Who did God create you to be? Many people can’t answer that question. Can you? In this creative Christian parable written for women, author Rebekah Lea Phelps inspires you to discover and accept your gifts and talents in order to embrace ALL that God intends you to be. Meet Goldie—a most unusual field chick—and the whole cast of characters who live with her in the barnyard. Each animal represents the characters in our lives. Goldie is the wrong size. Her feathers are the wrong color. She would rather kill snakes than peck around in the dirt for grains. Goldie’s behavior has all the animals on the farm in a tizzy. At first Goldie feels displaced and unsure of herself. Why is she so different? Why can’t she fit in? But then courage and curiosity begin to churn inside her. Goldie begins to transform her life by facing her fears, inquiring about her roots and willing to deal with ridicule and self-doubt. I’m an Eagle, not a Field Chick shows us how to forgive, move past our anger, and realize that our true character and greatest joys are often shaped by the darkest, most difficult times of our lives. An excellent resource for meaningful dialogue in Bible study groups, book clubs and lunch and learn groups. I’m an Eagle, not a Field Chick will help you learn to soar as high as your wings will take you!
I posted a quote this week that gained a lot of traction; “Don’t judge my story by the paragraph you walked in on.” Of course, you could also say; the sentence or chapter. It reminded me of ease dropping when I thought of it and wrote it down. What if we all approached each other with a little more probing of questions to understand what you THINK you know versus just assuming you know exactly what someone means. Someone told George and I once; mind reading is our worst enemy in marriage/relationships. We THINK we know exactly what someone means by what they say but written words, heart and intentions are 3 different things. We are living in a face paced world where texting as overtaken phone calls. Everything is a “quick message” on every platform we use. What if you purposed this week to slow down, make a few phone calls and just chat with someone? Inquire about a curious “chapter” in someone’s life. How would you feel if someone was TRULY interested in YOU?
Leonardo da Vinci was a great artist because he learned how to SEE. When we look at an artist work we often think how talented they are but actually that talent, was learn. It’s a skill anyone can acquire. What you’re mastering is training your vision. Applying what you see to paper or canvas in shapes and shadows. A statement that was life-changing to my willingness to try (and learn to draw) was “If you learned to read and write you can learn to draw.” The other thing that was an amazing revelation to me was learning to break down what I'm looking at into sections. Look at shapes not the whole picture. I believe that’s where we fail ... getting consumed with “the whole picture” and it’s so daunting that we can’t tackle whatever it is we’re approaching. What a great life lesson or what I call a "Stone of Rememberance" in my book! Are you seeing what is there?
Whether it’s a nation or relationship, a business or a bank account, great “things” are built over time. Whatever goes through “the fire” of time. What isn’t solid falls off in the flames, whatever is will last beyond your lifetime. If you have ever built a business, you know it’s all consuming and you wear many hats. Hats that don’t necessarily fit! Some days I felt like quitting, there were times I took a hard hit financially and the hardest part, employees. Layer upon layer things are built. It’s not all good and if it’s mostly all bad (or one sided) back off! I don’t think “bumps in the road” are bad. It could just be a time of R&R. A time to “gather the eggs” produced, evaluate where what you’ve “laid down” and what needs to be kept or discarded. Once a year I took a month to really look at what had transpired, who my clients were, strategize, look at who or what I need to focus on, review my client portfolio demographics (which tells you a lot about your target) and scratch what wasn’t working. What are you building? Are you focused on the proper people, places & things? Do you have anyone your accountable too? Do you need to cut ties to “one-way streets” or pothole relationships?
I love to see the photos parents are talking of their kids nowadays going back to school. Those times in life go by so fast and for me school pictures never truly represented what I looked like. They were usually awful. I’ll never forget my long blonde hair being cut the day before pictures in the 3rd grade and it was uneven. The neighbor did it. One side was above my ear lobe and the other side below. I went for a trim and she cut about 12 inches off. Even at 8 years old it was traumatic. I’m surprised my eyes weren’t puffy from crying in that picture. I was terrified to get my hair cut for years. The last two years I’ve gone through a hair-nightmare trying to grow out a horrible cut but now I’m like “oh well, it’s just hair.” Do you have hair cut nightmare story?
It’s human nature to be selfish versus self-less. It takes practice and a conscious effort to put someone else first. I just read a great article called “How to listen without getting defensive“ Gottman.com published it. That’s tough sometimes. One of the best courses my husband and I ever did was called PAIRS. We ask each other a series of questions everyday and the one that you can get hung up or in trouble (unless you are coming from a place of understanding) is: “What is your complaint and request for change?” It keeps us current, nothing boiling in the kettle of emotions and not responding to something minor (that’s really not the issue) versus dealing with the real-deal. In case you’re curious the other questions are: What do you appreciate, what are you puzzled about, what is your new information and what are your wishes, hopes and dreams? So what’s yours for the day? Answer and I’ll give you mine! ￼
Most of us can launch into a story to tell what happen or how something transpired but when probed to go deeper about our feelings we get stuck. It’s difficult to find the words that accurately describe the depth of our hurt. We might use terms like; “it was painful” vs traumatized. However being in touch with FEELINGS is a key component to Grief Recovery. When you go through trauma you’re in survival mode and emotions get buried. Survival mode is great when you’re walking around the forest and you get lost but if you’re living in that place you lose sight of your feelings. In order to truly HEAL you must FEEL and know your safe. Do you know how you feel? Are you grieving? Grief isn’t only about death it’s about loosing your wishes, hopes and dreams for a person or thing. I’d highly recommend “The Grief Recovery Handbook” Russell Friedman
Sometimes we avoid conversations because they are unpleasant. They take us places that we don’t want to go, in shoes that seem to tight, give us blisters or don’t seem to “fit” at all. Who wants to wear something that they feel awful in? Like grief or anger? Especially nowadays. We have so many things to “tuck us in” a dress or make us look good in pants. We're taught to avoid hard discussions out of fear of loss, retaliation or labeling. In the back of the book you’ll find a workbook that isn’t easy to do. It’s designed to make you THINK about the parable of the book. Help you work through who you were before all the baggage of life got packed on your shoulders and in your mind. WHO were you before you were 10 years old? Before the divorce? Before the abuse? Before the emotional bankruptcy? Enjoy this adult parable about discovering who your created to be and what your gifts and talents are. Work through the workbook. I get told often people read it 3-5 times and gain something rich each time they do.
I recently got back into chalk painting again and designed and painted my stove hood making it copper and aged patina. That’s what I wanted but couldn’t afford the real deal. So, I thought about it for months, looked around and found a paint that gave me the look I wanted. No, I’d never done it and it seemed like a big risk. I did it twice because I started out making it look like black rusted iron. Anyway, then I did my first transfer and making rose molds on an old antique cabinet I bought. Again, curiosity got the best of this cat lady. When an idea comes across your mind, nourish it, think about it, read up or watch YouTube video’s then dive in. Take a risk and CREATE something wonderful! Let your imagination run wild or just run with your imagination! It will take you places you never thought you could go! THAT is how I’ve done almost everything I’ve ever done. THAT’S my “secret.” So when someone tells me I’m so talented, no really I’m just wacko brave and move with thoughts. What have you been wanting to TRY or LEARN that you think you can’t do? Take the word CAN’T out because you CAN DO anything you WANT to do!
Even Paul, the disciple who became an Apostle and wrote most of the New Testament said; “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.” Well, I say; bottom line is because we are all sinners, we all fall short. We all make grand plans (like writing bubbles, staying on-top of social media obligations, going to the gym, weight goals, business action list to grow and succeed) and then we fall short due to life obligations, discipline, focus, fear, laziness, lack of execution, spread to thin or sin. Sin moves us away from what’s best for us to what can destroy us. As Solomon said; “it’s the little foxes that spoil the vine” It’s never the BIG things it’s the little things that lead to the big downfalls. Compromise creeps up on us all. I’ve really fallen off doing everything I should be doing since April. Life took over, moving, travel and just plain “ugh” is anyone listening? I just need a break. So, I took one. Now I’m back and like Paul …trying do what I know I should be doing. What little foxes do you need to deal with? Address and regroup? Don’t beat yourself up. The world will do plenty of that.
I began writing-journaling as a child. My mother read it and I felt violated and stopped altogether. She didn’t read anything bad, it’s the way that what I wrote was twisted, questioned and criticized. Art went in the same direction. At 12 I began painting. When I desired to do modern art, I wasn’t allowed to … “it wasn’t art.” In my 20’s I started my first “book” – it was going to be a children’s Christian beginning readers dictionary. The entire vision was laid out. I worked on it for a few years. My ex threw it out and said; “No one wanted to hear from me, the world didn’t need another dictionary.” In my 40’s I began a concierge business. My goal was to franchise it, so I thought to do that I’d need to have policies and procedures in place. I organized everything I was building into chapters. What I implemented, what worked and what didn’t, how to set one up and so on. Blogging started but thus far I’m not good at keeping that up. The lack of response or participation goes back to my 20’s. My son was in a tragic accident in 2012 and I began my art and writing again at 50. 7 years later I’m selling my book and art.
Have you ever left one mess only to land in another? I have. Just when you think you’re on your way to victory and change you start repeating old patterns or behaviors. Goldie is an Eagle in my book. She leaves the farm on foot – representing taking the long hard way in life. She’s awful at comparing herself to others (or taking in what others say to her) Once she leaves, she meets the Beavers. The old behavior of Comparing and Analyzing comes back to haunt her. The deadly enemy. Comparing and Analyzing. She discovers she has something in common with the Beavers. We all have things in common, however we all have unique DNA. Unique gifts, talents and abilities. If you have mistaken identity, it’s most likely because you are comparing versus just BEING …. Being you. Like Goldie losing sight of what she was there for. She was just passing by, Don’t lose sight of WHY you are where you are. Perhaps called to serve, lead or LEARN…. JUST BE. We must move from point A to point B. Sometimes the in between is just that. The in between. Where we rest, eat and do all the practical things in life that need to be done. Don’t over analyze stuff. Just BE.
Have you ever left one mess only to land in another? You probably haven’t, but I have. It’s almost been a life theme in years past. Just when you think you’re on your way to victory and change you start repeating old patterns or behaviors. Goldie left the farm (on foot – representing taking the long hard way in life) and comparing herself to others (or others comparing her) and BAM … it starts happening again when she meets the Beavers. She has something in common. We all have things in common, however we all have unique DNA. Unique gifts, talents and abilities. If you have mistaken identity, it’s most likely because you are comparing versus just BEING …. Being you. Like Goldie losing sight of what she was there for. Just passing by, called to serve, lead or JUST BE. We must move from point A to point B. Sometimes the in between is just that. The in between. Where we rest, eat and do all the practical things in life that need to be done. Don’t over analyze stuff. Just BE.
When Goldie leaves the farm, she’s loaded down with baggage from head to toe and dragging a suitcase. It’s a picture of how we all “leave home.” It’s certainly not what anyone try’s to do, it just happens. There are no “Leave it to Beaver” families. No pun intended to The Beaver family in this story. Like the FAA rule: I’ve always said we all get one carryon in life. What’s important is you get the “stuff” out, look at it, clean it up, repack and make sure everything “fits” in the overhead bin of life, or your heart and head. Some of us have gotten over loaded with “baggage.” It’s what other people unintentionally packed up for us. What we allowed to be put in the bags. ….and here we go, dragging it up the mountain! That’s what Goldie the Eagle did. When you read the book, you’ll notice she walked versus flies. That represents us all talking the long hard way in life. Speaking of which … have you bought your copy yet? It’s out! Paperback, audio or Ebook. Which do you enjoy the most?
Do you realize how many times there has been a storm in your life, and you could have gone S P L A T right on the ground and you didn’t … you landed in the back of God? Nissi, The Dove in this parable represents God. As a matter a fact, all the animals in the book represent “characters” in our lives. Oh you know, you’ve met them ... the jackasses, turkey’s and wolves in sheep’s clothing. I need to add a horses butt in the teen version. We’ve all dealt with plenty of those too! We often wonder why God laid us down in the “barn yard” he did (aka: circumstances) the simple answer is He Loves You. He knows what’s best and what YOU need to grow into who YOU are called to be. If I had your experiences I’d crack, fall apart and fry on the sidewalk. If you had mine, you might have lost your mind long ago. We all have different trails and tribulations in the “barn” … they aren’t useless, they are useful to who you will ultimately touch and what you will do. The hardest part is trusting “Nissi” knows what he’s doing. Stay grateful, thankful and trusting.
None of us are finished growing, learning and discovering who God created us to be and what are gifts, talents and abilities are. Those that are “finished” are most likely dead. Not because I’m a Phelps but, well ... “Mission Accomplished.” Sometimes I think I’m just getting started! Hey Guess what?! I wanted to tell you. “I’m an Eagle not a Field Chick” is better than ever and the paper back releases Valentine’s Day. Who doesn’t like a discount? The book is on sale for $10 until Feb. 13th at midnight. If you would order 2 and pass it on to someone in a book club, women’s ministry, someone that owns a shop (who would stock them) or a company that has lunch and learn reading groups that would even be more awesome! After all, who couldn’t use a dose of encouragement and self-discovery? I don’t think I’ve ever asked anyone to “please take me out to lunch!” ... but instead of lunch I’m asking you to buy one (or two) of my books. 2 would mean we had an awesome lunch and you're a big spender. Oh, the book is also available as an e-book and an audio-book. The audio book (especially after reading the book) is captivating! It’s only $6.00 Heal and Soar! Rebekah
If I had known how deep and vast this water was I wouldn’t have dove in. Yet now that I’m in (and water logged) I’m determined to beat the undertow! That’s how I feel at times about this “author endeavor.” I felt that way when I owned concierge business. Making lots of money doesn’t make that go away. So “the feeling” is not about the reward but the effort. The rowing, the accumulation of knowledge and application overload! For me it’s about wearing so many hats that don’t fit! Truth is folks, you are doing it because you are destined to be there. So long as you have breath you’re going to work through normal human emotions. If you’re a true entrepreneur you’re doing what you do! Getting in over your head. Figuring it all out, finding solutions, resolving problems and building! Remind yourself: You dove into this water because of a dream. Now swim! Kick with all your might. Take time to float on your back for awhile and enjoy the beauty of the scenery around you! Let the water move you around and stop thrashing! Besides that’s what the sharks are attracted too!
Frozen in time, frozen in shock or disbelief or simply still waiting for something to be over with. Have you been there? We all have for various reasons. The coldest I’ve ever been was waiting on the supreme court steps to get in one wintry morning. I arrived home with a bruised face and dried mascara which had run down the sides of my face. It looked like someone had been punching me for hours! That’s what the wind did to me. You also can’t imagine how embarrassed I felt. Knowing I looked like I dressed up for Halloween to visit the highest court in the land. I’ll never forget the first phone call I got telling me my daughter had committed to a mental institution. My emotions froze liked a cold winter pipe and when they thawed it was like a backed up damn burst. Unexpected events. Freezing Us I’ll never forget my son standing in a yellow raincoat. Watching and listening to the raindrops hit him on the head and drop down on his cute bare feet. He was so entertained by all his senses. Frozen in time, an image in our heart and mind. Are you warm right now or frozen? How so?
We spend the first 20 or 30 years of life learning and the next half unlearning, balancing and illuminating what we picked up in the first place. People pleasing was one of the lessons I had to break before it broke me. That juggling act brings in the wrong crowd and has no pay off! Like I talk about in my book, I’m an Eagle not a Field Chick. “Chick pleasing” will never work out. What one loves another person will despise. After-all WHO or WHAT is the standard? It’s NOT yours if you’re trying to cluck and peck at the standard of others. They will always lower or raise the bar. It’s a constant guessing game. STOP the insanity of trying to please others! Walk at your pace. Focus on your path. Pour yourself a cup of warm tea, sit down with a good book and take care of you first.
I remember saying to my mom once; Life is full of changes and if you can’t handle change it will be hard to handle life. My life up to that point had been full of unexpected “change.” I’d make plans for one thing to happen and get a different result. From motherhood to marriage, it never turned out the way I thought it would. So, I learned a long time ago to take a deep breath, bend my knee … Go back to God and say; “Now what?” I’ve learned to get up, sit and wait. Not so much WHY this happen but what can you do with this now? Where do we go from here? I’ve learned that when I’m asking WHY I’m asking from a confused, hurt and disappointed position. When I ask WHAT I'm in a better stronger place. A place of hope, strength to go forward and waiting for that lesson to unfold. What will God use this for? What can I do with it? What should I be doing while I wait? Most of us are looking at life through the scope of LIFE NOW vs. life in the long run. What’s the big picture going to look like? Through eternal eyes, through God’s? What are we putting significance on and what matters?
John Augustus Shedd said; A Ship is safe in the harbor, but that’s not what ships are for. Let's stop living in the safety of the harbor. Get out and use the gifts, talents and abilities YOU have. Write down 1-8 gifts, talents and abilities YOU have that you can expand on in 2019. You know things like: Art, Teaching, Writing, Handyman skills and of course, the greatest of all the gifts is …. LOVE. The more you USE your gifts, talents and abilities the more you’ll have to use. The same principle as trimming herbs or pruning trees …. It grows, blooms and flourishes as you use them. Make your harbor a place to refuel, rest, stock up and go back out. NOT a place to camp out and hoard what we know or what we have. Beside you don’t want to wait for the STORM to come into the harbor and MOVE YOU out … do you? Remember: you aren’t meant to keep it all to yourself. Gifts are meant to be given, shared, opened and enjoyed by you and others. THAT is why God gave them to YOU. For a little more elaboration on this … visit my website.
That’s one of the Stones of Remembrance in the 4th chapter of my book. Some of us ladies know when “hens” gather the pecking begins. Thus the reason I was never to keen on “hen parties.” Most of my great friends were males but you reach a certain age and the guys aren’t looking for “friends.” Then when you get married you can’t hang out with those buddies anymore. How many times have you felt like you had to “play a part?” The hens had made it obvious they didn’t need Goldie but she needed them. She wanted helpful information but get ready when you ask, it maybe more than you bargained for! They didn’t hesitate for a second and the ridicule began! Be careful what you ask for! And remembered all you hear you don’t apply to yourself. Don’t personalize everything someone else says to you or about you!
It’s so symbolic and such a great parable to me about how we are all in different phases of the “construction” of our lives. Some people are just getting their foundations laid. Some are having “electrical installed” so to speak (we are in the counselor phase of life, getting advice, ditching bad wiring jobs -- reprogramming) The windows are in … we can SEE --- we have perspective and we’re feeling safe with the frame work up and the roof scheduled to be installed! Ah, then the flooring will go in, cabinets, sheet rock and PAINT … things are coming alive! HOPE is on the horizon, you can see all you’ve worked for, picked out, hoped for and “paid for” (lit. or fig.) Doesn’t that resemble the “construction” of your life? Your business, your plans. I know it represents the process of writing my book! We all need to reach the point where we SEE things pay off. We all need that feeling of progression. To know things are moving along. But once you begin building, there is just so much more! For more on this post and subject, check out my blog! www.RebekahLeaPhelps.com
I wanted to give you a peek into the workbook of I’m an Eagle not a Field Chick. Jesus spoke in parables to the multitude … NOT just Christians. The amazing thing about a parable is it captures you where you are at that time in life. You could speak the same “sermon” to a crowd and everyone would gain something new, acquire a revelation, understand based on what they needed to hear. That’s significant of GOD being our “good shepherd” and “feeding everyone.” Each chapter is broken down in the back of the book to help you come to your own answers, meet you where YOU are in life … right now. This is a great book for book club and groups. In this creative Christian parable written for women, you will find yourself inspired to discover and accept your gifts and talents in order to embrace ALL that God intends you to be. I’m an Eagle, Not a Field Chick shows us how to forgive, move past our anger, and realize that our true character and greatest joys are often shaped by the darkest, most difficult times of our lives.
You might be familiar with Isaiah 55:8-9. Better recognized as, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts neither are your ways my ways.” So often the things we chose, the way we’d do something, the logic we’d lean towards is opposite God’s. Sometimes I’ve wonder which God is better at. Being a practical joker or the best “event planner” known to man. In a funny good sense, but I love practical jokes … um, well sometimes it’s not so funny when it’s done TO YOU or you’re going through something. Like really…. Why’d you dump me in a HEN’s nest?#! Couldn’t you find another eagle’s nest? I mean you know where one is! Wouldn’t have that made Goldie’s life “smooth sailing?” Hum … oh yeah, you’re not concerned about my life being peachy king but me discovering so I could “learn” you said? I just want OUT. Out of this egg, Out of this nest…. Out of this mess and there you go flying off! Have you ever felt like that with God? ….and then he say’s “Trust Me” You see, God must TELL you that because he knows it’s NOT your inclination to do so. Yes, His ways are not our ways and His thoughts are not our thoughts.
People have told me looking at my life it's like a cat falling through the air and landing on his feet. It looks realllllllllly bad while going down (so to speak) and amazing to see how it worked out. I enjoy telling people I know I've been gripped by grace or fell in the arms of God. That's what happen to Goldie (the eaglet in the egg) when she fell as an egg through the sky. The Dove (later known as Nissi - aka: God) swooped under to gather her. As he does us; He calls us, hovers over us, comes along side us, goes before us, and even carry's us to a safe place. Take the time to sit down and think of how He did that for you... this week. What about since you landed in "your nest?" The Dove knew this egg needed to stay warm to hatch and would definitely be safe with a hen! You've heard it said; "She'll watch over it like a mother hen!" This began the imperfect (by hen standards) Perfect will of God for Goldie's life. Did your life start in some odd way, in a peculiar place? Where else could she have been welcome and grown up since her resting place as an egg was destroyed by a storm?
Life is full of expectations, most of us wake up with a few every day. This story is an adult parable chocked full of insightful meaning. For instance ... the trees that "bow down." The book of Isaiah speaks of the trees of the field that will clap their hands and bow down. Those trees are actually us! All of nature acknowledges the existence of it's creator. There is a scripture that says in Luke 19:40, I tell you, if they (us/people) keep quiet even the stones will cry out. Wind is representative of the Holy Spirit of the presence of God. As you'll see coming in a few excerpts "God" in the book is a dove! Stay Tuned.
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