I try my best to say, “Make it a great day,” instead of “Have a great day.” Say them to yourself and notice the difference you feel. When I say “Make it a great day,” I feel a call to action, empowered, and strong. It reminds me that I am not a marionette in life, waiting to be moved by someone else pulling on my strings, basically waiting for someone else to come and live my life for me. Mind you, I’m not talking about not needing anyone in our lives, especially God. That’s not it at all. Galatians 6:5 informs us, “for each one should carry their own load.” We’re not called to sit on the sidelines in our own lives.
I watched a highly athletic and intense competition show on TV with my children. We loved cheering for the competitors and seeing who would finish that tough course. Towards the end of the first hour of the show, none of the competitors had completed the course. Many of them had not even gotten halfway through. Then they showed the oldest competitor to have ever been on the show.
One of the events in the course is a wall that is tall and warped forward, giving the wall a hard curve to overcome. Every competitor gets 3 tries to climb over this wall. In his attempts during previous rounds/episodes to complete the course, this competitor did not make it over this warped wall. But, he was able to make it to the finals in the episode we were watching. Two of his daughters were there cheering him on. He started off on the course well, but then he got to his nemesis, this warped wall.
On his first attempt he wasn’t able to grab on to the top, and he slipped back down the wall. His second attempt was no different, down he went. The camera showed his daughters cheering him on, and the two commentators were discussing how this competitor needed to use his daughters’ cheers to encourage himself. Well, he went for his third try, and this time he made it up and over that wall. Not only did he conquer this warped wall, he made it through the rest of the events and finished the course! He was the first competitor to complete the obstacle course that night, and the oldest ever to complete the course on the show. He pulled all of the mental and physical strength he could to complete the course, and most importantly, to not give up!
Friends, when times get tough, when we are facing our own warped walls, that’s the time for us to keep going, encourage ourselves, and resolve it in our minds and spirits that we will not give up. Seeing this competitor push through that obstacle course and complete it really encouraged me. Tough times, and major challenges, can be conquered only if we don’t give up. This competitor also showed that it’s never too late to go for whatever we want to achieve in life. He could have decided not to compete; he could have given up on his dream, believing that he was “too old.” It would have been an easy thing to do, as competitors 20 and 30 years younger than him were falling down left and right. No, he didn’t believe it, and neither should we.
I’m curious, what would you go for in your life if you were guaranteed that you were going to get it? What would you go for if giving up was not an option?
Prior to moving recently, one of my neighbors gave my husband a great piece of advice for his new job, and I had the blessing of hearing it myself. She said, “Show up.” Through her experience of being by her husband’s side as he served in the same type of position a few years ago, she learned that what was really needed the most was for administrators was to show up and be consistently present. The insight that I got from those awesome words is that how we “show up” is important in how we are living our lives, both in our physical presence and in our way of being.
I ask my clients this question in a variety of ways all the time, “For what it is that you want to achieve, or for the challenge you are facing, what is your way of being? Is your way of being in alignment with what it is you say you want to achieve?” I am checking in on my own way of being all of the time as well. I routinely ask myself, “How am I showing up as a wife?” “How am I showing up as a mother?” “How am I showing up in my life?” Being aware of our way of being and how we show up is beneficial for helping us stay focused and achieve all of our goals.
For your life goals, and what you want to achieve in your life, how are you showing up?
That’s right. Receiving or getting to a more abundant life isn’t coming to us. Because it’s already here. John 10:10 tells us that Jesus came that we might have life, and have it more abundantly and to the fullest. So, our abundant life is already here. We can live an abundant and full life right now! It’s not something that we have to wait for to come, but it is something that we block ourselves from receiving with our choices and behaviors. God loves us completely and wants us to have what’s best. We are born complete, whole, and happy. Just look at children. They are not born filled with worry, stress, or low self-esteem. But, what happens is that as we grow up, we learn to let our situations and circumstances define how we see and live our lives. That doesn’t serve us well. When we choose to let go of those thoughts, and instead intentionally activate our faith, things change, ways are made, doors are opened, and things align up for us. Why? Because, that’s how God created life. Our abundance is already here. What blocks do you need to let go of?
I went for a walk and jog this morning, and I was on the last half mile when 2 big dogs popped up. I like dogs, that I know! So, this situation was not one that I wanted to be in. One dog was to my right and the other to my left. The one on my left licked my leg. So, I had a quick talk with Jesus, cleared out my thoughts (“These dogs could hurt me”, “These dogs look scary”, “I’m not safe,” etc.), slowed down to a walk, and kept going. I looked back and the dogs were gone. Afterwards, I realized that I wasn’t overcome with fear, I didn’t freak out and fall to pieces. When faced with the same situation at another time, I could very well do that, but I didn’t this time. So, what this situation reminded me of is that we don’t feel our circumstances. What we really feel is our thinking. And, when we clear out our thoughts, wisdom comes in to lead us. Thank you God!
Most times when we feel stress, worry, or fear, it’s in response to what we perceive to be as “unknown”. For instance, “How will this situation work out?” “Where will the money come from?” “When will my loved one stop acting like that?” (Feel free to add any you can relate too.) Then comes the next round of thoughts, like “It’s hopeless,” “They’ll never change,” “I don’t know what I’m going to do,” and the popular, “There is no way.” Focusing on what we think is “unknown” can keep us trapped in a cycle of stress, worry, and fear. Really, the problem isn’t with thinking those thoughts. The problem is if we believe them.
The unknown can seem pretty scary when we believe that there is no other way. The source of energy and intelligence behind life is God. If we believe in Him, then how can we believe in the “unknown” at the same time? Not only do those “there is no way” type of thoughts bring on stress, worry, and fear, they block us from receiving wisdom and guidance from God. It is like putting gunk in the pipeline, nothing can get through! But, when we let go of those thoughts, the block is cleared, and then ideas and options start coming in.
Today is April Fools Day, the day when jokes and pranks abound! After hearing about some jokes my friends played today, I started thinking about the jokes we play everyday. The jokes we play on ourselves by the things we tell to and believe about ourselves. Things like “I can’t do it,” “I don’t have what it takes,” “I need more,” “I’m unworthy,” “Things won’t get better,” “It’s doomed,” and the like. We play these “jokes” and trick ourselves into believing what’s not true. That doesn’t serve us well! It’s time to stop it with the “jokes” and start living the truth:
“The Lord will make you the head, not the tail. If you pay attention to the commands of the Lord your God that I give you this day and carefully follow them, you will always be at the top, never at the bottom.” ~ Deuteronomy 28:13
“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. ~ Psalm 139:13-14
“Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” ~ Luke 12:7
“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.” ~ 1 John 5:14, 15
I’m done with the “jokes”! Who’s with me?
Love & blessings,
Have you ever felt a discomforting feeling in response to doing, or attempting to do, something different and unknown? I have! And, to be honest, I still do sometimes. It’s not fun. In fact, it can be a downright awful experience. But, going through it, I’ve learned an important lesson: waiting for the feeling of discomfort to go away or for things to be “perfect” before we act does not serve us well. Action doesn’t need perfection. If we decide to wait until we feel like doing something or for things to be perfect, we could be waiting for a long time. What action are you not taking? What are you waiting for? For a feeling to go away, for someone else to change, for more money, for (fill in the blank)? What action that you’re not taking do you need some support with?
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:34-35 NIV)
The word love encompasses many feelings. I believe that the type of love Jesus refers to in John 13:34-35 is about compassion, empathy, and benevolent concern for the good of others. Purposeful love is a mindset of intentionally considering how one’s actions affect others. Purposeful love is about making intentional choices to ensure that our actions fulfill that description of compassion, empathy, and benevolent concern for the good of others. Jesus did just that. And, He commands us to do the same.
Sadly, the recent news is reporting that heroin use in the US is up and the search is on to find out why. When I heard that report my first answer to that quandary was that it’s because people are hurting and they want a way to end their pain quickly. What the world needs isn’t drugs. What the world needs is more Christians to show the love of Jesus so that people will know that even though they must go through pain sometimes, Jesus will help them get through.
Last month, my son came home from preschool singing a song he learned. Proudly he sang out, “Love is something if you give it away, give it away, give it away.” Yes, love is something if we give it away. Love is healing to someone, if we give it away. Love is peace for someone, if we give it away. Love is restoration for someone, if we give it away. Love is release from burdens for someone, if we give it away. Love is salvation for someone, if we give it away. Jesus, He’s love.
When I think about the word give, the phrase that comes to my mind is “selfish-freedom.” It’s a conflicting paradigm on the outset, to say the least. I think it makes sense to predict that most people probably describe the opposite of giving as selfish. I define selfish as being primarily concerned about one’s own pleasure and gain. Is it the antithesis of a giving spirit? Maybe it is, or maybe it is not. It’s all in your perspective.
I believe that one of the side effects of giving is the freedom that comes from doing it. There is freedom in giving. Even when we don’t intend on it, giving takes our minds and our thoughts off of ourselves and allows us room to focus on others. When we are manifesting a spirit of giving, we are freeing are minds from focusing on our own baggage – our tough times, our heartache, our trials and tribulations, our disappointments, and our lack. Giving is not just a distraction ploy to take our focus off of what we may be going through so that we can feel better. Giving helps us to be open and available to extend our resources to others because it takes our focus off of ourselves! Then we are free to be more present to others.
Yes, I give to help others. I give because my divine Creator calls me to. I give because it’s important to me to make a difference in someone else’s life. I give because I believe that what goes around comes around. Therefore, I give because I have benefited from the generosity of others. And, I give to free myself of myself. I love what giving does for me. That, by definition, may be selfish, but it’s one selfish need that I willingly fulfill.
Love & blessings,