My6inchchallenge's Blog

Tackling difficulties and overcoming the challenges life serves up – by Dona Halliday

Archive for July, 2010

Relationships — Thank God for Unanswered Prayers

Relationships and dating

Relationships - When God says, "No"

Monday, 5:30a.m. I stood in the kitchen thinking. I needed to prepare something healthy for my mid-morn and afternoon snacks–without flour and high in protein. I felt creative so I came up with butternut squash muffins. I stood peeling and chopping the squash preparing to put them in the boiling water and something about that must have triggered a memory. Before I knew it I was sitting on a stool in his kitchen as he cooked. I would have preferred to help but he preferred if I just sat and watched while we talked. This was about 14 years ago.

We had been dating for a while and I can still remember that the thing I loved most about the relationship was when we were together he would reach over and take my hand caressing it lightly and we would talk or just sit in silence. I love the intimacy of physical touch that’s without an agenda, with the understanding that it’s not a prelude to any, it’s just connecting through touch.

I had met him at church. It had taken me a while to realize that he was interested in me and a little while longer for me to be interested in him. He was the kind of guy who everyone liked both young and old. I smiled as I remembered him saying, while I was yet unconvinced about going out with him, “there’s not much about me not to like, I’m real easy to love”. But nothing had prepared me for the temper that was unleashed that day in the kitchen. Some unresolved thing from a past relationship he had explained, had triggered his anger, it was sudden and frightening as he started shouting, and then it was over.

I still remember going home that evening and thinking about a few days before when I had literally bawled and accused God of not wanting to give me anything I wanted.  “Why can’t I have him”, I had cried “I want him, HIM!” Why the hysterics? Because I had known several days before his angry outburst that the relationship was not for me, it was time to let it go.

As I came back to the present, laughing out loud (I found my “I want him” declaration, from a normally very calm and sensible person, so amusing)  I once again thanked God for his love and wisdom for not granting that prayer, and many others since then.

I looked down and realized that my butternut squash muffin was turning into a butternut squash surprise. I had added eggs, tuna, peanut butter and crushed raisin bran cereal. Quite an unusual combination that did not taste that great, but, it lacked seasoning. So I added a little salt and some black pepper and continued to season to taste. I actually ended up with something that was quite good.

As I spooned the surprise into muffin cups and stuck them in the oven I thought about my life. I was delighted with the thought that the one who created all things and declared them to be good had his hands in my life. A Dona-surprise is in the making, the challenge is to be still in this process of becoming. I have released certain things that I thought at the time were a necessary part of my life and some things have been added that if it were up to me I would have said no to, but something unusual is in the making, peculiar really, somewhat sweet, somewhat spicy but altogether, beautiful.

This is Dona Halliday challenging you to be patient in the process as you await your transformation.

I love the message in this song, take a listen: In His Time

From Desperation to Transformation — Seeking God

You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. Jeremiah 23:13

Develop a heart that's seeking after God

I get very excited as the week draws to a close and finally it’s the weekend. I love having time to unwind and get refreshed. I especially love Sundays, a day to get rested and replenished, the opportunity to gather with others in the place where God is and experience His presence and power. But it was not always that way…..

Do you go church? If you do, may I challenge you to examine 6 things…
1. Why do you go?
2. Does it do anything for you?
3. Do you see visible signs of growth and change from this encounter?
4. Do you have any expectations and are they met?
5. Is your relationship with God growing stronger, more intimate?
6. Is your commitment to God increasing?

These are some questions I keep before me, and I want to share something with you that is transforming my life:

Sometime ago I read this book by Max Lucado, “He Still Moves Stones”, and one of the characters he wrote about is “the woman with the issue of blood” (Mark 5: 24-34). He describes this woman who had been sick for 12 years, she’d tried everything without positive results, in fact, her situation grew worse. She hears about Jesus and knows she has to find him. She gets to the place where Jesus is, filled with expectation, but He is encircled, a crowd pressing close to Him. But, she is desperate, her deliverance depends on her getting through to Jesus. She pushes, extends herself and then, she connects with Jesus, she touches the hem of His clothing and the bible says instantly her bleeding stops, instantly her life is transformed.

But it’s this observation that is transforming my life. The author observed that in spite of the crowd in Jesus’ presence, the Bible records only one act of healing, one life is transformed in this setting. I was so stunned by this that I raised this question to a friend, “Do you realize it means that we can show up and be in the place where God is, (you know, like, Sunday school, Wednesday night Bible Study, Sunday Morning worship, our one-on-one with God), we can be in God’s presence and leave totally untouched, untransformed?

Is this really possible to be in the presence of such power and not be changed? Let’s take a look:
• King Agrippa who said to Paul, I’m Almost persuaded …. (Acts 26:28)
• The rich young ruler who felt following Christ required the one thing he was not willing to give up(Mark 10:21)
• The people in Jesus’ hometown (He could not do any miracles there,… He was amazed at their lack of faith). (Mark 6)
• …and possibly you, or the crowd at your church

The thing that is transforming my life is this commitment I made,  “I refuse to keep showing up where God is and not extend myself, engage, connect, desperately seek Him and activate faith in Him so that His power can transform my life.”

When you invest your time in attending a church service, make it more than just going to church, if you genuinely seek God He promises He will show up!

This is Dona Halliday challenging you to press through your challenges to your transformation

Check out this song, one of my favorites “Moving Forward” by Israel Houghton. Don’t miss the resolution and commitment at the end of the song

Killing me softly – Relationships & disrespect

Relationships - love and cherish, not disrespect

"A challenge to love and live out your own beauty"

“You need to write about relationships,” she said, “because I can’t believe she’s still hanging on to him, he even has a new profile picture on his Facebook page with another girl!” I could hear the frustration and anger in her voice as she told me about this college student she had recently talked with. The anger sounded way too personal and I knew that the incident was taking her back to another life and a relationship she had experienced.

Before long she started talking about her past relationship, and as I wondered how her pain could still sound so fresh after 20 plus years it finally hit me. “You were disrespected,” I said to her. And it seemed having a label for it helped her, as she agreed she asked, “Do you know what really bothers me?” then continued without waiting for a reply, “I never said anything, I just took it, I never confronted him.” She then went on to tell of an incident when she went over to his place, he was not there but his room-mate let her in, she went to his bedroom to get something, there on the wall where a picture of both of them had been was a picture of him, and, “the other girl”.

I know there are many reasons why we end relationships. Sometimes we just don’t have the same values, we’re not heading in the same direction, the person is nice but he/she is not someone you want to spend the rest of your life with, you discover it’s not love after all, and then there is the “D” word, you are disrespected continually.

The problem with disrespect if you allow it to continue is that you soon start believing the lies and it’s as if something in you starts to die. The lies that you are not valuable, you are not worth being cherished and respected,  that your opinions don’t count, you do not have a voice. And before long it seems that the best part of who you are has died and you find yourself not only allowing others to disrespect you but you start disrespecting yourself as well–behaving in ways that are beneath you.

So whether you are 20 something or 60 something if you are in a dating relationship where you are not loved, cherished, valued, I have 6 simple suggestions:

1. Let go and let go now

2. Invest time in the journey of self-discovery. Discover the amazing person you are and start loving that person, all of you. I promise you when you start accepting and loving yourself you will never give yourself to anyone who will treat you cheaply or who cannot see your value

3. Refuse to compromise. Know what’s important to you and hold steadfastly to your core beliefs and values, it’s never worth it to trade them for a relationship

4. Be patient. Be willing to watch and learn. Entering into a relationship with someone who is not comfortable or secure with who they are can be extremely difficult. If you do, they may keep trying to change you to compensate for their insecurities.

5. As you learn about yourself do not play the comparison game, someone elses beauty and uniqueness do not in any way threaten yours. I challenge you to love and live out your own beauty

6. Refuse to be tossed about by other people’s opinion of you. From my view-point God’s opinion is what really matters. Enlist his grace to live by His values as best as you can and when you fail go to him and go at it again.

This is Dona Halliday encouraging you “to go through your challenge to your transformation.”

I need nourishment — Eating for our health

"I need nourishment"

"Eating for our health"

My favorite meal is breakfast, my favorite kind of food is breakfast food. So as I pulled up to the table to have breakfast – a bowl of fruit (blueberries, pineapple, kiwi), with waffles, eggs, spinach, bell pepper, celery and a cup of hot tea; I was very surprised when the thought crept into my mind, “you should have some cookies with that.” There definitely was a traitor in the house. I don’t ever recall wanting cookies for breakfast and as I thought it could not hurt because my breakfast was healthy enough, I went back to my purpose for eating, “I need nourishment.”

That’s what I say sometimes instead of “I’m hungry.” “I need nourishment” reminds me that I eat mainly to nourish my body and not just to satisfy a hunger. It helps me to be consistent with eating foods that are geared towards a healthier lifestyle and not give in regularly to comfort foods.

It may be surprising to know that even though healthy eating is important to me I don’t do guilt trips when I don’t eat healthy. I allow myself the occasional splurge and fortunately my body and brain have been trained to desire healthy stuff  so every once in a while after my 6 scopes of soy cream or my 20 plus cookies, or Cheetos, my body declares that’s enough and I have no tolerance for them for a few months.

Remembering why we eat is a good start to moving towards healthier eating habits. Our bodies are so intelligent and when trained can be a guide to establishing its own healthy eating patterns. Accept the challenge and start training your body by feeding it those things that are healthy and then listen when it tells you it no longer desires the unhealthy foods it once craved.

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