Golden Honesty

The good thing about honesty is it keeps its own track record.

When you are faced with the opportunity to be honest with yourself, you then have to deal with the implications of that honesty. Are there things you can do better, and more importantly, are there things you haven’t celebrated enough? One of my mentors told me that I’m too hard on myself. My reaction: Really? I don’t really think I’m hard enough on myself. That’s probably part of the problem. Not having a realistic scope of what is acceptable and what is not. I blame my prior high achievement. I grew up not really “accepting” compliments based on things that I should do well naturally. I mean…I’m supposed to do well in school. I’m supposed to perform well in competition (isn’t that the point of rehearsal?). I am supposed to excel in everything I do, right? Well, kinda.

I have created a Ft. Knox around my life to shut people out who don’t enhance my life. That conversely means that I have shut myself in. I have walled up a huge defense system with no offensive mechanism. My football fans can attest…you can’t win a game without Defense AND Offense. Blocking out others maybe useful at times but it won’t WIN for you. My entire scope of winning was based on my past alone. Well, the world isn’t just built on my personal past. There are the “cloud of witnesses” looking down on me and either encouraging me or praying for me, lol. There are those who paved the way before me. (Good practice, know who paved the way in your particular field of endeavors) There are those who are running this race with me at the present time. They are not in competition with me, we all have our own destinies. There are valuable people in this world who are planted to help me advance. Our relationships are symbiotic. It is a true give and receive relationship that isn’t one sided. I am grateful for people who plant seeds in my life. I am grateful for those who served in their season and were plucked and pruned. I am grateful for those who are dormant until their harvest season. I am grateful for my heavenly Gardener who doesn’t give up on his little orchid in all of the delicate environments that I have lived in. I am thankful for my earthly gardeners who groomed and watched over me as I began to mature. I am distinctly grateful for my LIFE mentor who told me to STOP beating myself up. She, someone I greatly respect and admire, has gone through life and learned a great deal. She didn’t bottle it up, she shares it with others in hopes of seeing them elevated. She is a very pretty reflection of God’s grace and growth. Her words to me echo in my ears now.

In my little fortress there is one way in and no way out. That leaves me with one solution. To relive the pressure on myself, I have to decompose the bricks. One by one, I am honest about my growth. I am honest about my accomplishments. I recognize where it is that I’ve come from. I most certainly am grateful to God for the ability to see far beyond my current situation. I am going to remove the bricks of my fort and build a monument of gratitude. I will use what I’ve experienced and been taught to enrich others. I will take time for myself. If I don’t preserve the self I have now, someone else will be burdened with my final preservation. I’m not ready to lay down and die, so I have to wake up and live!

If you can share my thoughts on “living” and not “existing” then know that you are human too. Every plan doesn’t end well. Every day doesn’t slaughter your to “done” list. Each vision doesn’t come quick. Ahh, but every day you have a reason to celebrate. Start there. Live celebrating the fact that you still have life!

Brick by Brick,

Ivy Out (With special reverence to Ms. Jade Gold)


Giver’s Lesson

Taking the responsibility of encouraging people may very well be a big decision for some. Taking the responsibility of encouraging SELF is a deficiency to others. Often times, I regard encouragement as a self-less act. You are giving of yourself for the uplifting of someone you’ve encountered. The act of “pouring out”.

The gospel song “Give Myself Away” comes time mind. Isn’t that what’s taking place when you are giving of yourself to others? Do you consider yourself a “giver”? if you do, this comes natural. However, I hypothesize, based on personal feedback that “receiving” is difficult for most givers. We feel like there is no one there to pour into us.

I used to feel that way until very recently. Of course I recognize the counsel of the Most High never dissipates. (Matthew 11:28 NLT – Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.) But there ARE people who pour into you in THEIR way. Sometimes we don’t recognize others’ contribution to us, because it’s not in the manner in which we choose to contribute.

Did someone who you haven’t speak to in a while acknowledge you? Did someone send up a prayer for you? Did you get a text from a friend, or an extended conversation? Random acts of kindness do not come in the way we give them, they are governed by the person who is giving at that time.


Those who are closest to me!
My Mom and I this summer =)

Hope that was clear…it was a priceless revelation to me.