Tag Archives: God

y is for yellow…social and enthusiastic (a-z challenge)

 

I know your mind has probably taken you to a very sunny happy place.  A place filled with yellow daffodils, fuzzy ducks, lemon cake with lemon frosting, yellow tulips or a yellow school bus.  Quite possibly you are thinking about the yellow pages, a yellow daisy or little yellow rubber ducks.  Maybe your mind has you thinking about yellow labs, bananas, taxi cabs or even yellow highlighters.

These are exactly the things I used to think about when I heard someone mention “yellow”.  However, all of that changed a couple of years ago.  I no longer think in these terms thanks to a personality profile assessment test that we were asked to participate in where I work. 

I will admit that I was a bit hesitant and anxious to take the test.  I was happy knowing what I knew about my psyche.   I was just as happy not knowing certain things about myself that could burst my perfect little bubble.  Of course there was also the concern that something less than complimentary would be revealed which would give pause to my employer about my ability to get my job done. 

Obviously I had some issues that I was unwilling to see from someone elses perspective.  Especially a very cold impersonal computer test which could not possibly understand everything that makes me tick. The test took all of 5 minutes to complete. It turns out that the computer test pegged me and everyone else who answered the questions truthfully dead on.  What an eye-opening experience for me.

My personality test revealed that I am YELLOW…no not yellow as in jaundice or cowardly.  According to the Insights Discovery Personality Profile Yellow is social, dynamic, demonstrative, enthusiastic and persuasive.  A person with a “yellow” personality was likened to a Golden Retriever.  A person who is fun to be around but will chase any butterfly or frisbee that comes into view. 

Some of things the test revealed were not a surprise to me.  I am happy to serve and help others.  I am friendly and sociable.  I have a strong sense of community and I am trusting and tolerant of others’ actions.

The test also revealed that my particular color yellow is very different from that of my co-worker who is also yellow.  On the color wheel there are many variations of the color yellow, some have more green and some have more orange in the mix.  My personality cocktail, so to speak, is unique to me and how God designed me to be. 

The other colors on the wheel are green, blue and red.  The person with a “green” personality is focused on values and the depth of the relationship.  The person with a “blue” personality is typically introverted and has a desire to know and understand the world around him.  The person with a “red” personality is extroverted and has high energy. 

My personality is definitely a mixture of all of the colors on the wheel.  When working with budgets and computer spreadsheets my naturally creative side must make room for the analytical side to get the job done.  And somedays require me to be more caring and attentive so I have to dig deeper for the ‘green” in me.  Then there are days when the “I’m in charge” “fiery red” side of me comes out of left field and has to make a statement or two. 

All in all this is who I am, one very bright, mixed up yellow golden retriever chasing frisbees. I wouldn’t want to be any other color than the color YELLOW!

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Filed under Blogging from A-Z April Blogging Challenge, Life..such as it is, postaweek2011

N is for nolagirlatheart (a-z challenge)

Good, Bad or Indifferent this is who I am and this is my life! Most days I think I am better than bad, less than good but never indifferent about the things that matter in life.

My life is not filled with death-defying feats or exceptional talents. I am simply a regular girl with hopes and dreams of a simple life. A life filled with faith, hope and love!

Yes I get off track and my compass does not always point north.  My mind gets cluttered with all of the junk in the world and I struggle with everyday stuff.   I am often saddened and confused by life’s tragic events.  I want to help but feel helpless. 

This blog is about the People, places and things that give me hope and inspire me to be a better me.

Every life is a story and every story has a beginning, a middle and an end.  Every story contains context, conflict, decisions and resolution. 

Once I realized that my life was a story I began to wonder about things; will I make better decisions, will I worry less and trust God more?  I wonder will I be a better listener and a better friend, a better wife and a better mother.  Will I share Jesus with others, or will they see Jesus in me? 

I wonder if I will laugh more often, love more deeply and will I live life to the fullest?  I am wondering about my life story but I am not worrying about it. My life story may not be filled with exciting world travels or death-defying feats.  It may be that God has planned for my life story to be one filled with lots of normal everyday stuff.

I know God has written into my life-story that I would be a daughter, a sister, a friend, a wife, a mother, an encourager and a Christ follower. I do wonder what else He has planned for my story. But I am content because I know the beginning and I know the end and I know who wrote the story line that goes in-between and I am thrilled to be part of such an amazing story. 

My Story!!

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.”

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(a-z challenge)…M is for merchandising a small space on a budget with a static customer base

I manage a church bookstore and the visitors to the store only vary by a small degree.  The store is only open on the weekends for the convenience of members and attendees.  We carry a good selection of Bibles and books as well as a nice selection of inspirational gifts. 

Because our customer base doesn’t change like that of a mall or big box store we must be selective with our purchases and creative with our merchandising.  We also are constantly changing things up to keep the store looking fresh and inviting.  Having a small store and limited storage is a  challenge.  However, challenges create opportunities for creativity. Our displays range from random to specific.  We sometimes have seasonal displays, topic related displays or even a display that is inspired by the colors of the season. 

Typically when merchandising the church bookstore we try to arrange the store in a manner that is inviting and comfortable for the guys.  Speaking from experience women are comfortable shopping just about anywhere; from the best boutique to Bass Pro Shop.  Typically most men will avoid shopping at all costs.  I am very happy to say our little bookstore has a high percentage of guys hanging around between services checking out the books on the shelves, buying T-shirts and even helping out by volunteering as cashiers and floor attendants. I think they like our little store.

However, this weekend our church is hosting our annual women’s event.  Our guest speaker is Lysa Terkeurst, President of Proverbs 31 Ministries.  Her most recent book, Made to Crave,  has been on the New York Times Best Sellers List.

So this week we decided to glam up the store for the event.  I have a volunteer who comes once a week and helps with merchandising.  Joan has an eye for mixing gifts and books that relate to one another.  Her attention to detail has given the store a unique feel that you just don’t find in most retail settings. This week Joan has pulled all the color to the front of the store.  She has mixed beautiful canvas prints with colorful tote bags.  The cash wrap area sparkles with beautiful fused glass crosses from an Austin, Texas Artist.  The glass jewelry case is a mix of jewelry, picture frames, coffee mugs and bible covers, the color is scheme is black and white with a pop of red.  It looks fabulous!  I think the ladies are going to enjoy browsing around the store this Saturday during the conference breaks.  Not to mention we have dropped a little coupon in their swag bag!  Now that’s merchandising and marketing at its best.

Our store is about 1000 square feet.  To make the most of our limited space we try to cross merchandise whenever possible.  The majority of the store consists of bookshelves, each shelf is dedicated to a specific topic or category.  There isn’t much floor space for display racks or merchandisers.    The store gets very crowded on  the weekend between services.  In order for our guests to have a good shopping experience we must incorporate gifts and books within the same space.  We cannot limit the books to one area and the gifts to another.    About a year ago,  Joan and I decided that we would utilize the top shelf of every bookshelf for category related gifts.  The rest of the bookshelf is filled with category specific books, audio cd’s or educational resources. 

This creative merchandising technique also acts as our silent salesperson.  Our bookstore is staffed entirely by volunteers during the weekend services.  We also use creative merchandising to help shoppers visualize gift combinations. 

I admit that I have no professional training in this area.  This store is my hearts desire…I woke up one morning 6 years ago and there it was…a deep yearning in my heart to own a bookstore/coffee shop.  I wanted to create a place where people could find the right book or inspirational gift to help them on their spiritual journey.  As God would have it, His plan for my life and my hearts desire were the same.  I am not the owner but I do have the greatest boss, ever!   I am truly blessed!

“Whatever you do, work at it with all of your heart, as working for the LORD not for men” Colossians 3:23 

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the all consuming I in pride…(a-z challenge)

Pride -noun, a high or inordinate opinion of one’s own dignity, importance, merit, or superiority, whether as cherished in the mind or as displayed in bearing and or conduct.

What letter is right smack in the middle of P.R.I.D.E?  Yep you got it…the all consuming “I”!

I have had to learn to control the “I” in my life.  At one time it was all consuming and controlling.  “I” could not be bothered with anything that might get in the way of me achieving my goals. Everyone in my life had always told me to be the best “YOU” can be, “YOU” can do anything YOU set YOUR mind to and If “YOU” want it go out and get it.  Then someone comes along and tells me, “ITS NOT ABOUT YOU”.   Well then…

Learning to put the needs of others before my own was the first step in a long journey.  Years ago I read a book, the Purpose Driven Life by Pastor Rick Warren.  The first line of the first chapter is etched into my memory.  It goes like this, “IT’S NOT ABOUT YOU”.   I thought if it’s not about me then who is it about. 

 Pride is:

  • Pride, conceit, self-esteem, egotism, vanity, vainglory  imply an unduly favorable idea of one’s own appearance, advantages, achievements, etc., and often apply to offensive characteristics. Pride  is a lofty and often arrogant assumption of superiority in some respect: Pride must have a fall.
  • Conceit  implies an exaggerated estimate of one’s own abilities or attainments, together with pride: blinded by conceit. Self-esteem  may imply an estimate of oneself that is higher than that held by others: a ridiculous self-esteem.
  • Egotism  implies an excessive preoccupation with oneself or with one’s own concerns, usually but not always accompanied by pride or conceit: His egotism blinded him to others’ difficulties.
  • Vanity  implies self-admiration and an excessive desire to be admired by others: His vanity was easily flattered. Vainglory,  somewhat literary, implies an inordinate and therefore empty or unjustified pride: puffed up by vainglory.

What Pride Is Not

a. Acknowledging and appreciating the gifts and abilities God has given you.
b. The presence of godly desire, ambition and purposeful direction in your life (1 Timothy 3:1)
c. Acknowledging the work of God within you.
d. The pursuit of excellence.
e. Defending and proclaiming the truth of Scripture.

PRIDE vs HUMILITY

Pride produces misunderstandings

Humility gives insight

 Pride produces arguments

Humility brings peace

Pride prevents intimacy

Humility builds closeness

Pride postpones reconciliation

Humility admits mistakes

 Pride promotes itself

Humility encourages others

In my experience being prideful is exhausting, humility is a much more peaceful existence.

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my GPS has an attitude…

girl please stay on they hightlighted route

 I have a GPS and I use it!  My husband bought it for me when we moved to the country.  I could not get my bearings.  Oh I could get where I needed to go but I couldn’t “see” how I was getting there.  I always felt like I was driving in circles.  So for my birthday he gifted me a cute little companion for my car.  And lo and behold I could “see” again. 

Now, I rarely need it.   However, from time to time I will plug-in an address that I am very familiar with just to see if my friendly car companion knows a quicker route.  Inevitably I do not take her suggestion because I know better.  This keeps her busy “re-calculating” the route. 

 There are times when I think my cute little GPS gives me just a little too much attitude.  As she is re-calculating the directions to compensate for what I am sure is deemed pure ignorance on my part she cops a little attitude and demands that I “return to the highlighted route” “return to the highlighted” “re-calculating”, “re-calculating”.  Over and over and what seems louder and with a little more persistance each time.    I do get a kick out of the hoops my little GPS jumps through trying to keep up with my meanderings. 

I have in the past taken an off ramp or two in life.  I am sure God was not surprised by my change in direction.  As patient as the LORD is with each of us and the choices we make in life, HE may have whispered to me on many an occasion “re-calculating”  “return to the highlighted route”.  I am very thankful that I have found my path in life and it is highlighted by God’s grace and mercy and unconditional love. 

 
 If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading.
Lao Tzu

Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.
Henry David Thoreau

John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

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balancing acts and curve balls

Just when I thought my life had hit a comfortable stride, and home and work were balancing out, someone through a curve ball from left field.  I hope I have the stamina to see this one through. 

The circumstances I currently face are not directly related to my own actions but are a result of someone elses actions, non the less I am affected.  I could sit and wallow in my own pity party which I may end up doing before this whole thing is resolved.  But what will more than likely happen is I will seek God’s wisdom, make a plan and move forward. 

Not by choice but out of necessity, multi-tasking is what I do best! 

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living in the sweet spot of life…the book that changed my life

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Book Review: Divine Appointments

About this Book

Josie Brooks, at the age of 47, thought she was leading an enviable single life. A successful consultant, she calls her own shots, goes where the money is, and never needs to compromise. But her precisely managed world begins to falter during a Chicago contract when an economic downturn, a bleeding heart boss, and the loyalty and kindness between endangered employees ding her coat of armor.

The Up Side:  Charlene Ann Baumbich has captured the unique personalities of each of her characters in a way that made me feel as though I had known them for years.  I especially liked Josie Brooks.  I was able to relate to her drive to be successful and in control, until the events of life are no longer controllable.  I believe that the people and events in our life are more than consequences they are divine appointments.

The Downside:  I never really understood the need for the sidebar writing tangent of the character Marsha who was dealing with life’s roller coaster ride of divorce.  The character names were bizarre and hard to pronounce and I found myself just skipping over these unnecessay page fillers. The book was complete with out the distraction.

Divine Appointments: All in all a good read!

“I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review”.

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on the way to the antique store…a funny thing happened

Whenever I have a few hours of free time I find myself heading off to one of my favorite antique stores.  Well, at least that’s what they are called, but these are not the foo foo antique shops filled with my grandmothers overly ornate furniture.  On the contrary these are very eclectic shoppes that are filled with wonderful things that were once cherished by someone and now they are being re-purposed and up cycled. 

 For many years I have had the desire to own my own coffee shop/bookstore.  I envisioned an old abandoned feed store that I had once seen in a little town coming to life.  I would fill it with wonderful eclectic treasures.  Everything from primitive paint ladders and rusty feed buckets to east Texas pottery and milk glass.  I envisioned a counter where the locals and passersby could enjoy a good cup of coffee and a little conversation.  Maybe there would be a lunch counter where one of the community elders would sit and read the newspaper and drink coffee while entertaining the customers with stories about “back in the day”. 

 There would be a nice selection of books, old and new.  Maybe a few tables where a ladies group could gather for their monthly book club meeting or bible study class.  All the while the entire place would be filled with an ever-changing array of antiques and re-purposed, up cycled discards from days gone by.  I even considered re-opening the feed store to draw in the locals. 

 As God would have it I do manage a bookstore and coffee shop.  It just so happens to be in the lobby of our church.  I must have forgotten to mention the exact address when I was praying about that abandoned feed store on the corner.  For the last 5 years, The church bookstore and coffee shop has been my training ground.  I have learned so much about the retail and food service industry.  How and when to order.  How much to order, when to buy in and when to back off.  I have learned that merchandising is a huge key to being successful. 

 Also, as God would have it, I now live just down the road from that once abandoned feed store.  It now is home to a little re-sale antique/junk store.  The owner is very nice and she carries a mix of boutique items and salvaged architecture pieces.  She does lean a little more to the new than the used.  Her place is strictly retail, so far there are no plans for a lunch counter or coffee shop. 

But a funny thing happened on the way to the antique store…I found a blogging community that is dedicated to re-purposing things and making them beautiful in a totally new and exciting way.  I have been inspired to look into the possibility of renting a space in one of the local antique stores.  I have been gathering treasures for years.  Recently my husband and I have begun to do a little junkin of our own.  We are in the hunting and gathering mode.  I am also looking for just the right shop to rent a booth from. 

 My absolutely favorite antique store has the “no vacancy” sign hanging at the counter.  There waiting list is a mile long.  Although I am not ready to jump in just yet, I do have a basic timeline.  I have also stopped into another one of my local hangouts and inquired about availability, pricing and requirements.  This location is the largest antique store in the county.  Actually it is called an Antique Mall.  That’s a little intimidating.  So so many vendors.  However, they have availability, great lighting, clean bathrooms and a cafe. There are other benefits but the one big negative for me was; a small booth can get lost in the shuffle.  Especially if the space I rent is on one of the farthest isles from the bathroom. 

 There are a couple of other places I am going to look into so that I have a complete picture of the options available.  I have to get my feet wet somewhere, so somewhere is where I will be.  I am praying and waiting for the right door to open.

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The Challenge of the Cheesecake…from my dayspring inspirational wall calendar

google image

It’s hard to tell when a cheesecake is done.  When the baking time is up, the cake is still wobbly in the middle-but by faith you take it out and hope for the best.  A couple of hours later and in spite of your great act of faith, the cake cracks right down the center during the cooling process.  Sigh!  As the baker who refuses to give up, you proceed to pour one cup of heavy cream into a bowl so that you can whip it into the perfect topping for the not-so-perfect cheesecake.  And now you have it: a cheesecake worthy of presenting to dinner guests. 

Not giving up is a beautiful thing.  How very often I take a deep breath and thank God for hanging in there with me.  What a comforting thought to know that when we finally meet Him we’ll be “covered” in His mercy and forgiveness, white as snow, and presentable, regardless of how many times our efforts (to act or do as we should) crack.  God never gives up on us or the purpose for which He created us.  It’s good.  It’s satisfying.  It’s the longing we carry in our hearts wrapped in the dream we envision in our minds.  We need only to decide to get on board with the God who refuses to turn away from us or throw His hands in the air in frustration.  Another crack in this one?  That’s O.K.  I have grace enough to fill it.  Wobbling again? Good.  I think I’ll teach them to lean on Me even more. 

Cheesecake is the dessert we’re told to reserve for special occasions because it’s full of the stuff we should enjoy sparingly.  What a wonderful contrast , then to know we can indulge in every good thing God has for us without the least bit of restraint-and it just doesn’t get any sweeter than that. 

God’s grace and goodness are infinite-and they’re sweetened with unconditional love.

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