Thursday, February 7, 2013

Please, Shut Up?

Proverbs 10:19  Too much talk leads to sin. Be sensible and keep your mouth shut.
Proverbs 17:27 A man of knowledge uses words with restraint, and a man of understanding is even-tempered.
Proverbs 18:21 The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.
Ecclesiastes 5:2 Do not be quick with your mouth, do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before God. God is in heaven and you are on earth, so let your words be few.
James 3:2 We all stumble in many ways. If anyone is never at fault in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to keep his whole body in check.

His words cut into my heart like a knife through butter..."I don't want to treat you this way, ever, but I am just so FRUSTRATED WITH YOU right now!" I could not stop the tears from my eyes as we hung up the phone agreeing not to speak again until that frustration went away and only God knows how long that will be because neither of us ever want to have that exchange with one another again. It is tearing at the fabric of our relationship and because I desire peace, and for my words to encourage and uplift whomever hears them I fell to my knees asking the Father what was my problem, why this reoccurring issue with us when we both wanted to treat each other with love and respect? I heard in my heart 2 words "your mouth." Crying harder I began to recite the scriptures I had memorized 7 years ago when I first became sensitive to my mouth and it's ability to wound and abuse others through my bible study of Deborah Pegasus "Thirty Days to Tame the Tongue." My gift of creative communication is an awesome tool of God when tempered in the Spirit and led by self-control. It is a weapon of the enemy if left unchecked. My mouth can be as big a curse as it is a blessing. As I finished my time of prayer and release and peace came back to me I affirmed with God that my addiction had resurfaced. See, I learned years ago that there is a common addiction amongst many women and more than a few men...we TALK TOO MUCH. It is an addiction that is often overlooked and misunderstood as not being a real addiction. But it is real. And it is just as damaging to a person's life as any other addiction, if not more so, first because its ridiculed and the person who talks too much is frequently left alone by those who cannot take their incessant talking any longer. Secondly, because it is sin.

The mouth and use of the tongue is referred to in the Bible often. Talking too much is a self-abusive behavior, with a root cause of inner abandonment--- creating the aloneness that is at the heart of all addictions. The incessant talker expects others to listen to them when they don't listen to their self, the addicted talker does not feel they are important to their self. See, when you will not take the time to attend to your own feelings and needs, you create inner neediness and emptiness. Most women do not feel heard. In a misplaced effort to be heard we will over-communicate and learn to speak to people in a very dominant fashion. Our tone and articulation does not invite conversation. We don't know how to communicate efficiently and quickly. We want to be heard so we will be heard by talking and talking and talking. To other women and sadly to our men.  Most men do not invite conversation or listen well. Mix these two together and you have the combustible situation we see in most relationships and homes.

So, what do we do if we know we talk too much? Sadly, too many men label all women as crazy and that their talking too much can't be stopped, just something about women they have to suffer with. It can, it will take cooperation in treatment just as does any other addiction.  Listen to her more, really listen to her...don't let her problem drive you from her, let it pull you near. It may surprise you if you would listen, repeat back what you heard and reserve getting angry and judgmental about her addiction but instead seek to lovingly tell her she talks too much and it's a problem in your relationship. Too many women are unaware or deluded into thinking their mouth is not the issue and few seek help and treatment that can help them recover and become effective communicators, a source of peace in their relationships, more precious and beautiful ( 1 Peter 3:4-Rather, beauty is something internal that can't be destroyed. Beauty expresses itself in a gentle and quiet attitude which God considers precious). In research for my doctorate I am studying the female mindset and becoming an expert in helping women to express themselves to the world in fully feminine  ways that honor her strength and dignity---this is a work in progress that begins with me as the first example of what revelation and truth can do. Look for more of my research in CEENOTES to come. Until then, Please...shut up?

 Beloved I am listening, and praying with and for you!

Please feel free to forward CEENOTES with Cheryl Carr to friends and colleagues, but please forward in its entirety. CEENOTES with Cheryl Carr is written and distributed by Arete1 International. No portion of this publication may be copied or reproduced without the expressed written consent of Cheryl L. Carr. Copyright 2013 Cheryl Carr and ARETE1 International. 2013 rightwordsbycheryl© Follow me on Facebook : Cheryl Carr and Arete1; Twitter: iamcherylcarr and Arete1Int; Instagram-iamcherylcarr.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Glance at Your Past, GAZE at your Future

Phil 3:13-14 Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead,  I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 1:6  Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

Luke 9:62 Jesus said to him, "No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the Kingdom of God.

     A portion of an interview conducted with me early last year is quoted in the February issue of Essence Magazine, "The First Ladies' Club" article. Unbeknownst to some, I spent 15 years married to a minister who became Pastor or Co-Pastor of churches during our marriage. To some that lifestyle is a dream come true. To me it felt as if it were a horrible joke. Confined, restrained and limited most of the marriage and ministry, in divorce my greatest emotion experienced was not loss, it was relief. I have not missed one moment of that life or my marriage. While loving the people of the church I despised the lifestyle and the demands placed upon our lives as we served God. I did not mind serving Him, in fact I counted it an honor. What I didn't like was how we were treated in that service. Or better said, how I was treated most of the time in that service. Neglected by my husband and mostly ignored by others in the church. I could not hang out with many members of the church and just be myself because, well, he was the Pastor and they couldn't see us warts and all. I had to keep up the image and keep secrets. Touch not God's anointed and do His prophets no harm rang in my ears despite all of the emotional and mental abuse I suffered in my home and in my place of worship where you're supposed to go for healing and hope. Nor could I hang out peacefully with non-members of the church because then I was categorized as conferring with the unsaved and possibly "falling into sin." It was a lonely, at times lifeless existence that stifled and almost ran me nuts. I became a robot and shut off emotionally to preserve my sanity. This was never supposed to be my childless, loveless, pretended perfection, fishbowl existence, and I felt like screaming at God for the cruel joke of it all. See, I was saved at 9 years of age and had intently studied the bible, attended worship and felt a call to write, teach women, sing praise music and praise dance ministry all on my own. Being a creative communicator with boundless energy I did not imagine God would call me to serve as the wife of a minister and place all my gifting behind him. In fact while we were dating he did not tell me he was a minister. I found out when he invited me to church with him and he sat me in the pew and I waited on him to come back to sit with me and he waltzed out to the podium and opened worship. I spent the next 15 years sitting out in the audience of too many worship services with the same sense of WTH wonderment that the man of God preaching to me was also the man who snored next to me at night.

So, Why look back at this painful part of your life now Cheryl, much less publicly after the dust of divorce has settled and you've moved on and are experiencing love in a relationship for the first time in over 20 years? Are you stuck back there? Do you want to go back there? Heavens no, but that is what I am accused of by finally speaking up. I have one reason for doing so...for the sake of helping other women, and hopefully put church folk on notice to treat their first ladies better. It is my desire to be used of God to highlight a hidden darkness in the church, I have been called to tell my reality, my truth, my story. Hopefully it will stir existing church members to be "noticers" with their own first ladies. Especially if that Pastor has divorced, remarried and the church is marching on. What happened to the former first lady? Do you pray for her? Do you know what really happened to HER or are you accepting what the man of God has said to you? The church surrounded him at our marriage's demise. None but 3 of our former church members has ever reached out to me to see how I am doing. These are the people who's lives I set ahead of my own in so many ways for years. Could they not tarry with me for a few in my own dark valley? When my life crumbled, it was as if I needed to move along to prevent any thing from touching the church. His life has marched on and he is continuing in ministry. My life is completely changed...for the better yes, but it still was a crack in my universe to leave all behind, including my church, home, family and friends.  I am glancing back at my past just briefly. Regressing just a little bit for the valuable lesson  and blessing to share in that regression. Regression means the act of going back to a previous place or state, return or reversion. It is a return to a former or less developed state. We all regress in our lives and in every regression there is a powerful lesson. In it, life will seem as if it took a backward turn and you went back where you've left or thought you'd progressed past. It will be unbelievable that you're HERE or THERE again just by thinking about it or speaking of it!  Sometimes we end up regressing due to choices and decisions we make or we are led there by the providential hand of God for a purpose. Regression is only good to establish linear relationship between things (linear relationships are the relationships between a constant and a variable...for the Believer it is a glimpse at our God who is unmovable/unchanging while understanding we are being changed daily). Regression is also good at establishing parameters, which are measurable factors forming one that defines a system or sets the conditions of operation, value selected for the particular circumstances and in relation to which other variable quantities may be expressed. So in looking back I want you all to know I am okay with exposing what I have kept secret for so long. But, I am doing it wisely and judiciously.  I am limiting the amount of time I will spend here in regression, because I am healed and whole and have forgiven all but am not so foolish as to think my experience was a solo one. Due to this article I have the privilege of knowing more than a few former first ladies with similar stories God has truly blessed me to share with them and hear of their pain and aid God in their healing. God works through people, right? Talking now is just as much a necessity for my own healing and fully walking into my future where my best years lie ahead.

Beloved, I am praying with and for you!

Pease feel free to forward CEENOTES with Cheryl Carr to friends and colleagues, but please forward in its entirety. CEENOTES with Cheryl Carr is written and distributed by Arete1 International. No portion of this publication may be copied or reproduced without the expressed written consent of Cheryl L. Carr. Copyright 2012 Cheryl Carr and ARETE1 International. 2012 rightwordsbycheryl© Follow me on Facebook : Cheryl Carr and Arete1. Follow me on twitter: beatdebop/Arete1Int.