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Sunday, November 25, 2018

HOPE will Keep You Excited



HOPE is an optimistic mindset. Do you have it?

Having hope starts with appreciating what you have and thanking God for it. By so doing, you realize He is the giver of all things. Hope makes you wonder what God has in store for you next. 

Look at what He's done for you so many times. It's exciting to think He is constantly working on your behalf. Hope ponders the idea that there will be positive outcomes to what you set your hand to, and God will bring new things into your life at the right time. 

Hope promises there will be interesting events and assignments for you to complete in your near future--especially those you will find purpose and fulfillment in. 

Present your desires to God. He wants to bless you by fulfilling them. But be mindful He knows what's under your desires and may meet them a way you don't predict. For instance, maybe you desire clients for your business, but the real reason you desire clients is to have a sense of helping someone. God may present you an opportunity to help someone in a different way which results in meeting your need in a different way.

Also ask God what His desires are. Tell Him you're available to make them happen.  Anticipate His goodness in revealing them to you with faith and confidence. 

For information on an interesting cause, look up HASHTAG HOPE, CANADA or #HOPE. 

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Ask God for Help When Dealing with People

Do some people make you see red?


A sibling had taken initiative to make changes to my senior mom's home. In one sense, it was needed. It also got my mom motivated to sort through some items--a task long overdue. 

Another sibling pointed out what else should be done. As a writer and former secretary who frequently took meeting minutes, I made a list of the items mentioned and disseminated it. 

At the time, I felt I had been given a God-assignment to be a go-between or peacemaker, especially since these siblings didn't communicate well to each other.  

OUCH

Soon after, sibling "A" decided she would pay a visit to my hometo go over the notes. 

I know how this person can be so was on my guard. She tends to be a know-it-all. She doesn't want to hear other options or opinions it seems. Unfortunately, she doesn't trust that other people have a brain in their head and years of experience too. She simply wants to make decisions and be in control. 

What I hoped would happen at this meetup was that I would be told how wonderful it was that I made such a record of details and did such a great job as a go-between. I suppose that was a naive idea. 

The Lord prepared me, fortunately. He suggested my other siblings and I look to this sibling for permission too often when the decision making of any renovation to my mom's home is up to my mom. Ultimately, we don't need to include sibling A in the conversation.

SET BOUNDARIES AND CHOOSE YOUR REACTION 

We cannot control other people or what they say or think. But we can control how we will react to what they say. We can choose our words carefully. 

I lit a candle and made my home as peaceful as I could prior to her arrival. I prayed for wisdom. Then I opened the door to Sibling A. 

There were no congratulations for writing the report and no vote of confidence. Instead, she began to tear down the ideas and criticize them. As in a debate, she made points of why things couldn't possibly work out. But since I'd done my homework, I knew she was exaggerating and incorrect on many points. 

I felt she was defending her point because she wanted to be right. She wanted to sustain control over family affairs. She wanted to shut down the idea.  

My ire rose. I wanted to tear a strip out of her. Fortunately, her phone rang and she had to take a call. I took a deep breath and choose my response. 

Again, God reminded me the decision on further renovations were not up to her. It was up to my mom and no other. It was still her home. She would have to cover the finances. My other sibling and I merely needed to make mom aware of our concerns. My sibling could do most of the work. 

So I responded, "If you feel there is no point to completing these other tasks, there is nothing to discuss." 

I'm so proud of myself for saying that because had I entered into the ring defending my position, I would have merely added kindle to her fire. In that moment, I decided she no longer needed to be included and that I could proceed with the other sibling without her permission.

The meeting ended soon after without us having gotten into a fight. I don't know how things will proceed. Yes, it all took a piece of my time and energy. But I've done my part and really, other than possibly coach my mom through it, there is nothing else I'm required for. I give it to God. 

SET YOUR OWN BOUNDARIES

I realize this was a bit of a test of setting boundaries. If you need to set boundaries with a controlling know-it-all, ask God to help you. You may be amazed at what he points out. 

QUESTIONS FOR THE KNOW-IT-ALL

Now, if you are in inflexible know-it-all, I beg you to examine your style of communicating and operating. Do you have to be right? Or would you rather be helpful? Can you be part of a team? Or do you need to compete?

Are you quick to point out why something won't work? Will you give others the benefit of the doubt that they may be onto something? 

Can you back off and let someone else lead? Or do you have to be a leader? 

Have you ever thought about how your personality dominates others and how it might feel to be on the receiving end of such? 

Can you admit when you're wrong? Do you always see other people as less than yourself? Are they not as educated or experienced as you? Have you really gotten to know them? Can you give them credit for their experience or education?

Can you let someone else win? Can you cheer others on? Have you ever asked yourself why you feel the need to control everyone or everything?  Have you thought about why you think you are better than others?












Friday, November 02, 2018

Voids in Life are Important for Motivation


I was asked how I stay committed to going to my bootcamp style gym. I can go 6 days a week as each workout focuses on a different muscle group. But my commitment is for 2 o 3 a week mostly. 

The person asking said she struggles with motivation. She doesn't like exercise and finds it hard to push herself to go. 

First, I've always included exercise in my life. I may not look the part any longer. Strange weight gain has mounted regardless of my efforts. 

I was a runner and an aerobics for a time.  Later I walked for exercise. 

When I completed assessments to identify my passions, I included exercise as one of my top passions. It is something I don't ever want to not have in my life. 

Other Reasons

That being said, there are more reasons for my commitment. They are intimate and personal. They stem from my soul.

As a work-from-home woman, I struggled to meet a void I constantly felt. It was a desire for community--someone to recognize me and say my name. I longed for a community of peers. I thought about going out to a job or to do volunteer work just to find interaction. But nothing seemed to work out. 

I had quit a gym where no one talked to me. Those workouts were all based on self-motivation. When I quit that gym, I was sure I would find something else, but though I searched, never found it. So I prayed. 

Prayer is Essential

Prayer is essential. I love to do circled prayers as taught in The Circle Maker book. So I circled prayers for years for both my socialization needs and my desire for fitness. 

I'd seen Facebook ads for the new Bootcamp in my neighbourhood, but was unsure of investigating it. In time, I saw an ad for a group for those over 55 years old. I was intrigued. I looked on their website and saw a video. I thought, "I can do that." 

So I went and tried it. I laugh now because I quickly learned what I saw on the video was merely a warm-up. The daily workouts are intense. 

A Social Group

It quickly became apparent that this group was also an answer to my prayer for socialization. 

I made a point of getting to know the names of others in the group but also to say their names as I greeted them or as we did our end of class high-fives. 

What's different with this group is we workout as a team. We cheer each other on. Before or after class, we ask how each other is doing. Lately, we've been going out for coffee once a week too. 

God's Gift

So why do I stay motivated even through injuries? I do it for the exercise, for the socialization, but also because this bootcamp is God's gift to me in answer to my prayers. I don't feel he wants me to squander his gift. 

The Voids of Life Have Purpose

Now, what I thought I'd be writing about today was the idea of the power of voids in our life. It seems we have to feel a gap in life to truly appreciate the answers to our prayers. 

If you have a void in your life, tell God how you feel. Ask him to step in with an answer. Circle that prayer over and over until God provides and answer. 

I think my main motivation for staying is gratitude and not wanting to take for granted what God has provided. So even days I don't feel like going or when I'm there and not in the mood, I persist.