On Fire: Finding Your Gift And Using It

On Fire: Finding Your Gift And Using It

A small but critical Turn Around

posted by grose

I was slightly depressed and didn’t feel like working out at the YMCA.

However, I knew I was on a roll with exercise and needed to keep up my routine. I had a goal of losing 10 pounds. Down by three, I was starting to feel good—strong, fit, more lean. I couldn’t choke now.

I drove to the gym and walked up to the door. But didn’t go in. I was too depleted—emotionally, spiritually and physically.

I shuffled back to my car.

While driving home I decided I’d walk up the large hill near my house. The climb was not as intense as working out at the Y, but it was some exercise.


I climbed, putting one leaden foot in front of the other. And began shaming myself:

Why can’t I ever keep up an exercise routine?  Any routine, as far as that goes?

 Why can’t I lose weight—ever?

 When am I ever going to get disciplined and win this battle?

 Then, I stopped. I don’t know what restrained me but I stopped shaming myself. Instead, I said inwardly:

You’re doing OK.  Good, even.

 Look, you are walking up a big hill on a day when you don’t feel like it at all. That’s commendable.

 You are hanging in there.  You aren’t giving up. Bravo. The truth is, you are doing really, really well.

 Where this new, encouraging voice came from, I don’t know. But it came.


Tears of relief also came and washed away the heaviness. I felt renewed, lighter. My world seemed a little brighter.

I made it to the top of the hill and started back down.

Maybe I could just get in the pool at the Y.  Kicking around in there is great cardio.

 – – – – –

Later I mull over this turnaround and the lessons it taught me:

1. Shame as a motivational tool doesn’t work.

2. I need Grace. Second and third and one-hundred-and-third chances. So do others.

3. Gentle affirmation clears the way for hope.

4. Hope births the courage to begin again.

– – – – –

Dear Reader,

Beginning again is an important topic for me. Here are two additional blog posts I’ve written at important crossroads:


 The Art of Beginning Again (Beliefnet blog post)

Beginning Again (my personal blog)

– – – – –

Also, this is a new Beliefnet blog. I need your help to make it a success. Would you subscribe (see bar above on the right) plus share this post with a friend who may enjoy it? Also, I appreciate your comments.  Thank you, Gloria




Find your story

posted by grose

Office Clip Art

Growing up I had a minor role in my parents’ story:

Move from the farm into town and work day and night plus pinch every penny to save enough money to buy a house.

Later I teamed up with my husband to further his story:

Minister’s son also enters the pastorate to bring a more modern approach to building lives and churches.

I was producer and director of what I hoped would be my children’s stories:


Child who is loved and encouraged to develop becomes good person and successful member of society.

 A computer company hired me and I joined their story:

Develop hardware and software tools to release humans from drudgery and free them to be more creative.

My story was their stories.

Until everything crashed. A move ended the job. Husband walked out. Teenaged children left home.

For the first time I knew pain, suffering, and bewilderment. Interestingly, bereft of others’ stories, I found mine:

Woman falls off tall white horse and hits the ground hard. Over time, she heals and takes her place in the real world. Although her gift is small, she has the gift of helping people see their unique talent. She seeks out people in pain—excluded, stuck, certain life has passed them by or beset with loss—to whom she may give her gift.


 What is your story?

I offer three steps to help you find your story–one worth living:

 1. See pain and suffering as a normal part of being human. Although here in the West we do our best to avoid pain, other parts of the world know suffering as reality.

 2.  Enter the battle to alleviate it.

 3. Be you and give what you have to give.

– – – – –

Dear Reader: this is a new Beliefnet blog. I need your help to make it a success. Would you subscribe (see bar above on the right) plus share this post with a friend who may enjoy it? Also, I appreciate your comments.  Thank you, Gloria




Cartoon, Facebook and “How are you spending your life?”

posted by grose

Dan Piraro’s cartoon (left), ironically, is making the rounds on When I saw it, I chuckled and promptly posted it to my own home page.

The cartoon pokes fun at us.

It also asks us to reflect on how we are spending our lives.

How am I spending my time?

Watching, reading, listening to attention-grabbers—the Kardashians, Honey Boo Boo (really?), the latest celebrity scandal…


Or being siphoned off into an artificial existence on the internet, playing video games, devouring pulp fiction or listening to news “analysts,” who tell us—stupid Americans that we supposedly are—what to think?

How much time do I spend imagining, planning or consuming food and drink? The Food Network. While people in other countries spend their entire day trying to find some? (Does anyone else see the craziness of this?)

Or when eating a biscuit drowned in butter doesn’t comfort me, I go shopping.

How much time do I spend on knowing my purpose and doing that?

What thoughts do I dwell on?

It’s no use

No one cares about me

I’m a failure


This world is whacked and stacked against me


God is in control

There is truth and beauty all around me

I am loved

Seen and recognized or not, I am going to live the best life I can.

 What am I focused on, aiming for?


My needs

My wants and

Who I can use to further my self, needs, wants?


What others need?

– – – – –

Pondering these questions creates a strange ache within me. I follow the ache to a longing for God—to know Him and to live the  life He created me for.

I ‘hear’ two additional questions:

 What does God want?


And, then,

What do I want, really?

Do I want 2,000 Facebook friends and Twitter followers and blog readers and…


Do I want to love—give eye-to-eye, thoughtful, sacrificial, positive action—to another person


Family member




– – – – –

Dear Reader: this is a new Beliefnet blog. I need your help to make it a success. Would you subscribe (see bar above on the right) plus share this post with a friend who may enjoy it? Also, I appreciate your comments.  Thank you, Gloria






Live your own life: 7 steps

posted by grose

The more we get what we now call ‘ourselves’ out of the way and let Him take us over, the more truly ourselves we become. The alternative is the real disaster. The more I resist Him and try to live on my own, the more I become dominated by my own heredity and upbringing and surroundings and natural desires.  In fact, what I so proudly call “Myself’ becomes merely the meeting place for trains of events which I never started and which I cannot stop.


– C.S. Lewis,   Irish poet, novelist, academic

Today I imagine a wise, old angel stepping down onto the top of a mountain to leave you and me a message. Seeing us caught in the modern trap of modeling our lives after others—movie stars, gurus, religious and political figures, etc—he reads from a scroll:

“How to live the life you’ve been created for:

1. Take your place. There is a God and you are not Him.

2. Your goal is becoming a vessel of God—not self-determination. As a vessel, the love of Jesus flows through you, using your unique gifts and calling. You join Him in caring for others and healing the planet.

3.  Becoming a vessel gradually destroys the debris that buries who you really are.


4. Your heart, the deepest part of you, is the highest form of reality. This is the true universe. Get in touch with it.

5.  Communicate with God in the quiet of your heart.

6. Go deeper in trusting God. Let Him direct, unfold, open doors.

7. See your unique life story unfold and get it down. Record it—journal, 3 x 5 cards, graph paper, canvas, video recordings—however. Don’t let it float away in oblivion. It’s the only life you’ve got.

God redirects you away from the noisy din of what others say and do and shows you your way, the life you are capable of living as His vessel.

Live your life forever.”

– – – – –

photo credit: RubenPS (creative commons)


– – – – –

Dear Reader: this is a new Beliefnet blog. I need your help to make it a success. Would you subscribe (see bar above on the right) plus share this post with a friend who may enjoy it? Also, I appreciate your comments.  Thank you, Gloria




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