Thursday, November 14, 2013

I'm Still Listening...{I Hear Voices}

Good Morning, Dear Ones!
Yes, I fully realize that I just admitted to hearing voices in my head...
You'll understand in a few minutes...:)
I know I haven't posted much lately.
And that's due to the approaching Holiday Season.
This Roller-Coaster Life becomes crazier than ever 
during November and December.

I've had some thoughts stirring in my head for the last few months.
I knew I wanted to write a post about them,
but I just wanted to wait for the right time.
This being the Season of Thanksgiving,
the season for being Grateful for All of our Blessings...
I have decided now is the right time to share these thoughts.

Most, if not all, of you know that I have 
a very strong religious background.
The church I was raised in, The Pentecostals of Peoria - 
previously known as the First United Pentecostal Church of Peoria, 
is my home away from home.
My church houses the Christian School that I attended K-12.
It's where I learned to sing and to act.
It's where I grew up.
My church has equipped me with many physical skills 
that will utilize for the rest of my life.

But my church also gave me something else.
My Church gave me much needed
Voices of Wisdom and Authority
to guide me on life's journey.

And that is exactly what I believe life to be: A Journey. 
Sometimes easy, sometimes difficult.
Sometimes crowded with companions,
sometimes lonely.
Sometimes dark,
sometimes brilliant.
To me, the Journey of Life is the epitome of opposites. 

But thanks to the Pentecostals of Peoria,
I have never been lacking in ministering voices 
to assist me during all the ups and downs of life.
Some of them were songs I learned as a small child,
others were verbal spankings I received 
(and completely deserved!) as a teenager and young adult.
I can still hear them today.
Apparently God has seen fit to give me a good memory :).

From my childhood, I hear the reminders: 
"Don't be afraid to pick and choose."
"Be thrifty."
"J-O-Y: Jesus first,  yourself last, and others in-between."
"Jesus is the Answer for the world today."

From adolescence I hear the guidance:
"Do (and say) unto others 
what you would have them do (and say) unto you."
"If you want people to respect you,
you have to respect them."
"Don't wear your emotions on your sleeve."
"Learn to laugh at yourself."

From those crazy, mixed-up teenage years, 
I hear the encouragements:
"If you need me to tell you 'I love you' 
every time I see you, I will."
"Hold tight to God during these teenage years,
Life can be confusing, but He can dry your tears."
"You CAN do this."
"God has not given us the spirit of fear,
but of Power and a sound mind."

From early adulthood,
I hear the reprimands:
"You're not a child anymore. 
Go pray through and get your attitude right." 
"Stop fighting your gift of brokenness; 
learn to embrace it."
"It's NOT all about you."
"Be careful, there are kids watching your every action."

I am thankful for all of these voices;
all of these words that have made me who I am today.
This is just a sampling from my memory...
I hear thousands more voices;
echoes of ages ago resound within my heart
almost on a daily basis.

Why am I saying all of this?
Well, as I previously stated, this is the month of Thanksgiving.
And I want to say "Thank You" to the voices I hear.
You know who you are.
It would take me too long to name you individually
and remind you of the exact words of wisdom you gave me so long ago.
Honestly, I'm not even going to try...

But I want you to know,
I haven't forgotten what you said.
Your words still ring in my ears
and prick at my heart.
I've done my best to not neglect the example you set before me.
I Hear You...
I'm Still Listening...
I promise.

And, if you have something to say now,
I promise to give you my undivided attention
and to take your words to heart.
I wouldn't be who I am without your influence.
With every fiber of my being,