My6inchchallenge's Blog

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

Archive for February, 2011

Such as I have… the power to bring about change

“Sista, Sista, do you have .50 cents or even twenty-five cents, I need some change?” I turned and he cried out again, “Sista, Sista!” I was at Kroger, it was after 9:00 pm on Thursday. I stopped just before I entered, and looked up into his face. I saw this young man probably in his mid twenties. His skin was jet black, his eyes wide and brilliantly white, his lips parched…

I had been heading home from a Toastmasters International area speech contest where I had represented my club, and my car had missed the exit that would have taken me directly home. However, when I found my bearings I spotted a Kroger and decided to stop and get groceries.

As I walked around in Kroger I could not forget him. I had promised I’d give him some change after I had shopped, and though I did not immediately see him when I made my exit, breaking through the otherwise silent night, I soon heard, “Sista…!”

Something in his voice and the way he smiled reminded me of my baby brother. I gave him some change and after we exchanged somewhat awkward farewells of God bless yous, I headed for my car.

As I walked to my car I thought about the speech I had delivered earlier that evening, “Cause a shift in your world,” that had won me the best speaker certificate. I had replaced the word change with the word shift because my pastor, Reginald Garmon of Word of Faith Love Center had been declaring since the beginning of the year that God was getting ready to shift some things. As I got to the car something within me said “what you gave him can never change his world.”

I felt like turning around, taking a hold of him and saying like Peter, “Silver or gold I do not have but such as I have I give to you…”

But what would I offer him? I asked myself. Peter by God’s power had offered healing to the man who had begged him for money and though he had been crippled from birth the man’s feeble legs had gained the strength that enabled him to get up and walk; but from all appearances this young man seemed to be in perfect health, physically. So what was the “Such” that I had to offer…

Those of us who name the name of Jesus the Christ if we could grasp the power that God invests in lives that are surrendered and consecrated to Him; on His authority, we can speak to situations around us and declare that we have something that can change our world, “such as I have I give to you, in the name of Jesus of Nazareth,….!”

I can still see his face. I feel as though I missed an opportunity for God to affect positive change in this young man’s life. He was in his mid twenties, begging for “change.” I had delivered a speech that night that I had prayed if God would give me something to say I’d take it to the places He’d take me, but I had missed the chance to see the Power behind the speech.

So once again I pray this prayer similar to one I had read that Moses prayed “God, how will anyone know that you are pleased with me and with your people unless your power is evident in us? If we don’t have your presence and your power to bring change to our world, what will distinguish me and your people from all the other people on the face of the earth?”

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6 signs that your relationship might be killing you

Challenge the relationships that challenge you

He's got to go!!

“I just flew up from St. Kicks with my girl to see the Bodies,” he said. I sat there staring at him wondering if he suffered from delusions. Why would anyone find it necessary to initiate a conversation and then tell lies. This guy I had gone out with had stopped two strangers and after asking them where they were from had told them we had just flown up from St. Kicks…

I remember the only thing I said to him was, “if you are going to pretend to be where I’m from, the least you can do is to learn how to pronounce it. I’m from St. KITTS.” After that I knew I would never go out with him again. He had to go.

That was years ago, but I’ve come to realize that there are far too many people who would go to great lengths to convince people they don’t know of a life they don’t possess.

As we listen to the buzz of how to show love this Valentine’s day, be careful not to make the expression of love about others who don’t matter. Even more importantly, for those of us who are single — don’t enter into or stay in relationships just because you don’t want to be alone. Evaluate your relationships. An evaluation can help reveal what ‘s working, what can be made better, and those things you need to let go.

Here are 6 signs that your relationships might be killing the best of who you are:

1. You lose your self-confidence and question your worth when you are together. Someone once told me that when she went out with the person she was in a relationship with her self-esteem would hit the floor. “He would always look at other women and talk about what he loves about their body and how they look,” she said. “I hate how I feel when we are together, but I love him and I know he loves me.” Really… how about some RESPECT? He’s got to go!

2. You introduce him as your boyfriend, and it’s eating you up on the inside, because even though he’s all up in your “yum yum’s” he still introduces you as “just a friend”. Do I really need to say anything about this? Your “yum yum’s are precious, discipline yourself and stop sharing them all willy-nilly. He’s got to go!!

3. The person tries to control you by playing on your insecurities. I believe we should post on our mirrors the definition of love, try the 1 cor. 13: 4-8 version. It will not only help us in learning to love better, but it will make it challenging for us to continue deceiving ourselves about the manipulation that others use, and call it love.

4. You feel pressured to do things that go against your values. Know where you stand and know why you take the stance that you do. It can take many years of growth to become strong in your convictions. Step up to the challenge, set appropriate boundaries, work on not placing yourself in compromising situations, and don’t choose to do something just because it’s easy or popular; not when those decisions can change the course your life.

5. You have an enforcer. This person makes it their responsibility to try to change you. If you do something they don’t like, even in error, they change their behavior because they mean to teach you a lesson. This is just another form of control, call things what they are, only then can you work on changing them.

6. You need to be “kept in your place.” Whether it’s your love life, your work life or where ever it might be, realize this is not really about you. When someone finds it necessary to try to withhold knowledge; close doors to opportunities for fear you may enter; feel threatened by your growth and try to shut you up, shut you out and put you down; it’s usually about their insecurities. Refuse to be kept in the space others have defined for you, keep going, keep growing, keep trusting, and watch God!

Love the ones you’re with

The challenge to love those closest to us is valuable training in learning how to love well.

A challenge to love

In another lifetime, years before I moved to the US, the gentleman I was engaged to gave me a cd with love songs that are intended to be used at weddings. Even though I later decided that he was not the person I wanted to share my life with, I still remember and love those songs.  I caught myself singing one of them a few days ago after working on a slide show for an article that was published in Best Self Magazine, Atlanta.

The article was about finding love, and Amber Salisbury, one of the experts who contributed to the article gave this valuable piece of advice, “Don’t wait until you are in love to start loving.” There were 40 tips total, but this is the one I held on to.

I remember as a child thinking that marriage must be one of the greatest things in the world, after all God made it. But the words to the song I had caught myself singing seem like words from a fairy tale when viewed in the reality of many relationships.

“Wherever there is laughter ringing
Someone smiling, someone dreaming
We can live together there
Love will be our home.
Where there are words of kindness spoken
Where a vow is never broken
We can live together there
Love will be our home …”

Seems simple enough. As a matter of fact, these would probably be the words we would use to state the kind of relationship we desire. But for many, after the wedding ceremony, followed by years of too many harsh and unkind words, disregard, disrespect, broken vows and the inability to remember the last smile; one may discover that loving the people closest can be downright challenging.

I believe that’s why the advice to start by loving the ones we are with, (right now) is so valuable. The relationships that we are in: child, parent, brother, sister, colleague, friend, are the training grounds for how we do relationships in the future. This is where we learn how to handle conflict, how to forgive, how to show respect, how to honor and love others and how to value ourselves. Insecurity, distrust, fear, jealously, low self-esteem or unfaithfulness will not magically disappear when the “right one” comes along.

Is there something that you would like to see changed? No, I’m not talking about in the other person, I’m talking about in you. You know that behavior that resurfaces more often than you’d like?  Those words you always wish you had not said, or that thing you keep saying you’ll do differently next time? or whatever your thing is that needs to be changed.

I’m working on my stuff too. I have one great desire, that is, to love well. I have to fight the relational dysfunction that I saw growing up, where love was more a feeling, and it seemingly was not understood that the act of love is a choice. In maturing I’ve had to relearn some things.  For, the lasting magic that we long for in relationships come by hard work. Working on, working through, working pass.

I refuse to live in pretense. I refuse to hide behind anything false. The mistakes I’ve made I’ve had to work through and work pass. However, my journey for emotional health and growth is one that I’m committed to and one that will last a lifetime.

As you pursue your emotional wellness journey, this is Dona Halliday challenging you to love the ones you are with, so that you’ll learn how  to genuinely love the one you want to share life with.

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