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Our Messy Move – Grace. Glory. Gratitude. – Part 3

Last weekend, I posted Part 2 of this three-part series which I invite you to [re]read at my howdareSHEryl blog website. I share in this article important aspects of it all coming together.

Teamwork Makes the Dream Work
God will do what He says He will do. You also have work to do. Having said that, don’t sit around waiting for God to do everything. He’ll do His part. YOU do your part. God will have others undergird and support you as He did for us. As you’re praying, meditating, and believing, begin using what you know and doing what you can do. Take even the smallest of steps. You’d be amazed at what could result from the simplest effort or action. Know that you sow a seed for what you desire each time you take a step.

Who said it would be easy?
Just because you know that something is of God, don’t expect that it’s going to be easy. If you could do it all in your own ability, or if it’s always easy, then where’s God’s glory? It’s in His strength and capacity that we can do or achieve the unthinkable. His grace is sufficient for you. He will reward your obedience, ensuring that you have all the resources needed to fulfill His will for you.

Ultimate Opportunities
Life challenges are opportunities for us to trust and have faith in God, allowing Him to do His marvelous work while helping us to navigate through life’s challenges. We can view challenges as failures, allowing them to break us down. Or, we can view them as growth opportunities, allowing them to build our character as we change. I have heard and find it true that the grace experienced from failure is far greater than the pain (author unknown), especially when the experience increases us in Christlikeness.

Slow and easy might have been nice but going with the flow was just as well. I couldn’t resist the amazing transition from being excited about what “could be” to becoming excited about what “would be.” I reminisced about “the” home that would become “our” home. We would come to love the beautiful, serene mountain view along our drive “home.” It would be move-in ready in a new master-planned community and including major appliances, beautiful flooring, textures/painted walls, window coverings, front landscaping, a subsequent lower sale price, an even an unexpected premium lot! Sum all of this up, and we have a lovely home with equity before move-in! Another blessing is that we were among the first to close in the development so we have the benefit of the home values continually rising. I couldn’t have made all this happen if I tried. I obediently heeded Holy Spirit leading in this situation and received the blessings. BUT GOD!

We hung in there and BROKE THROUGH our challenges! We’re grateful to have closed on our new home one month after unexpectedly beginning the process. Though elated, we had only weeks to wrap up packing and move after closing. Thank God for family and friends who were able to help. We are happily settling into our new home, which is Our Haven for sharing of God’s love and grace with others.

Months later, I still see God’s hand upon the situation with our new home. You may wonder how it could be of God when it was just messy. Reality is that that life is messy. God avails grace in those messes. The bigger or more unusual the mess, the greater the opportunity for us to change and for God’s goodness, grace and glory.

Joy, Joy, Joy!
I can’t even express the joy experienced with sharing the wonderful news about becoming home-owners with my children, other family members, and friends, all of whom have been encouraging and supportive and were absolutely elated. I know that life comes with ups, downs, and turn arounds. Even so, sharing my story gives me faith and courage to continuously follow Christ and pursue my dreams no matter any hurt, doubt, shame, mistakes, or imperfections.

I appreciate this opportunity to declare a triumphant, JOYFUL victory shout, “Look what the Lord has done!” I did my part yet will not take credit for miracle received. ALL glory belongs to God Almighty. He is no respecter of persons. He blessed me and my children. He will bless you and yours, too!

Do it Again (by Elevation Worship)

I do not have/own rights to the Elevation Worship song or video but want to include it as a sweet reminder that God rewards those who diligently seek Him.

He did it once and HE WILL…
Do It Again (

Your turn. I would love to hear from you.
Please share with me what has been the effect of your reading this article (series)? What else would you like to share?

Learning from mistakes and messes, while loving your magnificence and successes!

Triple Threat: Transparency. Transformation. Transition.

Faithfully, Sheryl

Our Messy Move – Grace. Glory. Gratitude. – Part 1

This is Part 1 of a three-part article series, with posting of Part 2 next weekend then Part 3 on the following weekend. From my heart to yours. You are destined for greatness. Don’t allow fear of the unknown, lack, feeling unworthy or less than enough… or anything else keep you from the beautiful blessings God has in store for you. I speak from personal experience when I say that this could mean getting out of your own way. I pray that you are encouraged and inspired as you read this three-part blog article series.

I initially wrote this blog article months ago as I embarked upon a totally unexpected journey. I mentioned in my social media post on September 1st, I had been dealing with challenging situations and suddenly thought, ENOUGH! Having been through and lost so much that I had worked for over the years, I drew closer to God with my most heartfelt prayer being that He would change me, making me more like Him.

I have worked hard and diligently pursued a healthy, peaceful lifestyle for me and my children while supporting and encouraging others to do the same. ONE day, ONE particular word came to mind, BREAKTHROUGH! I knew that I was on the verge of breakthrough. For me, this was largely a faith test. I could choose to give up or hang in there believing and trusting in God, expectantly awaiting unfolding of His promises. I chose the latter.

For years, I begrudged the possibly unbearable finding of the state of my credit. For this reason, I was afraid to run my credit. Then, ONE day, I decided I would no longer be bound by that fear. Still recovering from the after-effects of divorce and awaiting passage of the “seven-year” recovery mark, which was about a year away, I suddenly decided to act. I ran my credit but didn’t attempt to process the information.

Instead, I reached out to someone who had been recommended to me years ago to help me through some of the recovery process. I had avoided contacting him because, at that time, even help felt overwhelming. I let him know that I had run my credit and wanted to begin repairing so I would be prepared to ONE day pursue home ownership. He subsequently ran my credit and, surprisingly, told me that I qualify to buy a home! Glory to God! I could not (and did not) believe what he said, especially while knowing I am still in that seven-year period. I am thankful for his encouragement and support

Leap of Faith
I emphasize that this wasn’t planned. My intention was to break the ice by taking a step toward what I want in my life. I was led by the Holy Spirit and obediently took that baby step, which turned out to be a leap of faith. My prayer is that you would choose to take a step of faith rather than remain bound by fear.

God’s Grace
I wanted to reach out to my dear friend, Tiesha, a Realtor, but decided not to do so because she had many irons in the fire and I didn’t want to influence decisions she was making. I say this because I know that no matter what she had going on, she would likely have considered being my realtor. Despite my effort not to say anything, Tiesha found out. This was no coincidence and I knew God was up to something. As I had anticipated, she switched gears so to speak, graciously agreeing walk alongside side me as my realtor in pursuit of a home. I’ll spare you details but will say she agreed that God orchestrated what needed to occur for her to be my realtor. He had a plan.

An interesting part of this amazing story has to do with another dear friend, Catherine, who is also a realtor and had blessed my daughter with a 16th birthday gift. I called Catherine about picking up the gift and briefly shared with her what I learned about my credit. She was excited and shared with me about some homes, which had nothing to do with my calling her. Needless to say, the three of us visited ONE home development. Again, God had a plan.

Watch for Part 2 of this blog series next weekend!

Learning from mistakes and messes, while loving your magnificence and successes!

Triple Threat: Transparency. Transformation. Transition.

Faithfully, Sheryl

Rest, Restlessness, & Restoration – Part 2

I shared Part 1 of my two-part article last week and welcome you to read the article at my howdareSHEryl blog website. This is Part 2, which I hope you will find insightful.

Restlessness Robs
We need rest and don’t want lack of rest to get the best of us, leaving what’s left of us for God and goodness. Specifically, we need to avoid restlessness, which can cause indecisiveness, confusion, and impatience that is rooted in selfishness. This can, unfortunately, cause us to think, say, and do things that we would likely not if we were adequately rested. Likewise, restlessness leads to illness, distracts, distorts, and disrupts. This is particularly problematic regarding our God-given visions and dreams as restlessness can cause us to lose sight (and get out) of God’s will, timing, purpose, and plan for our lives. We cannot fulfill God’s calling on our lives if we’re restless, burned-out, and stressed out! Needless to say, resting is, uncompromisingly, necessary for answering God’s call on our lives.

Rest – The Best of You
Getting adequate rest requires consistency such that it becomes habitual. We can condition our bodies to know when to wind down, rest, and/or sleep. When that time comes, we must not resist it. I would imagine that I’m not the only one who has found restlessness to cause moodiness; lack of focus that results in delayed initiative; taking undo additional time to get things done; and that these experiences sometimes cause us to doubt or question ourselves. Resting and other means of self-care show our love for God and ourselves and provides for our loving others.

Peace is Priceless
God wants us to trust and have faith in Him has He exhorts us in Proverbs 3: 5-6… Trust in the Lord with all your heart; lean not on your own understanding. Seek His will in all that you do, and He will guide and direct all your paths. In doing so, we experience His peace that is greater than we can comprehend. With God’s peace comes ability to truly rest, sleep, and show up each day ready to be at our best. We are refreshed, re-energized, and rejuvenated. I shared some ideas for rest, relaxation, and restoration in part 1 of the article. Feel free to read those and to share your feedback.

Scriptures referenced:
Genesis 2: 1-3
Psalm 23: 1-3
Psalm 127: 2
Matthew 11: 28
Proverbs 3: 5-6

Learning from mistakes and message, while loving your magnificence and successes!

Triple Threat: Transparency. Transformation. Transition.

Faithfully, Sheryl

Rest, Restlessness, & Restoration – Part 1

This is Part 1 of a two-part article, with posting of Part 2 next weekend. I delayed posting but wrote this article on April 1st, April fool’s day as some would have it. My thought at the time was that we should be true to God and ourselves because we can’t fool either of us (howdareSHEryl!). I say this, generally speaking, though particularly regarding rest, restlessness, and restoration.

Hurried and Worried
In this age, we live with the tendency to be rushed, doing as much as we can and as fast as we can, essentially living in a state of perpetual hurriedness that causes stress, anxiety, and counterproductivity. Such a state is unhealthy and is not God’s intention for our lives. Similar to our sometimes feeling that we should be perfect and fit a mold in order to mesh well with others, we feel utterly guilty about exercising self-care that includes the rest necessary for experiencing peace of spirit, heart, mind, body, and soul.

God Rested – We Should, Too
God is quite clear, in the Bible, about the importance of rest as even He rested from all of His work as written in Genesis 2: 1-3, which says, “On the seventh day, having finished His task, God rested from all His work.” This indicates Holiness of rest from work, which minimizes chances of restlessness and burnout. With God’s word and example, how can we not find it necessary to rest and actually rest?

Likewise, God tells us how we can experience refreshment that comes with His promises, which are in His presence. Psalm 23: 1-3 provides assurance that, “He lets me rest in green meadows; He leads me beside peaceful streams. He renews my strength.” As we spend time alone with God, in His presence, and in the word, we grow in Christlikeness and experience much needed rest and restoration.

Easier Said Than Done
I know what it is like to feel exhausted, exasperated, and having so much to do that it’s a struggle to take time out for adequate rest. Still, I know I need it, and while I’m still working on this, I strive to consistently spend time alone with God. In doing so, I am encouraged and replenished.

With work, family, and all the other competing demands of everyday life, Psalm 127: 2 gets close to home as I am reminded, “It is useless for you to work so hard from early morning until late at night, anxiously working for food to eat, for God gives rest to his loved ones.” I consider these words to be expressed as what my mom called, tough love.

Comfort is Near
Not surprisingly, I find great comfort in Matthew 11: 28, which says, “Come to me all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens. I will give you rest.” Here, God is saying that He wants to relieve us of carrying heavy burdens. He desires to come alongside us and take the load from our shoulders. He wants us to entrust to Him our burdens so that we can experience life with peace and rest that come with intimately knowing and spending time with Him. I can attest that there is no other rest like rest in God’s Holiness.

Ideas for Rest, Relaxation, & Restoration
Some things I’ve found helpful for rest, relaxation, and restoration include prayer, silence/meditation, reading the Bible, listening to calming sounds, focused breathing, stretching, affirmations, savoring hot tea, and envisioning myself peacefully resting as though I’m living out Psalm 23. I encourage you to prioritize taking time out knowing that you need and deserve it. Every little bit counts. It’s okay to keep it simple so that it doesn’t become stressful. Remember, rest is the key.

Learning from mistakes and message, while loving your magnificence and successes!

Triple Threat: Transparency. Transformation. Transition.

Faithfully, Sheryl

Destiny – Think Yourself Free

Your thoughts can be a source of captivity or freedom. It’s great when things fall in place but quite different when struggling with uncertainty, doubt, or fear missing the mark, so to speak. You may think that you could fall or fail so badly that there’s no turning around. That is far from the truth. Such a position is an opportunity to boldly, bravely, and creatively embark up a wonderful experience with transformational change. It involves a mindset that says, “I can…,” “I will…,” or “I am…;” accepting that things will not always go as planned while knowing that things can go well (possibly exceeding your expectations) even when you are not controlling every aspect.

If you should have thoughts of failing, I encourage you to take a chance knowing that if you mess up, fail, or make a mistake, you can recover because you are resilient, diligent, and capable of enduring and persevering. Truthfully, I believe that if you would keep at it, you will eventually fall or fail right into success along the path of your destiny. I am not suggesting carelessness, only that you stick with it until you know it is time for something different or to let go. To do that is to exercise wisdom.

Mess is Mess
You might feel stuck dealing with mess involving frustration or indecisiveness that hampers progress. Your mess could have to do with relationships, family, work, school, ministry, finances, or a different area. As I have previously expressed, mess is mess no matter how you color it, whether good or bad, hot or cold! My Pastor, David Shearin, made a profound statement, “God didn’t plan for your mess, but He had a plan to get you out of it.” This indicates that God’s Grace is available to you.

Enough Already
In my previous two blog articles, I wrote about promise and pain of change. I recall one aspect that I didn’t mention. Preparing for the workshop over the holidays was challenging because it is a busy time of year. That was certainly the case for my family. I gave my best yet sometimes questioned whether I was doing enough and well enough. Though I know I am enough, such questioning can easily lead to, “Am I enough?” or “Am I good enough?” Yes, I had such thoughts. However, I learned from prior experience that it could happen so I had a game plan. It took concerted effort to mind my mindset, primarily my thoughts but also self-talk (those pesky, negative gremlins). I intentionally thought or said the opposite of what initially came to mind if it was contrary to what I wanted or needed to do. I relished thoughts about things that had previously gone well. Another strategy was to call upon, encourage, and help others. If I can impress one thing, it is that change is sometimes a painful process requiring commitment and takes time; it takes heart. The beauty is that change is a growth-promoting and gratifying undertaking.

Try Again with Grace
Whatever the situation, remember self-grace rooted in God’s sufficiency, love, and merciful-grace helps you to keep moving forward. Societal norm seems to suggest that it is not okay to mess up. Everyone messes up at some point, and it “is” okay. Just stand tall, dust yourself off, and try again. While receiving grace in the middle of your mess, be sure to allow others space, having grace for them to mess up, fail, or make mistakes. Kindness and compassion go a long way.

Learning from mistakes and messes, while loving your magnificence and successes!

Triple Threat: Transparency. Transformation. Transition.

Faithfully, Sheryl

Promise & Pain of Change – Part 2

In my previous blog article, Promise and Pain of Change – Part 1, I mentioned that I would share about my last Magnificent Messmaker Workshop in Part 2 of the article, which I will do. I addressed the reality of struggling with staying the course when you feel things are out of “your” control; those times you feel that you neither know nor have what it takes. I’ve been there.

Life Happened
Things had been going fairly well, then life happened (without my opinion or permission). I experienced some difficulties especially as the workshop day approached. I will spare you detail but will say that it involved family, requiring immediate attention and lots of time, energy, strength, resolve, and prayer to resist worry and doubt. Despite my planning efforts, I needed more help than anticipated. This meant vulnerably relaxing my hold and entrusting others in ways I had not anticipated, hence pain of change.

Even If
Workshop attendance was hardly what I had anticipated. While I initially felt some disappointment, God and supportive family and friends loved me through. I knew I had done as God desired, having fulfilled my promise… my “Yes” by leaving familiar comfort zones, letting go, and trusting Him, “even if” it had meant only one participant and “even if” I were that only one. Several people previously confirmed what God had placed in my heart about “remembering the one.” This was later confirmed by the security guard on duty, who also worked at the venue during my first workshop last Fall. She spent quite a bit of time in the workshop. I shared with her that I had hoped for more participants given my heart’s desire to help others. She said that it doesn’t matter how many attend; what matters is that those who need to be there are there, …”even if” there is only one… and “even if” I am that only one! I knew she was Godsend on the spot!

She elaborated sharing about an experience in which she helped a woman and her daughter out of a “messy” situation and noting that the workshop would have been great for them. She encouraged me to keep doing what I’m doing because it is needed. Having said all that, the workshop went well with attendees having transformational experiences, especially through our “I am enough because…” activity, which unexpectedly turned out to be the theme for our creative arts activity.

Gain amidst the Rain
Our openness, engagement, interaction, and collaborative creativity allowed for great connection, discussion, guidance, learning, relaxation, and relationship. We were appreciative of the opportunity to positively affect one another’s lives and the lives of others going forward. Nevertheless, there was much to gain, namely experiencing that there is greater opportunity for creativity and relationship-building when we are open to others’ ideas and receiving help. Thankfully, I am able to transparently share of my experience in hope to encourage you as God desires. This is an answer to my prayer, hence promise of change.

Ultimate Promise of Change
Life is about change. God offers His grace through Jesus because we are imperfect and need to change. He isn’t concerned about quantity. He wants quality of life that comes with receiving His love and grace. Therefore, God’s Amazing Grace is the “Ultimate” Promise of Change, and it is available to you. All you have to do is choose Him. In doing so, you choose love. That includes self-love and love for others.

I remain true to my commitment to honor God and serve others. God faithfully fulfills His “Yes” to me as abundant blessings pour forth in my personal and professional life in ways I had not imagined. Likewise, creativity is flowing as opportunities abound. I am extremely excited about the future and all that God has placed in my heart. I will be, say, and do as God would have me no matter how I feel; I will remain in His will.

Best of You
I want you to know that there’s no need to seek validation in numbers or wait for the masses such that you procrastinate or pridefully hide. Those who need to be “there,” and even what YOU need, could be in the one… that one person who is there “even if” that one person is you. Embrace the opportunity. Bring on your best game. One of my favorite expressions (by unknown author) and your unique competitive advantage is, “Bring all of who you are into all of what you do.” The best way to flourish and thrive in life is to just be YOU, know that you are enough, and do what you know God wants you to do.

Learning from mistakes and messes, while loving your magnificence and successes!

Triple Threat: Transparency. Transformation. Transition.

Faithfully, Sheryl

Promise & Pain of Change – Part 1

Choosing Change

Life is an amazing change process. Each day, we have opportunities to change or stay the same. I choose to embrace each experience as an opportunity to learn, let go, and/or grow. That said, my most recent Magnificent Messmaker Workshop was a blessing. Not surprisingly, it was somewhat different than I anticipated. The experience rendered great promise that results from obedience to God and enduring through pain associated with change.

Stay tuned. I will share more about the workshop in my next blog article. Needless to say, I wanted it to go well and had to continually remind myself that things would be just fine as I kept God at the center and had appropriately, though not excessively, prepared. Prayerfully, I pursued success that would please God while encouraging and helping to empower and change lives, including my own.

When Life Happens – Yes
It wasn’t the first time I struggled with relinquishing control of what would occur and the prospective outcomes. Intentionally thinking, speaking, and envisioning what I desired helped. I conscientiously tamed my thoughts and tempered my words knowing they would influence my actions. Of course, “life happened,” especially as the workshop day drew near. I experienced some very difficult times but knew there was no turning back because I had committed my all to God and resolved to seeing it through. To God and myself, I gave my “Yes.”

Remembering Why – Amazing Grace
Fortunately, reminding myself of why I do what I do helped me to press forward. I am led by love that says and shows I want to help you and others to be okay with being you and doing those things you want to do even when things are messy. Trust me, life gets messy! When it does, Jesus is there for you to receive and embrace the gift of His grace to help you through.

Think It
No need to be bound by mistakes and messes or afraid to initiate action because of fearing messing up. Such fear can derail pursuit of your destiny, hence God’s plan and purpose for your life. Instead of anticipating undesirable experiences (thoughts of messing up, failing, or falling short), you can change your mindset. I’m reminded of the saying about whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right. Why not “think you can?”

It’s All Good
I hope you will consider changing your thinking to (for example) something along the lines of, “I am going to be successful;” “This is going to be a wonderful experience;” or “Things will turn out just fine.”

Crafting/writing out, refining, frequently reading, and reciting your vision for what you want helps with transforming your perspective, your mindset, and, ultimately, your life. Saying, believing, and seeing it helps with achieving it. I believe you’ll find in the bigger scheme of things, it is what it is, and it’s all good.

Courageous Action – Small Beginnings
You may not know exactly what to do, everything that needs to be done, or have all that you believe you need. However, you do know something, and you do have something. Commit and begin where you are with what you know and what you have. That courageous action leads to progress and success. You don’t have to start with leaps and bounds. Small beginnings and baby steps lead to great accomplishments.

Keep Trying
What do think about such an approach?
What are you willing to try?

Learning from mistakes and messes, while loving your magnificence and successes!

Triple Threat: Transparency. Transformation. Transition.

Faithfully, Sheryl

Garden of My Heart

Childlike Humility

This writing was inspired by something I read about beauty of life in an old children’s devotional, which I enjoy reading because it helps me to maintain childlike wonder and humility. The reading led me to think about my Vision Garden, the garden of my heart. I welcome you to read the other articles about my Vision Garden posted at my How dare SHEryl blog website.

My Vision Garden is the place where Jesus and I meet, and I am centered, replenished, restored, and become more like Him. It is not a place where life is perfect. Rather, it is warm and filled with God’s perfect love, peace, and freedom, which are priceless.

Strength to Stand

Reality is that, in life, storms will come, and fierce winds may blow. We might be propelled forward or thrown off course. No matter, God knows the way. He gave us Jesus, who is the way. He remains with us through the storms and brightens our paths. Through it all, we stand.

God’s Peace and Promises – In His Presence

After the storm passes, and it will, God wants us to remain with Him in the garden of His heart… at His throne of grace where are we find mercy and experience His unfathomable love and His peace that is far too great for us to comprehend. This peace (and Divine promises) are experienced only in God’s presence. We have the fullness of His grace, forgiveness, hope, and healing. We are strengthened in His might; we are sufficient in His sufficiency. The garden of each of our hearts is nurtured so that we can continue blossoming into all that He created us to be and to do all that He has created us to do. I encourage you to seek and spend time with Him… in His word, in prayer, and lingering in His presence.

Learning from mistakes and messes, while loving your magnificence and successes.

Triple Threat: Transparency. Transformation. Transition.

Faithfully, Sheryl

Gracefully & Gratefully Becoming

New Year Check In

It’s hard to believe that we are already almost a month into 2019. As we approach wrapping up this month, I reflect on wonderful times filled with love, laughter, amazing relationships, and new experiences. Truthfully, there were also difficult times of trial, grief, and sadness. I am thankful, however, through it all for God’s grace and those who support, encourage, and uplift me. I’m thankful for the beautiful people in my life and, again, say that you help me to be a better person.

Life Progression

I am grateful for experiencing what I call the Triple Threat: 
Transparency. Transformation. Transition. I realize they simultaneously and progressively occur. As they do, my perspective changes with imminent life changes following suit.

Pressing Forward

Sustainable change is a process that takes time, can be a scary, and isn’t always easy. Though there are times when I want to remain in a comfort zone, I want nothing more than to passionately fulfill God’s calling on my life to encourage and help empower others, sharing a MESSage of God’s love and merciful grace that is available to anyone who will receive it, no matter the mess. As Dr. Dharius Daniels said, “Grace shows up in messy places.”

Gracefully & Gratefully Becoming

It’s my mess that resulted in heartfelt endeavoring to share about the reality of imperfection and resiliently recovering from mistakes and messes through Magnificent Messmaker (TM). I am appreciative of experiences that made me laugh and those that made me cry because I am stronger. I appreciate all that I have learned because I am wiser. Thankfully, I’ve decided to remain open to change for good so that I can be wholly well, living live life to the fullest. Embracing that decision, I am continuously evolving and becoming the woman God created me to be. I will continuously encourage and help empower you to embrace His love and grace while living the life of abundance that He intends and helping others along their journeys.

Learning from your mistakes & messes, while loving your magnificence & successes.

Triple Threat:

Transparency.  Transformation.  Transition.

Faithfully, Sheryl