Let IT Go

If you are alive, breathing, and moving you will face some challenges in life. Life is designed to chisel away our known and unknown imperfections to help us live a better life while on Earth. I have encountered some “life” moments that have absolutely shaken me to my core. I have wept so bitterly, that I felt as if this was the end of my life. But I have also lived some life moments that have left me speechless. You know the kind where your mouth is open in awe and amazement and you thank the Good Lord for allowing you just to witness what happened. However, the question that plagues my mind is why? Why are there moments that we can explain and then suddenly moments we cannot explain.  Why is there so much pain in the world? Why does it seem that sometimes evil wins and good is hiding? Why am I living a life that I didn’t exactly plan?

WHY? This three-letter word has plagued people for centuries. Here’s what I have learned in my short time here on Earth. Why is a question that although we ask it, we rarely want the answer to it.  We question circumstances, like when the car breaks and you just spent your emergency fund on braces for your oldest child. We question people, when your spouse that you love with all of your heart suddenly walks out your front door. We question, God… if you love me why is all of this happening to me?  Without ceasing we ask why, but do not stop to hear the response.

When why happens to you, don’t spend the rest of your life being angry in search of the answer. Let IT go.  Know that life is going to be filled with some why moments but let IT go. You know IT, whatever is keeping you from recovering from one of those moments. You know IT, that holds you hostage to hate, rejection, loneliness. You know IT, a failed marriage, prodigal child, lack of money to survive. Let IT go.  Don’t let IT stop you from living.

Happy New Life!

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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!

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!!

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

Shut Up!!?!

When I was younger, ‘Shut Up” was a bad word. I mean you would have thought I said some serious profane, vulgar word when I let that phrase slip out of my mouth. I used to dream of the day that I could say it without fear of consequence. My mom would always say, those words are so ugly and there are better words that you can use to convey the same message. Man, I didn’t want to hear that. If I didn’t like something said, I would not prefer to use, please close your lips, cease from speaking, could you please employ silence, I wanted to say SHUT UP!!! Ha!

Anyway, even still as an adult, I always think twice and look to see where my mom is before I say those words. This really has me thinking, words indeed have power. Words can build, destroy, grow, change the course of action, mean everything or mean absolutely nothing. Take for instance how many words we read in a day, whether through our news feed, a blog, email, text, words are everywhere. Those words are just read silently, but we say them aloud, in an instant those words become alive, active, engaged, moving.

When I say shut up, I usually mean stop talking, and I want instant silence for a minute. But what is heard is; stop talking, I don’t want you to speak, what you say is worthless and invaluable, please don’t waste my time talking, just stop. Now, I think, what I am doing? I don’t mean anything other that be quiet when I use those words, but when someone hear’s it, they may just shut up. I cannot bare the responsibility of speaking words of death, gloom, hatred to anyone, and my only reply is, “sorry that’s not what I meant.” Although that is probably true, I am responsible for what I say.

Let’s clean up our words! Speak Life! Proverbs 18:21 Death and Life are in the power of the tongue; and they that love it will eat the fruit thereof. 

Happy New Life!!

Unseen Grace

I pride myself on being a very involved mother to my children. I take the job seriously, because how I raise, instruct, and nurture my children is a direct reflection of my rearing and a future indicator of their success when they one day become parents. Let me paint a picture, my mom believes in the power of prayer. She has never been a medicine person. She took my sister and I to the doctor routinely and kept us well, however her instruction to us every time we experienced a slight sniffle was prayer. If we fell and hit our knee as we ran toward her for comfort,  she would say, “pray baby pray.” As I grew, prayer became as natural as breathing. I learned that I could always ask God to help me and immediately He would and then I could go to the doctor if I needed to.

My baby girl, who is 11 is full of life. She is spunky, sassy, intelligent and one of my greatest joys. When she was about 7, she was not eating her sandwiches in her lunch box. She came home and told me, ” Mom, I don’t like the bread.” Now I am a wheat bread junkie, so I told her, “too bad. Just eat it!” I mean seriously, we don’t waste food! Later that night, I was preparing for bed and I heard the Lord say,  “just let her eat white bread.” For those who know me intimately, I am real stubborn….don’t tell me what to do without an explanation, because you and I will have problems. I remember in that instance I shrugged my shoulders and decided to buy white bread. From that day til now she has been devouring every single sandwich. Fast forward four years and just last week I found myself  in the hospital clinic with my baby and she is having blood drawn for a possible undetected allergic reaction.

Now, you know I immediately heard, “pray baby pray,” and so I did. The results of the test confirmed that she was indeed allergic to wheat and most nuts. I almost cried as I heard the doctor this morning explain how to use an EpiPen in case of accidental ingestion of those foods. I recounted the times that I noticed her sneezing, coughing, and eyes running, seemingly out of nowhere because I didn’t know about this allergy. I thought to myself, if I would have known I would have changed everything. I thought, Oh my God, for the last 11 years You have protected my baby and kept her alive without any assistance from me.

We thanked the doctor for the information and left the office. As we drove home, I just couldn’t figure out how I missed the signs… why didn’t I know, why didn’t I recognize the changes? When we pulled into the driveway, all I could do was shake my head and thank God, for his Unseen Grace.

Are they any witnesses out there?

Happy happy New Life!!

One more try

How many of us have said, ‘if at first you don’t succeed, try try again?” Some of us may have even said the later modified version, “if at first you don’t succeed, quit.” These two statements make me chuckle. I am amazed at how when I was younger, trying to do anything was a daily routine. I did not capitalize on my inadequacies or fear, heck I’m not even sure I knew what those words meant back then. All I understood is that if I want to do something I can just try.  The failure, I thought was is not attempting to do it, not actually failing at it. Now as an adult I am saddened at how often in life I have done the latter, just quit. Why? Absolutely for NO REASON! I can’t explain why I quit, it just seemed like the right thing to do. I mean who works to accomplish a goal, not reach it, then try again? No one.

It doesn’t make sense to keep going, right? If I fail at learning how to drive a standard car, it means that I buy an automatic. If I fail at college the first time, it means I was never a college student anyway. If I fail at money management, I just blame the government, they are the reason everyone has debt.  If I fail at my personal relationships, it is ALWAYS the other’s person fault, why because I am perfect.  Funny this sounds ludicrous for anyone to think or act in this manner, yet I have done those things and used those excuses and believed every single word.

But this moment is new. My life has become precious, not due to any tragedy or magical epiphany, it is a choice. I choose to live differently now because it is possible. I decided that my legacy will not include the words, failed to try because that is just selfish. How can I inspire, motivate or change others if I refuse to change me first? I decided no matter the cost, no matter how uncomfortable I may be or become during the process, His Grace is more than enough and my life is worth One More Try!

Happy New Life!

Courage

You just need 20 seconds of courage, the tagline from the movie We Bought A Zoo.  Twenty seconds, that’s long enough to heat up some leftovers in the microwave, it’s long enough to send a text message, it might even be enough time to answer your cell phone. But what really matters is not time, but courage.

Have you ever faced anything in your life that scared you completely? Have you ever questioned how or even if you would make it until tomorrow? Have you ever lost hope, faith, trust, love? Can you think of just one time that you needed courage in your life? In the face of difficulty, you find the strength to do the one thing that frightens you. I’m not talking about going to school, or approaching a potential love interest,  I’m talking about a strength that causes you to continue when all hope seems gone.

When you hold your loved one’s hand for the last time, when a raging fire destroys your home, when a career that you relied on suddenly collapses and financial ruin is the least of your concerns, when the diagnosis from the doctor is terminal, when life is just life.  Do you still have the will to fight, the will to live, do you still have courage? Can you in the face of pain or grief find strength to continue? Can you be brave? Can you be fearless? Can you be bold?

Tonight, in your life what do you need to face? Don’t spend one more day hiding or running from fear, stop turn around and face it. You and I have a New Year to have a New Life.

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9

Happy Courageous New Life!

 

And just like that…it’s Over

I think the world moves so rapidly that when we finally find time to stop and think about what has happened in the last twelve months, three more months have passed. Usually I put my Christmas Tree up immediately after Thanksgiving Dinner has been served, but it was almost the middle of December and the incessant reminders from the kids, “Mom, can we please put the tree up,” that I finally conceded. While the children were putting up the tree, I was preparing dinner and making sure all homework was completed since the next day was the final day of the fall semester. I was so preoccupied with other things, I didn’t participate in a tradition that shaped me from my youth.  When I walked into the living room, the Christmas tree was stunning, and it had a certain sparkle to it that made me stop and stare for fifteen minutes.

In those fifteen minutes I thought about the entire year. I couldn’t believe almost 52 weeks had passed and honestly life was a blur. I mean I could remember birthday’s, anniversary’s, school events, and church, but intimate moments seemed vague in my memory. As I stood there, I thought, that’s it…it’s over.  What I have done with one more year of life, granted graciously to me by God? What I have done with my time? What have I done with my dreams, goals, hopes….The answer, NOTHING.

Just like that, the year over, and now today taking down the Christmas tree, I stopped to write to serve as a permanent reminder to myself to not just let my life be over this time next year, but to work, live, and love PRESENTLY. Every moment is a gift and yes, hurt will come, death will come, grief will come, happiness will come, but when those moments are over, I MUST MOVE ON! So, of course I’m already planning for Christmas 2014, but before I get there, I will LIVE.

I will embrace my children, my husband, my family, myself. I will take each day and Be Still, seeking God to guide me to make a difference that day. I will love, because He first loved me. I will change my mind therefore changing my life.

And just like that…Happy New Life!!

THANKS

Thank You. Two simple words. One meaning.  I have really begun to reexamine how I use words but more than that if I am sincere in how I use them towards others. I say thank you ALLLL day long. I say it to my children for keeping their rooms clean, to my husband  when he opens the car door for me, and to cashiers at Wal-Mart after I spend $100.00 instead of $10.00. But what I really want to focus on,  is how to change what I say by understanding WHY I say it.  Words have power and although when I was younger I said,  “Sticks and
Stones…..but words will never hurt me,” I realized that was a lie, my feelings are hurt by careless words and most of the time I responded by saying careless words to someone else.

My own personal goal for the next 24 hours is to know why I speak the words others hear. Do I want to build them up, tear them down, give me an advantage, or just hear myself talk. I want to know when I speak to those I love that ‘s exactly what they hear. Pure Love. Pure Thanks. Pure Appreciation. Pure Truth.

Thank You for letting me talk to you about a life lesson.

Happy New Life!

thanks