A Seat at my table…

During this physical distancing time, I have re-organized my closets, my dresser, the kitchen cabinets, my office desk, and the bookshelves. I have sorted in stacks of what I will keep, donate, and throw away.

So it occurred to me, what in my relationships do I need to re-organize? How am I relating to the people around me? How am I serving them? How are they serving me?

It is not an easy conversation to have with oneself because you don’t want to feel alone, nor are people disposable, or at least they shouldn’t be treated that way. My circle is small and intimate, which keeps things healthy. Yet, I know that several relationships are not serving me well.

Where do they belong? Where do I place them? How do I sort them out?

I have not figured that out as of yet; it’s a work in progress. I am setting a new table during my physical distancing, and I am inviting those that will help me grow, those who will sharpen me, those who will challenge me, those who will call me out when they see me losing my way. I am inviting those that will lift me, cheer me on, sit quietly when it’s necessary, and party when required.

A seat at my table will come with some rules…you must be exceptional!

Exceptional potential to be the best you can be without tearing anyone else down. Exceptional ways of loving. Exceptional ways of caring for one another. Exceptional ways of respecting each other’s opinions. Exceptional ways of living with an open mind.

My table is going to look a little different when we meet again, but that’s because I seek to be exceptional in loving, caring, giving, sharing, and living with open hands.

Lesson:
In this season of re-set, where can you learn to be exceptional? Who will have a seat at your table?

‘Til Tuesday

I thought I was done…

Three years and over 100  blog posts, I thought I had written enough, said enough, encouraged enough, brought enough insight, and it was time to wrap my blog in a beautiful, pretty bow.

I didn’t believe that my weekly blogging had many legs left, and this was going to be my last post.

BUT GOD!

So as I was feeling that enough was enough, I was at peace but slightly sad at the prospect that my weekly musings had reached its designated audience.

And suddenly, I receive a text that literally shook me to my core…

“Girl, I just came across your postings on Soul of a Woman. WOW! They are so amazing! I honestly believe you have the gift of writing. There is a lovely flow in your writing- one which captives your readers with anticipation for your next blog. Great job!!! Don’t become discouraged-your blogs are very powerful! They serve as encouragement for women to analyze where they are in their life and make choices to improve themselves. Don’t second guess your ability to inspire women through your writing. You’re awesome!!!” –

 From my sister, Rachel!

As you may have guessed it, I just started to cry. As the youngest of seven, reading a text from your big sister validating your thoughts and writing is the ultimate approval.

So, with the extra shot of encouragement, I will continue to write, share, inspire, and celebrate with my readers. It made me think who in my life did I need to give a word of motivation and validation.

Stop and think who in your circle needs a word of encouragement. It may make the difference between them giving up or moving forward.

Thank you, Ray. I will forever count this as my writing re-birth!

Lesson:

Just when you think you have done enough…

God sends a tender nudge to let you know to keep going!

‘Til Tuesday

A few questions…

Who will we be when all of this is said and done?

An interesting season in our world.  Forcing us to look at each other and deal with our families, our finances, and our environment. Requiring us to pay attention to the details.

I have pondered several questions and wanted to share them with you –

What do you miss the most?

What do you hate the most?

What is making you the most uncomfortable?

What are you loving?

If you could change one thing during this time of self-isolation, knowing the weeks that are left, what would it be?

What have you learned about yourself during this time of self-distancing?

What have you tried that is new?

What old habits have you picked up?

Who are we going to be when this all over?

What are we going to change?

What will we resume?

Take some time to sit with these questions, and hopefully, you can answer honestly. Let us all rise up changed from this experience because what was working before was simply not working at all.

Lesson:

Listen to the LOUD crash of our world and strive to be better. We are in this together.

‘Til Tuesday

Kissed by God…

“We need all your birth certificates”, he said. “All your siblings, it’s the only way to disperse the inheritance”.

I proceeded to collect all the birth certificates and something was off. Six birth certificates and there it was. One of these was not like the other, and that other was mine. I was staring at the inevitable truth.

What followed was a myriad of questions that no one dared to answer.

Who, what, when, why?

The unbearable truth began to unfold, and I began to understand the whys!

Rejection – the lie that was engraved into my heart, mind, and soul. Not fitting in nor belonging – the constant sense that I was just in the way, all the time.

Why I looked so different.  Why I was tormented with wanting to always please so that I could be noticed.  All of these questions…slowly being answered.

It became the hurt that slowly carved itself into my heart. I began to understand the truth of my hurt. My quiet hidden hurt.

I managed it pretty well until I couldn’t anymore.

A few weeks ago I hit a wall. I wept quietly realizing the task of carrying this in my heart was breaking…yes breaking my heart.

Then suddenly…

I was kissed by God.

 Without anyone knowing all the details of my silent hurt, I was honored in a way that just took my breath away.  I found myself weeping at The Peninsula Hotel during High Tea as two beautiful women lovingly told me “God told us to honor you, celebrate you.”  I was stunned.  As I wept, I shared with them my truth, my silent pain.  The fact that they were saying those words to me, clearly confirmed in my heart that GOD was present the moment I was conceived. GOD was present the moment of my rejection. GOD was present in the moment of my assault. GOD was present at the moment of my betrayal. GOD was present when my heart was broken over and over again..waiting for me to lay it all at HIS feet.  Leaving the hurt right there and then…there HE WAS!  Letting me know that HE was present and ready to restore what was stolen. He wanted me to remember that I mattered and I have a purpose.  Though the road has been mixed with trials and triumphs…

HE SEES ME!!!

That moment shattered me into a million little pieces, removing the cracked glass that was around me which I thought was protecting me from any further hurt.  It was over.  The shame, the rejection was gone.  He chooses me, in spite of my circumstances. He chooses me in spite of myself.

What are you carrying that you need to lay down?  What hurt are you picking up every day?

Lesson:

Lay it down.  Lay the hurt, shame, pain, and disappointment down.  It was never meant for you to carry.   

“Before I shaped you in the womb, I knew all about you.  Before you saw the light of day, I had holy plans for you:  A prophet to the nations–that’s what I had in mind for you” (Jeremiah 1:5 – Message Translation)

-Annette Ortiz Mata