New Things

Although I don’t currently write as much as I would like, I am keeping pretty busy with wonderful things. I recently went to NY to do a trailer shoot for a webisode I am a part of that has to do with narcissism. I will post the trailer and more info about it when it is available. For now, you can see the cast and learn about the story line here. I am very excited to be a part of such an important work.

Anyone who knows me, knows I love to cook and bake. I’ve been doing a lot more of that lately for my family and others. It’s so much fun! And I can’t get enough of my newly discovered passion of hiking! My goodness, I had no idea how much I love it! I have even started to sing in the woods, with abandon, which is something I would have once shied away from, fearing being thought of as a show off. I am shedding so much of the foolishness I once believed and it feels amazing!

I am also starting a new ministry! Learning about how to care for myself, coupled with conversations with women I am in regular contact with through ministry and life in general, I decided to do a trial meeting in November teaching some of what I am learning. The response still has me shocked. After talking it over with my Dad Gary Fishman, I now have a ministry called Love Perfected. You can learn more about it here.

I’m so excited to see what God will do with all that I am involved in. I feel very grateful and am eager to help others.

The Singer Who Rarely Listens to Music

You know how music makes you feel things? I rarely listen to music because I don’t like to feel things. Most songs from my childhood end up having me in a state of grief. I know this isn’t a bad thing. I need to grieve what I once thought I had but never did and likely, never will. There are times that I feel led to play music that I know will lead me to grieve a bit. When I feel that nudge, I do it. Otherwise, I avoid music altogether.

The other day, someone in the house played El DeBarge’s “Love Me In A Special Way”. I sat in the kitchen and just cried uncontrollably. I remembered myself as a very little girl, singing that, not knowing what I was singing but doing so with all my heart because singing is one of my gifts and I used to love to sing.

I just felt led by the Lord to look at the lyrics because I woke up this morning with that song playing in my head. I didn’t really know the words, but part of the lyrics struck me as I read them this morning…

“Love me in a special way
What more can I say 
Love me now
Love me in a special way
What more can I say 
Love me now (love me now)

‘Cause I’m special
Not the average kind 
Who’d accept any line
That sounds good
So reach into your chain of thoughts
Try to find something new
Because what worked for you so well before
For me it just won’t do.

Love me in a special way
What more can I say 
Love me now
Love me in a special way
What more can I say 
Love me now (love me now)”

I am beginning to feel differently now, more authentic, more un-apologetically me. Manipulation tactics that worked on me before, just don’t any longer. Not because I didn’t catch them before, I caught them, I just ignored them and pushed through because I thought I was here to make others happy and comfortable. I thought I was here to take care of people and leave my own needs for some other loving soul to hopefully, prayerfully see, take pity on me, and take care of them for me. Now that I know I am responsible for taking care of my needs, not others’, I refuse to continue to let myself down.

There’s still a little girl inside of me. She is incredibly wounded and afraid. I have carried her with me all my life, yet, I have ignored her needs and wishes, in order to favor others. She couldn’t depend on anyone to meet her emotional needs. Sure, she was dressed nicely. She was fed, but she was also starving for real and unconditional love.

She needed care that just wasn’t offered. She was psychologically and emotionally beat down behind closed doors. She was lonely, and lived in survival mode, because back then, she had to. Not anymore. Now I get to care for this gem of a girl. I get to love her unconditionally. I get to accept her tears, her fears, her grief, her anger, and not just her love, her generosity and care because it feels better and suits me.

I accept her wholly. Little by little, I am gaining her trust, and whatever she does in my chest that makes it feel so uncomfortably tight, whatever she is doing that makes me feel like I am struggling to breathe at times, is lessening as I remember how to care for her.

That little girl will no longer need to sing those lyrics from a state of grief and desperation. If she sings it at all, she will sing it for the love of singing, because she has a beautiful voice. You should just hear her.

No More Cryptic Messages

So, we don’t do church traditionally, but for clarity, I will refer to a certain group as my church family, even though it sounds stupid, lol. I just love them and I know more than ever, they love me right back, unconditionally so.

Throughout this entire journey of healing from past wounds, they have supported me, every step of the way, in just the manner I needed. There are far too many to name so I won’t go there, but it amazes me that they have so graciously allowed me whatever I needed, as I needed, even when it wasn’t comfortable for them. This kind of love isn’t what I was accustomed to.

I now see, with greater clarity that love isn’t a thing of diametrical opposition. Words and deeds line up. They match. There’s no conflict between the two. There’s no pressure to do what someone else thinks is best. Love is freeing. It’s letting go. It’s allowing people to be where they are, and accepting them fully, as they are, right now. It is not trying to mold them into what or who we think they should be or trying to control them through tactics that are simply mean spirited and divisive.

Love connects, redeems, forgives, apologizes sincerely. Love is when one changes awful, unacceptable behavior when confronted with it. Love is honest and other centered, not self centered.

I am convinced that freedom here on Earth grows as our minds are renewed to the Truth. The truth is, we are free. Jesus paid it all. I have pressed through fears that felt insurmountable but after moving forward, even in fear, those fears vanished.

One such fear came about in doing what God was asking of me several months ago. He has kept me up many nights, giving me ideas on exactly how to go about openly sharing my recovery journey through my YouTube channel. I was afraid to do it and doubted I was hearing from Him correctly. Of course, He was patient with me and sent confirmation after confirmation so, I uploaded my first video a week ago.

The fear was almost paralyzing, but I did it. I thought for sure, I would not be sleeping at night for quite a while. I thought my blood pressure would land me into the hospital, but as God would have it, I have slept better than before and when I went to the doctor last week, my blood pressure was 118/80. It was previously 153/94. I was stressed.

If you want to go along this journey with me, I invite you to visit my YouTube Channel, there, you can see the videos I have uploaded so far, and if you care to keep up, you can subscribe and hit the notification bell to be notified when I upload new videos. As always, I send you so much love, Dear Reader.

Patrice

My Birthday Gift From You!

I really should have done this post sooner but, well, here it is now 🙂 !

At the time of me typing this, it is March 4, my birthday! I am 42 today and feeling very excited and new, even at 42.

This year (and forever more), I am all about self love. I didn’t realize I was behaving in a codependent manner all my life and (low-key) hating myself. That is changing though, and because I genuinely love people, I want you to get in on this self love.

So today (even if you see this and my birthday has passed), I want a gift from you. I want you to join me in celebrating, and I want you to celebrate you! Do at least one thing today that you enjoy and make sure it is truly something for you! If you care to, share with me what you did or plan to do.

One thing I will do today is sit and spend time with my Abba. I will have my pen and journal handy and will write whatever He says to me.

I think I’ll do a painting tutorial too! I love to paint. I find it so relaxing.

That’s it for now, but please, love yourself today and always. And, don’t forget about my birthday gift mentioned above. You owe me, lol! Just kidding, but you do owe yourself plenty of love, so get to it!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

I just wanted to share some love notes from a class led by Francois Du Toit, author of The Mirror Bible translation. I hope you take the following thoughts to heart and know you are, have always been and will always be, deeply and immeasurably loved.

No one looks for something they’ve never lost possession of in the first place. You were always His. You can’t be lost if you did not belong to begin with.

My prayer for you today is that you would agree with God about you.

I pray that more than pleading with God to know His plan for your life, that you realize that your life is His plan.

I pray that you would rest beside the still waters and see yourself as He does. Your spirit remembers who you truly are.

I pray that you remember that whatever is true of Jesus is true of you too. As he is, so are we, in this world. (1 John 4:17)

Enjoy your day!

Love, Patrice

Thoughts on Mothering

I was a part of a class yesterday that served as a wonderful confirmation of things I have felt most of my life, even when my experience and what I was taught was vastly different.

The class was taught by a woman who is also a mother. She said two things that made me pause and smile. One was that just after each of her children were born, she knew something about them that had to do with their character.

I perked up upon hearing that because I remember very well, feeling I knew things about my children while in utero. I knew who was mild mannered but couldn’t keep still, who was feisty and opinionated, who was mild mannered, who was wild and free and so on. I don’t think it’s unreasonable as each baby and I shared my body for months and months on end. To my way of thinking, you can easily learn something in the amount of time it takes to gestate and be birthed into the world outside a woman’s body.

The other thing the teacher stated that I loved was that while her husband belongs to her, her children do not. I have felt that instinctively at least since I gave birth to my firstborn, 20 years ago. She was and is a gift, as are all of my children. They are not mine. They belong to God first and, when/if they marry, they will belong to their spouses.

My job is to love and respect them. I listen to them and help them to learn and grow in as loving an environment as possible. They are not extensions of me. They are not a reflection of me, representing me everywhere they go. They aren’t my arm, foot, or anything like that. They aren’t me. We are not entangled. They are entirely whole, separate beings, on their own, in and of themselves, and I have the honor and privilege of raising them. I am here to help them, not try to control them. I find so much bliss, freedom and peace in that.

Hearing another mother echo these sentiments, mean it and show the fruit of it, was so refreshing and affirming. For many years, I thought I was weird because I am not like anyone I knew growing up. I used to say I didn’t know where I came from with all the ideas and things I have done and do regarding birth, child rearing and more. As I think about it now, the answer is super simple. I follow God’s leading. He has been speaking to me for as long as I can remember. I am grateful for that and that He is always guiding me and helping me to be a better me, and in this case, a better mother. I so love being a mother.

Early Perceptions of God

A dear group of friends and I are having a discussion today (as we do most days) and my friend Juli said the following: “I remember that before I was a ‘born again Christian’, I used to believe that by default God loved me, no matter what.”  She went on to say that at different churches, she learned things that she is now needing to unlearn. We all began to chime in saying we have felt the same way.

When she said this, it really struck a chord with me and took me back to my own childhood.  I remember very clearly feeling that not only did God love me tremendously, but I was and am somehow, very special to Him too.  I never felt it was to the exclusion of anyone else, in fact, it had nothing to do with others.  It was just me, and Him, and in that context, He absolutely adores me, period.

Some of the ideas I have had throughout my life, I am only now beginning to give voice to, with certain people. I have oftentimes felt that the God I felt drawn to, close to and loved by privately, was an altogether different person from the one I was taught about in church.  The one from church was wishy washy and temperamental.  He might strike me down at any given moment.  He was scary, never laughed, was very far away and too busy to be bothered with my stuff on a daily or even weekly basis.  As my daughter Jaiela says, the god from church needed a certain level and type of prayer, fasting and effort to even hear you, let alone answer your prayers.  In order to get an answer from this god, there’s a certain amount of time one must wait to hear back from him, if they ever heard anything back at all.  It was all so strange.

The God I know and love is the one I met in the innermost parts of my being.  He made me know I was and am special to Him.  He isn’t angry with me at all.  He’s not waiting for me to mess up so that He can strike me down.  He loves me without conditions.  I can’t do anything to diminish or increase His love for me.  He just loves me, and you, plain and simple.

I wonder if my friends and I are alone in our experiences and feelings.  Outside of all the teaching, good or otherwise, what were your feelings about Him?  Have you always seen Him as distant, or close?  If you don’t know, I pray you come to know Him soon, in a real and tangible way.  No one has or will ever love you more.

 

 

 

 

Culture of Honor

Where love languages are concerned, I always tie between two- acts of service and quality time.  I cannot choose one over the other.  Coming alongside me to help and chat with me as I wash dishes screams love.

In Dr. Gary Chapman’s book, The Five Love Languages, it is noted that most often, people love others based on their own love language(s).  I know this is true for me because I am very often seeking to do something for someone and spend time with loved ones. It fills me to overflowing.

I am naturally a romantic, mushy, sappy type.  I love that too and at times crave that kind of experience to be directed my way, but I don’t always get it.  Rather than complain and constantly feel sorry for myself over it, I seek ways to teach my husband and children how to love me the way that most directly and clearly speaks to my heart.  We are in such a moment in time these days.

Around Valentine’s Day, in 2017, I decided to get sappy and romantic with my family.  From February 1st thru the 14th, I wrote each of them something that I love about them.  I enjoyed doing it and had no problem at all coming up with something for 14 days. This is just one example of the types of things I do to love my family and show them I am thinking of them and care. As much fun as I had doing it, I realized a few days ago, lol, that not one of them thought to reciprocate.

I realized that while it comes easily to me to honor those dear to me, it isn’t so for everyone, and because I want to raise thoughtful children, I brought this to their attention.  In as loving a way as possible, I discussed the importance of honoring others and admitted that there are and have been times when I have felt that I was “for them” and they were for themselves as well, leaving me out of the equation.  I told them that I would like to change that and teach them to be more aware of others, especially those closest to them.  I mean really, don’t cry, slob and snot if something happens to me and tell me how much you love and care for me then, tell me and show me now!

In trying to think of ways to help my family, Abba gave me a wonderful idea that I call, Culture of Honor.  There are seven in my household and seven days in a week, so for now, once a month (for one week), we are honoring each person in various ways.

I am enjoying seeing how they are choosing to show honor to one another. One child took over washing dishes another was doing.  One made another’s bed, bought another their favorite thing from the store, etc., many acts of kindness have taken place this week.  My prayer is that this will teach them to remember others and the important roles they play in our lives, and, honor them for it.

All too often, we get comfortable with those closest to us, so much so, that we completely take them for granted.  I don’t want to do this or be treated like this and I don’t want my children to do it either. So, we are seeking to change this and make some wonderful memories while we’re at it. People are very happy with how others are choosing to honor them and there’s a sense of excitement when thinking of what to do for others as well. We also plan to choose others outside our household to honor.  It will be fun to surprise people and honor them.  I am very grateful that instead of stewing in anger, resentment, and self pity, my Abba gave me a solution- Culture of Honor.  Who could you choose to catch off guard and honor today? Go for it, and tell me about it!

 

God Is In The Details

It’s been a while since I last wrote.  I am now on the last bit of a 5-6 week long vacation with my children and this is the very first time I could really sit still and write.  I had such high hopes for working on books and this blog during this time, oh well…

I like how Ephesians 4:6 (among many other verses) debunks this idea of separation that seems to permeate the Church- the whole secular vs. sacred, etc…  The Mirror translation version of this verse reads, “There is only one God.  He remains the ultimate Father of the universe.  We are because He is. He is present in all; He is above all, through all and in all. This translation then references Acts 17: 24-28 which reads, “He is not far from each one of us; in Him we live and move and have our being. We are indeed His offspring.”

I love how God is literally present in all.  There’s no place left out of all.  Even in Psalm (139:8) it says, “If I make my bed in hell, behold, you are there.”

Sometimes, when I get prophetic words for people, I take for granted that God is all in the details.  Literally, I know nothing and couldn’t speak to people at all unless God gave me the words, but I suppose, what I mean is, it’s easy to think I am just being quirky, weird or not hearing properly.  Let me tell you a few stories from our vacation.

A few days ago, I had a hair appointment and I wasn’t feeling well.  I prayed that I wouldn’t be contagious and harm the woman doing my hair as I wasn’t aware of exactly what was going on.  I just knew I didn’t feel right.  After praying for her and myself, I got ready to leave and suddenly felt compelled to bring her some of the ginger ale I’d made for those of us who have a cough. Side note- I make a lot of my own things from scratch.  Typically, ginger ale in stores that aren’t holistic have absolutely no ginger in them at all, so I make my own. Check those ingredients!

As I put some ginger ale aside, I thought to myself and even said aloud to my daughter that I was being completely weird, bringing ginger ale that no one asked for, to a hair appointment.  When I got there, I asked her if she liked ginger ale.  She said yes and made another affirmative comment about ginger ale that I don’t remember. I told her that I’d brought her some that I’d made.  She was happy and said she would drink it right away.  I then over heard her telling another client about it as I went to hang up my coat.

A bit later, she came to me saying that another client brought her some (store bought) ginger ale as well.  That’s when I realized she wasn’t joking when she said she really liked it.  This is easy to dismiss, but think of it.  I’d prayed fervently for her, before my appointment.  I’d made ginger ale the day before, in order to help myself and other family members having issues and keep the ones with no issues from having any.  The Lord instructs me to share some with her, knowing I’m just weird enough to do it, and not only would it help protect her from my germs, but she loves the drink in general, and let me tell you, my ginger ale is most certainly superior to what you’d find in the store. 🙂 That’s God, all up in the details.  He is so sweet.

Then, let’s go right quick to Orlando, where I almost missed giving words to two beautiful young women.  I’d actually left, turned around and came back to speak to them.  I don’t remember all that I said.  I’m not sure I’d share even if I did really, but suffice it to say, the seemingly random word I gave one woman in particular was so poignant for her, that by the end of it all, she’d teared up and gave me a sweet hug.

In a different location in Orlando, again, what seemed random and inconsequential, meant everything to another young lady who told my daughter and I that what we spoke about was what she’d prayed about the night before.

There were others, too many to go into here in one blog post, but God was on the move, touching lives and hearts, and used little ole me and my daughter to do it.  How magnificent!!

All this to say, God is in everything.  He is so amazingly crafty in how He weaves one thing into another and makes us know that we aren’t alone.  He sees and cares for us deeply, more deeply than we can imagine.  I am enjoying this process of recapping various experiences with Him.  He is so good!

An Unconscionable Love

All five of my children have gone to the library, which has afforded me a very rare moment to be (physically) alone.  Naturally, I immediately set out to cleaning and straightening a few things, and, talking to God.  These days, I sometimes don’t feel able to do much more than ask Him to help me.  I need help loving people when they are at their worst.  I need help in being gracious when I want to go completely ballistic, telling people off in a manner that I feel they are so deserving. I need help in having compassion for those who are oblivious to their need to change destructive behaviors and patterns.  I need help minding my life, attitudes, behaviors, thoughts and business, instead of concerning myself with that of others around me.  My stuff is a lot, all on it’s own.

All this led me to consider Jesus.  Seriously, how did Jesus do this?  How could he look with love and compassion, blessing and healing those who would later scream, “Crucify him!!!”  How did he do that?  How could he smile, eat, drink, laugh and hang out with people who were utterly selfish, self serving, cruel, rude and more?  How could he hand over the money bag to a man that he knew would steal from them all and eventually, literally sell him out?  How could he not look at Judas, in this case, and not punch him square in the face?  My God! How did Jesus do all this?!

I sit here and consider myself and others, and how when we are betrayed or hurt, we feel as if we are the only ones who have these feelings.  We feel justified and sometimes go to great lengths to ensure that justice is served in one way or another.  We hope they pay for what they did to us, all the while, we are blind to our own offenses against others and God.

We want to see everyone “pay the piper”, except us, of course.  We want that ‘get out of jail free’ card. When it comes to us, we want mercy and compassion.  The same mercy and compassion we deem others unfit to receive, from us, and God.  Lord help us.  My prayer is that we truly learn to love as Jesus loves.  To seek after the best for others, not just ourselves.  The Bible says that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.  We weren’t looking for him.  We didn’t want or choose him.  He chose and still chooses us.  Good and bad.  Ugly and pretty.  Nice and nasty.  We are immeasurably, irrevocably, and deeply loved.  Abba, help us to love as you do- with no limits or conditions.