Thursday, December 29, 2011

New Year, New Me!

Hello my little munchkins! Can you tell I'm a little excited to be back to the blog world?  I'm sorry I didn't warn you of my break but I thought you would figure it out! Merry Christmas, jingle bells and all that stuff... Oh, plus my birthday! 
Grampie (in the sweater I got him for Christmas) & I on my Birthday.
Now I'm back and hoping to start the New Year off right! (Yes, I do realize we aren't quite there yet... But let's get prepared!)  A friend sent me an e-mail with "30 Things to Stop Doing to Yourself" and I thought it would be a good thing to read and apply to 2012! Of course you all know when I'm working on myself I share with you so hopefully if you don't attack it all you will find some piece of sanity in my ramblings you can better your own life with! I have added my own thoughts to the e-mail and taken some away but all in all I hope you really enjoy these readings as I am! Oh yes, I should have mentioned before now, this "New Year, New Me!" blog will be a series... I'm not sure how long, just keep reading :o) I love you all and here it is:

Stop putting your own needs on the back burner – The most painful thing is losing yourself in the process of loving someone too much, and forgetting that you are special too. Yes, help others (I think we all know I'm a big proponent of this!) but help yourself too. I always feel bad when I see a mom who doesn't take any time out for herself... And angry with the husband who isn't quite bright or caring enough to see a couple hours alone or out would do amazing things for her, as well as the family... Something my boss says frequently is "If mama ain't happy, ain't nobody gonna be happy!" I think it's true, not because mama doesn't want anyone else to be happy but if you are continuously pouring yourself out for others but not taking the time to get refilled yourself you will soon be empty and no one can benefit from that. If there was ever a moment to follow your passion and do something that matters to you, whether it be reading a book, drawing a bubble bath, going out for some retail therapy (okay so maybe not this close to Christmas you may want to save that one for a month or two haha!), writing a book, going for a walk or create something of your own, that moment is now.

Stop spending time with the wrong people – I know I just wrote about this before my Christmas/Birthday break from blogging but it's something that we have to look at in our own lives at least once a year... And since there is a New Year just around the corner why not now?  Life is too short to spend time with people who suck the happiness out of you. If someone wants you in their life, they’ll make room for you.  It's a hard lesson to learn and I think I was in the "special education system" for this one, but friends aren't friends if they don't have the time to even text you once in a while to see how you are doing... I'm not an advocate for testing people, I think if you feel the need to test someone it's most likely because you already know they are failing but something I once used to find out if I mattered to people was just stop trying for a bit... I just put my effort for friendship aside, stopped inviting, emailing, calling or texting and some of the people I thought were my friends never really spoke to me again... FAIL! But here's the point:  you shouldn’t have to fight for a spot in some one's life. Never ever insist yourself to someone who continuously overlooks your worth. And remember, it’s not the people that stand by your side when you’re at your best but the ones who stand beside you when you’re at your worst that are your true friends.

Stop running from your problems – Face them head on. Yikes, this is a serious blog!  It can seem so much easier to run except that when you finally stop to take a breath the problem is there tapping on the back door of your mind and you're probably going to be too tired to fight back... No facing problems won’t be easy and, frankly, there is no person in the world capable of flawlessly handling every punch thrown at them. We aren’t supposed to be able to instantly solve problems. That’s not how we’re made. In fact, we’re made to get upset, sad, hurt, stumble and fall because that’s the whole purpose... To learn to to face problems, get up when we've been knocked down, learn from mistakes, adapt ourselves, and solve every problem with prayer over the course of time. Another rather sucky truth: falling down and scraping our knees is part of learning to walk much like problems and mistakes along the journey what ultimately mold us into the person we become.

Stop lying – You can lie to anyone in the world but why would you... Let's face it, just as mama taught us when we were younger, it's hard to keep the story straight when one lie piles on another. "Oh what a tangled web we weave. When first we practice to deceive" - Sir Walter Scott, 1st Baronet. Just as important as the lesson mother taught us, perhaps, is learning not to lie to ourselves... Whether it be when we look in the mirror or to the heart.  I know, as well as you all, it's scary to face truth about ourselves but to grow we must!  Don't be too hard on yourself either, usually we are much more critical of our own being than we would be with anyone else because of that I always think if I saw this in a friend would I be concerned? If the answer is no, don't worry about it... If it is yes, make an action plan and conscience effort to change.  Change, unfortunately is a lot of discipline, mistakes, try agains and work but if you are persistent it is possible!  Our lives improve only when we take chances, and the first and most difficult chance we can take is to be honest with ourselves. Read The Road Less Traveled.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Somethings Missing: A Sad Christmas Season

I was always the classic case of a "somethings missing" life. I thought I felt alone because I didn't have enough friends... Although, my dad has always been a firm believer of "you only really need one true friend." Once I got all the friends a girl could ask for I realized there was still something missing and thought maybe it was because I needed a boyfriend. Oh how I was mistaken with that one... It only feels worse when they cheat and lie.  Bad experience for the first relationship with a male but once I was past that I still felt lonely. I then decided maybe what was missing was a career; a call center job just was not fulfilling, money isn't everything.  I went to college, became a paralegal and landed a job at a law office...  Honestly, it's not what I thought; I love being a paralegal but still... There's something missing.  My next assumption was I was feeling lonely because my dad left us... Not just my mom, in the eyes of a child dad is leaving the family as a whole... or hole rather.  I worked feverishly at improving my relationship with my dad but even seeing each other every week didn't take that feeling away.  I am a strong believer that pets can fix almost everything and when I first got my pup I was sure he was the answer... But after a couple of months as a fur-baby's mama I realized there was still something missing...  I designed and built my own home something my mama and I were without since dad left when I was 9.  I love being a home owner! All the little things like paying my own mortgage instead of someone else, being able to play music as late and loud as I want or have friends over and laugh until 3 in the morning without worrying about waking the people in the apartment above... But whatever is missing still wasn't there...

But seriously, what else could I have done? I could have gone back to school but I'm not so sure that would help, I mean, I've always thought I would be a good counselor or psychiatrist but then again I'm thinking if someone was in my office every day saying "I just want to kill myself! Life sucks! My mistress is pressuring me to leave my wife, my wife wants another baby. My kids don't sleep through the night and I had to babysit them again last night so my wife could go to the hospital to spend the night with her sister. My Bentley is so hard on gas... And my secretary, ooh that old hag, I hate her! She only works 60 overtime hours a week and I have to be at work an hour a day!" I'm quite sure after the third appointment I would say something along the lines of "listen you idiot, you don't need counsel you need appreciation and morals! Grow up, put your big boy undies on and take responsibility! You have a great life so stop cheating, be a dad not a babysitter and if your Bentley is that hard on gas get a Ford Fiesta! And if you were really going to kill yourself you would do it instead of taking my time up with your belly aching."  I'm also a firm believer in people just needing a reality check these days and getting over ourselves... We don't really have problems comparatively.

Here's the thing... We were all created with "something missing" in our hearts and there is only one thing that will fill that need...  And maybe you should consider that if nothing in this world is filling the empty space and not lasting for more than a season it's because nothing in this world can... Kind of like the old adage "you can't fit a square peg in a round hole..." So what does that mean? There's no help for me? This is depressing, please tell me there's a lesson here and a hope! 

I think C.S. Lewis had hold of something we all need to grasp... There is a hope, something to fill the "something missing" in our lives... It's love!  I know, you've probably already realized that and you've been trying to fill that hole with relationships, alcohol, travel, busyness, babies, sex, work and who knows what else... And now you're thinking, I've had love and still felt horrible!  Now I'm so messed up no one can love me again anyway, even if I did want to try it again... But there is a solution to all of it and if you take a step back with an objective point of view you will see you are loved already and have been all along.
The key to that love actually filling the missing piece? Love Him back... Not just in words but in action... Not just once or twice a week or once a year at Christmas time but every day... Not just realizing God still loved you and saying you love him back but actually forming a day to day relationship and working on it. Something that will really help you in all relationships but especially your relationship with God is realizing it does take work... Work on your part, time and understanding on your part and if that seems like too much for you to do consider what Christ was born to do for you... Die.. And He already has, what else can you really expect from Him? Nothing, but still, He will do more as long as you're working too.

Yes, Christmas makes us all think about God, whether we have a relationship with Him or not... It also seems to magnify that "something missing" feeling and maybe instead of looking at it as a bad thing see it as a sign you've been looking for.  Christmas is a celebration of Christ and a sad time for many, maybe they are sad not because of whatever they think is wrong with life but because they haven't realized the "something missing" in their life is God.... Even if you have entered into a relationship with Christ and still get that feeling, don't worry it's just God reminding you to draw closer. So this Christmas Season take some time out of the frantic preparations and spend it being with the One the season is all about... Make it a date, play some music, write a love note, be quiet together and just soak it up... You'll find that "something missing" feeling will melt away in the warmth of His love.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Heart, Feelings & Rollerblades: All the same...

I was watching Home Alone 2: Lost in New York yesterday afternoon (Christmas movie watching is at least a daily occurrence in my house these days!) One scene really caught my attention... I was looking for a light & fluffy couple of hours filled with laughs and what I got was a lesson in life. And since it 'tis the season for sharing I thought I would share it with you all :o)

In this scene MacCaulay Culkin (playing Kevin McCallister) and an actress I've not seen before or since (playing Bird Lady) sit in the lighting/storage room above an opera house and listen to a symphony together.  Here is a snippet of the conversation that caused me to think:

Bird Lady: I'm just afraid if I do trust someone, Ill get my heart broken.

Kevin McCallister: I understand. I had a nice pair of Rollerblades. I was afraid to wreck them, so I kept them in a box. Do you know what happened? I outgrew them. I never wore them outside. Only in my room a few times.

Bird Lady: A persons heart and feelings are very different than skates.

Kevin McCallister: They're kind of the same thing. If you wont use your heart, who cares if it gets broken? If you just keep it to yourself, maybe it'll be like my Rollerblades. When you do decide to try it, it wont be any good. You should take a chance. Got nothing to lose.

The obvious question now on my mind is "how much have I been using my heart?" Whatever your answer is I promise you could use it more.  Think of the love Jesus displayed as a model for us when he died at Golgotha...  Obviously that's not the way we will be displaying our love but until we've surpassed that (which we never will) our job of loving people and God is not finished.  We are after all supposed to sow God's love  for people through our own lives... I know it can be scary and we all have trouble trusting at some point in our lives but love is the most important thing we can do, it's the best quality to carry in your being and if you have all else but not love you are really nothing... So get past the fear and walk in love.

Jesus said love was the most important command he could give us "Jesus said, "The first in importance is, 'Listen: The Lord your God is one; so love the Lord God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence and energy.' And here is the second: 'Love others as well as you love yourself.' There is no other commandment that ranks with these." Mark 12:30-31 Msg. 

Further, 1st John 4:8 states "Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love" and 4:20-21 extends that love to others "If anyone boasts, "I love God," and goes right on hating his brother or sister, thinking nothing of it, he is a liar. If he won't love the person he can see, how can he love the God he can't see? The command we have from Christ is blunt: Loving God includes loving people. You've got to love both."

Lastly, love is more than just a word and an action or two... More than a feeling, it has to be your whole being... Your motive and your priority.  Love has a lot of characteristics that sets it apart from just pretending to be nice and painting a smile on your face to fool people or yourself into thinking you've got it all together and I propose that while we take some time off from our respective careers this Christmas season let's take some time on growing love in ourselves and sharing it with other people! One of my favorite and I believe most detailed descriptions of love was written by Paul the Apostle... It's how I measure love and know I still have lots of work to do, so if you're left wondering how to grow love (as I have been many, many times) use this passage as instruction: "If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don't love, I'm nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate. If I speak God's Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, "Jump," and it jumps, but I don't love, I'm nothing. If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don't love, I've gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I'm bankrupt without love. Love never gives up. Love cares more for others than for self. Love doesn't want what it doesn't have. Love doesn't strut, doesn't have a swelled head, doesn't force itself on others, isn't always "me first," doesn't fly off the handle, doesn't keep score of the sins of others, doesn't revel when others grovel, takes pleasure in the flowering of truth, puts up with anything, trusts God always, always looks for the best, never looks back, but keeps going to the end." 1st Corinthians 13:1-7, Msg.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

In the Army

Picture from Oromocto SPCA via Facebook

I saw this picture mid-week last week and it honestly just struck my heart.  Yes, I am an animal lover. I cannot imagine anyone not helping, loving and being kind to an innocent, defenceless (compared to us) living being. Some of the stories I hear of people abusing animals make me sick and I truly believe people who hurt animals should be put in jail... Really, how long will it be before that same person harms another human being, in some ways I would think it more easily done, at least with conscience... Then again, it's probably only cowardly souls who would ever think of hurting an animal.

The thing that has had my heart bleeding since I saw this picture though has nothing to do with an animal really... But the army.  We are a part of the Lord's army once we are Christians, right?  You know putting on the armour of God, breastplate of righteousness carrying the sword of the spirit, double edged sword of the word of God written on our hearts... But is fighting the only thing an army does?  What is the motive driving the army? Are they really there to take lives or save them?

An army fights to protect the weak, protect their kingdom.  An army fights to push their cause forward... An army is driven by compassion not anger and violence... An army helps. An army loves. An army frees the captive!

So, I ask you what you are doing in the army? What are your motives? Are you fighting against the enemy or have you somehow been turned around and have the innocent, the weak, your own fellow soldiers in your sights?  Do you remember your compassion? Do you remember Christ's compassion?  Have you helped, loved and freed anyone recently?  It's true, we are not all on the front lines, an army has many valuable roles we forget all about... But, without a cook the soldiers would grow weak... Whatever your roll, it is important and invaluable to the kingdom.  You who keep the front line strong, you who feed the spirit through prayer, fasting, supporting and loving are just as much part of the freedom of others as is you were the commanding officer.

We are an army, yes, but we must remember we are a kind army... Peacekeepers if you will. We must be compassionate. We must reach to help the week.  We must love the captive. We must keep the enemy in our sights and remember freedom of the nations is the motive. Christ's compassion for the world must be the driving force behind each move we make.

God, have your way, your will be done and I pray "God, direct our every step. Let our heart beat as yours and our compassion reach beyond every barrier. Help us to love as you loved us and to give ourselves because you held no part of yourself back from us.  Fight with us and on our behalf God and allow us to be your hands to bring freedoms reign in our Cities. In Jesus name I ask all of these things for your glory alone. Amen."

Monday, December 5, 2011

Invation to a Taste Test!

I just read on Twitter... The source of all information you need! haha! Well okay, not quite... It's Walt Disney's birthday! I'm not sure if that implies the company or the man but whichever works for me. I decided today's blog would be based on a Disney quote and of course I go to Disney Words on Twitter for that!  And this is what I've got for my favorite people today:

I've been asked before, referring to living a Christian lifestyle and having a relationship with Christ if I "just do it because that's how [I] was brought up?" Funny question really... I used to live a Christian lifestyle because that is how I was brought up... Well until I was about nine years old and my dad left, at least.  My mama did the best she could to raise me up in the way I should go but I have to admit to not making it easy for her.  It wasn't until my last year of middle school (that was grade 9 back then haha!) I decided I wanted to be a Christian for myself not just because that is the faith most of my family believe... Even then, nothing seemed to come easy for me... I have always been a quick learner and been able to learn from the mistakes of others but for some reason my walk with God was not quite as easy... Does that mean it's not meant to be? Shouldn't it come easily? Well, I have two responses to those questions really: 1. I take from Mary Poppins "That’s a pie crust promise. Easily made, easily broken." via Disney Words, Twitter. And I definitely don't want an easily broken relationship with Christ.  2. As an answer I pose a question "Was the cross easy for Christ?" Of course not! So if it wasn't easy for Him to start the relationship with us why should it be easy for us to grow in a relationship with Him?

I'm not saying a relationship with God is all storms and rocks but I am saying any relationship worth having will cost you something and take commitment to endure storms that may come your way... And this relationship is definitely worth having!  I can honestly tell you that if you have any doubt about whether or not you should try a relationship with God for yourself, any of those "is it really worth it?", "is it real?" or even hesitation because of past experience with a "Christian" who you didn't think was very Christian-like you should try Him! It is worth anything I've ever had to give in exchange and more! My life since Him has been so much better than any moment prior! He has helped me become someone I actually like, someone my family is proud of and someone who would actually have something to give in relationships.  There is a verse in Psalm 34:8 "By experience you will see that the Lord is good; happy is the man [or woman] who has faith in him!" (Bible in Basic English translation)

I once explained a relationship with God to my boss in this way:  "Asking me to explain what it's like, what you feel, the changes and possibilities that come with a relationship with God is like asking me to explain what peach ice cream tastes like if you've only been fed through a feeding tube and have lived in one of those plastic, temperature controlled bubbles all your life." I know that's probably not the best answer and certainly not the answer he may have been hoping for or you were expecting to read... But I further explained this "how could I explain the freshness of a peach without you having any tasting pallet to compare it to? How would I explain the creaminess of the ice cream or even it's coldness on your tongue if you've not felt so much as a cool breeze on your skin? It's the same thing with trying to explain a relationship with God if you have nothing to compare Him to. I can only say it's better than any other relationship I've ever experienced, you would think it's less tangible but once you've seen Him work a miracle he's more real than anything else you've touched or seen! So all I can say, is you have to experience it for yourself and see how great it is!"  And that's what I want to say to you all today!  Try it! I promise you'll love Him more than anything else you've ever experienced! Get everything out of the way, everything you've heard, all opinions that have come your way, all inhibitions and just give God one chance with you, jump in with both feet and I promise you won't regret one second and he won't need another chance!

And one last word from Disney I would like to apply to my invitation... "Prepare for a chance of a lifetime. Be prepared for sensational news. A shining new era is tiptoeing nearer." –Scar (Lion King) as tweeted by Disney Words

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Shopping is Dangerous: Adopting is Not!

Hi honeys!  Again today I really don't have a whole lot to write to you all :o(  I think I just need some time off, you know to re-group and relax... Hopefully the Christmas Holiday will bring that to me and I will also be able to get some writing done for you all.

I'm going shopping downtown tonight! Yes, I am excited... I don't do much shopping downtown anymore and especially in the winter time... I do admit it has been a warmer than ever winter but I'm still a bit of a wimp! ha! Not to mention you are apparently taking your very life in your hands to shop downtown these days as I learned from CTV Atlantic tweeting stories like this one: Really, I haven't even been shopping at the mall as much as I should be this time of year... Time to shop for every one's Christmas presents is another thing I hope the Christmas Holiday will bring me!

Since I'm less than interesting with my blogging today I'll try to help Fredericton SPCA and ask you all to donate something to the animals for the Holiday season! It could be a couple of old toys, blankets or a couple of bucks, anything and everything is helpful! Better yet adopt a sweetie and give it to your kiddos for a present or foster some fur babies so they don't have to be alone for Christmas! Here is the website and if you're not near by find the closest SPCA or Shelter to you and do the same! After all, "You can easily judge the character of a man by how he treats those who can do nothing for him." -James D. Miles as tweeted by Inspire_Us

Monday, November 28, 2011

Blood, Sweat & Tears: Getting Nowhere Fast

Well kiddos, today was a hectic day! First day in a new office and there's been a lot of "getting used to" moments!  But even though I don't feel I accomplished much I did get the copy room cleaned and set up for work, 3 e-mail accounts set up for us, the supply closet organized, a Christmas tree decorated and the lunch room set up and organized... Not to mention the phone calls and a couple of files completed from start to finish... I suppose that's not a bad day's work!

So the lesson?  Sometimes we work and run and sweat over all the things on our "life's to do list" and it's hard to see any results... Whether it's because we've been busy with preparation work or because it's just not spotlight work but behind closed doors we can get discouraged when we can't see results soon enough... It could be that we've put many hours of friendship and prayer, pouring ourselves out for a friend and we haven't yet seen change.  The thing is, just like my work today, the surface that everyone sees when they walk into the office is not work I've done and you really can't notice much change but if you open a door or two you'll see it's there... If you start working you'll notice the organizing I've completed makes the job faster and easier.

Moral of my little story?  "Don't get weary in well doing!"  Just keep on working on it and some day you will see the results, you will get to reap the benefits of your blood sweat, tears & prayer you've poured and it will be worth every painstaking minute!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Why I Went Away

I stopped writing for you all a while back and promised when it was all over I would let you all know why I was neglecting you... Well, my mum had a cancer scare. Since it runs in her family and two of her sisters were diagnosed with breast cancer in the past two years I was really concerned and scared to say the least... Last Friday, while sitting at my desk at work, I received a call from my mum... Not with news of good tidings let alone great joy. One of my mum's sisters, Hilda, who had cancer and had just gone through chemo less than one year ago was diagnosed again... This time the cancer appears to be more aggressive and they are starting chemo again next week. I know this seems like a gloomy blog and thus far it is really... But I'm not writing this paragraph in fear but to let you all know what to pray for!

I know God can heal and been an eye witness to many more miracles than I could count! And in case you or someone you know is going through some threatening situation in life as well here is the original post written for my aunt Hilda the first time she waged this battle, God's word is still true and extends to any person in need:

"Praise be to the God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. For Just as the sufferings of Christ flows into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows." - 2 Corinthians 1: 3-5
"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." - Matthew 11:28-30

"Come learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." - Matthew 11:29

"Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me." - Psalm 23:4... This scripture was my grammie's favorite.

"May your unfailing love be my comfort,according to your promise to your servant." - Psalm 119:76

"Those who know your name will trust in you, for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you." - Psalm 9:10

"Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear Him, On those who hope in His mercy, To deliver their soul from death, And to keep them alive in famine.Our soul waits for the Lord; He is our help and our shield. For our heart shall rejoice in Him, Because we have trusted in His holy name. Let Your mercy, O Lord, be upon us, Just as we hope in You." - Psalm 33.18-22

"Commit your way to the lord, and trust in him also,and he shall bring it to pass." - Psalm 37:5

A friend sent me these scriptures at a time when I felt alone... Hope was scarce and joy was no where to be found.. She then wrote "you're never alone. I don't even know what it is about but I just felt like giving you these. Maybe you had a great day (hopefully) or maybe you didn't (not hopefully), either way I know your going through a hard time and I am sorry and I hope you know that you have people in your life who love you and are there for you (...ppl like me:) ) And more importantly you have the BIG DADDY upstairs!! Don't worry be happy ..... everything will be all good." It was funny and cute but most of all knowing that someone cared enough to send me that encouragement helped me to see a small glimpse of sun through the looming storm clouds of my depressing and threatening situation. More than that, it made me see that God cared enough to whisper the idea of a little note and a few scriptures into the mind of a friend so He could show His love and attention for me, His kiddie!

So... Let these words do the same for you! Get some comfort and joy out of them! It's not a coincidence you read this blog at the exact time you needed it... If you're wondering if this could possibly be God trying to help you, He is!

Here's a prayer I'm praying over my aunt's life, pray it over yours as well and watch God work a miracle for you! "Jesus, I love you so much! You have been so good to me each day I live... I know I haven't always been able to tell where you were working and I get afraid you've gone when I can't seem to catch a glimpse of you but looking back I know you were there all along and you've created miracles in my life I wasn't even aware of nor had asked you for... Jesus, because you died on the cross for us and your word says "you were wounded for our transgressions and by your stripes we are healed" I ask you to let that healing power flow this very moment! I stand agreeing with your word, Lord, and I claim and trust in your promises written on its pages. Thank you for being there for us whenever we call on your almighty name! I love you and can't wait to see what you do next! In your mighty name, Jesus, amen."

PS.. It's probably a good sign things are about to get better and prayers are going to be answered if your mind is getting filled with fear, doubt and lies... The Bible also says all those things come from the enemy, not God, and if he is against something it probably means God is for it! So just hold on, better yet, turn up the heat, it's coming!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Planned from the Beginning

What a day! This morning I dripped toothpaste down my black shirt which I didn't have time to change before work because I thought I was running late... This afternoon I poured water down the front of the same shirt trying to take a drink... At lunch time I dropped my pop but barely any dripped out, thank goodness for covers I was thinking... Until, about 10 minutes later I dropped my cup again and off flew the cover!  Pop spilled all over my desk & ccalendar and down the front of my skirt!  I cleaned the pop up, grabbed a Lysol wipe to take the sticky up sat in my chair... And you guessed it, right in a puddle of pup & ice cubes!  I stood up quickly and pop drained down my leotard covered legs! AAHHHH!

I'm actually not in a sour mood after all of this... I just thought I would share it to give you a little pre-weekend laugh and maybe even some perspective on your own day. :o)

And I also want to relay something I heard from a missionary to Prague last night...  The well of Jacob is something most Christians and Religious people have heard about... The strange thing about it is the well of Jacob is only mentioned in one sentence in the Bible... The reason it is recognized is because of a story told over and over in Christianity, the story of "the woman at the well." This woman had 5 husbands... My dad's wife is on her 4th marriage and even by today's standard I think that's pretty bad... I mean really, what's the common denominator here? I have someone close to me who has had more boyfriends than I can count and at least a handful of engagements... We all always expect it not to last with the next one either but her mama always holds out hope (denial some may call it haha!) The thing about it is that they always say it's the guys fault!  I suppose in some respects it's nice to have your mum so much on your side she is blinded to your "issues" but my mum would have long ago slapped me and sent me to therapy haha! Anyway, back on track, the reason I went into all that was to say that I think we all realize that "woman at the well" had a few of her own issues... But Jesus met her there and changed her life!  He told her all she had done (which was something he nor anyone she hadn't already told would know... Then he offered her change and she took it.  So that well of Jacob that is only mentioned in one sentence in the Bible has become world renown because of what happend one day in one meeting with Jesus.

The second thing to keep in mind is God is everywhere present and never absent. God never changes. God lives in the past, present and future all at once... I know these are obscure facts for us to grasp because we can't even really imagine that kind of existence but their truth doesn't diminish by lack of our understanding... Just like is someone is allergic to banana but they don't understand why or how or even that they are it won't stop them from having anaphylactic shock. (Ok that's not really funny, but kind of...)

The next important thing to realize is by the time Jesus met the woman at the well many years and even decades had passed since Jacob had dug the well out... What's so important about that? Well, God is in control every aspect of life... God inspired Jacob to dig that well in that place all the while knowing one day Jesus would meet at woman there and change her life... God planned to help that woman on that specific day when he directed the footsteps of Jesus to her before she was even born! 

So now I want you to know that if God would plan such a beautiful story of mercy for a flusey like the woman at the well who's name was not even mentioned God has planned a beautiful story for your life.  So sit down with Jesus for a minute and tell Him you want him to help you!  Have your own well of Jacob experience right now, wherever you are... If you're at work step away from your desk, at home excuse yourself to a room alone or at Starbucks go to your car and meet Jesus there.  This is your moment of change! My steps have been directed to you through this blog today and Jesus is with you now, believe and act on that belief, you will never regret it!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Rainy Days & Mondays

Oh my goodness! What a day... Is there a full moon coming because there are a lot of crazy acting people out and about right now! Ugh!  I am not the type to usually hate Monday's, it's always just been a day in the week to me, no better and no worse than any other.... But today, oh today.

I'm sure a lot of you can relate and it doesn't even matter that it's a Monday or why it was a bad day... It doesn't matter if the rain is literal or figurative... A bad day is a bad day... Any shape, each form and for any reason or many reasons. And here's the thing about these rainy days and bad days, we all have them.  Some of us try to wear a smile through the bad days and others just let it all display on their face.

Bad days are normal, we aren't pessimists because we admit they are a reality.... We are not Debbie Downers just because we notice the rain pouring down.  Bad days come, the Bible says "the Lord makes the rain fall on the just and the unjust," we cannot escape whether we are following God or not.

But rainy days come to water the flowers in our lives... If there is only sun every flower will wilt away. You know as well as I that somewhere around the third week of summer (if not sooner) people start complaining of the heat, if only they could get a reprieve from that sun! During a dry summer everyone prays for a little rain to water the earth... And if the rain doesn't come people worry about a fire starting!  In the same way, if we only have blessings, sunshine and good days we will forget they are... well, good. It's like being a spoiled child, if we only have and see good things in our lives and around us we quickly become entitled instead of grateful. I'm not saying we have to enjoy the rain but we should remember the purpose.  If we know there is purpose in the rain we can at the very least.

Just like the rain our bad days come to fade into dusk and a new morning brings with it a clean slate, new promises and a fresh start.  Bad days come to pass not to stay. And those bad days are what allow us to be able to gauge what a good day is.  Listen, my life hasn't been all sunshine, and not just because of a bad day or two at work but I have learned so much and been able to become more appreciative through them... I honestly wouldn't change any of the processes in my life. There are still a couple of outcomes I am waiting on, hoping against all hope they will eventually change but the processes are what made me who I am and you know what? I kind of like me! haha!  You should like you too by the way! "If you don't have love for yourself, it's impossible to give love to others. You can't give away what you don't have." - Joyce Meyer

So It's not a deep blog today, my thoughts are actually pretty much a paraphrase of some things my pastors wife spoke about last night... But my thoughts are true and if you allow them to make you think a bit these words can and will help you if you're having a bad or rainy day as well!  I love you all and you all will be in my bedtime prayers tonight!  Trust God through the process and just hold on until the sun pierces the clouds.  This bad day has come to pass and God's plan is not over in your life!

And just a little confirmation for us, I just checked twitter to see if I could find a couple of quotes to go along with this little blog... I Hate Quotes just posted this "The greatest happiness is to know the source of unhappiness." — Fjodor Dostojevski

Monday, November 7, 2011

Don't be so Touchy!

Another Monday and I had no idea what to write...  So I went to ole faithful Twitter and looked at some quotes.  While reading I was reminded of a life lesson quite difficult for me to learn but now that I have I think I'll share :o)

My parents split when I was nine (as you frequent readers already know) and since that time I've been a very defensive person... I was so touchy, almost waiting for a reason to defend myself... Getting others before they got me so to speak...  I trusted no one. Dr. Phil has a saying about "if you have a sunburn the slightest touch causes reaction." and that's exactly what happened to me You've probably noticed I used present tense in that first sentence, it's because I am still defensive at my core but I have learned how to control it for the most part... See the thing about defending yourself is that it closes the door to anyone else needing to defend you... And what if there is someone else who could better defend you in the first place? I mean, in court you wouldn't want to self defend if you had no idea of applicable case law or the justice system in general when you could have a lawyer who's never lost a case and been practicing for years defending you... It just wouldn't make sense, right?  But it's so hard to keep those lips closed when someone is knowingly or not lying about you and jeopardizing your character! The thing is, if we keep our lips closed it gives God a chance to be our defender... So just try it, you'll be surprised by what God will do on your behalf!

One thing that helps me, when I want nothing more than to make sure everyone knows how wrong another has been about me, is being reminded about what I think in a situation where someone is speaking negatively about another... How I make decisions and feel when in those situations... I never believe anything if I have no personal opinion formed previously, my mind is never made up about someone based on what someone else says or thinks.... So why is it so hard for me to trust others to do the same? But more than not passing judgement based on the opinion of another; when someone is speaking negatively I tend to lean toward judging the speaker not the subject... Whether I have personal experience with the subject or not I usually think negative words directed at another say more about the speaker. I found a quote today that maybe explains why I feel this way.... Motive.  Most times I've found people speak negatively about others to promote their own interests. But "No one has ever made himself great by showing how small someone else is." - Irvin Himmel as tweeted by Inspire Us 

I'm not sure why we haven't learned the lesson yet but when you are speaking negatively it poisons your own reputation... Especially if you speak negatively frequently.  So get wise, be positive... Most importantly take a look at your motives, if there is something you're after try to find another way to get it! As my boss would say "you get more flies with honey than with vinegar." Nothing good can come from putting others down if.

If you aren't trying to "get" anything, maybe you're negative about others to make yourself feel better about who you are or about who you're not?  Those flaws you see everyday in the mirror seem a little smaller if you're comparing them to the flaws of others... Here's the thing, none of us are perfect.  I have just as many flaws as you and you have just as many as your neighbor...  One of your flaws may seem smaller than one of mine in the same area but what about the others?  "You're imperfect. Get over it, love yourself anyway." - Joseph Ranseth  As you learn to love yourself in spite of your flaws you will learn to respect yourself... Part of respecting yourself is not speaking negatively about others... Once you love and respect yourself you'll be able to see the good in others, see their potential and love them in spite of their flaws. 

So all in all I guess what I'm saying is there are a few reasons a lot of us are defensive... Because we learn through experience we need to defend ourselves or we are afraid others won't come to our defence or because it makes our own flaws seem smaller and last but not least, to promote ourselves... Either way it's not a good idea to be so defensive. We need to allow God to be our defender and to do the promoting he does a better job anyway. And we also must learn to love ourselves so we can love others, and loving others is what we are made for!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Why so Serious? Don't be a Bitty

Hi kiddos!  Hope you all had a Happy Halloween, I took a little blog vacation myself to be with family who were visiting from afar :o)  This blog isn't going to be a very deep read, so if that's what you're craving today you may want to go to an earlier blog and read away :o)  One of my friends I've known literally my whole life just had a baby so I am pretty excited to meet the little guy!  But enough about my life let's get to this blogging business.

Once again this thought is sponsored by social media... I've had a few "run ins" lately (although I've not made issue out of them so you probably won't even know I'm talking about you haha!) just over things friends have written, observations, jokes or Lord forbid, even about something they've seen on TV and I see some nasty, or thought provoking "do you really know for sure that's true?" statements... It's SOCIAL MEDIA PEOPLE, why so serious? Not everything has to be deep, introspective, serious or even completely cautious.

And back to the "do you really know that to be true?" which to me seems to really be more of a wagging of the finger as if the one sentence observation/feeling comment was completely judgemental... Well, no, they probably don't know it's true if they are just sharing their feelings and/or observations.... It's just about what that person feels or sees it doesn't have to be the truth of the matter just the perspective of the matter... And you know what? That's okay, they are allowed to have opinions and feelings even when they differ from your own thoughts and mine :o) Why so serious?

All this being said I still believe we need to remain Christians (Christ like) in every area of life including social media. I don't think you should be just trying to agitate or instigate someone either. And please, no using names when you're passing on your observations unless it's a compliment... Don't allow your social media to become your place where there are no rules and you no longer have to obey what mama taught you "if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all!" No confusion or words being shoved in my mouth, please: I don't think we should be passing severe judgement on each other in any area but the truth is as long as you keep an open mind about changing our opinion if you find the fact of the matter means your perspective of the matter was incorrect you're completely entitled to your opinion and you can share it all you like :o) You don't always have to have a "spiritual spin" on everything you tweet, text, update or post... Why so Serious?

That being said, it is a good thing in general to remember to tack a little spiritual spin or undertone in things and even when there's no spin, people should not be able doubt our character by what we post unless they are just an uptight bitty, haha... Not sure what the masculine of bitty is but you can fill it in. haha!)

So all in all, share what your thinking, those observations and yes even your opinions... But remember to keep your fingers under control when they type just as much as you would keep the tongue bridled.  And for us readers of social media, don't forget we are reading the perspectives, opinions and feelings of others, we don't have to tisk when we may not agree or if we can see the other side of the post... Or we can and look like we can't take a joke, can't be anything but an uptight religious crazy who has forgotten how to have fun even when Jesus is around....  I'm pretty sure Jesus laughs at/with me at times and I think we can all learn to lighten up and not be so serious and give a belly laugh with Him once in a while :o)

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Laying by the Pool

Once, there was a pool of water called Bethesda. It was a pool of healing where when the water was troubled, it was believed, the first to get into the water would be immediately healed of any disease. Apparently it worked, there were many people healed over the years. But there was one problem  with this pool, it was always and could only be the first person to get in, if you were the second person all you got was wet... That means it was always either the person with the most friends or the most healthy/strongest person there.

Don't we feel the same way today? Doesn't it always seem "the rich get richer and the poor get poorer?" (Hello OCCUPY!) and not just monetarily... But sometimes as we look around it's the people who don't really NEED anything that seem to keep on GETTING everything... And I, to be completely honest, hate seeing that... I've even leaning toward jealousy at some points...

Pool of Bethesda (2009)

Back to Bethesda: There was a man who laid by the pool for over 30 years hoping and waiting for his miracle... Watching other people who needed a miracle less than he getting their blessings...  Getting jealous of those people who always beat him to the punch... He angered each time he got wet for no reason. And eventually, I'm sure like most of us, he resigned to the idea he didn't deserve to be blessed and stopped pursuing the dream. 

One thing I've heard a lot of these days... Both from friends and at times from my own mind... "how can God accept me? How can He bless me? With all the things I've done and do wrong He can't love me... I'm not deserving.. Not good enough... My dream can't possibly come true now..." And you know what (be prepared this next point is something most people won't tell you...) we are right when we think we don't deserve blessing. When we think we are not good enough we are correct... BUT (and pay attention to this... Remember it... Live it!) deserved-ness DOES NOT matter when it comes to Jesus accepting us, giving us a dream and blessing us through the fulfillment of that dream! All those things we've done and do wrong CANNOT STOP HIS LOVE FOR US!

When Jesus showed up at the pool of Bethesda He didn't run to the most deserving... He walked straight to that man who had waited those 30+ years. The thing about Jesus is, He thinks a little more like I do on those kind of situations... He wants the people who are in NEED to be the ones who receive not necessarily just the ones who deserve... Because there actually is no one on earth who deserves anything from God, not one! We must remember the one thing that makes it possible for ALL OF US to receive even what we don't deserve from God... His pure, loyal, beautiful, constant, unfailing, unconditional love for us! No, I can't explain it, I don't know why He loves us so much, I only know He does... So that thing you haven't received, that one thing you've longed for that you just can't seem to reach on your own... Yes, that one thing you haven't trusted anyone to help you with... God knows about it, He's been paying attention to your heart's desire so talk to Him about it, tell Him you want to be made whole in that area of life because He wants to help you! Open the door to your heart, allow Him to take a look at those dreams and watch what He does with them!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Middle of the Night

I've read a story many times... It's about two men who were thrown in jail for preaching... And I know you're probably thinking that would never happen in a world so free as our world today but contrary to popular opinion people are thrown in jail for just that in many countries today... And lest we forget in the USA a young student was shot at Columbine High School because she would not say she didn't believe in God.  The story I'm talking about if found in Acts 16:25 and this story ended a lot differently than the Columbine shooting.

It was at midnight... Paul and Silas sitting along side each other chained to the wall in a dark, cold, damp, dirt floor jail cell... Midnight is called "mid" night because it's the middle of the night, still with a long time of darkness ahead. But knowing they were only half way through the night Paul and Silas began to sing and what did God do? Well, He didn't make it morning immediately... The sun didn't break the night sky and warm the cell, no blue birds were singing and they definitely didn't smell coffee being brewed nor did they hear eggs and bacon crackling on the grill...  No, Paul and Silas still had to go through the rest of the night time but God broke the chains of bondage in the night! 

God may not take you OUT of the dark night in your life he just may take you THROUGH it! Jesus is THE CHAIN BREAKER and you do not have to remain emotionally chained up by your circumstance! You do not have to be depressed because of what time it is in your life or the darkness that surrounds you; just lift God higher in your own eyes. Hold onto the fact that morning is coming and nothing can stop the morning!! Do not remain in the prison of fear, depression or even inadequacy you've set up in your own mind!  

I know, I most likely don't personally know you and even if I do I'm probably not sure what every circumstance in your life is... I don't know the pain the chains and beatings of your past or even current life situations have caused... But I know for sure morning is coming.. You may only be in the middle of your night, those last hours of darkness may seem like days, weeks, months or years of cold, damp, dirt floor cell imprisonment but God is listening for your praise... Yes, your praise in spite of what time it is or where you are... He's waiting to hear your voice lift him up so he can break the chains holding you captive and shake the foundation of your prison! You're not praising because you're happy about your current position in life, not because you're comfortable or content within your circumstances but because you know morning is coming!


Thursday, October 20, 2011

Flava Flave: Neva lose your Flava!

"If I can’t be what they want of me, then what am I to do?" –Tarzan, as tweeted via DisneyWords

Haven't we all been there? Not wanting to disappoint anyone... Trying to fit in or even just wanting to be better than what we are?  Living up to the expectations of who someone else thinks you should be or even just who they think you already are can be extremely difficult!  And if it is more than one person you are trying to please you can forget about it now, it just won't be possible to please more than one person at a time.

More than the difficulty in pleasing someone else it's wrong of you to even try because in trying you deny yourself... Denying who God made you to be and who He wants you to be.  I always picture myself saying "sorry God, you should have created me to have this personality trait or this sense of style, maybe with a little less of a guilty conscience... That's how Mr. Know-it-all over here would have created me and I think he's right... What you created just isn't good enough." There is NO WAY I would say that sort of thing to God if he were standing in front of me asking why I'm changing for those people around me... I wouldn't even say that sort of thing to my parents! It's like trying to hide a part of yourself because you're embarrassed but the part you're hiding is a trait your mum or dad has and they catch you in the act, I mean, really, what is there to say to that? "Yeh mum, that nose is good enough for you but I'm too pretty to have it, sorry." I know that's a dramatic comparison but is it? Really, isn't who you are more important than a nose or some other trait I've used in my analogy? YES...

When you are changing who you really are or acting how someone else wants you to act, even dressing in a style someone else wants you to dress there is the danger of losing who you are and who you are meant to be... If you even have the answer to the question of "who am I" and if not, but you are trying to be that "someone else" you think you are expected to be you will never find out who you are, how could you when you're pretending to be "someone else."  You are something to be explored and in order to figure out who you are you have to explore your own thoughts, ideals, personality traits, style and preferences... You have to think with your own mind in order to know yourself.... If YOU or GOD don't like something about yourself then go ahead and change away but if it's anyone else who's wanting you to change, BE CAREFUL! We all have lots of strange little quirks but a true friend will respect and even appreciate them because those little idiosyncrasies are what makes you, well, you! "You're imperfect. Get over it, love yourself anyway" - Joseph Ranseth. And in case you've forgotten, even with those imperfections, you're fabulous!
Lastly, the God who created you, created you to be yourself not Sally around the corner... "Before I shaped you in the womb, I knew all about you. Before you saw the light of day, I had holy plans for you: [insert God's plan for you here]— that's what I had in mind for you." Jeremiah 1:5 He wants you to look unlike anyone else, to be comfortable in your own style... He wants you to be into that poetry and/or songwriting... He wants you to record yourself singing or draw for hours... He wants you to explore those things you like doing and give time to them because practice makes perfect and He has plans for those interests! He already knows there are countless ways He can use your ability and interests for His kingdom! If you hide any part of yourself and ignore your interests because that cute guy or your BFF don't enjoy or understand the same things then you cut off your own growth, that level of perfection will never be realized and God can't use an ability you've refused to develop because of the unwanted opinion from someone else. "You got the makings of greatness in you, but you got to take the helm and chart your own course!" -John Silver (Treasure Planet)
Neva lose your flava! "You are the salt of the earth. But if salt loses its flavor, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled on by people." -Matthew 5:13 God put those distinctive flavors in your being because He wants to be able to use them... If we all change our interests and lock away every ability that our friends don't share then we are all only going to know how to do the same things... If we don't have a variety of abilities, interests, personalities etc. we cease to be able to progress in any area of life... If we all just know how to sing but no one is writing a new song everyone will eventually stop singing all together out of boredom. 
So, basically God has made you with certain traits, interests and abilities so He can use them as part of his grand plan... If others around you tell you there should be different traits, what your interests should be or make you uncomfortable working on your abilities then maybe you should surround yourself with supportive people or at the very least tell those people "while you appreciate their opinion and willingness to share it so liberally you will only be actually hearing God's opinion..." If you've been spending too much time trying to be what is expected or trying to get interested in what you man or woman wants you to be interested in... If you've buried an ability away because your friends didn't understand why you gave time to it or if you've completely forgotten about those things you prefer whether it be your personal style, music or pottery, ANYTHING... Get back to you! Take some time out this evening, think about your life and give some time back to the areas you've given up completely or given pieces away to please others! Watch your interests develop into abilities and personality; next thing you know you will be your own person again... People will be flocking to you, not because you're going to do whatever they want but because you are interesting and they want to be part of what you've got going on! 
Find your own flavor and never lose it!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Revised Repost: "The Ugly Truth"

I watched the tv version of "The Ugly Truth" this weekend and then went back and looked through some of my beginning posts and thought this one is worth reading again... Today is exactly what Monday gets accused of being... Terrible! haha! So here's a little something that helped me and I hope helps you as well:

Is the truth always ugly? Seriously, I cannot count the times I've had someone tell me the truth about any given situation and, to be frank, I hated to hear it! So is it true, is truth always ugly? Although I wouldn't necessarily recommend the movie "The Ugly Truth," I may be inclined to believe a lot of the instruction it gives on relationships to be true... In the end (this will spoil the movie for you so don't finish reading this post if you are not willing to know the end before the... well, end :o)) the instructor, so to speak, fell in love with the woman he was helping with relationships and they ended up together.. It's always nice to see that but sometimes I feel like I have been feeding my mind with all the great love stories in Disney books and movies, romance novels (although I have only read about 2 myself, I am not unaware of the break down of most widely read novels), who can forget "Gone with the Wind" or "Pride and Prejudice" but maybe the truth is just ugly like it was in my parents divorce. "Becoming Jane" (Jane Austin's actual life story which ended nothing like her hopelessly perfect literary endings), "Romeo and Juliet" or "Wuthering Heights" and even the crucifixion is an ugly truth of a savior dying in agony and shame... And if truth is ugly then what is there to hold onto?

Hereafter I state the case of something to hold on to: True stories like one I heard on Oprah years ago... A German man and woman who fell in love just before the Nazi's invaded their little town... They would ride their bicycles together, or go for long walks talking about their future; never anything extravagant but apparently filled with love. While under Nazi control they, of course, were separated and sent to different concentration camps. When the invasion came to an end they franticly searched for each other but to no avail... Eventually they each accepted the death of the other, both married and moved on, had families and lived their separate lives holding only the memory in their heart. Somehow, years later, they found out each other were still living. Their respective spouses had passed away and they decided to meet, got married shortly after and lived the rest of their days making up for time lost. Stories of people like Jack and Kathy (the Assistant Pastors at my church), when they met Kathy was uninterested to say the least but now, after years of falling in love daily, are so in love you can actually see it in their eyes every time the other enters a room. Lastly, the "ugly" crucifixion is where the beauty of salvation, miracles and true love really comes from.
So maybe the truth is always ugly, at least in the beginning... Maybe we need the ugly moments to be able to recognize beauty at all... If everything was always great wouldn't it all just become average and dull? Maybe your day (like mine) is pretty much written off or sadness has crept into your mind when you weren't quite prepared... Maybe today is not a day you would like to remember, but when when you step outside, today or tonight look up at the sky... See the beautiful Sun and feel it's warmth on your face, take in the view of the stars so many people rarely take the time to notice and realize they were put there by a God who loves you, to sooth you and remind you you're not alone.

Maybe it's only emotion and not quite as positive as we should be about life in general but maybe that's exactly what is needed somedays...  When life has been coasting right along and it starts feeling average when we really should be feeling blessed for everything that has happened. Maybe us singles are not always confident with regards to our status; there are days when I (and most people I think have these days) don't even feel pretty let alone beautiful... But maybe that's all so we will appreciate our future spouse enough to be supportive, work on our marriages and make sure our respective spouses always know they are respected and loved... Maybe it's just an answer to prayer that we will be able to recognize true love when it comes our way...

"It's always darkest just before the dawn", there is nothing quite like the beauty of a new day and maybe that's because we compare it to the emptiness of the dark night before. So... I'm excited, even though it sometimes seems ugly; the truth is exactly what I want... True love, true relationship with God, true joy and true appreciation for all the wonderful things in life... The ugly truth is, some days are hard, a lot of relationships do not work out, and yes Jesus was crucified but that all means we can know when we have a great day, one relationship just around the corner will work out (and that will be the only one you or I will need to work out) and every one of my sins and your's can be forgiven when we repent, change our ways and ask forgiveness, we are healed in every way, we are made whole because Jesus was crucified and rose again! And that is "The Ugly Truth."

Thursday, October 13, 2011

That's What Friends Are For!

"A friend is one that knows you as you are, understands where you have been, accepts what you have become, and still, gently allows you to grow" - William Shakespeare

"Friendship is a single soul dwelling in two bodies." - Aristotle

"A friend may well be reckoned the masterpiece of nature. " - Ralph Waldo Emerson

"To know someone here or there with whom you can feel there is understanding in spite of distances or thoughts expressed ~ That can make life a garden." - Goethe

"A friend is someone who knows the song in your heart and can sing it back to you when you have forgotten the words." - Unknown
What is it that creates a "connection"? If it's not your life stories aligning, how is it that you just "get" one another, always knowing how the other feels in any given situation, understanding the predicament someone is in without having a verbal run down regarding background and surrounding circumstance? How is it you can say anything and it's taken in the right way? You never have to "walk on egg shells" or really even think before you speak. How, when like me, you are not what people would call a "trusting individual" do you let go of all the apprehension and break through all your protective walls and be vulnerable enough to speak honestly about your own being and uncover your heart, thoughts and wounds for them to see and all this based on a feeling of "connection"!!?? How does this "connection" make it past all the junk in our minds and hearts to create a beautiful friendship?

We always hear about"soul mates"... And I, being a romantic at heart, lap all of these ideals up like a dehydrated kitten. I have yet to experience someone falling in love with me... Any claim to fame on that point has long ago been disproved, no "soul mate" that I can see to speak of on the horizon at this point.. Sometimes I'm lonely, I wonder if I'm ever going to find my "prince charming" or if I have already passed him by and been too stubborn to take notice (great I sound like a Disney Princess in the beginning of her movie ha!).. At times I think no one can possibly care enough about me to take the time to understand my situation or give me a shoulder, hand or listening ear when I hurt.. Most times I'm not so sure I would trust anyone enough to spill anyway. But, all of a sudden I think I've been missing it... I have experienced the "soul mate" it just didn't come in the packaging I thought I had ordered...

I have found a friend, not a new friend, not a friend who lives just down the street but a friend who has turned into more than even just a "friend." I can say anything and be myself or just be quiet and comfortable in silence. I feel the need to fix anything I perceive as being bothersome to my friend, I feel pain when it reflects in the eyes either by word or by memory, I want to "take care of it" when the, what I call, stupid people in the world don't know enough to hush and spare some one's feelings or try to take advantage of a "nice person" character who would rather make the people around feel happy than have happiness for their own sake. This friend has somehow crossed all the fences, been exempt from the testing and got the certificate for entrance into my heart.

I found another quote "friendship happens when one soul dwells in two bodies" although I'm not sure of the measure of truth in the statement I do agree with it's sentiment... It seems to explain the "connection" you can have with someone.

They say (whoever they are) people come into your life for a season to help you, grow you, polish you, teach you etc... Maybe that's why we have the immediate connections, whatever it is, I love it! When that feeling comes along, whether it's me or you being the helper, it makes my life a little brighter.. So I thank you! Thank you for making me realize that I do have a reason to smile instead of cry, for making me know I am not alone even when I feel lonely and even though my "love boat" seems to be fetched-up on a sand-bar somewhere in the middle of the ocean I have met a soul mate already.

The only thing I think needs to be changed about this writing is the word friend... Because you are that "friend" but you've become more than expected... You have become family. Love you much and when you're having a "tears on the pillow at night moment" think of me and know I BELIEVE IN YOU and I LOVE YOU! Our connection is not now and never will be faded in my eyes.

So this was a letter I wrote to a friend who moved away, but if you're feeling alone, sad or just melancholy today please accept it as a letter directly to you because someone feels this way about you being in their life even if they haven't told you! And one more thought: if, like me, you're yet to find your "soul mate" just think of something Candace Bunshell wrote for Carrie Bradshaw (Sex in the City) said "Maybe our girlfriends are our soul mates and guys are just people to have fun with.” And if no one has told you today, you're loved and beautiful!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Autumn Breeze & Turkey Please!

"Thanksgiving day comes, by statute, once a year, to the honest man it comes as frequently as the heart of gratitude will allow." - Edward Sanford Martin

I love this time of year... (and yes, I've already been into the hot chocolate with marshmallows, fuzzy blankets & flannel pjs!) Maybe it's the beauty of the changing colors or perhaps the crunch of the leaves beneath my feet, possibly the smell of a fireplace or the yummy turkey dinner...  All these are part of it but I think the honest reason I love this season we call autumn is this day we call Thanksgiving.

"A thankful heart is not only the greatest virtue but the parent of all other virtues." - Cicero

Thankfully my family is not the type to have a big argument during our Thanksgiving meal... Maybe before and/or after but not during, haha! (I know that will get you going if you're part of the family but relax, I love you all and I am mostly kidding, haha!) My family are the type of people to actually take this holiday for what it is supposed to remain and we give thanks both aloud and in action... I think it's because thankfulness is in our hearts! Most of my family, including myself, are from humble beginnings but we've all been so abundantly blessed, and not in spite of those humble beginnings but because of them! Those beginnings are the kind that create kindness, compassion, generosity, thankfulness and gratitude. "Gratitude is the sign of noble souls." - Aesop

"Not what we say about our blessings but how we use them is the true measure of our thanksgiving." - W. T. Purkiser

Still, we all have a habit of taking some things for granted and today is the day we get to reflect on those small blessings as well...  I've had those years too, you know, the ones when you think what have I to be grateful for this Thanksgiving!? But the truth is, if you have family (even if they are a little crazy at times) or if you have a home (even if it seems a shack to others or is the smallest on the street) or if you have a vehicle (even if it does backfire or squeal its way down the road - my mum and I used to have a K-Car that embarressed the life out of me because of this! ha!) or if you have life at all (even if you're not in the harvest season in that life but in the dead of winter) you have a lot to be thankful for. "For what I give not what I take; for the battle not for victory, my prayer of thanks I make." - O'Dell Shepard.   There are people I loved dearly who cannot celebrate thanksgiving with me this year and that saddens my heart. Although I've lost loved ones and the bitter cold of the autumn wind reminds me once more of the vacancy I feel, I will remain thankful I was able to know them at all and I will honor their memory with my own contentment and gratitude. "Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates vision for our future." - Unknown

This year I am also sharing in the sentiment I've heard of others so many years I can't recount... That Thanksgiving would last longer than the holiday.  Years ago I heard Oprah ask her audience to keep a "Gratitude Journal" and I listened to her tell of it's power... While the power may not be in changing your circumstance it will definitely change your perspective.  I'm not asking you to keep a journal but maybe to take five minutes a day with your children, spouse, mother, father, sister, brother or friend and just voice one thing that you are grateful for in that day.  As well, through our attitudes, actions and compassion for others, let's make this a year of thanks not only the day of thanks. "As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words but to live by them." - John F. Kennedy

"He that thanks with the lips thanks but in part; the full, the true thanksgiving comes from the heart." - J. A. Shedd

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

The Declaration - POST 100!!!

Hi friends!  This is my 100th POST! YAAAY! (feel free to congratulate! haha!)  I was going to write this yesterday so I could have it posted earlier for you all to read but alas time ran out... And today isn't the best day I've had in a while but I'm looking past my feelings and making a declaration with you all that this is going to be a good life for me.

I know we can all get down, hey, I just cried on my lunch! haha! (before you all get super concerned just let me say it's mainly stress and a bunch of stupid little things and I'm usually not emotional but today my mum forced me into conversation and now I'm being a girl haha!) I know that sometimes things don't turn out as we wanted and everything seems so out of control we can't even help ourselves... But then again maybe that's the point, we aren't supposed to be helpers of self but we are to help others while allowing God to help us. 

I do think a lot of power lies in declaration and confidence... Maybe not even complete confidence in what is to become of the current circumstance but confidence it's only a current circumstance and even if it doesn't turn out to be completely alright and the way you planned it will turn out for your best. I've literally written dreams and prayers on the platform I stand on every Sunday and haven't seen them come to pass but each one is part of my declaration today, and they will happen.  Declaration can help in the current though and that's why I want to talk about it... I figured my 100th post should help us both and if you take this to heart and really declare it over your own life I'm betting it will help... The only thing I would like to add is that you not only declare it alone that you share it with others and declare it with God. Pray it and (if not completely now, eventually) believe it.

My declaration is inspired by a song by One Republic I currently love and more than that by the dreams I refuse to give up on.  In all honesty, seriousness and sincerity I do so declare:

"Sometimes there's airplanes (circumstance) I can' t jump out
Sometimes there's bull that don't work now
We all got our stories, but please tell me
What there is to complain about?
When you're happy like a fool, let it take you over
When everything is out you gotta take it in

I feel like there might be something that I'll miss
I feel like the window closes oh so quick
I'm taking a mental picture of you now
'Cause hopelessly
The hope is we have so much to feel good about!

Oh, this has gotta be the good life
This has gotta be the good life
This could really be a good life, good life!
I say, "Oh, got this feeling that you can't fight
Like this city is on fire tonight (My aside here is that you would think in the spiritual, your city on fire for God!)
Oh, this has gotta be the good life
This has gotta be the good life
This could really be a good life, good life!"

And the truth is, while I may not have a clue what's going on in life I'm still left with no complaint because I get to know God. I know His heart toward me. I know He loves me enough to die for me. And I know he has great plans for my life! Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."  And I know He feels the same for you! John 3:16 "For God so loved the world" (the whole World) "that he gave his one and only Son..." John 15:13 "Greater love hath no man than this that a man lay down his life..." So just declare it! Declare God's plan for you to be fulfilled, don't be mousey about it, He's in control so it's good, declare with Him and I this has gotta be a good life!