Okay...so continuing on this theme....I was lying wide awake in bed last night unable to breath through my nose. After taking several cold meds that didn't do squat other than leave me feeling like I was treading air, I was at my wits end and pretty desparate to figure out how on earth to open up my nasal passages short of physically ripping them open (let's just say I'd had enough nasal congestion. Did I mention I despise being sick and fight it every inch of the way?!) I wanted to use the Vick's Vapo Rub but that always makes my skin feel like it's on fire, but I knew that stuff worked. So being the tired and lazy person I was at the time, I just opened up the jar, stuck it under my nose, and proceeding to suck in the menthol fumes through my mouth. After about 30 minutes of that, things started finally happenin'!! WooHooo for nasal breakthroughs!! Ahhh....breathing in and out through my nose (how we take that for granted, huh?!) and I was finally able to fall asleep! Thank you God for whoever invented Vicks Vapo Rub (you can bet I'll be checking into that!)
I've had a nasty sore throat all day and nothing, nada would take the pain of it away. I tried the lozengers, chloroseptic throat spray, hot tea, and gargling with warm salt water (that just made me thirsty) to no avail. The soreness was still stuck in my throat until I got the idea to use some of that liquid lemon juice that comes in the yellow lemon shaped container. I tried diluting some in water, but that didn't seem to help much. By this time, I was desparate to try anything, so I just squirted a bit in my throat and low and behold within minutes my sore throat was gone!! WooHoo!! Now if I could only get that puckered look off my face...it's been 4o minutes and it's just not going away! But I'll take that anyday over a sore throat!
Lemon juice, it does a sore throat good!! Ahhhh....sweet relief! Thank you God for creating lemons! : )
Recently while intermidably waiting in my doctor's office (can anyone else relate?), I started flipping and skimming through Cosmos, Redbook, and Jane magazines just to help pass the time. I was struck by the number of articles on relationships there were. Most of the pieces didn't offer anything new or novel under the sun...just the typical standard drivel that life is too short to spend it with someone who doesn't make you happy, change your life, change your mate, How to break up the "right way", etc. I had never really stopped to think about just how much our media / culture encourages us to give up too soon on relationships and throw in the towel, especially when the going gets rough and bumpy.
From there I started thinking about what a raw deal Jesus got when He chose us to be His bride. Good thing He doesn't think like we do or He would have left this marriage a long time ago. Listening to our culture, one might get the impression that a good relationship is something for which we all have an inalienable right. This conclusion comes from observing how quickly we look for the back door on any difficult relationship, and how that exit is usually justified on the basis that the current relationship is just too hard - the assumption being, there's someone out there with whom a good relationship is a much easier proposition. That's a far cry from realizing all relationships are going to have their challenges, and even the best will be severely tried. This is when you have to think of Christ's marriage to us.
Dan Haseltine, of Jars of Clay, wrote in Relevant magazine something that has stuck with me for a while now, "Look at the marriage of Jesus… the one with the bride who sleeps around, never listens, disowns, scorns, dishonors, runs away, intentionally proves to be more interested in anything but her husband, is selfish and bears the children of every affair and the scent of every escapade. It was a marriage that killed Jesus. And it was the Gospel that brought Him back to life to love once more." Does God have a right to a better relationship? Definitely! But does He take it? No. And thank goodness He doesn't, or we would all be out on the street. We could stand to think a little more like Jesus when it comes to our relationships. He never allows Himself an out. He is in this for the long haul including whatever suffering is involved. He is able to do this because He isn't thinking about Himself or His own rights. He is thinking about us. He even sees us as holy and blameless, yes, as even beautiful. He makes it so. We become beautiful in that He sees us that way, even now, when we know darn well we are not. He sees the finished product that He paid for and washed clean through the blood of His forgiveness on the cross. And if He can see us that way, we should be able to see each other that way as well, at least enough to be more patient with the process. This is love over the long haul, and there's just no way any of us can be in fallible relationships without this.
I've been sitting watching life pass from the sidelines Been waiting for a dream to seep in through my blinds I wondered what might happen if I left this all behind Would the wind be at my back? Could I get you off my mind...This time
Well, that would be me, but let me explain... Maya Angelou once wrote, “I am a woman, Phenomenally, Phenomenal woman that’s me.” Growing up, I often wondered what being that phenomenal woman would feel like and if I would be comfortable standing in the center of the spotlight (still not my comfort zone by a long shot!) Lately, I've been thinking if I miss out on a lot of opportunities based on my believing something is impossible or if my own insecurities and fears are holding me back. Time and again I realize I'm sometimes my own worst enemy, hence my title!
Childhood self doubts, insecurities and criticisms creep into my adult mind especially since a part of me still believes those subliminal messages are true. I strive to remain positive but sometimes in a moment of vulnerability a past heartbreak, pain or disappointment resurfaces and rattles the foundation of my self confidence. I could say that I don’t worry and I am always on top of my game but that would be my ego speaking and not the true feelings of my heart. Honestly, I can't tell you the number of times I've questioned if I'm good enough just as much as if I've doubted if I'm the right person for a job, relationship or particular opportunity. It's really mind boggling that even though I do experience some success, I still challenge the person in the mirror when I'm uneasy with the image that I see.
Slowly but surely, I've discovered that happiness must precede success because in loving who I am the road to prosperity soon follows. We are all phenomenal women who must embrace ourselves and learn that being imperfect shapes our unique personalities. Here are two quotes that are good reminders for me (and hopefully for you as well)...
1. "Experience is what you get when you don't get what you want". Failure and disappointment are not bad things. It's how we learn what we want, what we are good at but, most important, what is important to us. I consider none of this time wasted. I needed to go there in order to get to today.
2. "Stop wearing your wishbone where your backbone ought to be". It's a daily reminder to take a chance. I'm not talking about jumping out of an airplane or anything crazy like that. It's just a reminder to push myself out of my comfort zone, even if it's just a tiny step. It's simple physics really- we need some kind of tension to propel us forward. Otherwise we stay static and never go anywhere and like Gary Haugen says (http://www.ijm.org/), we stay stuck in the visitors center!
Admittedly it feels good to say yes because it feels good to be needed, and it feels even better to be able to respond to those needs.
But saying yes, taking on more responsibility often means accepting a new role. And because yes does not result in the receipt of more hours in the day as compensation, yes to one thing means no to something else, obviously. This something else could be trivial: it could be tv, reading, surfing the net, or daily house chores (I'm all for giving up chores! ; ) But it also could be critical: it could be time spent with family, much needed sleep, or time for silence and meditation.
Saying no and yes require discernment, and though there is nothing wrong with saying yes, there is a certain humility that can be learned by saying no (something God has really been working on in my heart.) Sometimes, saying no is an admission that I can’t do it all. I can’t have it all. I can’t save the world. And thankfully, that's not my job...“Savior” is a role I’ll never have!
The question many women ask, “Can I have it all? Can I have a great career and a great family?” often overlooks the simple fact that we only have 24 hours in a day. We only have one body. None of us can travel through time or space in a quantum leap. We aren't wonder woman (dang, I always wanted to be her too!) Saying yes to one thing always requires saying no to something else.
So I've been challenging myself lately that whenever I have an opportunity to say yes, I'm learning to take it seriously while considering what I would be saying no to. What about you?
I'm here now, just watching And waiting for something And I know I must try to make a start Catch moments, elusive as they are 'Cause the hours go by, the days march on And I must try to go along
I keep waiting for my life I keep searching through my mind I keep wandering around God only knows what I think I'll find
I'm clear now and thinking And I'm hoping for something And sometimes it seems I don't give a damn I'm absent, not quite where I am Now it's dark outside and I'm confused I'm not here today, one more I lose
I keep waiting for my life I keep searching through my mind I keep wandering around God only knows what I think I'll find But I'll look anyway And I'll arrive one day
I'm here now And I'm clear now And I'm hoping for something And I think of the moments That I've been a part of They're few and far between And the hours go by and days march on And I will try to go along
I keep waiting for my life I keep searching through my mind I keep wandering around God only knows what I think I'll find But I'll look anyway And I'll arrive one day And I'll be there with myself Time and place
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Okay....so what gives with the mixed messages, God?! As I know you know it's been a long, dry season of waiting and more waiting for me. But just when I thought things were starting to turn the corner toward clarity, I'm met with my nemesis, confusion. Sheesh, what's up with that already?? I'd rather just sit in the waiting minus the confusion if I had my choice. I'm not even asking to understand it, just what am I suppose to do with all of this? Well, you know where I am God....sitting out here in this stinkin' hot desert with a cup full of mixed messages to quench my thirst. Hope you'll show up soon!
I ran across this great piece by Phil Cooke and thought I'd share it here. Honestly a lot of his insight could and should be applied to ministry. Good thoughts to ponder and implement....
The Difference Between Logic And Intuition When people ask me why I use a Mac, my usual response is that it’s more “intuitive.” A PC is logical, but a Mac’s interface and software is more like the way I think. (Hmmm, never thought about it like this. All the more reason for me getting a Mac! ; ) I’ve also noticed it in how quickly young kids adapt to a Mac in contrast to a PC. They just seem to “get it.” It’s similar to the GPS systems on my car. A few years ago I had a Lexus and I loved the GPS. It just made sense. It thought the way I did. But now I have a Land Rover and I hate it. The Land Rover GPS is good, and it’s very logical – but I find it’s very difficult to use.
Logic is good. Logic is, well, “logical.” But human beings aren’t necessarily logical. Human beings are intuitive. We gain insight from a number of areas – sight, sound, taste, touch, smell, and process information in ways that aren’t always logical.
That’s the reason “numbers” or “detail” people often have difficulty dealing with other people. In other words, they often have a bit of trouble with people skills. CPA’s, accountants, mathematicians, scientists, strategists, and others aren’t always the most exciting people in the room. They love all things logical. But they miss the connection to people, because try as they might, most people just aren’t logical.
That’s also why so many companies and non-profits are frustrated with their messaging. Sure it makes sense. Sure it is logical. Sure it’s the truth. But it just doesn’t connect with the audience. Audiences aren’t logical, they’re intuitive. They make leaps and connections that don’t always make sense.
I sometimes get into this argument during creative meetings with clients. They will do a direct mail campaign, advertising promotion, or TV program that has solid information, makes sense, is certainly true, and is logical. But it just doesn’t connect. They don’t understand that without understanding how people think, they’ll never get the audience’s attention. Remember – Mr. Spock was logical, but then again, he came from another planet.
The Gospel is a life of healing, caring, loving, listening, restoring, enjoying, ennobling, impassioning, freeing and befriending. It's a life of feeding, clothing, housing and counseling. But above all, it’s relational and real. You shouldn't even know you're sharing the gospel when you are, because it's so much a part of you and your everyday routine. People shouldn't feel like you're pawning something off or pitching a product or selling a trinket...they should feel like they just had a conversation with someone who has a peculiar passion for life. They should feel like they just encountered something contagious, infectious and inviting.
Hmm...I bet that’s what people felt when they bumped into Jesus.
Did you know the average person makes about 2,500 visits per year to the bathroom? That boils down to about 7 trips a day. And over the course of a life-time, that's almost 3 total years in the loo! Well I know it's where I get some of my best, uninterrupted reading done!Hmmm....so someone actually gets paid to figure this stuff out?!
I have two very different voices I hear in my head whenever I have trials and tribulations going on in my life.
The first one is the voice of truth; it tells me that God loves me, wants the best for me, and wants to take care of me. It tells me that regardless of how I feel about a situation, I can know — because of promises that God makes over and over again in scripture — that if I just invite God into a situation, God will give me whatever I need to take care of whatever is going on. This voice is the voice of my faith, the voice of truth, and it is where I wish I stayed all of the time.
The other voice is the voice of my fear, doubt, and depression. It tells me that nothing good can come from my bad situation, that everything isn’t going to be okay, or that while God could definitely change things if God wanted to, I often doubt that God will.
Slow but sure I am learning, when these voices compete for my attention, that I can change which one I decide to listen to; notice I said “decide”. It becomes an act of will, regardless of feelings, to believe God’s word. I’ve heard that feelings aren’t facts, and in truth, this has been my experience. My prayer is often, “Lord I believe, help my unbelief.”
The part of my faith that I’ve been thinking a lot about lately is the presence of the Holy Spirit in my life: Comforter, Counselor, Friend. Jesus told us before he left that he would send us a Helper. As I grown in my faith, I’m learning that the Holy Spirit is the voice of truth that I’m hearing. That other voice is just me, trying to fight the world on my own, which of course never works. Even when I don’t know how to pray, or what to pray for, I can know that the Holy Spirit is helping me more than I can know! And I'm so grateful for that!!
What if the healing of the world depends on a thousand invisible kindnesses we offer simply and quietly throughout the pilgrimage of each human life?
There are as many ways to make a difference as there are people. Help to be a movement of people, each doing something every day to heal our world and create a life that embodies the best of who we are. Imagine what a difference we could make and impart on the world? Here are some ideas: Turn off your TV, computer & cell phone and be aware and conscious of life going on around you Walk places and say hello to people Refrain from gossip Get involved and vote Say “I love you” every day, more than once Bake something and give it to a neighbor Find new uses for things you would have thrown away Love yourself well Fix it even if you didn’t break it Forgive someone Buy from local merchants and farmers Garden, then share your harvest Discover what you love and give it to the world Sing, Dance, Be in your Body Stop and breathe deeply before you react Take time each day to reflect on your blessings and pray for others Take children & dogs to the park and play with them Listen well Ride your bike instead of driving Help carry something heavy Do it even if it isn’t convenient Baby-sit for someone Seek to understand Pick up litter in your neighborhood Make a monthly donation to a non-profit you love Honor an elder you know Volunteer your time Recycle it instead of throwing it away From Bread for the Journey http://www.breadforthejourney.org/index.html