Category Archives: encouragment

Life requires Balance…

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.
Brian Tracy

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”
 
 
 
 
 

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Serve…it matters!

 The human foot and ankle is a strong and complex mechanical structure containing more than 26 bones, 33 joints (20 of which are actively articulated), and more than a hundred muscles, tendons, and ligaments. 

These feet bear my weight and allow me movement.  These feet served God by uniting with others so we could make a difference in one persons life.  These feet allowed me to serve and that’s all that matters!

Thought for the Day:  Be the hands and feet of Christ.  Serve!

Scripture Verse:  1Peter 4:10 “God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another.”

Quote of the Day:  “The purpose of life is not to be happy – but to matter, to be productive, to be useful, to have it make some difference that you have lived at all.” ~Leo Rosten

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Friendship is Unneccessary…

“Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art… It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things that give value to survival.”

Friendship…is a two-way street!  It takes two people to form a friendship.  There are a handful of things that transform a mere acquaintance into a friend…there are a few more things that elevate a friend to a best friend. 

An acquaintance is someone who you have some knowledge of and they of you…this relationship is less intimate than friendship…Typically a relationship with an acquaintance is based on business relationships, social commitments, mutual friends or family members.  The relationship with an acquaintance can grow into friendship if there is mutual effort expended by both parties. 

Friendship is the next level in a relationship…Friends desire what is best for one another.  They have sympathy and empathy for one another.  Friends are honest in situations where it would be difficult for others to speak the truth.  There is mutual understanding and compassion which allows friends to go to each other for emotional support.  Friends enjoy each others company no matter the circumstances. 

Best Friends are a whole different level… best friends trust one another with the junk going on in their lives.  A best friend is someone who reciprocates…there is equal give and take…a best friend relationship isn’t made up of one taker and one giver…although at times one may take more than they give they will in time give more than they take.  A best friend allows you to be yourself, express your feelings and make mistakes without fear of judgement.

“The next best thing to being wise oneself is to live in a circle of those who are.”

When you pour yourself into developing friendships your life is infused with the experiences of the other person…maybe they have traveled to places you have only dreamed of and enjoyed culinary delights from the far corners of the earth.  Maybe they are wild and care free or deep thoughtful thinkers.  Maybe there is a characteristic you see in them that you desire for yourself…maybe just maybe they are a looking-glass that shows you what life looks like without actually having to cross the fence to what appears to be greener pastures.  Friendships offer you the opportunity to live life vicariously. 

Even after pouring yourself into growing a friendship there is no guarantee that the friendship will last…It is best to remember that God has planned for lots of people to be in your life for a moment,  fewer people to be in your life for a season and even fewer will bless you for a lifetime, theirs or yours. No matter how long a friendship lasts it is worth the effort.  Every friend adds depth, color, texture and flavor to your life. 

Life is meant to be experienced one friendship at a time! 

Ecclesiastes 4:9–12
Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. Likewise, two people lying close together can keep each other warm. But how can one be warm alone? A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.

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Why Worry?

From time to time I worry…mostly I worry about my son when he is out and about. I sometimes worry about the outcome of a doctor’s appointment especially when I have to wait to hear test results. I also worry about getting a speeding ticket when I whiz past a police officer…I worry about my husband’s health…because of the level of stress that is involved in his job. I worry about disappointing my employer…I worry about dropping the ball on big projects or making the wrong decision.

The One thing all of my worries have in common is I have little if any control over them…Worrying does not make my son come home earlier or the test results come back quicker. Worrying does not keep me from getting a speeding ticket and it does not lessen the stress in my husbands day. Worry doesn’t keep my from dropping the ball or making the wrong decisions.

Then Why Worry? If I can change something i am worried about i should change it…If I am worrying about something I can’t change it is a waste of time and energy…

I should Let worry be a warning light that I need to pray…I should replace my worries with prayers..lift up my worries to God. Lay my worry at the feet of Jesus. Redirect my energy from time wasted worrying to trusting that God has a better plan.

Saying I am going to replace my worry with prayer is easier said than done. Worry is like a bad penny it seems to turn up at the most inopportune time…or is it the most opportune time. I guess that would depend on your point of view.

Remember worry is like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do but it doesn’t get you anywhere. I’m just sayin’…Why Worry?

Philippians 4:6 New Living Translation (©2007)
“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.”

Matthew 6:25″ Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life.”

Matthew 6:34  “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

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NO…NO MORE…NO!

 No…never…none…nothing… noway…No entry… No fair…no fun!  How many times a day do we hear the word NO?  How many times do we say it?  This little two letter word carries more weight than we give it credit for…it can crush someones creative spirit, squash their enthusiasm, squelch their zeal for life and forever change their sunny disposition.  I have been on the receiving end of hearing countless “NO’s” and I have been the one to dish them out. 

How much different would life be if we never learned to use the nasty negative NO…and we used a nicer encouraging alternative.  I think I will try going an entire day without being a negative nay sayer…instead maybe I will try a couple of these on for size; absolutely, certainly, completely, definitely, positively or surely.  I certainly think I might brighten someones day or even enjoy a few more conversations than I actually have time for.  It certainly will require more creative thinking to actually say NO without saying NO…I will let you know how it goes. Just say NO…NO MORE…NO!!!

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This post is part of the Blogging Challenge: A to Z April Challenge.  This post is brought to you by the letter “N”!

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Being Mindful of Margin…

Margin is the space between your load and your limit.

Mindfulness is the quality of fullness of attention, immediacy, non-distraction. In that sense, it is the key to life. Without mindfulness there can be no margin.

The following is an excerpt from an article written by Rick Warren…

“A lot of people are on overload and headed for a crash. Consider these statistics:

  • People now sleep two and a half fewer hours each night than people did a hundred years ago. You’re sleeping less than your grandparents did.
  • The average workweek is longer now than it was in the 1960s.
  • The average office worker has 36 hours of work piled up on his or her desk. It takes us three hours a week just to sort through it and find what we need.
  • We spend eight months of our lives opening junk mail, two years of our lives playing phone tag with people who are busy or who are not answering, five years waiting for people who are trying to do too much and are late for meetings.”

Having margin in my life means I have time to cherish loving moments with my family.  Living without it means we say the words “I love you” but we do not follow them up with loving actions. 

Margin in my life allows for moments of pure joy to seep into my soul and fill me to overflowing.  A marginless life means I settle for moments of momentary happiness,  usually gone as quickly as they appear. 

Margin allows for moments of absolute stillness…listening to the small quiet voice guiding me through my life.  Life without margin looks more like chaos…cluttered office, overflowing laundry baskets, dishes piled in the sink, lack of sleep and late for everything. 

Living a mindful life allows me the opportunity to slow down and address situations that are out of my control, usually because someone else lacks the margin in their life.  I have the time to think, re-evaluate and make educated adjustments.  MY Life without margin begins to feel hurried and harried and filled with stressful moments. I feel like Alice’s White Rabbit…I’m late…I’m late…for a very important date…no time to say…hello, goodbye…I’m late!

Being mindful of my need for margin allows me time to fill in the gap when and where it is needed.  A stress filled life will limit  my ability to be spontaneous and help out when the opportunity presents itself.  Living a life with margin begins to feel like the life I was created to live…

When my life has time I have self-control – margin limits the frustrations that happen in life because there is no margin for error

From the same article:

Dr. Richard Swenson, MD says this:

The conditions of modern day living devour margin. If you’re homeless we direct you to a shelter. If you’re penniless we offer you food stamps. If you’re breathless we connect you to oxygen. But if you’re marginless we give you one more thing to do. Marginless is being 30 minutes late to the doctor’s office because you were 20 minutes late getting out of the hairdresser because you were 10 minutes late dropping the children off at school because the car ran out of gas two blocks from a gas station and you forgot your purse. That’s marginless.

Margin, on the other hand, is having breath at the top of the staircase, money at the end of the month, and sanity left over at the end of adolescence. Margin is grandma taking the baby for the afternoon. Margin is having a friend help carry the burden. Marginless is not having time to finish the book you’re reading on stress. Margin is having the time to read it twice. Marginless is our culture. Margin is counter-culture, having some space in your life and schedule. Marginless is the disease of our decade and margin is the cure.

If I am not mindful of the moments that make up my life… I will miss out on all that makes life worth living…

Galatians 5:22 “The fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control.”

If I am too busy to look up and witness the beautiful blue sky… how will I know when it’s raining?

If I am too busy to look into the eyes of a friend…how will I know they are hurting? 

If I do not laugh at myself…I may take myself to seriously.

If  I do not consider others…who will consider me?

If I…do not find the margin in my life…my life will become a series of hurried and harried days on end…I will quite possibly find myself chasing my life instead of living it!

To recognize the need for margin is the my first step to making the adjustments…I have been making a few changes and I am now enjoying my new-found margin.

 Rick Warren sites four benefits to building margin into our lives; Peace of Mind, Better Health, Stronger Relationships and Usefulness in Ministry.  To read the article in it’s entirety…Four Benefits to Putting Margin in Your Life…go here!

What does margin in your life look like? 

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This post is part of theBlogging Challenge: A to Z April Challenge.  Today’s post is brought to you by the letter “M”

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The Gift of Grace…

When I first believed and accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior I received a gift…The gift of Grace…God’s riches at Christ’s expense. I asked for forgiveness and acceptance. I turned away from my old ways and chose a new path. 

Although I did not feel worthy of receiving such an incredible gift…the gift of grace.  It was given to me, unconditionally.  No strings attached…no further requirement on my part.  It was and is a free gift.

As I have grown in my faith I now understand a little bit about grace.  Along the way I have learned to extend the gift of grace to those around me.  It is often those who least deserve the gift who need it the most.(I was one of those people)  Therefore, it is given without the expectation of getting anything in return. 

Sometimes there are individuals in our life that require extra grace, sometimes I can be one of those people.  Nonetheless, grace is required, grace is given.  I am thankful everyday for the grace that is afforded me by those in my life, no strings attached.

Ephesians 2:8-9 “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God– not by works, so that no one can boast.”

What Is Grace?

What is grace? Grace is love that seeks you out when you have nothing to give in return. Grace is love coming at you that has nothing to do with you. Grace is being loved when you are unlovable. The cliché definition of grace is “unconditional love.” It is a true cliché, for it is a good description of the thing…Let’s go a little further, though.

Grace is a love that has nothing to do with you, the beloved. It has everything and only to do with the lover. Grace is irrational in the sense that it has nothing to do with weights and measures. It has nothing to do with my intrinsic qualities or so-called “gifts” (whatever they may be). It reflects a decision on the part of the giver (the one who loves) in relation to the receiver (the one who is loved) that negates any qualifications the receiver may personally hold…Grace is one-way love.

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This post is part of the Blogging Challenge: A to Z April Challenge…this is the letter “G”!

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Your Happiness Depends On It!

The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts.”  Marcus Aurelius

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think on such things.”  Philippians 4:7-9

“Your mind will be like its habitual thoughts, for the soul becomes dyed with the color of its thoughts.” Marcus Aurelius

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Making a Difference Became a Day to Remember

Making a difference became a day to remember in the life of a family, a business and a community and it all began with an idea. 

One person had an idea.  Which prompted them to take action.  Along the way others were encouraged to join in…Thought + Action = Change!

CHAGRIN FALLS, Ohio (AP) — It began quietly, as an email to 40 friends.

But when a steady stream of customers began coming through the door before the family owned Chagrin Hardware had even opened for the day on Saturday, it was clear that it had turned into much more than that.

The idea started with Jim Black, a resident of Chagrin Falls, a close-knit village in Cleveland’s eastern suburbs that is part artist colony and part bedroom community. Black posted the email to a group of his friends. “Let’s show our support for one of our local businesses,” he wrote. “I challenge everyone to spend AT LEAST $20 at the hardware on the 21st.”

Although his email referred to the idea of a “Cash Mob” or the notion to “Occupy CF Hardware,” he really had no political agenda. And it wasn’t meant as a protest against the big-box stores that have created an ever-tightening circle around the community.

It was just a way to thank Chagrin Hardware’s owners for a beloved shop that has been a fixture in the village since 1857. (read the rest of the story)

My challenge to you…Every week for the remainder of 2o12, choose one locally owned and operated retail or service related establishment in your community and commit to spend $20 with them.  This might mean you purchase your lightbulbs from the locally owned hardware store instead of the big box chain store.  You could pick up your fresh fruits and vegetables from the local farmers market.  You could spend your entertainment $$ with a locally owned restaurant.  You might try out the locally owned coffee shop, bakery or resale shop.  If you’re going to spend the $$ anyway, why not spend them with a locally owned business and support your neighbor and your community. 

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Love your neighbor…

Before the month of Love comes to an end…I would like to share a little bit of my heart with you…

I am mostly non confrontational…and a peace keeper…

I am soft hearted and sometimes get my feelings hurt over a passing comment.   

It doesn’t take much to tug on my heart-strings and all of the evil, hatred and fighting in the world weighs heavy on my spirit. 

I typically do not watch the news because it fills me with sadness…

I wonder how different the World would be if the news media focused more on the positive things that people do instead of all of the murder and mayhem.  Just today the first 10 minutes of the evening news was dedicated to the following stories;

  • Man shoots wife, two daughters, then himself
  • Fight over singing ends in fatal shooting
  • Off-duty HPD officers shoot teen in SE Houston
  • Man shot to death in his apartment
  • Pawn shops targeted in smash and grab thefts
  • One killed, 4 wounded in school shooting in Ohio

The list continues with more murders and then as if to lighten the mood the News Anchor switches over to the recap of the Oscars…It’s not enough to highlight the winners,great effort is made to point out who failed to meet the expectations of the fashion gurus…Then they move on to the political in fighting and wrap up with the daunting news of the ever-increasing gasoline prices. 

Not a single minute of a single “feel good” story.  I know that every day good people all over the world are doing good things for people in need.  I think there should be more time devoted to covering the “feel good” stuff….

what the world needs now is love sweet love,
it’s the only thing that there’s just to little of,
What the world needs now is love sweet love,
no, not just for some but for everyone…

Try this on for size…Love your neighbor as yourself…

 

The people in this video gave up their Saturday to go out and help a complete stranger.  Not only did they donate their time, they paid a minimal fee to cover the cost of a T-Shirt, transportation and snacks.   They didn’t do it for the recognition…they didn’t do it for money… they didn’t do it for any other reason than the fact that there was a need.   

New Hope Church, where I worship and work, organizes community outreach projects throughout the year.  The outreach projects fill up in a couple of weeks time and usually have a waiting list.  More times than not the teams come back physically exhausted but mentally exhilarated.  They come back with dirty clothes but with a renewed spirit.  They leave out thinking they are going to change someones life but come back changed themselves.   They have experienced what it is to…Love your Neighbor

Romans 13:9
For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not bear false witness,” “You shall not covet,” and if there is any other commandment, are all summed up in this saying, namely, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

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