Recognizing Scarcity in our Faith Life : Finding Abundance

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Just because it has been, doesn't mean it always will be.

Yes, I believe history, in general, repeats itself. If things don't change, things won't change. 

As a Christ Follower, I also believe some things in history will not repeat itself because there is no lack of newness of life in God's Kingdom realm. In the timeline economy of God, time is relative...some things will repeat themselves, but for many things they will not. 

Let me explain.

Have you ever caught yourself saying something like, "Well, it happened once, I am sure it will happen again," "It's in my family,"  "I will never change," "this always happens," "it happened to her, I am sure it will happen to me too."

Here are some of the assumptions I have made over the years in my own personal life...

  • My Grandma had cancer, I probably will too.
  • I miscarried once, I probably will this time too.
  • My friend's husband struggled, I am sure mine will too.
  • Doors never opened, I guess now they never will.
  • I don't have an inner circle of Sister Friends, I guess I never will.
  • I wasn't successful in that, I won't be successful in this either.
  • It's in the family, I guess it always will be.
  • I lost that time, I will surely lose this time.
  • They have it so its not meant for me.
  • It didn't work last time, it won't work this time.

BUT GOD...


Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Psalm 139:23

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. Hebrews 11:1

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. Hebrews 12:1-3

I am the LORD, your Holy One, Israel’s Creator, your King.” This is what the LORD says— he who made a way through the sea, a path through the mighty waters, who drew out the chariots and horses, the army and reinforcements together, and they lay there, never to rise again, extinguished, snuffed out like a wick:
“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. Isaiah 43:16-19

Aware of their discussion, Jesus asked,  “You of little faith, why are you talking among yourselves about having no bread? Do you still not understand? Don’t you remember the five loaves for the five thousand, and how many basketfuls you gathered? Matthew 16:8-9


We believe scarcely. I can't help but wonder how many of us are suffering with a scarcity mindset when it comes to newness of life in Christ. He is our renewing, healing, redemption. In Christ, chains are broken, curses lifted, He makes a way when there seems to be no way, blessing abound in His Name.

His power dwells within us and in Him, we are new creations, each one of us fearfully and wonderfully made, hemmed in before our breath took it's first gasp on earth. He seeks after what is lost that they may be found. He parts waters, purifies, protects, conquers, removes, satisfies...He is the God of mercy and healing.  

He is doing a new thing, always.

In Him, we armor up in faith, believing, trusting, seeking, refining, pruning, maturing, sanctifying, fighting...surrendering.

"I remember when," is a great recall both in the Word and by word of testimony from your own life, but also through others. This is why it's so important we share our testimonies as evidence! I love the lyrics, "Who am I to deny what the Lord can do." As Christ Followers we are charged with renewing our minds and fixing our eyes on Jesus, not on the earthly things our flesh dwells amongst, rather the eternal....the redemption and circumcision of Christ's Love. 

History will not always repeat itself and what was will not always be when we look Heavenward.

Blind will see.
Death will live.
Lost will be found.
Mercy will renew.
Dead will rise.
Old will be new.

Jesus came to set captives free and in Him, our hope strengthens, by faith that He is Over All. 

So whatever it is in your life that was,  "it WAS."

Let God be your "IS."

Does this mean nothing bad will ever happen or repeat itself? No. I love what Paul says, he has learned how to be content in the plans of God, in turbulent waters and beside still waters alike. In the fire and in the den, He is with us. 

We can choose to live, not in our flesh that WAS, but our spirit that IS, in the abundance of surrender that says, "I believe God can do anything." Will our faith set us free from the bondage of "cants?" Yes. We choose to live in the blessing and provision of God, according to HIS perfect will for our lives. 

It won't always look like what we thought it would and He certainly is not a Magic Genie to grant our wishes, but He is Lord and Creator over all who is head over all things and in Him all things are redeemed and held together. Everything sifts through His hands, meant for our good and His glory alone.

Grace Upon Grace....we are NOT as we were!!! Glory to God! 

His Word, Who Was and Is, will always be, forever and ever. THIS is our history, NOW!

Through the unknown, through what was, through the deep waters, Go Change History by Faith Sister! His heart is for you!!!
Your Heart Sister, Michele 


In the next blog, let's talk about the power of our words since Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.






If today's encouragement hugged your HEART today, let me know in the comments or meet me over
 in my Facebook Sisterhood Community! Feel free to share this blog with a friend who needs a heart hug too!
This is how YOU get to hug my HEART back!

Heart Hugs and Blessings,
Michele

7 Day Love Challenge for Shy Introverts : Day 4

Embrace your true self with grace and authenticity! This encourages us to break free from the pressures of a "filtered world" that urges us to seek approval and fit in, often at the expense of our genuine selves. It's a reminder that living authentically means discovering and valuing who we are, even amidst the awkward, fun journey of self-discovery. This pursuit, inspired by grace, enables us to love God and others fearlessly, embracing our uniqueness and imperfections.

Life is not about holding time but living fully in each moment. We're urged to seize every opportunity to be our authentic selves, unburdened by others' expectations, and rooted in faith. Letting go of fears and insecurities by accepting ourselves as we are - perfectly imperfect - opens the door to a life of hope, joy, and peace. It's an invitation to live and love boldly, grounded in the identity uniquely crafted for each of us.

Remember, it's okay to make mistakes; they are stepping stones in our journey of growth nurtured by grace. Central to this message is the call to fix our eyes on God, who guides us to our true purpose and identity. Encouragement is extended to everyone to start their authentic journey by embracing love and acceptance, recognizing that we are fearfully and wonderfully made to make a unique impact in the world.
Read more...

How Do I Talk to People without Having a Panic Attack as an Introvert

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Let's Talk about stepping outside of our comfort zone as a shy Christian Introvert while navigating social Interactions. I've talked about Overcoming Social Anxiety over here in this blog so feel free to hop over there afterwards if that's something you've struggled with too... 

Today, lets talk about talking to anyone, anytime and how to overcome this freak out moment we feel the moments we walk into a new space and feel overwhelmed, whether it's running into a neighbor, sitting next to a stranger and trying to not make eye contact, or attending events knowing you will be meeting people since it's....an....event! LOL (The blog mentioned above will deep dive into that for ya!)

I think most Introvert women don't find it extremely hard to talk to people, because we already choose to talk to a few people at a time anyway, AND those few people are usually, OUR people. It's when we get outside of our comfortzones and have to manage the anxiety that comes with unprepared conversations!! 

This used to trigger me so much I would never go to social events alone, always hiding behind my extrovert friend....and forever, not making eye contact in order to avoid being called on in a group setting, or engaging in the small talk of meeting someone. Cuz you think it makes you invisible...haha, not so! They will just yell your name louder or walk straight up to your face and start talking! It's best to look up, just saying! 

I don't know what's scarier, a big group setting or a small group. In big group, you can more easily camouflage in whereas the smaller groups, they can look you in the eye and start talking to you! EEK!!! It's not that we don't LOVE the people, its the trigger of sheer panic in the unknown of what's about to happen! 

What will they ask me...What will I say when they ask whatever...Will I look stupid....Will I fumble my words...Will I forget my words...Will I have a piece of salad in my teeth from the dinner... Will they ignore me, make fun of me, see my insecurities....Will they reject me and exclude me from that point on from anything qualifying me as their friend or partner, or whatever the circumstance. 

Just the thought of going to a new place alone would raise the panic into the Numb-Zone or Robot-Zone. If you've had panic and anxiety, you likely know the feeling of auto-pilot, avoidance, out of body experiencing of the moment, grasping for breath and control....controlling of your thoughts zinging all around in your head, your heart rate running on a treadmill and not stepping off any time soon, all the while smiling and listening to the actual conversation happening, not the one you are thinking COULD happen, or may be happening between the words layered on the ACTUAL one....oh boy what a spastic space! 

Instead of completely avoiding, numbing, or anxiety amnesia and have no clue what happened, I would love to help you find some PEACE & JOY and STOP panicking when you talk to someone. It's gonna take being intentional with your energy and focus...and practice for your heart and brain to learn where it is safe. So, lets talk about the 3 things you can do to talk to others rooted in LOVE and not FEAR! By combining practical tips with the wisdom of scriptures, any shy girl can find courage! I SURE HAVE and let me tell you....it will change every part of your life, most importantly your relationships and even more precious, your relationship with Your Heavenly Father! Ohhh, it's gooooood. I am so excited for you!! 

Tip 1: Prayerful Preparation
One of key things for overcoming anxiety is preparation. Before entering any social setting, PRAY and step into Grace the won't let you go! Take a minute and consider that GOD has not only pinned this day for you, but He is also with you. He also has not only equipped you for this encounter, but He is WITH you in it too!!! When we remember the Foundation we stand on, the presence He promises, when we turn our eyes on His purposes (I talked about this in the above blog), we can step into the unknown knowing we re not alone nd there is nothing we cannot handle with Him beside us. 

Don't mistake nerves for fear. It's okay to be a little nervous, it IS the unknown. It helps me lean more onto God for His help with words, energy, focus, purpose, comfort, wisdom, discernment. As I prepare, I am entering into worship of praise. Praise and Worship move the focus off of me and fretting about all I am not, and instead, focus on all GOD IS! 

So, deep breath and lean into Philippians 4:6-8, "Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.Think on these things..." the are GOOD! 


Tip 2: Listening with Love
Instead of dwelling on the fear of saying the wrong thing, or wondering what they are thinking, shift your focus to genuine listening. Proverbs 2:2-5 encourages us to "turn your ear to wisdom and apply your heart to understanding." By actively listening, you not only connect with others on a deeper level but also alleviate the pressure of constant talking. 

Most people enjoy talking about themselves and I found this to be a great way to deflect from myself having to talk, and risk being judged. Sadly, while this helped me be a great listener, I became a good stuffer, hiding my own thoughts and feelings to feel safe and unseen. Learning to listen with a filter of Love means genuine exchange, giving and receiving between each one, including YOU! 


Tip 3: Anticipation not Anxious
Scripture emphasizes the importance of fixing our eyes on Jesus during challenging times. Hebrews 12:2 encourages us to "fix our eyes on Jesus, the perfecter of faith." When we recognize that our racing heart and lump in our throat can come from sheer panic as well as extreme joy, as I sit in worship, sit in Love, I can reframe my brain to seek anticipation of something amazing about to connect between us. I consider what if I am being sent by God to be His hands and feet, His heart hug to this person. What a humbling thought to consider, being a vessel of hope and love to someone else in Jesus Name.
As Christ followers, this is our purpose! We bridge gaps of Heaven and Earth with Love. If we surrender our hearts nd minds to God, He can more feely move through us. It is a wondrous freedom!! Fear submits to faith and faith leads us into Love where we find joy and peace, courage and confidence. Its exciting to believe you are sent.

Does that mean awareness doesn't happen? Does that mean every conversation will be flowing and memorable, profound and life altering for you or them? No. Let go of the pressure of any outcome! 

This should be BONUS TIP #4! JUST SHOW UP, willing, available, courageous and prepared to see something new because you know, He's renewing our minds and always doing a new thing! His mercies are new every single morning. He can do immeasurably more than we can ever think or imagine! 

Be patient and practice!!! Focus on Love, not loss...fear what blessing you'll miss rather than what you'll mess up! His heart is for you and is near! Grace upon Grace!!! Jesus is your Guide, Way, Words, Strength, Support, Courage, Peace and very breath. Give Him your breath.

He's got you!!! Keep your eyes open for the women and Mentors He will place in your path to sharpen your iron. They will lift you through their example and affirmations, prayers. Learn from them. Humble yourself, admit where you are feeling weak and let them step into courage with you!! It's a powerful and beautiful learning and rising up to the Glory and Grace of God!! 

He's Got You...They've Got You...and I've got you too! I will be hosting workshops and challenges in my Sister Group (ButGodSisterSquad.com) to help you practice these things but in your every day life, pray and practice! There are no do overs in life. LIVE IT!!!!!! A 7 Day Love Others Challenge is happening in there already! 

So much anticipation & love for you! 
Your Fellow Shy Introvert,
Michele

Hey - If you haven't seen my list of tons of ways you share love with others, grab it here! LoveForAll.MicheleDickerson.com




If today's encouragement hugged your HEART today, let me know in the comments or meet me over
 in my Facebook Sisterhood Community! Feel free to share this blog with a friend who needs a heart hug too!
This is how YOU get to hug my HEART back!

Heart Hugs and Blessings,
Michele

Hope & Love: Tips for Finding Love when You're feeling Unloved in the Season of Love

It's the season of love! Sadly, many people don't feel loved. December and February are documented as months with the highest rates of depression, anxiety and life ending thoughts and actions. Perhaps the New Year Goals we so desperately hoped for, didn't happen. Maybe we've experienced loss or betrayal in our life. Maybe our body is just worn out and depleted leaving us feeling weak.

As Christ Followers, we are charged with sharing HIS LOVE with all, just as He did! In a season many struggle with feelings of self-worth, loneliness, and anxiety how much more important is it for us to surround ourselves with MORE LOVE so the from the Love we hold, we can share because I learned the hard way, giving from the fumes, won't go far....Here's what I do to keep my eyes fixed on God's Heart so I can stay hydrated with His Living Water and share with others.....

1. Surround Yourself with Worship:
Infuse your surroundings with worship. Play uplifting worship music in the background of your home, in the car, on the go! Philippians 4:8, think about the loveliness of God and count your blessings in every day. Focus on the goodness of God, not the circumstances around you. God knows. He is near.

2. Build a Circle of Like-Minded Sisters in Faith:
In times of struggle, a strong support system can make all the difference. Connect with like-minded sisters in faith who can offer empathy, encouragement, and prayer. Joining a faith community, (here's mine) whether in person or online, and if you don't have a church home yet, it's so important you do! Most important though is have people in your life you can ask to pray for you, whether in need or in covering protection.

3. Immerse Yourself in God's Word:
Immerse your mind and soul in God's Word constantly, being in The Word audibly reading it and memorizing it.  Whether it's through daily devotions, Bible studies, or simply reflecting on verses that speak to your heart, the scriptures can bring peace and perspective in challenging times.

4. Scriptures on Post-It Notes:
Create a visual reminder of God's promises by placing scriptures on post-it notes in strategic places around your space. These little notes of encouragement can serve as constant reminders of God's love, grace, and faithfulness. It's a simple yet impactful way to keep His Word at the forefront of your mind throughout the day. I keep them in my purse, on my mirror, etc,

5. Wear Your Faith with Cute Clothes:
Wear it! Whether it's a tee with an uplifting message or accessories adorned with meaningful symbols, wearing your faith can be a powerful way to express your beliefs and serve as a reminder of the hope and love that surrounds you. Who doesn't love CUTE clothes that share our Love for Love Himself!?! I love these hoodies

The enemy would love for people to fall out of love, because heartbreak and loss weight our hearts. When our hearts are heavy, we don't respond in loving ways. In this season of love, let's first receive the Love of God into our hearts overflowing and recognize the schemes of the enemy who fight to divide us from Love. Then, let's extend our hearts to those who may be struggling and share these tips to help them find peace and joy. By reminding each other the importance of surrounding yourself with worship, connecting with a supportive community, immersing in God's Word, and putting on reminders of faith, you and your friends can navigate through challenges with hope and grace. Together, let's spread love and light in the lives of those who need it most.

Other resources that you will find helpful are Christian apps and ministries like Lifeway Women, Women of Faith and Proverb 31 Ministries to name a few.

 Love & Hugs to Sweet Sister Friends!!!

I am so thankful YOU are in MY Heart Shaped Circle!!!!! 
Love you,
Michele

Psst: I am hosting a 7 Day Challenge in my Group Feb 7-14th if you would like to join us there!!! www.ButGodSisterSquad.com

And if you're looking for MORE LOVE ideas, I have a big list for ya here!

If today's encouragement hugged your HEART today, let me know in the comments or meet me over
 in my Facebook Sisterhood Community! Feel free to share this blog with a friend who needs a heart hug too!
This is how YOU get to hug my HEART back!

Heart Hugs and Blessings,
Michele

Galentine's Day CALORIE FREE Gift Ideas: Tumbler, Slippers and More

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Love is in the air, and what better way to celebrate Valentine's Day than by showing your appreciation for the amazing Sister Friends who make life sweeter? Galentine's Day is the perfect occasion to express your gratitude for those special friendships that stand the test of time. This year, I've found put together a few of my ultimate Galentine's Day Gift ideas!! Hope you love them too!! 

HOT Pink Tumbler! :Grab this COOL 40oz Tumbler on Amazon for your Besties for under $40! Whether she's sipping on her morning coffee, herbal tea, or just trying to hit her daily water intake, this tumbler is the perfect companion. It keeps her ICE cold and TEA hot...AND IT FITS INTO THE TINY CUP HOLDERS!!!! (All the Jeep Sisters need this one!!)

Friendship Bracelets: Show your love with a personalized touch by gifting friendship bracelets. Choose colors that resonate with your unique bond and add initials or a meaningful charm. It's a wearable reminder of your special connection, and every glance at the bracelet will bring a smile to your friend's face.

DIY Spa Day Kit: Treat your besties to a pampering spa day at home with a thoughtfully curated DIY spa kit. Include a cute stuffed animal or towelette, luxurious face masks, bath bombs, silk eye covers, essential oils and lotions and don't forget these slippers! I have gifted these slippers and they aren't the big goofy kind. If she has cold feet, she's gonna THANK YOU! 

Sweet Handwritten Card: Our world craves personal touch. Create or buy a card and fill it with your favorite shared memories or affimations. 

Virtual Movie Night Package: Distance can't keep you from celebrating together. Create a virtual movie night package for your friends with a subscription to a streaming service, some cozy blankets, and a selection of their favorite snacks. Plan a time to hit play simultaneously and enjoy a movie night together, even if you're miles apart.

Cute apparel: Who doesn't love CUTE clothes that share our Love for Love Himself!?! I love these hoodies from this faith based company! 

This Galentine's Day, go beyond the ordinary and surprise your friends with gifts that reflect the uniqueness of your friendships. Whether it's a stylish tumbler, a DIY spa day kit, or a virtual movie night, these ideas are sure to make your Galentine's celebration unforgettable. Love & Hugs to Sweet Sister Friends!!!

I am so thankful YOU are in MY Heart Shaped Circle!!!!! 
Love you,
Michele

Psst: I am hosting a 7 Day Challenge in my Group Feb 7-14th if you would like to join us there!!! www.ButGodSisterSquad.com
And if you're looking for MORE LOVE ideas, I have a big list for ya here!

If today's encouragement hugged your HEART today, let me know in the comments or meet me over
 in my Facebook Sisterhood Community! Feel free to share this blog with a friend who needs a heart hug too!
This is how YOU get to hug my HEART back!

Heart Hugs and Blessings,
Michele
 
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