Monday, June 29, 2009

Being Committed...

There is a saying, taught at Choices, that says "be committed to do what it takes to get what you want". It's a great saying and one I've been giving much thought to lately.

It's great to say "I'm committed to doing what it takes to get what I want", but it doesn't amount to much if you don't know what you want! I've been committed to doing what it takes, but recently had to sit down and figure out what that meant for me. Honestly, I didn't really know what I wanted, where I was going. I've been coasting along, doing what it takes to survive, but the truth is I don't want to just survive! I want to thrive, to succeed, to grow, to do more and be more....

I've been reading a couple of books by Ben Carson and have felt myself challenged to figure out what it is I want in life, to put in writing what I want to accomplish and how I want to live. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy my life and since attending Choices I have rediscovered dreams I had let go of or buried many years ago and uncovered new ones that I hadn't dared to consider, but I had not taken that step beyond dreaming to actually making a plan to realize those dreams.

So, I set goals. I figured out what it would take to meet those goals and then I asked myself the question "am I willing to commit to doing THIS in order to have THAT?" I got specific with myself.

I am willing to commit to doing what it takes to have what I want. I just had to work it backwards so I knew what I wanted and how to get it.

What about you? What do you want? Do you know what it will take to get it? Are you willing to commit to doing that or is it too far beyond your reach, too much of a leap? Do you need to take baby steps, re-evaluating where you are in life and how much you are capable of doing until you can achieve the larger goal at the end? Do you need inspiration? I encourage and even challenge you to read the books by Ben Carson. See how he got where he is and be inspired to be the best you can be!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

I'm feeling my age this weekend. LOL Along with the fact that my age keeps going on a rapid rise towards 40 (yikes!), I attended Parkview Adventist Academy's graduation this past weekend.

I had a delightful time, actually! Aside from the fact that we are all 20 years (give or take) older and a few of us were missing, relationships have changed and we bring along a gaggle of younger children, our old high school gang was (mostly) gathered together and enjoying a reunion of sorts. Two of our old group had children graduating from high school. ACH! I can't believe that enough time has passed for "our" children to passing into that age-old ceremony from childhood to adulthood. Wow. How many years have passed since we celebrated that end of an era, step into responsibility, freedom filled moment? For me, 19 years already. Enough years that, if I had married and had children young, my kids could have been up there today.

I don't wish my life to be different though. My life, my family is where God has chosen me to be, and there is no better place than that. It allows me to age slowly, gracefully? :) Allow me my fantasy. :)

It was a beautiful weekend, filled with remembrances of happy and sad times, relationships and life when we were young and fairly care-free. When we formed those lifelong friendships that transcend time and location to survive, whether we see each other once a year, once a month, once a decade, those friendships spring up and we are instantly bonded and having fun. It is something that I am grateful for.

Truth is, everywhere I go I have the opportunity to make lifelong, lasting friendships with people. When God puts us somewhere, He intends for us to use the desire and ability He gave us to interact with people, to impact their lives and to draw them to Him. There is one man from our long-ago group that especially did that for me. He heard the Spirit speak to him and listened. He sat down with me one day and made very clear to me how much God loved me. I felt God wrap His arms around me during the course of that conversation and that moment in time has saved my sanity, my life and my soul on many occasions.

What of you? Are you listening to that still, small voice? Are you sharing the light and love of Christ through your words and actions every day? You never know when that moment in time will be a life altering moment for someone else - or even for you one day.

God is an amazing God. I thank Him for the gift of relationships, for the gift of lifelong friendships and the ability to have memories of yesteryears to enjoy and to relive every now and then. I am thankful for this past weekend. What a delight to be able to walk down memory lane and come out with a smile on my face.

Monday, June 22, 2009

It has been a week of gifts for me.

I was gifted with the opportunity to spend some time with my nephews. My nephew, Jesse, was gifted with the blessing of a doctor who recognized a disguised bout of appendicitis and removed it before it exploded on the poor child. I was gifted with time spent alone with my other nephew, Colt. Charlie was gifted with a "new" bike and has quickly learned to ride it without training wheels! (Yay Charlie!) We were all gifted with time spent with family and friends. I was gifted with the opportunity to speak in church (my first sermon since Speech Class in College). I am gifted to have a concert at our church's upcoming camp meeting. I am gifted with friends. My neighbour gifted me with dozens of flowers to plant in my garden. I am gifted that I have the strength and energy to plant those flowers. I am gifted with helpful children that love to assist me in whatever I do. I am gifted with a man who is a loving father and husband. I was gifted with the opportunity to quietly, uninterruptedly visit with my mother.

Every now and then we need to stop and list our blessings, our gifts. It reminds us to accept them and to keep asking for them. As I spoke in church, if we do not go to God to ask for the gifts He so graciously holds for us, we cannot receive them. When we ask for what we want, we open the door to the possibility of receiving them. When we ask for, or claim, what God has already promised us, we open the door to possibilities beyond our imagination.

Today, I am thankful and because I am thankful, I am reminded to keep asking for what I want.

What do you want? Have you asked God for it? He's just waiting to give you good things!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Abscesses of Sin

It's been too long since I've been on here. I apologize. I have been letting life get away with me.

I was speaking with a friend, W, recently and she was sharing with me that she was going in for dental surgery the next day to get rid of an abscess that she had been carrying around in her mouth since she was a young girl. When she was a child, she damaged a tooth and in the process of trying to repair it, unsuccessfully, and then doing a root canal and putting on a crown, they left a tiny piece of mercury in her gum. She has seen many dentists and complained many times of the continual mouth pain and it has remained hidden from sight. The Dentist who finally found the problem is apparently an expert in finding "hidden infections".

Mercury, as we now know, is a poison and is no longer used in filling cavities or dental repair work because of the long-term damage it causes. W has had health problems one on top of the other and worsening in recent years. Now it comes to light that this mercury could be the root of all those problems.

When the dentist went in to remove the abscess, he could not believe how large it was. It had even decayed some of her bone. Fortunately, the bone will grow back, but she will never get back the years of ill-health caused by this tiny piece of poison.

As we talked, it reminded me of how a tiny little sin, buried so deep that x-rays and even experts cannot find the problem, can ruin a life. It takes a special type of "doctor" to find and eliminate every sin in our lives, to restore our health to us. When we fail to remove every last remnant of sin, we continue to poison ourselves and keep us from true spiritual health.

It makes me ask the question "where have I failed to remove every trace of a sin?" For me personally, at least at this moment, it is in TV. God has asked me to stop watching it and for a while I did, but then I started with a harmless, entertaining movie, which lead to an evening where I was exhausted but instead of going to bed I turned on the TV, which lead to more evenings in front of the TV. I have decided to recommit to turning it off. To leaving it off. TV is a useful tool in the right circumstances, but for me, it is mercury left in my mouth for too many years.

I ask God to reveal to me any areas where I might have left a tiny bit of poison in my system and to take it out, clean out the abscess and heal me. How about you?

God bless you tonight!!

Friday, June 5, 2009

I wrote a song yesterday. I've been feeling the pull for sometime, the call you might even say, but I've been putting it off. Truth is, it's not even my first song, but it's one I need music written for, yet, I find myself putting off calling my friend who writes music and sharing it with her. Why? What am I afraid of? I fear rejection. I fear she'll tell me it's just like every other song, it has no meaning, it is not good enough, not unique enough. More than that, I fear that if she writes the music and we perform it that others will think it is not good enough. Fear is not my friend today.

"For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind."

Why do I care so much what others are going to think of me? Why is this is so important to me that I am willing to risk not speaking out and suppressing my dreams and passions on the off chance that someone will not like it?

Fear speaks lies, and, as Choices teaches, it creates its own results. If I give in to fear, my song(s) will never be heard in public. If I choice to acknowledge it and move past it, then who knows what doors God could be opening for me? It may be small things, but sometimes a small thing to one person turns out to be a huge thing for someone else.

Thanks for listening. :)