Sunday, November 16, 2014

How Faithful Are You?

When I sat down to write this post, several instances played in my mind; moments in my life that I look back on remembering how I handled them WITHOUT faith. The most prominent one that came to mind was when I became pregnant the summer after high school graduation at the young age of 17. Several people around me... especially family members were extremely disappointed and told me that I had ruined my chances of ever being successful in life. 

When I needed those who were close to me the most, backs were turned away and noses turned up. At this time in my life, I did not believe in God, my faith had been damaged as a child when my sister Teresa was killed, so I did not turn in that direction. I remember simply taking all the negative things people said about my situation and turning that into drive, passion and an undying motivation and desire to show them that they were all wrong; that's all I had to go with at the time so I went on a mission to MAKE things happen. Prior to finding out I was having a child, I was on a path of destruction, drinking every weekend and most nights when I came home from work. I had dreams and goals and had worked since the age of 13... but at the rate I was going achieving those goals may have been hindered by poor choices and sadness that was swirling deep inside me, so that pregnancy was a blessing disguised as an obstacle.

Fast forwarding my life to a year after Cierra was born... I was now a single mom who owned a salon and had purchased my first home, I was proud of this and felt I was well on my way but constantly struggled; everything came the hard way. When she was 2, I married her father but after only two years our marriage ended... another painful road block that left me sad, I felt unwanted and unworthy of love. I was led back to drinking and going out on the weekends trying to find a "guy" to fill the void in my life that I was feeling. After several failed attempts of meeting and dating that "awesome" guy, I was left with a broken heart and the thought that it would never happen for me. I was a young mom and simply felt that nobody would want me and my "baggage" so I threw myself deeper into my career and looked to drinking when I felt that emptiness. Then... I decided on a whim that in order to have a better life I needed to get out of the small town I was in and start anew, so I packed up and moved to Tampa, on a leap of chance knowing only one person who lived there.

It turned out to be a good move in the long run for my life and certainly my career, but over the past 15 years of being here I have had many struggles, have had 3 more children, another divorce and a failed long term relationship. I have hit several dead ends and learned many more hard lessons. It seemed for so long that no matter how many steps forward I took... there were always more steps back. There were many times when I wanted to just give up. Luckily that burning desire of wanting to prove that I can do it still lives inside of me. 

Back in 2005 when my faith was renewed, life as I knew it changed dramatically. It was not that I stopped struggling or that everything from that point on was "peachy", but when I hit those walls, when I was in the storm, I knew that I did not have to do it alone. In fact... all that I have to do is ask God to take over... to hop in that driver's seat and take all my worry. pain and sadness away. Miraculously, He does and I feel at peace. What I give back to Him is to utilize all the talents and drive He gave me in every way that I can, to keep Him in my heart and to share with others my journey. In my mind, that is the role I am to fill in this game called life, the rest I give to Him.

It is hard for me to imagine trying to get through all of the obstacles of everyday life without faith now, and I am baffled that I survived it for so many years. I am SO thankful that no matter how long I had my back turned on Him... that God never gave up on me.

I have had people ask me how I do it... how I can just hand it over to the "big guy" and not concern myself with worry of  how everything is going to turn out. I guess all I can say is that once you have a circumstance where you have nothing left, when your own efforts are exhausted and you truly have no choice but to surrender it all... you won't be able to understand. I was in that place... I had that moment and that is when God showed me His true grace. He brought a non-believer back to faith... TRUE faith and since then, every time I feel defeated, worried or pained, I quickly remind myself of the day He showed up in my life, showed me He was real, took it all away and solved the problem at hand. Because of that I do not stay swallowed up in worry, sadness or pain; I know how to find that peace.

So how faithful are you? Many people talk the talk and say that they are faithful Christians, that they "believe", yet they are walking around worried, sad, angry, pained and defeated without that feeling of peace in heir heart. It is SO hard to fully trust in something that you cannot see... I get it, I was once that person, but I promise you that once you have experienced what can happen when you just GIVE IT TO GOD you will always have your place to turn, and are left with unbelievable comfort. You will believe because you will FEEL it...  I know that seeing is NOT the only way to believing. 

Today... I want you to take whatever worry you have, take whatever is ailing you and ask God to take it .... then believe with your whole heart that He can and will. Cry out for help, be specific in your request and then wait, for God's timing is the best kind. Allow that weight you feel right now to be lifted off your shoulders and let Him carry it. After many years of trying to find that "awesome man" that would fill a void... I can happily say that I found Him and His are the most loving arms I have ever been wrapped in.

I truly appreciate ALL of you.... I hope that you can take something from this post today and that you don't just think I am trying to push something on you that you don't want to believe. I am sharing... not judging. I am letting you know how I do it... so take from it what you will and I hope you find peace in your storms.

Until next time...






Follow me on Facebook

Follow me on Twitter


To purchase a signed copy 

OR to read reviews and purchase it on Amazon

Monday, November 10, 2014

When the Going Gets Tough... Think Positive

It's been a couple of weeks since my last post... and as history has it that means I have been busy. The past two weeks were filled with some life adjustments, sick kiddos, planning the future and regrouping the now, so unfortunately my blog had to take a back burner. But I am back and hope to inspire you today.

I want to talk about the power of positive thinking... although realistically the majority of my blog posts are directly related to this topic, today I want to dig a little deeper and explain how important and impactful it can be for your direction. 

During the inevitable storms of life, we are constantly surrounded by negative media, negative people and negative thoughts. Getting swallowed up in turmoil, worry and angst is very easy; would you agree? So, what is it that sets apart those that seem to always have a smile on their face... a spring in their step? Do you honestly think that there are people who go through life with no struggle or strife? Do you really think that "luck" is real? 

After many, many years of reading and studying on success, happiness and finding inner peace; all things that I wanted so badly... the common denominator that holds true in people who seem to be unscathed is one thing... Positive Thinking. We all have heard that you bring to your life what you think in your life... so WHY don't more people practice this? Why don't more people stop the negative thoughts and take control of their mind; the most powerful tool for happiness that we possess? Doesn't it sound better to let the negative things leave your mind and replace them with happy thoughts, thankfulness, great moments and good memories? 

So, how do you do this? How do you gain control of your emotions and get back on the right track? That is what you want to know right? I will share with you how I do it.

The moment I feel defeated, depleted, sad or negative... I stop myself by literally speaking these words OUT LOUD to myself and sometimes in the mirror. It is my daily affirmation when I am down.... I have several that I use depending on the state of mind I want to be in. This is my "going through a rough spot" affirmation.

" This circumstance, this feeling, is just temporary, the only thing that makes it permanent are my thoughts. I can get through this, I can get through anything, I can control my mindset. I will pray for the help that I need, and be thankful for the blessings, and the lessons I have had in my life. I will think only about what will create a positive change, not about how I got in this negative situation. I will win, I will conquer and I will overcome any obstacle that stands in my path. I don't care what other people think... I know my purpose, I know my reasons of doing everything that I do and THAT is what matters to my life and my future. I matter, I am good enough, strong enough and motivated enough to make it. I WILL be okay, I WILL succeed and be all that I am meant to be." © 2014 Shelley Giard

You may be thinking that it is weird to stand in the mirror talking to yourself... but you do it all of the time and I will prove it to you. 

Have you ever said... 
I am fat... 
I look awful today... 
I cannot do this... 
I am too tired... 
I hate my job... 
I have no time for myself... 
I have no time... 
I have no money...
I want a different life... 
My marriage is over... 
I am unhappy... 
I am broke... 
I will never get out of this mess... 
The economy has ruined my chances of getting ahead... 

I would be willing to bet that you have said at least one of those things... and you are probably saying things like that daily more often than not. 

What you speak you manifest.... it is true, it is real and you need to change the way you speak to yourself and how you speak out to those around you. Are you the bad apple leaking toxic juices onto those around you or are you the fresh baked apple pie that smells wonderful that everyone wants a piece of?

Are you breathing life or death into your everyday? Are you your own toxicity?

I encourage you to begin saying positive affirmations every day... do it with your kids, make it fun, have them write their own. Write several for yourself and post them in places where you will see them. If you are trying to lose weight... post them on your fridge. If you feel ugly, post things about how beautiful you are on your bathroom mirror. JUST DO IT! Who cares if people think you are strange... strange people are always happier and more successful. Who would you like to be? Awesome....then go BE that person!!!!!

This was an excerpt from my Facebook page post yesterday... 

On days when I wake up and make the decision to just stay focused on the positive things and the many blessings that I have been given in life, I not only have an amazing day, but I can go to bed with a smile and sleep well. I am not pretending things are perfect... I am choosing to make them perfect by accepting things as they are and doing the best I can with everything at hand.
When all of you watch me fall...stumble and hit walls then wonder how it is that I continue to get back up and smile; I will tell you that once you have experienced God working miracles in your life as I have... there is no question where my peace and strength come from. It is easy to complain... it is hard to stay positive... I choose the road less traveled and never let the bad stuff keep me down for long. I have been so blessed with amazing people, friends, family and opportunities; because of that, I know God's hands are in my life each and every day. I pray... He answers.
On that unforgettable day several years ago when I had nothing left, I surrendered one of the most difficult situations of my life to a God I did not even believe in at the time. I literally yelled out in anger and hopelessness, fell to my knees and said "TAKE IT GOD, IT'S YOURS!, I've got nothing left, now DO SOMETHING and show me you are real."
Well.... apparently He had been waiting for me to ask Him back into my life so He showed up and proved His grace. Since then... there are times when I forget what He can do... I forget that when we don't want to worry, when we don't want to be stressed...when we don't want to be sad, all that we need to do is ask Him to take it all away... and He will. I am quickly reminded of that day.
I am not trying to preach... I am simply sharing what works for me and if you can't find something that works for you... perhaps you could give it a try.
Below is the passage from today's positive recharge. I am sharing it because I know there may be many of you out there who are going through hard times wondering WHY God is letting this happen... questioning HOW a God who cares and loves you could ever let you fall this hard... I am here to tell you that without strife, you will never appreciate victory... without struggle, you will never be humbled. If things are not wonderful... God is not done yet. Be patient and trust in Him... learn what He is trying to teach you and your life will be exactly as He intended it to be one day. Be still and listen, then simply trust and follow. ~Shells~

"Don't worry about anything; instead pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all that he has done. Then you will experience God's peace which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure and lovely and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all that you have learned and received from me-everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you... Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is a full stomach or empty, with plenty or with little. For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength."
Phillippians 4: 6-9, 11-13NLT

Until next time...




Follow me on Facebook

Follow me on Twitter

To purchase a signed copy of my book click here

or to by it on Amazon