Tag Archives: Empower

New Podcast with Jessica Eileen Drogosz -chatting about Sa Voix in Haiti

 

I’m excited to share my conversation with Jessica Eileen Drogosz! She is an artist and photographer and teacher and advocate for women in Haiti.  She has founded Sa Voix in Haiti which exists to help young women find their voice through the arts. You can find more information at savoix.com. It’s amazing what Sa Voix is doing to empower young women!

Jessie is also an amazing photographer and you can find her work at jessicaeileenphoto.com.

I loved hearing about how God has called her into this moment and how she is saying, “YES!” and learning to trust.  Jessie is a beautiful soul who I know will inspire and encourage you! Enjoy!

The Scripture she reads at the end is Proverbs 8: Wisdom’s Call.  

The Puzzle

In the world to come I shall not be asked, “Why were you not Moses?” I shall be asked,
“Why were you not Zusya?”
-Rabbi Zusya
 

I must be the best Sue I can be. 

You must be the best YOU can be.

We are not the same.  We are not in a competition.  In fact, you are not in competition with anyone.  You are trying to be the best you and everyone is on your side. When I say everyone, I mean all people, the Universe, God…everyone. 

It doesn’t always feel that way, huh? 

The Bible tells us:

If God is for us, who can be against us?  – Romans 8:31

Even if we know that God is on our side and believe it in our hearts, we may have a more difficult time feeling that all people are on our side.  Why is this?  Have we seen otherwise?  Have we felt others competitive spirits?  Have we ourselves experienced moments of jealousy and envy and feelings of inadequacy? How can we change this?

We must, if we long to see a better world, encourage and uplift each other.  We must demand the best from each other and when we see our friends slipping into self doubt, we must remind them of their gifts.  I am indebted to the people who have done that for me. 

So, how to be the best we can be?  Help each other.  Compliment each other.  Search for the gifts of our friends and tell them.  Encourage our friends to shoot for the moon, to go for it, to be all they can be.  Not in the way of putting more pressure on them to achieve more but allowing them to become more of who they are.  Listen to our friends and family members, listen to their words so we can understand their hearts and then honor them.  Each person is a flower and we as friends and co-workers and earth sharers, can be the sunshine and nourishment they need. 

We should look at life as a puzzle.  We are a piece and each person is another piece.  God is the puzzle maker and He wants us to find a way to put it all together but some of the pieces are not formed yet.  We take on our pre destined shape when we grow into who we are meant to be.  When that happens, the puzzle can be completed.  We can know comfort, peace, joy.  Looking at it that way, we are all a team.  We have to encourage each other to grow into our complete selves so we can all live in harmony.  It’s not all about me or you.  It’s about US. 

We change, we grow, we strive, we learn, we connect and then hopefully, we settle into who we were meant to be.  We become ourselves.  When we are trying to make ourselves fit into a space that isn’t ours, it doesn’t work.  Just like when we are completing a puzzle, we can’t “make” the pieces fit.  When we find ourselves, we have that feeling of recognition.  We are comfortable, it feels right.  We fit.  It is then we can step back and look at the big picture and appreciate how it all works together.  All the different, unique pieces working together to make one amazing image.  Isn’t it beautiful?

Giving Thanks

Thanksgiving is a time to be with family. 

This brings anxiety, anticipation, anger, resentment.  Wow.  People don’t usually say that when they are talking about Thanksgiving, huh? 

How many people are dreading the holidays – worried about what someone will say or do or if people will fight?  How many people are estranged from family?  How many of us know people (or are people) who are willful and alone and indignant and self righteous enough to have alienated their loved ones?  We are alone but we feel justified in our “rightness”.   

I heard Father Barron (www.wordonfire.org) talk about forgiveness.  He talked about Jesus and Ghandi and Martin Luther King.  He talked about forgiveness not being just about forgetting what someone has done but it’s about stepping into the cycle of violence and stopping it.  When I say violence, it doesn’t have to mean physical violence but the violence that comes from words, resentments, grudges, jealousy, doubt, fear.  When we forgive, we refuse to retaliate.  We refuse to get involved in the negativity and hurt.  We offer ourselves up to stop the violence. 

Father Barron gave the example of the peaceful protests of Martin Luther King.  He talked about the people who sat quietly at the restaurant counters and were thrown out because of the color of their skin.  They did not retaliate, they did not fight. 

Jesus did it on the Cross.  In the midst of violence and hatred and anger and fear…He said, “Forgive them Father, for they know not what they do.”  (Luke 23:34)

That’s our challenge.  We are challenged to be modern day examples of forgiveness.  We are called to willingly stop the cycle of violence.  We are called to remain peaceful.  We are challenged to literally offer ourselves up by letting go of our need to be right or our need to retaliate or to get revenge. 

We have the power to stop the negativity. 

As Ghandi said, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” 

And now, because I am extremely grateful, I need to say thanks. 

I’m thankful for health, gainful employment, a cozy home, a husband who loves me and our kids and tells us and shows us every day, my mom, my kids who fill my life with noise and chaos and doubt and fear and joy and love and laughter and adventure, friends who listen, libraries, oceans, mountains, doctors, good schools, teachers who encourage and empower children.     

Opportunity, freedom, faith, Jesus, music, yoga, Pottery Barn, art, photography, nature, skiing, vacations, HGTV, prayer, literature, movies, Bret Michaels, peanut M&Ms, good restaurants, The Peninsula, great writers, Modern Family, Diet Coke, hugs, Starbucks, Hope, Father Barron’s Word on Fire, honest people, integrity, forgiveness, openness, understanding, breath. 

Obviously, this is not a complete list.  I’m not sure I could ever name everything I’m grateful for.  Like everyone else, I take a lot of things for granted.  So much so, I don’t even acknowledge them.  I heard someone say once that they wake up every day and say thanks to God for another day.  They are grateful they are alive.  That’s a good place to start. 

I’m grateful for all of the people that read this blog.  For the people who call me or email me or tell me in person that it is touching them in some way.  Your encouragement lifts me up and emboldens me to keep writing and sharing. 

Because here’s the thing…what I’m most grateful for would have to be the certainty that I am not alone.  I’m thankful that I was created out of love by a God who knows me intimately and loves me unconditionally.  You were too.  And because of that, we understand each other.  We are all in this together. 

That’s beautiful.  We can move forward together in harmony, understanding, and respect.  If we are willing to get real and dig deep, we find we truly are brothers and sisters.  We are all family. 

Happy Thanksgiving.