Are your holiday plans well underway or running away?
To have rest at any time of the year we have to plan and prioritize. Even more so at Christmas.
In the past, I have failed in many steps of this planning.
Every year I continue to simplify and learn to be more realistic in my planning, in understanding what it will really take to pull...
Giving thanks brings rest.
Fear is unsettling. Fear keeps me from rest.
Fear keeps me from being thankful because I am focused on what has or may go wrong.
Thanksgiving, actually giving thanks, speaking it out, displaces fear.
Giving thanks brings rest.
Expressing gratitude refocuses my heart where it should always be, my God.
There are no circumstances, however catastrophic or dark, that can keep me from Him. Even death itself only brings me to His presence.
Looking around there are things that common sense would say to fear, worry, fret. God says, “Fear not”.
The economy is unstable, people are afraid. God says, “Put me first and I will supply all your needs.”
People are sick and suffering, afraid. God says, “Come to me and I will give you rest. I will wipe every tear from your eye.”
People are inconsiderate, forgetful, even mean. God says, “I will never leave you”.
I will practice thanksgiving for all the good He is,...
I long to know what God has in store for my future. I want to get started. I want to be obedient to His call.
So I wonder: What kind of ministry plans? What about business?
I also see I'm not always obedient today. I don’t always listen when He tells me to pray or act.
He is gracious and prompts me in helpful, gentle ways. He is teaching me His voice.
A simple thing that first brought this to my attention years ago was getting woke up at 3 am because the computer in the living room, that we use for listening to radio online, came on – loud.
As I was crawling back into bed after surviving a dark stumbling trip across the dog and the house I remembered that I had thought about turning it off before I went to bed, but didn’t. That’s not God you may say. I disagree.
I had not shut off that computer for months. Why but God’s grace would I think to turn it off that night, the night it would wake me up and confuse me?
I started to berate myself for...
When I get quiet with the Lord, I often feel like crying. I have learned through the years that there are many of different sources for my tears. And I've learned by asking and sitting with Him asking, what is this?
This particular morning was another one of those mornings where I was asking “why this morning? Why again?” That was how I started my journal.
I feel like weeping, again. What is it this time?
You are feeling behind with no hope of catching up or making the right choices.
There are many things to do. I was leaving in a week. I need to do to prepare my home, family, and business for being gone for a week and the transition time when I return. Then there are all the things that I feel like I'm behind on in my house and for my family.
What do I do then? This isn't true. This isn't a place I can function from either.
Go back to your values and your priorities.
Decide what you will do.
One morning when I had my quiet time, I recognized that I was feeling selfish.
I was getting ready to leave for coaching training in Florida. Leaving Alaska in winter for some Florida sunshine sounds so appealing. I'm excited for the training to improve my coaching and follow where I feel like God is leading me to go with my coaching.
I felt very clearly that God told me I was supposed to go to this training. It is stretching because one of my first thoughts was, “I don't belong there. I don't know that You've called the right person to do these big things. I’m not like them.” Part of why I am going is to overcome these fears and break out of the mold of how I see myself. I must be able to see myself as God sees me.
But this morning I was feeling selfish. I booked my tickets so I would be at my best for the training. I have a day of downtime before and after. I was feeling selfish because it means somebody needs...
Because of the roots of Halloween, my family doesn't celebrate Halloween.
I'm not telling you what to do. I'm telling you what I do and why so you can get to know me a little better.
Halloween has very, very dark roots. I believe there is still very dark stuff that happens around Halloween because there are people who take it seriously from where the roots come from.
If something can be redeemed, I’m all for it.
Here are a couple of examples
We carved pumpkins. Of course, we did it at this time of year because that's when there are pumpkins around. We used the story of The Pumpkin Patch Parable, by Liz Curtis Higgs. It’s a super cute book about how God chooses us like we choose a pumpkin. First He has to open us up and clean all that gunk out of the inside. And then He places His light inside to shine...
Emotions are involuntary, like blinking your eyes when something comes at our face. Something happens and we have an emotional reaction. We then choose how to respond to the emotion we feel but the initial feeling is involuntary. Those involuntary emotions have messages for us.
We're going to be angry and feel other emotions we don't want to feel. The responsibility comes in how we respond because of how we feel. What do we choose to do with how we feel?
What am I feeling?
What emotions can I name?
Use an emotions word list or chart with faces and pictures if you need to.
What could these emotions do for me?
What are the messages?
Some of the messages will reveal lies or wounds that need to be worked through and healed. The message may be, this is new. I need to learn this. I don't know what this looks like.
I wrestled through some fear before I opened my computer and checked the ranking on Amazon.
I realized I was afraid no one would be downloading the book. I was also afraid people would respond and not be impressed. Maybe what I have to offer isn't good enough after all.
I silenced the fears and trusted that I have been following God in this process so there's no reason to stop now.
God is so good to bless the work I did in obedience. I am humbled. I am learning to be excited and joyful. You're excitement and encouragement helps so much!
We had a great time and discussed a variety of topics like:
Are you harder on yourself than you are on anyone else?
Do you feel empty or struggle to connect with your own feelings?
Do you strongly resist asking for help?
You could be dealing with the effects of Childhood Emotional Neglect (CEN).
Emotional Neglect is a parent’s failure to respond enough to a child’s emotional needs.
Emotional Neglect is, in some ways, the opposite of mistreatment and abuse. Whereas mistreatment and abuse are parental acts, Emotional Neglect is a parent’s failure to act. It’s a failure to notice, attend to, or respond appropriately to a child’s feelings. Because it’s an act of omission, it’s not visible, noticeable or memorable.
Dr. Jonice Webb, Psychologist
I love that Dr. Jonice Webb teaches CEN is not about blaming your parents. Your parents, did the best they could with what they had and blaming them is...
I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Karen Smith of Life Connections Academy. Here's the transcript.
Karen Smith: 00:00 Hi, this is Karen Smith from Life Connections Academy. I am so honored today to be joined by Mukkove Johnson and we're going to be talking about her new book, Mess to Majesty. Mukkove Johnson is a certified Christian life coach specializing in childhood emotional neglect recovery and healing emotional wounds. She lives in Alaska with her husband of 25 years and her four children. The oldest is 20 and the youngest is two. She's written three books. The first is Christmas is About Jesus: Family Devotions for December. Then Easter is About Jesus: Family Devotions for the Easter Season, and her latest book, Mess to Majesty. Let God Love You in Your Mess. Welcome, Mukkove.
Mukkove Johnson: 00:47 Hi Karen. Thank you for having me.
Karen Smith: 00:50 You're welcome. Well, why don't you...