a quick secret to stay happy :)

When I woke up my son today to get ready for school, he wasn’t happy by a long shot. ¬†He was cranky & grumpy and unfortunately, by the time he got in the car, he was still in the doldrums – a very yucky way to start off on a Monday morning ūüė¶

We all have times, seasons, days and moments when we are grumpy & here’s a potential quick fix: ¬†be thankful. ¬†Rather than looking at the grumpy stuff (back to school, bills, tired, physical pain, hardship, emotional stressors, relationship difficulties, job / school challenges . . . . ), take some moments to be thankful.

Thank God:

  • that the sun came up this morning
  • for the oxygen that we breath
  • that God’s love is vast yet personal
  • that God is both faithful and good
  • for a nice blog to give you this helpful reminder ,)

a secret for transformation

Seems like all of us want to grow & improve in at least a few ways. ¬†We want to be more skinny or more muscular. ¬†We want to be smarter, more athletic, less impatient, . . . . . . ¬†All of us have things in our lives that we want to improve. ¬†If there was a magic wand that we could wave to make the wanted improvement appear, we’d go to great lengths to get that wand & ultimately the improvement that we want. ¬†But alas, there is no magic wand.

But here’s the golden ticket for the improvements that we want: ¬†routine. ¬†Yep, the nitty, gritty and daily incremental efforts that we can integrate into our daily routines can produce life changing transformation. ¬†Diets, fads, trends, cool & swanky techniques and mental gyrations often lack the power to improve that comes from just the daily, small decisions that we incorporate into routine living: ¬†

  • A deeper walk with God: ¬†plan to go to bed 30min earlier everyday for two weeks, so you can get up 15min early to read your Bible & pray – spend some time training your body & soul to make spiritual investments
  • being more healthy: ¬†chose to decrease or eliminate a cup of coffee (gasp), the afternoon treat, the evening snack for two weeks; ¬†
  • physical fitness: ¬†chose to walk more (rather than the drive for that close errand, park in less conveninet places that require more walking, take a walk in the evening rather than watch the 30min of TV that turns into 2hours, . . . .)
  • be smarter: ¬†reading is a great path to help us with the smart stuff; ¬†consider joining a book club, get a library card – check out a book; ¬†read something that you don’t agree with or isn’t in the normal interest list (broaden your horizon)

Small but steady changes often create the sustained improvements that can seem elusive. ¬†You can do it!! ūüôā

What is your purpose?

This question gets asked, I think, by every human on the planet at various times & for various reasons. Or the quick version, “why am I here?”
Clearly, this is an important question, but not at the expense of our daily living. Everyday we should be kind, generous, encouraging, gentle, use our time wisely, look for ways to bless & add value . . . . .
All of these things are important ingredients for our purpose everyday & knowing God’s call / purpose for our lives in a broader context is sometimes simply answered by keeping our feet on the ground today with these constructive decisions. You are important. You are wise & you are kind ūüôā

enjoying now

Do you ever get frustrated with yourself?

I recently returned from leading our first team trip for Saving Moses and it’s been a little tricky ¬†getting back in the groove. ¬†A few things that I’m presently working through include the regular jet lag sleep challenges, the normal digestion excitement and catching up on missed sleep. ¬†Additionally, I’m trying to process some of my experiences and this has proven to be rather difficult.

When I get in these kinds of mindsets, I often get impatient with myself and frustrated that I can’t seem to get back to my regular groove, which only makes things more frustrating & difficult. ¬†Thankfully, God had a nice chat with me this morning and reminded me of a few helpful things:

  • temporary – life can change is big & dramatic ways, but more often, our current situations are temporary & are changing incrementally, even when we don’t know it
  • be gentle – I can often be harsh & impatient with myself, which often makes things worse; ¬†when I’m gentle, gracious and forgiving with myself, I seem to adapt and grow more easily
  • now – ¬†being present today, in Denver, Colorado with my kids, husband & church family is¬†very good

decisions that empower

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All of us make decisions every day and as adults we get to manage the consequences of these decisions. ¬†If you want to get the best mileage or results from your decisions, consider making these “power choices”:

  • hope rather than despair
  • focus more than distracted
  • grace over scorn
  • forgiveness rather than revenge
  • love more than apathy
  • gratitude over complaining
  • honor more than insolence
  • compliments more than sarcasm
  • respect more than ridicule
  • compassion more than callous

Wise decisions create wise results ūüôā

what looks like failure

I hate the word “fail” – it almost makes me have a visceral gagging reaction, borderline puking. ¬†Thankfully, if I take a minute to pause, evaluate and collect myself, I don’t puke. ¬†But if I’m not careful, I can easily throw things into the “failure” column and in a nanosecond find myself back to mental wrestling mat, almost down for the count. ¬†As God & I were talking about this whole failure thing this morning, I was reminded about how Jesus looked hanging on the cross, beat to a bloody pulp and possibly personifying the ultimate failure. ¬†He was betrayed¬†by his friends, completely helpless, physcially obliterated and even yelling at God, “Why have You forsaken Me?!??”

Hanging on the cross, Jesus looked more like a failure than anything I’ve ever experienced & yet from God’s perspective, perhaps Jesus had never been more successful in His earthly existence, up to that point. ¬†Let’s be careful that we don’t frame failure in the context of defeat, permanent or hopeless. ¬†Jesus rose from the dead and living in our hearts, we have resurrection potential every day.

Be sure to pass this along to anyone you know who is struggling with seeming defeat or failure ūüôā

sometimes my kids don’t like me

This Summer, I’m¬†undertaken the adventure with my children of training¬†their weekly domestic organization skills, translation: ¬†house cleaning. ¬†To make progress on this adventure, I’ve organized some checklists so that it will be clear to the responsible individual when they’ve adequately completed their assignments. ¬†Needless to say, the checklists aren’t popular & sometimes, they don’t even like the domestic organization adventure, imagine that ,)

All of that is to say that I guess it’s not really that strange on occasion that we may not like some of the things that God does. ¬†At bare minimum, Hebrews 12 tells us that God disciplines us because God loves us. ¬†Discipline, correction and training aren’t always pleasant but most of the time, we like the outcomes, just not the process. ¬†So let’s stay in love with Jesus, keeping walking with Him through various processes, training and development. ¬†For me, staying in love with Jesus helps make everything better, even training my kids through the exciting domestic organization adventure ūüôā