Thoughts

Life Flows On

Well we have been in our new home for a little over a month now and I want to share with you something I have learned.

Our new home has a finished basement with a bedroom in it, being that we didn’t need the bedroom our family decided to make that the “media” room.  So the 60″ flat screen that was once the focal point in our living room, has its own space down the stairs.  What I have learned is that I don’t miss it!  Not even a little!

Before when the television was so prevalent in our living space I often found myself glued to the screen, captivated by the ever changing pixels dancing across the screen.  If I was home alone for supper, I would foolishly think to myself, I will just catch a quick show while I eat and then go about my business after the show….2 hours later….and somehow I am now watching cat video’s on YouTube trying to piece together how I managed to jump down this rabbit hole.  For me the TV was a distraction.  Instead of finishing a project or taking 30 minutes to go for a walk, I would catch a quick show on YouTube.

Now with the TV in a location that I have to make the MINDFUL decision to watch it, it has not been on one time since we moved.  NOT ONE TIME.

So what have I done with all my extra time?  Well, I have found myself writing more, reading more and enjoying my family more.  Miraculously the time that I never had before to exercise, and take care of myself is slowly appearing in my daily routine.  The one thing in my life I found most distracting to my productivity has been removed.  The TV was mine, but what is yours?  Distractions can be anything like TV, Movies, Facebook, News Channels…what keeps you from being better to yourself and your community?

The moral of my story is that Life Flows On, we have a choice to clog our river with logs and brush piles of distractions……or……we can clean up our river and enjoy the scenery.  Your choice.  Many blessings!

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Thoughts

The Fork In The Road

I am sure we have all heard recited at some point in our life the famous poem by Robert Frost;

….Two roads diverged in a wood, and I – I took the one less traveled by,…

I am inclined to tell you that my life has taken an interesting path as of late.  A path I never intended, nor expected.  From my last entry (if you have been there) you will know that I am currently involved in becoming a minister.  What is new are all the changes that have taken place in the last few months.

I knew being called to minister a church was in the works, a part of the plan.  What I didn’t know was how quickly or much faith that step was going to take.  I am always and will be continually amazed at how God has things planned.

The Fork in the Road appeared….I was walking along in my normal day when it first came into view.  At first I was excited when I saw it, I saw the possibility of change and a new path, new scenery.  But as I slowly walked closer to where a decision was going to have to be made I became nervous.  Excited still, but now the unsure thoughts of this decision were coming to my mind.

I wanted this path, I longed for it, prayed for it but now….this meant something so completely different than what I knew from before.  No longer would I have to work a rigid schedule.  I could work early or late, whatever fit into my schedule.  However, these new and exciting changes meant something else too.  It meant daily change, the possibility of working Holidays and definitely weekends.  No more would my office just close its doors and no one could contact me until the next business day.  It meant 24/7 preparedness, hospital visits, counseling sessions, time management skills, self-motivation and leadership in new and unexpected ways.  Could I handle this?  Could I manage?

Then in a moment I blinked and there it was….I was standing right before the fork in the road.  Two paths diverging in the woods.  Would I stay on the path I knew, the path I was comfortable with or would I take the one less traveled by?

I took a deep breath and a huge step of faith and I chose the path less traveled.  With my heart in my throat and prayers being sent out without ceasing, I made the decision.  My family and I moved to a new town with new people.  New adventures to be had and a whole lot of new scenery.

Often God leads us down path’s we are not necessarily comfortable with.  It is new, new information.  They can be challenging, but growth almost always is.  I encourage you, if you are standing at your own fork in the road, pray and seek guidance first and foremost, and if you feel led take the path less traveled and open up your world to a great and glorious adventure.

Many Blessings!

Thoughts

Coffee or Tea?

Welcome!  If you haven’t been here before I hope you enjoy.  If you have, thank you for coming back.

I hope you take a moment to sit back and relax, with a nice cup of coffee, tea, water whatever you prefer, it really doesn’t matter.

My next step in my journey is understanding and reconnecting with the fact that the journey itself means so much more than the destination.

I am currently away at school, pursuing my calling into the ministry.  It is a rigorous schedule keeping us going from early morning to late night.  It is tiring trying to keep ones brain focused on the information being crammed in, in a very short amount of time.  I am honestly enjoying the classes, and I love learning new thoughts, concepts, insights etc.  However, one of the things that I am enjoying the most are the stories being shared.

Not just any story, but peoples stories.  Beautifully crafted conversations over a hot cup of coffee (that is what I will be drinking anyway), listening to how and why my classmates have come to the place we are all sharing.

I have mentioned it before, but it is worth mentioning again, we need to slow down and appreciate the path set before us.   Even with all I have learned and continue to learn, I forget how absolutely satisfying it is to join in on a great conversation.  Listening (not just hearing, there is a difference) to what the other person is bringing to the table.  Encouraging and building them up or disagreeing and entering into a healthy debate.

I sometimes (ok, often) forget that my life is made up of people.  It is not just the never ending list of chores and responsibilities that must be met and taken care of. I tend to become so focused on accomplishing tasks placed before me that I do not take time to enjoy my hot coffee with a friend.  I drink it alone, usually after it has become cold because I was to busy taking care of things to enjoy it while it was hot.

Society as a whole has become so fast paced, that we rush from project to project trying to accomplish all we can in a 24 hr. period, complaining that there are not enough hours in the day.  We forget…..we forget that there are others here sharing the space with us, often we are too busy to notice other than when they are in our way slowing us down, making us late.  Is this what life is all about?  Accomplishing tasks?  I argue that it is about people and relationships.  I frequently forget in my busyness to nurture either.

So….a bit of a personal reflection for you this time.  Enjoy your coffee, enjoy the conversation, enjoy the moment.  Many blessings!

My Belief

Butterfly Processing Now…

I must be completely honest, change is something I have often found difficult.  In my last blog I discussed how I have drug my feet kicking and screaming.

This last year has been nothing but change for me.  Change in good ways, in surprising ways and some I really had to work through.  I told you about many of those changes that were coming and some that have come to our family.  I am going to share with you another large change that has entered my life, one I have not really discussed on my blog until now.

I surrendered a little over a year ago publicly to a calling on my life.  It was a call that I knew was coming and I had been contemplating for close to a year before my public profession.

I am currently preparing to enter into the ministry.  I have been preaching as a lay preacher since the end of January and cannot even begin to count the blessings I have received in way of prayers, new friendships and blessings shown to me.

I have often questioned my call and had to pray through those doubts only to have God reaffirm to me time and again that I am on the right path.  I am truly humbled and honored to be chosen as one to preach God’s holy word.

This change is not just about me.  This change affects my family and my friendships.  No matter what this change will do, I am ready to honor what I have been asked.

Is change easy, is it without hardships, the answer is a huge NO.  Change is necessary for growth for understanding, wisdom and blessings.  While I do not always understand the situation and circumstances that I am going through, I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that if I keep my eyes fixed, it will be made known to me.

 

My husband and I, at least I feel, have been brought closer together through all of this.  Although we do not share a belief system, I see the workings that are going on and am grateful for the bond we share.  I am truly grateful for the man that was chosen for me.

With each change I am reminded of the butterfly, one of my favorite creatures on this planet.  I wonder what stage I am currently in?  It keeps me looking forward to the moment in time when I will finally spread my wings and fly.  Beautiful butterfly of God.

Many blessings.

Thoughts

Change is the Only Constant

This morning I have a thought I would like to share with you….I like almost all the people I know struggle with change in my life.    I have often caught myself saying I like change and yet when it comes I can be combative and drag my heels as it arrives.

Each one of us grows older and each day we live brings new experiences, mental and attitude changes, small lines in our faces, and the changing color of our hair.  If you are like me, I started graying at the age of 16 and now at, ahem, pushing 40 I am very salt and pepper.

I have been married for 19 1/2 years, we married at 19 & 20. My 18 year old son graduated high school last night and will be walking down yet another aisle in about a month. He and his fiancee’ are expecting their first child in late October which will make me a grandmother. My daughter who is 16 will soon be a junior.  And as I drink my coffee this morning while reading my devotional I am wondering just where all the time has gone…..

I know most all the parents of graduate students wonder the same thing.  We all post on social media exclaiming how it seems only yesterday we were watching them take their first steps and here we are watching them walk out of our doors ready to start their own independent lives.

Change is the only constant in our lives.  Yet as creatures of comfort, whether we say we enjoy change or not, we struggle with the new beginnings each day brings.  We like things to remain the same, normal, expected and when someone or something rocks the boat we hold on for dear life.

We question the waves, what will it bring? Will it be the end of the storm or will we drown beneath the wave?  This fear of the unknown the hidden sea beyond the horizon is what we are truly scared of.  Yet it is our timeless companion, sure to meet us each morning and follow us through our days.  Change, constant and consistent, never leaving us behind.

 

 

My Belief

Not All Fertilizer Is Created Equal

God has been teaching me some great tools as of late.  I cannot say  that they are without a certain amount of being uncomfortable, however, they are much needed.

Not all fertilizer is created equal.

I work for an organization that conducts soil samples of fields, gardens, yards etc.  When the recommendations come back each is completely unique.  It depends upon the ph level of your soil, how much potassium, phosphorus, nitrogen and what it is you are going to plant in that location.

If you were going to fertilize let’s say your garden it would be unwise to apply a 10-10-10 fertilizer every year without having your soil tested.  What if you needed a 15-10-10 or a 15-10-5 ratio instead? Each location is unique to its needs.  The same can be said about the people around us.

What God has been teaching me lately is that each person I come into contact with has their own soil, each unique to what their fertilizing needs are.  As a mother of two teenagers I had to handle each child differently based upon what they needed at that time.  One child I stood on the edge of the nest, ruffled their feathers, encouraged them to take flight and they did while the other required a drop kick off the edge.

As a woman of faith, I have realized that my approach to handling not only my children but the people around me on a day to day basis must also be unique.  I cannot have the same interaction with each person in my life and be successful.  Just like a garden, each individual is unique to the type of fertilizer they need.

Some are strong in their faith, and need just a dusting to keep them going.  Some have been growing weeds and are in a serious need of a clean up not just fertilizer.  Some have long been a dry dessert and need water more than anything.

To meet these needs of the correct ratio of fertilizer with each person, my “soil test” is prayer and listening.  If you truly LISTEN not just hear and pray for the right words, attitude and fertilizer, God will give you the correct ratio to put on.

Enjoy your week, month, life. I pray that if you are reading this that God gives you whatever fertilizer it is you need at the moment.  Many blessings!

 

My Belief

Looking At Another Angle

My devotion this morning started with the sentence to “Welcome problems as perspective-lifters.”  That is an interesting thought.

I do understand that often it is the troubles in our lives that give us an opportunity to see things differently.  It took me a very long time to get to that point where I could welcome an issue without losing my mind.  When dealing with confrontation, we usually like to point fingers, and say cruel things, but as someone once told me, when we point our finger at others there are 3 more pointing back at ourselves.

When I find myself in the midst of a problem, the first thing I do is pray about it.  It took me a long time to get to that point too.  I used to want to go run my mouth and cause damage to those that caused me hurt.  I have since learned the only person I truly hurt is myself.  So now I pray.  Who else but God is the perfect one to help us understand why it is we are going through this problem.  After prayer if I feel so led, I have a handful of wise people in my life.  Many are older women, who have a great deal more life experience than I do and I count their counsel as a blessing.  Some are younger but have the gift of wisdom.  These are my go to gals.

I enjoy their conversations because they give me a different angle to look at the issue.  I try very hard myself to look at why this person is reacting this way based on what I know about them, their life and circumstances.  So I guess you could say I try very hard to look at things from a different perspective.  However, I have never thought of a problem as a “perspective lifter.”

Problems do open our eyes though.  They open us up to life seen by the vast and never ending variety of people on this planet.  We are all unique creations, here for a purpose. All different members of one body.  So today as I go one with my particular path just for me, I will give thanks for the ability to lift my perspective and I pray you will do the same.

Many blessings.