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Cherished

You Are Yourself

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You Are Yourself

“Just be yourself.”, Says the world. 

OK… Which me am I supposed to be? The dramatic one? The sleepy one? The weepy part of me? Or the one that just wants to crawl in a hole and never come out again, me? 

What about the goofy and silly one? The part of me that uses different accents to explain a funny event.

Or the one that uses jokes to deflect from something that’s too serious but eventually talks about the hard issue. 

What about the scared part of me? The part that feels like I can’t do anything right and if I could what’s the point?

What about the moody one or the one at wants to serve justice to every wrong? What about the angry one that sees the world crumbling when she gets on social media or the news and/or watches somebody do horrible things to somebody else? What about the defeated part of me or the part that has been betrayed?

What about the triggered part? The part that remembers all of the abuse viscerally in my body and can see the pictures in my mind as clear as the sun shining in the sky. 

The dreamer who creates tons of ideas in my head? The artist part that loves to paint or craft or decorate the house? 

Who is me? 

Who am I truly when all the parts represent a fraction of me. 

How do you ask someone to just be themselves

Especially when we are all in the middle still discovering who we are.

Don’t limit yourself to a “just” picture that the world tries to mold you into. 

YOU ARE YOURSELF!

Every part of you is unlimited! Powerful! And most importantly… Who you are created to be!

The wrestler. The weary. The wide-eyed. The wishy-washy. The wanderer. The wounded. The weak. The wise. 

Who I am & who I will be is the warrior. 

Each warrior combats every one of the mentions above. Don’t allow a “just be you” to ruin the vastness of your potential even in the midst of questions. 

Be you.

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Combat

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Combat

I am combat boots.

I am made to war and protect the being that is wearing me.

I am made to stomp, crush and kick anything in my way.

I am powerful and intimidating.

I’ve been around.

I’ve probably seen more hell than many will ever see in their lifetime.

I’ve walked a thousand miles in the pit of despair but I continued on with my purpose and expectations.

I am worn and partially broken but still wearable.

She bought me a few years ago specifically for a purpose. And as she laced me up she told me it was just to wait tables because she was never going to strip again. Anyway, I wasn’t made for the stage. I was made to combat the floor.

I am tall and black and made of strong leather. The laces wind up in front of me to hold me together when I feel like falling apart.

The woman who wears me is beautiful. And there are times I just want to cry over the things vulgar lustful men would speak over her. She would laugh and play along but I could tell when her toes would curl inside of me she was hurting on the inside so deeply she couldn’t breathe.

I’ve been spat on, spilled on, stepped on and kicked. I’ve been thrown and tossed around like no one cares. I’ve been locked in the dark where even if I were able to scream no one could hear me and if they could they wouldn’t care.

I may have a tongue but I am silenced.

I may be strong but I am only as strong as the one who wears me.

Yet I was created to step into combat.

I was created with a purpose of protecting and warring.

She knew this but the enemy had twisted the truth in her so much that she was fighting a battle she thought she could never win.

I tried to protect her from getting stepped on.

I wanted her to know she was worth fighting for.

There was this day she put me away in her closet and shut the door.

I waited for her.

I waited to be pulled down from the shelf for yet another night of walking the floor and trying my best to protect her.

But I was not pulled out.

I sat in the dark.

Each time she opened the closet door there was a part of me that longed to get picked and be worn again even if it was back to the pit of hell. I just wanted to be seen and loved again.

But each time she opened the door I saw something different on her face. She was softer and had this glow about her that I couldn’t explain.

Where she had been numb before there was hope.

Where her eyes had looked dead I saw life.

I would hear her sing a new song as she got ready in the mornings and the songs were beautiful!

Something had changed in her and she was even more stunning than before.

One day she opened the door to her closet and she lifted me up in her hands.

She sat down on her bed and I could feel the struggle in her heart of the memories that I brought to her mind.

She grieved and slow hot tears ran down her face and dripped onto my shiny black surface.

I could tell she was struggling but I wasn’t sure with what.

She set me down on the ground and slid, first her left foot into me then her right foot.

My heart dropped. I didn’t want to go back to that place. I didn’t want her to have to do this again.

She stood up and walked to the full-length mirror and stared at me. I saw the flood of memories run across her face but then something happened I had never witnessed before with her.

A beautiful free smile spread across her face.

She spoke down and directly to me, “You, my friends, are getting a new purpose.”

Her toes curled inside of me but this time it felt different! This time it was with a new found excitement that they curled.

The tears continued down her face but they were those of happiness and restoration.

She stood there and starred and said, “I have a friend who battled and warred like we did together.”

She paused and brushed a tear away with her fingers.

“She was a stripper too and now, like me, she is free.”

She smiled the most beautiful smile as she continued to talk to me.

“We were having lunch one day and she mentioned how she speaks to all kinds of groups and that one of the topics she speaks on she would love to have a pair of combat boots.”

Her toes wiggled inside of me and I got so excited about what I thought she was about to tell me!

“I mentioned that I had a pair that I used to wear in the clubs and asked her what size she wears. You are her size.” She smiled at me.

She contemplated speaking the next part but spoke slowly, “We talked about this several months ago and I’ve been afraid to give you up because I might want to wear you again.”

My heart sank. She knew as much as I did she would never wear me again. She will never walk back into those clubs that nearly took her life. At least that’s what I wanted to believe.

She reached down to untie me and pulled me off slowly one by one. I waited to be set back into the dark closet again but instead she walked me to her car and we drove away in silence.

I am combat boots.

I am made to war and protect the being that is wearing me.

I am made to stomp, crush and kick anything in my way.

I am powerful and intimidating.

Today, I no longer war in a strip club that almost took our lives. We were rescued out of the battlefield and the amazing woman who wore me in the clubs is restored, strong and a warrior!

Today, I get to war on stage showing women and men they are powerful fighters in Christ’s name!

Today, I am worn to remind men and women that our battles are worth fighting and standing for!

We are all warriors.

 

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Unbridled

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Unbridled

I watched her from the corner of my eye as she began to approach me. I could sense she wasn’t quite sure of herself but she kept walking toward me anyway. I heard her whisper under her breath, “Please don’t walk away from me. Please don’t walk away from me.” Surprising her, I turned to face her.

She startled a little bit so I tried to assure her with my eyes that I was safe. I know I am a very large horse and she was small, as most of the humans I encounter are. I could tell she wanted to touch me but still wasn’t sure how to. So I initiated and without taking another step toward her I reached out my neck and tickled her cheek with my soft wiskery nose.

Immediately she smiled and giggled nervously. I kept my nose close to her and took a small step closer as she did the same.

She reached her right hand up to touch my neck and could feel her shift from fear to a childlike desire to hug me. She leaned into my shoulder and I wrapped myself around her letting her know I was safe and not afraid of her.

I began to tell her all the things I sensed and saw, “You are beautiful and strong. You are worthy to be pursued. Your heartbeat up against me brings me peace in a sweet and joyful way. And I love you.”

She held onto me tighter and sobbed. I could feel her pull back a bit as she became self-aware of the other women watching. My heart saddened a bit as she stepped away and put her head down in what looked like unworthiness and shame.

She turned her back toward me to walk away but I was not finished telling her all the things I saw in her so I stepped forward and nudged her with my muzzle.  She startled a bit and I could feel and smell the fear come from her. So I lowered my head down to remind her once more that even in my size and large stature, I was safe and gentle. She turned around to fully face me, touched my jaw and I finished telling her with my eyes, “I am proud of you for risking your fear and trusting me.”

With tears in her eyes she rubbed behind my ear and I kinda melted! I breathed on her, which meant, “Thank you for loving me, brave one.”

She looked me in the eyes and smiled and spoke softly, “Thank you, Kairos, for loving me.”

.............................................

The last couple of weeks I could feel an excitement and anticipation from my keepers on the farm. We do several types of events here and my job is to help people encounter and hear God in new ways. I know this is what I was created to do.

My name is Kairos and I am told that it means “time”. And I know deep from the top of my ears to the bottom of my hoofs, I'm here for those to encounter God at this time!

One morning after me and all of the other horses had been fed and I was turned-out into the front field with my friend, Not, I watched all of the cars start to pull in and park along the front fence. It was from that moment I began watching all of these women begin an adventure I had been excited for since I became aware something was going to happen.

The women worshipped, laughed, talked, and in their quiet times I felt a deep sense of peace among them. I watched them put, what looked like colored water, onto white squares and make beautiful pictures!

My keepers even led me and Not to do this the same thing on a really large square one afternoon! When I got up there to do what I heard them call, “painting”, it was already so beautiful all I could do was breathe in it’s beauty. My friend, Not, did the same thing!

I got to meet each woman as they ventured out to meet us and have an encounter with God in a new way. This is my favorite part! This is where I get to see each woman as God created her. Sometimes they are scared, or too strong, or they stand off alone and heavy. Some are giddy and silly. Some are hardened and carry a deep sadness to them. But whatever they bring I long for them to walk away knowing who they are in a new way.

And that’s where this story began, I watched her from the corner of my eye as she began to approach me… and she became the very thing she hoped for, Unbridled.

***A perspective from an amazing horse, Kairos from a women's retreat I got to participate & teach in. Unbridled. For more information go to www.UnbridledWomensRetreat.com

 

 

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Grabbed

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Grabbed

Grabbed

***Warning: Strong language and content***

This past week I walked into the post office to drop off a package to ship. As I walked up to the door a man held it open for me. For a moment I was grateful until I walked past him and he leaned in close enough that I could feel the heat coming off of him on my neck and he whispered something vulgar toward my ear. I turned around shocked and saw he was looking me up and down. I shivered with disgust as I kept walking into the post office. I dropped my package into the container and watched to make sure he was gone before I left the post office for my car.

Us girls have to make sure we take precautions to not get harassed or raped.

This is nothing new to me.

I am 44 years old. I don’t dress provocatively. I don’t dress like I’m “asking for it”, whatever the hell that means. And I don’t flirt with men.

I have been felt up in elevators.

I’ve had white men hug me and reach around and tuck their hand under my breast to get a feel.

I’ve been raped.

I had a black man grab my ass, then proceed to ask me out. When I told him “NO” he called me a racist bitch.

I’ve been sexually abused as a child by men who hijacked my innocence. 

I’ve had Hispanic men cat-call toward me like it’s some kind of freaking compliment and get mad at me when I don’t respond.

I’ve been aggressively approached in grocery and convenience stores.

I’ve had well educated men of ALL races brush up against me, touch me inappropriately or speak perverted things to me in all kinds of settings.

I mention the race of the men not because it’s about race and culture but it’s about the sexually aggressive attitudes toward women that do not discriminate. It is not racist to stand up for yourself when someone has been inappropriate. It is not one race or culture yet it seems if you have a penis it gives men a license to be a sexual wild animal.

It doesn’t.

And there is nothing I can do about it. I can’t call the police or file a sexual harassment charge because I don’t know who these men are. They are just men walking by with no connection to me what so ever. 

And please don’t tell me to wear turtle-necks and long denim skirts because it is not my responsibility to control men’s behaviors.

Just last weekend I spoke to a couple of groups in Cleveland OH and I made a statement that there is an epidemic of porn, sex addictions, lust, narcissism, adultery and a constant moral failure amongst all races, sexes and religions. This epidemic isn’t those destructive expressions I just mentioned, the epidemic is the loss of the true identity of who we are created to be.

Both men AND women.

There has been an uproar of vulgar “locker-room” talk lately after tapes of Trump came out about him making lewd comments about grabbing women’s pussys. And Clinton’s husband was impeached because of sexual exposure and rape.

So now we somehow all get up in arms about it when this is nothing new to us women that live with the potential of men’s lack of sexual self-control.

There are thousands upon thousands of women who keep their mouths shut about being sexually harassed and or abused because if they speak nothing happens. They get silenced or shamed and told, “Boys will be boys”. Or “At least you get hit on because you’re pretty.” Or “If you didn’t wear such short skirts or low shirts maybe they wouldn’t say or do those things to you.”

So we stay silent keeping the shameful secrets to ourselves. Always looking over our shoulder in parking lots, elevators, hallways, grocery stores or when someone offers to open a door for you. Scared to say something because we feel unsafe after the constant barrage of harassment.

Men, please, rise up and began to know your true identity. Start seeing yourself through eyes of honor and respect, not pride and selfishness.

I would love to write out wise words of true masculinity and identity but why, when it has been wonderfully written in this blog by Good Women Projectin how some men see and call forth truth, identity and true masculinity.

Please take some time to read this!

www.goodwomenproject.com/from-the-men/who-we-really-are

I want to say thank you to all the men that have shown me and other women that not all men behave, react or think this way.

Guys, I believe in you. I believe that your heart truly wants to honor women and yourself. I believe that there are many of you out there that aren’t afraid of women and love and treat us as valued human beings.

And women, please don’t stay silent anymore. And stop making excuses for the men that harass you. You’re worth more than that. 

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Yes!

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Yes!

Today, on August 24th, 2010, 6 years ago, I said "Yes" to a God calling, to start a ministry that would change the course of my life & others forever!!!

I'm constantly reminded and amazed what a little three letter word has the power and capability to do in our lives!

Thank You, God, for the continuous opportunities to say "YES!" In so many ways!

And thank You for all of the amazing beautiful Cherished Butterflies You allowed me to meet & get to be a part of in their beautiful journey to truly know You.

Today's "Yes" anniversary is a bittersweet one.

Tears flowed with sadness, deep gratitude & joy. 

God...

You are faithful.

You are a protector.

You are a provider.

You are strength!!!

Here's to many more God calling "Yeses"!!!

What's your "Yes"?

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You Ok?

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You Ok?

You ok?

I haven't seen you or heard from you in a while.

I've heard some things about what's been going on from other people but wanted to ask you directly...

You ok?

I've heard some rumors. 

I've heard some sad things about what you're going through and how much they loved & were praying for you.

I've heard some others say some distorted  things about you & your circumstances, making it sound like they didn't really know or understand in the first place what was going on with you.

So I stopped them in their talking about you & wanted to reach out to you directly.

To check in...

To say, Hey. I love you. You don't have to defend, explain or tell me anything if you don't want to share. I just want you to know I will not listen to others about what they think has happened in your life. I know things may look one way but I know better than to believe what I see before I create thoughts and judgements around those.

I'm pretty sure we all know what it's like for people to think they know all about our circumstances & share it with others & the pain that it causes in us.

I can't imagine how hard it's been for you to walk through so many different changes & the deep pain you must feel.

Loss.

Heartache.

Lack of trust.

And the whole mass of emotions connected to circumstances.

Just remember my friend, you are seen. You are known. You are loved & I believe in you!

Oh. And one more thing, not everyone listens to & entertains rumors. There are some of us that set aside those things and pray and ask directly.

Please know I totally understand if you don't respond to me.

I know it may be hard to trust again but in time you will. God will bring wonderful caring, seeing, loving people around you to remind you of those things.

So I just wanted to reach out for a moment and say hi and that I love you.

Love,

Polly

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Silenced

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Silenced

Shhhhh. Do you hear it?

Pause for a moment. Take a deep breath, lean in  & listen closely.

Do you hear the tears falling?

Do you hear the hearts breaking?

Do you hear the confusion & the anger ringing out from all of humankind?

 

The fear?

 

It's deafening when you really listen.

Everyone yells,

"We can no longer stay silent"

But no one knows how to speak anymore.

Our words get caught in the throats of personal, political & religious agendas.

Our eyes only want to see what our minds have filtered through the ages.

And still. The silence is deafening.

Hate draws on fears to strengthen control & desires for someone else to fix our pains.

When it's been the "someone's" we keep looking to...

That end up causing the most pain.

 

Unity is silenced.

Morality is silenced.

Acceptance is given a distorted voice that opens doors to abuse & even more fear.

 

Our discernments are told to be convinced we are liars & haters and that the only way we can fix things is by people who seem to know better so that they can control us.

But things have not gotten better.

They've gotten worse.

 

Shhhhhh. Do you hear it?

Do you remember what that is?

It's mindfulness & self thought.

Its intelligence & prayer

It's Holy Spirit guiding you to think for yourselves & not be controlled by others.

 

It's love & not hate.

It's truth & not lies.

 

Rage feeds rage.

Hurt feeds anger.

 

And we are all pawns until we say

 

No more.

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Not Just Any Tuesday

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Not Just Any Tuesday

Tomorrow is Tuesday, April 12th, 2016. Maybe you are reading this and that day has come and gone like they all do. What’s another Tuesday in the grand scheme of things anyway.

Tuesday for me is not just another Tuesday.

Tomorrow will be a day in which I will celebrate something that didn’t get celebrated the first time when it happened 3 years ago.

Tomorrow will be an emotionally corrective redemptive day!

Tomorrow I will launch my newly revised book, Cherished: Shattered Innocence. Restored Hope.

Three years ago when I “birthed” the first edition it was extremely emotional and weighty. My story was out there for all to read and now I didn’t have control over who read it. February 6th, 2013, 2500 copies of Cherished were delivered to the garage.

OH! MY! GOODNESS!!!

I can’t believe God actually called me to write this book! To share parts of my story that most people would not even share with their closest friends. Yet it was very clear that He had called me to no longer be silent and be a voice for those struggling until they found their own voices.

I was ecstatic! Scared to death! Excited! Worried! And bunches of other emotions that would just take up too many spaces in this blog. I’m sure you get the picture.

There were many wonderful people who were excited for me though.  So it wasn’t like it went unnoticed. I ended up selling almost 2000 copies of this book over time.

Yet, I never had a book launch.

I was going to. But you know, life happens. Expectations become excuses and then you find yourself saying it’s really no big deal. Right?

Some people told me it was a big deal though. And when they would say that to me I would choke up and cry silent tears. I guess it’s like someone having a baby and no one throws a baby shower to celebrate the birth. I wanted to launch it. I wanted to celebrate it. I wanted to get it into every hand possible so each person could maybe find a glimpse of themselves through my story whether we walked the same path or not. That they would see how God deeply, madly loves them and sees them in any situation. And for everyone to know personally that they are Cherished!

Tuesday.

God always keeps writing our stories. These last three years have been some of the most difficult years I have walked through. I have watched the people I love leave, shut down, get sick, betray, move on, struggle, cry and push away. I have laughed, cried ugly tears, feared, worried, gave up and wanted to call it quits. For good.

And then there’s the parts where God loves through His people who lifted me up, encouraged, wouldn’t let me give up, give in, or quit. And it’s through all of those amazing human Angels that got this revised book completed!

And these amazing people and church rallied and said, “Wanna launch your book and speak on Tuesday April12th, 2016?” And I said “YES!” While everything inside of me was screaming “NOOOOO!!! Don’t do it again! It’s only going to cause more pain and hurt just like last time.”

That is a lie!

And even if I do get hurt like I’ve been hurt before or in new ways that I don’t even want to think about…I will know that God will get me through. Because that is WHO HE IS! Always! 

Tuesday!!!!

OH MY GOSH!!!

This TUESDAY we are going to celebrate in a MASSIVE FUN way!!! There will be worship & yummy treats! I'm honored to get to speak and share what God has been putting on my heart & Cherished books will be for sale with a special book launch price!!! ONE NIGHT ONLY!!!

This night will be redemptive! This night, no matter what happens in the future, we will celebrate the launch of Cherished!  

Because of the people at Cross Timbers Church, Simplicity Women's Ministry and all the amazing people God has strategically placed in my life…I am going to get to celebrate with each of you the true definition of story.

Your story. My story.

HIS STORY!

Click photo for details!!!

Click photo for details!!!

Tuesday at Cross Timbers, whether you attend there or not, you will have the opportunity to sign-up for a small group to walk through Cherished! 

Cherished Revised is all about a journey through story to discover your own. After each chapter will be journal prompts and by the time you have finished the book you will have written the foundations of your own Cherished Story.

If you cannot sign-up for a study at Cross Timbers you can lead or create your own! Included is a leaders guide and Cherished Conversations in the back to use as the questions you ask your small group!

Let's CELEBRATE God's goodness!!!!

 

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