Dust off that bike. Turn that computer back on. Get out your notebook. Call that friend. Check your mail. Go back to work. Clean your house. Wash your face. Take a walk. Drive your car. Get off the couch. Rise from bed. Failure means you’ve not given up. So, just get up. Try again. You can do it.
What does spiritual maturity (LOVE) look like when mobilized? Is it practiced in real time kindness toward the soul & body- a hug, dinner, a ride, help to finish projects, wisdom, friendship, a listening ear, a time to process thoughts, baby sitters, elder sitters, medicine, prayer, a helping hand, clothes, gas, food, etc?
Be someone who cares this new year. Someone who gives. You do not have to be a “caregiver” to care giving. You can give where you are whether big or small. First let’s talk about big.
I know a woman who has loved deeply. She has held the hands of women and men as they live their last breath on planet earth. It was not as a hospice nurse or paid caregiver. She has cared enough to give her time, resources, affection and passion to see another live…and then die.
Some of these would have died far before their time. She has valued them when they had no value. She has treasured them when they felt they were trash. She has been their companion when they would have died from loneliness. She has cared enough to give.
In her own search for value and identity, she has preserved another’s value and identity.
She is deep water. In essence she has given her life for another. Her maturity came at a price and her love is now priceless.
Let’s talk about small. But is any action of giving really small to God? Giving soup to the woman next-door who has been sick and cannot feed her family. Cleaning the yard of the elderly couple down the road because they just can’t seem to have the strength to do it anymore. Telling the mom who you can tell is about to lose her temper with her children that she is doing a good job… Because she thinks any minute she’s gonna lose her mind. Loving the person you are with even though they are depressed and don’t seem to like you anymore. Loving them with no expectation of anything back just because you know they are lonely and I need a validation and friendship. Valuing them. Valuing you. Valuing life on the planet. Loving the person you are with even though they are depressed and don’t seem to like you anymore. Loving them with no expectation of anything back just because you know they are lonely and need validation and friendship. Valuing them. Valuing you. Valuing life on the planet. Loving yourself when you look in the mirror instead of turning away with disgust at how you no longer like the way you look.
Let this new year Be your opportunity to find a value in you and those around you. In small ways or in big ways. Love is the answer. You have permission to give a care about you. And then you have permission to give a care for those around you with that same kindness.
Compromise is a powerful and subtle method used to lead us away from Truth within us and around us. Lies will separate you from those who love you, pull you away from what is best for you, divide your heart, tear you apart, stress you out, leave you to rot. It will give you a false identity so real that you won’t see the counterfeit. Be willing to let God sift your thoughts back to Him and His ways. Trust Him with that issue, that relationship, those friends, that career, that food problem, drug addiction, those worries, that codependent friend, deep pain, sadness and loneliness. Let God bring you true identity and specific Truth. Let Him redesign your relationships and awaken your heart to Joy.
When I woke up this morning I had a most definite feeling of alone-ness. Almost empty really. It was almost overwhelming as I pondered my day…alone was in front of me and to be honest I normally do not mind…the alone part. However, for some reason I sidestepped the invitation into silence.
I stopped to listen and got no inspiration or understanding. Instead, I slipped into memories of my younger years when my responsibilities were deciding what movie I wanted to go see or what outfit I would wear or who I was going to meet or what I would do with the leftover in my check after I paid my car note which at the time was about a hundred dollars. Those were the days!
We have a LACK of Silence
Silence is an interesting word and an interesting condition of the heart. Some would even venture to say that silence is boring and to be honest, I believe that is the worn out norm for many generations. Think of the lack of silence that penetrates our days. Elevators have music to captivate your short attention on the way to your floor. Every doctor and dental office has music to drown out the confidential dialogues happening with patients. Frequently, you’ll find music flooding the department stores and grocery stores that keep you happy and energetic. More often than not it is very difficult to locate a restaurant that will allow you to have thoughtful conversation without some sort of musical ambiance to set the stage. None of this yet mentions our ability to keep our ears on overload with music or teaching through our very smart phones which are loaded up with every variety of sound available to man except perhaps – silence.
What’s my challenge today? GET QUIET! Be unafraid of silence. Turn off the radio, CD player and IPOD in your car for a week. Spend a day without tv. Try something new….enjoy YOU….the unfiltered you….the you without props and find out you are AWESOME without all that jazz……..adding noise to your mind and heart.
OKAY. That’s it.
HAVE A FANTABULOUSLY AMAZING DAY!!!
LOVE LOVE LOVE…until next time,
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Today is a different kind of encouragement and it fits whether you are young or old or in between. You can be single, married, divorced, widowed or single with kids. Honestly, I believe it is pertinent to you and your life regardless of age. I encourage you to read this today. Maybe you at times feel you will either yell or cry or drink a shot of whiskey.
What do you do when your life is out of your hands? You seem to be a victim of circumstance? You wonder if anyone hears you crying inside. But the truth is no one knows you’re alive.
These are my thoughts today. I just finished wiping up poop from the floor, carpet and wall. Wow. Really? Yes – really. Actually, I almost called this Poop on the Floor but decided that was a great title for another time. It did not disturb me or cause me to think poorly of the person whose bowels released in my home. I can clean up the poop. Instead, it has caused me to get quiet and consider life and how we respond to people (not circumstances). My precious friend is staying with us for a season and we eat a tad different than she is accustomed and so that being said, a vegetables only diet moves through her body pretty fast. My choices are to yell, cry or drink a shot of whiskey.
I decided to do none of the above – instead, I chose to write. She was humiliated already so there was no need for me to point out that there was poop on the floor. I chose not to yell. I mean really? What would that accomplish other than make her feel squashed like a bug. She had not even had time to tell me. She slipped into the bathroom to clean her body and I found the debris hiding on the hallway floor. Obviously it was there and her cleaning it was not an option as I did not want to have to pick HER up from the floor if she lost her balance which would have totally made me cry. She kept saying that she could clean it up and all I could say was that its okay and I did not mind in the slightest bit. I mean, what if it were me who had loose bowels? How would I want to be treated? Granted, if this happened daily, it would probably test every fiber of the fruit of the spirit inside me and I would need to step away to find that peace. As a matter of fact….side note….the person she lives with has had every nerve in her being tested and it is a battle really because when you are a 24/7 caregiver – its a whole new ballgame of responsibility and need for rest. I have seen this care giver learn how to walk out life with kindness, love and loyalty. She knows how to love you even unto death and you just cannot say that about every person you know. Truth is that I’m more of a relief pitcher so my arm is not as tired in this area. Caring for someone all the time who cannot work, drive, cook, remember to eat or drink or what day it is…well…that’s a whole new level of pressure and pain. I have such incredible respect for the woman who loves the lady I’m looking after and know for certain she faces the same choices – to yell, cry or drink a shot of whiskey.
Shot of Whiskey
Love. Joy. Peace. Patience. Kindness. Goodness. Gentleness. Faithfulness. Self Control. Yes, these are the ways we are supposed to treat OURSELVES AND OTHERS. Don’t just be good to you and then shoot the finger at your neighbor just because their trash can ended up in your driveway. The wind could blow yours into their way next time. Truth is that what comes out of you and me already lives inside you and me. So, when it does come to the surface, look at it….why are you unkind to you? To others? Enough of the soul search. Back to my point and yes, I do have one. So, if you have stuck with me this far – some of you have already dropped off because you either think this is irrelevant to you or its too close to home so you want to avoid going there…but IF you are still with me, then I encourage you to consider all of this as if you were drinking a straight up shot of whiskey for a horrible cold or taking a shot that will save your life or….you get the picture. It may burn going down or hurt as it moves through the tissue but in the end it might just be good for you.
Pray With Me
God, I feel completely clueless. I see that life is precious and honestly, I’m unsure how to walk it out day by day. I can barely take care of me much less someone else. Help me know how to be kind to those around me and kind to me. Help me make room to love with touch and words and not just washing dishes or picking up the trash. I love you. Help me be love for those around me. Help me run this race so that when the day is over You say well done.
I love you – it is time to #BEBRAVER. Get a new attitude. Your life does not belong to you. You gave it up when you said I do to Him. Have some mercy. Mercy toward you and mercy toward others. Stop controlling all your circumstances and just love where you are and find out just how amazing God is to give peace.
Send this to friends who need encouragement to love their family while it is still called today.
Recently, we helped a man move who is 80 and slow and has the beginnings of not thinking clearly or remembering very well. He upsets easily and he feels discombobulated most the time. Let me tell you – he is not ready for a nursing home and not nursing home is ready for him. He is still sharp enough to drive you crazy! He complains about everything and is grateful about everything all at one time. We have chosen to love. Love covers. Love is how God dealt with our ugly. So, we love him because we are not better than he is…just younger. Respect is what he wants. Respect is what he needs. We do not know his family…yet. He is a Jewish believer as of mid 2014. So, this whole LOVE thing is culture shock for him, not doubt. I want to encourage you to love yourself and love those around you. Its a new year. Its a new day. You get another chance to love and to change and to #BEBRAVER and learn how to love like Jesus loved us.
Admittedly, when I first began to visit, I kept my eyes forward and my ears shut because I had no idea what to do or say. Also, I had no idea what NOT to say… to these older ones who had not banked on being shut away in their latter years. Slowly it dawned on me that they didn’t have a problem. I was the problem. I was a coward. Seriously. Every color and every culture and every malady seems to exist down those lonely well lit halls. As I faced my own fears….you know like the truth that I was afraid I would fail at loving them or saying the wrong thing and yet that was a lie and it was fear filled. So, I purposefully started to make eye contact with every man and woman sitting in the hallways. Soon, you learn how you can gently touch on the shoulder and who you should only smile at and who is ready for an actual hug. Also, I began to say hello and smile at the staff that cared for these shut into the cover up.
What do you do with this? How to live??
Pray with me – God, help me to LOVE and to be loved. Help me be unafraid! I want to learn how to love. I love You LORD!
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Have you ever heard the public confession of a private extrovert?
Crazy huh? Well, let me tell you my story. So, one year I went back to the gym – as in I got a trainer and everything and this is after being out of the game for YEARS. My first day was of course amazing and it was not until two days later I discovered I could barely walk for the pain in my thighs from the new pressure I had exerted. Needless to say that the pain did not deter me as I was determined to move forward and I was consistent and diligent for 4 months. I was faithful to endure 2 workouts with a trainer per week and I worked out almost daily with just a few exceptions for appointments, exhaustion, family, etc. THEN, I had a moment of WAH!LAH! I made my confession that I could do this and thought I could be private at home and do this gym gig by myself. After all I’m doing GREAT! Surely, I do not have to be public in the gym to get my health back! Right? I was brave and took action. I purchased weights for 50 cents a pound, got one of those big honkin’ inflated work out balls from an expert, found some elastic bands for my arms, purchased a floor mat and even got an inexpensive treadmill. My confession made me go all out! I had been writing down all the exercises and just knew I would be able to be the same person at home that I was at the gym. I was OFF to the races or so I thought… After two months with only one workout to my credit I had a revelation with a new confession. My new confession was that I HATE being alone. Seriously? How can this be? FOR YEARS and I mean years my publicconfession of me not being an extrovert. I have exclaimed from the roof tops that I am an introvert! I have told myself and the world just how much I love my solitude and how I can handle just so much of people. What was wrong with me? Now, let’s fast forward into reality and hear the public confession of a private extrovert.
Why was I unsuccessful as an introvert?
So, I was UNSUCCESSFUL at working out alone as an introvert. WHY? Because I need people! Oh my goodness when the lightbulb went on I thought I was losing my mind. I looked back and carefully considered my steps. How can I be an extrovert? I love solitude. I like just being with me-I mean I really do-in all my quirky funky dressing talking humor I genuinely enjoy myself. Also, I’m pretty brave in how I approach life. However, as I bravely reviewed my true reality, I rehearsed in my mind all the times I spend alone. Then, I truly stared into how unfruitful my time was when completely alone at home or in a room locked away or even on a retreat by myself. On the other hand, I looked a how my productivity was when I picked up my computer and found public WiFi at St. Arbucks and remained there for HOURS just writing and talking and using my cell phone and calendaring my day and making appointments and making new friends. Again, now I’m making a public confession and I’m ready to add fuel to the fire for a bit of transparency.
What is the point?
Would you like to know when I get the most done in my own home? It is when someone is on the way over and I scramble to make sure the house is picked up or move quickly to create a fun meal for us. All of a sudden I am completely inspired to clean my office or garage and I find myself getting much done when they are here with me because I love to work with others. I know folks who get a thousand things done all alone so that they can go out and play. However, for me, I get a thousand things done when others come over to play! The point is that all these years I thought I was an introvert because I saw a program talking about textbook introverts and how they process all their information inside themselves and I realized how ME THAT WAS! I truly do take my thoughts on the inside. I consider life and God and I prayerfully and thoughtfully peer into situations and processes. Anyway, for my social well being and for my family’s well being I have come to the radical understanding that if I am not around people I am not a happy camper and if I’m not a happy camper….then no one in my home is happy either and that basically makes me a social extrovert………..with introvert tendencies. Crazy as it might sound…this little inspiration or revelation has helped me tremendously to get organized and to make sure I have more people contact and to recognize that if I’m feeling a bit blue or borderline depressed then more than likely its not because I’m sad or depressed or blue or anything else. Therefore, part of my public confession is that when I’m feeling a little lonely, all I need is a public shot of social interaction and then I’m back to being my same old funky quirky talk your ear off friend whom you can’t live without. LOL
How to be brave in your own story
Be Brave. Be bold regarding who you are today and who you want to be tomorrow. Read here another story about how I had to be brave in my identity. Show respect to yourself and get to know yourself. Take action my friend! You can move into the real you! You are victorious so do not let the voices in your head get you going down a wrong way street! Lastly be encouraged and you can right any mistake you have made regarding how you live life. Be Brave and thought it might take time – you are worth it!You are who you are so why not learn from my error of attempting to become someone I’m not. Just be you. Be you. Be the best you that you can be and learn how to rejoice in how God made you. God’s not mad at you and HE is not mad at me. HE rejoices over how HE made us and we should rejoice over how HE made us too….
Be sure and reply and let me hear from you! Be brave because I want to know if you have a public confession of a private extrovert!