Look Again

So today I spent about an hour cleaning my daughters clean room…sound crazy?  It was. She, at 11, sent me a text message, from school, begging me to find her lost gift card because she wants to use it after school. Well, since I am the best Mom ever I decided to venture into her room to find this “missing” gift card. Her room was already clean (it’s required), so I really just tried to retrace her steps from two days ago when I handed her the gift card. She is such a free spirit not worrying about anything, except her fashion! As I cleaned the room again, I still didn’t find the card. I felt sad because I didn’t’ want to disappoint her.

This afternoon when she came home, I encouraged her to look again, and see if she could find it. After about fifteen minutes elapsed, I walked by her room and there she was, tears in her eyes, sprawled out over her bed. “Did you find it?” I asked.  “No.” She could barely speak because of the tears. Well I began some lecture about responsibility and the value of things, and told her to look again. She did not move off the bed. While I continued, I opened a drawer that I had just searched two hours ago and there among her shirts, was the gift card.

I picked it up, still lecturing (ha) and said, “See daughter, sometimes, you just have to look again.” Just like life, those tests, people, circumstances that cause you despair, instead of laying on the bed with tears in your eyes, get up and Look Again!

Happy New Look!!  🙂

 

The Power of Breath

Have you ever stopped to think how many parts of your body are involved when you take a breath? Have you ever thought about what must go on internally when you take a breath to speak? Have you ever thought about what happens when your body works as one, and you breath, speak, sing, or yell? I can tell I have never thought about any of the mechanisms involved in breathing until I am having a problem breathing. Where my breath comes from is never a thought in my mind, I expect, no I demand for it to be there when I need it.

I don’t always stop to think how I am using my words toward someone. Most of the time, I don’t even care if they understand what I am saying, I mean if they fail to understand, I usually say that is their fault (anyone else guilty)! I am breathing right now as I type this but I haven’t once thought what would happen if I wasn’t? That is the problem I face today.

Are we taking our every breath for granted? Are we using our breath to spread gossip, lies, doubt, mistrust, hatred, death? Are we using breath, breath that is a gift from God alone, to kill not just others but ourselves? I can’t spend my life using the gift of breath, to snatch the breath out of someone else…no one has that power. But that is exactly what we do when the only objective is to be selfishThe next moment you speak, the next moment you yell, the next conversation you begin, ask am I using the power of breath for good?

Now, take a breath.

 

Happy New Life!

Teamwork

When my Daughter was growing up , there was a show on called the Wonder Pets, it was about three friends that were the class pets for a preschool. They had amazing adventures helping other animals in danger after the kids left for the day. The three friends were a turtle, a duck, and a hamster. I absolutely loved this show! It was totally adorable and believable, it was a great reminder of the importance of teamwork.

Teamwork. That word is not heard very often today. Everyone is trained to accomplish goals alone. We live in a world full of “I”.  I can do it, I don’t need help, I make the difference, I am important. Now, don’t get it twisted, there are somethings that I can do, but we were made for relationship. It’s no fun to work in an organization and lie, cheat, manipulate others so I can be number one. Why are we so afraid to work together with others? Why do we fear others knowing if we are weak in an area? Why do we spend our lives chasing possessions, money, empty relationships just to be hurt in the end? Because if I admit that I am weak, you might use that against me. If I admit that I spend all of my time working to show off my “keeping up with the Joneses” stuff, you might think I am shallow. If I avoid people and relationships at any cost you might think I am scared to be myself around others.

You want to know the truth? We need each other. Skin color doesn’t matter, economic standing doesn’t matter, education doesn’t matter, we need each other.  What I learn from the Wonder Pets is they are individuals that alone are not successful but together they are awesome. Each of them have insecurities but when they work together they have the right stuff. The world is longing for people to work together. Relationships, families, schools, need everyone to make our future successful.  Get around some people who may not look like you, think like you, or even act like you, but they are human just like you. As the Wonder Pets always say, “What’s gonna work…TEAMWORK!”

HAPPY NEW LIFE!!

Help!

I don’t know about you, but I do not really like to ask for help. Being the oldest child I have learned how to offer help to those who are younger than me. I have always extended courtesy to others when it is obvious to me that they needed some assistance. My sister says, I have the heart to help the “underdog.” But when I need help, I find myself scrambling to figure out the problem and save face so others do not perceive me as weak. What’s up with that? The world teaches us how to take care of me and mine, and you get whatever is left. The world tells me to step on, and step over those in my way of success or getting what rightfully belongs to me. Use whatever means necessary to ensure my ability to climb the ladder of success, have the best house, the best children, the best marriage, even if it is a lie.

For the last few weeks I have been attending a women’s bible study that has challenged me to my core. As a believer, it is easy for me to offer help to those that I believe are struggling more than me, why, because I know the secret-don’t let anyone know I am really the one who needs help. So where’s the disconnect? When did it not become ok, to need help? When we were children, we asked our parents, as students we asked our teachers, as adults, we become silent.  Today, I need help. I need God. I need unconditional love. I need grace. I need mercy. All of these things can only come when I ask for help, genuinely without fear, without wondering who might talk about me, without consequence because I want to be whole.

Life is so precious and wasting time pretending to be fine when you are screaming on the inside doesn’t make sense. I challenge you tonight to ask for Help!

Happy New Life!!

Passwords

For the last two months I have been trying to remember my password to my school issued email account. The university sends out reminders that your password is going to expire and in that email they give you the option while reading the email to click the link and reset your password. Now, here’s the problem.  I was in the computer lab and did not have my journal to write down the new password, so I found a receipt in my purse and created a new one.  I should have used one of the generated ones and taken a picture of it with my cell phone, but no I wanted to be fancy and make up one that I could remember. Well I scribbled the first combination of letters, numbers and symbols that came to my head and created a new password. All was well until I received notification on my iPad I had a new email for the upcoming semester. Well, I touched the app and it launched and then the dreaded pop-up box appeared. “Please enter your new password.” I didn’t even sweat it, I went to my purse and looked for the receipt.

Oh no!!!!!!! I can’t find the receipt. I don’t know where it is. Did I throw it away? This can’t be happening, how am I going to fix this problem? Oh wait I know, I can hit lost password and reset it with no problem, except when it asks me to answer the security question, I don’t know the answer!!  AUGHHHHHH!!!! I panicked and attempted this daunting task. I hit the reset button and up pops the security question, and I knew the answer!! Success!  I reset the password, wrote it down in the proper place and thought no more about it.

I giggle when I remember the sheer fear that gripped me when I couldn’t remember my password. I mean I didn’t want to see those dreaded words, Access Denied appear on my screen, because then it would seem that I am not authorized to open this account. My identity and authenticity of ownership would be questioned. Although I know I am the rightful owner, the system did not recognize me without the password.  Our life has a series of passwords.  See, these unique combinations represent change and as I’ve grown I have given access to those that I want in my life. If today you have anything or anyone in your life that doesn’t quite fit, and your access denied box keeps popping up it may be time to change some passwords!

Happy New Life!

 

It’s NEVER Too Late

Let’s be honest with ourselves, we all have hopes, dreams, goals, aspirations, plans and then reality hits. You lose your scholarship for college, you have to work two jobs just to pay off your tuition balance, maybe you become a parent, unplanned and unexpected, maybe there is a family emergency and you have to place your life on hold to be with the family. Maybe you fail your first semester and end up on probation, or maybe you just quit. Regardless of the circumstance, your performance, or your diligence, sometimes life is just hard and dreams sometimes fade. For the last five years, you have promised yourself to go back to school and finish that degree, to become more so your children have an example to follow, to pay off debt, and revive the dream that once burned within you, but you are stuck right now. You are doing your routine, work, family, home flawlessly but secretly wondering is this all my life is going to be? I am ever going to finish anything that I really want? Something has to give…

Right now, you have been blessed with an amazing opportunity, TODAY. Stop planning to do something and do it now. I know, it sounds good and it even may get you excited but life has a way of reminding you what your priorities are. Well, no life is worth living without a dream. Children are the best example of how adults (grown children) need to live. They want to be astronauts, presidents, scientist, rock stars, teachers and all of those dreams live because they do not worry about what tomorrow may bring. Children remind us that we always have time to live the dream that is inside our heart. Children remind us to have NO FEAR!! Take the limits off yourself and run until you finish.  No, I certainly don’t want to be five again, but I do want that faith of my five-year old self. I tell you the truth, It’s Never Too Late! See you at the finish line!

Happy New Life!

Today

Last night I spent over a half-hour watching and listening to some new internet based 100% commission program that is absolutely free. Why was I watching it? Well, I received a friend request on Facebook and ventured to the person’s page to see if the request was legitimate. I did not know the person but clicked on the link anyway. As I listened to the CEO speak about this unprecedented, once in a lifetime opportunity, I will admit I was intrigued; but after doing my own research I found it to be another type of scheme where those already “in” were rich and those “joining” were not going to be rich.  I thought, man we live in a world where words can cause you to do almost anything!  People are thirsty for words that affirm, build-up, encourage, challenge, and give hope. Yet, we spend our entire lives using words in the opposite context. We use them to lie, hurt, manipulate, and destroy.

Today, I will use words to change my life and the lives of those I love. I will not waste time offering a promise that I cannot deliver hoping to trap someone by my words. I will use words to love. I will use words to build up. I will use words to strengthen anyone who is down. I will use words to LIVE.

Today, you and I have been blessed with another chance to get it right. Today, we have the opportunity to give hope. Today, right now as I type and you read we have the choice to change our world with our words for better. Today, is a gift, use it well.

Happy New Life, TODAY!!!

Begin Again

Life.  It is one of the most rewarding, most difficult, most complex, most fun gifts that we have been given. Life takes everything that you are and then demands more than seems possible for you to give. Life, is an individual journey, shared with family, friends, enemies, and strangers. There are moments when words escape you to describe how you feel, then there are moments when life causes you to burst into uncontrollable laughter, some moments that you cry, and some where there is no emotion at all. Yet, we all have one life.

January is the first month of the calendar year, most of the world makes resolutions, determinations, just plans to live life differently than the last twelve months. By the end of this first month, most of us have returned to Life, just how it was last year. Why is that? I mean is it difficult to commit? Do we really think that changing is the best option until we have to do it? Is it peer pressure, is it laziness, is it fear? What happens between December 31 and January 31 has stifled the entire population. There is a drive to be, to do something anything new, until Life interrupts. So how do we change that?

What guides you? What are you passionate about? Who do you love? These questions hold the answer to your attempt and mine in January that fail by February. If we set a goal, why is the goal not centered around my passion? If we want a change in our lives, why not focus on the people we love to help change it? If we want a new career, why are we afraid to follow our hearts desire? Why? Because we think if we try to and fail, it’s over. Here’s the truth, every morning we have new mercies, new grace, to begin again. Yesterday is gone, tomorrow is not promised, but you have today. Begin Again, right now. Accomplish something today. Don’t spend this gift of today planning for next year, live right now.

Begin Again.

Happy New Life!

Lamentations 3:21-23

Bye Bye Anger

Have you ever been angry? Is that a silly question? I know there are some people who will say, “I’ve never been angry,” and if that is true I need to come talk to you immediately, but for the rest of us, we have at one time been angry. Let me tell you first hand the problem with anger, it controls you. I mean if you get upset because the kids made a mess in the house, or you forgot to turn off the oven, or you left your thumb drive at home for your meeting, there is a slight elevation in our stress.  But I’m talking about anger, I mean when someone jumps in your face and starts yelling, when you are lied on at work and as a result lose your job, when you are heartbroken for nothing, then you get angry.  The second problem with anger is it is an emotion driven by fear. Fear, is a killer. It paralyzes its victim and scoffs at the result. In the heat of the moment, when all the emotions are at the surface, the fight of flight reflex initiates, in like a millisecond your body (at that moment) on autopilot decides what to do. It is a scary thought, but a more painful reality. The final problem with anger is that it changes your natural body function, it changes YOU.  Your body responds  quickly to anger. It can change how you think, move, live. I mean you can blackout, fight, scream or just shutdown.

Anger, the word makes me cringe and cry at the same time. I have been at times a willing participant with anger. I have used words and actions to paralyze those who may have crossed me and because of fear I attacked first. Anger is a real problem, but only the surface problem. When in life do we find enough courage to deal with the root. I have a joyful disposition most of the time, it is not like me at all to be mean, but I find myself questioning who I am when I get angry. It is a dark place to be, but absolutely necessary if I want to change.  Last night, I laid in a hospital bed, IV hooked up, blood drawn, medicine coming through the IV, because I allowed anger to drive me. The doctor tested everything, heart, lungs, urine, thyroid, stress levels, and all results were normal. But although in that moment I was relived, I was more disappointed that I choose anger and that choice could have damaged my life permanently.

Today, is a new day, with new mercies, new choices and me. I will from this day forward dismiss anger from my life, it no longer lives here.

Happy New Life!

And now, The Rest of the Story

“And now,  the rest of the story”, with these words Paul Harvey completed some of the most intriguing stories ever told on public radio.

My life is not on the radio, and sometimes I think it’s not that interesting so who would want to know me or what I am about? I think the daily grind of my world is just that, mine. I do what most mothers do, what most wives do and I don’t think that deserves any type of recognition or does it? You know I have taken this journey in writing this blog and really reflected on the rest of my story. I have quite a bit of life yet to live,  so if I sabotage myself in thinking I will do nothing more that what I am doing now, my story is over.

How many of you have ended your story in your life? How may of you have taken one thing that happened to you and made it your entire story? Please understand what I am saying to you. Life is full of difficulty, change,  and triumphs, but the beauty of life is its ability to in one moment be unbearable and be fully relieved in the next. How many times have you looked over your life,  and said, “whew, I’m glad that’s over.” See that’s just it, things come in and they go out, but what matters; family, friends, love, and peace remain. Those are the tools we need to use to write our story.

This year, 2014  is only 19 days young, meaning we still have 346 days yet to be seen or lived. Don’t waste time planning and have NO ACTION to work the plan. Pick one thing you want to do and do it. You wanna know how I found the strength to do this? I can’t swim, so instead of talking about learning, I drove to our Family Recreation center and signed up. I was shaking, because I have a slight fear of water and being in it too long makes me uneasy. But I paid my money and in two weeks my lessons start. I have been practicing, where? In the shower of course, I mean I don’t want to look totally ridiculous! Now it’s your turn, what is one thing you want to do, make a plan and then ACT, and let this year be “your rest of the story.”

Happy New Life!!