Hello all,

I have not posted to this blog in an extremely long time! Much has changed since I last posted.

From this point forward most of what I post will be via my personal website: cindybeecher.com

Hope to see you there sometime soon.

Keep looking to Jesus!

Cindy

Link

Jump Start, Start, ReStart, Start Over

Have you ever started something and never finished it because either something distracted you or you got overly busy with another project or….you fill in the blank.

I have had that happen many times. As a person who loves arts and crafts, I have a lot of unfinished projects sitting in the craft area of my basement.

But I am talking about more than just unfinished projects. My life theme for the last few years has been perseverance. Nothing has gone as “planned”. I have needed to persevere.

I began counseling studies years ago and stopped after completing several courses. I knew I would be a better coach than counselor. So I began training to become a Life Coach. I was certified as a Professional Life Coach July 10, 2009.

I thought, I would hit the ground running and begin advertising so I could begin working with new clients. That has not happened. Yet, God has allowed me opportunities to make a difference in the lives of other women. Still, things haven’t taken shape as I thought they would initially.

I know God has called me to life coaching because He continually sets up relationships for me that naturally lead to coaching.

Maybe it will never look like I thought it would. But I know I must persevere and continue to do what God is calling me to no matter what it looks like. Sometimes that is very easy and other times it is just plain hard.

Persevere, keep starting again, never give up, keep looking to Jesus. If I must wait, Lord, give me the peace to know you are there in the waiting. Give me your joy for the journey, no matter what the journey looks like. Each day Lord may I look to you and do what you are calling me to do.

Loving God, Loving Others, Loving Myself

Now that I have written my Rule For Life I am trying to keep that information fresh in my mind everyday.

Once again here is my “Rule For Life”
1) Love and glorify God.
2) Love, encourage and build up others.
3) Love and care for myself so 1 & 2 can happen.

Living a life filled with love for God, others and myself may sound like an easy task, but it doesn’t happen by accident. If I am to live a life that reflects love for God, others and myself, it will have to be lived on purpose.

I have not always understood what love is … true love is rarely portrayed in movies or on TV.

True love is so much more.

Love is a gift to be given often and freely. Love provides, what the one being loved, desires or needs. Love is not self-seeking. Love looks for ways to bless the other person without any thoughts of getting something in return.

Of course the Bible tells us what love is better than any description I can give. So here are some verses I would like to share with you about love:

This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.
1 John 4:10

This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, 1 John 5:3

And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love. 2 John 6

4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8 Love never fails.
1 Corinthians 13:4-8a

Love is the target I want to hit consistently. I can hit that target when:

  • I am kind.
  • I am not boastful or proud.
  • I am not rude and when I am not putting myself first all the time.
  • I don’t fly off the handle.
  • I forgive and forget.
  • I rejoice in truth.
  • I protect.
  • I trust.
  • I hope.
  • I don’t give up.
  • I obey God.

Obeying God means walking in love. Walking in love is obedience to God.

Love is not a mushy, feel good thing all the time. We may feel that way from time to time, but love is a commitment to another no matter what. We don’t see a lot of real love in our day.

God’s love for me and you cost Him the life of His Only Son, Jesus.

Love is free to the one who receives, but for the one who gives love there is a cost and sometimes the cost is extremely high.

But love is worth it all!

Loving God, loving others and loving myself… Yes it is sometimes hard, and it may hurt sometimes, but when I truly love there is peace and freedom beyond description.

May God empower us all to live lives of love.

Rule For Life

On June 9th I wrote this on my blog:

I have been using a book by Adele Ahlberg Calhoun called: Spiritual Disciplines Handbook, Practices that Transform Us to learn more about different Spiritual Practices that I had not yet considered.

The ones that God is speaking to me about currently are: The Rule for Life, Self-Care and Detachment. Adele in her book defines those three as follows:

“Rule For Life

A rule for life offers unique and regular rhythms that free and open each person to the will and presence of Christ, The spiritual practices of a rule provide a way to partner with the Holy Spirit for personal transformation.”

“Self-Care

Self-Care honors God through nurturing and protecting the body, mind and spirit with their limits and desires.”

“Detachment
Detachment means replacing the attachment to (1) idolatrous relationships and (2) self-serving goals and agendas for success, money, power, ego, productivity and image with wholehearted attachment to and trust in God alone.”

The more I practice these things the more they seem to meld together into one practice. The more time I spend in Solitude and Silence with God, the more days I spend focusing on Him in Sabbath, the more I become aware of the need for a rule for life, self-care and detachment.

I have been working the Spiritual Discipline called “Rule for Life” and asking myself a lot of questions. What should my rule for life look like? How descriptive should I be? How detailed should it be? What will fit me best?

For my first draft I penned these words:
Rule For Life

  • Love and glorify God,
  • Love and edify others and

  • Care for myself.

As I thought and prayed about this “rule for life” God brought to mind things He has been speaking to me about for a while. Here are a few of the things He reminded me of today:

First — Jonah 2:8 — “Those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs.” God has impressed on me that I had been forfeiting His grace in many areas of my life by hanging on to things, activities, etc. without purpose or reason. When God spoke to me though His word I began thinking about downsizing, decreasing, and eliminating. I am working to remove worthless things, those things that don’t fit with the plans and purposes God has for me, from my life.  And believe me it is hard work!

Second — I asked God to help me write a calling and purpose statement for my life He gave it to me in the form of Scripture: 2 My purpose is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, 3 in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. Colossians 2:2-3

Third — God has been impressing upon me that when my life has the right balance, He will have the preeminence in all I am and in all I do. Only then will I:

  • Love and glorify God,
  • Love and edify others and

  • Care for myself

This morning I posted this on my facebook page:
Working on a “Rule for life”. 

1) Love and Glorify God, 

2) Love and Edify Others and

3) Take care of myself so 1 & 2 can happen.

This afternoon this portion of Scripture came to mind: 37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ Matthew 22:37-39

OK, so the ideas I have for my rule for life are not new. Scripture bears that out. I don’t have to be original I just want to live according to God’s plan for me.

If you have been reading my blog you know my Dad died October 2009 and my Mom died January 2010. Since that time I have been thinking a bit about my own life expectancy. I will turn 55 this month. If God allows me to live on this earth as long as my parents did I have somewhere between 25 and 30 years left and I would like to finish well.

You shouldn’t wait till you are 55 to begin to ponder these things. You can start now even if you are in your teens. You can plan for finishing well.

Your rule for life doesn’t have to be rocket science. It just has to be God directed.

When I posted about working on my rule for life, this morning, I was expecting to add a lot more verbiage. I thought part of the fleshing out process would include descriptive goals and how I plan to meet those goals in days to come. Yet, God has consistently been calling me to a more simplified and focused life. And now that I have had the opportunity to spend this entire day with Him, I believe I will keep it simple.

So here is my “revised version” which is not much different that what I started with:


Rule For Life
1) Love and glorify God.
2) Love, encourage and build up others.
3) Love and care for myself so 1 & 2 can happen.

While there are only three very short statements included in my “Rule for Life” they are filled with purpose for every area of my life.

If I truly love and glorify God I will obey Him, live according to His call and purpose for my life, and eliminate everything from my life that could keep me from wholehearted attachment to Him.

If I truly love, encourage and build up others it will always be with a desire to bless them according to their needs not as a way of self-aggrandizement so I feel better about myself.

And if I truly love and care for myself I will do so with grace and mercy remembering how I am made, with strengths and weaknesses that make me uniquely who I am.

Father,
I am reminded of a song I learned with my children.
“In my life Lord, be glorified, today.”
Help me to love and glorify you.
Help me to love, encourage and build up others.
Help me to love and care for myself.
Thank you, Father, for who You are, all You have done and all You are yet to do.
Amen.

Still Working Update

My very wise daughter, Holly, taught me something today…

She commented on my post “Still Working”. Here is her comment.

The foundational roots of discipline are teaching/ learning. The term speaks directly towards your processes. You should use it. Discipline is special and full of love. (The “harsh” discipline you are referring to is not actually discipline at all.)

Amen! Isn’t it just like God to help us learn new things from our own children. He is good all the time. Time to clean house in the mind again and lose all the incorrect images of “discipline”.
After all God designed discipline for our good.
Gotta run for now and practice some Spiritual DISCIPLINES.

Still Working

My life is a work in progress. Things I had planned to have done by December of last year have still not happened. But, God is at work in my heart and life.

I don’t think He is changing what He has called me to do. In fact I believe He is giving me time to grieve and heal so I can be more prepared for what He is calling me to do. I did not expect the process to take as long as it has, yet God is giving me a peace that passes understanding in the process.

Part of what God has been speaking to me about on  a regular basis is Spiritual Practices. These are sometimes called Spiritual Disciplines. I choose to call them Spiritual Practices because the word discipline reminds me of harsh punishment.

Speaking in terms of Spiritual Practices reminds me that the more I practice a particular way of growing Spiritually the more I will grow Spiritually. It’s like learning to ride a bicycle. Starting out is hard, but the freedom that comes from riding solo with the wind whipping through your hair is fabulous.

A couple of years ago my husband and I began the practice of Silence, Solitude and Sabbatical all in one week. We now intentionally plan one week each year to get away and spend time with God in prayer, reading His Word and meditating on His Word. We are together, but we spend most of our time individually except for meals and planned fun together time.

Another practice that I am currently working with God on is that of Sabbath. I started out a few years ago (in fact after our first week of Silence, Solitude and Sabbatical) spending Wednesdays with God. I have to say that has been the most peace filling practice I have been allowed to participate in to this point. Wednesdays with God have changed a bit and now I am spending Thursdays with God. I cannot even express in words just how powerful these times with God have been and continue to be in my life.

I have been using a book by Adele Ahlberg Calhoun called: Spiritual Disciplines Handbook, Practices that Transform Us to learn more about different Spiritual Practices that I had not yet considered.

The ones that God is speaking to me about currently are: The Rule for Life, Self-Care and Detachment. Adele in her book defines those three as follows:
“Rule For Life
A rule for life offers unique and regular rhythms that free and open each person to the will and presence of Christ, The spiritual practices of a rule provide a way to partner with the Holy Spirit for personal transformation.”
“Self-Care
Self-Care honors God through nurturing and protecting the body, mind and spirit with their limits and desires.”
“Detachment
Detachment means replacing the attachment to (1) idolatrous relationships and (2) self-serving goals and agendas for success, money, power, ego, productivity and image with wholehearted attachment to and trust in God alone.”

The more I practice these things the more they seem to meld together into one practice. The more time I spend in Solitude and Silence with God, the more days I spend focusing on Him in Sabbath, the more I become aware of the need for a rule of life, self-care and detachment.

How about you? What is God calling you to in your relationship with Him?

Father, my prayer is that I will grow deeper in my relationship with you as I continue to develop  Spiritual Practices in my life. I want to be seen like Peter and John when it was said of them in Acts 4:13 “When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.” NIV
My ongoing and continued desire still is written in my life plan and is the prayer of my heart:

  • I am longing to live a life controlled by His Spirit and compelled by His love, one ordinary gal living in constant fellowship with THE extraordinary God. I am longing for this so others,  perceiving that I am an unschooled ordinary gal, will marvel at the knowledge that I have been with Jesus and that they want Him too.
    Amen.

There was a little girl

The following is a poem written by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow that plagued me for much of my life.

There was a little girl,
Who had a little curl,
Right in the middle of her forehead.
When she was good,
She was very good indeed,
But when she was bad she was horrid.

I was born with curly hair. As a child my hair was similar to Shirley Temple’s. (If you are not old enough to know, who she is, google “Shirley Temple”, and you will see some cute photos of a curly headed little girl.) My hair was so curly that it hung in ringlets my mom would form around her finger every time she washed my hair.

I memorized Longfellow’s poem (not verbatim as written but as follows) because it was quoted it to me every time I was “bad”.

There was a little girl,
Who had a little curl,
Right in the middle of her forehead.
And when she was good,
She was very, very good.
But when she was bad she was horrid.

For some reason that poem played in my head today. I can’t tell you why, maybe because I gave myself a haircut and was messing with my hair longer than usual this morning. As the poem played in my head I had to remind myself that I was neither very, very good nor was I horrid.

Who I am is a sinner saved by grace. Redeemed from my former way of living. I am not perfect, but I know I am in the process of being perfected. Scripture tells me that in God’s eyes I am perfect in Christ Jesus.

The Bible also tells me:
There is no condemnation for us who have put our faith in Christ Jesus. (Romans 8:1)
If anyone is in Christ, he/she is a new creature. The old is gone, the new is here now. (2 Corinthians 5:17)
Jesus came to do the Father’s will and His sacrifice is the only one that can take away sin once and for all and for all time. It is done He is sitting at the right hand of the Father. His sacrifice has made those who are being made holy, perfect forever. He purposes to write His truth in our hearts and minds. He purposely does not remember our sins. He is our living hope. Let us hold unswervingly to Him. He is faithful.  (Hebrews 10:5-16, 23)
I am found in Him. My righteous comes from God through faith in Jesus Christ. (Philippians 3:9)
I am a wondrous, wonderful, awesome creation of God He made me and His works are wondrous! (Psalms 139:14)
My face is radiant when I look to Him, there is no shame. (Psalms 34:5)
Don’t think more highly of yourself than you ought. Think about yourself in the way God thinks of you. (Romans 12:3)

I could go on and on about all God has to say about me, you, each one of us, who He has made and who have placed faith in Jesus Christ. You may have heard or read these things time and time again, but you still suffer from incorrect self-perception. You are not alone. Many suffer with self-esteem problems. I believe these incorrect self-perceptions go deep into our soul.

What is the cause?
…words others have spoken into your life.
…your own personal self-talk.
…the evil one trying to take you out or at least down to ineffectiveness.
This is not an all-inclusive list. Our incorrect self-perceptions can be skewed in more ways than I care to recount here.

I have discovered that wrong self-perceptions go down deeper than just self. And here is where we really suffer — wrongly esteeming God. When we think of ourselves contrary to what God says about us, we are not only wrong, we are also sinning. When we think incorrectly about ourselves we are also thinking incorrectly about God and saying that His Word is not true. Or maybe we are saying His Word is only true for others, but not for me.

Isn’t it God…
…who knit us together in our mother’s womb?
…who decided on our eye color, ear lobes, nose, etc?
…who determined our personalities?
…who gave us specific talents?
…who gave us Spiritual Gifts when we became believers in Christ?

I realize your family of origin has a lot to do with how you look and how you perceive life. But, isn’t it God who allowed you to be born into or adopted into a specific family, in a specific location on the globe at a specific time?

When I came to know Jesus as my personal Savior from sin about 27 years ago. My self-perception had been sorely damaged. I am not completely whole in that area of my life yet. But God has given me more and more hope as the days go on.

I know I have written on this subject many times but God keeps bringing me back to the self-esteem issue. Perhaps it’s because the disease of low self-esteem is epidemic in our world and even in our churches.

Yesterday I had the opportunity to spend some time with a dear friend. While we were together I shared about my morning. As usual I spent some time in front of the mirror getting ready. I reminded her that in the past I hated mirrors, believing I was very ugly and unfixable I. I hated mirrors whether I wore make-up or not. I hated mirrors when I looked my “very best” because of course my best was never good enough. But yesterday as I looked, at my reflection, I realized that I liked what I saw. I opened my mouth and said “wow you look great,  in fact you look so good you don’t even need make-up”. What a huge blessing. And guess what? It’s not only about my looks. I realized that I am learning to like a lot of things about the way God made me, including my quirky personality traits and klutzy ways. It’s me. It’s Christ in me.

The God of everything that has been made, made me and He did it on purpose.
He has saved me from my sin.
He gave me gifts and talents to be used to bring Him glory, to edify others and for my good.

Today I wrote a new poem to replace that Longfellow poem:
I am a  girl
with curly hair.
My God and Savior
put it there.
He knows my needs
He made my frame.
He loves me so
He knows my name.
And even when
I horridly act.
He loves me still
and that’s a fact.

I pray that God will give you the ability to see yourself as He does today and everyday.
He thinks you are fabulous!
He thinks you are beautiful just the way you are!
His works are wonderful and that is a fact!
Celebrate His wondrous work…YOU!

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