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New Friend Friday! Meet Rachelle Gilbert.

Welcome to a new feature called New Friend Friday. Each week, I’ll introduce you to a fellow Beauty Hunter … God Sighter … Joy Giver … Girlfriend in Gratitude. One of the most exciting things to me on this journey is the other people God is connecting me to in a most beautiful web of wonder and amazing for what HE does everyday. All around us. When we pay attention.

So please meet my friend Rachelle Gilbert. Author of the Flooded Heart blog. Please: go poke around her blog, sell hello, and tell her you Found Beauty in her today!

My Q&A with Rachelle…

* Briefly describe the story behind Flooded Heart as the name for your blog
 
My sister actually encouraged me to write out the story of my healing journey, blog style. It was easy to come up with the name Flooded Heart. Only hours before I noticed the first symptoms of a brain lesion, I had a dream in which I and many other women were gathered together to worship God in song. As we sang, beautiful beams of light were projecting into our hearts. Our hearts were flooded with the light of Jesus Christ. This dream was prophetic for me, and also for many of the women who have read my story. The Lord did an amazing work on my heart during my illness, and He hasn’t stopped yet!
 
 
* What do you hope readers will get from your blog?
 
My heart’s desire in writing this blog has always been that others would be reminded or know for the first time that God is good. He is for us! He loves us so much and wants good things for us, His children. He is not mad at us. He is not a big meanie, nor is He indifferent or impersonal. We can be as intimate with the God of the Universe as we want to be. I have been encouraged time and again by reading other people’s stories, and I hope to encourage others by telling mine.
 
 
* What was one of the most unexpected things you learned during your 40 Days of Now?
 
I loved 40 Days of Now! What a blessing that time was to my heart. I have become accustomed over the years to categorizing my days. Some days are quality, significant days and some are just dumb. I have often fallen into bed at night thinking to myself, Well that was a dumb day! 40 Days of Now was a jolt of God’s kind of reality for me. That is, there are no dumb days when Jesus is in them. And Jesus is in them. It’s simply a matter of being aware and being willing to search. “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:13
 
 
* Tell us about a time you recently Found Beauty
 
I tell ‘ya, I’m looking at beauty right now. As I type this, my two-month-old nephew is curled up sleeping on my lap. I don’t know if there’s anything more wonderful than a baby!
 
 
* Please share one tip for Finding Beauty/Noticing your Flooded Heart in everyday life?
 
For me, the best thing is to start out my day asking Jesus to reveal Himself to me sometime during the day. I have found that He will always answer this prayer! My job is to be on the lookout for the answer and to acknowledge it by thanking Him for it. There is no better way to cultivate joy than to live life a grateful person.
 
Rachelle also is a gifted poet, and I love the way she lets the Holy Spirit speak through her in this way. Here’s a taste: Letting Go & Holding On
 
 
 
 

Worship Song Wednesday… and a Challenge

1. Watch this video of a Chris Tomlin song:
 
2. Watch it again, this time writing down some of the attributes of God the song mentions … or others God brings to mind as you watch/listen
 
3. Take your list of attributes: (ie. God is strength. Refuge. A Fortress for the Weak. Shows his love deeper than the sea) and write 1 at the top of a new journal page.
 
4. Think back over the course of your ENTIRE life … as far back as you can remember & as recent as right now … and record AS MANY WAYS AS YOU CAN that God has been this in your life. (For example… God was my refuge when… I was scared of the dark as a little girl; when I moved alone to Arizona; when my heart was broken by a college boyfriend; when I didn’t get a job a wanted; when we had to leave our house in Arizona…)
 
5. Repeat for additional attributes. Here are some you might consider but do WHATEVER the Holy Spirit says YOU need to reflect on…
  • God as my provider
  • Friend
  • Redeemer
  • Healer
  • Lord
  • Lifter of my Head
 
SOAK IN GOD’S CHARACTER & LOVE FOR YOU THIS WEEK!!
 
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Posted by on October 19, 2011 in Challenge, Worship Song Wednesday

 

Something to Write About

As you learn to become more aware of the Gifts all around you, sometimes those gifts come to you as quotes, scripture, song lyrics, even dialogue in movies or TV. When I hear something that inspires me, I like to write it down at the top of a blank journal page. Then, even if I don’t have time to explore it now, I have provided a space — AND AN EXPECTATION — that I will come back to it.

Still not sure where to start? Ask yourself, “Why do I like this?” And just start writing your answer and see where it goes. Check out the Inspiration Station  page; grab a favorite quote/lyric/verse; start writing!

Here’s one of mine:

Be not afraid of growing slowly. Be afraid only of standing still. -Chinese Proverb

I do get so afraid of not seeing progress quickly sometimes. I like the instant gratification. At least that’s what I tell myself. But if I look back on experience, maybe that’s not really true. There is something extra special about the sucess that did not come quickly and easily. The one where all the blood, sweat and tears just makes the finish line that much sweeter.

Moments of moving – no matter how small are still progress. Stop camping out half way to the summit, Beth!

 

Scripture-Psalms

 Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him. Psalm 34:8

Come and see what God has done, how awesome his works in man’s behalf! Psalm 66:5

How awesome is the LORD Most High, the great King over all the earth! He subdued nations under us, peoples under our feet. He chose our inheritance for us, the pride of Jacob, whom He loved. GOD has ascended amid shouts of joy, the LORD amid the sounding of trumpets. GOD is King over all the earth. He reigns over the nations. He is seated on His holy throne. The kings of earth belong to GOD — He is highly exalted. Psalm 47:2

I lift up my eyes to the hills –
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the LORD,
the Maker of heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot slip –
He who watches over you will not slumber;
indeed, He who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.   Psalm 121

The Lord reigns; let the earth rejoice.  Psalm 97:1

 
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Posted by on October 15, 2011 in Awareness Technique

 

Inspirational Quotes

The way to gain a good reputation, is to endeavor to be what you desire to appear. – Socrates

Be not afraid of growing slowly; be afraid only of standing still. –Chinese Proverb

You cannot dream yourself into a character; you must hammer and forge yourself one. –Henry David Thoreau

Your imagination is your preview of life’s coming attractions. –Albert Einstein

In the hopes of reaching the moon men fail to see the flowers that blossom at their feet. –Albert Schweitzer

Happiness is not a state to arrive at, but a manner of traveling. –Margaret Lee Runbeck

We think too small. Like the frog at the bottom of the well. He thinks the sky is only as big as the top of the well. If he surfaced, he would have an entirely different view.  –Mao Tse-Tung

Storms make oaks take roots. –Proverb

 
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Posted by on October 15, 2011 in Awareness Technique

 

Be an Explorer!!

Yesterday, I introduced the idea of Bullet-Point Journaling, a rapid-fire, no stress way to clear a lot of information out of your head by putting it on paper. That is helpful and healthy in many situations. Sometimes, in fact, it’s all you need — just to download your brain to paper ro make room for something else.

But I have often found that my Bullet Points on any given subject great moments of A-Ha that need to be explored a little more fully. This is Exploratory or Layered Journaling.

I recently did a Bullet-Point Journaling session on the topic of God. (Note: I often limit these bullet-point sessions to 2 minutes, but I have also found it cleansing to keep going for as long as I can think of something new. Until a list feels substantial — or until I have hit something that signals me that I need to Explore it more.)

In about 100 seconds, my God is… list was this:

  • amazing
  • love me in new ways every day
  • the lifter of my head
  • my Abba father
  • trustworthy
  • faithful
  • the ultimate friend
  • not hidden
  • ready to show himself
  • always in control
  • always at the top of his game
  • my defender

Then, as I read my list again, I knew I wanted to say more about God’s character as trustworthy and faithful. So I wrote “God is trustworthy and faithful” at the top of the page to Explore. Peel back another Layer.

Have you not proven yourself so, Lord? So many times I have stepped into the seemingly nothingness of faith and you have provided a bridge that holds. Each & Every time! Oh, I have been bruised. I have scraped knees, battle scars, and there have been broken hearts. At times I’ve felt like I had to scramble along a tiny ledge — but there, too, you are — with a cleft in the rock, an escape plan I never could have imagined.

I have prayed recently to see your glory — have the privilege of watching you live and breathe and have your being in me & others around me. Why did I think those moments would come anywhere but on a precipice — or a potter’s wheel — or a refiner’s fire? For your greatest treasures, your strongest champions have been forged in flames.

Oh the story to tell on the other side. Surely then I will know even more deeply what I already know to be true. You ARE trustworthy. You ARE faithful.

Now read your entry again. Slowly and WITHOUT JUDGEMENT. If a word or phrase grabs you, circle it, write it at the top of a new page and go with that topic. More exploring. Another layer.

Your turn!

 

Don’t Be Afraid of Journaling

I am convinced that the reason a lot of people don’t journal is for one or more of the following reasons…

  • They think they aren’t a “writer” and worry about spelling and grammar and style
  • They think they don’t have time
  • They don’t know what to write about

Journaling is NOT about the perfect expression of anything. It’s about clearing the crud out of your brain so it has room to think a new thought. When the junk is on paper, you don’t need it in your head anymore.

So here’s a quick way to make that happen. It takes no time at all, and I’ll tell you exactly what to write about. I call it Bulletpoint Journaling.

You can learn this technique most easily with a topic you have neutral feelings about. Start with a color, for example. Write “Purple is…” at the top of a page. Set the timer for 2 minutes. Now make a list of EVERYTHING that comes to mind that can complete that sentence. No editing. No stopping. Just whatever comes to mind. Don’t let your brain say, “No, it’s not.” … if you think it, write it down!

Ready? Go.

Purple is…

  • regal
  • the color of grapes
  • happy
  • a bright
  • the color of iris & pansies
  • unique
  • the mix of blue and red
  • the surprise bloom on my Morning Glory
  • the color of my walls
  • my Massey’s favorite color
  • majestic
  • Barney the dinosaur

Now try it with an animal, a feeling, a flower, a favorite place.

I think you’ll find that the action of not pressuring yourself to write more than one word or a short phrase makes this accessible and easy. It also creates an environment where your mind is allowed ANY thought. Then the ones that surprise you can be explored more carefully. While Bullet Journaling can be fun and interesting just to see what you get when you think on a color or object or place, this topic is most effective for me when I have to work out something I’m not sure I fully understand yet.

  • The reason I feel sad is…
  • My family is…
  • I wish I could…
  • My home is…
  • My work is…
  • I am frustrated with…
  • My God is…

Try it. And let me know how it works for you. Then come back tomorrow to see how to use this list to pull back another layer in your journaling path to self-discovery and finding beauty in unexpected places.

 
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Posted by on October 13, 2011 in Abundant Life Small Group, Challenge

 
 
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