Tuesday, March 30, 2010

A New Beginning

Spring time gives a new beginning to our Earth.  The harshness of Winter has passed and the only remnant is a soggy earth under foot.  The ground warms and new life emerges which was tucked under the soil during the Winter.  We often look forward to Spring...especially after a long winter.

Perhaps you long for a new beginning in your life, just as Spring brings a newness to all.  A new start in your job or in a relationship.  We can often take a few steps off the path we want to travel and find ourselves going the wrong way and want a new start.  Whatever you need the new start in, begin fresh and new allowing Spring to come in your life, breaking forth to allow great beauty in your life, just as the Spring flowers begin to grow.
If Spring time seems to have passed you by in your life right now and you feel the harshness of Winter...hold steady, because Winter doesn't last forever and Spring will surely come.  One of my favorite verses says, Sorrow may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.  (Psalms 30:5)  Even in our toughest times, we can find comfort that it won't last forever and there is a time coming where there will be a fresh new start to a beautiful day with sunshine and beauty, as in the Spring flowers.  God does not forget us in Winter, but just as in the earth, when it begins to warm and prepare for Spring, He works in our hearts and prepares us for better days, when Winter has passed and Spring comes to give us a new start and wonderful sun filled warm days ahead.

Look forward to Spring in your life and greet each day with a new wonder for the one who created it and wants to help you enjoy it!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Women of Faith

It is an interesting question for us to ponder...what do we like most about the Women of Faith conferences?  Each of us will have very different ideas based on our experiences and needs in our life at the time we attended a conference.

The thing that had the greatest impact to me during the Women of Faith conferences was how the speakers were totally sold out to Jesus and stripped of their self, their thoughts & desires and allowed the Holy Spirit to use them and they gave God the spotlight and even though they were physically doing the talking and teaching, it was very evident that they had stepped aside and allowed God to use them to speak words of encouragement, hope and peace to the thousands of ladies at the conference.

The selflessness and humbleness of the speakers is what made the conference real to me.  Their genuineness was invigorating and inspiring to see.  God touches each lady present at the conferences in different ways and brings them closer to Him.  Thank you Women of Faith team for being willing to be used by God in marvelous ways.

It is wonderful that after the conferences, the motivation and inspiration does not have to stop...the Bible studies are superb to continue in your daily quiet times or with a group.  The resources available to use at home are astounding and affordable.  Sheila Walsh is my favorite!  God has allowed me to connect to her writing, stories, struggles and triumph's of life.  I thank God for Women of Faith Ministries.

Monday, March 22, 2010

What Do You Do...When You Don't Have a Voice?

Have you been in situations where you didn't feel you had a voice?  It could be a workplace, community or with friends.  Perhaps you are among millions of Americans who feel that do not have a voice in the present economy and state of our country.  So, what do you do?  In these times, should one shrug off the circumstances around him and let fate take its turn?  Of course, we can have the mentality that we will just leave it up to whoever is in control of the situation.  Our opinions don't matter.  We'll just have to take whatever happens to us.  They're in control and we're not.  There's nothing we can do

Throughout history, great men and women chose to get out of their recliners and turn off the TV and speak out about the things that were important to them.  They did this in their own families, workplaces, schools and communities.  These people did not wake up one morning and decide to be great.  They were great because they went about their daily lives and wasn't afraid to use their voice to motivate and encourage others to alter situations from wrong to right with a greater good, than just for those in control.  A greater good for all. 

When we face situations, whether in our families, communities, workplaces or country, we must check our heart and listen to the voice of our heart and ask ourselves...What do you do...When you don't have a voice?  You begin with those around you, making a difference right where you are and this will make difference in the situation you find yourselves in...it will make a difference in those people, who you shared your heart with...when it makes a difference with just a few people, this will spread to making a difference to a few hundred... until it will multiply and reach a community and ultimately our world. 

We think sometimes that our voice doesn't matter, but we must see that we are in the place, where we are for a reason...perhaps it is for the reason of sharing our heart,  our voice, when situations are not right and the truth needs to be told.  When we stay quiet in situations, when we know it is wrong...then we become part of the problem and not part of the solution.

May we remember that each of us is important and we have a voice, that is unique to our situations and experiences and we should stand up for what is right and share our voice...especially in the times when we don't feel we have a voice!

Monday, March 15, 2010

One Word

Think back to those people in your life who have had an impact on you.  It would be people who influenced your path in life or helped you go in the right direction.  Now...what is one word you would use to describe each person.  The first word that pops in your mind is likely a good description of their character and how they shaped you and added to your life.  

Hopefully, we each can think of someone, who we are thankful for and see as instrumental in our lives.  Now, for the second question...what is one word that others would use to describe you?  What's the first word that pops in your mind about yourself?

When we think of this, we are reminded about the level of influence we have on those around us.  We can have the same impact on others, as the people you thought of and remembered as being influential in your life.  Think of those you have contact with, whether it is coworkers, family, Church family or friends.  Make an effort to direct them in God's ways and demonstrate to them God's love and mercy.  Strive to be remembered as one that influenced others in a positive encouraging way and hopefully, one day they will describe you in a word that reflects God's love and care.  What one word will others remember about you?

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

What to Do...When You Don't Know...What to Do

Each of us have had times when we didn't know what to do.  It may have been in a marriage situation, with our family, crisis that happened, illness or just feeling stuck in life.  For me, it has been my journey with Multiple Sclerosis.  A lot of time spent wondering what was wrong and what would happen to me and my family.  The things in life that we have no control over are often the things that keep us up at night.  

We spend our thoughts and energy trying to understand what is going on and wondering what the outcome will be.  When we find ourselves in this state and we just don't know what to do next...here's what we do....WE KEEP GOING!  Life doesn't offer answers to all of our deep questions and time and energy spent on worrying and having anxiety about the outcome of our life, could be better used on our family and things we enjoy in our life.  

Sometimes, the simplest answers are the only answers that will get us through difficult times.  When you don't know what to do....Keep Going.  Keep getting up in the morning (even if you are moving slow)....keep believing that tomorrow will be an easier day....keep loving your family....keep allowing others to love you....keep praying and maintaining your relationship to God.  Whatever you do, don't stop, don't look back at what used to be and don't fret about what tomorrow may bring...Just Keep Going!  God will be there with you.

As you KEEP GOING and the days turn into weeks and the weeks into years, you will look back and say...what was I really worried about.  I still have a life...I have people who love me...I still do the same things I've always done, I just do them different now.  I've kept going and I've come this far...so, I'll keep going and living my life to its fullest no matter the circumstances.

Life is what we choose for it to be.  Our present state of mind is how we allow it to be.  Even in times when we don't know what to do....we can choose to KEEP GOING and God will bring us through some of the hardest times in our lives and show us the rainbows after the storm and sunshine behind the storm clouds, but we have to KEEP GOING in order to see these things. 

Monday, March 8, 2010

Fudge and Life

While making my favorite fudge, peanut butter today an example of life presented itself. Several people can use the same recipe and the fudge comes out totally different. They can use the same ingredients and store brands but it still comes out different. The way the ingredients and recipe is used is what yields the end result.

As I watched my bubbly fudge mixture begin to boil, I was reminded about people's lives, their chosen path in life and the choices they have made. We each have a recipe, if you will, to our life. We have added ingredients such as choice of friends, spouse, career, religion and interests. This recipe is the path of our life. Of course, just like in making fudge, many of the same ingredients can be chosen in many people's lives, but their outcome can be very different.

The difference in soupy or good consistency fudge is what happens in the boiling stage. The heat creates a texture that will allow perfect fudge to form. It's the most crucial time and it can be a make or break situation for your fudge. It means the difference of throwing it in the trash or sharing it with family & friends.

In our lives, there are times when the heat is on and we feel the pressure on our lives being molded and texture added just as in the fudge. The choices we make during these times of refining will determine if our life is usable like delicious fudge or a mess like the soupy version we can't use.

The next time you find yourself on the burner with life and it's getting hot and you aren't sure what to do, seek God's wisdom and look for His plan for your life and those choices will yield a usable life that is beneficial to God, family & friends and life will be delicious!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Fears We Face

There is a quote which states when the fear of staying the same is greater than the fear of change, then we will change. (unknown) What things do you fear? Losing those you love? Not being loved. Financial disaster.

Many times our fears consist of not being who we want to be...who we envisioned as children that we would one day become. We fear that we have failed our dreams and there is no turning back. The quote reminds us that in order to accomplish anything we must do something. Try and try again if necessary.

When we are so unsatisfied with our life in its current state and we can't take it anymore, then we have the courage and confidence to tackle our greatest fears. Nothing can stand in our way when we determine in our hearts that we are going for it! We are tired of waiting, hoping and dreaming...we are striving to make the necessary changes albeit scary changes to complete our vision of what we want our life to be like. We're in America...at least for a little while; we still have the ability to make choices that affects our current situation and our future.

Think about the thing that brings you the greatest fear and begin praying and seeking God's help in overcoming this fear and accomplishing your unique purpose in this life. We all have one. Find yours and don't let fear keep you from making the change.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Paper Cutz Challenge #31

Paper Cutz Challenge # 31  from http://papercutzchallenge.blogspot.com

 Thank you for the opportunity to enter this challenge!  I enjoyed creating a St. Patrick's Day card with different colors than the traditional green.  Thanks for coming by!


Thursday, March 4, 2010

Wasted or Accomplished?

At the end of the day...do you feel it was all wasted or did you accomplish things during the day.  In order to answer this question, we must look at how to define accomplish. One definition is to finish it's goal or a conclusion.  It is to carry out; perform; finish: to accomplish one's missionCompleteness.

I don't know about you...but I rarely feel at the end of the day that I have completed, performed to my maximum and finished several things.  It is more likely, for me to feel that I began hundreds of things and finished nothing, except making a big mess in the process.

On rare occasions, everything in my day falls into place and I complete many things, but this is Rare and definitely out of the ordinary.  So...are the days wasted if we didn't complete, finish, perform and accomplish?  I was reminded of this very answer a few days ago at the end of the day and I sighed, "I haven't gotten a thing done today."  It's at those moments you don't expect anyone to actually respond to you.  Well, my husband looked at me and said, "You took care of your family today.  Isn't that accomplishing something.?"  I just stopped and stared a few seconds as it sank it.  

That is actually accomplishing more than if I had completed or finished any other task.  It was a more important use of my time than all the To Do List's I could have written.  Why do we put pressure on ourselves to accomplish so many trivial things and feel like failures when we do not complete them, when in reality, the most important things to accomplish daily are probably not even written down and we often overlook them.

I have a challenge for you...One day this week, look at your To Do List.  Of course, we can't just throw them away, even though we would love to.  Our world would go into chaos quickly if we did.  As you look at it, place a 2 beside the things that you need to do and have significance to your day.  Then continue to number items with 3 and so on that you would like to do, but really does not carry any connotations if they are not completed today.  Now...Write in some things as 1's that you couldn't live without today.  These are the things that make the day worth living.  Greet your family with a smile.  Get a hug from a sleepy child.  Watch a few minutes of cartoons before heading out the door.  Just for a moment, remember when your kids would fit in your arms.  Say a prayer thanking God for another day.  Make sure you take time to do the number one things on your list and then...your day will not be wasted, but the most important things will be accomplished. 

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

What is Your Season?

Just when we can't stand the snow any more...Spring comes.  When we long for warmer days...Summer comes.  We soon become tired of long hot days and look forward to rest in cooler temps and...Fall arrives.  After a busy year and tired bodies...Winter comes to close us up in the house a little giving us rest, but remains harsh and can separate us from joyous activities.

Nature is designed to change with Seasons, each just as important and accomplishing a purpose on our Earth.  Have you ever noticed different Seasons in your life?  Is it Spring, with everything fresh and new and the start of all things good?  Summer in our lives can be fun at first, but soon becomes tiring with so much to do and temperatures that wears us out during the long days  Maybe you are experiencing Fall when times are beginning to slow down and you can catch your breath for a long walk with a cool breeze.  Winter is the harshest of Seasons and can bring isolation, fear and a sense of longing for brighter happier days.

Think of your Season of life right now.  Is it one of your most favorite and you don't want it to end?  Perhaps it is your least favorite and you can't wait for it to be over.  Be assured, that you are not forgotten in this Season of life and you are there for a purpose and it will not last forever.

God allows us to go through happy sunny days with joy and laughter and cold winter nights which can make us chilled and afraid.  We must remember that the Creator of nature and the Seasons of Earth and our lives is in control and even though the storms come, waters rise and the nature of our lives threatens to cause mayhem...there is someone that even the waves of the sea answers tooGod wants to be a part of our lives helping us through these Seasons giving us joy in good times, peace in hard times and strength as we travel through the Seasons of life .  He wants to be our best friend in all types of weather.