"Humans are not designed to help one another figure out their worth. We are naturally selfish and wavering at the hands of our environment, circumstance, mood, and even our hunger level."
Our calculations are not reliable and are as unnecessary as the raisins in the potato salad! Once we average out the days we are held in high regard with the days in which we are a disappointment, our worth will be in the negatives. We will be deemed useless and worthless (such an ugly term to use).
Determining our value based upon recognition, compliments, certifications, degrees, requirements, outward appearance, monetary wealth, and standards can leave us feeling defeated, hurt, and angry. Anything that leaves us feeling this way is not of God. Only we can control how something makes us feel. He deemed us worthy and capable of excellence upon creation, period. God's love and acceptance is never wavering and is forever unconditional. He will deem us worthy before and after we accept Him into our lives, regardless of your education, appearance, wealth, track record, sin, and faith.
In return, we must stop allowing external things to determine our internal feelings about ourselves.
All those things happen.... but God knew that and still deems you worthy and of excellence to do His Will. There is no need to strive for acceptance in the world, but for acceptance into Heaven. That is the highest level and all other levels pale in comparison.
(Click here for bible scriptures on worth)
"When a person shows you who they are, believe them...." Maya Angelo
I've always known that surrounding one's self with good people helps to maintain your good character, faith, integrity, good reputation and peace. It also helps to minimize unnecessary hurt, drama, and disappointment. We have a tendency to disregard who people truly are even after they have shown us otherwise, by they way they have treated others, showing poor integrity, and lack of moral character.
So often, we neglect to take into consideration how a person treats others because we feel they would never do that to us. That assumption is very wrong. We are people of habit and the way we treat others and ourselves stems directly from how we process things and our belief system. Since we are not a people of multiple belief systems, everything is factored through that one. We are who we are and not who we pretend to be for the most part. While people can change, that should not be the basis upon how often we surround ourselves with them.
Who we genuinely are will show in our private and most comfortable encounters. When we are looking to self-evaluate or determine a person's character before proceeding, those are the most important times to comb through. Surround yourself with people who are consistently and genuinely good people in their private encounters and in the public.
New King James Version (NKJV)
You Will Know Them by Their Fruits
15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. 16 You will know them by their fruits.Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? 17 Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit.19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Therefore by their fruits you will know them.
#MyEarlyMorningThoughts: Figuring Out What We Sacrifice For Greatness Helps Us To Determine What We Want To Be Great At....
"Greatness cost what it cost....... He said its not going on sale and its not gonna be marked down. There will be no discounts. There will be no buy-one get-one free......" (T. D. Jakes, very emotional sermon,16:50) (click quote)
We tend to feel that greatness is money and social status but, greatness is anything that we are willing to sacrifice an immeasurable amount of "something" for it in return. A great parent sacrifices their life, much of their freedom, often releases their dreams for a dream of rearing great children. A great christian sacrifices relationships, flesh, acceptance, and so much more. The same as parents who are great at being selfish sacrifice their legacy, reputation, and ultimately the good future of their children. Those who are greatly immoral sacrifice their integrity, relationships, and so on. Anything we choose to be great at will cost us something. Our moral compasses and character help us to determine what is worth sacrificing for a specific greatness.
"Being a great man ain't going on sale just because you didn't have a daddy"
Greatness will have no sympathy for your situation or circumstance. It has no respect of person. We will have to do the work just as those before and after us. Today, what are you being great at and what are you sacrificing?
When we put into place what we are sacrificing, it helps us to quickly decide what's worth being great.
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Making decisions based on our present circumstance most often means we are planning to remain there. When we allow our future to dictate our present actions, we are prepare for where we want to go rather than settling for what our eyes can see currently. In order to do this we have to exercise a certain amount of faith in ourselves and belief that our best life is ahead of us.
If we think about it, all of our lives our parents prepare us for the possibilities ahead. We learn to be independent, are educated, are taught to drive, and encouraged to go to college all to ensure that we are equipped for our future. So why is it that as adults we begin making decisions based on our present circumstance and what we can physically see, only to feel unfulfilled with a life of complacency? We quit dreaming of where we want to go and begin relying only on our actual sight. In that very moment, we lose hope and weaken our faith through lack of exercising it. Our faith in the future that God has made possible is placed in the hands of our past, our parents, friends and family, expectations, others opinions and beliefs of our capabilities, a sense of loyalty to a plethora of things in our current life, and it is replaced with complacency and laziness toward continued progression in life. Decisions should be made because we want to grow ourselves, not because we know ourselves!
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"Let your Faith override your fears."
Fear is one of the most powerful weapons of destruction. It hinders us from moving forward in our lives into new and uncharted territories and keeps us bound to familiar comforts. Fear also keeps us in sin by allowing us to make ungodly choices to reach goals and expectations, impress others, live up to standards, not feel, and continue that familiar path of trying to live up to societal standards and appropriateness. We are all guilty of it! The good thing is that we can change, one action at a time. The most important change is beginning to make decisions based on faith and your Faith and not by fear.
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Someone once told me "You'll know when you're making better decisions because your life will get better and run smoother." Those words have stuck with me for well over a decade and I am reminded of how my decisions impact my future daily. While this advice can be taken very literally, I have come to realize that the lack of decision making and complacency affect my future just as much.
You see my actions, or lack thereof, are the bricks that pave the pathway leading to my future. Hopefully, we are smart enough to lay the pavement in such a way that the path leads to the life we want to live. I say this to convey the importance of our everyday decision making. It is imperative that we focus on our decisions because it is the process that leads to our best life! Ask yourself...... "What actions am I taking to lead me where I want to go?"
"If at this point in your life you see that your pathway is not leading to your desired destination, it is time to evaluate and adjust your decision making skills and process. "
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Our mental health should be a priority in our lives. It is so easy to allow the pressures of everyday life and those whom we feel obligated to make us feel overwhelmed and filled with anxiety that often leads to depression and/or dissatisfaction with our lives. When the pressure is on for us, we typically release that frustration out on those closest to us: our children, spouses, and possibly other coworkers. For this reason, I urge you to make your mental health a number one priority as the summer rolls around. Here are some ways I will be rejuvenating and taking care of myself this summer.
P.S. ------> The picture below was taken on one of my weekend early-morning strolls!
Don't be fooled into thinking that at the end of your life people will gather and mourn because of your external qualities (beauty, physique, etc..) and materialistic value. When they speak of beauty, they will be referring to what you gave back to the world: kindness, generosity, respect, and your spirit. Even celebrities pay a steep price to be mourned for decades, their life's work.
We often get brainwashed with society's conditioning, allowing the external appearance to have more bearing than the internal content of our character. While physical appearance, material things, and reaching our personal measure of success may be an achievement, it does not hold a candle to a good-heart that is careful of how others are treated and living with high moral value and integrity.
"I'm always reminded to check my heart, for it will dictate how I treat others and what I give back to the world daily."
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"There is power in figuring out what we want out of life as opposed to allowing life to happen to us." ~Frankie~
When we know what we want we are less susceptible to doing things we don't want to do, working in careers that don't feed our passion, engaging in people and environments that don't push us to where we are going, and lastly relationships that are going nowhere without purpose. I encourage you today to begin the process of writing down what you want out of life and discovering pathways to get there. Disregard all distractions that do not feed your purpose.
I believe one of our biggest distractions hindering us from discovering and reaching our personal goals is the need to PUT-ON for others. That seems to have become the actual goal! With the rise in social media platforms and usage, so is the rise in a need to be relevant, opportunities to show "our world" who we want them to see, and also who we wish we were. If we put more time into working on ourselves and our own happiness then we might actually be who we portray to be on social media, in our work places, and in our community.
Another distraction is our need to please others and looking to others for fulfillment, worth, and approval to live our lives on our terms. So often I've heard people speak on not switching careers, or not moving, not returning to school, not being their true selves because of what someone else might think: a spouse, a family member, and yes even a boss! While I do have a family, I ultimately answer to God and am learning that I do not need to make decisions based on anyone else's expectations or fears. This doesn't mean we don't speak with our spouses regarding decisions, it means that we carefully wean out the decision making determinants that are based on fear, others expectations, and other's opinions.
Lastly, we fail to enjoy the life we have because we are busy dreaming of the life we wish we had, based on what we have seen in our society or because we want to run away from or meet stereotypes and expectations based on race, religion, color, socioeconomic status, and culture. We cannot enjoy our families and their differences, jobs, and others around us because we have some pre-conceived notion of how things are supposed to be, this picture of perfection.
I encourage all of us today to evaluate where we stand with "knowing what we want" and things that hinder us from getting there. Also, we should discover if what we want has been influenced so much by the world around us that it becomes "knowing what we want based on societal measures or ideals". If that is the case then I believe it is time to stop letting the world make us miserable by trying to live up to standards that do not lead to TRUE happiness and comfort in our own skin. Design your own life and live it!
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b : characterized by careful reasoned thinking a thoughtful essay
2 a : having thoughts : heedful became thoughtful about religion
b : given to or chosen or made with heedful anticipation of the needs and wants of others a kind and thoughtful friend
Being thoughtful can often be a gift and a curse to those who possess the trait. Many times your thoughtfulness will go un-reciprocated and even taken advantaged of by those who notice your sweetness and kindness. For those who find themselves in this dilemma there are a few things to help with being drained by such a Godly gift:
"Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life." Proverbs 4:23
1 : a gift by will especially of money or other personal property : bequest She left us a legacy of a million dollars.
2 : something transmitted by or received from an ancestor or predecessor or from the past the legacy of the ancient philosophers The war left a legacy of pain and suffering.
Who we are as people and as mothers helps to form the foundation that our children build upon. Every decision we make from the moment our feet hit the floor to the time we lay our heads to sleep, sets a standard for our children. They see what we want them to and the things we try to hide. Children notice what is done and also what is not, the present and the non-present, the apparent and the transparent. These little pebbles are the materials used to build the road to their future and glimmers our legacy for generations to come.
Happy Mother's Day to all women who are braving the journey that is motherhood with perfect imperfection and hopes that we are setting an example that will hold tried and true generation after generation. What will your legacy be and what will it leave?
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"The things we water in our lives will grow...."
In other words, whatever we focus on WILL GROW. If we want negative things to prevail in our life simply keep speaking on them and allowing them to determine our mood. They will take over like weeds! If we want positive things and accomplishments to overtake our life keep our focus on that and allow our actions and mindset to reflect it. Secondly, keep our surroundings, people, environments, and entertainment aligned with what we want to focus on. Quit engaging people and things that change our focus to the negative or distract us. Yes, we all know that we may not be happy at the weight we are, that we may want to go back to school, get a better paying job, improve our relationships, struggle with parenting, are struggling with coworkers, and a slew of other things, but constantly speaking on them gives them more life and distracts us from being the active change required to change our circumstances. We must water the good to flood out the bad!
Change begins with us...... do not become that product of our treatment, past, and other people's opinions of us. Become and be what we set our minds on!
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"Beautiful things happen outside of our comfort zones....." ~Frankie~
I've recently experienced the pleasure of achievement and growth when operating outside of a familiar comfort zone. I'm a firm believer that we grow in strength, beauty, knowledge, and open-mindedness when we are willing to brave the outer limits of familiarity. So here's the story:
A group of diverse ladies came together to assist in an annual fund-raising student vs. staff basketball game. Some of us signed up willingly and others by association (LOL). We believed we were going to be traditional cheerleaders, but it actually was a cheerleader/dancer hybrid position. We were introduced to a dance/cheer routine that was very intimidating by a coordinator who was most unwavering in the beginning. I think at some point we all wanted to quit or were very "concerned". Let's face it, all of us were 30 and above (one of us barely 30) and neither of us could see the vision but the visionary.
HERE ARE THE THINGS WE DID TO MAKE IT HAPPEN:
Our diverse group of women made someone else's vision happen by laying aside what we expected and doing the unexpected! In between dance moves we enjoyed each others' company and formed what I would like to think of as an "outer limits bond" in our "Four Days of Hell to get to Heaven". We all know who to call upon when it's time to brave the outer extremities! I am very fortunate to have been pushed and be among a group of women that did not want to be the one to say "I quit".
The new LCCA STAFF DANCE LINE! (Click to view the video)
When we speak of being kind, our thoughts immediately go to how we interact with others and possibly our attitudes. Seldom do we apply being kind to our entire outlook on life. But what if we did?
How many unpleasant experiences that have changed our moods, caused us to make drastic decisions, and interrupted the flow of our day would have been different?
When I look in the mirror : Are the words I am saying to myself kind?
When I greet others: Are my thoughts and looks kind?
When I make decisions: Are the made from a kind perspective?
My responses: Is what I am about to say kind?
Its important to filter our outlook on life through a kind lens in order to reap the benefits that it has to offer. There are so many opportunities to have a negative perspective that we forget how to NOT utilize that negative lens because it brings us so much misery. This morning as we prepare to venture out into the world for school, work, and to greet others remember to pack your kind lens, kind attitudes, and kind smiles.
"When we are negative we can never truly be happy, even when we smile." ~Frankie~
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"Fear and limitations are barriers prevent us from living our best life. When fear or doubt arises remember that He moves mountains and causes walls to fall! "
Sometimes we can get caught up in what others think, negative thoughts, and our lack of ability to dream big. Our future depends on our ability to keep our focus on it, not allowing distractions to deter us from overcoming obstacles and putting in the work it takes to get there. Lately, this song has been helping me to remember His promise: You Made A Way by Travis Green. (Click to Listen)
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r"If you do not know your worth, others will place a value on you that is far less than your true worth. Once that value is assigned, you will be treated accordingly."
Self-worth is simply defined as "the sense of one's own value and worth as a person". We often neglect to see how it affects our lives because its just a personal unspoken opinion of ourselves. However, that simple opinion about ourselves drives the way we approach life and relationships and helps us teach others how to treat us. Sometimes we unknowingly assign a lesser value to ourselves when we engage in harmful thinking, activities, and place ourselves in relationships that are not conducive to growth, freedom, and peace. Often times it takes encounters from others that see our potential and higher value to spark our self-worth discovery.
Signs of poor self-work (just to name a few):
My name is Frankie Reed-Shaw. I am a wife and mother of three. I love all things creative, especially writing thought-provoking pieces. I embarked on my journey of blogging about growth, maturity, and SPIRITUAL concepts about two years ago. My passion is expressing challenging ideas in hopes that myself, and others, engage in consistently thinking outside the box and strive to live a most authentic life, free of constraints. Don't be shy, feel free to comment your life experiences and wisdom on any post.