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Posts Tagged ‘faith’

Joy is…

I came across a quote the other day that stuck with me, and I’ve been thinking about it ever since.

Do you ever have that happen? Read something that you just can’t stop thinking about? I’ve been trying to figure out how to write a post around it, and I finally decided that it’s so good by itself, I just want to share it with you as a great way to start our week.

Joy is the sunshine that brings our God-given, unique personalities to life. Without this light, everything feels flat and muted.
~Bonnie Gray, Faith Barista

I love it! It’s so true.

How do you define joy? Why not tell us by leaving a comment below that completes the sentence:

Joy is…

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FaithBarista_FreshJamBadgeG

Bonnie Gray over at Faith Barista (cool name, right?) has started this nifty new feature called Faith Barrista JAM | Keep Faith Fresh. Here’s how it works: She throws out a topic about faith, and we all write a post and link it up on her site. Sounds like fun, yeah?

Today’s topic: How does your faith affect your personality?

It’s interesting that this was her topic for this jam. I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. And I wonder how people who don’t have faith deal with everything life throws at them.

How do you deal with stress? Pain? Injustice? Loss? Grief? Without someone to turn it over to? Without hope? Without faith that all will work out? Even if it’s not the way we think it will be.

Facing Crisis

For me, faith is an integral part of my life. It’s something I’ve always had. My parents are Christians, and I was raised in a Baptist Church. God has always been there. He’s always been part of my life. When I was paralyzed in fifth grade with a rare condition, it was God I turned to, my parents turned to, and prayer from my church, friends and family that the doctors said healed me. The Easter Seals child for that year, had the same condition and he’ll never be able to walk again. And yet, here I am, nearly 30 years later healed and well.

When I face everyday challenges, it’s my faith that all will work out the way it’s supposed to – even if it’s frustrating, irritating, heartbreaking and painful along the way – that keeps me going.

Core Values

We recently had this organizational exercise 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. Another key value. I can cope with anything through humor. Humor and, yes, I’ll say it again, faith. 😉

So, how does faith affect my personality? It’s the core of my very being. It’s who I am, what I believe in, how I face challenges and how I want to live my life. In faith. That’s not to say I don’t struggle with it sometimes or that I’m always Miss Happy. But, when I dig down deep inside me, it’s there. I just have to call on Him.

But since we belong to the day, let us be self-controlled, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet. ~1 Thessalonians 5:8 (NIV)

Discovering Our Common Grounds

How does your faith affect your personality? Drop me a comment and let me know your story. And stop on by Faith Barista to let her know as well.

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Wordless Wednesday

Image by: Heart & Soul Reflections

One thing I ask of the LORD,

this is what I seek:

that I may dwell in the house of the LORD

all the days of my life,

to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD

and to seek him in his temple.

~Psalm 24:7 (NIV)

Have a a beautiful day!

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I read a post from my blogging friend at …a place for thoughts that got me thinkin’. She said:

…there are so many people and surroundings that have made me what I am today. Because every situation and person that has been a part of my life has provided me with something. Whether that something was a positive or negative; it shaped me. I think of the ways that I have shaped others. There are moments I can be proud of and others I’d change if I could. But then if those moments didn’t happen the way they did; today wouldn’t be the today that it is. For either party.

I’ve often thought the same thing. Even though there are several things I think I’d do differently if I had the chance, the truth is if I did them differently I would be a different person. For example, I may have never met one of my best friends, Jennifer. I may have never met my husband, which means I’d have never had my son. And the list goes on. And, while I definitely have my faults, I kinda like me – and my life – the way it is! 😉

Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.  ~Proverbs 19:21 (NIV)

Somehow I think that while we often try to control the course of our lives, God leads us down the paths we were meant to travel to achieve his will. This may have us wondering, “Who am I? How did I get here?” We just have to walk in faith.

What about you? Would you change anything about your life if you could go back in time? What would it be? How would it impact your current situation? Leave me a comment and let me know.

Image by: Heart & Soul Reflections

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Be inspired. Be connected. Be blessed.

Do you ever wish you could change anything in your life? Do you ever think: If only I had this, I’d be happy. If only things were a different way, I’d be truly content.

If only.

I’ve been thinking – and praying – about that a lot lately, and wondering: How to change the things that aren’t working in my life, leave the things that are working alone and find a balance between the two? Sounds like a tall order, right? It probably is, but I’m excited about the path God’s leading me down to get there. 😉

For quite awhile now, I’ve been struggling with better incorporating faith into my daily life. It seems there’s little time during the week to truly devote to it. See if this sounds familiar:

  • Up at 5 a.m. Get ready. Get the munchkin up, dressed, teeth brushed, quick snack (no time for a full breakfast).
  • Rush him out the door to drop off at before-care by 6:15 a.m.
  • Drive the 40 minutes to work, and run from meeting to meeting, write in between, grab a quick bite to eat (usually while still working).
  • Head home fighting rush-hour traffic to arrive at after-care around 5 p.m.
  • Home to help with homework for the next 20 minutes.
  • Fix a quick snack, then start dinner.
  • Hubby arrives home around 6 p.m., we eat and then bath, reading & bed by 9 p.m.

So….where’s faith fit in?

As Christians, we try to focus on the positives at work – even when faced with those struggles God puts in our paths to challenge us. Humor is huge for me, but I still struggle with feeling that I’m not really working to serve God’s will. Is this what he has planned for me? If I really listened to him, is this what he’d have me be doing with my time? My life?

I’m not sure. I just feel I’m being called to do more.

“For I know the plans that I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.” ~Jeremiah 29:11 (NAS)

Enter: Blessings Unlimited®

Several of my favorite blogs feature ads on their sites, and I found myself continually drawn to all the DaySpring® products. Too bad there isn’t something I can do with those, I thought. And then I saw it. Blessings Unlimited.

What’s this? I clicked on the link and was taken to their website, where I read more.

Blessings Unlimited® offers a unique blend of business and ministry with exclusive home décor items and gifts created to encourage hearts, build relationships, and bring beauty to the place where you live. We provide a unique shopping experience and a business opportunity which provides the freedom and flexibility to spend time on what is most important to you.

Okay…now I’m intrigued. I totally need to check out the catalog. Wow! Love. It. Check out these products! They’re faith-based, inspirational and beautiful! I can just picture them sprinkled throughout my home. Can’t you?

That sense of welcome, of warmth, of faith to all who enter. It’s perfect. And, it was founded by DaySpring. No wonder I like the products! So, I emailed for more information.

And I met Julie. I’m convinced she’s a kindred spirit. Our conversation ping-ponged back and forth via email. She answered all my questions, encouraged me and made me smile. After much prayer about moving in this direction, I truly felt God was urging me to take that first step in faith. And I did.

Sign me up!

You are now looking at a new independent consultant for Blessings Unlimited. I’m so excited. I truly believe that God led me to this company, to these people, to these products, to this opportunity to share my faith through these beautiful, inspiring products.

So, my friends and family: Be prepared to be cajoled into attending one of my Announcement Gatherings within the next two weeks. Are ya ready? I am. And I can’t wait to find our Common Grounds, Blessings Unlimited and contentment through this exciting new endeavor.

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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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Image by: S Baker

The other morning as I drove to work, I was marveling at the beauty of the world around me. The sun was rising, and it cast amazing hues of bright pink, rich purple, burnt orange and soft yellow on the clouds in the pale blue-gray sky.

As I continued on my way, I drove by several ponds, streams and winding creeks, all with thick layers of steam rising from the crisp, clean water. The birds seemed to be out in droves, all chirping and flitting around as if they hadn’t a care in the world.

And it occurred to me. Our Maker has sprinkled magic all around us. It’s in the cry of a newborn babe, the laugh of a child, the promise of first love, the wonder of marriage and the wisdom of old age. It’s in the air, the sky, the ground and the sea. It’s all around us, if we’d just open our eyes to the wonder of it…and pay attention.

Half the time I find myself driving to work on autopilot, taking for granted a shared smile with my spouse, a laugh with my son, a knowing look from my parents. And, yet, when we actually take the time to realize the true beauty of the world around us it’s nothing short of awesome.

So…as you’re out and about this weekend, remember to take a look at how God remembers to sprinkle in a touch of magic for us in this world before we join Him in His.

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