Change

Today the news was pelted with another story about a shooting at a high school.  As I listened to the news I was driving between the grocery store and home.  I noticed that I drove past 4 schools, 1 high school, 1 middle school and 2 elementary schools.  I imagined all of the children nestled in their classrooms.  Earlier in the day parents rushed through their Monday routine to get their week off to a great start.

As the parents said good-bye to their children I am sure they all envisioned the safety of classrooms, classmates and faculty.  How could a world like this be shattered with senseless violence?  I cannot imagine the agony of everyone involved in such a senseless act. 

Our future is swaying in the balance right now.  Our children deserve a childhood filled with love and laughter.  Safety should not be a preoccupation for their active minds.  We have to be a better society.  Have electronics separated us from our children?  Do you know what your kids are thinking?  feeling?  Who are their friends?  If they are hurting inside, would you know?  Would you know what to do?

I want to strongly encourage all of us to reach out to ALL of the young people around us.  They need us.  Children need role models.  Children need love.  Children need the safety to blossom and grow.  Please take a moment and think about the young minds you encounter.  We can all make a difference…reach out.

Children are a blessing from God.  They are our future.  We can do this.

Valentines Day Everyday?

Last week we celebrated Valentines Day.  The day when we exchange cards, sweets, flowers and messages of love and devotion.  Wouldn’t it be interesting to celebrate the attribute of love everyday? 

Isn’t this what we are called to do? 

It goes beyond the romantic love we read about in novels and greeting cards.  There is the love of family, the love of friends and so many other channels of love.

Christianity calls us to love our neighbors as we love ourselves.  Now, there’s a challenge. 

How would the world change if we behaved with this Golden Rule in mind? 

I am still working on my resolutions for 2012 and they are going well however I am going to add one, celebrate love every day.  It surrounds us if we will simply look for it.  It can be found in the smile from a family member or the kind gesture from a friend.  If you look at life through the eyes of love the world becomes a warmer and beautiful place.  Sounds like an oasis, doesn’t it?  It can be our reality with a change of perspective.

I am grateful for the gift of LOVE!

Happy Valentines Day.

Welcome 2012

A New Year has blessed us. 

It is an opportunity to reset and begin again.  Very similar to asking for redemption from our sins.  I reset when I pray.  I ask for guidance, direction and most of all forgiveness.  This reminds me of starting a New Year. 

What can I do better in the coming year?  What do I need forgiveness for?  Who do I need to forgive?

Do I have clear guidance on the goals for the year?  Have I given them enough thought?  How will I track my progress?

Have I established a clear vision for the year and beyond?

I love these questions and have spent a lot of time thinking about them.  Now is the time to ensure I have my plan in place.  At the top of my list is my daily time in prayer and conversation with God.  I am FULLY confident that if I can consistently start my day in prayer and conversation with God my days will go the direction they need to and my plan will be fulfilled.

This will foster peace and prosperity in my life and in those around me.  It is my life’s mission to listen and serve.

Welcome 2012….here I am.

 

Who do you need to Pray for?

How do we deal with challenges and hurts?  Have you ever prayed for someone who has “wronged” you?  I tried this recently and the immediate sensation was that of relief…..what a welcome change to the contempt I was feeling…warning, this didn’t last long.  Unfortunately, another negative encounter took place and my old friend anger was back….so I was back at it – praying for this person.  I have learned that this sense of relief and serenity is going to take patience and time.  I have decided to continue praying and am looking forward to the growth and final outcome. 

We are all human and bound to find conflict from time to time.  I will continue to pray and give it up.  I am grateful for the God’s grace and have complete faith that God will take care of all things…..myself included.

Wishing you Grace and Gratitude…..Have a great day!

Ode to Oprah

Were you like me? Did you catch the last episode of Oprah and reach for kleenex? How do you take 25 years of learning and put it in to a 40 minute program? Here is a woman who has interviewed some of the most interesting, dynamic and memorable people on earth.
But then……
She gave us her points of wisdom. We all want to feel validated. We all want to be heard. We all want that common bond of acceptance.
She thanked God, acknowledged God and blessed the future “for the glory of God.”
It was a fabulous moment in television history.
Oprah also encouraged all of us to listen for the little voice inside all of us….the message that comes from God. The divine message which helps guide us towards that life which brings fulfillment and more importantly serves others.
Can you imagine the change we would see not only in ourselves but in the world if we could tap in to a small portion of this potential?
Oprah it has been an honor to take this journey with you for 25 years. I thank God for the gift of YOU and pray that we will all find our gift to share with others.

With Gratitude!

Ready for Game Day and Update

Well…..I am 11 days in to my 30 day challenge.
I have to say I have not been faithful in reading the book on this topic however I have been faithful in actions which reflect living in the moment.
I have had a few unexpected events surface this year. They include; a dear friend with a tough health issue, greater insight on a family relocation as well as news of financial strife being suffered by someone very close to me.
Like most of us, I have been watching the weather more than usual. Some days the forecast makes me laugh, other days it makes me sigh. I am glad to share the blustery cold with more of the country.

Usually Nebraska and the Midwest are the central location for bad weather. This may come in the form of tornadoes or this time of year – snow and ice storms. We have had plenty of both this year as well as a few days of sub-zero temps….
In summary – the weather has provided frigid fireworks throughout the country this year.
I share all of these data points as potential points of light for my 30 days of living challenge. All of these points present me with opportunities to give and to help. Make a contribution.

I will share a few things that I have done in hopes of stoking just a little inspiration for YOU.
Right now the stores are clearing out their winter clothing. It’s a great time to purchase coats and blankets inexpensively. ALL of the shelters are in need right now and I know they would greatly appreciate anything you would bring in.
Have you ever adopted an animal cage at your local animal shelter? I didn’t know this was possible until 2 weeks ago. Again, this is a nice way to support a worthy cause. If you don’t want to do this solo, perhaps you could entice co-workers or members of your church family to join you?
Lastly, I am going to embark on a project to help others who are living in squalor….yes, I am talking about Haiti. I heard about ladies making dresses from pillowcases to send to the children of Haiti and I am going to join this cause. I am not exactly sure how this will take shape…I am in the planning phase – the fact that I am not a seamstress will also make this interesting.
I will keep you posted on progress….

As I close out this entry let me encourage you to send a card, call a friend, take cookies to a neighbor…..do something to show others you care. It’s just the RX you need during these cold winter months!

Checking in on 30 Days

I am still going through my 30 day exercise and so far so good.  I must admit I will probably have to stretch 30 days out to a minimum of 60 but the results will be worth it.  The one thing that I am finding a constant is a “shift of mind.” 

When I am thinking of others first my days and moments go much better.  I have an exercise for you to try…the next time you are in a REALLY rotten mood I want you to think about who is at the center of your thought processes.  I have a feeling you may be surprised.  For me – the negative mood is radiating from a selfish streak where I seem consumed in a thought pattern solely focused on me.  You know the ones….

oh I hate how this feels

I hate my hair today

I can’t believe they did that to me,

The list goes on and on…..these are by far the worst of times for many of us.

Try changing direction with your thoughts….what is there happening around you that is good?  Isn’t it great to see another day.  Are you glad to have hair albeit – wild?  When someone strikes out at you, do you turn the other cheek and refuse to let the situation bring you down?  In retrospect when someone approaches you negatively have you ever noticed it usually isn’t about you at all? 

Back to my 30 days….let’s try a little retrospection – think of others and your surroundings…how would they appear if this were your final 30 days?

Here I come sunshine :)!