It seems to me that most of us like things clean & shiny more than we like the work & effort that goes into making something shiny & clean. Yesterday, my kids & I cleaned out some of our garage. Needless to say, I found lots of undesirable junk (half eaten otter pops, sticks that were used as swords, an ancient waffle iron, wood planks, etc). After lots of sweeping, washing, moving, organizing, etc, part of our garage is not longer a hazardous waste dump 🙂
Sometimes, I think we need to do the deep cleaning work in our thinking, values, time usage & relationships. Life gets filled with clutter over the course of time & it’s tremendously helpful to declutter our lives from time to time so that we manage our time, money & energies to reinforce our central & timeless priorities – shiny clean 🙂
In my travels around the world, I’ve eaten some very creative things. I found out quickly that it was easier to eat what was placed in front of me, if I ate first & asked questions laters. Coaching the mental game for some of the things I’ve eaten was tricky, to put it mildly. Again, eat first & ask questions later. For those of you with allergies, you totally get a “pass” on this one!!!
However, there’s a saying that if you have to eat a frog, stop staring & start swallowing (or something like that). Long story short, when we have difficult tasks in front of us, the longer we wait & procrastinate with these tasks the worse it gets. Eat the frog, do the work & move on.
I spared you the Japanese live frog sashimi – you can thank me later,)
Whenever I go snowboarding, I’ve learned to check the weather forecast so I can be appropriately dressed. If it’s snowing, it helps to wear water repellant gear. If it’s cloudy, I try to remember to bring my flat light goggles. While you may find this to be boring, the principle remains that we need to prepare in advance for things that we know could be challenging or difficult. Sometimes if we know that we’re going to be in some tricky family situations (with Christmas around the corner), it helps to do some mental coaching ahead of time about the things we should or should not discuss. It helps to coach ourselves about our attitudes and some of our thinking so that when we get in some potential hotspots, we have done some preparation work ahead of time to help us with our words, actions and attitudes. Gear up my friends, in constructive ways, there could be some hotspots on the horizon in the next few weeks 🙂
Recently, I was doing some volunteer work on a house of a flood victim from the horrific flooding that happened last month here in Colorado. My specific assignment was to remove the carpet tack strips in the house that had been ruined from the water that had flooded the house. I’ve never had any carpet tack experience so I just plopped on the floor with the metal wedge tool and tried to pry up the strips that were nailed to the floor. I quickly found out that those little strips were extremely hard to get up & I just settled in my mind that this task was going to take a lot of time and work. After about 30min of work & having only made about 18 inches of progress, an experienced construction guy came along & encouraged me to use a hammer with the metal wedge. I asked if that would make the task easier & go more quickly to which he heartily replied, “YES!!!!” So I grabbed a hammer, watched him for a few seconds, learned the technique & voila!!! I was removing the carpet tack strips much FASTER!! The hammer was a force multiplier!!
In our lives, we need lots of force multipliers to help our work be not only efficient but also highly EFFECTIVE! Based on what the Bible says, wisdom is our force multiplier and through requesting & working with wisdom our lives can be suprenaturally effective. Let’s frequently ask God to give us wisdom J
This has been a fairly crazy year for me with travel, particularly during the 1st half of the year. As a result, it has come to my attention that I’ve put on a few pounds (did you like how I suddenly got formal? smile). Thankfully, no one has made any overtly rude comments or observations, but I can most definitely tell a difference with my clothes. So I’m getting my rear in gear to see what great things can happen from endeavoring to get back into shape 🙂
In order to be more fit, to be stronger & more healthy, I have to put some work into these areas – a truth that can apply to every area in our lives. Discipline, effort, work & committment can have some very glorious results in our lives, particularly when we join with God’s grace & power working in our lives. Without some effort & engagement I can quickly get flabby – just a little food for thought ,)
As I write this, it’s about 8:15am & I’ve already had a million things that I need to accomplish running through my mind & I’m hoping I don’t forget any of them. Even though I try to do all of the helpful reminders, checklists, etc, the forgetting part can make everything double stressful. So where does God fit into this scheme?
The answer is: wisdom. In Prov 8:30, it talks about how wisdom was right along side God as God created the world, taking delight in God’s creation. It seems to me that creating the entire universe could be a rather stressful task, but maybe this wasn’t stressful because God is God & wisdom is with God.
So friends, let’s ask God for wisdom to be with us throughout each day & in all of the things that we have to accomplish & with our various responsiblities. To get things done, let’s ask & receive wisdom from God 🙂
In my mind, working hard & believing strong are an essential winning combination. I have some friends who are hard workers but kind of weak believers & it seems like they just can’t get a break & have some results that exceed their hard work. On the flip side, I have some friends who are strong believers but lame workers – they can be ethereal but impractical. The worst arrangement is when a person is a weak believer & a lame worker – that’s lethal! So my friend lets cheer for each other to be strong believers & hard workers!! 🙂
When I was growing up, we used the Big Chief red note pads to learn how to write. I still remember that dingy paper & the giant lines in which I was supposed to keep my writing (good luck). When I started using the regular white lined paper, I remember thinking that it seemed like they wasted alot of space on the sides because the Big Chief paper didn’t have the red line on the left – margin. As I continued to refine my writing skills, I started writing smaller & smaller so that I could get more stuff on the page – at one point, my teacher probably needed a microscope to read my writing.
So here are some thoughts on space & time:
margins create clarity – when we try to squeeze everything into a small space or time, everything can get blurry and confusing really fast
while we are designed to be productive and to achieve things, it’s important to maintain balance between workload and breathing room
Well friends, I’m back from Angola with Saving Moses & life continues to maintain its seemingly hectic pace. Do you ever feel like there’s more work than time or energy? It seems to me that often when I return from int’l trips that I have lots to catch up on & this return home seems no different than any others: using a snorkle to keep swimming until I can come up for air. But here’s something that is really encouraging to me today as I try to catch up from last week’s travels: keeping my focus on Jesus helps me to not get overwhelmed with all of the things I need to get done.
As I was praying this morning, I just was encouraged to remember that Jesus already knew about everything that I need to get done with the limited quantity of time that I have. With this in mind, I receive great strength knowing that if I keep my eyes on Jesus, He will help me. It’s when I get my focus off of Jesus & onto the Mount Everest size work in front of me when I seem to get discouraged. So, let’s keep our eyes on Jesus & keep swimming ,)
There are lots of things that I want. I want to: be effective with saving moses, be smart, be healthy, to know God, be a good mom, be a good wife, be strong & compassionate, . . . . . I want alot of things & here’s an important secret to getting what we want: In order to get what we want, we will often need to do what we don’t always like.
I’m reminded of this principle today as I was reading an organizational structure & business book. As I was reading the book, I found myself thinking, “This is why I didn’t major in business at school.” Neverthless, to help saving Moses be all that God has designed it to be, I have to grow in some areas that don’t really excite me. In order to be a good mom, I have to continually improve my communication skills, especially with listening. In order to be a good wife, I need to get better at home improvement projects both big & little. I genuinely believe that God has designed us to some really cool stuff & it seems to me that seeing these cool things become a reality will require our cooperation, even when we may not like the process 🙂