They've gone from preachin' to meddlin' now! ;-D And I like to be right. :-/ <sigh> Yep, this one is a toe-stepper for me, I'm afraid.
And honestly, who likes to be wrong? We all like to be right, but it takes maturity and humility to admit when we're wrong and allow ourselves to learn from others.
It really is ok to be wrong, and folks will (mostly) respect us more when we can say it and step aside for someone else to be right. <sigh> ugh.
Suck it up (she says to herself) and humble yourself. After all, our model is the one who humbled himself to the point of death on the cross. If he can go that far, we can at the very least admit when we need to learn from someone else and step aside from time to time.
Ok, here goes...
Change my heart, O God! May I be (more) like you. Please Lord, may it be so.
April 7: A Jesus Mantra - inhale while saying "Lord Jesus Christ" and exhale saying "be in me today." Make it your mantra.
We are our own worst critic, aren't we? We're hard on ourselves and expect a lot of others when we set up expectations for ourselves and others that are either unrealistic or overly enthusiastic.
Take a breath and let it go.
Take life one step at a time.
Smile when you didn't make the goal and try again.
It's ok to experiment with life and life goals. They're only something to shoot for after all. You don't have to make it every time.
And the goals we set for others? Those are still *our* goals, not theirs. Their behavior isn't our responsibility, so breathe. Smile. :-)
It really is ok if someone does something you didn't expect or desire. Work around it. Those are the things that make life interesting. If everyone did what we expected, we'd soon grow bored anyway. :-)
It really is ok if you don't make it the first time, or the second. Keep trying and smile. :-)
God likes us just the way we are, and if we're good enough for God, we should be good enough for ourselves, right? <whew!> :-)
We humans aren't mind-readers, though many of us think our spouses should be. ;-)
We need to make known what we need (not selfish desires, mind you) so others know and aren't left guessing. In this way we are made whole, and can turn and serve others.
And in making our needs known to God, we humble ourselves before the One who created us, acknowledging our dependence on God for life itself.
Sometimes, we get busy and forget to eat well or drink enough water or exercise or relax or feed our brains or tell ourselves we're beloved children of God. In the midst of all the forgiveness and compliments and letting go and smiles (even though these are healthy (dopamines, baby!), sometimes, we forget to take care of ourselves.
Get that physical or mammogram or colonoscopy, forgive yourself, smile at yourself in the mirror and remind yourself that you're loved, you're God's, and you're pretty cool! :-) Go for a walk and check out all the flowers and buds and greening going on...and smile!
You're a beloved child of God and God needs you and wants you to be healthy and whole.
They'll think you're up to something! :-D
And maybe you are! God's work for God's people.
Folks are really just trying to be the best folks they can most days, but some days, it just doesn't work for us. Maybe all we need is a cheerleader, and pick-me-up, someone to remind us that we're not defined by our mistakes or foibles or even our outward appearance.
And besides that, God made us! There's something great about that alone, right? There's lots of reasons to focus on someone's positive points, but that one's a biggie. And focusing on the positive aspects of someone's life keeps us from looking for the negative, right?
So go ahead, tell somebody...everybody:
"Nice smile!" :-)
"Great job!" :-)
"Thanks for just being you!" :-)
"I really appreciate how you persevere through it all!" :-)
"Ya know, you're pretty cool!" :-) ;-)
Smile! :-) You're spreading a little cheer today! :-) And thanks! You're a beloved child of God, and I think you're pretty cool too! :-)
Why is it so hard to let go of the negative and focus on the positive? We're comfortable with our negative feelings. They're natural after all. But they're not all we are. Once we've experienced the disappointment and wrestled with it for a time, we need to let go of it, so it doesn't become our focus, our way of being.
Try exchanging it for a smile. Notice the birds, the flowers springing up, the sun (when it's shining), people who need us. Smile because you can. Smile because God has done marvelously incredible things. If that's not a cause for joy...
We will always be disappointed - in people, in situations...but there are things so much bigger than that, reasons to be joyful. Joy is a choice we can make instead of disappointment (or anger for that matter).
Joy brings happiness in time and a change of perspective. Choose joy! :-)
No better way to renew a relationship than with quality time spent together.
Spend some time with God.
Spend some time in prayer.
Read God's word.
Enjoy God's creation.
Spend some intentional time being with God.
April 2: Make Psalm 42:1 your mantra today: "As a deer longs for flowing streams, so my soul longs for you, O God."
On facebook, I post these practices with a purple background to call them out as a Lenten practice. The purple background was missing from among the choices today, so I almost chose a green one with a bunch of cacti on it. It seems appropriate for the mantra.
My soul is parched without you, O God.
My soul yearns for God's presence, and when I forget to include God in my day, in my living, I am like the parched desert. I am dry, withered, unable to sustain life well.
I search for you, I long for you, I yearn for you like the deer searches for flowing streams. I yearn for you with the desire of a dry and thirsty land for water, as a parched deer, as a dry soul.
God is like the flowing stream bursting forth from the desert (this Sun's OT lection), watering the dry ground yearning for drink! Life bursts forth when God waters the desert! My soul yearns for this life!
You quench my thirst, O God. You fill me with life.
As a deer longs for flowing streams...As a deer longs for flowing streams...As a deer longs for flowing streams...
...so my soul longs for you, O God. ...so my soul longs for you, O God. My soul longs for you, O God. My soul longs for you.
Give me some of this living water... Quench the thirst of my very soul as a deer longs for flowing streams.
As a deer longs for flowing streams, so my soul longs for you, O God.
Forgiveness is a learned skill, I think. It doesn't really come naturally, but happens more easily when practiced often.
Practicing forgiveness allows us to maintain relationships, yes, but it also allows us to keep our health. When we hang on to past grudges we keep our hearts and minds focused on negative thoughts which become negative actions. Our blood pressure increases, our hearts pound harder, our creativity declines...just not a healthy combination.
Holding on to our anger just makes us miserable people. No one desires to be in a relationship with miserable people...unless it's more miserable people. Ugh. That just sounds miserable! ;-)
And all this must put a strain on our relationship with God. Ask God for help to forgive, and hand over your anger to God. When we let go, our load is much lighter, and God's certainly big enough to take it!
Dear God, help me forgive others as well as myself. Take from me the anger that consumes me, and restore our relationship, and my relationship with others. Heal my heart and forgive me for holding on to those things which create enmity and pain and keeps me in a negative holding pattern. Change my heart, O God. Make me (more) like you.
I'm a wife, mom, pastor, human...probably not in that order. I struggle each day to be faithful to God, to my family and to my call as a Christian and all of those previously-mentioned roles. I pray to be positive, kind and thoughtful, but tend to fall short on all counts. I am inspired by sunrises and enjoy taking pictures (mostly my kids, deer in the yard and sunrises). I waste time playing stupid computer games and wishing I'd been better at all of the aforementioned roles. ;-)