Hearing His Voice

You ever been around people that just brag about their adventure and you just want to experience it for yourself? Well, this was me and the year 2015 was definitely an experience to remember. For a couple of years (at least it felt that way) I was desiring to have another type of experience with God. I read about him, sung about him , prayed to him , and felt I needed more. I wanted to hear his voice . I knew God had different ways of getting my attention but I wanted to hear him for myself.
I prayed and prayed ..nothing happened. I turned off all of my distractions..nothing happened. I even went on a complete fast ..and NOTHING HAPPENED! That season was very frustrating ! It’s like calling a restaurant to make an order and no one is picking up the phone so you’re questioning if you even have the right number, lol. I talked with my aunt and her response was to keep waiting . So one fun fact about me is that I’m an introvert ( I wouldn’t say I’m quiet 100% )but my mind stays busy like NYC traffic, which I guess made it hard to hear God.
One day in January 2015, the weather was at its coldest and living in the south with snow was the motivation I needed to stay in from work. I had my t.v off , just finished a meal , and started washing dishes. As I washed the dishes in complete silence it was at that moment I heard his voice. I always imagined I would hear a loud , thunder, manly voice and I’m glad that didn’t happen because I probably would of ran out of my apartment,lol.
The best way I could describe how he sounded to me is similar to my thoughts. A confident, strong sounding thought if that make any sense. If you could imagine hearing your parents speak to you but in your voice , that’s what it was . I knew it was him because I know how I think and talk. He said ” hello daughter , it’s great to hear from you .” My eyes stretched and I felt overwhelmed with joy. The experience I waited so long for finally came and the anticipation was worth every minute. 

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For The Selective Palate

 

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I’m not sure what brought me to this path of being a picky eater. I could say money was a factor or the fact my mom worked long hours. Truth was, the last thing on her mind was to come home to cook a Lebanese Thanksgiving meal. Even if she did cook like that, I already made my mind up that if it’s not the texture then it’s the presentation of food that will make me cringe. Also, the fact I had people that supported my picky outlook on food rather than push me to try new things.  Why change when you already know what’s best for you, right? Well this all started to change once I got married. For my husband’s birthdays he likes to try new dishes and for some reason I started having the same craving to try new things as well. Rocky start but eventually I became open to new possibilities.

This continued in the workplace as well. My business trip to New York interrupted my comfort level greatly especially with food. We went to restaurants I would probably pass by in order to get some pizza and was served beverages that reminded me I was not in the south.  I did have a chance to visit a French restaurant and for the first time I tried macaroons!  Who would have guessed this picky person would one day open up to opportunities and try something better than the ‘norm’?

The way I am with food is sometimes translated in my relationship with God. I’m very persistent (okay, stubborn at times) and I like to have things done a certain way because that’s what I’m used to. However, I’m also learning that with God his way is better and part of understanding his way requires faith. It’s not easy. It’s like having a plate of some of the nastiest vegetables and your parents saying ,”Eat it, it’s good for you”.  Eventually , your taste changes and you become sensitive to what you eat and open to new dishes. Once you ( including me ) realize God’s hand in your life , you’ll become sensitive and willing to submit to his path.  So for the selective palate, I dare you to go out and explore not only food but God’s will for your life ūüôāimage1 (2)

Ephesians 6:7

Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the lord, not people- Ephes.6:7

Before I start with my daily tasks at work I have to pray for strength, wisdom, and the right attitude to serve. I don’t know about you but this is a hard scripture to meditate on sometimes.¬†To serve wholeheartedly, what does that mean? Well to serve is to perform duties for another individual and wholeheartedly is to be completely sincere, enthusiastic. So just that part alone I should be enthusiastic to help others..right.

unnamed¬†My very first job was at Subway and ‘serving wholeheartedly’ was the last thing on my mind. Sure I always had a smile on my face but I did not enjoy the details of sandwich making. I’ve matured in my ways of thinking though I recognize I am still learning how to serve wholeheartedly through my¬†job experiences. As the scripture continues it not only say serve wholeheartedly but¬†as if you’re serving the lord, not people.¬†Random but I seriously wonder if that’s Chick-Fil-A’s mission statement.images (1)¬†They are known to give with a cheerful attitude in spite of how they really feel or how customers may respond. I wonder when I had some of the roughest days at work would the result be any different if I imagined serving God instead. If I could imagine making God a sub would he be satisfied with how I made it? Or as a histo-tech, would God be satisfied in the way I dissected his tissue sample in a hurry? As a chemist, am I really serving wholeheartedly? Sometimes I like to compare my current moment to my volunteering moments. Serving becomes my heart when it comes to dental clinics. I can have a few hours of sleep and feel energized the following day to serve.

image1¬† Serve wholeheartedly,¬†as if you are serving the lord, not people¬†is a constant reminder for me as it may be for you. Your passion can be in one area but the needs of people can be found in all areas of life. Sure that one person gets on your nerves or the work is not the creme de la creme, join the club. The lord wants us to serve enthusiastically so he can reward us with something much bigger! So give your complete best with a smile and ask, “How can I serve you today?”

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The Waiting Room

You’ve arrived on time for your checkup appointment and pretty excited because you know the time you sit down you’re going to be called. You already gave the receptionist the necessary paperwork and you’re ready. Hmm.. they will call me soon, you think to yourself, so to help pass the time you start to notice your environment. The waiting room is filled with people that need to be seen as well.

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One by one, everyone is being called to the back and it’s starting to get frustrating because there were people that did not have to wait as long. Your frustration builds to anxiety and now you’re going up to the front desk asking questions. They reassure you that the doctor will see you soon, he’s preparing some things for you; however, your patience grows thin. Your phone goes off from people sending messages asking,”why are you still waiting ?” “When are you going to move forward?”

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You don’t respond because they wouldn’t understand. You did everything you were supposed to, now it’s your job to wait and be called. Finally realizing your pacing back and forth is not changing the outcome, your attitude changes while you wait. You take advantage of the wait by embracing small opportunities like reading the magazines or checking your email on your phone. Time goes by but you’re gaining wisdom and understanding. You stopped focusing on the messages, the people that were seen by the doctor before you, at that moment the door flung open and you knew the wait was over.

door-240x300 How many of us had moments like this? We ‘wait’  anxiously for God’s big call while overlooking small opportunities to grow. I know this is a challenge for me but as a father, God, constantly reassures he will not forget about me. It may seem like everyone is moving forward before me but God knows I did everything I was supposed to and now it’s my job to wait for the door to open.  So stay encourage and know that soon our wait will be over ūüôā

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Red light , Green light

In the game Red light, Green light one person is chosen to be the traffic cop . The other players stand a few feet away while the ‘cop’ has their back facing the players. When the ‘cop’ says “green light”, the players race to tag him/her. When the ‘cop’ says “red light” , the players have to stop in their tracks . If the’ cop’ catches someone moving that person have to return to the starting line and the first person that tags the ‘cop’ wins.

RedlightgameI love the principle of this game , it’s not like Mother May I where you need validation to move.  In ‘Mother May I ‘ , every step you make is closely watched, whether it’s to see your progress or you fail and as a result start over similar to ‘Red light, Green light’.

For the longest I’ve played ‘Mother May I’ with the wrong people or having the wrong attitude. Some ‘moves’ I made in the past were from validation , you know , you think you’re in the right direction because you have someone’s approval only having to start over. I was used to this game until I started paying attention to some of God’s lessons. Did you know God knows our complete story before we were born? (Jeremiah 1:5) Therefore we don’t need someone to approve our purpose, personality, or appearance! Also instead of valuing everyone’s opinion I believe he likes us to consider him and play ‘Father May I’ instead. The difference in his game is that he’s merciful and when you move without his permission , he won’t let you start completely over.

The game to play with everyone along with the right attitude is Red light, Green light. I was taught how to make big moves while moving silently. I used to share my ideas before strategically planning so you could only imagine my list of fails lol. It’s not bad to share your plans but for me it made a big difference.

Mother May I and Red light, Green light are fun games to play especially when applied in life. Learn to move silently without the approval of others and you’ll be on your way towards your goals!

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The Power of Saying “NO!”

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If every answer to a question was a ‘yes’ I wonder what would life be like? Even though there’s¬† glamour in saying yes , there’s definitely power in a no.¬†¬†‘No’ will direct you on the right path.¬† I can’t tell you how many times I was rejected in my relationship quests when I was younger but let’s just say I was persistent, lol. The same determination I had stuck with me when I started applying for jobs (100 applications & 20 interviews later..¬†) . The experiences were frustrating yet it somehow gave me fuel to keep pushing myself to the point I had to stop and evaluate what was going on.¬† Chasing guys did not look pretty so when I finally gained a better understanding of who God created me to be¬†that’s when I became friends with my now husband. After applying to a million jobs and receiving no’s , it directed me on the path I’m on now.

‘No’ is good for your well-being. Making promises to everyone can be stressful and overwhelming.¬†When¬†you finally accept the fact that you can’t please everyone it feels like a sigh of relief.¬†Creating the guest list for my wedding was very stressful at first. I had so many people in mind I pictured at the wedding but it was conflicting with the actual cost. I looked up a great method on how to handle the guest list and it relieved my stress tremendously!

‘No’ helps you think clearer . Honestly , saying no right away is not¬†my first response. There’s so much power in our words but to mentally process what we’re asked first¬†is power all on its on. How many times did we agree to something without thinking through the question first? When I submitted my DAT (Dental Admission Test) scores , the schools sent me emails immediately after. They knew my character but wanted me to push more academically. The¬†schools said ‘no, not now’ ,which¬†was great because it allowed me think clearer on what I wanted .

To hear the word ‘no’ can bring so much emotions , good and bad, depending on how you receive it.¬† I think God created that word with us in mind. He wants to protect us, keep us in perfect health, and mature our thinking . So the next time you’re rejected be joyful because something great is on your way!

 

Live as an adult& think like a child

You ever sat at a bench and people-watched? Random yet interesting especially children. They’re funny, straight to the point, full of energy, and believe almost anything. As a child I believed in a lot even if it didn’t make logical sense , you had my support 100%. For instance , how did Santa get into my house without a chimney or a key? I wasn’t sure but I knew he came because I had half eaten cookies to prove it lol.

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It’s something about children¬†I truly enjoy. They were¬†the inspiration behind my career decision in second grade and even now as a children’s church teacher I admire them at times. I appreciate how children are wowed at¬†the simplest things .They’re ex- friends¬†then best friends in the same hour,¬†you may have to talk to them once…twice…or a million and¬†yet it’s¬†easier to be yourself to them than an adult sometimes.

One place I can count on where everyone has a childlike mentality is Disney World. The atmosphere is so friendly and carefree . I know the times I’ve gone I think I actually felt like it was a part of my happily ever after.. like I didn’t have go back to work the following week.l8uobo-l8uoa1mickeyandminniemouse¬†I live for¬†these¬†kind of moments.¬†Moments of¬†random joy , peace, forgiveness, ¬†and faith. As our bodies mature into adults I wonder what shifts our thinking ? Life’s lessons are taught when we’re in our humblest state, when we’re able to listen and follow direction. I think children are the best teachers¬†because¬†they don’t understand everything and its okay.. what a great characteristic!

While it’s the season to take on responsibilities as adults there are seasons for us to enjoy life with a childlike way of thinking. Things will pop up in life where it doesn’t make sense and it’s okay God’s got it all figured out. There are times you’ll have to forgive others and even though you may not be friends , it’s okay just move on . It’s time to¬†embrace the silly , carefree moments and enjoy life as a kid :-)!IMG_1124

Living Unapologetically

2I7A4780The morning of my wedding and I wanted to jump on the hotel bed with my girls lol. All the planning and frustration ended in my blueprint thoughts the day before. After hearing  Beyonc√© “Sorry” played over 7 times on the radio, I felt like I was definitely living unapologetically.

I’m not sure if I could blame myself being an introvert or  just my way of thinking but I was (still am sometimes) living within limits. When I was a kid I remember apologizing to my friends seemed like all the time for something random lol.. but somehow those innocent disagreements created habits for me. I got into the habit of saying “I’m sorry” to the point it seemed like it was a part of my everyday language. I stayed in those limits because I wanted to be liked and I thought if I apologized first it would be easy to move on .

im-sorry-quotes-482290Starting a blog was pretty hard at first. I was used to sharing my thoughts on paper and locking them with a key until my husband kept saying blogging can help me . When I finally took the limits off of my ‘what if ‘ thoughts that’s when IntrovertedFillings was born. There were plenty of times I stayed in my comfort zone especially with food (that’s another story ) and having all of that built in with nothing to do at work one afternoon I told myself there has to be more in life . Do you like to stay in the comfort zone? Do you like to feel like you’re in control by staying in the lines?

Well I do too, but I must admit taking the limits off or ‘coloring outside the lines’ gives me a new outlook on things. For me to actually stop and say “I know there’s more to life than a 9 to 5 , burger & fries, saying sorry for things I didn’t cause” translated to “God I need to take the limits off my actions and I want EVERYTHING you have for me .” I promise after I said that a part of my brain was unlocked with ideas lol.  I still have some ways to go but what I can say there is peace in living unapologetically and I encourage you to try it as well ūüôā .

 

 

Overcoming the fear of dentists

I had the opportunity to shadow all kinds of dentists and the specialty that caught my interest was pediatric dentistry. In this field dentists focus on oral health of children from babies through teenage years. The patients are unpredictable , some cooperate while others have no problem letting everyone know they are terrified of dentists.

tips-to-tame-childs-fear-of-dentist-webCould it be from the bright lights? The weird looking dental instruments? Or the fact dentists are working in their personal space? I agree the dental office can be intimidating and the thought of someone handling vulnerable areas in the mouth is enough to run away . However there are some tips that may help children on their next dental visit.

According to NCPediatricDentistry, they recommend that you talk about dentists positively. Create a good experience by sharing stories related to dentists. If you could only think of that one bad experience you had share other people stories. Reward them for being brave. One of the things I enjoyed from my dental visits was the toy treasure chest. If I was good during my appointment (which was all the time lol) the dentist allowed me to pick one toy from the chest, very encouraging! I went to one office to shadow and they rewarded children by giving them a gold coin to use for their toy/ gumball machine.23034455_m

Explain that the dentist is a friend. I could tell the difference between the child that received ‘pep talk’ before their dental appointment vs the one that cry hysterically as their parents talk to them at the moment. I think it helps children and dentists when the parents already explain the details of the dental appointment. Playing ‘pretend doctor’ could help lessen anxiety and reading children books about dentistry is a plus!

Take your child to meet the dentist first. As they visit the dentist consistently they’ll hopefully start to recognize them as a friend and become comfortable during their actual appointment. I enjoyed watching fear disappear from children faces when hygienists allow them to hold some of the dental instruments  to let them know there’s nothing to be scared of . When there’s a lot of interaction and communication between the patient and dental staff it makes a big difference.thw7oqr9w0

Select sedation for children. Now for this I wish there was an alternative. Through shadowing I’ve watched and helped dentists keep children seated so they could sedate them properly and it was NOT EASY! I also understand this is necessary for most of their procedures. One thing I enjoyed was how some dental offices kept children preoccupied with iPads and TV as they administered medicine.

There’s so much to learn from the world of dentistry and fear is not one of them. So let’s start painting better pictures for our children and dentists!

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Just Do It but how?

I’ve seen Nike’s, Just Do It ,logo for years and would associate¬†it with working out. Stop complaining , put on their clothes , and just do it . Seems simple enough but when I started hearing this same phrase applied to other areas in my life , I ask how?nike_just_do_it_wallpaper_smoke___paintball_effect_by_ryanr08-d4h54qcRecently I’ve been getting the same response everywhere including podcasts I’ve listened to but until yesterday I believe I finally have my ‘but how?’ question answered.

According to Think and Grow Rich Chick , she came up with 5 ways for¬†making goals do-able ,¬†so I’ll just paraphrase what I’ve learned.

  • Goal setting requires a deadline and commitment

-Make sure your goals aren’t wishes . Create realistic deadlines

  • Believe it’s possible!

– Eliminate any doubts that may enter your mind

  • Find your ‘rabbit’

– Think & Grow Chick used the example of track and field when the person running the fastest (rabbit) is closely followed by the 2nd place runner. The ‘rabbit’ is the one setting the trend.

-Whatever is your goal there is someone that already achieved it so instead of being jealous take note of what they do . Being consistent is key!

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  • Find Puzzle pieces

– Break down your goal to 5-10 things and find out what it takes for each puzzle piece

-Choose what you can work on at the moment and continue everyday