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Life is a path marked by hurt, hope and struggles, we are wounded and we all get stuck. At Fresh Canvas LLC, we engage people along with there personal journey in deeper and healthier ways so that the wounded can find hope and restoration. . Through a safe and confidential process, our lay counselors lead you through your own stories of pain, disappointment and abuse, equipping you to share the care you receive with others. At Fresh Canvas LLC we teach you to share and listen honestly. We show you how to practice good self-care. We seek to love like Jesus, with empathy and forgiveness. Fresh Canvas LLC will help you create authentic community where people are heard, loved and healed.
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Are You Living your Life with Assumptions?

Posted on May 24, 2017 at 9:15 AM Comments comments (2)
When I was 50, I was on top of the world. I was fit and healthy, and I thought I had it all together. I had an amazing job at Associated Bank, the best job I ever had and the best team of people who were and still are the best team I had ever had the pleasure to work with during my lifetime Then I was slammed with an unusual medical problem that required over a year and a half to fix and I still have residual effects. My overriding thought? ???This shouldn???t be happening to me.??? I was carrying an assumption that young, healthy people don???t get weird medical problems. And when life showed me differently, I was thrown for a loop. I fought and resisted valiantly until acceptance set in. It was a relief to finally go along with what the world was presenting to me. I began to wonder what is an assumption. It is an idea that you project onto reality about what should or shouldn???t happen. It is taking for granted that you know how something should be, when the truth is that you don???t know at all. And it paves the way for struggle and resistance. We are all living a reality created by our assumptions, rather than the real one that is happening. Living according to your assumptions is stressful and limiting. It???s like walking around in a small room packed with furniture. Everywhere you turn, you bump into something. When your assumptions rule, the world feels structured and unfriendly, and your passage through it is rocky. Either you set up your life so that the world meets your negative expectations about yourself (a self-fulfilling prophecy). Or you find yourself constantly reacting when life throws you a curve. If you want to be happy, peaceful, and at ease, you may find that holding onto assumptions doesn???t serve you. Then you are moving with what is being offered to you rather than resisting. You might have heard the new-age definition of the word assume ??? it makes an ass out of ???u??? and me. I don???t find this helpful ??? or true. Recently, I have been counseling people on the everyday reality of living with someone with a mental health. On the surface, you might expect that getting mental health can be a tragedy, and as a family member you may doubt that you can cope. But if you stayed with these assumptions, you would miss out on a whole other amazing, heart-opening perspective. Many of us with mental health issues will tell you that it???s hard, but it is also a blessing when at the end, you can be released from the chains that have kept you locked into your past. You get to express love in needed and wonderful ways. You learn how to truly meet another person just as they are. You are invited to the story of someone who is struggling with things that they have no control over. And if you are lucky ??? or wise ??? you discover how to appreciate what is here rather than focus on what is missing. See how life is so full and generous. If we continue living in a world of assumptions, you may be missing out. When you find yourself stuck, expand your view? Take the widest-angle lens possible so you can see what is being offered to you. Life is so fresh as it unfolds, simply bursting with potential. Really, anything is possible. Life doesn???t need your assumptions to know what to create next ??? it does an excellent job by itself. Maybe you will decide to do yourself a favor. If our assumptions aren???t serving you, let them fade away. Align with the flow of what is happening right now, and live, happily, as the openness that you are. Do your assumptions serve or get in the way? What if you were to let them go? Something to think about this morning as we begin our day. I miss parts of my life but know that I am where I need to be.

Pass It Forward

Posted on May 11, 2017 at 9:45 AM Comments comments (0)
I often wonder what is it that makes an individual feel as though they have no one in their lives to hold them up. It also surprises me how some people are able to put their feet on the floor to begin their day with all the overwhelming thoughts go through their minds. There are so many lonely people who just need someone to recognize them, love them and even be their for them in their time of need. I think about how different life would be if we just had someone to reach out and make one another feel as though we matter. We need to take that first step in making others feel that they are valued and have worth. To many of us walk through our life with so much pain. We push people away yet we want them to not go away but we cannot find the words to let others know that whatever is bothering us we desperately are looking for that gentle touch that sounding board. What do we have to lose if we if we just make a difference in someone's life even though we have our own pain. We need to be purposeful in reaching out to others not those just in need but those who clearly we know there is something we can do. I challenge you to find the strength to make someone else feel that they are important that no matter what they are going through that they are not the only one. Today find someone a stranger, a friend, someone you love and tell them that they have worth and value that they are loved. In other words pass a blessing to someone who looks as though they need just a simple smile or hug.

Don't Be Surprised - Be Prepared

Posted on May 10, 2017 at 8:45 AM Comments comments (0)
"Don't be surprised...that you are going through testing." 1 Peter 4:12 CEV God is reveling more and more in my life during the journey I have embarked on in repairing my life, my relationships with my wife, son, daughter and friends. I was told yesterday that I am not a man whom is honest in letting others know where I am at in my life in regards to the sins in my life. Respecting this man has allowed me to examine my transparency with other brothers. In going through this process I have determined that he was only half correct. I am a very transparent person but am very selective as to whom has the privilege to get into my life's cave. I am working towards a journey which will have great revelations at the end. I want to be a man who is honest with himself and others whom Christ brings into my life. I compare this to knowing we have all had a teacher tell us at the beginning of a school term that there would be tests without any warning? They're called 'pop quizzes.' I didn't like it, but at least I knew to be prepared by doing my homework and completing my assignments on time. I understood the tests were coming so I couldn't say I hadn't been warned. Personally I have always suffered from test anxiety in school not only in Elementary but also when I was in College. I hate tests weather I know about them or not! The ironic thing is I have usually mastered my tests with flying colors yet had all that anxiety before hand. I am finding out that God operates on the same principle in my life. His Word says, 'Don't be surprised...that you are going through testing.' God's tests aren't necessarily ones I would have chosen for my self because they never seem to come at the right time and always test me in my weakest areas. That's because they're not for the teacher's benefit, they're for mine! The tests of life are designed to sharpen us mentally and strengthen us spiritually. When tests come, and they will, I've got two choices. One: act like a victim and complain that I've been singled out and unfairly treated. Two: let them teach me more about myself- and the God I serve. We have all worked out in a gym before. We can use tests as resistance, the kind we push against to grow stronger or I can walk around feeling sorry for myself- and stay spiritually unfit and flabby. It is crazy but I had recently been tested in area in my life which is not known to many. It was very scary for me. It was amazing that I knew that I could do this sin before me or I could walk away from the temptation. After I became unfrozen, I was able to walk away and not look back. I don't share this with you to be commended for passing this test. I share this with you because we all have a fatal flaw in our lives and we need to be able to expose that flaw so that is does not bring us down and that we can pass the test's which Christ sets before us if we keep our I am constantly reminded these days that God will never give me more than I can handle, or a test I can't pass. His Word says He'll 'never let me down...let me be pushed past my limit; he'll always be there to help me' 1 Corinthians 10:13. So the Word for today is - be prepared! The test could come at anytime to any one of us. I hope you don't mind that I share my thoughts with you. It is important for me as I grow and as things are revealed to me in my life that I have my brothers around me to lift me up and be there for me. Thank you for listening and please keep me and my family in your prayers. As you hold me up in my life I too will continue to hold the each of you up as you begin to share more opening up to the healing power and grace of our Heavenly Father.

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