My soul mate and I celebrated our 25th anniversary last month…Although we planned our anniversary trip to Jackson Hole, Wyoming together there was a little sneaking around going on with some of the details. I thought I would surprise my husband by ordering a small version of our wedding cake from a local Jackson bakery.
When we arrived in Jackson our room wasn’t ready so we decided to take a walk around town. Our hotel was right off the town square and everything was within a 4 block radius. As we walked I began to talk about this bakery I had heard of in Jackson. I talked and talked about the macaroons they made and I expressed how I just had to have a macaroon while we were there. We walked until we came to the bakery I had found online. I asked my husband to wait while I ran and checked to see if they had the desired sweet available at such a late hour of the day. I came out with a little white cake box that held the cake I had ordered weeks earlier. I smiled, he smiled..we walked back to the hotel. What was really in the box was still my little secret surprise.
We walked back to the hotel with the little cake box. Our room wasn’t quite ready so we sat in the lobby in front of the big fireplace and looked through a couple local magazines. The wait wasn’t too long. Finally our room was ready, our bags were taken up and a few minutes later we walked into the most beautiful hotel room. That’s when I discovered I wasn’t the only who had been planning a little surprise.,,the room was filled with flowers. Roses, lilies, hydrangea…where do you find hydrangea in February in Wyoming?
It was so sweet knowing that we both had been thinking about making our anniversary extra special for the other by planning, plotting, researching and seeing to a few extra special surprise details.
The cake was 6 layers of sweet red velvet covered in cream cheese buttercream icing. The flowers were lovely and fragrant…all of my favorites.
Recently someone posed this question to me…Is there a difference between your load and your burden?
My answer was…yes of course there is a difference. But when I tried to articulate the difference I found I struggled to give a clear explanation.
A load is something with substantial weight. Something you can physically see, touch and feel. It is something that can be weighed. On the other hand a burden is something that weighs you down emotionally. It’s a perceived load. It doesn’t have physical traits. You cannot see it, touch it or feel it.
Yes, a load can be burdensome but that isn’t what I am talking about here…
According to God’s word, in Galatians 6, we are to carry each others burdens and we are to carry our own load. We should have empathy and sympathy for those who are hurting physically and struggling emotionally with the things that are out if their control. We should be there to help them carry their burden. However, we should not be expected to carry someone’s load…bail them out of situations that were caused by their choices.
The more we carry someones load for them the less likely they are to learn to carry it for themselves. The more dependent they will become. It will be difficult in the beginning…the load will seem too heavy for them but over time they will grow stronger in their abilities and their belief that they can do it. Empathize with their burden but encourage them to pick up their load and walk.
Life is full of beauty. Notice it. Notice the hummingbird, the small child, and the smiling faces. Smell the rain, and feel the wind. Live your life to the fullest potential and fight for your dreams. Ashley Smith.
Step up…this is not a political issue. This is a human rights issue. Be Saeed’s voice. Let this be your random act of kindness today. Use your social medium platform today for something other than posting what you had for lunch. #FREESAEED
Originally posted on thesisterslice:
||Pastor Saeed Abedini, an American citizen, has been imprisoned in Iran for over a year for the crime of being a Christian.In recent negotiations with the government of Iran over their nuclear program, his plight was left unresolved by our administration.Use your platform to speak out and demand his release. Don’t have a platform? If you have a voice or a cell phone or email or twitter account or face book page or instagram or linkedin or blog, etc – you have a platform. Use the hashtag: #freesaeed and/or #savesaeed on all your platforms today!What if it were you? What if it was your spouse, son, brother, father?
And lest you think that he is being cared for as a political prisoner know that he is in a horrific, over crowded prison. A prison in the middle of nowhere built to house 5,000 currently holds over 20,000. He…
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I am neither a self-professed early riser or a night owl. I enjoy the peacefulness that either time of the day offers. How can I choose between the beauty of a golden sunrise or a majestic purple sunset? One offers me an opportunity to rejoice with the coming of the new day. While the other gives me time to reflect and be thankful for all that the day was.
There is something to be said about starting the day off in the presence of the Lord…Jesus started his day off by meeting with the Lord and therefore set an example for how our day should begin.
I am embarking on a journey this summer. A journey that will begin at dawn each day. Each morning will begin with prayer, include a devotional reading and finish up with a time of quiet and stillness.
I am feeling most challenged by the commitment to the time of quiet and stillness…typically when my feet hit the floor my mind is racing…making my own plan for the day, week, month…rarely checking in with the Lord to see what His plan is for my day.
I have found that it’s easier for me to stay focused when I have a plan in place. Otherwise, I find myself distracted and rambling. I have been known to chase a squirrel or two… I have found the simple ACTS prayer model works for me…This also follows the pattern of the Lords prayer…
- Adoration: proclaiming who God is and the attributes of HIS character
- Confession: personal cleansing, repentance, putting on Christs nature
- Thanksgiving: praise offering, meditation
- Supplication: asking, intercession and petitioning according to God’s will
I have created a place that I hope will become my thin place, where heaven meets earth (check out the explanation at 6:00 minutes) …my meeting place with the Lord…If you would like to join the summer session of Hello Mornings click here to find a group.
I am looking forward to developing a great new habit of rising early and meeting with the Lord. This could be the best summer of my life! Let the journey begin…
When is the last time you stopped to consider the words you speak? I think about it quite often. I have witnessed the power of the spoken word and how it can lift someones spirit or tear them down. I have seen the crushing blow of a parents angry words to a child over a missed pitch in a baseball game. I have seen a beautiful vibrant woman turned into a sad shell of herself due to the constant insults leveled at her by her husband. I have also witnessed a husband lose his sense of self-worth because his hard work goes unnoticed by his family. Then on the other hand, I have seen tears replaced with laughter, desperation replaced with hope. I have seen anger replaced with peace, rejection replaced with acceptance. I have seen a lost soul find their purpose. All because of the spoken word.
This week one of my young volunteers lost his life in a horrific accident. As you can imagine the family and everyone who knew him are devastated. When the Pastor met with the family the grandmother recounted a story of how one particular person had spoken words of encouragement to this young man while he was volunteering and the incredibly positive affect it had on him. “Her words lifted his spirit!”
Every conversation and interaction we have is an opportunity to speak hope into someone’s life. Recently, Toby Mac released a new CD, Eye On It. There is one particular song that I listen to almost everyday on my to work…Speak Life. The lyrics remind me that I have the power to speak hope, love and life into someone’s world…
“It’s Crazy to imaging that the words from our lips as the arms of compassion. Mountains crumble with every syllable. Hope can live or die. So speak life. Look into the eyes of the brokenhearted. watch them come alive as soon as you speak love, speak hope, speak life.”
What will you do with your words today…tear someone down or Speak Life?
Number our days
Say Good Things
Living to Live for 2013
How many people in this world ever accomplish all they set out to do at the beginning of the year? Well, I for one am not one of those “accomplished” types…I start the year off thinking and planning, plotting and scheduling and making all sorts of plans. Then reality presents itself and life takes a new course.
I started 2012 off much the same… a year of grand plans. As I read a few of my posts from January I had to shake my head and laugh to myself…”Oh you silly girl, what were you thinking?”. Life is a journey with unexpected twists and turns, ups and downs, good days and not so good days. There were projects and trips planned that fell by the wayside…but when looking back at 2012 I remembered all the things that were accomplished, trips taken and memories made. So instead of dwelling on the undone…I will rejoice in all that was done…2012 was a year without regrets!
I will look forward to the new year with great anticipation. I will be thankful for everyday. I will look for that one thing that made the day worth getting out of bed for…I will laugh at myself, I will love with all my heart, I will live this year one day at a time…I will be present in the moment…I will hold my loved ones tighter, call them more often, tell them I love them without hesitation. I will invest time and energy into the people who come into my life and pray that through it all I will become a better person, that my faith will grow and that 2013 will be a year without regrets!
Have you ever watched a silent movie? I recently “watched” a movie on a plane flight. I really did watch it…I chose not to pay for the movie so I was unable to hear the sound. The movie was 1,000 Words starring Eddie Murphy. In the movie Eddie’s character discovers he only has 1,000 words left to say before he dies. So this got my wheels turning and I have been thinking about it for weeks.
Have you given much thought to how many words you speak in one day?
One clinical study has concluded that women speak an average of 20,000 words per day and men speak an average of 7,000 words per day. Now before I head off on a rabbit trail let me just say that there are plenty of opinions about these findings. But let’s just go with it for the sake of this post.
No matter how you look at it, that’s a lot of talking…This has me wondering… Are all of my conversations necessary or are they idle chatter? Are my words cruel and demeaning? Or are my words sweet and life affirming?
What if my words were limited? Not just my spoken words but my written words as well. Would I be so quick to speak? Would I waste my precious words on cursing or gossip? Would I choose my words more carefully? Speak more sweetly? Make the most of every syllable I utter.
How creative would I become in order to conserve my precious allotment. How many non verbal ways are there to communicate with people in my life.? A smile or laughter is universal and conveys joy and happiness. A hug can express more sympathy or empathy than any number of words and I have found on many occasions it’s all that’s necessary. A thumbs up will let someone know that they are doing a good job. A wave says hello or goodbye.
I know my words carry a lot of weight…My words can build up a life or tear it down! I have a choice before I ever open my mouth…I can choose tasteless bitter words that cause hurt that cuts to the bone… or I can choose words that are tasteful, full of sweetness, wholesome and kind. Words that will enrich the life of the person on the receiving end. My words should breathe life and offer hope. The words I speak should drip of honey and bless the ears that hear them.
Now with all that said, I don’t always think the most positive things but I do try to check what comes out of my mouth before its too late. Words are one thing you can never take back no matter how hard you try…apologize you may but the words will always be there lurking in the memory of the person who was on the recieiving end. Every time I get behind the wheel of my car I encounter someone who challenges my positive thought process. When I have to wait on hold for an unmerciful amount of time only to be transferred multiple times or have my call disconnected leaves me fuming and mumbling under my breath. When my favorite sports team systematically implodes I find myself screaming at the television giving the coach a much-needed talking to. And more times than not I find myself speaking negative, less than re-affirming thoughts into my own life when I am tired and frustrated or feeling a little bit sorry for myself.
Back to the “silent movie”…Eddie’s character became very creative with non-verbal communication…especially as he came closer and closer to the end of his life. Not one of us knows the day or time that we will breathe our last breath…isn’t that reason enough to be more cognizant of the words we speak. What kind of legacy will your words say about you? With that in mind, I am much more thoughtful about all the yada yada yada in my life…how about you?
I have been searching for balance in my life…without giving up the things I enjoy doing. I do not think I am alone…
Just as your car runs more smoothly and requires less energy to go faster and farther when the wheels are in perfect alignment, you perform better when your thoughts, feelings, emotions, goals, and values are in balance.
The more I search for balance the more it seems my calendar is filling up with record speed…learning to say no to the good things so I can say yes to the better things is something I have not been able to grasp. I just want to do it all…
Balance – to arrange or adjust to have equal distribution…
A balanced life must include the proper amount of rest… Without proper rest your body begins to rebel…the lack of rest causes undo stress and the natural reaction is to retreat.
Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance, order, rhythm and harmony.
Ephesians 5:15 “Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise”