Psalm 143:8

Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul.
Psalm 143:8

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Just another day....

So, it's Wednesday.  Just another day.  The alarm clock rings...hit the snooze...the alarm clock rings...drag out of bed...start the day's routine...just another day.

Get up, get the kids off to school, some time with the Lord, some time to exercise, time to get ready for work, time to go to work....work....go home...do more stuff....just another day....

Ever feel that way?  That the days just drag into another.  Nothing too exciting.  Same old routine.  Roller coaster ride of ups and downs....frustrations, stresses, things that make you smile once in a while....

What about this?

This is the day the Lord has made;
let us rejoice and be glad in it.

Psalm 118:24


This is the day the Lord has made...this day. He made it. God set the sun to rise again. God has plans for you today. God is waiting for you today.  Did you wake up in a warm bed this morning?  Do you have family to surround you today?  Or friends?  Or both?  Do you have a job to go to?  Do you have a home to clean?  Do you have a car to get you where you need to go?  

Let us rejoice....even in the dull and dreary, rejoice.  Even in the routine, rejoice.  In the exciting things that happen, rejoice.  In the frustrating, sad, or grief stricken things that happen, rejoice.  This is the true test of faith...rejoicing in all things.  Giving thanks for what God has brought to your experience in this life.  Rejoice.  Praise our God who has made all things, who has given us grace and salvation, who loves us with no conditions.  Lift up your head, and rejoice.  Its NOT always easy...but do it anyway.  Just try...see how it might change your life.

and be glad in it.  JoyGod is the giver of all joy, overflowing joy...peace, hope, love, joy.  When we set aside our own ego, our "independence" and depend on a God who is greater than any evil in this world...there is joy - gladness.  No matter the circumstances, we can be joyful in this life.  Seems impossible some days?  Yes, I agree.  But focus on that grace.  The promise of a new life in Christ.  Eternally with Him.  And let the peace of that hope in Him fill you...and you will find joy.  

So....

 This is the day the Lord has made;
let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Psalm 118:24

 What will you rejoice over today?

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Journey into Joy - Coach in Training

Joy...sometimes it just grows...step by step...
....and sometimes you have to look back to see that growth....

In 2012, I took a class offered at our church on Christian Peer Coaching.  In this class we learned some of the basics about being a Christian Life Coach.  We each had a peer coach - whom we coached, and who also coached us.  It was an interesting process and I learned so much about myself.  My core values, where my life is balanced and where it is not, what some of my personal goals were and are, and ultimately, my life's vision and mission.  It was quite an eye opener!  You can read a little more about that HERE.

The next opportunity that came along was an invitation to apply to the Trinity Living Coach training.  I really didn't have to think too hard to make the decision to apply for this training.  God had already been pushing me in that direction...I remember when it was announced that this training would be happening...I felt a huge jump in my soul and a voice in my heart that said "Do this!" 

So three weeks ago, I started TLC training, making a commitment to serve as a Christian Life Coach for the next two years in a new ministry at my church.  As part of our training, we have to do a practicum - coaching two women for a total of four sessions in a four week period.  I have three women I will be coaching - two of whom I have already had first sessions with.

Here's where the joy comes in.  I went to my first session a little nervous, but excited to see where the Holy Spirit would lead us.  And I left elated!  And my second session with my second participant...oh the joy!  The joy of hearing the Lord speak and following Him.  The joy of knowing that I am doing His will.  The joy of understanding that He has set a path before me!  He gave me the confidence, the words to say, and I could feel His presence in those rooms with us.  I am so excited to see how He works in the lives of these women, and thrilled to be a participant in His work.

I look back over my life and I see so many things that lead to this moment in time.  The nudgings, the past decisions, the people who came into my life, the things that at the time didn't seem so great.  All leading to this moment of living my life vision and mission.  Thank you, dear Heavenly Father, for this opportunity to help others!  Joy certainly overflows!

Singing on Sunday - Third Day - I need a miracle



Cuz sometimes we just need a miracle...

"in your hour of desperation, know you're not the only one praying 
'Lord above, I need a miracle.'"

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Singing on Sunday - Hallelujah



Hallelujah by Cloverton - a Christmas remake.

I just can't stop listening to this song.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Journey into Joy

So....joy.  I am a few days into this new journey of choosing joy every day.  And well.....I have to say that I am already finding out that joy is, as usual, a little elusive some days.  But I am also finding that because it is my focus word for 2013, I purposely seek the joy in even the most frustrating days.  It's an intentional choice....and I am finding that it requires a little work on my part.  Let me share...

So, one day at work, I realized I was looking at a bit of a financial setback.  It was almost payday, and I was somewhat shocked to find my paycheck - though it included a raise - was less than what I expected.  In fact, less than what I had been getting before the raise.  What?  I got a little worked up, I have to admit.  A little cranky, a little whiny, a few tears....until something, or I should probably say Someone, reminded me of my One Word.  Oh....yeah.  Ok.  Stop.  Breathe.  Look for the joy.  Really?  There's joy in a smaller paycheck?  Not sure how that adds up...  So, another deep breath and then I looked at it calmly.  What changed?  Well, taxes changed.  Wait, it's not just the social security tax change...although that did make part of the difference.  But, I also had to change my status from "married" to "single", which makes a huge difference.  As I worked through what I needed to do with my W4 to keep my paycheck at least close to the same, I realized that this did NOT need to be a situation that stole my joy.

There are many things that can take our joy that seem to be beyond our control.  However, when you take a closer look at many situations, there are things you can do, and choices you can make that can turn it from a joy stealer to a joy maker.  When I calmly looked at my alternatives, I was able to come up with a way to "rescue" my paycheck, and take a closer look at my budget.  I have certain financial goals I want to meet, such as getting rid of debt and building up an emergency fund for myself and my children.  This was a golden opportunity for me to take a good look at those goals and the steps to take for reaching them. 

In the end, I did find joy in that moment.  I took some action, and not only that, but was reminded that God will provide.  I can't tell you how many times He has taken care of me and my family in the past, and I know that He will continue to do so.  Joy.  It's there! 


Saturday, January 12, 2013

Five Minute Friday - Dive

It's Five Minute Friday - the day to write for five minutes on a prompt put out there by Lisa Jo Baker  at tales from a Gypsy Mama.  

So here are the "rules" and my post:

 
So, set your timer, clear your head, for five minutes of free writing without worrying about getting it right.

1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community..


OK, are you ready? Please give me your best five minutes on:::

Dive…

:GO

I remember swimming lessons so many years ago....the second time I took them.  When I was 15.  And horrified that I was so much older than the other kids....but that's a different story.  One day at swimming lessons I was watching the other kids effortlessly diving off the diving board or the side of the pool.  Oh how I wanted that freedom, that beautiful coordination of bouncing off the edge of the diving board and folding over to slide gracefully into the water....  Yeah.  I wanted that...but was paralyzed by fear.

I remember standing on the edge of the pool.  Thinking "If I just do this slowly, step by step, I too can dive."  So curling my toes over the edge, I inhaled, exhaled, put my palms together and bent over the water....looking at it....looking at it...looking at it....frozen.  Nope.  Not gonna happen.  Nevermind I was already halfway there...nevermind all the other kids could do it so easily.  Nevermind.

My swimming instructor invited me to stay for the diving class right after my lesson.  I thought about it and said "ok."  I could do this.  I could.  I stayed and finally, I dove into the water.  I did it!  I did it!  And as my head broke the surface and I excitedly threw an arm in the air.....I realized my swimsuit top had come untied.  Yep. Fortunately I grabbed it before anyone else noticed, but as I got out of the pool I made my decision.  Never, ever again.  Never would I dive again.  That was it.  And you know what?  I never have.

And I wonder now....how many opportunities have I given up because of just that attitude.  First the paralyzing fear, then the fear of being embarrassed or exposed in some way.  Fear can hold us back.  Stop us from even trying.  I knew diving was possible.  I saw other kids do it.  Yet the fear made me certain I could not.  

God tells us over and over in His Word..."Do not fear."  Ever wonder why?  Perhaps it is better to remember in those moments of overwhelming, paralyzing fear the words "With God, all things are possible."  When we are too afraid to dive in, maybe that's an indication it's time to spend a little time in communion with God.  See if He can't show you a way to get over that fear....and maybe once you dive in...you will find you CAN do it!  And even if you are a little exposed somehow....maybe that's not even as bad as you thought it would be....maybe it's time to grow a little....stretch a little...dive... 

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

My One Word 2013

For a couple of years now, I have chosen one word to be the "theme" of my year.  I started this blog because of my one word TRUST.  Last year, my word was SHINE.  So moving forward to 2013...I just chose my word this week.  Yes, it's a week into the new year, but I had almost decided not to do it this year.  Then my friend, Jenny, came into my office the other day and asked me about my word for this year.  "Just curious," she said.  So, I told her I hadn't decided yet and would let her know soon.

I debated...
    ...and pondered...
           ...had an "aha!" moment or two...

                                                   Intentional?

Maybe.  It's how I want to live.  It's essential to the new road I am on involving Christian Life Coaching.  It's how to make decisions and how to live for Christ....hmmm....

Wait!

                                                             Boldly!

Yes!  It's how I want to be...bold not timid.  Thoughtful, yet quick to act.  Boldly standing up for right, boldly proclaiming God's Word like Paul and Silas.  hmmmm...

And as I pondered those two words, I read a post on facebook by a friend.  A post where she included the verse that God showed me is the theme for my life vision and mission, my coaching future...Romans 15:13.

Romans 15:13

Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)
13 Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you believe in Him so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

And there it is...right there.  Joy.  This year I will focus on joy.  I want that peace that comes from believing in Him.  The joy...the overflowing joy.  I choose joy!  In any circumstance.  In every day.  In every moment.  I live because of my Savior...how can I not be filled with joy?  And so, I will choose joy this year...in every moment, in every circumstance.  And I will share with you how that affects my everyday life...the ups, the downs, the good, the bad, the ugly, the beautiful.

And now, may the God of hope fill YOU with all joy...have a glorious day!

 ***Thank you to Melanie at http://www.onlyabreath.com/ for my One Word button!  Isn't it lovely??!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Singing on Sunday



Laura Story - "Blessings"

"All the while, You hear each spoken need, yet love us way too much to give us lesser things....."

 http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/laurastory/blessings.html

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Five Minute Friday - on Saturday: Opportunity

Five Minute Fridays are back at Lisa-Jo Bakers blog
Here are the rules:

Writing regularly and for even five minutes stolen here and there during early mornings or late evenings or during nap times and any fringe moments one can carve out can be free therapy for any writer’s soul.
So, let’s do this thing. Let’s write.
Set your timer, clear your head, for five minutes of free writing without worrying about getting it right.

1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community..



OK, are you ready? Please give us your best five minutes on:::

Opportunity…

GO

So, because I sometimes like to know the actual definition of a word I have used and heard all my life....I looked up "opportunity" in the dictionary.  Here is what I found:

Definition of OPPORTUNITY

1
: a favorable juncture of circumstances <the halt provided an opportunity for rest and refreshment>
2
: a good chance for advancement or progress 
So, as a Christian how do these definitions apply to my life?  Well, let's take five and ponder this...
"A favorable juncture of circumstances"....that could be all sorts of things that God has offered in His grace and love.  Let's take a look at the life of Jesus.  The Holy Son of our heavenly Father....came to earth to be born as a poor, vulnerable human infant.  We just celebrated that birth, a birthday that 2000 years later is still celebrated with beautiful, reverent, candlelit services and softly sung hymns.  Jesus grew up learning the trade of a carpenter, sandals full of dirt, journeys taken on foot for many miles and many days.  When He started His ministry here on this earth, He was reviled, made fun of, chased out of towns, spat upon, beaten and ultimately crucified in a death that could be described as nothing more or less than inhumane torture.  

A favorable juncture of circumstances?  Perhaps not.  Or perhaps, by a heavenly standard....very much so. The circumstances of Jesus life all led to that moment of His death and following resurrection.  His cry of "forgive them Father" wasn't only for those Roman soldiers and the bloodthirsty crowd that cried out for his death....but for every human being before and after that very moment that His eyes closed and He breathed His last.  That moment that Mary and the other women realized that what the angel at the tomb told them,“Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified.  He is not here; he has risen, just as he said."  was true...that Jesus was no longer dead, but truly, gloriously, powerfully alive isn't a moment reserved for just those women...but for all of us as well.  

What Jesus did here on earth, through His life, through His model of a pure and holy God-loving and God-fearing existence, through His sacrifice on the cross was a favorable juncture of circumstances to provide an opportunity FOR US.  An opportunity to live.  An opportunity to learn.  An opportunity to give.  An opportunity to show the world what it means to love, to share, to teach, to hold each other accountable, to give thanks for the daily life that we have...no matter what the circumstances.  An opportunity to love our God and live in gratitude for what He offers....opportunity....

STOP
I must admit that I kept going when my timer beeped...but this was surely an opportunity to make progress in my walk with my Lord....  :)
Hope you have a blessed day, full of opportunity... 





 

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Moving forward in trust and hope and joy - 2013

2012 was the year that I looked change in the face....and survived it!  2012 was the year I found my life's vision and mission.  2012 was the year I learned that small, steady steps in faith and trust can lead you to a giant, overwhelming goal that seemed impossible at the start. 

My "One Word" for 2012 was shine....I'm not entirely sure how I lived up to that word...but I know with certainty that God shined over my life in so many ways in 2012.  He led me down paths of change, showed me how to let go of fear, taught me to take baby steps in excellence, and showed me His purpose for my life.

I took a Christian peer coaching class in 2012...and learned more about myself than I imagined possible.  I found strength, hope, and joy.  I clarified my values as a Christian woman:  faith, joy, love.   I found the vision I am to follow.  Let me share it with you:

I envision a world where others are encouraged in their walk with Christ through an understanding that by trusting in God their lives can be adventurous, full of possibilities and opportunities, abundant, hopeful and joyful in ANY circumstance.

And my mission in this vision:
To encourage others in their walk with Christ through my writing, teaching, coaching,  and role-modeling what it looks like to live an abundant and joyful life through trusting God. 

You might ask at this point, what will that look like?  Well, I am going to take a training course in Christian Life Coaching that starts this month.  I am going to commit to writing regularly on this blog, sharing God's Word.  I am going to do my best to live a life of excellence in Christ and share what that looks like.  I have long had an urging to write a devotional series...and so I am committed to studying the book of James this year and writing a series of devotionals based on my study. That's the start...where those things may take me?  I am not entirely sure...but God knows, and I will trust His leading...

And this verse will be the basis of all I do:

Romans 15:13

New International Version (NIV)
13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

I wish this joy and peace for all of you in 2013...and ever forward!  Grace and peace and joy to you!