Years ago, I looked up the meaning of my name. The best I could find was ‘Sheila’ and it meant “blind”. It’s funny, I look at my life back then and in so many ways I was blind! 🙁 Thank God for new beginnings. This year I looked up my name again and to my surprise I found ‘Sheela’. The definitions are exactly what I am trying to work out in my life. “Modesty”. “Of good character”. “Conduct yourself well”. God really has a sense of humor. The last of the definitions stood out. It was as if I heard His voice in my head command it with so much conviction. I froze and said “Okay, I’m trying.” I hated my name so much. The spelling, everything. The two ‘ee’s were just too awkward for me. I was already awkward enough to deal with and I had to deal with two of this ugly vowel for the rest of my life! But, I never thought the day would come. I love my name. I embrace ‘Sheela’. Now I just have to live up to it.
So, it’s almost the end of Summer. I’m starting a new chapter in my life. I’ve never been so consistent about keeping a journal/diary because I was afraid of being embarrassed. This blogging thing is just amazing! I’ve missed out on so much. I feel like I’ve been living in the dungeon for the past 10 years. Every year my relationship with each family member gets better and better, and this year it’s like ice cream and brownies everyday, but I don’t get tired of it. Speaking of food, I eat meat now. I went back to my art and I’ve finally gained more confidence because I’m realizing my potential. It took so long to arrive here. My dad was never the most encouraging dad. When I became a Christian, it was clear to me that I had a lot of positive self-talk-ing to do. There’s something about this year. I’ve never felt such a feeling so strong, the freedom to express myself! Feeeels goooood! No more bottling them up. I’m done with that! The time has come to clear away the cobwebs and have a renewed mind. I’ve never been more comfortable and confident about myself. I could keep writing about it, but that would just be too self-centered of me. God did lots of chiseling at me and I grew to love those times. I’m just glad I’ve nothing to hide. Las Vegas has grown on me in the past year and I learned it doesn’t matter where I’m at. What matter is that I bring Christ with me everywhere I go. Isn’t GOD SOOOO GOOD? Every year Father, it’s as if I’ve grown another wing. And since You are so good to me, I want to take You more seriously. You know that freedom means a lot to me and every year You surprise me with at least one thing that’s new.
AND SO THIS YEAR, I WANT TO GIVE YOU A NEW ME. But only You can renew me. Every time I am ever so renewed by You, You put new desires in my heart. You’ve put a desire in me to use all that You gave me for Your Kingdom. I’ve suppressed a talent You have given me as if I was ashamed of it because I saw no money in it. Forgive me. I want to use my gifts now. You’ve put a desire in me to be a better communicator, another desire to take my health to the next level, and most of all, a strong desire to share Your goodness. Help me to integrate all these things so that I may be a success in Your eyes. I remember those six months on the mountaintop with You. I was a die-hard Christian and everything seemed so perfect. I don’t remember a day I wasn’t happy. I admit I have not surrendered every single day after that, but I’m glad for those good memories, because You always bring me to the point that I’ve got to step it up again. It’s not the beginning of the year, but I know each day matters to You nonetheless. Every year is different and every year is always better. Five years of being a born-again Christian has been tough, exciting, and eye-opening. If I never surrendered to You, those five years would have been much, much, much tougher, and I would most likely have overlooked the exciting and eye-opening experiences in my life. I would have continued taking life for granted. Those six great months are history. I thank You for giving me the strength not to dwell in them. But I remember I kept a little journal and almost everyday I would write a few notes. THOSE NOTES BROUGHT ME CLOSER TO YOU. I HAD A BETTER VIEW OF MY LIFE IN YOUR HANDS. I HAD A BETTER VIEW OF THE WORLD AROUND ME. SEEKING YOU EVERYDAY GUIDED MY WORDS, MY ACTIONS, MY DECISIONS. I AM NOT A PERFECT CHRISTIAN, BUT TIME AND TIME AGAIN YOU PROVE TO ME YOUR WAY, THE NARROW ROAD LEADS THE WAY TO EVERLASTING LIFE. I have felt the difference of confidence apart from You and whole-heartedly in You. I prefer Your confidence all the way. I’ve come to the conclusion, the end of me, that nothing is better than choosing You. I rededicate my life to You. Daily, I choose You because each day belongs to You. I want to make my tomorrows with You, You, You! I love my name! I love the mighty name of Jesus!!! Hahaha! 😀
By His Grace, Sheela (via sheelaleigh.com)