A Woman's Voice


THOUGHTFUL THURSDAY ~ On Being Judgmental ~ December 1, 2011 by Dolores Ayotte

I had an interesting conversation with one of my daughters a short time ago. In this conversation, she used the word ‘judgemental’ as a negative or undesirable trait. She mentioned during this conversation that she did not want to be a ‘judgmental’ person.  I have also heard other people say such statements as “I’m tired of being judged”.  I find the use of this word rather foreign to me. I personally, seldom if ever, feel like I am being judged by others. Maybe people do judge me and I just don’t recognize it. I don’t know. As a writer, I need to have a wide variety of opinions.  It would be pretty difficult to write books, articles, or blogs without having  them.  As you can probably guess, I’m about to expound on one of these opinions today.

I know that I am not the only one with observational skills and personal opinions. I also know  that it is necessary to assess situations and  people in order to  make an informed decision about what I am observing and where those observations will lead me. This is where I am going to get a little philosophical and use an analogy to better explain my assessment of the use of the word ‘judgmental’.

Many years ago when I suffered from  depression, which is considered to be a form of mental illness, I was ashamed about my condition and chose to hide this fact from my family and friends. I felt that there was a “stigma” attached to mental illness and I did not want anyone to know so I kept it a secret as much as possible.  Now, after almost thirty years I am able to not only write about my experiences but I am far more willing to discuss what I went through when the appropriate opportunity arises. The conclusion I arrived at after all these years, is that I actually had a bias myself. I know it was a learned bias based on my personal frame of reference, but it was a bias nonetheless. At the time of my illness, I was projecting how I thought society felt about mental illness when I was the one actually thinking it.  Does that make sense? If I didn’t have my own bias toward mental illness, I would have been more open about it in the first place regardless of what anyone thought.

Okay, now I want to return to the concept of  ‘being judgmental’ or the feeling of ‘being judged’.  I think the same rationale I used for admitting to my own bias also applies here. Perhaps, people who feel that they are being judged have that trait in their own personality. If they think they are being judged in any way, shape or form, maybe it is because they are actually judgmental towards others themselves. If a trait is part of our character, we might assume that others share this same trait.

We can and do project the emotions that we are dealing with on others. We actually have no idea what other people are thinking. If we choose to express our views on other people’s thoughts, we are only sharing what is going on in our own minds. What I’m basically trying to say is this. What we think we see in others may actually live within ourselves. The only way we can ever know what someone else is thinking is if they share their thoughts with us. 

“Be nice to someone today. It might not mean much to you but it could make the world of difference to them. The ones we think deserve it the least are the ones who need it the most”.  ~ Charles Betts

 

INSPIRATIONAL POEMS ~ SPIRITUAL SATURDAY ~ Surviving Life ~ July 30, 2011 by Charles Betts

How
will you survive when your heart’s broke in two

When
the one that you love has been taken from you

Was it just yesterday you did the things you enjoyed

The
death angel came and everything was destroyed

Can
you carry on while your soul knows this pain

Your heart used to sing ‘cause they were your refrain

They
were the sunlight that shone in your life each day

Now
you question why it is God would take them away

 The worst part is it seems the storm is not
through

Emotional
waves just keep on crashing o’er you

Like
disciples who recalled they had Jesus on board

If
you call upon Him sweet peace can be restored

You
can if you choose jump into the seas

I
think it’s better to fall on your knees

Look
to the Lord be strong and be brave

He
has control of the wind and the waves

I
know it’s hard to believe you’ll laugh ever again

But
you can if you let Jesus take care of the pain

There
are some things in life we just can’t control

It’s
in the presence of God He restoreth our soul

A
poem By Charles Betts

July 13th 2006

Thanks Charles!

SPIRITUAL SATURDAY ~ Cry For Freedom ~ July 16, 2011 by Charles Betts

INSPIRATIONAL POEMS 

She’s crying out for freedom

But no one hears the sound.

They go about their busyness

Her voice by theirs is drowned

She stands out on the corner

Where she sells herself to men,

Who never think of who she was

Or who she might have been.

They take what they came after.

They put money in her hand.

She heads back to her chosen spot.

No one knows or understands.

She’s crying out for something,

But it seems no one can give,

The very thing she’s looking for.

That’s another chance to live.

The ones that stop to talk to her,

They have a hunger in their eyes.

When they exchange what each one has,

There’s a piece of each that dies.

She scarce recalls the little girl

Who would dream upon her bed.

A princess in a fairy tale;

The prince that filled her head.

She’s crying on her pillow.

She’s wishing she could change

Who she is, and who she was

To her it seems so strange.

It seems so hard to comprehend

That her life would end up here.

Because of choices she had made.

To know this flood of tears.

To have your heart this broken,

For your heart to be this dead,

Goes beyond what most folks know.

They can’t get it in their head.

She’s crying out for Jesus,

But she doesn’t know His name

Is more than just a cuss word

People use to shift the blame

The tears that overwhelm her,

When there’s no one else around,

With the sobs that rack her body,

Make a harsh and deaf’ning sound

Before the throne of God in heaven.

He hears her every cry.

He does his best to reach her.

He leaves it up to you and I.

He’s crying out for someone

To go and touch her soul.

Someone who will show her

How His love will make her whole.

Can you hear the Savior calling

As you go about your day?

Or are you just too busy

So you push the thought away?

When She’s crying out for freedom,

She’s calling out to you and me.

God as well is saying,

She’s our responsibility

A Poem By Charles Betts

Feb 14th 2007

Fredericton

Thanks so much Charles for another touching poem.

BLOG HOPPING DAY ~ Words Of Wisdom ~ July 6, 2011 by Charles Betts

In response to last week’s Blog Hopping Day post “Who Are You Performing For?”, I received this response from Charles Betts.

Dolores: I read the article by Sandra. It was interesting to see how she relates the need to perform and be accepted or approved by others with anger and power struggles and rejection. As I read this article I thought of what I used to say to my daughters [and others] when they were feeling angry toward someone, “Whoever you allow to anger you controls you” and ” if you don’t learn to forgive others, then every time you encounter that person, or hear their name, or think of them, you will endure some type of negative impact on your soul”.

The need to live and perform for Christ alone is not only paramount to a happy existence, but to me it is a part of losing ourself in Him as the scriptures advise. When we do this we find ourselves. Then the approval of others is not something we demand of ourselves, and we are free to be who Christ wants us to be. We not only lose ourselves but we lose all that baggage of anger and rejection and so much more.

This point of view of life has helped me so much in my lifetime. I hope it will help others as they learn the value of putting it into practice. God Bless, Charles Betts

Thank you Charles for once again taking a moment to share your inspirational and thought-provoking words with my readers and me. Your words of wisdom always add a special touch to each and every article you respond to.  I can see that you are a benevolent man who searches deeply into your own soul to explain what life means to you in order to help others achieve peace and contentment in their own lives.

It is apparent to me that you have learned from your own experiences and you are making every effort to share the benefit of your knowledge based on these personal experiences. I am truly grateful that you have shared your insights in such an honest and forthright manner. I hope you will continue to do so at every opportunity. It is an honor to share my space with you. 

INSPIRATIONAL POEMS~ Night Times ~ July 3, 2011 by Charles Betts

INSPIRATIONAL POEMS 

Mother cries at night

Alone

By the window

Praying

For his safe return

Weeping

Soft tears,

Like dew falling,

Gently wipe the pain

They wash her soul

 

Morning brings greetings

Smiles

Breakfast is served

All is as it was

Secrets

Neither telling,

Or caring to be told,

What the other did

To and for the other

In private at night

A Poem By Charles Betts

Sept, 28, 2005

Thanks Charles for sharing your incredible gift with all of us!

FOUND MONEY ~ Part II ~ July 1, 2011 by Dolores Ayotte

….Continued from yesterday

Found Money

When she turned around, I asked if her name was Gina. She said “no” and as I was about to turn around and keep walking she called back to me. She asked why I was looking for Gina because she knew her. Gina was her children’s babysitter.  I said that I found an envelope with Gina’s name on it. That’s all, no more info than that.  She then started to walk toward me. She looked so relieved as she told me that the envelope contained $200 and it fell out of the boys’ lunch kit while they were walking to Gina’s earlier this morning. This is when I first encountered her. If you would have seen the look on this young mother’s face. I think it was sheer disbelief bordering on shock when I handed her the sealed envelope with the $200 still in it. I may have made her day but you know something, she made mine too. It felt so rewarding to find her and give back what wasn’t mine in the first place.

A couple of years ago, when my husband and I were at a very crowded flea market in Mesa, AZ. a very similar situation occurred. A young couple was walking ahead of us and when the fellow pulled his hand out of his pocket a big wad of money fell to the ground. He was totally oblivious as my husband bent down to pick it up. We could easily have turned down an aisle or walked into a kiosk. They just kept walking ahead of us until my husband tapped him on the shoulder and said “You dropped your money”. Seeing both their faces was priceless.They were unbelievably grateful. I know there’s an old saying that goes like this; “A fool and his money are soon parted”.  Neither my husband nor I are fools. It was not our money in either instance and we took great pleasure in returning it to the rightful owners. I wish someone had done that with my daughter all those years ago. Being honest gives us the opportunity to have more faith in humankind.

I would love to hear some of your short stories about your own acts of kindness and how they made you feel or perhaps a story of an act of kindness bestowed upon you.  Sometimes, the smallest kindness can have the most profound effect.

“Be nice to someone today. It might not mean much to you but it could make the world of difference to them. The ones we think deserve it the least are the ones who need it the most”. ( An original saying by Charles Betts)

Happy Canada Day to all my Canadian readers!

SPIRITUAL SATURDAY ~ INSPIRATIONAL POEMS ~ The Lamb ~ June 25, 2011 by Charles Betts

INSPIRATIONAL POEMS

I am the Lamb the Good Shepherd would hold

Protected from heat and sheltered from cold

Then I got rebellious, wouldn’t do what I was told

One day I decided to run away from the fold

 

I ran away under cover of night

As hard as I could to get out of His sight

I didn’t stop running until I saw morning light

Back when it happened I thought I was right

 

I went to the city and joined in with the crowd

I went to the parties and learned to be loud

They all seemed to like me. I became proud

I did what I wanted because I was allowed

 

I never once thought the Good Shepherd would leave

The ninety and nine, this poor lamb to retrieve

He didn’t love me, is what I chose to believe

I lied to myself. Myself I deceived

 

I had a good time for quite a few years

No inhibitions. I overcame all of my fears

There were only good times. No sorrows, no tears

Then I realized, life is not what it appears

 

I began to get lonely. My friends went away

My health began failing. I could no longer play

I had no one to listen to what I had to say

I cried every night and was sad every day

 

Then it happened to me, right out of the blue

I heard the Good Shepherd say “I’m looking for you

Your life that is ruined, I will make it brand new”

I felt so guilty, I didn’t know what to do

 

The day Jesus found me I was filled with despair

I was all by myself. I had no one to care

Who I thought were my friends were no longer there

I was useless to them. I had nothing to share

 

This time I answered when He called out my name

“I’m here to help you and I’ve taken your shame”

He lifted me gently and healed all my pain

I am so glad to be in His arms once again

 

I am the Lamb the Good Shepherd now holds

Protected from heat and sheltered from cold

No longer rebellious, I do what I am told

I’m just so happy to be back in the fold

 

Now I feel safe and I sleep well at night

Knowing I am never really out of His sight

I waken with joy to face each morning’s light

And I know in my heart that this is what’s right

 

A Poem By Charles Betts

Apr 12th 2011

 Great Poem Charles…thanks!

SPIRITUAL SATURDAY~INSPIRATIONAL POEMS ~ Keep Your Dreams ~ June 18, 2011 by charles Betts

Dreams are more than butterflies that flitter through our mind

Searching for a place to land in hopes they somehow find

The food we all require to sustain our journey every day.

When we believe our dreams, it matters not what others say

It’s the dreams that burn within our heart that keep our soul alive

When times are tough or life gets rough they help us to survive

When the flame becomes a candle, be a beacon  on a hill

Wrap your dreams around your heart, they’ll fortify your will

Soar up to the mountains where only eagles dare

Somewhere in the journey you’ll find someone to share

The dreams that burn within your heart and keep your soul alive

When times are tough or life gets rough they’ll help you to survive

While your candle’s burning, you’re the beacon on the hill

That lights the way for others who have somehow lost the will

To keep their dreams alive when their hope is fading fast.

When you learn to share your passion then both your candles last

Butterflies are beautiful, so lovely to behold

Dreams may be impractical, yet they fill our soul

Both of them are needful. We are filled with awe and hope

Each of them in their own way help us all to cope

A Poem By Charles Betts. Feb 9th 2011

Thanks Charles!

SPIRITUAL SATURDAY ~ Prayer For The Prodigal Son ~ June 11, 2011 by Charles Betts

God of our Fathers. Friend Of Abraham

Creator of all. The great I Am

Who loves and cares for the souls of all

And hears the prayers when His children call

Your eyes we know are everywhere

To watch for those who are in your care

 

All my life, I’ve by you been blessed

Though yet my soul is sore distressed

My youngest son is still on his own

I only pray he’s not somewhere alone

May the Angels that watch over him be strong

The truth he knows keep him from wrong

 

I cannot continue to bear this pain

My heart has never known such strain

If only I could hold him in my arms

To know his soul has known no harm

God, does he know how I love him yet

I will forgive him, with no regrets

 

Though I can’t see him, I know you can

I trust he’s safe and in your kind hands

May he come back before it’s too late

I long to see him come through the gate

Just to know he’s alive and he’s free

God, please, bring him home, safe to me.

 

I love this poem Charles…maybe it’s because at one time or another we are all prodigal children and it brings me great comfort and reassurance to know that I am loved and forgiven.

FREE DRAW ~ Anyone who leaves a comment on any article from now until June 15th, gets their name put in a draw for a free copy of my book ”Growing Up & Liking It”.  The more comments that you leave the greater your chances of winning. Good Luck!

A MAN’S VOICE ~ WORDS OF WISDOM ~ June 7, 2011 by Charles Betts

INSPIRATIONAL STORIES

Dolores; Good Tues. A.M. to you and your readers. I must say I look forward to checking out your blogs each day I come back to work. The one from Mon. was interesting again.

Leadership is indeed quite a thing in this life. With leadership comes a tremendous responsibility. It takes me to the scripture that says” Make straight paths for your feet so those who follow will not go astray” [ my paraphrase]. To me, those who lead just because they are willing to take charge, sometimes lack the necessary ingredient of good and true leadership. That being the ability to recognize that some of those whom they lead need assistance along the way. Being a take-charge kind of person sometimes means we lose patience with those who are not in the same mold as we. Good people and much talent and potential is lost along the way.

When I was a very young man learning carpentry skills I was blessed to have worked with two kindly older gentlemen. They had great skills and were so patient and gentle as they brought me along the path of development. I remember particularly an incident that at the time stood out as phenomenal to me. One of these men and I were working on cabinets and he was at that time recognized as an exceptional cabinet-maker. Another gentleman came by the house and proceeded to explain to my mentor the proper procedure for what we were doing. My mentor listened so patiently until the man was done and had left and then we carried on doing it the way he knew was right. I was just so impressed because, being young at the time, my response would have been to tell this man that he didn’t know what he was talking about and that I knew right well how to do my job. It taught me a life lesson that has stuck with me ever since and I have learned to put this same principle into daily practice.

Another thing about leadership is that we must recognize our indebtedness to those who follow. Without them there would be no need for leadership and we would soon be without our jobs. We need them as much as they need us. As you mentioned, it takes all different personalities to make the world go around.

In regards to “finding oneself”, as Christ mentioned, those who would find themselves must first lose themselves in Him. Until this happens we all struggle with being someone we don’t want to be, and not being someone we wish we were. I think one reason we are so impatient many times with others is because we are impatient with our own shortcomings. When we have learned to deal with ourselves we are then prepared to deal effectively with others. Whether we are leaders or followers.

Once again, thanks for the article and allowing me to share a point of view. I recognize well that when it is all said and done, this is only my point of view.

Have a great day and God Bless, Charles Betts

Charles…I very much appreciate you stopping by and adding your “words of wisdom” to my articles. I agree wholeheartedly with you that it is necessary to lose ourselves in Christ in order to truly find ourselves. It takes much faith and great courage to do this but in the end it is well worth it.  Christ never leaves us nor will He let us down.

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