Becoming Cage Free

Becoming

Cage Free


Becoming Cage Free is about becoming the best version of yourself.  Often, people think that being #cagefree is doing whatever you want. That isn't the case.  The definition of cage free is, "No longer being bound to the things that once held you captive, rather living in a way that frees you to be how God created you to be; a direct reflection of His glory." 


I have discovered that there are many facets/ shades to us all.  We, however, limit who we are because of what society tells us:  You can only be this, or you can only be that.  No, I am many things and I will be them all.  Journey with me on this cage free road.  Let's see how much we can discover about ourselves, and our children!

~Sheba


What We’ve Been Up To - The First Month

  Thursday, July 23, 2020 by Bathsheba Smithen | Blogposts


Part II: The War of the Wait by Bathsheba Smithen

Wednesday, July 29, 2020 by Bathsheba Smithen | Blogposts

The War of the "Wait"

Part II


Listen here:

 

The past few days I have felt overwhelmed by my "wait."  Yes, I mean w-a-i-t, not w-e-i-g-h-t.  Consequently, I have probably put on some weight, by indulging in my frustration and neglecting my physical needs constantly stuck in my head, contemplating when God is going to meet my timetable.  Sometimes I wish I could just walk into those pearly gates and see God's calendar because apparently mine seems to be completely off.  Certainly by this time, this baby should be walking, my mother should be strolling back into our family amusement park, and all of these Job-like boils and Joseph-like experiences in the pit should have subsided.  Don't get me wrong, I am very grateful for how far God has brought me, but have you ever been in the middle of your wait?

You know, when you start seeing the water come out of your faucet that has had faulty plumbing for a while bit it's just drips or a narrow stream that comes and goes?  Carried the baby that you conceived after several miscarriages and still have one more month to go before delivery?  Started a new business, gained great clientele but feel stuck when it comes to expansion?  Make a significant amount of money but can't figure out how to get to the next tax bracket?  See your child go from not being able to read at all to reading adequately but not proficiently, so you still worry?  You start to lose weight but can't seem to get rid of the last 10 pounds?  Connect with the right producers but have yet to get a call?  Well, all of the aforementioned questions are what I deem as "the middle of the wait. You're in the middle of a battle and how you proceed will determine whether or not you win the war.

 Standing in the Promised Land like Joshua and Caleb, and taking down giants but still having 100 more to go, feels tiring. You've done the work and see a glimpse of the promise but don't yet have it.  The territory is still inhabited by the giants you faced at the beginning.  How in the world do you rule them out altogether? Let's bring this up to modern day.  You're Shuri in Wakanda, and you've already created all the technology required for the battle but it still doesn't seem to be enough for the soldiers you're up against.  

The giants/obstacles won't go down fast enough.  Those last 10 pounds won't leave your waist line and that faucet is irritating the mess out of you because it takes 2 hours just to fill up a pail of water to mop your kitchen floor.  Why isn't your business up and walking, it's still crawling, just breaking even and toying with your emotions.  Clients are dripping in like that crappy faucet but you can't complain because there was a time you didn't have clients; a time where you were thirsty in the heat of the desert called, " No progress."  

There were moments you thought you were infertile, so you should enjoy the fact that a baby is leaping in your womb. Why do you want to expand your reach, lose more weight, or have your child in advanced classes?  How dare you say that you have a little anxiety about delivery or want more?  Come on y'all, of course I'm being facetious.  But, people will look at you sideways and expect you to settle when you're in the middle of the wait.  As a result, the wait becomes heavy, because the outlet you once had (to communicate your frustration) is gone.  The Egyptians drowned, the wilderness is too dry for you to even want to return, and all of your supporters think you're doing the most.  

Regardless, you're tired of manna, and...you're in the land of promise but you're also tired of slaying giants.  Obstacle after obstacle wears you out and the only option you have is to keep fighting.  How in the world do you keep fighting in the middle of the "wait" and "weight."

Okay, let's go through my step-by-step process right now.  

1.  Take breaks in between. You can't go running hard like you did in the beginning because once you get to the middle, you learn pacing.  You learn how long it will take the next giant to approach you and that is when you take out your sword.  

2.    Keep doing the mundane everyday tasks that helped you get to where you are now, and add a little spice along the way to change up the game. Consistency is key, but doing something different once in a while will at least make you feel like you are getting closer to your desired outcome.

3.  When you are in the middle of the weight, you need a new support system.  These are the people who may not have been in the beginning with you (Egypt) but grew with you in the wilderness.  You'll need them to hold up your arms and fight for you when you're too exhausted.  Fighting looks like encouraging and tough conversations.

4.  Stop thinking about it. Stop checking your feed and emails every five minutes. Don't think about the results, think more about the process.  Focus on every small detail because it may show you errors in the system, so they can be fixed before your major breakthrough.  If you want your child to grow more in reading, pay attention to engagement, small distractions, or the test itself.  If you're trying to lose the last of your weight....stop stepping on the scale and just keep going at your routine.  Check to see if you've added something to your diet that wasn't there before.  

5.  Just start singing when the weight of the wait creeps up on you again.

Once you kick these steps into full gear, the "wait" won't seem so heavy, and the giants will be slayed before you know it.  


Photo credit: https://www.looptt.com/content/black-panthers-women-warriors-compared-real-african-amazons 

The "Wait" Is Heavy

Monday, July 27, 2020 by Bathsheba Smithen | Blogposts

The "Wait" Is Heavy

Listen here: 


I've sat here looking at this computer trying to determine which of my experiences this past weekend, I should share.  Well, it's not necessarily an experience, but it's the adventures I go on in my mind.  I have been in the amusement park of my thoughts, and the water slides are amazing--the roller-coasters, not so much. If you've ever been to an amusement park, you know the process of planning required to have a fun-filled time. You need to pack refreshments, towels, and maybe even a change of clothes.  Nothing else can be cramped into the day because in between the times of riding the roller-coasters, going to the simulations, and eating funnel cakes, you must consider the walk and the heat of the sun.


While enjoying the entertainment, we mustn't forget the long walks between the rides and sometimes having to figure out things by reading one of those park maps. You know the ones you open and turn multiple times, but still can't find a daggon thing.

The mind appears to be very similar when we are in the process of waiting for something--whether that's waiting a dream to be fulfilled, a wayward child to return, financial stability, the end of a crisis, reconciliation, or whatever it is God has promised us.  Well, I know I'm not alone when I say this but: "Waiting is HARRRDDDDD!!!!"  

I have a LOT of stuff I'm waiting for.

During the waiting period, there are moments we enjoy the smooth ride of the water slide or lazy river; we love splashing in the pools of happiness.  Let's call those rides, "good times or pleasant memories."  And those thoughts last us for a period of time until days become weeks and weeks become months....then years.

And we find ourselves strolling in the heat, seeking shade in the shadow of trees.  The map of where we're going becomes confusing and as we wait to arrive at our next destination, perspiration rolling off of our brows and down into the seat of doubt, the need to pause and rethink our journey, makes us forget the taste of the funnel cake, and cotton candy.  The laughter we once enjoyed is long forgotten.  Crankiness weighs us down along with the bags we packed and planned.  Planning is supposed to enough for the journey.

Our minds try to rationalize when planning doesn't match outcome and everything we once anticipated becomes unbearable.  We grow tired of waiting and sometimes just rush to what's nearby, since what we really want seems to be impossible to locate.  Restoration.  Legacy.  Love. Breakthrough....

They all seem difficult to come by.  So we find the merry go round, hop on and run in cycles of ineffectiveness to short-circuit the record that keeps skipping.  It's not going to happen for you.  It's not going to happen for you.  It's not going to happen for you...

The temptation to go home and end the whole trip intensifies.  

It requires too much to make it to the next ride or next stage in the journey and those who were once fun to travel with, have now become nuisances. Well, in your mind anyway.  You think about who could have helped you, why they didn't, what they're saying to get on your nerves, not to mention, the fight you're having with yourself for taking the trip or trusting God in the first place.  But, when we look at things from a different perspective, we realize the plans we had would never be enough because this is the first time we have taken this journey. 

"The map is not the territory (Alfred Korzybski)."

The only way to make it through the amusement park is to hold onto every beautiful memory as we go.  To constantly rest in the assurance that we are already in place of the miraculous.  How?  Because believing in something that seems impossible, is wondrous in itself.  Most find it hard to hope when situations seem hopeless.  Belief places us automatically in a land of promise.  Now, we must continue carrying the plans that we have but be willing to let go of what is unnecessary and keep walking.  The next adventure is around the corner......

Just wait, there's a part two coming...

~Sheba

Photo credit: https://upgradedpoints.com/best-amusement-parks-in-north-america/

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