All posts in Your Truth

  • I’m good, thanks.

    I’m good, thanks. How many times do I hear these words, or some variation on the sentiment, in a day? Here are a few recent examples:

    I accidentally bumped into a young man in the market and said, “Excuse me, I’m sorry.” To which he replied, “No, I’m good.”

    I said to my 2-year-old, “Zach, I’m tired. Let’s take a rest.” To which he replied, “No Mama, you good.”

    Two weekends ago, I was chaperoning a youth retreat. I was walking across campus to meet my group and two girls passed by me. One was coughing, choking on something. I asked her if she wanted a bottle of water. She replied, “no, [cough-cough], I’m [cough] good.”
    Me: “I’ve got three unopened bottles in my backpack. Please take one.”
    Her: “[cough] No, I’m good. [cough]”
    Her friend was just staring at her like, “take the water already!!”

    I set my pack down, pulled out a bottle of water and practically forced it on her. She did take it and drank nearly the whole thing in one breath.

    What is going on? When did we decide that we’re all “good” and don’t need to accept help or apologies or even water from one another? How did this sentiment become so commonplace that it has become an automatic response from my 2-year-old?

    And perhaps more importantly, I wonder what we’re not saying when we’re saying “I’m good.” I have a hunch that we might not be saying things like:

    • Yes, I could use some help right now.
    • Thank you for noticing [me].
    • I would really like that, thank you.

    Vulnerability. A knee-jerk, “I’m good,” dances around our vulnerability.
    What makes us vulnerable is what makes us beautiful: giving compassion, laughing out loud, praying with someone who is hurting, showing spontaneous affection. These authentic expressions are the source of connection and intimacy in our lives.

    Hearing “I’m good” lets me off the hook. Frees me up from seeing your vulnerability, spending time listening to your story, and experiencing your need.
    Saying “I’m good” lets me off the hook from showing my own vulnerability; from sharing the truth about my needs, worries, or difficulties. I don’t want to do that anymore.

    “speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.” – Ephesians 4:15

    What will it mean or do for us when we speak and listen to the truth from one another? Without having answers or rushing to solution. Simply giving the gift of our presence to one another.

    Copyright 2017 De Yarrison

  • Transformed by Christ, a book review

    a Book Review of Who Does He Say You Are by Colleen Mitchell

    Jesus, Love Himself, desires me! He desperately wants to draw near to me, to heal me of my old wounds and remind me who I really am. And He desires this for you too.

    That is the powerful, truthful message in Colleen Mitchell’s new book, Who Does He Say You Are. Colleen tells the stories of twelve women who personally encountered Jesus in the gospels. And through their encounter, were never to be the same.

    Some of these women, such as Jesus’ mother Mary, may be familiar to us. But most of the women Colleen writes about, receive only a sentence or two of attention in the entire gospel. The hemorrhaging woman, the woman crippled by a demon, Anna the prophetess, and Mary the wife of Clopas, are a few examples. Colleen beautifully expounds on the scripture stories. She fills in vivid and realistic details that make perfect sense and weave meaningful and relevant connections to our own modern day existence as women.

    Take Chapter four, for instance. Colleen recounts the story of the woman from Samaria who encounters Jesus at the well (John 4:5-26). This is the woman who had five husbands. She came to the well at high noon, instead of during the busy and lively morning time, likely to avoid unwanted attention and to bear her shame alone. She did not expect to see a Jewish man there, and certainly did not expect him to initiate a conversation with her! Listen to what Colleen has to say to you and me based on this women’s encounter with Jesus:

    “He stands right here in front of you with the same knowing insistence. He longs for your healing, your freedom, but He will not give you only half of what you need. He will not treat just the thirsty symptoms of your sin and leave you to walk in shame. He has fixed His gaze on your heart and he sees the deeper parts of you that need Him. Tell Him the truth, the whole truth. Let Him see all of you, even the parts that have not seen the light for so long, the parts that you shroud and shelter in secret. He thirsts for you like you thirst for Him. There is freedom waiting for you. You do not have to come to this place again. But he can’t heal what you won’t let him touch.”

    I don’t know about you, but that pretty much nailed me.

    Chapter by chapter, as each story unfolds, I can see more and more clearly how these women’s stories are really our collective story as women. From each story, Colleen pulls a statement of truth about our identity as women in Christ. I’ve listed the twelve statements below.
    You are a dwelling place of the Most High God.
    You have a voice.
    You are a witness.
    You bear no shame.
    You are known.
    You are restored.
    You are made for contentment.
    You honor Christ.
    You can stand tall.
    You can pray boldly.
    Your presence matters.
    You were made for resurrection joy.

    Read them again slowly and take a second to consider that each one is describing YOU. This is who He says you are. Perhaps it’s a bit overwhelming, I know it is for me. Colleen provides useful tools for embracing these truths of who we are and for integrating them into our being. Each chapter contains an invitation, a prayer, and a set of reflection questions.

    Now, many books include these types of tools to help us integrate the author’s insights or teaching, and something is different about Colleen’s. Her invitations are provocative, refreshingly edgy. Her prayers are personal, conversational, and intimate. The questions she poses are new. I found myself frequently pausing and thinking, “Hmmm, that’s a great question. I have to sit with that one a while.” Oh, how exciting it is to enter new territories of self-discovery and spiritual growth!

    It is clear after having the privilege of interviewing Colleen personally, that this book had a “ghost writer” called the Holy Spirit. Our Lord surely has a plan and purpose for this book and for each woman who will read it. I hope you will be among us and that you will be filled with deep peace in knowing who you are.

    With love,

  • The Journey of Transformation

    A coach colleague, named Matt Gagnon, recently shared a huge personal breakthrough in our coaching facebook group. With Matt’s permission, I am sharing his post below and here’s why…

    Matt’s story beautifully illustrates two important truths:

    1. There is immense freedom and empowerment in embracing what is. In accepting what is true for me, rather than pretending or hiding in an attempt to “keep the peace” or make others happy.
    2. We are each on a God-given journey of transformation. And while the end-result may be something we look forward to, the process of being transformed, is often messy and uncomfortable, even painful! After all, we are refined in fire, right?

    As you read Matt’s story, consider your own journey:

    1. What challenge or obstacle is currently present in your life that feels daunting or overwhelming?
    2. What may God be calling you to surrender to Him?
    3. Where have you been avoiding asking others for the help you need?
    4. What emotions are you aware of experiencing that you have not yet acknowledged or accepted?

    Here’s Matt:

    “I want to share a recent breakthrough for me. I have had people in my life who were ridiculously quick to reframe, scold, correct, question, fix, etc…any word I used that wasn’t positive. The result was I began to view certain emotions as negative and would ensure that I used only positive emotions and words when discussing any challenge I was facing in life.

    How did that serve me? IT DIDN’T! It encouraged me to disown my feelings, censor myself, and even worse…It changed the intention behind my words…I was speaking to please others and make them feel comfortable instead of owning my emotions and speaking truthfully.

    Today, I can tell you this…however, I feel is OK! There is nothing wrong with my emotions…how I act on them makes a big difference but there is great power in knowing and articulating how I feel.
    If I give myself permission to acknowledge, articulate, and accept how I feel, this is what it looks like:
    + I Can Feel Weak but it Doesn’t Mean I am Not Strong
    + I Can Feel Scared, but I am Still Confident in my Journey
    + I Can Feel Depressed, but it Doesn’t Mean I am Without Hope and Faith
    + I Can Feel Angry, but I Still Long for Grace, Humility, and Forgiveness

    If I deny myself the opportunity to acknowledge, articulate, and accept how I feel, this is what you won’t see but I will be feeling:
    + I Look Happy, but I am Crying for Help on the Inside
    + I am Laughing on the Outside, but I am Lost and Scared Inside
    + I Speak with Confidence, yet I Feel Hopeless and Broken

    The truth is I am sick…I have an annoying rare disease that comes with a bunch of annoying side-effects. I am constantly having to re-learn what my energy levels are and sometimes that means I find out only after I have committed to something and then unable to deliver to expectations. I am learning how to battle with depression, anxiety, narcolepsy, and seizure like spasms…Because of that, the successful business I was building is slowing down because I can’t keep up with the pace I was driving it at…this is my calling and I am having to slow down, say no, and focus on self-care so I can say Yes again. All of that sucks; however, I am learning so much about myself and the REAL TRUTH IS – I AM BUILT TO HANDLE THIS SO I CAN SERVE OTHERS.

    This journey is teaching me to appreciate my feelings, learn how to ask for help, surrender control, lean into my faith, and embody my life purpose as the Courageous Heart. If I was healed 2 months ago, I would have been robbed of several powerful life lessons. I don’t want to be healed…I want to be whole! This process is preparing me for something bigger and I don’t know what it is and that is ok…I am just being present with it – leaning into the lessons to be learned vs. bulldozing forward to solve my problems. This is what being in transformation looks like…it’s messy, dark, painful, beautiful, amazing, inspiring, annoying…all of that and more; however, it’s a gift to have the self-awareness that I am in the middle of it, because I can embrace the brilliance and beauty of the journey.”

    Wow. Beautiful, huh?

    Like Matt, perhaps your journey has taken you down a path that is dark, frustrating, and foggy or unclear. Perhaps you are tempted to believe you are in this alone. The truth is that Jesus is right there beside you, waiting to come a little closer, ready to hold your hand a little tighter. Reach for Him.

    And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age. – Jesus (Matthew 28:20)

    Closing Prayer:
    Heavenly Father, I thank you for this incredible journey that I now find myself on. Help me to trust that every aspect of this journey is purposeful – the joyful parts and the sad parts; the sacrifices and the abundant blessings; the amazing highs and the darkest lows – You hold all in the palm of Your hand. Please give me the grace to surrender my will in favor of Your will, so I may be transformed and made new, according to Your great plan and purpose. For this I pray, in Jesus’ name, Amen!

    Linking up with: Mommy Monday Blog Hop, Motivation Monday

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  • Perfect Problems

    I read this recently: If we all put our problems in a pile and saw everybody else’s, we’d grab ours back!

    How great is that!?

    Our ‘problems’ are no random occurrences. Each has been hand-picked by God. If we believe that He has a plan for each one of our lives, and if we trust Him, then we can begin to reframe the way we think about adverse events or circumstances. No longer problems to contend with, but opportunities for growth.

    We can shift the emotion or energy we give to our ‘problems.’ No longer challenges that cause us anxiety or to feel defeated, but opportunities to practice courage and acceptance. Faith strengtheners.

    But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is perfected in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly in my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest on me. – 2 Corinthians 12:9

    I used to be a real control-freak (my husband might argue that ‘used to be’ is not exactly the truth, but let’s go with it). Several years ago, the Lord went on a mission to teach me that HE is actually in control, not me. He threw ‘problems’ into my life that I couldn’t possibly control, though, believe me, I tried! My mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. A family member was deep in a drug addiction. My parents divorced. My sister contracted a scary and rare illness (she was sick in the hospital over her planned wedding day!). Yeah, that was quite a time.

    Quite a blessed time.

    “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you” – Jeremiah 29:11

    There was no way I could cope with all those “problems” on my own. He gave me exactly the right amount of adverse circumstances I needed in order to turn to Him and fall on my knees. To surrender. To deepen my trust and strengthen my faith. If it weren’t for all those “problems,” I would not have the gift of a rich faith as I do today. I would not have the deep sense of peace and contentment that I have each day, knowing God is in charge of my life. And I do not think I would be doing this work that I am blessed with today. I would not be able to come alongside and sit compassionately with others who are coping with their ‘problems.’

    Yes, much “bless” has come from the “mess.” (I love the expression, “find the bless in the mess”).

    Our God knows exactly how each one of us is to grow and develop. Therefore, He knows exactly the right ‘problems’ that will help us learn the necessary lessons and face the necessary experiences, as He gently nudges us out of our comfort zones. He has carefully crafted the cross we each carry. Each is the perfect size and weight. He gently places our cross on our shoulders at exactly the right moment. And this is the best part – He walks along beside us and helps us carry it! He is right there with outstretched hands throughout our entire journey!

    As you walk through whatever problems or trials you are facing today, don’t forget to look up. Literally, take a minute and look up at the sky, draw in a deep breath, and ask God to show you how He wants for you to trust Him in this circumstance. What He wants you to surrender to Him today. He will never give you more than you can handle, so long as you hold onto His hand.

    With love,

  • The Search for Identity

    Our sons and daughters are growing up in a world that has so many lies to tell them about who they are supposed to be, how they are supposed to look, talk, dress, etc. A natural part of adolescence is searching for identity. Our teens will look for answers through the culture they live in: family, social events, classmates, social media, TV, books and movies.

    Read more

  • This week’s word is…SUFFICIENCY

    Author’s note: This is a revised version of a post originally published in December, 2013.

    In one of my women’s coaching groups last week, we opened up the topic of “I am not enough.” I am not enough is a message of “The Lie of Scarcity.” The lie of scarcity tells us we are not enough: not pretty enough, fast enough, productive enough, don’t have enough money, don’t have enough time, didn’t get enough sleep, on and on and on. And, let’s remember, this is a LIE.

    Author, speaker, and activist, Lynne Twist writes about 3 myths of scarcity in her book, The Soul of Money. The three myths are:

    Scarcity Myth #1: There’s not enough. Not enough to go around. Not everyone can make it. Someone will be left out. What’s one of the first games we learn as children? Musical chairs. Someone will be left out – there’s not enough chairs for everyone. We can grow up believing that our world – and ourselves – are deficient and lacking. Read more

  • This week’s word is…Wholeness

    There are words that are essential to the Mothering Conversation. Words that represent qualities and behaviors for us to try on if we are to evolve the conversation of mothering. Each week on our blog, we feature one of these Words.
    Wholeness Card

    Definition of Wholeness: the quality or state of being whole, complete, sound, without exception or qualification.

    You are whole. Period. Exactly as you are. Our wholeness – The TRUTH of who we are – is constant, never changing. In fact, our wholeness has nothing to do with us.  It has everything to do with God, and with Jesus. We are made new – new creations – through the merits of Jesus. Our wholeness:

    • Is not defined by how much (or how little) we accomplish today
    • Never diminished by a bad hair day, a less than eloquent mommy moment, or an indulgent chocolate dessert.
    • Never increased by finishing that degree, landing that job, winning the game, or having 500 Facebook friends.

    Our whole is perfectly aligned with who GOD says we are and what He says is true about us:

    • He made you in His image (Genesis 1:27).
    • He saw you and carefully formed you, before you were born (Psalms 139:13-16).
    • He thinks about you constantly (Psalm 139:17-18).
    • He pours out His love on you constantly (Deuteronomy 7:7).
    • He speaks of knowing you intimately: “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart.” (Jeremiah 1:5)
    • He chose you from the beginning (2 Thessalonians 2:13)

    And that’s barely scratching the surface. Your worth to God is spoken of in so many more places in His sacred scripture. No matter what life circumstances you may be living right now, your true nature is vitality, strength, creativity, and wholeness. How fully do you believe that? Are you still doubting that you are so special, so dear, and so important? Sometimes it’s hard for us to really receive these truths. To believe that the Truth of who God says we are in scripture, really applies to me, right here, right now. This week, our exercise is simply to sit with these TRUTHS. Try them on…

    EXERCISE: Exploring my Wholeness Life’s circumstances come and go. We will always get to choose how we will relate with the current circumstance. Use the suggestions below to pause and reconnect with your God-given nature.

    1. Choose one of the scripture passages I referenced above; the one that feels most resonant for you. Get out your bible and look up the whole passage. Read it aloud to yourself each day. Write it on index cards or sticky notes and post them in areas around your home or workspace where you will see them and be reminded of your truth and your wholeness.
    2. Each morning, tell yourself two things you appreciate about YOU. Say these aloud, using your own first name. For example, “De, I appreciate your sense of humor and your smile.” Or “De, I appreciate your patience with Adam yesterday.”   The purpose of doing this is to cultivate a practice of noticing your many strengths and gifts. And to intentionally affirm the many aspects of your wholeness.
    3. Sit quietly in prayer each day (even if only for one-minute…60 little seconds), asking the Lord to reveal HIS truths for you. Ask Him: “Lord, what do You want me to know about myself today? Show me Your truth so I will learn to see myself as You see me.”
    4. Keep a journal or notebook close at hand throughout the week. (I have a small one that I keep in my handbag so I’ll always have it with me). Write down any thoughts, reactions or sensations that surface in your body or mind, related to your truth and your wholeness.
    5. Also in your journal, keep a list of all the attributes or behaviors that you come up with in your daily appreciation exercise. Look at this list often, especially in moments of self-doubt or self-criticism.

    In my next post, we’ll look at the reality that at times we do feel divided, disconnected, and disbelieving of our wholeness. And, how to take the next step on our journey towards Wholeness. I will be giving a 1-day workshop on this topic in April at the Daylesford Abbey. Will you come? I’d be honored to have you there. More details here.

    Click on the picture below to download a 2″x3″ Wholeness Card for your mirror, refrigerator, computer monitor, etc. Wholeness Card

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