Recipe for A New Life

This month seems to be full of transformations…..It has been 6 years since hubby’s 10 day hospital stay which ended with a defib pacemaker which changed our life slightly.  I just celebrated one year in recovery after a VERY long relapse.  I am feeling like God is setting me up for a change in my life.  I am by no means complaining, although as you can tell by my recent posts, life has been a roller coaster of emotions…
There have been signs all around me about changing my mindset and the importance of it….. from posts on Facebook to conversations with friends to my Just for Today devotionals.  Not only does this apply to everyday life but it I am seeing how it is being applied in my business.
When I was in rehab, I remember a saying which went something like this: If one person calls you a duck – you can toss it aside, if two people call you a duck – it deserves some consideration but if three people call you a duck – you MUST be a duck!”  I haven’t been called a “duck” lately BUT I am seeing some of my passion moving in other directions.  In the past, this has been when I jumped ship at a job – it didn’t happen often especially after I got into Social Work.  For now, I am lookin for my purpose and seeking my passion…
So starting this morning, this duck is going to work on making a change from muddling through the waters to finding my joy.  Letting go of fear and doubt is the toughest thing for me.  The people pleaser in me doesn’t want to let anyone down, and doesn’t want to disappoint anyone.  The problem is, I can’t figure out if this is a temporary thing as a result of some MS issues or if my passion is truly changing.
Do you need to change your mindset?  Here are a few questions you can answer which might help:
  1. Identify the what happened to cause the change
  2. Why did it happen
  3. How can I use this for my personal growth
  4. What changes can I make to improve in the future
  5. Where can I find help or who can help
This is “recipe for life” was part of a devotion I had read.  Maybe this will help you in changing your mindset or counting your blessings:
Begin with a case of Joy
Add a heaping spoonful of Gratitude
Fold in a large dollop of Kindness
Stir in a handful of Forgiveness
Sprinkle liberally with Love and cover with Peace
Always serve with a large side of Faith
(Author unknown)
 
Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Evidence of God’s Love

I would like to take a moment and wish a Happy Father’s Day to dads.  Today will be bitter sweet as I remember my dad and grandfather treasuring the moments with my hubby.

Thank you Gwen Smith for today’s message…..

Our hotel room had a small balcony that overlooked the swimming pool. Early one lazy vacation morning, I grabbed my journal, Bible, and a fresh cup of coffee then headed to the balcony for some quiet time.

As I settled in, movement by the pool caught my eye. I watched as a maintenance man approached a palm tree and briskly pulled a brown, life-less branch from underneath the green leaves. Oddly, before he pulled the dead branch off, I hadn’t even noticed it was there.

After he pulled it off, however, the palm tree looked fresh and vibrant.

Seriously.

The pruning made such a difference!

Jesus spoke to His disciples and said,

I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.

 I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.  (John 15:1-8, NIV)

Whom we spend time with really matters.

And what we say and do and how we say and do it also really matters.

Stay with me here! Don’t let the familiarity of this Scripture fade the impact it has on you.

I understand to my core how horrible it feels when my walk and my talk do not line up. Withered branches in my heart constantly need to pulled off and thrown away. You too?

In order to experience the blessings and power of God’s Spirit in our lives we must root our faith deep in the soil of God’s Word and then allow His truth to produce fruits that are ripe with evidence of His love. These fruits are clearly seen (or not) at the intersection of our faith and our actions. I’ve found that when I have those I-just-want-to-scream-because-everyone-in-the-world-is-on-my-last-nerve days God meets me with His grace when I whisper His name.

God will deepen the roots and increase the fruits of your faith as you spend time talking to Him early in the morning over a hot mug of coffee. When you pray and worship on the way to work or on your powerwalk. When you feel a prick of conviction in your heart about that behavior – or about that response – that tone – that act of disobedience. When you call out to Him for patience and strength as your teenager slams his door in rebellion – or when your adult daughter “forgets the morals she was raised with” and moves in with her boyfriend – or when frustrations mount up at work.

Love. Joy. Peace. Patience. Kindness. Goodness. Faithfulness. Gentleness. Self control. To bring glory to God, this fruit of His Spirit must be seen in our lives.

Unfortunately, we have a keen ability to rationalize our less-than-fruitful behaviors.

But he… But she… But they… I just can’t…

Fortunately, God doesn’t expect us to behave like this without Him. In fact, we simply can’t. Apart from Christ, we can do nothing. Remember? (v5) But when we remain in Him – when we seek Him, obey Him, savor His presence, live for His glory, and prioritize Him above all else – we can and will make a big impact for God and experience the joy and peace we all long for.

The maintenance man at the resort didn’t pull the branch off to hurt the palm tree.

He pruned it to increase its beauty, health, and vibrancy. God does the same for us. He prunes His children to increase our beauty, health and vibrancy for our good and for His glory – to make us more useful to Him and more fruitful.

Pause to ponder this question: Are there any dead branches hanging on your tree?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Do You Have a Dream You Need to Resurrect?

Life moves in a different direction.  Health struggles make you doubt.  And the result is postponing a dream……You are the only person who can decide to pursue your dream.  Whether it is a book you want to write, a business you want to launch or an adventure you want to go on – YOU need to take the first step and keep moving forward.
Have you postponed a dream? Is one of your ideas sitting on the shelf collecting dust? What hope or vision has been left for dead in your life?  Maybe it is time to dust it off and bring it back to life…..Believe it or not, it is not difficult to do.  So how do you do that? What’s the first step to get you started?
Walk through these powerful questions and you will be on your way…..
1. What dream lies dormant in your life you wish were still a possibility?
Is your dream buried so deep, you forgot about it?  Think for a moment. Maybe it is a dream connected to your professional life, finances, relationships, health, or personal life. What is it for you right now?
2. What do you need to give yourself permission to do about it?
There is a reason something important to you has been buried. Whatever the reason you decided you couldn’t pursue it any longer, now is the time to give yourself permission to do it.  Maybe you got hurt in the past and found a safer road to travel.  Maybe life took over and you let your dream die. Or maybe the dream seemed unattainable, so you gave up on it. Let the past be a learning tool to recast your dream. Have the faith to believe nothing is impossible with God.
3. What do you need to say about it?
Did you know the power of life and death is in the words you speak?  Speak life into your dream right now. Say it out loud. Allow yourself to hear the words. There is power in this exercise. Speak life, not death. Then watch how you talk about your dream to others. When you start with all the reasons you can’t have what your heart desires, you speak death to your dream. Each negative word is like a shovel, digging the grave and then piling dirt onto it until you can no longer see the dream at all. Negative words will steal your vision.  Negative words will NOT get you to your dream!
4. What action will you take next?
Faith without action is dead.  Did you know you may have killed your dream by inaction?  BUT when you take action, you can bring it back to life. Do you believe your dream is possible? Then take steps toward it. It doesn’t mean you have to take BIG steps or lots of them you just have to take them!  Even baby steps, when taken consistently, will get you to the finish line.
I challenge you to dust off your old dream! Give it new life.  Think about the dreams lying dormant in your life then answer the four questions above.  Share your dream with us and what is the ONE baby step you will take?
Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

How’s Your Joy Quotient?

Sunday a day to relax, reflect and recharge.  This morning I will be enjoying Praise and Worship at National Conference.  It is the last day and then we will be headed home.  I amazing few days full of blessings where I got to fill my cup.  How appropriate today’s message is on “joy”.  Unfortunately, I found this and am not sure who to give thanks to but it was not written by me.

One of the overriding evidences someone has a genuine relationship with our living Savior is their consistent attitude of joy and outlook on life. A follower of Jesus should not be a person who always looks at life as if the glass is half empty. Instead, we should be the most positive people on earth. We should see opportunity in the midst of challenges.
The light resides in you should be like the beam of a lighthouse to a ship seeking direction. Our lives should have the fragrance of Christ. People should be attracted to our lives just as the bee is attracted to the nectar in the colorful flower.

The apostle Paul understood this when he said, “But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him. For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. To the one we are the smell of death; to the other, the fragrance of life” (2 Cor 2:14-16).

I must admit I’ve been with some believers whose attitude toward life is more like a porcupine. It’s painful to get too close to them because of their negative and poisonous view of life that criticizes the world around them.

No matter what circumstance you may find yourself in, the joy of the Lord must be your strength. Paul learned this truth even in the midst of his adversities. “I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength (Phil 4:12-13).

How would others describe your joy quotient? On a scale of 1 to 10, where would they rank you? Today, make a commitment to greet every circumstance knowing the joy of the Lord is your strength.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

Do You Listen to Your Core Desires 

Monday morning – the moment many dread as they head to their job wishing for a longer weekend.  I am blessed to be able to work from home and make my own hours.  I have been working with a coach and an amazing group of women doing “31days & 31 ways to Jumpstart Your Abundance”.  My second go around and new things are coming to light.

We have been talking a lot about core values and our core desires.  Maybe it is the MS and memory issues or maybe it is the inner gremlins who take joy in squashing my hopes and dreams but this is a struggle for me.  Whatever the reason, I’m sure I’m not alone.

Let’s take a minute to focus on our life  – our definition of success, and how we can find purpose, fulfilment, and joy by letting the things which truly matter guide us.  I know a heavy topic for a Monday morning but give it a try!

How many of you struggle with the noise, and “norms” of society which make it difficult to stay connected to your core desires.

I have been trying to focus on my core desires in my work and my life.  These are the things which help me to focus on how I will prioritize and spend my days, how I define success, and how I will show up in my life.  Here is what I came up with:

Financial independence

I never thought much about being financially independent.  It was always about paying the bills and having “things”.  As I have gotten older, health challenges have come to light, I want to feel stable, secure, self-sufficient, and be independent financially.  It goes beyond wanting a  roof over my head (hubby takes care of all the household stuff) and food on the table.  I want to feel happy and at peace by making mindful, intentional, and responsible decisions when it comes to finances, and by showing up wholeheartedly for my business too.   It means paying off credit card debt.  This is such a huge change for me from just “winging it”.

money contest

Emotional & physical well-being

Living with a chronic health condition has taught me to pay more attention to my health and well-being.  I can’t change the struggles my health issues sometimes cause, but I can control how I get through them.  Feeling emotionally and physically healthy is something I have been prioritizing in my life this year.  I try to honor the needs of my health in my business, and how I support my health in the lifestyle choices too.

Living & telling my truth

I struggle so much with accepting who I am, yet, I am willing to share my strength, hopes and experiences with everyone.  I continue to work on accepting who I am – the good, the bad and the ugly.  I am learning to embrace my  strengths and weaknesses. In my business, I want to inspire others never letting pride or fear hold me back from showing up, supporting and encouraging others.

Meaningful work

I crave meaningful and joyful work. I long to make a difference and am always searching for my true purpose.  It isn’t about the money I make, it is about what the money can do to make a difference.  I love when customers feel comfortable enough to share their story, their fears, their joys, and their desires with me.  My heart swells with joy, when I see someone smile who is struggling.  I want to honor this desire by never losing sight of what matters most to me in my work, and never letting money be bigger than the “why” behind what I do.

To be of service

Whether it’s in my business, in my relationship, friendships, and with my family, or how I contribute to the world, I always want to be the positive in the lives of those around me.  Yes, I want to live a joyful and fulfilling life, BUT I don’t want to always be looking at my own needs.

Connection

I long to feel connected to what matters most to me, to the people in my life who I love and adore, to my business and the work I do.  I try to stay aligned with my core values, desires, and intentions, by carving out time for my favorite people, by interacting in and engaging with the world around me, and by getting outside of my comfort zone. YIKES! A tough one but so important in staying connected with the world to find ways I can play a small but positive part in it.

angel connection logo

What are you core desires in your work and your life?  What are they and are you honoring them in your work and daily life?  Share with us….

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!