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Posts Tagged ‘faith’

Listen up, would ya?

ImageWhy haven’t I figured it out by now? I mean, this has been happening for essentially the past 40 years. I should have a clue already, right?

And yet…I keep ignoring it.

God’s voice. Or, His urgings. Or His counsel. Whatever you’d like to call it. You would think by now I’d learn to recognize it.

Why is it I always second guess it when I feel it?

And it always happens the same way. Some people would probably call it a ‘gut feeling,’ but it’s more than that. A lot more. All of a sudden I get this overwhelming urge to do something or say something. Today, it was a simply ‘hi’ to a coworker who’s recently become a friend.

This is not someone I speak to often, and certainly not typically after work hours. Yet, today, as I was driving home, I felt I should reach out and simply say ‘Hey. Just felt like saying hi. ; )’

And then I second guessed myself. I thought, no, that’s silly. Why would I do that? The person may think I’m nuts and wonder why I’m sending the note. And there it was again. The nudge. The overwhelming feeling that I needed to send the message.

So I did. I sent a text. And you know what? It was needed. My friend had had a very bad day and was so thankful I’d taken the time to reach out and just say ‘hi.’ To say, hey, I was just thinking about you. To know someone cared.

It’s always the same. It’s always been this way. And yet, I still second guess the feeling when it comes over me.

Why? When will I learn? God knows best. God has a plan for our lives – even something as simple as saying ‘hi’ to a friend. God is in control.

Do you ever have this happen to you? Share your common grounds.

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My son is going to be seven in June. He’s going to be seven, and he still doesn’t know how to ride a bike without training wheels.

Maybe you can relate. I know I can. You see, I didn’t learn how to ride a bike until second grade. Yep, that’s right. Second grade. and, it looks like my little guy is on the same path.

Now, not to make excuses, but there are a few simple reasons for this:

  1. We live on a hill, and the driveway is definitely not flat. It angles downward and ends up right on a busy street. Not an ideal place to learn to ride a bike.
  2. We have no sidewalks directly in front of our house. There’s a sidewalk to our left or across the street. Again, can’t really send the child out to practice riding up and down the sidewalk by himself, and the neighbors don’t particularly like it when you camp out on their lawn for a couple of hours. 😉
  3. I don’t like outside. Yes, it’s true. I know. Whatever. It is what it is. I love the sunshine, the warm breeze blowing into the house, the windows open. Ahhh. Perfect. But…I do not want to enjoy all of that outside. I like screens, shade and the comfort of being inside. This is a bit prohibitive when trying to teach someone to ride a bike, and leaves the majority of the weight on the shoulders of my husband, who, by the way, loves being outside.

The Right Size

Now, with that being said. The munchkin has this really cool blue and green bike with training wheels…that is waaaay too small for him. My parents have a bike for him, which is really cool. (See the picture above? The one in front is the actual bike.) Unfortunately, we’re not sure there’s a way to attach training wheels to it. It’s a 20″ and many of those don’t allow for training wheels.

As we explained this to the munchkin, he was a bit distressed at first. You see, his current bike is a 14″ and an 18″ is still too small for him – those are the ones that allow for training wheels. The 20″ is what he needs, no question. So…what to do?

Definitely Not a Daredevil

While the little guy appears to be laid back and willing to try anything, this is definitely not the case. He’s extremely cautious, likes to think things through and is not willing to take risks when it comes to anything. Ah…like father like son.

So, back to my question: What to do?

He was totally freaked out when we tried the Daddy-will-run-behind-you-holding-on-to-the-bike scenario in the bike store the other day as we were getting a feel for sizes. That did not go over well at all – for either of them, actually.

In the end, we decided to see if we can find a way to fit the training wheels on the 20″ and go from there. Decision made.

The Plan

Enter, the plan. After we get back home and let the p’s know that we’re going to use their 20″ bike they got – even if we can’t put training wheels on it, the munchkin says, “Here’s the plan, Mommy.”

“Um, okay. What’s the plan? What are we talking about?” I inquire.

Using lots of hand gestures (he is part Italian, after all), he explains. “Okay. We’ll take my little bike with the training wheels and take them off. Since I can totally touch the ground easily on that bike, I can ride it without putting my feet on the pedals and instead get used to the feel of balancing the bike. Then, I can use the bike Grandma and Grandpa are giving me and have Daddy hold onto it until I get the feel for it. Then, I’ll know how to ride a bike without training wheels.”

He smiles and walks in the other room.

Alright then. Glad he has it all figured out. My little planner.

What plans have you or your children made to help you adjust to a new situation? I’d love to hear about them. Drop me a line below, and let’s share our Common Grounds.

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Faith & New Beginnings

Guess what?!? I have a new job! Yep. I am now going to be the director of online marketing for a different division at my current company.

This means that I get to continue working at the company I love while taking on new challenges and new opportunities — including delving into social spaces for the division. Cool, huh? I think so.

I’ve been seeking a new challenge and a bit of change for awhile now, and am blessed to have found exactly that.

Hmmm…seems as if my recurring theme, faith, is already playing a key part in the first half of 2011, right? Imagine that.

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)

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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 makes you happy? Really happy?

If I asked you to describe pure happiness, what would it look like? Lots of money? No need to work? The perfect job? A home full of family? Six kids? An adoring spouse? An ocean-side home? Mountain living?

The possibilities are endless, aren’t they? But, where does your faith enter in? Or does it?

Today’s Faith JAM over at Faith Barista asks the question: How does faith connect to your happiness?

The Bible says, “Happy is the one who seeks and embraces true wisdom and understanding.” ~Proverbs 3:13

I couldn’t agree more. By nature, I’m a happy person. It takes a lot to bring me down, and I attribute that to my faith. I talked about this a bit in our first Faith JAM.

We recently had this organizational exercise where we had to narrow down our core values to five. Here are mine: Faith, hope, wisdom, happiness and humor. Notice that faith and hope are right up front, and that springs from my belief in God, as does wisdom. This is key for me. I believe that in all things we must be wise – even if that means being unpopular for our decisions. And through faith, hope and wisdom comes happiness. Happiness in my family, in my friends and in myself. Last, but certainly not least, is humor. I can cope with anything through humor.

Christian Courier author Wayne Jackson talks about faith and happiness like this:

In his book, Mere Christianity, British philosopher C.S. Lewis (1898-1963) observed that it is a futile exercise to seek happiness apart from God. Man has been “designed” to find his purpose, indeed his happiness, only in his Creator. In fact, Lewis insists, “God cannot give us a happiness and peace apart from Himself, because it is not there. There is no such thing” (54). We were made to glorify God (Isaiah 43:7), and apart from that thrilling enterprise, there is no real contentment in human existence.

This is something I’ve been thinking about for awhile now. I’ve felt called to do more with my faith. To find better ways to incorporate it into my daily activities. This is exactly why I’m now sharing the Blessings Unlimited line. And I have to tell you, that the joy I feel when talking with people about faith-inspired products is amazing.

How does faith connect to happiness?

It’s intertwined. It’s integral to achieving true happiness. It enables us to walk through the rain, knowing God will help us emerge triumphant.

Now it’s your turn. How does faith connect to your happiness? Drop me a comment below, and let’s share our common grounds.

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