Thursday, April 15, 2010

Good-Bye Southern Living! So Long Insecurity!

Hi Ya'll! Ha! Now, won't it be funny when I move back North next week and I'm still saying things like Ya'll?  Well, you can't live in the South for 5 years without picking up a few local phrases here and there, right?  One of my all time favorite sayings down here in the South is: "Bless Your Heart" - and the jury (in my mind at least!) is still out as to precisely what that means... but, I digress! 

What I really wanted to talk about today is the Beth Moore book I just finished reading called So Long, Insecurity: You've Been a Bad Friend to Us   I just can't begin to say enough about this book and the impact it has had on my life!  And, being as short as I am on time right now while trying to prepare for my move, rather than write a full out review of my own, I'm going to include a few links to reviews for you to read at your leisure:

Review From Publisher's Weekly:
Prolific Bible teacher and women’s ministry leader Moore (Get Out of That Pit) moves away from her characteristic dead-on expositions of scriptural principles in her newest; the topic is insecurity, and the content, she admits, is close to an autobiography. Moore, always transparent with her own personal struggles, is refreshingly so throughout this text. Readers will be chortling in laughter one moment and sucking air the next as Moore exposes the many faces of female insecurity. The author names and claims each one, then defuses every bit of power these nonsensical inner voices possess by countering their lies with God’s truth. Women, no matter what their age, battle against advertising’s siren call for unattainable physical perfection; the habit of making a man’s love the ultimate validation; and the worldly definition of success as money, power, and status. Moore uses personal essays, women’s true confessions, expressive prayers, and lots of commonsense suggestions to jar women out of their insecure rut. Readers will delve into this work and find themselves comfortably uncomfortable, and this is a very good thing.

I read this life altering book along with seven other woman from my church.  We met weekly to discuss what we had read and to share our thoughts, feelings and experiences with each other.  We followed along online at the LPM blog and answered discussion questions that were specific to each of the chapters we had read that week.

Insecurity is toxic and destructive and robs more joy from the lives of women (and men too!) than probably anything else I can think of!  It ruins lives, destroys relationships and basically  prohibits you from living your life to its fullest!
I highly recommend this book, and if at all possible, I also suggest you look for a site near you that is hosting the So Long Insecurity Live Simulcast on Saturday, April 24, 2010.  Click HERE to find a host site near you!

Hopefully, a few of the lovely ladies from the study group I attended will pop on here and leave some comments as to how this book and study has impacted their lives.  I can attest that for me, this book has given me the knowledge I needed as well as exposing the power and strength I never knew was there all along.  I am now ready to continue the battle against insecurity all the way to its defeat!

Thank you for stopping by today! If insecurity is an issue that you struggle with, I hope you'll pick up a copy of this book and learn how you too can win the battle!

Your POSITIVE thoughts and comments are always welcome. Please keep comment 'language' family-friendly. Thank you in advance for your feedback!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Carrot, The Egg and The Coffee Bean

A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up. She was tired of fighting and struggling.

It seemed that, as one problem was solved, a new one arose. Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to a boil. In the first, she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and in the last she placed ground coffee beans.

She let them sit and boil, without saying a word. In about twenty minutes, she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl. Turning to her daughter, she asked, "Tell me, what do you see?"

"Carrots, eggs, and coffee," the young woman replied. The mother brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft. She then asked her to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg. Finally, she asked her to sip the coffee. The daughter smiled as she tasted its rich aroma. The daughter then asked, "What does it mean, mother?"

Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity - boiling water - but each reacted differently. The carrot went in strong, hard and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak.

The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior. But, after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened! The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water, they had changed the water.

"Which are you?" the mother asked her daughter. "When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg, or a coffee bean?" Think of this: Which am I? Am I the carrot that seems strong but, with pain and adversity, do I wilt and become soft and lose my strength? Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat? Did I have a fluid spirit but, after a death, a breakup, or a financial hardship, does my shell look the same, but on the inside am I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and a hardened heart? Or am I like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavor.

If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you. When the hours are the darkest and trials are their greatest, do you elevate to another level? How do you handle adversity? 

Are you a carrot, an egg, or a coffee bean?


Your positive thoughts and comments are always welcome.
Please keep comment 'language' family-friendly.
Thank you in advance for your feedback!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Are You a Bucket Filler or A Bucket Dipper?

You have heard of the cup that overflowed. This is a story of a bucket that is like the cup, only larger, it is an invisible bucket. Everyone has one. It determines how we feel about ourselves, about others, and how we get along with people. Have you ever experienced a series of very favorable things which made you want to be good to people for a week? At that time, your bucket was full.

A bucket can be filled by a lot of things that happen. When a person speaks to you, recognizing you as a human being, your bucket is filled a little. Even more if he calls you by name, especially if it is the name you like to be called. If he compliments you on your dress or on a job well done, the level in your bucket goes up still higher. There must be a million ways to raise the level in another's bucket. Writing a friendly letter, remembering something that is special to him, knowing the names of his children, expressing sympathy for his loss, giving him a hand when his work is heavy, taking time for conversation, or, perhaps more important, listing to him.

When one's bucket is full of this emotional support, one can express warmth and friendliness to people. But, remember, this is a theory about a bucket and a dipper. Other people have dippers and they can get their dippers in your bucket. This, too, can be done in a million ways.

Lets say I am at a dinner and inadvertently upset a glass of thick, sticky chocolate milk that spills over the table cloth, on a lady's skirt, down onto the carpet. I am embarrassed. "Bright Eyes" across the table says, "You upset that glass of chocolate milk." I made a mistake, I know I did, and then he told me about it! He got his dipper in my bucket! Think of the times a person makes a mistake, feels terrible about it, only to have someone tell him about the known mistake ("Red pencil" mentality!)

Buckets are filled and buckets are emptied, emptied many times because people don't really think about what are doing. When a person's bucket is emptied, he is very different than when it is full. You say to a person whose bucket is empty, "That is a pretty tie you have," and he may reply in a very irritated, defensive manner.

Although there is a limit to such an analogy, there are people who seem to have holes in their buckets. When a person has a hole in his bucket, he irritates lots of people by trying to get his dipper in their buckets. This is when he really needs somebody to pour it in his bucket because he keeps losing.

The story of our lives is the interplay of the bucket and the dipper. Everyone has both. The unyielding secret of the bucket and the dipper is that when you fill another's bucket it does not take anything out of your own bucket. The level in our own bucket gets higher when we fill another's, and, on the other hand, when we dip into another's bucket we do not fill our own ... we lose a little.

For a variety of reasons, people hesitate filling the bucket of another and consequently do not experience the fun, joy, happiness, fulfillment, and satisfaction connected with making another person happy. Some reasons for this hesitancy are that people think it sounds "fakey," or the other person will be suspicious of the motive, or it is "brown-nosing."

Therefore, let us put aside our dipper and resolve to touch someone's life in order to fill their bucket.