12/17/12

" 'Be hard to offend' lest evil be let in." --Donna Reeve

I was catching up on Joyce Meyer episodes this morning after listening to all the details of the horrific school shooting on Friday.

I think it was interesting that in Friday's episode, Joyce says that "offense" comes from the Greek word for the bait used in traps to lure the victim into the trap.

So offense=Satan's bait.

When people get offended, they become => bitter => resentful => unforgiving => unloving and faithless.

Don't get baited. Don't become a willing victim. Be hard to offend. Realize that as much as you are offended, you probably offend people, too. We're all human with feelings that make it hard to always do the right thing.

The solution: Do the right thing anyway. And if you don't want to or you shouldn't have to be the peacemaker yet again, be the more spiritually mature person. As Joyce says, "I do not have to feel like doing what's right to do what's right."

As MANY verses in the Bible say, turn away from evil and do good. One of them is in Psalm 34:14.
 http://bible.cc/psalms/34-14.htm 

We see the horrible things that happen when evil seeps into our lives. Friday's massacre was only one example. God bless those in Newtown, CT, and beyond.



12/13/12

Discernment - Spiritual Gift of distinguishing between God, Devil, others

I'd only heard the word "Discernment" a few years ago when I was describing how hard it was to hear, learn, exam, and prayerfully dissect my "hunches"/messages/intuition for sharing with others. The leader of the women's Bible group finally gave me the name for this process and my gift.

Discernment.

Basically, it's determining if something is of God/Holy or NOT of God (of the Devil, of the world, of our feelings, etc.). With the work I do, knowing whether something is intended to be a blessing from God that I should share or a evil detriment to the other party is paramount! I refuse to do evil while I must do the sometimes uncomfortable job that I've been called to do as a child of God. I have the gifts of discernment & exhortation. I often am called out to say or do things that seem out of character or odd, for the glory of God.

What are your spiritual gifts?
Here are 2 spiritual tests you can take :  http://www.elmertowns.com/spiritual_gifts_test/   OR
http://www.spiritualgiftstest.com/index.php?option=com_wrapper&view=wrapper&Itemid=3

Here's a list:  http://mintools.com/gifts-list.htm#discernment

How do they bless your life? How do you struggle to use them.

http://www.gty.org/resources/questions/QA138/What-is-biblical-discernment-and-why-is-it-important

11/30/12

Choose your tools carefully.

I started this blog to try to let people know that we God-folk use all kinds of tools in our quests to hear and talk to God.

Lately, I'm getting the message that maybe I'm giving people the wrong impression, that the tools are more than they are.  Let me use a Bible verse to explain myself:

1 Corinthians 8:9  "But be careful that your freedom [in God] does not cause those who are weak in faith to fall into sin.  (italics & extras mine)


I want you to increase your faith, not get lost in the tools.

I don't consider most tools that would truly work to get you closer to God to be a problem. I don't consider the things I use to be a problem. I understand why some people may be wary of them. As long as my tools remain instruments of my work for good, they are effective spiritual tools. As long as I don't turn into an idol, ie., something you need/want more than that personal relationship with God, I think you may be fine. When in doubt, prayerfully consider you position.

Also people who don't "get" why you do may not understand that even if it looks like "wrong" from the outside looking in, God may be cool with it.
All things for the glory of God.

So while I talk about horoscopes, tarot cards, dream visions, totem animals, I want you to know that these are
  • tools for me
  • that work for me
  • that I pray over often.
Our tools are as individual as we are. They reflect our history and temperment and learning styles.

Don't judge me. I won't judge you. But I will be careful in what I share to make sure I don't muddy the waters for newbies. Some items can lead you down the wrong path...if you let it. Hey, the devil uses what he can to destroy and deceive us. That's why it's up to us to make sure our tools don't become WEAPONS in the wrong hands.

I'm hoping people will discuss what helps them get closer to the Divine Being. Will you tell us what tools you use in your spiritual practice?

Confused? I know. I'll try discussing this another day.
Questions? Post them below or email me privately at donna@starryskies.com .

11/20/12

My Thanksgiving Challenge--Be Generous

Yesterday I helped an older woman and a homeless man. I merely lifted a heavy box into the woman's car and gave a protein bar and water bottle to the less fortunate man.

Why am I telling you this? I'd like you to celebrate Thanksgiving with me in this way.

(picture is not mine)

At the major shopping intersections, there are always people begging. I know some of them are legitimately homeless and hungry and in need of help. I know some are there because it's easy money. It's hard to tell the difference so I prefer not to judge.

I offer a bar and a water bottle to those people. If they are hungry, maybe that will help. If they aren't, my guess is that they won't take my offer. Either way, I've spent less than $1. So far, I haven't been turned down. I also take their "Bless you!" and offer mine back, with a prayer that they receive whatever they might truly need.

Hopefully I've helped the hungry or brought some comfort in their plight in some small way. And I don't have to worry that I've provided money to feed any addictions they might be fighting.

I'm working on a note of encouragement to include with my token offering. If you have any suggestions, please comment below.

Now back to my challenge to you:  Until Christmas, or end of the year, or whatever deadline you pick, I challenge you to be generous. Be generous to the best of your ability, in whatever way you are being pulled.

I'd love to hear what you decide to do.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

11/19/12

"The Next Generation of Spiritual Thinkers"--I see God.

I'm watching yesterday's recording of Super Soul Sunday on OWN tv. While I don't like that Oprah puts her name and her face first on everything she does (seems narcissistic to me), I do enjoy her magazine and her show on OWN and believe that she's very spiritual. She seeks out the movers and shakers in our world and let's us get to know why we should know them.

In the episode titled above, she has Marie Forleo (Marie TV-a place for entrepreneurs), Mastin Kipp (The Daily Love-labelled by the Huffington Post as "the fastest growing inspirational site on the web") and Gabrielle Bernstein (Inspirational speaker & author of Spirit Junkie) as her forum speakers.


While many of you might have scratched your head at my post on psychics, mediums, etc., I want you to open your mind to some of the gifts the Holy Spirit has given us. We all have different gifts; we all can hear God/the Holy Spirit speaking to us IF you believe. Even doubters get signs and not so subtle messages sometimes.

I'm not the only one talking about these psychic experiences. Look at the popularity of Long Island Medium. Look at all the talk in every avenue of media. Yes, some are fakers. They're easy to spot.

But even Gabby Bernstein on this episode of Super Soul Sunday said, "When I was very young, I had Spirit connecting to me. I felt very open and psychically aware as a child, which was quite scary to me sometimes." This voice is sometimes labelled intuition or gut instinct. Whatever you call it, you'd be wise to heed that One Wise, True Voice. There is an enemy that tries to ensnare you to go off your path so you must learn discernment. We'll talk about THAT weighty topic another time.

So what can you do? Can you own up to your capabilities or open up the the truths of others' gifts?

Do you have psychic experiences? Do you view them as a gift or a curse?

I have to tell you that  for as long as I can remember, I've had "psychic awareness" as Gabby calls it. I was raised in a strict church that pushed aside my questions. No one wanted to talk about these God-given gifts. Many were convinced that they were of the Devil. But I heard the Holy Spirit; I sensed the Love in the midst of what seemed like a curse. My abilities came and went as needed, changing because of my growing abilities and my growing willingness to serve. Not without struggle, I left behind the darkness that threatened to block out my gifts. I learned what I could where I could. I listened more intently and learned how to get over the fear.

Because I'm more mature and more open to doing God's work through these gifts He's given me, I see how my gift helps others. Often when friends, family, even strangers need some tangible help, God gives me a word or an action to let them know that He hears and he is there.

I can't take any credit for the msg; I'm only the messenger.

When people thank me, I remind them to thank God. It was all his doing.

We all have varying levels of psychic abilities. I've shared some of mine. What's yours? I'd love to hear.

11/18/12

Souls, heaven, hell & reincarnation

I'm a huge fan of The God Squad. The local paper runs their column. Always food for thought.

This week's column discussed the confusing issue of the soul. Consider me surprised to find out that I shared the main tenets of the author's faith. Do you?

http://www.arcamax.com/religionandspirituality/godsquad/s-1222217

11/17/12

Empaths, Intuitives, Psychics & Mediums

http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1153288
Confession:  I'm a little of all the above.

Yes, they're gifts. Yes, they cause problems. No, I'm not crazy. No, most people don't talk about this.

But my quest to find out more about these things led me to my "goth" side. Surprisingly to most people, I found the basis of them in my Christian Spirituality classes.

The early Christians were asked to do Jesus' work after he departs by following the commandments of the Holy Spirit. If you are gifted as an empath, intuitive, psychic or medium, you are obeying the commandment to "Love one another." These gifts cost us time, friendships, anxiety, etc. They are not free. Using demands a sacrifice from the giver for the receiver.

Find out more about them. Here are a few good starting places:

Empaths:  http://www.empathconnection.com/
The differences between Empaths, Intuitives, Psychics & Mediums:  http://www.keen.com/documents/works/articles/psychic/psychic-intuitive-medium-whats-the-difference.asp

11/16/12

Lilith--The First Wife?

 
Have you ever heard of Lilith, as in Adam (of Adam and Eve fame) and Lilith?

I first heard of her when I was a teen. Her existence sure threw a wrench into my thinking. If you watch horror movies as I did as a teen, she's often named as the mother of all evil. That didn't seem fair, so I started researching.

As I dug for the historical facts, the sordid story of Adam's 1st wife emerged from the few scant verses in the Bible wrapped in mystery:

  • the creation and male & female from the dirt (Where did she go?)
  • the creation of Eve from Adam's rib
  • and this curse on someone called Lilith mentioned in Isaiah.

What did it all mean?

The GodSquad tackles the Lilith question and wraps thing up rather neatly.

http://www.arcamax.com/religionandspirituality/godsquad/s-566292

 
But they don't go into the thorny issue of the possibility of Lilith as the snake that tempted Eve.

 
Want to learn more? Here's another set of resources:  http://jewishchristianlit.com/Topics/Lilith/pics.html
http://www.lilithgallery.com/library/lilith/Lilith-Gallery.html

What do you think of the Lilith story? Feel free to comment below.

11/15/12

Totem Animals & a craft/art project to help you remember the sacred wisdom given to you


Since I am part Native American Indian, I'm drawn to all things dealing with the Old Ways.
 
I regularly encounter animals in patterns. All of a sudden, I start seeing one animal over and over, sometimes in the unlikeliest of places. I used to use it as fodder to lead my research for my nonfiction animal writing.
 
Now that my writing focus has changed, I've taken to looking up the animals for the totem meaning. What might God/Spirit be trying to remind me of by putting certain magnificent animals in my path? What lesson can they teach me.
 
My recent recurrent meetings with Eastern Worm snakes led me to look up their Native American meaning. Here's what I found:
 
 "The Magnificent Snake Totem possesses the following virtues:

"Wisdom, healing, intuition, awaking of creative forces, ability to handle change with...
out resistance, new opportunities for change, material vitality, intellect, power over rashness in speech and thought, emotional control, increased sensitivity to the environment, increased powers of smell, transmutation, and increased powers of observation."
Much more fascinating info from http://feathersandbones.blogspot.com/2008/05/snake-totem.html and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eastern_Worm_Snake .
 
Have you run across an animal time and again recently? What was it?
Did you consider the underlying meaning?
Use "totem animal" + the animal name to look up the meaning or go to one of the Native American sites like the one listed above.
 
I'd love to hear what your totem animal is at this time in your life. Please comment below.
 
And if you're wondering, yes, our animal totems change as our needs and life changes.
 

Craft/art project: 

I think I'll start logging my past and present totem animals by taking pictures of them and creating a virtual totem pole with them. The past animals on the bottom and the most current on the top with an explanation of the virues to the side. Sounds like a cool visual reference for self-growth. I'll post any artwork that comes from this new direction.
 
There are many artists that do a version of this. Here is one.
 
 
Beautiful, isn't it?  
 
 
It is NOT mine. It's from http://mara-gamiel.blogspot.com/2011_01_01_archive.html .And she talks about many of the topics I've blogged about. Check her out.

Peace


11/14/12

Why are you refusing to choose?

I love tarot.com's free dailies.
For example, here's part of my iching/hexagram for today. (I'm a Libra.)

My Iching for today:  60: Limits and Connections

Wednesday, Nov 14th, 2012

"Limits are necessary to give purpose and direction to life. Swimming in a sea of boundless opportunity would eventually lead to exhaustion and drowning. Winging it alone in a sky of boundless opportunity would lead to being lost. In human affairs, the making of choices, and alliances, implies limitation, for in choosing one path another must be abandoned.

One key to a successful life is to select your limits consciously and carefully — to be discriminating in the setting of personal boundaries and knowing when to join in formation...."

Being a life coach for people with adhd, add or attention & focus issues (www.youradhdsuccesscoach.com), this spoke volumes to me. Because our minds race nonstop, we have 1000s of things we could do, would like to do, "plan" on doing. But all those items are rarely related. It's more like a scattershot; no real discernable pattern, but if you dig deeply enough, you might find some smattering of direction.

Why don't we do something to get on a track to be more successful? For the reason highlighted above: Choosing means giving up.

Huh. When I read the words "giving up", my back goes up. I don't like "giving up" things or duties or opportunities. Never  mind that many of those things shouldn't even be on my to do list. It feels like a deficit.

I agree that the key to success is choosing to direct and focus your energy to a finite number of items so that we can make progress. Otherwise we never get past the starting line. Wouldn't you rather win your race instead of having a bunch of false starts?

Your thoughts? Please comment.

11/13/12

Consider yourself stuck...



So many times the way ahead isn't as clear as it is in this picture. If you can't see what you're supposed to do, how do you know what to do?

Follow that intuitive, instinctive voice inside you. If it's speaking up, make that step. If it's quiet, take any step. Momentum begets momentum. If you don't move, consider yourself stuck. At least if you're moving, you gain ground, traction and clarity. You'll learn what direction is right for you right now by feeling it.

You never know what lies over the bridge. Will you take the first step toward finding out?

Questions to consider: 
1.  What step do you need to take next?
2.  What's stopping you from taking it?
3.  What's the worst case scenario?
4.  What's the best case scenario?
5.  Which one (the answer to #3 or #4) are you more scared of?

I hope you comment or drop me a line at donna@youradhdsuccesscoach.com.

I hope you have a great day.

11/8/12

Peace & an olive branch

I hope everyone's calmed down after the election results. It's time to get to work on UNIFYing and working toward common causes. I encourage you to reach across the hall to shake the hands of members of the other party. They are not "THEM"; they are us, too.

Our differences (socio-economic + other demographics) are less important than our similarities (we are Americans and we want what's best for us).

I'm just saying...

11/6/12

God, Romney & Politics - Happy Voting Day!


 
Mitt Romney on God from O Magazine, November 2012:
 
Oprah:  "What does it mean to be Mormon?"
ROMNEY:  "...I did my best to be a better person in part because of my faith. My faith teaches me to serve, to give of myself to others."
 
Oprah:  "What is your relationship with God?" Would God be a part of your process in making decisions?"
ROMNEY:  "I believe deeply in the value of prayer, and I pray regularly and eontemplate iportant issues. But..."(then he tells the story of Brigham Young who got down in the middle of the river to pray at an inopportune time, then continues.) "So we're a very hands-on, get-the-job-done, take-personal-responsibility kind of people. But of course, in the meditation of prayer, I hope to seek the kind of guidance that comes from the Divine."

 
 
 
 


Note:  No matter who you vote for, Chances are 1/2 of you will be mad or disappointed. We are a united country with differing opinions. The president's office is a majority vote, if you ignore the electoral college stuff. No matter who's elected, I ask you to pray for the leaders of our country to work together to accomplish what's best for us all.
 
Thank you.

God, President Obama & Politics - Happy Voting Day!

If you haven't done so yet, please get out to vote!

If you'd like to see how the politicians stand on God, read O Magazine's November 2012 issue with the indepth interviews of Obama and Romney.

Some interesting excerpts...

OBAMA on faith...
Oprah: " Can you tell me what it means to you to be a Christian?"

OBAMA: "What it means is that I believe that Jesus Christ died for my sins, and that his example of caring and treating others as you want to be treated, and expressing loving compassion for all of God's children and this beautiful planet, are obligations I now have to take on myself...If you weren't religious before you became president, this office will make you religious."

OBAMA:  "I'm in a constant conversation with God and that voice that is true about doing the right thing. And sometimes just giving strength when you're feeling low."

Oprah:  personal mantra?
OBAMA:  "This is the little prayer I say every night. "Thanks for all the blessings that I've been given, thank you for the joy of my family, and making me an instrument in your world."
 
Note: No matter who you vote for, Chances are 1/2 of you will be mad or disappointed. We are a united country with differing opinions. The president's office is a majority vote, if you ignore the electoral college stuff. No matter who's elected, I ask you to pray for the leaders of our country to work together to accomplish what's best for us all.
Thank you.

10/31/12

Halloween pics - From you

I'll be posting our Halloween pics here.

I'm an amateur makeup artist so Halloween means full face makeup and custom costuming for everyone in my house.

Here's on of my favorite pics from 2 years ago. It ran this past Sunday (10/28/12) in the Raleigh News and Observer Sunday paper in Section 1 on page 7A. http://triangle.upickem.net/engine/Details.aspx?p=A&c=71018&s=24888435&i=1&sort=#SD


I thought we looked cool in a retro, classic kind of way.

There's some creative costumes in the gallery too. Don't forget to check them out while you're there.

My method of creating:  I do makeup first, THEN have them put on their costumes and pull accessories/accents as I need them to round out the outfit, then finish blurring the makeup into the edge. This order means I don't have to worry about staining up the clothes. But I do have to worry about getting done. My kids don't sit still long enough for me to get the makeup down to their clothes' line once they've changed clothes. And since they were running out the door to trick-or-treat, I rush out to catch them. Oh well. Maybe I'll get to do the finishing touches this year.

This year, I've been told I'll have 2 zombie boys to make up. Me? Maybe a fiery devil or temptress. I never know until it's all done. Whatever strikes me when I go to the closet and the mirror tomorrow.

What do you like to dress as? What will you be this year?

Don't forget to take pictures before you head out. A 12 megapixel camera is all you need to get shots that can be uploaded or printed and framed.

Hint:  A plain wall makes the best backdrop.

Then I love Shutterfly for making themed, hardcover picture books. Now that I've got a decade of Halloween pics, I can't wait to make a new Halloween book.

Hope you have a safe, happy, candy-filled Halloween wherever you are.

Dark Forest (Happy Halloween!)


This piece, Dark Forest, is part of the Fairy Tale series I started with Mirror Mirror. I've added all the darkness and suspense of Halloween to the forest of darkness that haunts us during those dark times of our lives.

Whether our valleys are communal (like Hurricane Sandy) or private (like a breakup, divorce, illness, death, etc.), I hope you can find some joy to hold on to.

On your walk, Beware the craggy tree limbs that snag and grab like disembodied hands grasping. Beware the watchers and gossipers. Beware the apple of temptation, whatever yours may be. Find your light and fan those flames to banish the fears.

Happy Halloween!

http://www.history.com/topics/halloween

10/30/12

Mirror Mirror



The idea behind the collage, MIRROR MIRROR:

My collage art is all about finding the light="good" in the darkness=trouble, anxiety, uncertainty, fear, etc.

Mirror Mirror is the first in a series of collages with a fairy tale twist. See the innocent young woman being tempted by the woman in the mirror. What lies behind the red door--salvation or damnation? Beware your temptations. Beware what you seek. Good and evil exist. Don't be betrayed by some fleeting desire. Protect your flame and shine your light.

Background:
I LOVE fairy tales because of the battle between good and evil. I love the journey and transformation process that the heroes and heroines must go through to make it to the other side.

I HATE fairy tales because most often some prince comes in and saves the day for the princess. No more. Current writers make sure the women can hold their own, or be the rescuers. And who doesn't love a strong, bold woman? <3

Check out Once Upon a Time on ABC to find some butt-kicking heroines in Snow White, her daughter & even the Evil Queen Regina. Yes, I'm an evil queen fan.


http://www.fanpop.com/spots/once-upon-a-time/images/32564110/title/regina-evil-queen-fanart
http://beta.abc.go.com/shows/once-upon-a-time

10/26/12

Introducing God Girl Goth

GIRL.


These days, you'll find me "working" less and creating more. I find myself waxing philosophical and poetic for hours with the friends who will indulge me.

But don't worry. I don't plan on taking that much of YOUR time. I plan on keeping postings brief and not innundating your inbox with too much content.

I want to spark you to think about your own life and go deeper into figuring out who YOU are now, not who you were or who you thought you'd be at this stage in your life.

Did you just wince when you read that? Yeah, me too.

So why challenge the status quo? Why should you do anything other than what you've done? Because you've settled for LESS THAN and it bothers you. It bothered me, too, for way too long.

Call it a midlife crisis. The timing is about right. So two months ago, I was discontented, sad, and angry in spite of  my many blessings.

I knew I should feel better, so why didn't I?

So I set out to treasure my life and my work while working to really appreciate and feel the blessings already within my grasp BEFORE my birthday. My progress wasn't without tears, sleepless nights and lots of soul searching, bitching and moaning. My newfound outlook on life was worth it all.

So this is me, happy on Halloween when I could be whatever I chose. And witchy, vampy, devilish, and angelic...they all suited me just fine. But then ordinary time took over and I felt adrift once again.


No more. I wouldn't live going through the motions. I have 2 children who are watching my every move. I wanted to model a better life for them, for me.

In other words, I'm like you.

I have many roles.
  • wife
  • mom
  • daughter
  • writer
  • photographer
  • collagist
  • adult with unmedicated ADHD
  • highly spiritual person trying to learn more about my discernment and exhortation gifts
  • a Christ-follower

  • intellectual
  • lifelong learner
  • recovering amnesiac
  • walker
  • hiker
  • asthmatic
  • stay-at-home mom
  • small business owner
  • paranormal/Goth
  • woman
(Those bolded ones are those I'm exploring in depth at this point in time.)

I'm interested in the shadow side of our lives so much that my small talk at parties began with "Tell me your deepest, darkest secret now because you will eventually."

Those roles aren't more or less important than the others.

What else should you know?
Well, some people would call me goth, weird, artistic, creative, honest, too school for cool, funny, talkative ...

Like you, my greatest attributes and greatest foibles vary from day to day.

My greatest passion in life is to make the most of what I have, what I've earned and most importantly, what I've been given or entrusted with.

My greatest goal is to love God and inspire people to love. When I die, I hope people will say, "She was a God girl; she was a good girl. And she was soooo funny. You know, she was a great role model, even if I didn't realize it at the time."

And if they add, "she was a goth girl" or "her darker side made her interesting" or "Did you know that she could..." well, all the better. It means that I touched them in some way using the gifts God gave me, even if most people shied away from me and them. I'm okay with that.

I'm on a mission to be the best me ever. I've chosen to choose the life I have right now. Not the life I'll have in the future, but the one I have right now. Not that I won't be working toward goals. But unlike in my past where I never measured up to my own standards, I'm too blessed to be anything but joyful.

Join me as we explore. There's always light, even in the darkest night.

Love, Donna

GOD. GIRL. GOTH