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Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Complete Your Assignments Before Moving On



Living in Ontario, Canada where we've had quite a bit of snow this winter, I've allowed myself to 'hibernate' a fair bit.

Life really changes a lot for me in the winter because I have a large property with gardens and a pool and in the warm weather so much of my life is spent outdoors. 

Suddenly, though it's only February, the snow has melted and it is fairly warm for the season. I'm not complaining!

I know that as winter turns to spring, we get ready to turn a corner. Life perks up. Some of us set new schedules. We want change.

Changes or New Goals?

Before getting ahead of yourself spending energy looking for your next new thing, why not use the next few weeks reviewing what is already on your plate?

Before you jump ship or jump to conclusions, carry on with what you "know" is right, right now. Don't just quit the tasks God has already given you. See them through.

To quote Joyce Meyer, "Make decisions based on what you know rather than what you feel."

Here are a few encouraging Bible verses: 

Luke 16:10   Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.

Luke 12:48  From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.

Colossians 3:23   Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.

So, look at the assignments you've already been given--managing your house, property, ministry, clients, writing projects, volunteer work, family, job, blog, online business...and finish the multiple unique assignments within the list.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Do You Long to Hear From God?


Art by Rosalie Garde https://www.instagram.com/rosaliegarde/

God can cause anyone to go this way or that or to move in a certain direction without even knowing God is in the lead, but most of us crave those moments when we hear from God. We love to have what we might call 'a word' from God. 

A word from God might be described as 'a knowing' in our spirit when we hear or think something. We might receive this word in our mind as we go about our day. We might pick it up from something we read. A word might come to us from another person. A Bible verse might come to mind or words we read might jump into our soul. We might be prompted from something we see on social media or TV. 

God is social-media and TV-friendly. He rules the world, so he can use any tool he prefers to speak to us!

Knowing We've Heard a Word

When we hear a word (or command, reminder, word of direction, idea, new dream) that resonates deep in our spirit, we feel a sense of excitement, comfort, wisdom, or sense of direction. 

He can speak to us about any concern.

Example: This may sound silly, but sometimes I ask God what to make for dinner. My husband and I have the deal that I am responsible for dinner most days. He takes over when I ask, but on most days, I look after it. And somedays, I've either forgotten to thaw meat, or haven't made a plan. So I'll pray and it's amazing how God gives me an idea.

Bigger Life Issues 

We love to hear from God especially where bigger life issues are concerned. God promises that when we 'abide' with him we will hear from him more clearly.

Abiding is a sense of communicating through prayer, honoring his rules, and trusting him for the answers. It's an awareness that he is with us wherever we are. He is interested in both our pain and enjoyment.

Our relationship with him is built on love, so we can always have hope and believe he is working things out for our good.

Give God Your Questions

God will often spring a word on us. Other times, we search for a word from him. 

God wants us to come to him with our questions. He wants us to seek him, but he also wants us to be ready to hear what he has to say about our life journey.

I sometimes will write questions in a journal or on post-it notes I hang on a wall. 


 Later, it can be interesting to see how he answered my questions.

Confirmations

It is tempting, when we think we've gotten a word, to go about forcing the issue to make something happen. That may or may not work out. 

God is great in his ability to give us confirmations. I like to get three if possible. What I really like is to have him open a door.

Example: Last year when tinnitus drove me to anxiety, I searched everywhere for help. The local hearing centre, a tinnitus hotline, a distress centre, a prayer centre, several doctors. Eventually, I realized I needed to see a counsellor. I suppose the word God gave me was to look for one. Fortunately, he didn't just confirm the idea with another similar idea, it took one Google search of Christian counsellors in my area. On page 1 was a woman I knew 40 years ago. She wasn't even in my city, but came up as though she was. Her office was in a nearby city which was doable for me. I knew she was the right choice. Working with her was the help I needed at the time. 

Exercise

I'll leave you with this exercise on seeking a word from God:

  • Be ready to receive a word from God.
  • Write in a journal things you might like clarity on.
  • When you think you have received a word--even if it is simply an idea that comes to you in the shower, write it down.
  • Ask God to confirm any word.
  • Resist the temptation to make it happen.
  • Wait on God's timing and pray over the word.
  • Take steps on the confirmations you know are from him.


Let me know in the comments section how you make out. 




Friday, February 16, 2018

A Couple of Resources to Boost Your Life



The above are examples of what I do with my time. I create art, I journal in church, I do art journaling of favorite sayings or Bible verses. I also use Canva.com to convert my art into memes. 

These are wonderful things to add to your life. You don't have to be a pro. Why not play around with color yourself? 

I also want to suggest that those dealing with midlife issues may want to check out my other blog geared to midlife Christian women

There are many time-honored posts found here 

https://midlifechristianwoman.blogspot.ca/


Saturday, February 10, 2018

Tips for Letting Go of a Situation


Do you have a situation you need to let go of? Do you have a relationship that isn't going as you'd like? 

What does it mean to let go?

Letting go has to do with shifting your mindset and setting new boundaries about how you will do life and interact with others. 

With letting go is the realization that you can always pray for others, but when you do, watch yourself. Instead of using manipulative prayers to carry out what you want to happen, ask for God's will to be done. 

It's easy to subtly try to manipulate situations to see change. I know myself. I've also seen it in others. You know very well the story of Sarah of the Bible who wanted a son so much she sent her handmaiden to sleep with her husband. It didn't work. It blew up in her face.

It's hard to be in a situation where you feel strongly about something. Perhaps the way you feel has Biblical backing. As hard as you try and as long as you pray, you may not see the change you desire. Finally, all you really can do is leave it in God's hands and let go.

You CAN change how you interpret or respond to situations, but you can't control the thoughts of other people. 

Changing your mindset means being on guard to what you think about. The more you think about something, the bigger the "monster" grows. When you surrender a thought, situation, or person instead, it doesn't mean you will forget what occurred and change your mind about it. It means you will try hard to not let thoughts about it ruminate in an endless mind loop. You will go on with your own life and let the other people live theirs. 

Letting go doesn't mean you don't care, it means you release others to make their own decisions and to bear the consequences of their decisions. 

Perhaps your biggest reason for butting in has to do with the input of outsiders. Others who are not involved are always full of what they feel is good advice. Chances are you have tried their advice. It hasn't worked. 

Limit your conversations with people who will tempt you to continue to be involved in situations you know it is time to let go of. Letting go can feel freeing when you realise the outcome is no longer in your hands. It is not yours to control and no one can blame you.

Likewise, if it goes bad, it is not your place to blame or judge. It is your responsibility to look in the mirror and correct your own life.  

Letting go is not accepting or condoning something you don't agree with. Of course you still care or you would not have had to reach this stage of letting go. 

What you can do is stay supportive allowing the other person to be him or herself. Stand back and resist nagging, scolding, arguing or bailing them out. Let the other person bear the brunt of their choices.  

After you've put some of these letting go rules into practice, you'll probably need to decide how to proceed. I learned a lesson a few years ago that it can be helpful to just start fresh with a person the next time you see him or her. Start over, but set your boundaries. Feel free to say no. 



Thursday, February 01, 2018

What Do You Want in Life?


I was working on a for-pay article recently for small business owners. Within the article, I suggested a prompt exercise--I  suggested the business owner observe potential clients and see if they can determine what that client wants in life

Depending on the business, the business owner might actually ask a client that question. 

It's never good to make assumptions about what we think others want, but in doing an exercise like this we identify pain points--problems we might be able to solve. Doing business is all about solving pain points--providing products or services to fill a need. 

An Exercise for All 

I decided we should all ask ourselves that question "What do I want in life?" I put the prompt on one of my Facebook pages called Self-Coaching Tools for Christian Women. (see photo above)

Asking this isn't selfish. God delights in giving good gifts to his children. When you stay in communication with him, it is actually HE who puts many of your desires within you.  

What you want in life may include things like greater peace or confidence; a handyman to count on; a solution for a falling over garden wall; a house that stays tidy...

Check in With God 

In this Bible verse below are two directives. First, we are to delight in the Lord. That's the part about thinking about him and asking him what he wants. It's about believing he is interested in every part of your life on earth. 

The next part is his response--he will give you the desires of your heart. 

Psalm 37:4 (ESV)"Delight yourself in the Lord,    and he will give you the desires of your heart"

In the photo instructions, I suggest you first ask God to guide you in such an exercise. Then I suggest you list what comes to mind. 

I did this exercise last night (until I was too sleepy to continue). I then examined who or what would solve my pain point. I looked at what steps I might need to take. Some I am willing to let God solve. Sometimes he will put a person or advertisement in front of us. He might give us a brilliant idea we've never thought of, or open a window of opportunity. 



The Circle of Life 

I realized that reaching out to others to solve my pain points helps them live out their life purposes too. They have something I don't. Take my masseuse, for instance. She has training and good strong techniques. I pay her for her services and solve her financial pain point. That's the circle of life--how God gets his work done.

Other Types of Pain

One of my desires is to be more fit and to be slimmer and healthier. Weight has crept up on me over time though I've been active all my life. If one of my desires is to be fit and slim, I'm going to have to do some work. It will not be granted by God automatically.

I prayed for a year for a new solution, since I wasn't using my current gym. I quit that membership and checked out other places but found nothing. 

It wasn't until much later, I discovered my current workout facility. I've been exercising there since the end of September. And I've been SORE every day, some days worse than others. 

I watched Joyce Meyer the other night while trying to relax my sore muscles in bed. She told a story that she had started working out in her 50s and was in pain for two full years! That was 12 years ago. She's pushed through it. 

I was relieved to hear what she shared. Her point? That anything we pray for may require some pain before we achieve the desire. 

Your Challenge 

Have you made a list lately of what you want in life? Once you do, your imaginary cruise ship will head that way. 

Feel free to share your list in the comments.