What’s In Your Cup?

I’ve been reflecting about cups. Psalms 23 speaks of our cup running over. I gained a new perspective regarding this scripture when I heard someone say, “what’s in the cup is for you; the overflow is for others.” Or you may have heard the proverb, “you can’t pour from an empty cup.”

I believe this is what happens in our lives. We are givers. We feel bad when we can’t give. We place expectations on ourselves which leave us void of physical and emotional energy. The premise of the cup is this: you can only give what you have in supply. If you give it all away, what do you have left?

When you’re on a plane ready for take-off, the flight attendant gives you the “safety speech. This is what the attendant says: “In the case you need a mask, put yours on first then help your neighbor.”

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You need peace? Joy? Hope? Endurance? Love? Faith? I submit to you that it will be easier to give these things to others when your cup is filled with them. The scriptures say, “Love your neighbor as you love yourself.” Do you see the prerequisite here? You pour from your personal reservoir. I’m going to tell you this: It is your job to make sure your cup is full. 

Yes, I said it. It is your job to make sure your cup is full. I don’t want you to hear me say you should do it by yourself or you can’t give. No, the point is to take care of you with the same fervor you use to take care of other. Use every available, viable resource to keep your cup full. For example, my cup is filled by going to the park talking to the ducks (weird right?). I also enjoy reading, listening to music, talking to a friend and writing. The best thing for me is silence. I sit with a journal, or not, and enjoy stillness. How refreshing!

What can you do to keep your cup full? I want to challenge you to do those things. You can also call this a self-care routine. I promise, everyone and everything will be fine without you for the time you need to regroup and recharge. Have a family? A demanding job? Steal ten minutes here and there. When it comes to your job? If you get sick or hurt yourself and must be off, they will figure it out.

I enjoy encouraging people. When I say enjoy, I mean I become totally giddy when I have an empowering thought and I share it with others. Every week I send out thirty or more texts. Sometimes, they are saying, “Hey! I pray you’re having a grand week. I love you!” The texts are often accompanied by an emoji. When I couldn’t get a positive thought to come to mind, I knew my cup was running low. It’s my job to get my cup full and overflowing again. I have a remedy for that, this weekend, I am going out to a beautiful place, sit by some water, in silence, and reflect.

How do you know your cup is running low? I’m glad you asked! For me it’s agitation, frustration, withdrawing. This week, the weight of suicide prevention month, along with 911 knocked me off balance. I was scrolling Instagram, and found out a pastor had committed suicide. Though I get emotional like the normal person, I couldn’t shake the heaviness. The emotional pain I felt was almost too much. At first, I got angry because I was being so emotional. After a few moments, I realized I had every right to be emotional and sad! There are people dying from suicide. Many people died on 911.

Giving myself permission to mourn is a form of self-care. Stuffing our feelings and pretending we’re okay when we are not is counterproductive.

Please be kind to yourself.
Take care of your cup.
Keep it full.
Allow it to overflow.
When you feel your supply running low, take the necessary time to refuel.

Blessings!

 

“Default Settings”

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If you’ve ever worked on a computer or a cell phone and went to settings, it will ask you if you would like to “restore to default settings.” What is your life default settings? How do you respond to life? Conflict? People? Certain situations? Let’s talk about it.

I learned something recently. Pain & trauma in your memory has no time line. So until it’s processed and healed, it will feel like it just happened and you go back to that place often. Many even feel through symptoms in the body (stomach pain, for example).

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I’m learning, as I heal, to remind myself that it’s over. The past, pain, nor trauma has no bearing on who I am or who I will be. Trauma doesn’t diminish my worth.

Fight for your healing. It won’t come for you. You must fight for it.

You’re worth it.

Having said that, I am in pursuit of changing my “default setting.” I was talking to someone the other day and I was telling them how I usually respond to conflict-that it was my default setting.

Later, I began to think about that. I didn’t like it.

Don’t I have the power to change? Don’t I have the right to adjust my thinking, my perspective, and my actions? Of course I do.

I’ve added another component to my mental health. It’s call DBT (Dialectical behavior therapy). In my limited understanding (I’ve only been to one class), DBT teaches you coping and management skills. The major thing I’m working on right now is learning how to properly process anxiety. I am determined that anxiety will not run or ruin my life.

I believe that the undercurrent that produces anxiety can be processed and healed. When I say undercurrent, I’m speaking of the pain that is stored in your body. You don’t realize it’s still there, but it doesn’t mean we can’t heal from it. I often wonder where anxiety comes from because, in my mind, I’m not thinking about anything. In many recent instances, I’m having a good time before it shows up. In my mind, this is the undercurrent; a warning of something I need to be aware (but not afraid) of.

I’m not a professional, but I do a lot of reading and researching. I’m a thinker/over thinker. The purpose of this post is to give us another perspective that will hoped lead to answers and healing. And to hopefully have a better understanding regarding what I’m experiencing. It helps me to change my default settings.

No, I don’t want to be restored to my default settings. The default setting have not served me well. I am creating new settings. How about you? Let’s do it!

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Love, Hope & Joy

Hello all! I decided today would be a great day to share an excerpt from my book, Texts from an Angel. Enjoy…

Amy was so depressed. She didn’t want to bother her friends. She knew they were busy. However, after being in bed three days, her guardian angel, Hope, was flustered.

“I hate to bust your angelic wings, but what she needs is a little Joy. No pun intended.” Joy quipped.

“Oh dear heaven!” Hope slapped her wings together in frustration. “Here you are again, in my personal business.”

“You don’t have any personal business. This is all God’s business or did you forget? I keep telling you the Joy of the Lord is where strength comes from.”

“And we also know that ‘hope deferred makes the heart sick.’ That’s why I’m here. So go…” While Hope and Joy are arguing, Amy is holding a bottle of pills. She’s sick of it all.

“Ladies! Ladies!” Love steps in. “Stop it. You’re off focus again. Look.” Amy was pouring a glass of water and had several bottles of pills lined up on the counter. Hope and Joy looked at each other. They knew what to do. Before Amy could reach for the first bottle, a strong wind blew through her kitchen and pills and bottles were flying everywhere!

Conveniently, most of the pills flew down the drain. Amy was so stunned with what was going on around her she didn’t hear her doorbell ringing. Her best friend, Keya, was at the door. After ringing the doorbell for several minutes, Keya decided to use her spare key to get in.

Hearing all the commotion, Kenya rushed to the kitchen. “Amy! What’s the matter? I got your text. Why didn’t you tell me you were so depressed? I’m so sorry I haven’t been here.” Amy was still stunned as she looked at her friend.

“You got a text? I turned my phone off three days ago.” Keya showed her a text message that came from her phone. It read, “I love you, sister, but I can’t do this anymore. I’m sorry.”

After a long talk, Keya decided to take Amy home with her until her mother flew into town. Spending time in the nurturing warmth of a mother’s love would help tremendously. She would also seek counseling and formulate a safety plan.

A safety plan is a specific plan you set in place for yourself to ensure your safety whether physical or emotional. The plan usually includes coping mechanism, phone numbers, and maybe personal reminders for you or ways you can distract yourself.  

If you are ever feeling like Amy, please contact either of these numbers:
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: Call 1-800-273-8255
Or text: Crisis Text Line: Text RISE to 741741  

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This is an excerpt from my book, Texts from an Angel. You can purchase it at https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07QC2GD93/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_BKGPCbDK92FJ3

For a paper copy, email me at nicolesharonwrites@gmail.com

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Stand.

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When I look at this I see tumultuous peace. How did the sky go from being blue to various shades of oranges and red like an angry fire?

Yet, it’s peaceful. It’s saying to me yes, there battle going on behind the scenes. There’s a war being waged. Turmoil. Strife. Confusion.

There’s also victory happening. Peace conquering over turmoil. Harmony happening I’ve strife. Certainty over confusion.

How can this be? How can you have two opposing things going on simultaneously? In the same life?

And yet, like the tower that’s standing, I stand alone. Only I can fight this war within. Only I can stand against the things that stand against me. Yes, there are people and outside forces that encourage, but I must, within myself, make a decision.

I made the decision to stand. Sometimes shaking. Sometimes trembling in fear. Sometimes ready to quit. But there’s a force within me that won’t let me quit. Won’t let me die. Won’t let me give up.

So.
I.
Stand.

And.
I.
Win.

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My view of the sky. Georgia. 10/25/18.

 

 

Hey! Where You Been?

Hey guys!

I’m getting back in the swing of things. I’ve been out of commission for a while, but I’m back and I’m focusing. Instead of trying to write everything out, I thought I’d do a video. I hope that something is said to help you on your journey to healing and wholeness.

We’re in this together!

Blessings to you!

You can handle it.

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You can handle being healed…

I was talking to a friend, and she said these words to me. “Nicole, you can handle being healed.” I stopped her mid-sentence. Wait! Ma’am! What you say?

So, here’s the thing. I have been on this journey to healing and wholeness. I’ve been asking God, what does that look like? How will I act? Who will I be? What will change?

Trauma, pain, sadness, low self-esteem, insecurity, isolation, etc. becomes comfortable when that’s all you know. It effects the way you view your life, your relationships, other people… It’s all a smoke screen. It doesn’t allow you to see life clearly.

Yes, it’s hard work. Yes, it is so uncomfortable. I admit, there is fear in the unknown. Who am I without pain? How will my perspective change once the negative thoughts that have become my friends are evicted from my mind? What will I think about? Who will my new “friends” be? (Can you tell I overthink?)

No one can give me the blueprint of how it’s going to look and, as much as I would like to know, the date when the project of rebuilding my life will be complete. Note to self: settle in sis, for the rest of your life you will be evolving, growing, changing, rebuilding – constantly under construction. Learn to enjoy the beauty of each season.

I think I will. How about you? Let’s make this resolve together: I resolve to go through my journey and trust that God will never leave me. I don’t know what the journey cost me, but I know the payoff is priceless. I resolve to stay in the fight. Though bruised and scarred, I will win.

I stand in strength.

Knowing God made me who I am.

He doesn’t waste His energy on anything or anyone that is not of value.

I can do this.

I will stand.

I will fight.

I am more than a conqueror.

I am an overcomer.

The pressure will not break me.

I will not be silent.

He created me for greatness.

I am whole.

I am prosperous.

The victory is mine.

I am an overcomer.

ABBA

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Myself and a group of ladies have been studying the names of God. This week we are focusing on Abba. It means God our Father.

Too many in this world have never experienced the love of a father. Many may not know who their father is, or maybe he’s absent, unavailable, too busy or deceased. Maybe your father is great! Imagine that God is even greater than that! The key is to learn not to compare what we know of earthly fathers to our heavenly Father. There is no comparison. I understand, however. You have to remind yourself that God is not like any human that you will ever meet.

From Believe.com:

Abba means “Daddy, Father” – Abba is the most intimate form of God’s name, showing us His character as our loving daddy. He is the One who can be fully trusted, the One we can lean on, the One who cares about all that concerns us. Just as a godly father’s presence in our daily lives is one of protection, security, and unconditional love, the constant presence of our heavenly Father is what gives us the strength and covering we need for this life’s journey. This is one of my favorite names of God because in it He conveys His heart for each of us, as His children. He gives us the privilege of being called his own sons and daughters. He provides the way for us to call out to Him and the assurance, beyond a doubt, that He hears and will answer. In our most difficult to painful times in life, we can crawl up into the lap of our heavenly Father, and know that He is for us, and His arms will hold us secure. (https://www.ibelieve.com/faith/10-powerful-names-of-god-and-what-they-mean-for-us-today.html)

And so that we would know for sure that we are his true children, God released the Spirit of Sonship into our hearts—moving us to cry out intimately, “My Father! You’re our true Father!” Galatians 4:6 TPT

So when you’re feeling bad and it feels like your life is a constant storm, call for your Father. He will help you. He will comfort you. He will give you peace.

So, here is my prayer for you: In a world where fathers are absent, overly busy, overworked, stressed, silent, or just uninvolved…

I pray that you experience God as your ultimate Father. I pray that you experience His compassion, grace, and consistent love for you. It’s such a pure love that could never be earned or worked for. I pray that you will begin to experience Abba (God our Father) in such an intimate way that you will never view yourself or others the same again. He has plenty to say to you and he wants to be involved in every area of your life. Have a wonderful week! Blessings!

Tonight, at 8pm EST, I will be live on my Facebook page. Looking forward to seeing you there!

 

https://www.facebook.com/lifeofanovercomer/