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.
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!
I spoke to a group in Big Sky country this week. It was a unique event. The warmth and energy of the crowd was contagious. I also got to witness a professional group rallying to the support of a fellow member who had suffered a tragic loss. It warmed my heart to see so much caring and compassion in one group. They shared laughs, smiles, tears and prayers for their fellow member. I could hear them coordinating activities to help sustain their member in his time of need.
This is truly what the human spirit it all about.
When we are presented with the opportunity to help another, do we take it? Better yet, do we look for ways to support each other?
I was also part of festivities prior to a large fundraising extravaganza surrounding ART! I was able to tour the beautiful and inspiring pieces being auctioned. Can you imagine collaborating with 100’s of artists and 100’s of people to help others? The trick to this event is to ensure you are channeling all of the positive and free-flowing energy in to a positive outcome. It would be a daunting challenge however a most rewarding one if executed properly.
This one was sure to be a tremendous success.
As I previewed the artwork on display I was dazzled and amazed with the level of detail, the use of color and the vibrant life of every piece. I was grateful to share in the moment, the event, the community.
I had a revelation last night and it will be interesting to see how this progresses.
As my year of gratitude continues, God is providing very interesting direction. I have been longing for another dog to join my cockapoo – Lucy. She is fabulous and has been a blessing to me for the last 2 years. I have looked many times for another shelter dog but never found the right fit. Over the holiday I tossed this idea around and my eureka moment came last night.
I have been looking for a way to spend time in a local retirement center and it dawned on me that animals are a wonderful blessing to people – wow wouldn’t people in retirement homes love to see a well-behaved, cuddly dog? A therapy dog sounds like the perfect fit for me. In my research I learned which breeds excel in this role and one stood out and matched what I was looking for – retrievers. I have owned them in the past and they are wonderful mellow dogs. I have always thought a Golden Doodle (golden retriever/poodle) would be perfect and I started my search.
I think I have found the perfect dog and hope to meet her this weekend. This could be the start of a fulfilling journey and I will wait to see what comes next.
It is with gratitude that I look upon this opportunity.
On a different note, I made it to church yesterday and it warmed my heart. We made a joyful noise and my heart was light when I left.
As we close out 2009 we all go through a time of reflection. What kind of year did I have?
I got married
I published my first book
I watched my children blossom in new directions
I mourned the loss of loved ones
I preached my first sermon
I was reminded of the precious qualities of family
It was a tremendous year!
I don’t look back for too long though. Time has taught me that this can be hazardous to my heath. It reminds me of trying to drive a car while looking in the rearview mirror. Probably wouldn’t be a good idea to do this for a long time. You never know where it might land you.
In looking forward, I have more aspirations;
I want to start taking piano lessons
Publish book #2
Encourage my children to focus on all of the goodness they have to offer – grow baby grow!
Be a wonderful wife, friend and partner
Spend more time doing nothing
Contribute to a greater good
Continued growth and passion in my Faith
It is going to be a Wonderous year.
Tomorrow I will also start another great adventure for 2010 and you can track the progress!
Wishing you a safe New Years Eve. The spirit of celebration comes from the heart!
Has your kitchen recovered from the Thanksgiving festivities?
I had a wonderful season of thanks and am challenging everyone I know to keep the spirit going all year-long. I was honored to speak on the topic of gratitude during a community service on Thanksgiving Eve. I was humbled with the opportunity and the setting. I have always considered it an awesome job to share a vision with others. When you are in a place of influence it is an awesome responsibility. It reminds me of parenting. There is no greater influence – than the parent – child influence. This holds true even in religion and the relationship between God and Jesus. Isn’t this the cornerstone of the bible?
When we think about gratitude and the impact available to us, gratitude can be the most powerful tool in your leadership toolbox. Gratitude can turn around the most dire of situations and attitudes. It can take doubt and turn it in to optimism, it can take a downtrodden heart and reveal sunlight and hope.
Gratitude is more than an annual ritual performed before diving into the Thanksgiving meal. It’s more than a holiday decorations, more than a clever saying that rhymes with “attitude.” Of all the human emotions, gratitude is the most powerful. So powerful is gratitude, it can obliterate fear, hopelessness and doubt. Gratitude can heal a broken heart, slow the aging process and restore broken relationships. Gratitude creates hope and hope brings joy. It is in joy, not fear, that we find strength.
If I could bottle this and put it on a shelf, can you imagine the elixir I would create? It would make a fortune.
I am grateful for the time, energy and ability to share my passion for gratitude.
Lastly, I am grateful for my family. My parents came to my home for turkey and it was so much fun to have them in the house. They were a huge help and I realized just how very much I have missed them. I felt a great circle of love between my parents, my husband and children. I can’t leave out my puppy too. I am hopeful that we will all march in to each day and be a blessing to everyone we meet.
I had the awesome opportunity to speak to the AFCEA Alamo Chapter about the value of networking and cultivating your own brand. In the audience there were civilians as well as enlisted personnel.
I was humbled at the thought of being able to help our American hero’s in their next adventure. I hoped their next chapters would be much safer and fulfilling. Everyone has valuable skill sets and aspirations.
The audience was enthusiastic and engaged. We had such a good time together that we ran way over our allotted time and the questions just kept flowing.
At the very end of the presentation came the biggest surprise of all. My host stood up to thank me for presenting and he told the audience that in the military it is customary when someone goes above and beyond the call of duty to present the individual with a coin. He then reached in to his pocket and presented me with my own unique coin.
I was rendered speechless and I could feel the tears swelling in my eyes as he handed me the coin. In that one moment I felt the value of the coin was greater than any other form of money on the planet. I was honored and humbled by the gesture.
I share this story with you to highlight the value of life experiences and the relationships along the way. Here I was among men and women who had risked their lives for our country and they were thanking me for a discussion geared towards building a new future, a unique and personal brand.
I held the coin tightly and guarded it as I returned home.
I proudly share my coin with everyone I see and am looking for a unique way to display it. It is a great motivator for me to continue sharing the story of networking and cultivating your dream occupation. It is possible and the tools to do so are improving daily. I am honored to share this message with others.
God bless our country and protect all of our enlisted men and women. Thank you for being defenders of freedom.