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Archive for the ‘self-esteem’ Category

A reflection: I’m not ugly.

I thank my God for OPTIMISM.  I thank God for moving me forward.  I thank God for allowing the past to be the past.

There was a time in my life where I thought I was so ugly.  I didn’t think anyone really liked me.  I seriously was physically and mentally ugly. Checking out the pictures from that time, I can see and feel my attitude, my pain.  I was pitiful.  I remember feeling gross.  I remember feeling worthless.  I remember continuously questioning why I was born.  I really don’t know exactly what started all of it.  I had great parents and I always felt safe.  I know puberty hitting and my lack of self-confidence created this negative self-image, but it just seemed bigger than that.  I was so sad.

Looking back …I was young and seriously dumb.  I had no true concept of what this life is supposed to be.  I was ignorant to so many things.  I know that comes with being young, but I was allowing all that uncertainty and immaturity to consume me and create an attitude of self-loathing.   I’m not saying all this because I am trying to put myself down …it’s truth.  I’m painting the picture of what I WAS so I can recognize the difference and realize that there is a huge chasm between then and now.  There’s no need in ever feeling that way again.

I’m so glad I am no where near that point in my life.  I’m so thankful God created OPTIMISTIC people who modeled that type of attitude for me.  I thank God that he has allowed me to learn more about what this life is to be.  I’m so thankful He pushed me forward.  MOST OF ALL…I praise HIM for sending Jesus so that I (AND EVERYONE) can have hope in him right now and in days to come.

I’m not ugly.  I know I’m liked by those who truly matter.  Physically, I am beautiful because GOD made me.  MY ATTITUDE–wow, has that changed!?!  I’m not pitiful, I don’t feel gross and I’m no where near worthless.  I don’t ever question why I was born.  I know God has always guided me to do the things I’m doing right now.  I’m not saying I always realized that He was with me, but looking back, I know it now.  The overwhelming-ness of that “ugly” time in my life is gone.  The overwhelming LOVE I feel now has totally wiped away any of those past questions and feelings.

I’m mainly writing this to remind myself that GOD LOVES ME, I have purpose… AND I’m not ugly.

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We all have our demons…

What demons are you battling this week?  this month?  this year?  this life?

We all have our demons.  We have those things that get to us.  We have that sin we hold on to.  We have that struggle we just can’t ever seem to overcome.  We all have SOMETHING.

I know a young woman who is absolutely beautiful.  She is tall, just the right size, big beautiful eyes, and a list of other physical attributes that would definitely have anyone judging this book by it’s cover as a classic read.  She has it all, right!?  NOT.  When you look a little deeper, you see a frown.  You experience a horrible attitude.  You are subjected to a foul disposition and an ugliness that makes you feel like you might be looking at the dark one himself.  It truly is a classic case of beauty being only skin deep.  God made this young woman.  He made her beautiful.  He made her intelligent.  By the way she is clothed and carries herself, she doesn’t seem to want for anything.  Apparently, though, she wants more of something.  But what?  Who knows.  Only she would be able to tell you this IF she feels as if you need to know which probably won’t happen.  It’s sad to see.  Why someone can be put together so perfect physically yet lack all the heart.  She is battling some kind of demon.  Perhaps it is her home life, friend status or the horrible self-esteem issues which may compound from the former two.  Again, who knows, but she is in a battle.  The world does not see her battle.  The world sees her beauty and counts her as OK.

BUT GOD…WHAT DOES GOD SEE? What would Jesus say to her?  Would he remind her of her beauty and help equip her with the tools she needs to fight the demons?  I believe this would definitely be the case.  Due to God’s immeasurable love for us, He sent Jesus to cover all of our sins, take away our fears and shortcomings  and create a new person in us–washing away all the old!

How does this young lady (or how do we) get to the point where we can fight our demons and WIN?

First, YOU HAVE TO BELIEVE!

Also in the story below, the disciples want to know why they couldn’t help the young boy get rid of his demon and JESUS says, “This kind can come out by nothing but prayer and fasting.”

Read the entire story:

 

Mark 9:14-29

New King James Version (NKJV)  from BibleGateway.com

A Boy Is Healed

14 And when He came to the disciples, He saw a great multitude around them, and scribes disputing with them. 15 Immediately, when they saw Him, all the people were greatly amazed, and running toHim, greeted Him. 16 And He asked the scribes, “What are you discussing with them?”

17 Then one of the crowd answered and said, “Teacher, I brought You my son, who has a mute spirit.18 And wherever it seizes him, it throws him down; he foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth, and becomes rigid. So I spoke to Your disciples, that they should cast it out, but they could not.”

19 He answered him and said, “O faithless generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I bear with you? Bring him to Me.” 20 Then they brought him to Him. And when he saw Him, immediately the spirit convulsed him, and he fell on the ground and wallowed, foaming at the mouth.

21 So He asked his father, “How long has this been happening to him?”

And he said, “From childhood. 22 And often he has thrown him both into the fire and into the water to destroy him. But if You can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.”

23 Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.”

24 Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!”

25 When Jesus saw that the people came running together, He rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it:“Deaf and dumb spirit, I command you, come out of him and enter him no more!” 26 Then the spiritcried out, convulsed him greatly, and came out of him. And he became as one dead, so that many said, “He is dead.” 27 But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he arose.

28 And when He had come into the house, His disciples asked Him privately, “Why could we not cast it out?”

29 So He said to them, “This kind can come out by nothing but prayer and fasting.”

WE MUST BELIEVE….

WE MUST PRAY…

AND WE MUST FAST!

We must do this in order to keep our faith.  I believe that sometimes we come to a point where our walk with God becomes routine.  We say the same prayers.  We throw the same stuff at God.  We don’t take time to listen to him.  We don’t pray and fast.  (Definition: To fast is to do without food.  Its purpose is to experience the effects of not eating.  It also serves to be a penance or a sacrifice – for the purpose of strengthening us.)  We especially do not do this in America where food is something we tend to worship and is most always taking the place of GOD.  We need to push away the things that hinder us from a true relationship with God even if it is our dinner plate.  As Jesus said, this, along with prayer, is how we can really get rid of those demons.

I know you may not see your struggle as a demon like the story above, but this is what I took as I listened to this story through the Daily Audio Bible this last week.  I’ve read this story several times since this day and totally believe it has helped me with my “demons.”  THIS KIND CAN COME OUT BY NOTHING BUT PRAYER AND FASTING.

I thank God for His increase.  He shows me Himself more and more as I read and study His word.

If you have stories of how He has shown you something through the scripture, I would love to hear it!  If you don’t want to reply here, email me: rlk3c@etex.net

 

 

I’M AWESOME!

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I know and totally realize that when people say they are awesome, it seems quite conceited. I have been called vein. Sometimes I get some giggles when I say I’m AWESOME CLAWSON. (it’s not like I introduce myself like that all the time) A student at summer camp about 4 years ago called me that and it just stuck (even if it was just in MY brain). (BTW, his name was SHABAZ –how cool is that!?)

I know I am not supposed to show PRIDE in a sinful, ugly way, but feeling AWESOME while staying humble CAN be done.

To me, thinking that you are awesome is not a negative and not a sin. God wants us to LOVE us. God don’t make no junk!

For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. Psalm 139:13-14 ESV

Why not use a great word to describe yourself… I really like the word “awesome.” Maybe I use it a little too much, but it’s MY WORD. I mean, it rhymes with my last name. (thank you husband for giving me that name…my maiden name would only rhyme with BOX or FOX and those are nouns, not descriptive words really)

My point today is, it’s important that we have a good self image. Why don’t we? There are so many reasons. The past, to me is #1. Let’s just make a top 10 list:

  1. THE PAST
  2. WHAT OTHERS SAY
  3. WHAT OTHERS DO TOWARD US
  4. WHAT WE THINK OTHERS THINK ABOUT US
  5. THE FICTION OUR BRAIN CREATES
  6. SLEEPING HABITS
  7. EATING HABITS
  8. THE MIRROR
  9. THE WEATHER
  10. LONELINESS

Maybe these aren’t your TOP TEN but I bet they fit somewhere in your list of reasons why you shouldn’t LOVE YO SELF.

SELF IMAGE and mood is effected by so many things. Some of the things we really can’t help. I mean, the way people think of you? You can treat others the way you want to be treated, but even then, some people still hate you. Who knows why? I do know this, though; YOU SHOULD NOT CONCERN YOURSELF WITH THEM. They have their own self image problems and you should not allow them to mess yours up along with it. DON’T DO IT!

THE PAST–how can you ever change that? So, do not allow it to steal the joy you can have NOW. Move forward!

I could go on and on about reasons why you should feel AWESOME, but really, you have to figure it out on your own. You have to find YOUR HAPPY. I encourage you to do that—DAILY!

THE main, absolute numero uno reason I’M AWESOME is truly, because God tells me I am. He tells me through His word and through His people. He shows me that I live in a great place, I have super friends and I am continuously BLESSED. I cannot praise Him enough for transforming me through the salvation He provided through Jesus. I’ve not always felt I was so awesome. I have (and continue to some days) allowed things in that list up there to take away my awesomeness. When I do that, I’m not thinking about what GOD has done for me. HE IS MY AWESOME!!!

So, if you are one of those who think I’m conceited or roll your eyes at me because of the AWESOME CLAWSON thing…I’m cool with that. You are not the one who helps make me awesome. I know where my AWESOME comes from!!! Thank YOU, LORD!

I pray you can find your AWESOME soon!

Compliments: to give or to recieve?

Do you find it comfortable to give compliments?  Do you make it a habit to tell others nice things about themselves?   Do you like to point out a good job or even a great attitude? 

How about receiving compliments?  Does it make you feel all happy inside?  Do they help a bad day get better or a good day become GREAT!?

When given with sincerity, a compliment can be the best FREE gift anyone can ever give!   THINK ABOUT IT. 

I have to admit, for me, giving compliments is much easier than accepting them.  I feel kind of awkward when people brag on me or point out something awesome that I’m doing.  I know that I shouldn’t be like that.  I should freely receive the compliment.  The compliment is just as important to the giver as it is the receiver.  We all have to keep that in mind!  It’s like filling your bucket.  When you fill someone else’s bucket, you fill yours too.  If you haven’t heard of this concept before, it’s in a great children’s book to read to just about any age–about being an encourager instead of the very opposite.

My favorite compliment to give is YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL, because to me, this is how God made all of us!  There is a website: http://you-are-beautiful.com/ where you can get stickers and stuff to use as compliment givers.  What a neat thing to say to someone else.  It’s simple and true.  Everyone has beauty to them.

Free-Compliment

Your Name Tag

I-Am-Awesome-Close-Up-e1346147344621Yesterday I returned from a meeting for state student council.  There were advisors from around the state there along with their student representatives.  It was quite exciting to meet new people and see the old friends which I’ve acquired over the 12 years I’ve been blessed with the task of STU.CO. ADVISOR.  It seriously is one of the great perks of my job.

As I was creating name tags for our group and others, it was fun to add to the names we usually go by.  My name was “Rita (or Awesome Clawson)” –HAD to add that or part.   My student rep usually goes by “LEROY” at all these student council things.  That is not his name, but kind of like his alter-ego.  My roommate’s tag said “Mary,” but I also added “and important all around person” to it as well.  There’s always more to us than just our name.

At the end of the meeting, we were asked to create “I AM” posters where we write one obvious one and one that most people really don’t know about you.  My great amazing friend who came with me to the meeting had I AM AMAZING on one because it’s so obvious that she is–she does a great job at everything she does and if she meets a challenge at all, she faces it head on with the drive to conquer it!  I love her attitude.  The other poster we made for her was Mother to 5 BOYS and grandmother to 1 BOY.  This is something not everyone knows–especially all the people that were there at this meeting, but it’s still something that defines her–makes her who she is.

What is your name tag say?  Or what would your I AM poster say?  I know, it might have your name on it, but what else could YOU put on there?  Mom, Daddy, Teacher, Homemaker, Principal, Baseball Player, Home run Hitter even!?  It may have a characteristic on it that everyone knows you by.  I use AWESOME mainly because it rhymes with my name, but I was seriously first given this nickname by a JC at one of the summer camps I attended in the past.  When he said it, I was like, YES!  I love that!  It’s important to think of yourself in a good light.  I’ve not always done that in my life.  Not trying to brag here, but I AM AWESOME!  I do great things!  I am good at stuff.  I am not saying I am good at EVERYTHING, but I do well at the talents God has given me.  I do not believe He is done with me either.  I think He has things I will be able to do well as I get older and transition into the different levels of my life.  I mean, at 18, I was definitely NOT a good mother–mainly because I wasn’t one, but once I became one, He helped me develop into a well equipped momma.

So, what can you add to your I AM statement or the name tag you wear?  I bet there are so many things you can add, you’d need a name tag bigger than that little spot on your chest.  Think about those around you as well.  What other things are they known for beyond their actual name?  They are defined by more than that.

They are wonderful, great, happy, beautiful (one of my faves!), musical, handy… As you can see, I’m only listing all the POSITIVES.  I know there are ones out there that may have tags that aren’t so positive.  We should try and pull out the positive ones, though.  Try and help others see the positive things they are known for and a lot of times they will lean toward their more positives and away from the negative.  Help others build their self-esteem and confidence.  If we can be more confident in the GOOD THINGS on our name tags…this world would be a better place.

YAY!

Cool Quotes

These are some of the quotes I found today and thought they were pretty cool.

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YOU CANNOT HATE YOURSELF!

LargeLoveYourselfSign

I had a recent question asked that created a God moment for me.  I have a lot of those, but sometimes I have to ask God to help me and research the Bible for exactly how He wants me to answer.  This time though, the retort He wanted me to use IMMEDIATELY popped into my pea sized brain.  His knowledge and love is so vast that I know my brain is that size compared to HIM…perhaps even smaller!  Anyway, I’m telling you this, because I know when things happen like this, that it’s not my knowledge, but HIS that flows out of me.  I give all credit to HIM.

So, the question was, “What do you do when you hate yourself?”

“You cannot do that!”  without thought at all, came from my head.  My brain was shouting it!

You cannot hate yourself.  Oh sure, we all do it, we all don’t like or even detest (hate) things about our body, even the entire image we see in the mirror.  Or we hate acts we have committed against others–against God.  Seriously though, we cannot continue to hate and be in the will of our maker–the Almighty God! 

Yes, this is a struggle!  We all still do it.  We are critical of pretty much everything and everyone, but mostly of ourselves.  We judge. 

I want to especially target the physical body issue: GOD MADE YOU!  If you are dogging on yourself…say, you don’t like your lips or nose or even the way your belly jiggles–GOD MADE YOU–you are basically saying He did not do a good job. 

I know that we all struggle to be healthier and the ever so grandious dream of being “thin,” but we need to be right with God no matter what.  If our over dramatic and over worked brain continues to cloud itself with the want to be what we are not, we are crowding God out.  Again, my brain is screaming: YOU CANNOT HATE YOURSELF!  If you practice self-loathing, how can you allow God to comfort and heal you?  He loves you the way you are!  Does he want you to be healthy?  Yes.  Does he want to protect you and guide you in all of your paths?  Yes.  If that path is to better health, He will guide you.  He can’t do that if you are pushing Him out by hating yourself. 

I know maybe I got a bit wordy today and perhaps redundant, but this is something I have struggled with in my life and there are days where it creeps up again.  In fact, the question that started this whole blog really had me snapping  out of a little bout of self-loathing myself.  It happens, but you have to push those thoughts and especially those memories aside and move on.  Love yourself!  Love how God made you! 

YOU CANNOT HATE YOURSELF! 

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