• Reader’s Question

    Mystery Book CoverRecently a reader asked about how spiritual gifts fits in with being highly sensitive. I thought it was a very good question that perhaps many people have. So I turned it into a blog post! Here’s my take on the question…

     

    People who are highly sensitive are also spiritually sensitive–spiritual sensitivity is just another manifestation of high sensitivity. If you are highly sensitive, you are sensitive across the spectrum of experience—to light, sound, touch (texture), taste and environmental things like heat, cold, pollen in the air, or smog and food sensitivities, chemicals, etc. Your high sensitivity is also what makes it possible for you to hear from God.

     

    Being highly spiritually sensitive is not a Christian thing exclusively. There are highly sensitive people who are secular, atheists, and practitioners of other faiths as well. They tend to be the artists, poets, writers, the “religious,” witch doctors, shamans, etc. When these people come to know Jesus and are born again this sensitivity can be dedicated to The Most High and as you partner with Jesus to do Kingdom work, Holy Spirit guides you.Highly Sensitive JPEGThe issue of “spiritual gifting” is a real problem for most highly sensitive Christian people. Being HS means you are generally very itelligent and highly creative as well as empathetic.  So there are many things you can do, interests to pursue, and you are probably quite good at whatever you put your mind to. One caveat to that is how incredibly sensitive some Downs Syndrome and folks on the autistic spectrum are.

     

    I admit to you that I had the same problem with figuring out where I fit and who I should be. People would say, “You should be a counselor,” “You should be a teacher,” “You should sing,” yatta, yatta! For a long time, my bottom line was, “If I did all the things I should do and all the things I could do, I would never do the things I want to do!”

     

    The Lord finally came to my rescue. He told me that at times I will prophesy, at times counsel or teach, other times bear burdens, write, paint, do music, be a mom, grandmother, wife, etc. Other times the Lord and I will spin tales and weave yarns, but at all times I will be His friend. We don’t have to wear labels or feel we have to do one thing exclusive of all the others. He wants us to be fully developed—just like Jesus was.

     

    In your job you may speak prophetically to a colleague…but you won’t do that everyday. At times you will need to discern spirits, so you will…when that is needed. There is that scripture in Romans 5:3-5 that says, “Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.” There are times when being highly spiritually sensitive can cause you to suffer. It may come as a result of bearing someone’s burden, your own internal angst over who you are and where you fit, or as discrimination or rejection in the work place. When that happens, it is no fun. But please, do not hate the way God made you. He smiled and said, “that’s good.”

     

    As you see in the list of character traits above, one character trait is added to another. Fathers are admonished to teach their children line upon line. In other words, God wants us to build character a bit at a time. He wants us also to build spiritual character in the same way and to add relational skill sets, rounding out our personalities. So as we develop, God will gift us again and again. The more you work with God to mature and become skilled at hearing Him and prophesying then He will start working on another aspect—maybe training you to have razor sharp discernment. Then He will begin to work on developing another aspect without dropping any that you already have under your belt. There is also the passage in Hebrews 5:14 “who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.” He expects us to put ourselves in positions to receive training. You need to practice each and every gift you have so you become good at it.

     

    Don’t be disheartened or think that you have to have just one “gift.” Although, just as we are predominately right or left-handed, there will probably be one gift that will be dominant. Jesus had a whole fist full of spiritual gifts. We are to strive to have the full stature and character of Jesus. The “full stature” means that you will need more than just prophesy, or discernment. Spiritual sensitivity will lead you to develop the full potential of your design. One man I know tried on each one of the spiritual gifts for a whole month. Some of them he quickly learned were not his! This is one way to narrow down the list so that you can settle on what you need to learn and practice.

     

    So, I would say that your calling first and foremost is probably to be a friend of God. You may exhibit any number of the spiritual gifts at any given time. He designed you with a highly sensitive nervous system. You take in more sensory data than most people—this is what allows you to sense the Holy Spirit’s guidance and tell the difference between good and evil. You sense what is going on in other people’s experience—that is to inform your intercession on their behalf. Some highly sensitive “Pre-Christian” people may use the information they gain about people’s vulnerability to control or manipulate them. God gave you that ability for purposes of burden bearing and intercession, for encouraging and building up the saints, not control and domination.

     

    You will find that He places you in “assignments” where you will be able to either learn or hone a skill set or a spiritual gift. These assignments will change but there is something to learn, develop, or solidify–so I would just advise you to enjoy the journey and not be overly concerned about gifts. The enemy has a ploy to push you to do more, be more and drive you into burn out or to so focus you on one aspect of your walk with God that he can distract and trip you up. Just enjoy God’s presence and let that be your focus. Be the very best you, you can be. Along the way He will guide you to fully develop your potential and that will bring you a great sense of fulfillment.

     

    If you would like to learn more about spiritual sensitivity from a Christian perspective, check out The Mystery of Spiritual Sensitivity and its companion volume Highly Sensitive. Both are available from my website.

    Hope this helps.  Blessings, Carol Brown, shedding a little light!

     

    Wilderness-cover-B P.S. The Wilderness, my next book, a devotional/memoir is with the        publisher now. It is a memoir of my recovery journey after a major attack of multiple Sclerosis–I was catapulted into my wilderness. We are hoping to have it out in out in May. We will keep you posted.


  • Overall Vision for Sassy Pants Series

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    I was asked what my overall vision for the Sassy Pants series was. I wrote the stories first and then in retrospect marveled at what the Lord had done!

    When a child is laughing, he/she relaxes and it is much easier  to learn—lessons slip in and stay. It is my prayer that these books will help children build a sense of belonging and value, positive character traits, self-confidence, and good self-esteem. By watching how Sassy Pants overcomes difficulties that are not all that different from the trials many children cope with, they are encouraged to believe that they too have value and a place. My hope is that by using Sassy Pants model, children can eliminate some of the difficulties of  learning these lessons by trial and error.

     

    This launch, Dec. 4-6 in Tacoma, WA is for Book III in which Sassy Pants Learns about Strange Creatures. Strangers can be scary. Even people you know, but not very well! Sometimes you worry they won’t like you or they will do something you don’t like. How should you act? Say? Do? And when you are not too sure about who you are and how you fit in…well, things become confusing. Sassy Pants models finding a way.

     

    Book III – Sassy Pants learns…about strange creatures talking points

    • Overcoming fear of rejection and worry
    • Fear makes the situation much scarier than it really is
    • Facing a situation is much more productive than running and hiding
    • To call for help when she needs it
    • Truth about her father reduces her fear of him

    Book I – Sassy Pants learns…

    • Choices have consequences. (She bumps into this fact in other books in the series also.)
    • Different kinds of “sorry”
    • The importance of listening…or not
    • Respecting feelings, fences and boundaries
    • Bullying
    • Some learn the easy way…and some learn the hard way. It’s your choice.

    Book II – Sassy Pants learns…about amends

    • Words and actions can both hurt
    • Why we apologize and ask forgiveness
    • What amends is and why it is important
    • How to make amends
    • About honor – what it is and how to do it

    Books IV and V are yet to be illustrated and published. These stories share what Sassy Pants learns when making amends with her parents.

    • Making positive choices for one’s self often benefits others as well, far greater than she could ever imagine
    • She can do things she has never done before
    • Including others makes everything more fun
    • How to give and receive honor
    • What it feels like to belong
    • Everyone has something they do best
    • Her father focused on her potential not her mess ups
    • She has a place in her father’s heart and in the herd

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    Shedding a little light….   Carol

     


  • Developmental Needs & Tasks for Sassy Pants Readers!

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    When can I buy the book? Right now!

    Where can I buy it?      on Amazon. (click on Amazon)

    We will also have “BUY” button here SOON on my blog and the Summers Island Website.

    And now I’d also like to share a helpful piece about the development of young children. As moms (and as grandparents) we often wonder if we are doing the right things or if we are creating problems for them farther along in life.

    A friend of mine, Dr. James Wilder has written a manual that describes what is going on at each developmental stage of life. I thought the following chart brilliant–so very helpful.

    The needs of children aged 4 to 12 are:  (This part we help them with.)

    • They need to be weaned of being a baby—having all their needs anticipated and met for them
    • They need help doing what they don’t feel like doing
    • Authentic help sorting feelings, imaginations and realities
    • Feedback on guesses, attempts and failures
    • Love they do not need to earn
    • Be taught the family history
    • Be taught the big picture of their lives

    The developmental tasks for this age are: (This part they have to work at and learn. Yes, adults need to encourage them and compliment them when they make progress but we cannot do it for them.)

    • Learn to take care of self
    • Learn to ask for what they need
    • Learn self-expression
    • Develop personal resources and talents
    • Learn to make him/herself understandable to others
    • Learn to do hard things
    • Tame their cravings
    • Learn what satisfies
    • Learn to see him/herself through the “eyes of heaven”—see their potential

     

    Excerpted from The Complete Guide to Living With Men by E. James Wilder III, Shepherd’s House Inc., Pasadena, CA, 2004, pp. 56-90.

    Shedding some light… Carol A. Brown


  • Update on Sassy Pants Learns…about strange creatures!

    We now have a date and a venue and updated art work! Woo Hoo!

    December 4-6 in the Tacoma Mall

    Tacoma, WA

     Look for our kiosk.

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    The book launch for Sassy Pants Learns…about Strange Creatures is happening. There will be two other authors with me, along with friends. As well as being at the kiosk to sign books, visit with book lovers and kid lovers, we will be doing library readings and visiting schools in the area.

     

    Sassy Pants worries about all kinds of things…dad’s rejection, strange creatures on the farm and she is not sure how to act or what to say. She is worried about having something special to do that will make her important…poor Sassy Pants!

     

    It’s not too early to start thinking about Christmas gifts.

     

    Moms, Aunties, Grandmas

    Stop by and see us and scoop up this delightful series for your little “worry warts.” Help your little worrier through some of the same difficulties Sassy Pants had.


  • Still Alive!

    Sometimes life hits with such aggression that it takes your breath away. Notice that?  I’m hoping that aggressive phase is done and I can return to “business as usual!”  About business…

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    We have a new publisher for my children’s books!

    Summers Island Press where you are sure to find TREASURE!   http://summersislandpress.com   

    Please come and puruse. We are working on book III in the Sassy Pants Learns series — fun stories that result in building character but no one really cares. They’re so intrigued by Sassy Pants antics no one notices. The title to book III is Sassy Pants Learns About Strange Creatures. The title could change, as all things change in process.

    We have a new illustrator!  But I can’t post any illustrations yet.  I will be posting peeks into this new story as I get the OK.  Sassy Pants Learns About Strange Creatures helps children figure out the difference between something that is strange-different (as in “different, or new to me”) and something that is strange-dangerous. Sassy Pants worries about many things and her worry exaggerates her fears. What to do? What to say? How to act? Nada’s illustrations captivate!

    Release:  We are shooting for completion in time for the holidays. Stay tuned; I’ll let you know the progress.

    We will go back and republish the first two books–redoing the covers and giving them color illustrations. Our ultimate goal is to have a boxed set of the full series.

    Please spread the word of these delightful stories.

    Blessings, Carol


  • Habits

    Habits are wonderful and habits can undo you! Ridding oneself of the bad ones and developing new ones is just plain hard work. When habits are good, they assist you in accomplishing even more because they free up the little bit of will power that is granted for the day. You can focus your will power on a goal rather than blow it to working your way through a “to-do” list. Unlike phone plans there doesn’t seem to be any roll over to build up will power points.

    I used to have some excellent habits in organizing my life, accomplishing the work I needed to do, and still have time left for some fun activities and contributing to my community. Then the MS hit and annihilated  all my good habits.

    When the brain fog mostly cleared and I could see the crumbled mess of my life and my home…dust buffaloes roaming freely through the house! I began comparing the old self with the new self–bad idea. It added to the downward spiral and the new bad self-image, It depleted an already severely weakened self-worth. Comparison works like a black hole and sucks up precious will power. Oy!

    I spend a majority of most days in my recliner…so I watch lots of video presentations. One I found particularly helpful. The presenter, Eban Pagan, told of a man who had  two large rocks, a whole bunch of smaller rocks, some pebbles and some sand to put in a tank…first the sand and pebbles, then the small rocks. When he tried to put the two big rocks in there was not enough room. But when he did it the other way around–put in the two big rocks, placed the smaller ones around them, then the pebbles, viola! the sand slid down between and around them all and there was plenty of room for everything.

    Aha! I had found my plan…identify my two big rocks and make sure I do them before anything else. I am aiming for these to be two-hour blocks. All the other tasks will fit around them and if something of a small rock or pebble size is not done it is no big deal. Each day I have identified one house work item per day as a “big rock” and writing as my second “big rock.” My goal is to make sure those “big rock” time blocks are uninterrupted. After that I am very interruptible, if that’s a word! If I can develop some strong habits around time flow it will free up the will power that is poured for me daily, some days a thimble full and some days a tea cup. If I can build a strong habit, I won’t have to use up the will power to think through what needs to be done next. It is already a habit. It might work!

    Michael Hyatt is a writing mentor I read and follow as I can. He says having a companion while you are in the “messy middle” (before you reach a goal) makes is much easier to accomplish. Thanking God for helping me see a way out! I’d love to hear how God brought you out of an impossible situation. Let’s help each other.

    shedding a little light…Carol A. Brown

    www.fromgodsheart.com  Author of The Mystery of Spiritual Sensitivity and Highly Sensitive.

     

     


  • Allergies And Marketing. (How do they go together?)

    I am a writer and a member of a group of Christian authors (John 3:16 Marketing Network).  We help each other market our books. I hate marketing!…it is my least favorite part of being an author. I’ve often said that I have an allergic reaction to marketing–no business gene. And speaking of allergies…after my MS attack back in 1995, we discovered (the hard way) that I had become gluten intolerant. What could marketing and allergies have in common? Read on.

    My husband has been researching flours and grains (since we both really like bread, all things made with it, and I am an awesome baker!) He discovered that the wheat supply in the U.S. is so totally messed with that it has very little nutritional value. The reason they tinkered with it was the desire to produce a greater yield per acre so there would be more available on the market and more to export. Money, money, money! Then they also needed to make sure it would arrive at market in good shape. And, they were very successful. The marketing enhancements were successful. There is an abundance of wheat (in this country at least); it arrives at the market or the mill in good shape, and produces a beautiful loaf of bread. Celebrate the success of science, right? One problem. The more tinkering, the less nutritional value! Hmmm. That kind of backfired.

    Beginning about 1960, selective breeding and modern production methods gradually increased wheat yields by about threefold,” Davis says. “Unfortunately, this famous Green Revolution is accompanied by an almost-unknown side effect of decreasing mineral concentrations in wheat. Measured declines in the range of 20 to 50 percent have been documented in modern wheats for magnesium, zinc, copper, iron, selenium, phosphorus and sulfur, and they probably apply to other minerals as well. They presumably affect the health of people everywhere in the world, because inadequate intakes of many of these minerals are well-documented both in developed and developing countries.”

    Some of today’s varieties also have half as much protein as earlier varieties, Davis says, while old wheat varieties often have substantially higher amounts of valuable phytochemicals. Although some modern commercial flours are high in total protein, they do not necessarily contain the specific proteins important for good bread. Read  more: http://www.motherearthnews.com/real-food/homemade-whole-grain-bread-zmrz12djzmar.aspx#ixzz3PxTMclmg

    No wonder it gave me a belly ache!

    As I was taking all this in it dawned on me–the enhancements to marketing are causing my allergic reaction. All the extra “stuff” that an author must engage in…from tours to social media. It is stimulation overload and it causes a shutdown … kind of like throwing a circuit breaker.

    I wonder what the business equivalent to gluten free is. Is there a way I can desensitize myself to marketing or should I go cold turkey and swear off entirely–hide out in my writer’s cave? And how would one do that exactly and be able to remain a writer? And if I did that who would/could read what I wrote? Sigh.

    What do you readers do when you experience stimulation overload? Any ideas out there?

    Shedding a little light…Carol A. Brown

    Author of The Mystery of Spiritual Sensitivity and Highly Sensitive.

     

     


  • Don’t Need A Word For That

    The mind is a  funny thing. Mine had been ruminating on the fact that the Chinese language does not have a vocabulary category for spouses to scold each other. Did you know that?

    When I was in university I was part of a Chinese community–ya, the one American in the whole bunch. One of my friends said that when he and his wife argued they did it in English because Chinese doesn’t have those words. Now, all these years later my mind brings that up…at 2:30 in the morning! And now 45 years later I protest.

    Me:  “You don’t need specific vocabulary to scold each other. You can use ordinary words. It is about communicating feelings and mental images. I don’t have enough Chinese vocabulary to demonstrate, but here is an example in English.”

    “I am so angry…I am so angry with you! Oh! One breath of my white hot fury will incinerate  the feathers off of General Tzao’s chicken!”

    In my mind’s eye I see my friend collapse to the floor, helpless with laughter.

    Me: “Check. I won that argument.” It seemed so funny to me that I had to wake my husband and tell him to double check to see if it was as funny as it was in my head. It was.

    That happened several days ago but my mind was not done. Today it downloaded why there was no vocabulary for spousal bickering.

        1. It is not polite
        2. It is not honoring
        3. It destroys face (mien tzu)

    Politeness, honor and keeping face are three very important aspects of Chinese culture so they never invented words that would destroy it. Wow, that’s brilliant. I think Jesus is very pleased with that aspect of the culture. In fact He encourages us through the apostle Paul.

    “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”  Philippians 4:8  This would be polite, honoring and not only save face, it would add to it, seems to me.

    Amazing what the mind will do without our direction! But I think now I will direct it to come up with something about the holidays! Hope yours are beginning well.

     

    Shedding a little light…

     

    Carol A. Brown

    Author of The Mystery of Spiritual Sensitivity and Highly Sensitive.

     

     


  • RIP Old Dell

    If you are looking for the fall sale and planned to buy books today–bad news!

    MY COMPUTER DIED! I have been unable to make all the connections and notifications that needed to be in place so I contacted th organizers and had someone take my place. I will honor requests today that come via the “contact me” on this site and on my website. It will not be set up to use PayPal so just leave a request on the “contact”. I will make sure to borrow a computer and check that once (at least) today.

    I only  have sporadic access to a machine so would not be able to participate with the other authors and  monitor the sale. I do not know when mine will be replaced.

    Deepest heartfelt apologies. I will hold a sale in the future when I have a new computer. Blessings on you, may your day be filled with favor from on high.

    Carol…shedding a little light

     


  • Announcing…A Forum for Highly Sensitives!

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     Good news! Finally, after years of wishing I could tell readers that they have a place to go to explore what it means to be highly sensitive…a reader, Kayla Swanson, with more techno-savvy then I have volunteered to create a forum. It is called Nurturing Spiritual Sensitivity. Here is the link: http://spiritualsensitivity.boardhost.com/index.php

    This forum is a place where you can meet others who have read The Mystery of Spiritual Sensitivity and Highly Sensitive and realized that high sensitivity is what has “been wrong” all this time! You can ask questions and/or commiserate.  Share your glory stories! We can all learn together how to live joy filled and satisfying lives that bring glory to God.

    I will pop in from time to time to chat and see how things are going. If you have a question you would like my input on particularly, send it my way at godsheart@comcast.net. Indicate if you want a private answer or if it is okay to answer on the forum so others can benefit. If one person asks a question there are probably 10-20 others with the same question…they just didn’t ask it!

    I am so grateful to Kayla for being our administrator. This has been long overdue…we need each other. We need to know we are not the only one out there that’s “weird!” Let’s remind each other that maybe ½ the craziness we feel may not be our own.

    Hope to see you over on the forum!  Blessings,

    Carol…shedding some light

    p.s. I know I have been remiss—well, I have been struggling with physical therapy and dental visits and it simply wore me out so I didn’t blog. There you have it.

    p.s.s. Social media and technology are weak areas for me; I just cannot be bashful in admitting it!