He’s Not Scared

She’s an outcast.  You know, she’s “that” woman, the subject of rumor and gossip, the woman people pretend not to see while strolling the grocery aisle.  

And he’s the guy people purposely avoid, the man who’s well aware others find him repulsive.

One day this man find outs THE man is passing through who’s able to heal others with just one touch.

Only there’s a problem.  

His “issue” prevents him from being allowed in public.  Social distancing was his normal.  

In Biblical times, lepers were forbidden to mingle with the masses or be hugged or touched for fear of infecting others, banned from society and forced to live in colonies with other infected lepers.  

And while others were afraid of him, Christ wasn’t. 

He isn’t afraid of our issues either.  

Why?  Because instead of defining us by our “illness” He relates and understands it.

He too was rejected and purposely avoided by others. He was familiar with heartache and pain.

“He was despised and rejected— a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief. We turned our backs on him and looked the other way. He was despised, and we did not care.” Is 53:3.

Instead of being offended by our “infections” or recoiling for fear of becoming infected, He sees an opportunity to embrace and heal.

While others were ready to stone the adulterous woman,  He stood eager to liberate her.  Her sin didn’t scare or offend Him.

Christ knew another woman was on her way to the well.    He knew others intentionally avoided going when“she” was there but not Him.  

He deliberately shows up on a mission to bring forgiveness and freedom to fill the void she’d tried to fill with failed relationships.

People’s issues or social filth didn’t faze Him then and they don’t now. 

He isn’t disgusted by our dirty illnesses and will gladly go where other’s refuse.  He truly looks beyond our faults and sees our needs.

He reaches down and pulls us from the pit others try to keep us in because they’re in it too. 

Our messes, missteps or past sins don’t scare Him. 

In fact, this is when Christ does His best work.  And today healing is just one touch away if we ask.

Because He’s not scared, repulsed, offended or disgusted. Ever.  

Sandra Hubbard: Speaker/Writer/Transformation Coach 

#healing #inspiration #thechiccreative

Today We Pray

Today I am protesting. Will you join me?

No, we will not be taking to the streets carrying signs, rioting or shouting hatred.  

We aren’t seeking attention or applause.

But make no mistake. We are not silent.

We are making our voices heard loud and clear to the only One who guarantees to listen and reply instead of authorities who have proven themselves powerless. 

Today we are kneeling in prayer before the ALL POWERFUL ONE who is just, the One who created all of life in its vast array and assortment of colorful shades of beauty. 

Sadly we seldom see change or progress come from protests or riots but history has shown us repeatedly the change and healing brought about by prayer. 

It seems many will protest and post opinions yet very few will bother praying believing it to be a wasted effort but rest assured only prayer is going to usher in lasting change or reignite hope.

You will never meet a man or woman of any age, race or religion God did not create or does not care about and love. Ever.

So today we pray, protesting and pleading to God for a return to love.   

Martin Luther King, Jr wisely said “I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.”  

And D.L. Moody preached “Every great movement of God can be traced to a kneeling figure.”

Today will you join me in prayer? 

Sandra Hubbard

#anationofprayer #pray #healing  

“If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” 2 Chron 7:14

22 – We Perform a Self-Check

In Week 22 of our 52 Weeks of Chic we are going to perform a self-check. 

A self check is when we periodically stop and look within ourselves with honesty, grace and kindness.

So, what is it we are looking for and why even bother looking?

We are looking within ourselves for those traits we find unattractive in others. Any characteristic we might be silently criticizing in others we look for within us.

Just as our yearly female checkups monitor our physical health, self-checks monitor our mental, emotional and spiritual health.  

Self-checks can diagnose unhealed hurts, self-defeating beliefs, destructive habits and unresolved issues that can keep us in stuck, anxious and stagnant.

We can’t change what we refuse to confront and self-checks reveal what needs to be confronted.

Self-checks also keep us humble and remind us of our need for for God’s grace and forgiveness.

I will admit my self-checks have revealed issues and traits I would prefer to ignore but know better. When I leave issues untreated, the emotional infection worsens and spreads quickly and affecting every area of my life. Every single time.

When I catch myself criticizing others I immediately know it’s time for a self-check.

I need to know if I’m doing the very thing I criticize or judge and most often I am.

My self-check reminds me to stay in my lane and work on myself instead of focusing on other’s peoples shortcomings.

A self-check must be performed with complete honesty yet kindness.

Beating ourselves up is destructive. It’s far better to just own the truth as it is and work to change it because this is how we grow.

Self-checks keep us healthy, happy and whole and keep our lives moving in harmony and peacefully.

Self-checks diagnose early symptoms of long term emotional or spiritual diseases.

We can’t seek healing for infections we don’t realize we have. Knowledge is power and self-checks empower us with the knowledge needed to grow and heal.

This week we schedule a self-check.

Sandra Hubbard:  Speaker/Writer/Transformation Coach

#lookwithin #selfcheck #thechiccreative

Her Father’s Eyes

When we encounter ugly, mean or rude people and they look into our eyes, who do they see?  Who do we resemble?

The snippy waiter, the unkind lady in the checkout line, a family member or friend having a bad day, who do they see when they see us after spouting off hurtful words that cut us deeply?

Do they see kindness, grace or flashes of anger?  Unexpected nasty behavior can throw us off emotionally and spiritually. 

It’s easy to forget that everyone is a living, breathing creation of God with their own story and we often walk into that story with no idea what chapter they’re currently in.

It’s only natural to respond defensively to snarky, stinging words and feel justified. 

But what if instead we took a deep breath, reined in our emotions and practiced kindness, showering grace on them instead of fiery words?

We look them in the eye, recognize they too are God’s children, imperfect yet unconditionally loved just as we are and we smile or at the very least remain silent.

We don’t judge, criticize, look down or lash out. 

We don’t make their struggle about us.

We don’t tell them to “Get over it” because honestly we don’t know what “it” really is. 9 times out of 10 “it” goes much deeper than we know.

Grace doesn’t come with conditions but is given by God in abundance to anyone who asks, just like wisdom.  Both are free and ours for the taking.

God is extremely patient when we ignore or are just plain rude to Him.

What if we pass that patience on?  

Kindness doesn’t cost anything yet changes everything. 

When others look into your eyes will they look into eyes filled with forgiveness, compassion, love and mercy and silently be grateful that you have your Heavenly Father’s eyes?

Sandra Hubbard: Speaker/Writer/Transformational Coach 

#wefavor #throwgrace #thechiccreative #playnice 

21- We Consciously Consume

Who is the woman who consumes consciously?  

The Conscious Consumer is the woman who intentionally chooses to consume or participate in only that which promotes a healthy, positive life in every area of living.

For example, when a woman decides she wants to create a healthy lifestyle she begins by changing her eating habits. 

She swears off sugar, bread and processed foods. She practices portion control and stops with the late night binging, the mindless snacking and second helpings. She commits to an exercise routine or daily walks.

What if we took this same process and applied it to other areas of our lives?

You become selective of who you spend time with or follow on social media committed to avoiding anyone who thrives on drama, gossip or divisiveness.

You become aware of who you share your ideas and desires with, intentionally ignoring the negative naysayers, haters, pessimists, dream killers and emotional vampires.

Your sacred inner circle consists of only those who genuinely support you, believe in you, are happy for you when you win and gentle but honest with you even when the words sting yet contain life-changing truth.

When you becomes conscious of what you daily consume, your life can’t help but improve. Any excess of any kind will melt away with every decision on what you dine on emotionally, physically and spiritually.

Because our internal world determines our external world, it’s just a matter of time until life will reflect what we choose to consume, good or bad.

This week we consume consciously, choosing only those beliefs, relationships, social media friends, events and activities that encourage better living, energy and nourishment, physically and emotionally and eliminating the rest.

Sandra Hubbard:  Speaker/Writer/Transformational Coach

#mentalfood #consciousconsumer #onlythebest #thechiccreative 

An Overdue Apology

We are due an apology . . . to ourselves. 

When we hurt others we quickly apologize and when others hurt us hopefully we’re quick to forgive.

But there’s one apology that’s long overdue or never comes and it’s the apology to ourselves. 

I lived in a cage of anger for years, mostly with myself.  I struggled to forgive others and absolutely refused to forgive myself.

It crippled me emotionally and stifled any personal or spiritual growth.

It didn’t matter how many self-help books I read or sermons or podcasts I listened to, I remained buried in self-loathing constantly reliving past regrets and resentment.  

I was surviving but definitely not thriving, the prodigal daughter who had yet to return home. 

But the day I walked back into my Father’s presence I realized God, my family and friends weren’t the only ones due an apology. 

I owed myself an apology and that day I received one.

I apologized to me for living my life to please others even at the cost of my own dreams and desires. 

I apologized for settling, for wrongly believing I wasn’t worthy of life’s best and for accepting and believing the labels others pinned on me then ultimately proving them right. 

I apologized for berating my body and mind punishing, speaking and treating her harshly when all she ever wanted was to be loved, appreciated and valued.

I said “I’m sorry” for trusting other’s opinions over my own instincts, for dismissing my ideas, for shrinking to make others feel better about themselves and for putting my happiness into the hands of others instead of creating it for myself.

I apologized for allowing fear and insecurity to paralyze me, for letting stubborn pride alienate me from listening to advice or ask for help when I needed it and abusing God’s mercy and grace time and time again.

It was a long apology followed by a liberating forgiveness, a heavy weight lifting finally.

I don’t know if you owe yourself an apology.  

But if so, will you simply say “I’m sorry” today opening the door for healing and restoration?

Sandra Hubbard:  Speaker/ Writer/Transformational Coach 

#trulysorrry #iapologize #movingon #thechiccreative 

20 – We Practice the 5 x 5 Rule

In Week 20 of our 52 Weeks of Chic we practice the 5 x 5 Rule. 

While I didn’t create this principle, I have benefitted from it tremendously. 

The 5 x 5 Rule is designed to keep you calm and focused when unexpected circumstances threaten to wreck your day.

The 5 x 5 Rule simply states:  “If it is not going to matter in 5 years then don’t spend 5 minutes being upset about it.”  

So when someone is accusatory, criticizing, hurtful or rude or plans don’t work out as you’d hoped, instead of reacting, stop and ask yourself “In 5 years am I going to care what this person said, posted or did or be upset that my plans fell through or my expectations went unmet?

Time and energy are our greatest commodities.  Do we really want to waste either reacting to situations that won’t matter later?

Life’s going to always have its ups and downs and maybe occasionally an emotionally charged response is appropriate but more often than not it isn’t. 

When we get served with the unexpected we choose to apply the 5 x 5 Rule knowing 5 minutes of negative now won’t matter 5 years from now.  

While no one is expected to robotically move through life emotionless, we are responsible for the battles we choose to participate in so we select them wisely. 

We either manage our emotions or they manage us.

So this week we commit to practicing the 5 x 5 Rule.  If it won’t matter 5 years from now then it doesn’t get 5 minutes of our time, energy or emotions.

Sandra Hubbard – Speaker/Writer/Transformational Coach  

#letitgo #pickyourbattles #thechiccreative 

The High Cost of Jealousy

Your friend is kind, funny, beautiful, smart and accomplished, with a loving family and a fantastic job.  She’s living a truly abundant life.

And while you enjoy spending time with her, you’ve stopped sharing your good news with her anymore because you’ve noticed that while she appears happy for you, some of her comments reveal her true feelings of jealousy and envy.

It’s just a matter of time before the friendships fades.

Your friend has just paid the high cost of jealousy.  

Jealousy robs of us joy, kills friendships and keeps us in a constant state of discontentment wasting energy we could’ve invested in creating our own fabulous lives.

James said “For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder. . .”  (3:16) 

The jealous woman’s life is one of drama, chaos and disorder that alienates others with friends moving in and out of her life at a rapid rate, rarely lingering.

Jealousy negatively impacts our minds and our health because “envy makes the bones rot.” (Prov. 14:30)  

Paul includes jealousy as one of the “works of the flesh” that comes with consequences (Gal 5:19-21) and reminds us that “Love does not envy” (1 Cor 13) 

Jealousy kept me bound for many years, fueled by a multitude of insecurities I had to own and address if I was going to grow spiritually and emotionally. 

When God freed me from jealousy’s chokehold, I was then able to cultivate healthy relationships.

When envy is no longer present, we can celebrate when our family and friends succeed.

Jealousy steals our energy and joy leaving us physically, spiritually and emotionally lethargic with a victim mentality. It keeps us preoccupied unable to focus on pursuing our desires.  

If you suffer from jealousy, God stands ready to set you free.  There’s immense freedom that comes when you no longer carry the weight of envy within you.

If you have a jealous friend, consider addressing the issue with her in the hopes the friendship can be saved.

Now, when my friends win I celebrate.

When others win I thank God and am happy for them because I know now their win doesn’t rob me of the chance to win as well. Their achievement doesn’t steal an opportunity from me to achieve.

My friends’ good fortune inspires me and I no longer pay the high cost of jealousy.

Sandra Hubbard: Speaker/Writer/Transformational Coach  

#notjealous #celebrate #inspirational #keynote #thechiccreative 

Week 19 – We Strengthen Each Other

Welcome to Week 19 of 52 Weeks of Chic!

Though it’s clear we are living in unique times, hopefully during this season we’ve been able to rest, finally complete home projects and create new ways to have fun.  

But sadly we’ve been unable to visit loved ones or greet each other with a hug.  Right now we are all craving connection and some may be struggling with loneliness.  

We’ve also been thrown into roles we weren’t prepared or trained for.

Parents are now teachers and principals along with referee, activities coordinator and executive chef.

The dining table is now a makeshift office and we’ve learned the necessity of grace and patience.

Social distancing often feels like social divorce as we lose our sense of community and if ever we needed each other it’s now. 

So although we can’t meet for lunch or a girls night out, this week we commit to being there for each other, using the only means we have which is technology.

FaceTime and Zoom now let us visit face to face and emails and texts let us stay in contact. While it may not be ideal it’s making the best with what we have. 

So if you have a family member or friend you believe could be struggling with overwhelm or loneliness please consider taking a moment to send a quick “I’m thinking of you today” text or email.

Maybe invite them to join us for coffee over FaceTime.

Often that’s just the encouragement your friend needs to maintain hope and her sanity. 

Yes life is different but we adapt to the times and continue to support and strengthen each other digitally until we’re allowed to be together again.

I know it’s easy to get so engrossed in our own daily living and forget others are going through it too. 

So this week please send a friendly, encouraging text as it can be the difference in someone’s day, a reminder that they matter and are valued. 

We were never created to do life alone so this week let’s commit to making the effort to strengthen each other. 

Sandra Hubbard – Speaker/Writer/Transformational Coach 

#strongertogether #aquickhello #thechiccreative 

All the Days of My Life

Psalm 23 Study Session VI 

Thank you to everyone who participated in our study of Psalm 23. 

This week we end with verse 6 which reads “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life and I will dwell in the house of Lord forever.”  

We are loved by God and neither death, life, angels or enemies, yesterday or tomorrow, no one else and nothing can separate us from God’s love through Christ. Rom 8:38-39

David asks “Where can I go from Your Spirit?  Where can I flee from your Presence?”  Ps 139:17

What a comfort it is knowing we aren’t alone no matter where we are on our journey.

In any season we find ourselves in, we need only look and see His goodness and mercy following closely behind.

Why are they behind us?  

Goodness is God’s best. It sustains us when we’ve lost hope or are tapped out. 

In our dark valleys, goodness is present providing strength and nourishment to fuel us and see us through.  

Mercy is God’s love in action, the extending of grace and relenting, picking us up when we stumble and correcting our course when we venture away from His path.

Joel wrote “  So rend your hearts and not your garments, and return to the LORD your God. For He is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger, abounding in loving devotion. And He relents from sending disaster.” Joel 2:13

How wonderful to know goodness and mercy are our constantly traveling companions from the birth to the grave?

David closes Psalm 23 with a proclamation and desire to dwell in God’s presence until he took his last breath and then afterwards in eternity.

So whether David was in the pasture or the palace, he was committed to staying in continual fellowship with his Father. 

Regardless of where we are physically, in the car or the cubicle, the backyard or the beach, in a sanctuary or on the sofa, we can dwell with God because our minds are not restricted to geographical location. 

Isaiah said “You will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.” Isa 26:3

This is why Paul encourages us to “pray without ceasing” consulting with God throughout our day seeking His advice and counsel.  I Thess 5:17

David proclaimed “He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.” Ps 91:1

To dwell is to live in a specified place, our primary residence. It is here with Him we abide or rest under His shadow protected and hidden from the enemy.

Christ said “But when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father in private. Then your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.” Matt 6:6

Our private, quiet place is where we experience ongoing fellowship and intimacy with God, our sacred space where only God is allowed.

Often my prayer space is my car or the walking trails, it’s anywhere I can enjoy quality time with God without distraction.  

Just like all relationships need constant communication to flourish otherwise they slowly fade away, so does our relationship with Him. 

God’s like any parent. He simply wants to enjoy quality time with his kid.

Dwelling with God in prayer moves us into His protective shelter where we can rest in calm and peace though the world may be in panic.

As we’ve learned, Psalm 23 invites us to know the Lord as our Shepherd, allowing Him to provide, protect, guide, lead, restore, comfort, nourish, anoint, bless and follow us “all the days” of our lives ending in eternity in His presence.

Sandra Hubbard: Speaker/Writer/Transformational Coach

#psalm23 #inhispresence #inspiration #keynote #thechiccreative

Week 18 – We Live in the Moment

What does it mean to live in the moment?  Until being quarantined I had no clue because I never had. 

In the past I always spent my “now” planning my “next” not realizing the moments I missed because I was so consumed with “tomorrow.” 

Can you relate?   Somewhere along the way we get so focused on our tomorrows we miss out on our todays. 

I wonder if this quarantine is God’s gentle way of quieting us long enough to open our eyes to the preciousness of the present. 

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with having schedules, routines and to-do lists.    

Can you imagine how chaotic life would be if we lived each day haphazardly without established plans? Those daily routines are what keep us in line and on time.  

It’s when routine evolves into ruts and we are living life on autopilot oblivious to beautiful moments that can’t be relived once they pass.  

Are we missing those moments due to overrun calendars filled with activities that are costing us time, attention, energy and money – activities that often leave us feeling cheated or disappointed?

Until this self-quarantine began that was my life.   

The life I thought would fall apart if I slowed down, set aside my to-do list or broke with routine has beautifully fallen together in ways I never anticipated beginning with learning how to live in and appreciate my “present.” 

Could this isolation simply be God beckoning us to linger longer in Today instead of always anxiously awaiting Tomorrow?

He’s graciously pressed pause offering us the chance to redefine “normal” that includes savoring every morsel of this present moment knowing there are no do-overs. 

To live in the moment is to live in the present, in both body and mind. 

How often are we physically in one place but our minds are elsewhere consumed with to-do lists, bills, next week’s activities, weekend plans, schoolwork?   That was always my normal until now. 

Now, I pray that I will never again be so mentally distracted over something trivial like hoping Kroger has my grocery list items in stock or stewing over a controversial or negative social media post that I fail to notice the feel of a warm breeze on my shoulder tinted with the scent of fresh cut grass and magnolia. 

Or that I’m so anxiously waiting for Friday that I miss the joy God wanted to give me on Tuesday.

I don’t even want to know how many moments I missed from being so distracted planning the “next” that I missed out on the “now.”

This week we commit to living every minute of every day in the moment, this gift we call TODAY that never comes with a guarantee of tomorrow.   

Because the most important moment we will ever live in is NOW. 

Sandra Hubbard:  Speaker/Writer/Transformational Coach 

#liveinthemoment #practicebeingpresent #imhere #inspirational #keynote #thechiccreative

My Cup Runneth Over

Psalm 23 Study Session  V

In this week’s Psalm 23 study we reflect on verse 5:  “Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: Thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.” 

Can you imagine what God’s table must look like?  No doubt it’s an abundant feast of His love, faithfulness, mercy and compassion. 

Today, His banquet is prepared and it’s time to take our seat.  

Looking around, we realize we aren’t alone. We have an audience and quickly notice it’s not friends or family but our enemies instead. 

The naysayers, our fears, shame, our past, failures, guilt, the haters, two-faced friends and those who label, condemn, judge or criticize us are all watching maybe even wondering how it is our appetite hasn’t been affected by their presence.  

Fear has not killed our desire for God and our enemies are witnessing us savor every morsel of His goodness.

And Satan himself our “accuser” watches as well seething as we satisfy our hunger at the Lord’s table.  Rev 12:10

David said “The afflicted will eat and be satisfied . . .” Ps 22:26 

God isn’t serving a handful of crumbs for us to survive on but an overflowing feast to nourish, satisfy and fill our hearts, minds, bodies and spirits. 

Our enemies try to convince us we are only worthy to eat leftovers but God deems us deserving  of a feast.  And so we eat freely and without condemnation. 

God not only feeds us but He anoints our heads with oil. 

David was a shepherd and pouring the oil on the sheep was vital to their well-being. Why?

In summer’s heat, flies begin buzzing around a sheep’s head hoping to lay their eggs in the sheep’s nose. This annoyance can cause the sheep to panic and begin running wildly which can result in injury or death.  

Should the fly succeed and its larvae hatch in the sheep’s nose, it causes infection and unbearable pain. The sheep will then rub, thrash or bang its head on a tree to get rid of the inflammation. An untreated infection can cause a sheep to go blind. 

When we are going through difficult times, God anoints our head with oil.  Why?  

Because without His protective coating of peace, difficult circumstances and our enemies will infect our minds with worry and fear until we are thrashing about in doubt and unbelief.

Without the oil we would go blind, sinking into depression and hopelessness. 

In David’s day, the shepherd would stand watch and at the first indication of the flies he would pour the natural oil repellent on the sheep’s head to protect them from this annoying enemy.  

God neither sleeps or slumbers and is always watching, waiting and ready to protect us from our enemies immediately before they have an opportunity to harm us. Ps 121:1 

Finally, a shepherd would also coat the sheep’s head in oil to prevent a parasitic condition known as scab disease.  The oil kills the parasite and prevents the spread of the disease among the rest of the sheep.  

The Shepherd’s anointing oil kills the enemies lies and every destructive force aimed at destroying our hope, faith and trust in our Father and also protects us from those infected with negativity. 

Life always reflects the mindset and an inflamed, irritated mind will always create an inflamed, irritated life.    

But with God’s anointing of the oil, our minds resist infection from other’s diseased, toxic minds or our own discouraging circumstances.  

And while other sheep are banging their heads against the wall trying to maintain their sanity, we are living in peace, covered and protected with the oil of joy. 

We dine at God’s table. We are protected with His anointing oil.  And we drink from an overflowing cup.   

Because the Lord is our Shepherd, our cup will never run dry. 

It is never empty, half full or even filled to the rim. 

It OVERFLOWS with His blessings, grace, abundance, mercy, forgiveness, love, faithfulness, protection, provision, guidance, comfort and healing.  

Today we allow God to feed us from His table, anoint us with His oil and pour His blessings into our cup until it overflows!

Sandra Hubbard: Speaker/Writer/Transformational Coach

___________________

1.   What more does God’s Word say about our minds?  Read: Rom 12:2 – I Pet 1:13 – Phil 4:8

2.  God’s anointing oil not only protects us from the enemy but fills us with joy. Read:  Isa 61:3

3.  The Shepherd’s cup is filled with nourishment and abundance. Read Ps 16: 5-6 & Ps 116:13

%d bloggers like this: