When It’s Hard to Forgive

Written by Jackie Tinkler

The anger that arose every time this person’s name was mentioned was huge. I mean, they have caused me pain and unnecessary loss and I am right to feel this way. There is absolutely no way I can move forward in a relationship with this person and there is no way I’m going to like them anytime soon.

Every chance it came up in conversation, I said something to bring them low, not in a malicious way, but as way to continue to keep my guard up. After all, everyone would agree with me. The hilarious part of this is that I thought God agreed with me too. He saw what was going on and I’m sure God feels the same. This person has hurt me and they deserve it. WRONG!

Are you feeling it too? Someone has hurt you in a BIG way and you can’t let it go because you deserve justice. So, we harden our hearts and tell all they did every chance we have. The walls of bitterness keep us protected and keep the “bad” people away from us because we are not going to give them an inch.

While sitting at my kitchen table one day and talking with a friend, I let it all out. I told her everything I was feeling and I heard myself say these words” I am justified!” The very second I said the words, I realized where my heart had been; I had been walking the road of anger and unforgiveness. I could not believe it! I can’t tell you how justified I felt in my anger. I was blinded to how much I had let it in and how miserable I felt. And even though, what they did or continue to do is not right, I did not have the right to not forgive. In the same second I said I was justified, I said these words too “I guess, I need to give them a break” as my voice broke.

I realized how ugly my thoughts were and how sad it made me to think I was hurting them and God. How can I not forgive, when my Savior Jesus forgave me. How can I not extend grace when he gives me grace every day? Jesus was betrayed too. Jesus was slandered, rejected, overlooked, and at times, not even his family believed in him. So, I say again, How can I not forgive, when he forgave much worse.

I asked God to forgive me at that very second! I was truly broken by the words “I am justified.”

I was set free that day, really free. Now, when this persons name is mentioned I’m filled with a compassion I hadn’t had before. I let my Jesus heal me and take the pain to fill me with his love. I now pray for this person regularly and find ways to bless them. I’m not required to be their best friend, but I am called to love them.

All I can say is Jesus, thank you for giving us a break. You paid it all and loved us extravagantly when we didn’t deserve it.

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Jackie Tinkler is the Co-Founder and Ministry Development Director of Something More and lives in Birmingham, Alabama. She has been ministering to women for 20 years as a Women’s Ministry Director, Counselor and Producer. She is co-writing a Women’s Small Group Study “Something Beautiful” and when not leading women to freedom can be found worshipping at Church of the Highlands, decorating her friends homes, enjoying time with her family and chocolate lab Nelson or sitting in the balcony at the Alabama Theatre.

May I Have This Dance?

Written by Jody Davis Lybrand

How do you perceive God?
The Lord God is with me. He is The Mighty Warrior that rescues, defends and preserves me. He takes great delight in me and He is filled with gladness as I draw near to Him. His love quiets me with a great peace. We dance a dance of joy as He sings a triumphant song over me. (Zephaniah 3:17, my translation)
Can you envision that? Almighty, creator God, maker and sustainer of all that is…dancing…with YOU!  Is that possible? Does He love that much? Or do we think of God as the Great Grinch and Party Popper?
Consider creation, we see the majestic mountains, turquoise oceans and blue or starry skies. We have magnificent diversity of trees and beautiful flowers! Would God give us such wonders if he didn’t want us to take joy in it? Would He give us the ability to laugh, to enjoy music, then say don’t? Could it be that we need to reassess our perception of God?
I wonder if we think, out of some innate sense of guilt, God is out to get us.
Yes, we are all born with a sin nature that separates us. (Romans 3:23) But remember to balance that with the great sacrifice He provided to bridge that vast chasm. (John 3:16)This selfless act of God and the belief in Jesus is a gift called grace, amazing grace, supernatural grace, abundant grace, sufficient grace! This means we receive “the total cancellation of our sins—all because of the cascading riches of his grace”. (Ephesians 1:7b TPT)
Just as He communed with Adam and Eve, He longs for that with each of us. He wants to be that real to you. He wants to do life with you!

What if we looked at life as one long dance. Could you think of a better partner than your Creator? The one who knows everything about you, loves you, cheers for you and wants the best for you. Remember, above all, God is love. Its not something he does, it’s who he is!

He loves you without limits! He lavishes us with his grace and mercy! His request is waiting. All you need to do is turn to him, accept and believe it.
Read that first verse again!   Picture yourself accepting His outstretched hand, spinning around the dance floor of life and all eternity!

 

Jodi Davis Lybrand is a lifelong resident of Shelby County. She is married and has raised two wonderful sons, has a beautiful daughter-in-law and 3 of the most adorable grandchildren ever!
Her favorites include playing with those awesome grand sweeties, enjoying long walks and sunsets, visiting with friends, old and new, painting and working on her bucket list!
A Bible teacher for 30 years, teaching preschool to senior adults (before she was one!) Jodi jests that she can teach you a Bible lesson in sixty seconds or sixty minutes! Most of all she loves to encourage people through the truths found in God’s holy word.

 

Bring on ‘The Happy’

Written by GeNeise Fuller – aka Lady Ge’

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As a Something More Writer, I understand more and more the mission of bringing ‘The Happy’ into the lives of hurting women.
Let’s face it; all of us go through things in life that’s sometimes isn’t pleasant. I call them ‘Issues of Life’ (Prov. 4:23b).  Which means, we all endure heartache, pain, disappointments, set backs, loss, on and on.

I am realizing more and more in order to get to ‘The Happy’, you have to deal with the pain; and that my friend isn’t easy at times. But I have a little slogan that help keeps me Free in my thinking, and it says, ‘If you want to be healed, you’ve got to be real!’

You have to get to the point where you’re willing to open up (to a trusted source) and let someone know what’s going on with you! For example, in order for a Doctor to properly diagnosis you and possibly prescribe medication, you have to tell him/her where you hurt; where the pain is located. If you’re not upfront and honest or if you keep silent, two (2) things could possibly happen:
  1. The doctor won’t be able to help you at all, especially if you are silent.
  2. You may get a wrong diagnosis if you are not honest and that can be harmful or even worst, fatal!
In my Newly released Book: When Is It MY Time? A Poetic Courtroom Battle with God, I surprised a lot of people with the content. It was a side of me that anyone rarely saw because I was the one who often brought ‘The Happy’.
This Book of Poetry expresses raw feelings and raw emotions without holding back. I was hurt, disappointed, angry and fed up!  I was asking God, When Is It MY Time? When is it my time for love, for the abundant life and for that right relationship! I wanted some answers so I created a courtroom style setting and presented my case to the Only One I knew that could answer those questions.
One of the greatest things about it all is that I was open and honest with God. I did not approach Him with disrespect but as a woman with true and raw emotions searching for answers to my question. And God, with His great love, mercy and wisdom, comforted me, gave me hope for my life and put me back on ‘straight street’ sort of speak.
The book was freeing for me because I wasn’t afraid to tell my story. Do you know why? Because ALL of us have gone through hurt, pain, loss, disappointment and so on. With that, I knew I wasn’t alone in telling my story. The details of it maybe different from yours but the emotions are the same.
In conclusion, I want to leave you with these three (3) ‘GeNuggets’ that has set me Free! It allows me to Bring ‘The Happy’ everywhere I go. I invite you to give it a try.
  1. Realize that you are NOT alone! You are not the only woman going through or have been hurt. So, no one can legitimately judge you.
  2. Find a trusted friend or organization to share your pain or struggle. Better yet, share them with the Lord first. Open up to Him and He will lead you to the right person or place.
  3. My Motto for my Facebook Live Group, Thirsty Thursdays (Poems that Heals) is, “Keep Your Head Up and Do You!” — When you keep your head up, the enemy has a hard time keeping you down. And, when you Do You, You are being true to whom the Creator created you to be. No one can do you better than you! You are a Masterpiece! Recognize The Power of YOU! *
Listen, I would love to know how you’re doing. Let’s stay connected.
Cheerfully,
Lady Ge’

IMG_6152GeNeise Fuller is a Singer/Songwriter and Poetry Therapist. Her innovative music is filled with words of Hope, Joy, and Victory and her poetry incites raw boldness and healing to readers and listeners alike. Her GeNotes’ blog posts are written articles designed to help encourage and empower hurting women. She is also Founder/CEO of A.C.C.E.S.S. Organization, Inc. A company that is Approaching the Cause of Children Exposed to Secondhand Smoke through Education, Visualization & Communication as well as a dance coach and dancer. She has written a book “When Is It MY Time” launching Spring 2019.

 

Connect with me at:

Facebook.com/geneiseink

Twitter.com/geneiseink

Instagram.com/geneiseink

geneise@geneiseink.com *For details of the Poem: The Power of YOU!

www.geneiseink.com For Book details: When Is It MY Time?

Why finding out “Less is More” finally gave me the life I’ve been looking for

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Written by Jackie Tinkler

 

“He must become greater; I must become less.”

John 3:30 (NIV)

 
 I’m a “stuff” girl.    A blank wall, an empty corner, an unaccessorized table top, well, it appears like something is missing.  I’ve tried to go “minimal” or “neutral” but I always end up putting all of my “stuff” out again.
A few years ago, I asked a decorator friend to restyle my home.  After about an hour of walking from room to room, ooing and ahhing about wall colors, accessories and pillows, she suddenly turned to me and said…”You don’t need another thing, Jackie. You already have enough.” I said, “I don’t need another thing? Are you sure?”  My heart sank, because I was SURE I needed something more!  Just something that would make it that much better than what it already was.  To be honest, I already had way too much!
What it really needed was “less” not more.  A concept I was just not familiar with or liked.  Somewhere the  voice of my heart screamed  “This isn’t enough!”  The idea of having it all or having more fulfilled a void I didn’t even know was there.  As I heard the Lord whisper… “make room,” I cringed a little. What I didn’t realize was if I cleared away the clutter, it would give my “home sweet home” a new life.   I reluctantly cleared away my things and left only what I absolutely loved, and you know what?  As I stepped back, holding my breath, I saw it for the first time… the warmth.  Not because of the stuff left in it, but because my eyes could now focus on the beauty from the things that truly brought value.

Dear sister, are you in a season of want? Are you covering up your pain with stuff?   Maybe if you make room for something different, something unexpected…something more, you will let go of the disappointment when no one called, the hurt when you found out they lied, the betrayal when they were unfaithful, or the pressure to be and do more.

Let your heart be filled with authenticity again.
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Hear God’s whispering ” Sweet lady, you become less and I’ll be the More” 
Here are three ways that will help you unclutter your heart and mind:
  1.  Clear away all things that are taking up room that compete with your beautiful purpose.  This includes those things you are doing that are bringing no value or fruit to your life.
  2.  Ask Jesus what “piece” of your life has been hidden beneath the chaos that brings Him the most Glory.  What is it that blesses the lives of others but you have not made time for by bringing it to the forefront.
  3. Find a quiet place or time to reevaluate your priorities.  There will be things you need to declutter, clear and purge to  make room for God’s something more.

Lastly…

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.”  Hebrews 12:1 NIV
If you let it go, God will give you MORE than you could have ever imagined or dreamed. 
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Jackie Tinkler is the Co-Founder and Ministry Development Director of Something More and lives in Birmingham, Alabama. She has been ministering to women for 20 years as a Women’s Ministry Director, Counselor and Producer. She is co-writing a Women’s Small Group Study “Something Beautiful” and when not leading women to freedom can be found worshipping at Church of the Highlands, decorating her friends homes, enjoying time with her family and chocolate lab Nelson or sitting in the balcony at the Alabama Theatre.

The Valley

 

mountains near trees

Written by Michelle Price

Have you ever found yourself standing in one of the proverbial valleys of life? Perhaps your health is failing and you got the dreaded cancer diagnosis. It could be you’re facing financial ruin or your lifelong marriage is coming to an end. Or maybe, like me, you’re caught in the throws of infertility. Whatever that valley looks like for us, it is most often a time of immense loneliness. We can be surrounded by love and yet still feel alone in our struggle. We may begin to think we’re the only one that’s ever been in that valley.
God guaranteed there would be trouble in this life (John 16:33) but the more we isolate ourselves, the harder our struggle becomes. We must realize that isolation is one of Satan’s many strategies, and it makes us vulnerable to his attack. Separation from others allows him a full 360 degrees to prowl around us like a lion seeking to destroy us (1 Peter 5:8). Drs. Cloud and Townsend write, “Isolation keeps what is broken in the soul sequestered in the darkness- out of the light of relationship with God and others, where there can be neither help nor resolution” (Boundaries, 221).

We all need an Aaron and Hur to hold up our arms when we grow tired while fighting our battle (Exodus 17:12).

And there is no greater comfort in the middle of our valley than that provided by God’s presence! King David wrote in Psalm 23, “Yeah though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou are with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.” God speaks life into our valleys- even during times of isolation. I had not shared my struggle with infertility with my closest friends. But God spoke to me through a very dear friend of mine, Denie Girardeau, as she was routinely praying for the desires of my heart. He instructed her that we should “praise and speak as though it has already happened.” Philippians 4:4 says that we should “Rejoice in the LORD always. I will say it again: Rejoice!” God is always faithful, and we should choose to praise him even when life doesn’t seem to be going the way we thought it should. The Bible says in Nehemiah that the joy of the LORD is our strength. So when we’re weak, sister, we must choose joy! A friend of mine, Carrie Wilson, once said that it’s our very small step of faith that motivates God to work in the supernatural to make our mountains move. And when we’re in the middle of that valley, friend, our next mountain can’t come soon enough!
Even though we can’t see the end of our struggle, God can. Until then, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit (Romans 15:13). He has abundance and hope waiting for us. So, while it’s painful right now just to take that very next step in our walk of faith remember that He has Something More for us on the other side!

Hashtags: #SomethingMore #struggles #valleysoflife

IMG_4287Michelle Price is the founder of GRACE Ministries, a faith-based ministry dedicated to nurturing women who have been sexually abused. She obtained her Certificate in Ministry and Leadership from Highlands College in 2015. She currently volunteers at The WellHouse, a Christ-centered agency dedicated to rescuing women from sexual exploitation/human trafficking. Michelle is a devoted wife and faithful member of Church of the Highlands. She is employed full time as an acute care nurse practitioner at a local hospital in Birmingham, Alabama.

It’s Always Something

Written by Jackie Tinkler

hand pen writing plant

It’s always something right?
Bills to pay, tight schedules, a racing mind, unmet expectations, overwhelmed plans, anxiety attacks and sleepless nights. Instead of living our dreams, we’re waiting for the next ball to drop.  How many of us feel like we’re just surviving, coping and not really living?  How can we overcome the worry that’s worrying us?adult alone anxious black and white

 

Jesus said we wouldn’t have to worry when He will help us feel okay because God’s peace is very near…

 

This is Jesus speaking to his disciples

“Now you finally believe in me.  And the time has come when you will all be scattered and each of you will go your own way, leaving me alone!” Yet, I am never alone, for the Father is always with me. And everything I’ve taught you is so that the peace which is in me will be in you and will give you great confidence as you rest in me. For in this unbelieving world, you will have trouble and sorrows, but you must be courageous, for I have conquered the world.” John 16:31-33 (The Passion Translation)

 

There is no peace to find in this world.  None!  And if you do, it will not comfort but only prove to be a false sense of security and be short lived. Worrying is unproductive, a waste of time and is a joy stealer.  On the flip side, the peace we need comes from God himself; a supernatural peace which shields and covers like a blanket of love that makes everything okay inside.    It’s a knowing that He loves us and will see us through.

 

I remember a time when I went through a long and lengthy trial.  I had God’s assurance that everything in the end would turn out fine, but did I stay calm and rest in that assurance?  No, I did not, and as a result my mind was not at peace, I gained weight from overeating to comfort myself, my blood pressure was up, I was exhausted as well as anxiety ridden, and I couldn’t sleep.  It was like being on a roller coaster.  One day I would  feel confident and the next I was hiding under the covers and eating cookies!  The end result was it was more than okay and I could see how God sustained me through it all but it was my choice to worry, even when He said not to.  What did I gain from worrying?

 

Here are the three ways I found to calm my worried mind and have peace

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  • Find Peace
In John 15:27 Jesus tell us Not to look for peace from the world.  He will leave us the gift of a peaceful mind and heart only through the Holy Spirit.  “And I will send you the Divine Encourager from the very presence of my Father, He will come to you, the Spirit of Truth, emanating from the Father, and he will speak to you about me.”
  • Follow after Peace
Follow the leading of the Holy Spirit; He is our counselor and teacher.  He leads us away from trouble and into the safety of our Father’s arms.  He shows us the right path for our unique journey and gives us wisdom to get there.
  • Fight for peace
What you feed will grow so resist the enemy and he will flee from you!  Don’t allow negative thoughts and concerns in that overwhelm, cause confusion or torment.  Replace them with God thoughts by reading and meditating on His word.  God’s Word is life and health to our mind. You have the mind of Christ which is a sound mind, free from worry and operating in power.

IMG_3892Jackie Tinkler is the Co-Founder and Ministry Development Director of Something More and lives in Birmingham, Alabama. She has been ministering to women for 20 years as a Women’s Ministry Director, Counselor and Producer. She is co-writing a Women’s Small Group Study “Something Beautiful” and when not leading women to freedom can be found worshipping at Church of the Highlands, decorating her friends homes, enjoying time with her family and chocolate lab Nelson or sitting in the balcony at the Alabama Theatre.

 

 

Self Sabotage- My Hidden Enemy

Written by Nicole Collier

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I had a revelation recently that anytime I would post an update on my weight loss journey I would immediately self sabotage. Why would I do this? Your guess is honestly as good as mine. I took a long hard look at myself, and why I did this. I would post about another weight loss goal met, an additional 5 or 10 lbs lost, and I would binge eat that day.

The definition of self sabotage: Behavior is said to be self-sabotaging when it creates problems in our life and interferes with long-standing goals.

I came to the conclusion that I am afraid to be a healthier version of myself. I had become accustomed to being the “fat friend”. You know- the funny one who hides behind her sarcasm, and humor to mask how she feels on the inside. The one who projects how she feels about herself on to others with the words she uses. Which are not always life giving.  

I hate typing that as much as you may hate reading it. Trust me. However, this is where my comfort zone was.

How do we find a balance between the woman we are and the woman we are accustomed to being?  The woman we have come to be friends with, whether she is helping or hurting us, and the woman we are created to be.

One way to do this is to take captive our thoughts (2 Corinthians 10:5.) Let us hold true to who God says we are! We are wonderfully and beautifully created in His image (Psalm 139:14.)   When I hold true to this thought, it helps me to want to be my absolute best and give him honor with this body He gave me. Don’t believe the lie the enemy wants you to believe that you are not worthy of being the best you- GIRL, YOU ARE WORTHY OF THIS AND SO MUCH MORE!

Another way is to really understand our triggers by asking ourselves, “what is it that has happened in our past to have such control over us where we sabotage the hard work and effort we have put in?” For me it has been the words that have been spoken over me throughout my life. I had to understand that hurt people hurt, and people will sometimes speak their insecurities in their self to those around them. I have learned to bless and forgive. If I have to stand in front of a mirror and remind myself I am worthy, I am a beautiful person on the inside and out, and I have people in my life who love me, then I will find the largest mirror and do just that.

Remember friends, this life is a journey. It is an amazing journey God will take us on, if we let Him. Let us remember to not sabotage the great and wonderful work we have put in, and let us listen to the words our Heavenly Father speaks over us. May we see our self as beautiful and wonderfully created as He made us, and sees us. Let us hold our head high, straighten our crown and accomplish our goals without sabotaging ourselves.cropped-8c9ba9bf-aa74-49d8-adc5-38337d1c5e66

Nicole Collier grew up in Montgomery, AL. She now lives in Shelby County with her husband, Matthew, and 2 boys, Ethan and Russell. She is a lover of all things creative, including photography and music. She and her family are involved with The Just People Project non-profit ministry serving the homeless throughout the city of Birmingham.

 

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