“And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort.”
2 Corinthians 1:7 NIV
Friday is always an exciting day in our office. It means a break is coming. Most have big plans for the weekend. It’s a time for friends, family and fun that leads to new beginnings as Monday rolls in.
Over the past few months at work I have had the opportunity to write stories about local businesses for both local newspapers. It’s a way to promote businesses in a small town. I love writing, so I was excited about the opportunity from the very beginning, but knew that it would be additional work for which I would be responsible. In other words, I have the same amount of work plus this new assignment. Yet, I have not once hated or dreaded working extra late or early. You might wonder why. The reason is, I have been given a gift to see people in a different light. An hour of talking with someone who would normally visit my office for an unwanted permit has changed me as a person.
I ensure every article is positive, which hasn’t been a problem at all. After two to three months of publishing three or more articles a week, I have something to share. Everyone has a heartfelt story. Most keep them hidden away for fear of pain or maybe embarrassment. My hope for humanity has been restored in ways you cannot even imagine. However, I want to encourage you to be vulnerable and share your stories with others. It will change the world. Also, it allows others to receive their blessings by helping you.
I sat in my office a couple of months ago and listened to a young business owner tell me how satan had come into his life while he was attending a university. He held a gun to his head and pulled the trigger. I’m so blessed that he survived. I sat and cried with him as he revealed his story of how God turned his life around and how promising his future has become. I interviewed a couple who had recently lost an adult child. I spoke with two ladies that God brought together as business partners to help autistic children, and one lady who added to her husband’s business, while he was out-of-town, a ladies boutique called “Mustard Seed” because of her faith in God. I interviewed a lady who went out on her own and opened a business to make others feel better about themselves, and a lady operating her business while caring for two aging parents. That’s just a few of the many touching stories.
Your story is important too, and will help others. Take time to share it. Also, take time to listen. Really listen to the stories behind the faces. I promise your blessings will be great! God bless you.
Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28 KJV
Good Morning and Happy Friday!
What seems like is a great day for those of us who are anticipating the weekend, might be more challenging for others. There are people all around you suffering from emotional and physical pain. Often diseases are invisible to human eyes. You look at the person and don’t know the pain they are experiencing. They struggle to hide their suffering for many reasons. Emotional pain is even more invisible than physical, and can cause just as much suffering.
You don’t have to look hard to find people who need you to brighten their day. There was an elderly lady in front of me in the checkout line a couple of days ago. Her husband was in a wheel chair and she was having trouble working the credit card machine to pay. All she needed was someone to care enough to help her without compromising any security issues. I turned around and there was another lady who just wanted someone to listen to her. She was lonely. When we stop rushing from place-to-place, we can see pain all around us.
So, today when you see someone who is short-tempered, rude, or struggling, pause and pray for them silently. Ask God to work through you in their life. Maybe you can do something to ease their stress and pain. If you are in pain today, I will keep you in my prayers. Turn to God. He eases the suffering of the worn. God bless you.
My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;
James 1:2 KJV
Happy Saturday! I’m a little late posting today, because I’ve been enjoying resting. This afternoon I plan to take a walk outside and just rest and refresh my soul. If you have had a tough week, take a few moments, hours, or maybe a day to refresh. When we take care of ourselves, we are able to help others more.
Have you ever been tempted to do or say something that you knew was wrong? On more than one occasion, I have quickly responded before thinking. Later I wondered, why did I say that! I have looked to food for comfort, knowing that our comfort is always in our sweet Lord. I have been tempted to sleep in on Sundays, and have actually followed through too many times to count. I have become angry, held my tongue, and in the presence of a few friends or family spewed angry words.
In the Message Bible, James 1:2 says “Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.” It’s difficult to think of trials and temptations as a joy or gift. Yet, when we are tested, we grow spiritually, emotionally and physically. It may be difficult to understand at the moment, but opportunities for growth are a blessing. Have you ever prayed for patience and found yourself needing more? That’s an example of being forced to mature as a Christian. Every day is new, and there is always something to be thankful for, especially when it’s spiritual growth.
Today, walk in the love of Christ, and smile inside and out when you experience these moments of growth. God bless you.
The silver-haired head is a crown of splendor and glory; It is found in the way of righteousness.
PROVERBS 16:31 AMP
Happy Saturday! It’s a lazy Saturday at my house. Our grandson spent the night and we slept in this morning. Ahhh.
A couple of months ago I noticed and accepted the fact that my hair is now shades of grey. Which led me to realize that I’m only fooling myself about others not knowing my age. I mean, why am I coloring my hair? Is it to convince others or myself that I’m young? Or maybe it is because it makes me feel good? This is definitely a personal decision, but I talked with my husband and we decided that now is a good time to transition into grey hair, which is the real outward me. Also, now is a good time with grey hair being popular for all ages. So to make the transition easier, my hair dresser colored my hair some “ashier” shades and applied a grey toner over the top. If you are considering doing this, let me give you a word of warning. Give yourself some time and be gentle with yourself. I was blonde for fifty something years, when I looked in the mirror I wasn’t as prepared as I thought I would be. It took me a while to adjust. Now, two weeks later, I love it! In the book of Proverbs the Bible tells us that silver hair is “a crown of splendor and glory” that is “found in the way of righteousness” (16:31). Isn’t that awesome!
Hair isn’t the only thing in life that can be shades of grey. Many important decisions on the surface don’t appear black and white. I am reminded of Billy Joel’s song also called “Shades of Grey”. While the song appears on the surface to be about war, it has many layers and applies to our every day decisions. When we are young, right and wrong seem absolute, but with age we realize there are many dimensions to dilemmas. That’s when the question hit us like a brick wall.
Once I had a job opportunity that seemed promising. In my lack of great wisdom I drew out all types of charts with different scenarios, and went back and forth in my mind on what was the best decision. Did I make the best decision? I don’t know. I do know that in all my great wisdom and predictions for the future, none of the scenarios were even close to what happened. In retrospect, I should’ve put the entire situation in God’s hands. I know a couple who are considering whether to have a second child. There is so much to consider: money, careers, marital concerns, age differences between children, and housing to name a few. Should they take a chance? No one knows what the future holds. No one!
While these scenarios are real in every way, I also know that some decisions are much tougher with more devastating consequences, like whether to disconnect life support from a loved one or what to do when your child is in jail. The best action is to pray and trust God. I love the verse John 5:30, which tells us that by ourselves we can do nothing, because our judgement is limited. However, when we seek to please God, His perfect plan will come together in our lives.
May the colors of your life be vibrant and bright! God bless you.
So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary. But what is unseen is eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:18
Happy Tuesday! It’s a great day to try something new!
Have you ever felt like everyone is against you? Do you feel hopeless and afraid? Does it seem like things couldn’t possibly be worse? We have all felt this way from time to time. However, there are some challenges that are so big that we just can’t face them alone. Hebrews 12:2 says that we should fix our eyes on Jesus. As I have said many times before, we are never alone and he is always with us. Yet, there is more. When we are focused on Jesus, we are focused on good, rather than our troubles. We are focused on love, rather than the weight of the world. We are focused on faith, rather than being afraid that everything falls on our shoulders to handle. We are focused on what his pain and suffering means for us today. He can and will change the outcome of your situation, if you will give him a chance.
Today, fix your eyes on Jesus, instead of the problems of the world. God bless you.
I am truly honored to have been nominated a second time for the Liebster Award. This time I was nominated by When I’m with You . . . Whitney Ibe Blog. The author (Whitney) of the Whitney Ibe Blog is upbeat and full of sunshine. Whitney’s positive outlook is inspiring and I love to read her posts. If you haven’t checked out her blog, I encourage you to do so soon, because her inward and outward beauty sparkles through in her writing. Thank you for thinking of me Whitney.
The Liebster Award is an Internet Award given to bloggers by other bloggers. The German word “liebster” means: dearest, sweetest, kindest, nicest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, welcome, and sweetheart. The Award is a nice way to recognize and welcome new bloggers, while allowing others to discover them, as well.
The rules of the Liebster Award are as follows:
1) Acknowledge the blog who nominated you for this award.
2) Answer 11 questions the blogger gave you.
3) Give 11 random facts about yourself.
4) Nominate 11 blogs.
5) Notify them.
6) Give them 11 questions to answer
What made you start blogging?I love to read and write. I’ve always wanted to write books. I love the Lord above all. When I was growing up I was taught to share God’s love with others. The church I attended called the sharing I’m referring to “witnessing”. I was taught that witnessing was wonderful and that we should share the gospel through our lives and words everywhere we go. The Bible talks about spreading the gospel. That is what I did.
Over time witnessing has become politically incorrect. As a supervisor at work I was told that I had to be careful about what I said because my workplace and I could be sued. I could lose my home if I mentioned God at work. I heard others say it wasn’t appropriate to say “Merry Christmas”. “Happy Holidays” was the correct holiday greeting. Well, if you have ever had God’s love inside you like I do, you will understand when I say I was about to explode. The funny thing is, I didn’t have to say anything because God’s love just radiates out of me. Over time I just became miserable. So, I sought out another way to spread God’s love, blogging. It helped me to feel more fulfilled. I felt a little like Jesus must have felt when he traveled home and his hometown rejected him, because most of my friends and family refused to look at my blog. I have been told “that was a coincidence, not a miracle,” “you are to legalistic,” and last week “you’re a fanatic”. This doesn’t bother me too much. I feel like it’s their loss. I pray that I will have the opportunity to write and publish books in the future?
If you could visit any country in the world, which would you visit?I love to travel. If I could go anywhere, I’d visit the Holy Lands first. Books, Maps, Photography and Internet information is wonderful and I’m thankful, but nothing is quite like seeing and experiencing places first hand. I want to go to the places we read about in our Bibles.
What is your favorite food? Anything my husband cooks is my favorite food! He’s an amazing chef! I am especially fond of fish.
What is your favorite sport? I’m not a big sports fan. I enjoying watching my college alma mater football team play (Florida State). I also enjoy watching figure skating, and swimming and diving teams. During warmer months I swim and I walk year round.
Do you prefer digital or physical books? Both. It’s a wonderful convenience to be able to bring hundreds of books on a phone or tablet with you everywhere you go. It’s awesome. However, I still like to hold a book in my hands. I make notes in my Bible, so that I can pass them down. Likewise, I have a digital and physical planner. To me it sometimes seems like the digital world is fragile. I often think of the loss of information in the library of Alexandria.
What is the biggest problem you encounter while writing? I want my writing to be perfect grammatically, and inspirationally. The days I feel my writing falls short, seem to be the days I have the most positive comments.
What color are your eyes? Green. Most of the time the whites of my eyes are red from Sjogren’s Syndrome, which makes them look even greener. I’ve had people tell me that my eyes look like they are bleeding sometimes.
Recount a brief childhood story. What happened? When I was a teenager I worked for the County School Board one summer giving swimming lessons. Five days a week my parents would drop me off at 6:30 in the morning to catch a bus that would take me and a few other brave teens to Blue Springs. Blue Springs has ice-cold water in the middle of the day. When we arrived the sun wasn’t high in the sky yet, and the trees shaded the edges of the swimming area. So, most days we spent half of the time trying to get wet above the knees.
The children we were teaching varied in size from kindergarten to I haven’t been able to graduate yet. So, some of my students were larger in stature than I was. In the middle of the swimming area was a floating dock about fifty to seventy-five feet from the surrounding three shorelines. All the experienced swimmers would hang out in the middle. So, it was my goal to have my students swimming to the dock and back by the end of the summer. The problem was most of the students couldn’t put their face in the crystal clear water when they started lessons, and the shorelines dropped to about twenty-five feet deep about ten feet away from the shore.
All summer I worked with the students until the last week of lessons had arrived. I was determined that I would have at least one student swimming to the dock successfully. However, I only had one who could dog paddle a few feet. On the last day of lessons I looked up into the eyes of my six-foot tall most successful student and proudly proclaimed “today you will graduate because you are going to swim to the dock! Isn’t that great!” He shook and looked worried. So I reassured him by saying “don’t worry, I’ll be right beside you and I can save you if you can’t make it.” I was about five foot three and weighed a little less than a hundred pounds. My student looked to be about three hundred pounds. I wasn’t worried at all though. He could dog paddle now.
We made our way side by side toward the floating dock. I was glowing with pride. After all, I had taught this football player to swim. As soon as we were about waist deep, he began to panic. So, I told him to just stand up. That should have been my sign to turn back, but I was convinced he could do it, and I was a “good” swimmer who had mastered life saving techniques. We continued across. It wasn’t long before the water was deep and my student knew it. He was on top of me like I was a floating log. It’s times like these that you realize the lifeguard’s are also students, who in this case were obviously not paying attention because they would have seen me bobbing up and down with a football player on my back. I’m guessing he wasn’t as popular as he thought either, because no one was trying to save him. Finally, I slapped him as hard as I could and said, “get a hold of yourself, the water is only a foot deeper than your height. If you go down, you can jump up off the bottom.” I don’t really know why he believed this, because if you looked down, the water was clear enough to see that it was easily twenty feet deep where we were swimming.
So, we kept inching towards the dock, with my student trying to drown me. I was thinking that I probably needed to ask for assistance to get him back to the shore, if we survived the trip over. Suddenly, he began to swim with great vigor. I looked at him and realized he was looking at a beautiful face on the dock. The girl waved and smiled. I guess you could say he didn’t want to seem embarrassed, because he pointed at me and said, “hey, I’m teaching this girl how to swim. I’ll be there in a minute. She’s having trouble.” I couldn’t believe my ears. I started to speak and he said “shut up. Just get me there and I will find my own way back.” That day I learned that love will find a way. He made it to the dock and spent the remainder of the time with this young lady. Then, he swam back to the shore. The best part of this story is the two later married and are still married today.
What type of music do you like to listen to? This is a tough question for me. I love praise, gospel, hymns, pop, 70’s and 80’s tunes, and classical music. I like some country music.
Do you collect anything? If so, what is it? Yes. I love books.
Where do you see yourself in five years? I see myself writing books, teaching and comforting others. In my free time, I will spend time with my family.
But the LORD stood with me and gave me strength. 2 Timothy 4:17
I hope you are enjoying a wonderful Saturday. My sweet grandson has spent the day with me while his mom sleeps. She’s a working nurse on midnight shift. I wasn’t sure if I could keep up with him all day, but the LORD gave me strength.
A few days ago I was provided an opportunity to do something I have wanted to do and prayed about for many years, teach Sunday School. Isn’t that great? I feel like this opportunity is something God is providing me, and conversely I think I might be an answer to someone else’s prayer. So, what’s holding me back? Only one thing, am I able to make the commitment physically? I know it sounds like virtually no exertion is involved, but for me just getting there takes a great deal of effort, and I want to honor my commitments. I know the answer, but hesitate because I know I have limitations. I also know that God will let me run around in circles like the Israelites in the desert as long as I can, but avoiding the opportunity only hurts me. So, I will ask God to stand with me and give me strength. Have you ever been in a similar situation? Please share.
He satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things. Psalm 107.9
Happy Thursday! It’s a great time to practice forgiveness.
Have you ever felt empty? Have you felt like no matter what you do, you can’t find happiness? Is being content something you can’t seem to wrap your mind around? Are you an overachiever, a workaholic, a perfectionist or something similar? Do you feel you have to fill every moment of the day with an activity? Do you dread quietness? I know how you feel. There is only one thing that can fill that hole, God. You can try everything you can think of, but I promise nothing will fill that hole but God. Start your day with God and put God first all day long, and he will fill the emptiness in your soul.
We can’t always see where the road leads, but God promises there is something better up ahead we just have to trust him. Psalm 56:3
Happy Wednesday! It’s a great day to Use Your Gifts to Change the World! So, what will you do?
Do you ever feel like you are unable to make positive change? Do you feel like the world is too big? Then, I have good news. The smallest of changes are viral in the scheme of changing the world. Whenever you do something as simple as smiling at someone having a bad day, the results are beneficial, and that’s not all. Positive changes grow exponentially. Yesterday, I actually heard a very nice lady, who collects items for children in need, say that she had so many people donate that she had to create a new list of items to prevent sending volunteer donors away. She was also taking overflow donations to other agencies. Isn’t that great! That’s how it should be. When we work together to help society, government doesn’t have to. As I’ve said so many times before, changing the world doesn’t have to involve donations or money. You can smile, give a friend a hug, tell the manager of a restaurant or store about an employee who is doing a good job, leave a note, and the list goes on and on. There is no limit to what YOU can do.
As you go out into the world today, start at home and radiate. Make a difference everywhere you go. God bless you.
It’s Try Something New Tuesday! A few weeks ago I began a new health journey through Noom Coach. This seems to be working for me. I just started week three and I’ve lost about 15 pounds. I’ve also been making healthier food choices and exercising more. Every day I try something new, which keeps the program fresh. I don’t just mean that I try new recipes or exercises, but I try new ways to conquer cravings and other temptations.
Life is similar. Sometimes we get in a rut of going through a day-to-day routine, which can wreak havoc on our relationships and our self-esteem. We can get so caught up in what we are focused on that we lose who we are and what we believe in. At the end of the day we don’t feel like we have enough time to enjoy life. We may not even think we are worthy of God’s love. Always remember that God thinks you are beautiful. You are his child and he loves you.
One way to prevent burnout and getting caught up in every day life routines is to look at your tasks differently. Noom Coach teaches to make a list of the “have to’s” and the “want to’s” in your life. Then mix match combinations on the list. I know this was intended for food and exercise, but why couldn’t you use it in general life. For example, if taking the kids to ball practice is on your “have to” list, and paying it forward is on your “want to” list, why not pick up other kids going to practice on the way and relieve another parent. If you have been wanting to read your Bible, but you can’t find time before or after work, take your lunch to work with you and find somewhere quiet to read. There are endless possibilities for work and home.
Remember, variety is the spice of life. I can’t wait to read what you plan to try. God bless you.