent relationship is one that is open and honest even when either of them mess up. Unconditional love is a strong motivator for good behavior.  Fear of being punished may help temporarily form good action but it may eventually lead to finding ways to avoid being caught.

Perhaps it’s more effective to understand: There are natural consequences for our choices. And that rules are their to protect us, not to punish us or define us.  When we feel securely loved, it’s natural to choose to please the one who loves us.

Imagine your life as a marathon.  There are all kinds of obstacles and pitfalls along the way.  It’s very difficult to run all the way to the finish line if you believe that along the way, every time you trip or miss the obstacle someone important is booing you.  Or even worse, that the miss means you can’t reach the finish line.

Now imagine running and every time you fall, Jesus reaches down with his hand,  to pick you up, hold you, clean up your hurt, and set you back on course again.  He’s cheering you on with every step, not aware of what place you hold but proud of you for running!

Which scenario motivates you to run well?  I submit we run better when we know we are truly loved.  What do you think?

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What’s Enough?

So here’s Tanya’s salt fact for today.

Another increasingly common problem is the deadly combination of not consuming enough salt plus drinking too much water. This leads to a condition called hyponatremia. Another way to say it is that the person drowns themselves with too much water by flushing out all of the salts. This is common with atheletes or people attempting to keep hydrated on hot days. With all of the emphasis on drinking 8 glasses of water a day plus the push for low-salt diets, this deadly problem is sharply on the rise. It is interesting to note that the 8 glasses of water a day/hydration emphasis is a very Western idea. (Bottled water companies make big bucks off of this and only encourage the idea). Think of how few Egyptians or Kenyans get any clean water in a day, and yet there is not incidence of hyponatremia amongst them. They get enough salt in their meats and vegetables naturally, and consume the amount of water that the body actually NEEDS to survive…

Interesting, huh?  So how does that apply to our lives?  Let’s think in terms of water being something we believe or are told we need and salt being us.

So what is us?  We are spirit, soul (mind, will, and emotions), and body.  I believe the saltiness of our life represents those components as they align with the way God intended. The whole of who we are is a reflection of who He is as we were created in His image.

Unfortunately, as a result of the fall, and failing to recognize we are truly loved beyond our wildest imagination, we spend far too much of life not really believing who God said we are.  Once again, it becomes a matter of Truth vs. Lies.

We believe man made religious traditions and messages that can treat us as women unequally or teach all of us that God’s approval is based on our performance.  So instead of resting in His love, we NEED to keep ourselves so busy with “spiritual or church service” we have little time to maintain our own quiet personal relationship with God.  Maybe the lie is: If I’m quiet enough to listen, I’ll hear how disappointed God is in me. I used to think that.  It flushed my saltiness.

As moms, we often buy into all the expectations of the culture, church, parents, spouses, etc of what makes a “good” Christian women.  The perfect house, the perfect meals, the perfect children, the perfectly satisfied and fulfilled spouse, and an endless list of service.  We often believe we must set every need and desire aside until the kids are grown.  Maybe the lie is: There’s not even time for a shower, I can’t possibly fit in any time for body, soul, spirit renewal.

And then because we don’t want to deal with shame, guilt, pain, etc.  we fill ourselves up with food, drink, or any momentary pleasure so we don’t have to pay attention to what is going on inside.  Afraid to face our real or imaginary boogie man, we rob our life saltiness,  one grain of salt at a time.  Maybe the lie is: If I ignore it, it will go away.

The truth is we’ve got to stop flushing our salt and pay attention to what we really need.  If you knew you could access all the riches of God and take anything you needed from the kingdom of heaven would you do it?  The Bible tells us the Kingdom of Heaven is within us and all around us.  Luke 17:21.

There are a lot of competing voices that want to take away your flavor. I hope you are tired of letting them control you.  Take time to connect with God’s voice in you and you’ll find all you need for life and godliness.  You will be the best salt possible.  If you need some help, Mom’s is here to help!

~~Coming soon……Marian and Tanya’s book, title to be announced!”

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I’m kind of fascinated by this whole salt thing as you can tell.  In fact, Tanya and I are working on a book together!  Yesterday we talked about mass produced cheap salt and how it compares to truth.

Let me mix in a few more truth thoughts with some of Tanya’s valuable research.

“How many of us consume regular table salt all day long without even realizing what it is (or what it isn’t?), not even caring or thinking twice about it?”

How many times do we live our life with no thought for what it is or isn’t?  How often do we stop caring enough to even think there might be something more?

“This form of salt is in everything we eat – especially when we don’t make an effort to look at labels for sodium content. And all the while, what is it doing to our bodies that we can’t see? Studies show that salt deficiency is the cause of many diseases – including hypertension, heart attacks, confusion, anorexia, depression, headaches, lethargy, seizures, liver & kidney disease and even death.”

Diluted truth and lies are all around us.  We’ve heard them our entire life.  Untamed tongues deliver cruel blows that can wound deeply. Life experiences can strike at the heart of our identity.  We hear confusing messages like, “You can have anything you set your mind to.”  or “You can’t have it all.”   Because of things like disappointment, unforgiveness, and lack of understanding, we mask our feelings and run from the truth or fight against it.  We don’t want to face any of it so we spend our lives in resistance to the truth. Like a lack of real salt, this can even leave a physical toll on our bodies.

Spending a bit more money on natural forms of salt is hugely beneficial! One of the very best options is Himalayan crystal salt. It has been used for centuries as a cure for nearly every human disorder with almost unfailing success. Himalayan salt is considered nearly perfect in its content of vital minerals, and with a little extra effort, can be found at any natural/health food store…”

John 8:31, 32 tells us: “If you hold fast to my teachings and live in accordance with them, you are truly my disciples.  An you will know the Truth and the Truth will set you free.”

If we will spend more time and energy getting to know the teachings of Jesus and applying them to our lives, we will know Truth.  I really believe that there is no problem that faces us or our world that could not be solved through the application of some principle or character of God.

So the question is:  How then shall we live? Will we choose to settle for diluted or half-truths or lies? Will we set our hearts on embracing truth even when it challenges us?

Whatever concern or situation you face personally, in your family, in your relationships, in your finances, or in the places you choose to serve, TRUTH will set you free.

Where do you want freedom today?  What truth do you need to embrace?

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Pure Salt

This fact from my friend Tanya: “The KIND of salt we eat is just as important as how MUCH we get of it. Refined, iodized table salt is what most Americans ingest on a daily basis. Natural, unrefined salt is chemically cleaned and dry-heated to a temp. of about 1200 degrees. In that process, it is reduced to a mere 2 elements – sodium and chloride. In contrast, natural seawater contains 84 elements which we need for a healthy body. By using table salt, we are eliminating a full 83 minerals needed for health, strength and immunity to disease. This kind of cheap, mass marketed and produced salt is a good example of salt truly losing it’s saltiness… And yet how many of us are even aware that it has?”

Can you see the life lessons in this salt fact? I see lots of them.

Let’s compare salt with truth.  What we believe is true is critical to every situation we deal with in life.  One of the obstacles we face in knowing what is really true is our misconceptions of what it might mean if we dig deep enough to know the truth.

Remember the scene from A Few Good Men?   Jack Nicholson looks at Tom Cruise and says, “You want the truth?  You can’t handle the truth.”

When have you had a situation in life where you were afraid to look for truth because you were afraid it would hurt or you couldn’t handle what it meant?

Too often we settle for diluted truth because it’s easier to handle.  We buy into the culture, slogans,  and latest, greatest, instant fix of the day and form our lives around them.

With pure truth comes an acknowledgment of our own personal responsibility and understanding what is beyond our control.   We are faced with choices about what to do with it.  They are not always easy choices.  But they are choices that can either keep us from our destinies or set us free.

If you have something you want to change about your life, you must seek the truth.  Here’s an example.  Let’s say your issue is finances.  You are overwhelmed and stuck in a cycle of “not enough.”  What can you do about it?

Seek Truth by asking questions.   1. What do I want my money picture to look like? 2.How does where I’m at differ from where I want to be?  3. How did I get here?   4.  What beliefs do I hold about money in relationship to God, myself, and others?  5.  What about my current situation is within my control?  6. What steps can I take to change my relationship with money?

These are just a few questions to get you started.  You can take any issue and ask the same questions.  God has promised us everything we need for life.  That is truth!  It’s already yours.  The solution to problems, peace, love, joy, and any other quality you want for your life.  It’s not dependent on what life brings you.  It’s dependent on your choice to walk in the truth.

What truth does God want you to know today?

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More Salt

“To be the salt of the earth means to be so salty, you make the whole world thirsty for Jesus.”  I heard these words in a sermon when I was a young girl and I they impressed me.  So much so, I wrote them inside the cover of my Bible.  This has always been my desire.

I want my life to count for something!  I want to make a difference. I remember once as a young mom composing a prayer into a song, “Make my life bread to the hungry, water to the thirsty, oil to the wounded soul.”

When you think about it, if we are salt we will draw out of others an awareness of their hunger, thirst, and woundedness and then we get to help nurture and heal those areas.  That’s one of the things moms do best–nurture and heal.

But if we’ve lost our flavor we can’t be effective.  So how do we lose our flavor?  In order for salt to lose its flavor there must be a chemical reaction to break the union between its components.  Here’s how I see it.

In the beginning we knew God so all we knew was Truth.  We were created good so we did the right thing.   With the fall we got mixed up.   The good got mixed with our perception of evil and  the voice of Truth became diluted with lies.

So we lose our saltiness when we replace true beliefs with beliefs based on lies.  Those accepted lies cause us to choose or act wrongly or in the opposite spirit of how we were created to live.  Lies can cause us to become complacent and skeptical, disillusioned, and beaten down.  We let circumstances of life, our pain, etc.  hold us back and define us rather than defining who we are by embracing truth and rising above whatever we find ourselves dealing with.  In other words, we lose our salty flavor.

To stay salty, we must:

1.  Replace the lies we believe with God’s truth

2.  Protect the truth

3.  Change according to the truth

This week we’ll talk more about what that looks like.   For now, I want to leave you with a final thought.  The first step is to reconnect with God.  He’s been there all along.  Waiting for you.  He’s not hidden, not hard to find.  He’s in you and He is TRUTH! Take some time today to sit quietly, without distraction and listen.   Ask to reconnect with the Truth.  It will transform your life!

What lies have you believed about God, yourself, and others?

What lies have you believed about your situation?

What truth can you replace those lies with?

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Salt Perserves

“Salt was the main component of the mummification process – the internal organs of the deceased were removed and replaced for a time with bags of salt and straw and more salt was packed around the body. It dried out and perfectly preserved the likes of King Tut and Hatshepset, leaving behind the most dynamic evidence of one of history’s greatest civilizations.”–Tanya Nevin

Mom Tanya Nevin has been sharing a little of the wealth of her research about salt.  I loved how today’s tidbit paints a picture of a salty mom.

Often times we get stuck feeling like what we do and the role we play has no meaning.  Yet, throughout all of history moms have had great influence.  What you do today shapes the future! That’s why it’s so important to be you!

I’ve seen a lot of changes over my life so far.  My mother saw even more.  Culture will change, but the influence of the prior generation is so important.  Some things are constant and need to be preserved.  These things become the foundations for the generations that follow.    Things like: character, history, and faith.  Here’s something to consider.

1.  What constants do you want to perserve for your children and the generations to follow?

2.  If you suddenly passed, what would you want your children to know about who you are and what you believed?

Life is fun but it’s also serious business!  We are responsible for the legacy we’ll leave.   That’s one of the reasons I began Moms on Mission.  We want to help you uncover your destiny that will in turn birth the destinies of the future.

Take some time to journal about what you really want your legacy to be.  When you’re finished, share with us the “inheritance” you want to leave behind.

Preserve the future by being salt!

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Pass The Salt

I’m really fascinated by the discoveries I’m making about salt and what they can teach us about our being “salt”.

Here’s what I learned today when researching salt drawing out water.  Salt fights infection by drawing out the water in cells, dehydrating them, and carrying away the toxins.  Salt can reduce irritation without disturbing the natural balance of the skin.  Salt stimulates fresh growth of skin as it exfoliates the dead skin.

Interesting facts, but how does that relate to being a mom? (or any human for that matter!)    Consider this:

1.  A salty mom is aware of what is trying to “infect” her family and draws attention to it.  Attitudes, distractions, lack of direction, and many other things can hinder family function, and create chaos instead of peace.

Insight and  intuition are a natural tendency or gift of women.  We are more  in tune with what is going on around us on a lot of different levels.  Sometimes we resist or stop listening to those quiet voices because we don’t want to or are afraid to look closely at what we might see.  When we pay attention, we eventually can find the root of the problem we are facing and with God’s help clean it up.

What is your main concern about your family at this time?   Why do you think that problem has surfaced? What can you do as a mom to influence or help bring a solution?

2.  A salty mom reduces irritation even when she is the one who’s irritated.  For too many of us reducing irritation means ignoring or stuffing our own feelings about a conflict.  Or  we add to it by reacting instead of responding.  I’ve been there and done that too many times!   Whether you’re dealing with sibling rivalry, marriage issues, or other sources of irritation communication is key.  A mom needs coaching skills, conflict resolution skills, and relationship building skills.  That’s hard to do alone.   Turn to God for help.  Find a friend or coach to help you process and unpack the situation.  Deal with your own wounds so you won’t be reacting out of your own stuff!

3.  A salty mom stimulates fresh growth.   A healthy person and a healthy family is always growing. Like skin that needs to be exfoliated for the healthy fresh cells to grow, we need to re-evaluate on a regular basis. The first question to ask is:  What is working and what is not? A good follow-up is:  What do we most want to change and what steps can we take? When we throw away what is no longer working and move toward fresh ideas and solutions we will find contentment and peace as a family unit.

A salty mom is an intentional woman with a clear mission in mind.  She doesn’t just let things happen, she knows what she can influence and does that with excellence.

Pass your salt and sprinkle it generously on everything you touch!

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Flavor

Salt draws out flavor!  And as we learned yesterday we are salt.  Let that sit for a moment.  Next time you question your usefulness or significance remember you have been given the gift and responsibility to bring out flavor in everything around you.

In coaching, we throw around the word authentic a lot.  It means when you are really connected to who you are.  You’ve stopped hiding and putting on masks.  You are letting your voice be heard.  You are focused on living your best life in the season you are in.  Fake salt just doesn’t do the same thing that real salt does.  That’s true for you too. I hope you like your own flavor because that’s what it takes to appreciate and draw out someone elses.

Consider Dr. Suess. “Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.”

That’s what it takes to be salt.  Live out the You God created you to be.

Here’s a few tips.

a. Let your home reflect your creativity and personality. That will encourage your children to use theirs .

b. Let your family see you depend on God in the middle of your problems.  That will teach them to see God’s faithfulness.

c. Keep learning and pursuing your passions.  That will teach your children the importance of learning and of loving what you do.

d. Look for things your children are interested in.  Help them discover more about the subject or create an experience that will uncover any hidden passion.

e. When you have to correct something, use seasoned words.  Words of grace, understanding, forgiveness, and love bring security and a desire to please to the heart of a child.  Harsh words of condemnation can damage and wound them if they are left hanging in the air.

It’s been said, a home is like an ice cream cone.   The mom is the one who decides if it’s chocolate or vanilla.  What flavor do you want to have in your home today?  What can you do to draw that out?

Share with Moms your tips for uncovering your child’s flavor or what you do to draw out the flavor in your family.

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