Life is a journey. We have a final destination and lots of big and little milestones along the way.
Unless we don't.
It is possible to just drift through life... Drifting is like living in rote, doing the same things over and over without taking notice - without celebrating milestones, planning for new memories, or moving toward valued goals.
Sometimes I personally miss celebrating and just move on to the next goal without stopping to acknowledge what just happened! How sad. I'm embarrassed to say that living in the moment is often hard for me, even when I am with family I am envisioning how long it will be till we get to be together again.
Good coaching includes planning for celebration!
First, we need to choose a worthy goal like:
Then we work the system and adjust as needed. (See the demystifying SMART goals blog...
Have you ever been triggered by something or someone? That’s where you feel like you had an emotional reaction that was not healthy. Maybe it was an overreaction, or maybe you clammed up, but either way, you know you were not walking in God’s best plan for your response.
Triggering is angsty. It’s not God’s way but is often more our norm when storms come up in our life.
Triggering hurts us and hurts those around us.
We’re all human so we’ve all built neuro pathways for how we react when certain events happen. It’s like they prompt us to be angry, or aggressive, or maybe we swing the other way and feel depressed, sullen, or hopeless.
Either way, we feel stuck.
We know we don’t want to respond in that way. We hope there is a kingdom way, a healing possible, but we aren’t sure what to do next.
Feeling hurt, misunderstood, confused or angry, and frustrated doesn’t have to be our norm!
Last Sunday our pastor ended the service with a question:
"Do you know God is pleased with you?"
I"ve been pondering that all week. What does it mean for God to be pleased with us?
We all get that our works are not what pleases Him. We can never be enough. It would be like trying to fill an ocean with our tears, we will always fall short...
So, what about us pleases Him?
I've been doing a word study on just that and want to share some initial thoughts here. Here are some verses that really stuck out to me.
"Those who are right with me will live by faith. But if they turn back with fear, I will not be pleased with them.” Hebrews 10:38"A person might have to suffer even when it is unfair, but if he thinks of God and can stand the pain, God is pleased". 1 Peter 2:19"The Lord is pleased with those who respect him, with those who trust his love." Psalm 147:11"The Lord is pleased with his people; he...
Do you believe in MONSTERS?!
It can be easy just to pretend there are no monsters. We can avoid dealing with negative things in our lives, or we can place the blame on ourselves and wallow in condemnation.
1 Peter 5:8 says,
Control yourselves and be careful! The devil, your enemy, goes around like a roaring lion looking for someone to eat. (NCV)
Other versions say "devour", whatever version you use it's clear we have an enemy who wants to hurt us. To ruin us even. To place us in a state of fear, anger, or shame that discredits us and isolates us from others and from God.
I think each of us is susceptible to different "monsters". We each have different internal designs that cause us to be susceptible to different negative thought patterns that take us into scary places.
What do your monsters look like?
In full disclosure, I deal with all kinds of lies...
I'm learning to discern more. You'd think I'd be better at it by now, but it turns out I'm still learning. For me, following my heart means having the "courage" to call things out when I see them. I have the compulsion to set things right. I feel culpable to say what I see, especially as a leader. I almost always feel I am missing the mark if I don't say something when I hear or see something out of line.
(Feels kind of judgy when I say it like that... maybe because it sometimes is judgy and that's where the Pendulum Process needs to come in!)
Is it always right to say something?
Is it never right to step in?
Sometimes it is "courage" that is needed and I do indeed need to speak up. After all, Proverbs 9:8b says,
"... But correct the wise, and they will love you."
Yet, at other times we are encouraged to be wise by not speaking up. Proverbs 10:19b says,
"...if you are wise, you will keep quiet."
So what's a gal to do? Let's take a look at the Pendulum...
So, it's come to this. I went to Costco to get a hearing aid! I KNOW RIGHT! I can't be getting older, I should be able to hear for a lot longer... and all the things.
When my appointment finally came around it was way shorter than planned for two reasons.
1- they said that asymmetrical hearing loss was a medical red flag and I needed to go to an ENT specialist before moving forward.
2- they threw me a curve ball and said my good ear was completely blocked and they wondered how I could hear out of it at all.
(This is where the gross part comes in.) They told me never to clean my ears with a Q-tip but to use soap and hot water in the shower.
So, I tried it.
It didn't work!!
My "good ear" then became my bad ear! I must have dislodged the build-up and really messed up my ear. I couldn't even hear my blow dryer from that side that morning. With only the hearing from my bad ear, I was nearly deaf. It felt like people were teasing my, moving their lips but not saying anything....
Marriage was God's idea in the first place! He's the one who said it wasn't good for man to be alone.
The desire to be matched with a spouse is God-breathed.
Playing With Matches explores God's plan for a man and a woman to discern if they are a good match.
If you, or someone you know, is looking for a Christian guidebook of sorts, Playing With Matches shares Godly principles for dating and is chock full of real-life stories to learn from!
Let's talk about middles.
We all have them. We are all in the middle of something.
Maybe we are literally traveling, but more likely we are in the middle of a project, or a life change, or making a decision.
Every actual accomplishment has a start and a finish.
It's the middle where the work happens though. Or where we get stalled out.
In Proverbs 4:11 God says, "I am guiding you in the way of wisdom, and I am leading you on the right path."
It's a matter of discernment isn't? Figuring out how He is guiding us takes savvy. We get an inkling of where we should move toward something and we either heed it or we don't.
There's discernment needed for timing too. Sometimes we put things off that we should invest right away, or we jump the gun and put our energy into something too soon.
But most often we lose heart after we get started and stall out. Middles can be costly or boring or just plain take too long.
Some Saturdays are filled with stuff to do, or places you have to be, but those are not the ones we are talking about here. Let's focus on those wonderful Saturdays when there's white space... They are probably rare, but also probably wonderful.
Close your eyes with me for a minute and remember that time when you weren't quite sure what to do - the to-do list was blank and so was the calendar and you had that rare thought, "What do I want to do today?"
That's the feeling of Sabbath rest.
It's a time when you just enjoy life, you connect with your Creator and likely His creation, you are not in a hurry, you eat good food, and have the luxury of time for quality conversation. Your soul sighs, "Ahhh....." in the satisfied kind of way.
Your Best Saturday self celebrates a week well spent.
Your Best Saturday self enjoys the present and takes a break from thinking about what's coming up.
There is no worry, anxiety, or concern there. It's a true break from the work week and the...
It's not easy to figure out what to do.
We've been digging in to the word "Discernment" as a church staff lately and looking at what it means in our everyday lives. The Bible gives us overarching guidelines we need to adhere to - like "Don't kill people" in the Old Testament, and "Don't even hate people" in the New Testament.
But, you can't just say to do what the Bible says. Sometimes the Bible isn't so clear. Fairly often even it forwards two completely different responses. Here are a few examples:
- Share the truth in love ~ Love covers a multitude of sins
- Judge wisely ~ Don’t judge at all
- Give to everyone who asks ~ Don’t throw your pearls before swine
- Don’t take anything with you ~ Prepare well
- Be the head and not the tail ~ Be the servant of all
- Be angry and sin not ~ Be at peace with all men
You get the picture. Even the same situation in a different season of your life will require new discernment
The Bible points us to a...
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