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Archive for the ‘Priorities’ Category

We’ve had a bit of a sad week. My son’s first grade teacher passed away this week.

My understanding is that she had cancer. She did not teach last year because of it, but felt well enough this year to come back. Everyone was thrilled. She was a woman in her 60s who had made a career in teaching young minds. And she was absolutely wonderful for the munchkin.

She got him. I mean, really got him, ya know? She understood that he was a smart little boy (maybe too smart sometimes), who understands how to manipulate situations to either get his way or make his way easier. She and I were always on the same page when it came to how to handle these innocent manipulations.

We made him do the work. 😉

He often tries to get others to tell him the answer so that he doesn’t have to waste his time trying to come up with them on his own, can get his work done faster, and then can have more time to focus on what he wants to focus on: everyone else. My dad often jokes that he’s practicing to follow in his footsteps as an administrator.

Mrs. S. knew how to handle him, and he respected her for it. Mrs. S.’s passing is a sad day for us all.

Her kids loved her, respected her and knew that she pulled no punches — and that they weren’t going to get away with anything in her classroom. And they learned. They learned the joy of reading and writing. They learned the joy of learning.

And for that she will be truly missed.

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great expectationsI have this lovely inspirational stand-up book on my desk, which was a gift from my dear friend, Ann. Each day I can’t wait to turn over the next page to see what wisdom I’ll find among the pages.

The other day the page staring (or maybe “glaring” is more accurate) back at me read:

Follow your heart. It knows the way.

I suppose one could read this many ways. As a love-struck teenager, I may have taken this to mean I should follow my heart more than my head in choosing my beau. As a young mother, I may have read it as following my instincts instead of the advice of others when caring for my newborn son.

Now, however, I view it as following my heart when it comes to my career, my focus on my family and how I want to serve on a daily basis. And I wonder: What happens when your heart is telling you one thing and the circumstances of your life don’t easily allow for you to follow it? How do you reconcile the two?

And I think it comes down to this: Faith.

Ah, there’s that word again. As you may remember, faith is my “one word” for 2011. My focus.

…I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you. ~Matthew 17:20 NIV

How do you reconcile what God is calling you to do with the obstacles life seems to throw in your path? I’d love to hear your advice and what’s worked for you. Drop me a comment below.

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Have you ever thought someone was trying to tell you something? You know, those times when you seem to encounter the same theme over and over everywhere you turn?

That’s what’s been happening to me lately. I ignored it at first, but it’s clear God is trying to get my attention. And he must have known that it would take a two-by-four to the head to get it through my thick skull. 😉

Here’s the recurring theme:

For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.

~Jeremiah 29:11 (New Living Translation)

I’ve run into this sentiment around every corner lately. It’s been prevalent on Twitter from all of you lovely folks I follow there. I’ve bumped into this verse in my new venture into Blessings Unlimited. In fact, it’s my Director’s email address. I’ve come across it in blog posts from many of you – whether it be those of you whose blogs I’ve read for months now or from brand new blogs I stumbled across. It just keeps cropping up everywhere I turn.

So what does it all mean?

So…what am I to take from that? Am I to assume that I’m not putting enough faith in God to know what’s best for me? Am I trying to control my life instead of turning its course over to God? Maybe. Probably.

I’m impatient. I want things to happen when I want things to happen. And it’s entirely possible that He’s trying to tell me to let it go. To give it to Him to handle. To trust in Him. To have faith. To follow Him fully.

The One Word

I keep reading all of your one-word posts for 2011 and thinking, “How could I ever come up with just one word to describe my goal, my intent for 2011? Evidently, it’s been staring me in the face this whole time.

Faith.

I thank all of you for sharing your one-word focus for this year, and now I need to start better defining mine. The one thing I know now is that my life and my course for the year is in God’s hands. I need to trust in him to steer me down the path he’s designed for me. I need to have faith that his plans for me are for good, that they will give me hope.

Now it’s your turn. What is your one-word for 2011? What will you focus on this year? Drop me a comment below, and let’s share our common grounds.

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Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your path straight. ~Proverbs 3:5-6

Does your path need straightening? I didn’t think mine did, but lately I’ve been bombarded with similar messages everywhere I turn.

A special guest radio DJ on my normal channel.

An unexpected “prayer Sunday” at a different church we attended this weekend.

Today’s daily devotional.

Hmmm…maybe God’s trying to tell me something. Maybe I should be paying attention.

What suffering and persecution and pain and difficulties do is not so much make us weak, as show us we are weak. Without them, we can deceive ourselves into believing we’re prizefighters. With them, we’re reminded that we’re not constructed to function on our own power.

~Jan Dravecky, Women’s Devotional Bible, Zondervan

Bills. Health issues. Relationship troubles. A fight with a friend. A savage rumor. A church dispute. Who do you turn to when faced with the troubles and difficulties life throws your way? Your spouse? A friend? Yourself? What about God?

What do you think? Does your path need straightening?

Drop me a comment below and let me know your thoughts so we can continue to find our common grounds.

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What is it about family that makes everything alright? That brings a sense of belonging? Of contentment? Do you feel it too?

My mom and dad came up for a visit on Tuesday and stayed until yesterday morning. They always do such a good job of encouraging me, building me up and reminding me about the important things in life. I can only hope I can do the same thing for my son as he grows up.

That’s what family does, right?

That’s what God does, too. He calls us His children. He’s our Father. He’s there for us – whenever we need him. No matter what. Remember that when you’re facing the trials and tribulations of this life.

After all, Jesus loves you. 😉 Have a great weekend! Hopefully you can enjoy spending time with your family just like I did mine.

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To-do list book.

Image by koalazymonkey

Have you ever felt like screaming that from the rooftops? I know I have. Others often comment on my ability to remain calm and patient under challenging circumstances. In reality, I think it’s just that I’m calm as long as I feel in control of a situation.

And sometimes, that’s just not possible. Sometimes, life comes at us hard, and all we can do is hold on tight. 😉

Today’s reading: Exodus 18:1-27

Dirty dishes lining the sink. Toys littering the floor like mini-landmines from kitchen to family room. Bills piling up. House to clean. PTO committee meeting to attend. Children to drop off at before school care. Children to pick up from school. Children to drive to volleyball, basketball, football, soccer, golf, cheerleading, karate, tumbling…you get the idea. Supper to fix. Lunches to make. Baths to give. Homework to supervise. Boo-boos to kiss. Spouses to talk to.

Oh…and work. Did I mention work? Yeah, that other stuff is just what many of us do after we get home from “work.” Like the other stuff doesn’t count as work? Hah!

*Whew.*

Share the Load

It’s no wonder we often feel overwhelmed and are running a bit low on patience, feeling as if throwing up our hands and throwing in the towel are our only options.

Moses felt the same way, and his father-in-law had the perfect solution: “…you will only wear yourselves out. The work is too heavy for you; you cannot handle it alone.” (Exodus 18:18)

So he didn’t. Instead, he shared the work. And you know what? That not only gave him much-needed time to focus on his top priorities, but also enabled others to grow in their responsibilities and God-given talent.

What “duties” are you holding onto that you could share with a family member, a friend, a coworker? Would it free up your time to focus on your top priorities? Would it enable someone else to grow in their life?

Maybe it’s time to say, “I just can’t handle it!” and turn it over to God.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”

~Matthew 11:28

Discovering Our Common Grounds

Drop me a comment to share how you deal with all your to-do’s. Do you share the load? Rotate the chores? I’d love to hear your ideas and solutions. 🙂

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