The Power Of Approval

"Am I Now Trying To Win The Approval Of Human Beings, Or Of God? Or Am I Trying To Please People? If I Were Still Trying To Please People, I Would Not Be A Servant Of Christ."
Galatians 1:10

"Do these pants make my butt look fat?"

"Do you like the way I rearranged the living room?"

"How is your dinner?"

"Do you like my new haircut?"

And the questions go on and on and on.

Have you ever uttered one of these or something similar?

That makes two of us.

It is called seeking approval and if you are seeking approval from anyone other than Him, it can lead to sin.

By seeking approval or acceptance from others, it steers you off the path of seeking His approval, onto a path of people pleasing.

For as long as I can remember, I seek approval and acceptance for just about everything I do, and if you asked me why, I couldn't even give you a reason, I just do.

This is a source of contention within myself, as well as with others around me and I am certain there is a healthy balance between coming across with a "don't care" attitude and a "do what ever anyone wants, so as to keep the peace" attitude.

Why do we walk around with a need of validation from each person we come in contact with during the day?

Why do we allow ourselves to be vulnerable to the whims of others?

Why can't we just accept ourselves for what we are?

For what He made?

I want people to like me, I admit that and not just a select amount of people, all people.

Weird, since I am not a huge people person to begin with.

If I find out someone doesn't, it isn't a pretty process that goes on within me.

Usually I will start with some form of downgrading that I heap upon myself, such as I should have said something differently or worn something different or laughed at something I didn't laugh at, or I admonish myself for laughing when I shouldn't etc...

Next up, self-doubt comes creeping along, and with self-doubt comes the tearing down of my self-esteem, then come the seemingly endless questions and by the end of the cycle, I am beat.

All because someone may or may not like me.

Because I don't believe in myself, I seek out others to reinforce me, to believe in me.

The downside to this is that until I can believe in myself, none of what others will say is going to matter, because the one person who should believe it (me) doesn't.

In the past few weeks, I have learned a valuable lesson...

The most important thing about seeking the approval of others, is that the approval is already hidden within you, you just don't want to believe it, so you are looking for someone else to tell you, what you already know.

Whether it is you did a good job at work, you lost some weight, you cooked a great dinner, you are beautiful or you are handsome, or you cleaned the bathroom really well this week etc...

Ask yourself, "Does He approve?" and "Do you approve?" (of whatever it is you are seeking the approval for) and then stop right there...

That is it.

His and yours.

Now, someone may come along and say something that contradicts with what you think and the next thing that should pop in your head is this ~

Who cares?

There is your first step to gaining confidence within yourself.

I remember when I started this blog, about 3 years ago and all I cared about were how many people would respond in the comment section, talk about a self-inflated ego...

I didn't care what the comments were, just that I had some, and once I started getting them and realized how mean some people can be, I never wanted another comment on my blog again.

Some of the emails/comments I would get weren't so kind and I took it personally, as an attack on the whole of me and not just a very small aspect of me.

I had to go back to the beginning of my blog recently, to help a friend with some upheaval that has been going on in her life and I knew that some things I had previously written would be beneficial to her and as I was searching some of my older posts, I had to shudder at times.

I won't say my writing was awful, however it was very self-involved, which in turn showed me how self-involved I truly was a few years ago, I started this blog to figure out where He fit in my life and in the beginning I barely spoke about Him.

The quickest way to build your confidence, is to stop seeking the approval of others.

This has been a conversation point with my sister and G quite a few times in the last week, because they both want me to seek the approval of Him and myself and no one else.

Two days ago, as I was heading home from work, I noticed a new sign up at a Church near my house and on the sign in black and white was the following ~

"The Greatest Failure In Life Is Trying To Please Others."

See how He works?

He could see my struggle with this, allowed me to flail around for a bit and only then did He answer.

The power of His approval is the only approval you should be seeking.

You can run around and continue to ask each person until you get the answer you want, which could lead to you becoming angry, frustrated and sad, or you can stop and just go to the One who already knows you.

You know right from wrong and as a Christian, there is a living Voice within you, one that pricks your heart when you are about to do something questionable...

That same Voice is also there to tell you that you did a good job today, that you are indeed beautiful, that you are indeed handsome, that you made a great meal, that you are talented, that you are gifted, that you are worthy, that you are so very loved.

That is the only approval you will ever need.

Sidenote ~

I know the pictures don't "go" with my post...

If you don't know what type of trees they are, these are Joshua Trees...

A tree that represents, triumph in the face of hardship.


Day After Day, Our God Is Reigning
He's Never Shaken, My Hope Is In The Lord
Time After Time Our God Is Faithful
Trustworthy Savior, My Hope Is In The Lord


Rainbows, Unicorns and Sunshine

"Keep On Loving One Another As Brothers And Sisters"
Hebrews 13:1

Another night, another knock on my door at some unholy hour.

So I peek my head out of my room and who should it be?

My sister, again.

That is twice in less than 3 days that she has taken it upon herself to wake me up just so we can "talk."

No wonder I don't feel like I ever get any sleep.

The subject this time ~ Her, or should I say, how she was portrayed in my last post...

Funny, I didn't even know she read my blog...

Mental note to go private once I am done with this post. :)

Dude, seriously, there is nothing in this world that needs to be discussed at the times you are waking me, unless of course there is blood or a trip to the ER is involved...

Let me sleep.

Yes, I put that there just because I know she is going to be reading it sometime in the near future.

The conversation started off sweet with her proclaiming I had one of the purest hearts of anyone she has ever known - Sidenote to G ~ She loves me :)

Next words I heard were, "I read your blog" (and has been reading it for most likely a year now) which in turn caused me to stammer out "What blog?"

In her opinion, I made her sound cold and that wasn't my intention.

I do not set out to intentionally hurt people and when I find out I did, guilt becomes my best friend.

"You read it wrong," was my response.

"I read it the way you wrote it," she says.

My intention was to show the difference between the two of us, my admiration for her and how she deals with what life throws at her, how I wish I could be just a little more like her and a little less like me.

So I am here to publicly apologize for making her out to be cold and mean, that was never my intention.

She is my baby sister and whether we fight like cats and dogs, whether she doesn't get me and I don't get her, I would never set out to hurt her feelings.

Upon completion of our talk, she then issued me a 27 day challenge.

A challenge to live like her for all of February, one single day at a time.

To not worry about tomorrow or next week or 2 weeks from now.

To live just for the day at hand and to appreciate what I am "in" right now.

$100 bucks is on the line from her, if I win, I haven't decided her fate yet if she loses HA!

I worry to much about the future she says and I don't live for today.

So I accepted the challenge.

Do you have any idea how hard that was for me today?

To not think about anything other than the moment at hand.

It was ROUGH and quite frankly I am not sure I liked it...

What am I without worry?

To my sister K ~

I may not agree with you at times, I may not like you at times, I may do things that you don't agree with and you may not like me at times, however all that aside, I do love you.

You have a spirit with no fear, and I only wish I could have that.

There are days when I would like nothing more than to slap you silly and I know you have those same feelings for me as well. :)

If I hurt your feelings, I am sorry.

The difference in our age has always shown, until recently...

The past two years have been nothing short of a walk through hell for me, however I am thankful you have been here for it ~ I love you always.

Whether you agree with my choices or not.

Now, stay off my blog! :) :)

Well The Thing I Find Most Amazing
In Amazing Grace
Is The Chance To Give It Out
Maybe That's What Love Is All About



Who Are You?

"Come To Me, All You Who Are Weary And Burdened, And I Will Give You Rest."
Matthew 11:28 

Have you ever been so tired that you just want to crawl into the corner and cry yourself to sleep?

I felt like that last night, or should I say very early this morning.

My sister woke me up about 11pm last night, wanting to talk, so we went out into the garage so as not to wake anyone else.

My sister and I have a love-hate relationship, I am 5 years older than her and we don't always get along very well.

We never have.

Working together is one thing, now that we live together as well, there is a different dynamic there, that is almost combustible on any given day, most likely, because we don't have a chance to leave one another for a breather.

She abhors what the past 2 years have done to me and I am not a fan of how she lives her life.

We are complete opposites in almost every aspect.

She is all about the sunshine and rainbows and unicorns and life is great and never cares what anyone thinks of her, while I am more prone to the darker side of life. (They don't refer to me as the Princess of Darkness for nothing and yes, I am trying to outgrow that label.)

She is forceful, she does what she wants, when she wants, without a care in the world.

I am the peacekeeper and each move I make now, is with the precision of a master chess player.

She can walk into a room, not know a soul and leave with 25 new best friends.

I can walk into a room, not know a soul and leave the same way I came in.

I am the oldest and she is the baby, and there is a brother in between us.

Sadly, this isn't how I used to be and that is a huge source of contention and conflict between us.

I used to be just like her (minus the sunshiney, happy, happy, joy, joy mentality).

She can be the best friend in the world or your worst enemy and she takes no prisoners, life is to be enjoyed at that exact moment in time and no use worrying about next week, next month or next year.

In her opinion, I worry to much about the future and am teetering on the verge of not living any more.

In 2 years, I have sunk more within myself than she has ever known and she can't believe the sister she used to know would allow a man to destroy me in that way.

That was one of the things that she wanted to talk to me about last night, there was also the "lack of a backbone", the "what is wrong with you?" and my all time favorite "who are you?"

Now, I have answered all of these things over and over and over again, yet for some reason people think if they keep asking me the same things over and over and over again, my answers are going to change....

A funny thing happened last night, after talking for almost 3 hours, some of my answers changed.

"Who are you?" I have heard this a lot in the past 2 years and I always have the same answer, "I am me" to which I get the same response, "No, you aren't. The you I know, would never have bowed down in this manner."

What does that mean?

I fought for my marriage, I fought for my sanity, I fought for what I believe in, I fought to keep my faith, I fought the only way I knew how, in the face of adultery and abandonment - how is that bowing down?

I am the only me I know how to be and that just doesn't seem good enough for some people.

So I slip back into old habits, place a mask on and try to be who I am not.

I try to be more forward and end up apologizing for it, I try to be a stronger person and end up guilt ridden, I try to fight the tears and the anger that wells up within me and end up losing it, I fight fear on a daily basis because that is all I know how to do, I try to be everything to everyone and fail miserably in the process.

At the end of the day, I am emotionally wrecked, clinging to the Cross as if my life depends on it, because quite frankly at this point in time it does.

By the end of the week, I feel as I have been put through an emotional Cat 5 hurricane and I wonder how much longer I can do this.

I don't need anyone else to tell me who I am, to tell me how to feel, to tell me how to act, to tell me how I should react, to tell me what to wear or what to eat or what to watch on TV or what to listen to on the radio, or when to go to sleep or when to get up or when to shower or when to breathe.

Just leave me be.

I am desperately trying to figure out where my next step is going to land and I don't need anyone telling me where to place it.

You may feel I haven't made any strides in the past 2 years, but inside, I know I have.

I know a lot of people in real life and online who don't agree with the methods I have taken, that is fine because this is my life.

I know what I want out of it, I am just unsure how to reach it, however unless I ask you, don't tell me where to place my foot.

I know some of you there and here don't agree with the level of forgiveness I have granted my soon to be ex-husband and that is fine as well, however what makes your level better than mine (and vice versa)?

I can't live drenched in the cloak of bitterness and hatred and anger and revenge.

I get that you would have made different choices, however, like I have said before, instead of telling me I am wrong, you should be on your knees thanking Him that He put these shoes on me and not you.

The bottom line is this ~ If you have never walked even close to this path, you do not know what you would do.

You can say you would do this or you would do that, however given the opportunity, I can almost guarantee that you wouldn't act the way you say you would.

You know why I can say that?

Because I also said it, because He allowed me to almost drown due to it and my actions aren't anywhere near what I used to say they would be.

"Do you think I am happy about the past 2 years?"

"I am not," I told her at about 1:30am.

I have done more second guessing in 24 months than I have ever done in my entire life and I despise living like that.

I despise saying one thing, thinking it over for a few minutes and going back and saying I'm sorry.

I am all about forgiving others, but asking for forgiveness, because I am unsure how something will be taken, tears at my soul.

I despise that I have torn apart each and every aspect of my life to see where I went wrong in order to have some semblance of normaly over the fact that my husband cheated on me.

I despise that he made me feel so unworthy and so unloved that I can barely breathe when I stop and think about it.

I despise feeling so lost and so weary and so very alone.

Then she says something I never would have expected to come out of her mouth in a million years ~

"You wouldn't be the person you are now, without having gone through the past 2 years, have you ever thought about that?"

Yes, daily.

You see, she can say these things to me, because she wore these shoes about 5 years ago, when her husband of 10 years did almost the same thing.

Unlike me though, she did what she said all along she would do, and kicked him to the curb.

In her mind, she is stronger than me.

In my mind, she is just meaner.

She knows and has always known who she is.

I don't, because I allowed others to define who I was, and now that my definition has been taken from me, I am unsure of who I am.

The saddest part of that is, I don't know how to figure it out on my own.

The best part of that is, He has placed people in my life to help me figure it out.

And at about 2am, I laid my head down and as I was going through the conversation over again in my head, asking Him for some answers, seeking some clarity, I quieted my mind, blocked out the thoughts, just so I could hear from Him...

All I got was 2 words...

"Rest, Daughter."

I may not know who I am, I may be confused and anxious and impatient and weary...

Yet, He knows who I am, He knows what I have been and He knows what I am about to become.

Who Am I?
That The Eyes That See My Sin
Would Look On Me With Love
And Watch Me Rise Again.
Who Am I?
That The Voice That Calmed The Sea,
Would Call Out Through The Rain,
And Calm The Storm In Me.


2009-2015 Serenity ~

All Rights Reserved By Their Respective Copyright Holders

All Pictures (unless otherwise noted) Are Used Via Google Images