When You Are Down

So, we know I battle with feelings of inadequacy and go through waves of depression. One of the things I have found that helps me is to save the positive and affirming things that can lift me up. It could be a verse, a picture, a note, any number of things.

As I found a LOT of people battle with insecurity, our team decided to do something about it. First we became the team that encourages. We found that 8 out of 10 people enjoy being encourage and it’s lightens their day. When we have seen their responses, it then cause us to feel joyful.

Next, we all have “Happy Boxes” that we keep near our desks. Whenever someone leaves a quick note, sends a letter, emails a thank you, we put it in our Happy Box. When we are feeling a bit blue or feel like we aren’t making a difference, or not being used, or not effective…I could go on and on…we open our “Happy Box” and remember that God has us right where we are for a reason. We might not see it at the moment, but we have been loved, effective, used, etc…20160224_101933

If you don’t have one, start today. If you don’t feel like you are encouraged much, look harder. Save birthday and holiday cards. Even if the relationship has gone sour, you can remember better times. Save encouraging posts, verses, pictures. If someone says something positive about you on Social Media, copy and paste then print it and add it to your collection.

Most importantly, remember that you are never alone. That you are loved by the Most High. You are His son/daughter who He cherishes.

God loves each of us as if there were only one of us.  ~ Augustine

God is love. He didn’t need us. But he wanted us. And that is the most amazing thing.  ~ Rick Warren

God’s unfailing love for us is an objective fact affirmed over and over in the Scriptures. It is true whether we believe it or not. Our doubts do not destroy God’s love, nor does our faith create it. It originates in the very nature of God, who is love, and it flows to us through our union with His beloved Son.  ~ Jerry Bridges

One of the greatest evidences of God’s love to those that love him is, to send them afflictions, with grace to bear them.  ~ John Wesley

 

Ephesians 3:14-21

A Prayer for the Ephesians

14 For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15 from whom every family[a]in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

What I learned today…We all need a little pick me up every now and then. I am so thankful for all the notes left on my desk and encouraging emails. They bring me more joy than the writers will ever know.

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Chad vs Julie

Okay, so my husband and I are both very competitive. What helps? HUMOR.

Back when I was doing everything I could to work on our relationship, I read a book called The Five Love Languages.

It basically talks about how we all have a different view of what love looks like. Some feel loved by affirmation, some by receiving gifts, physical touch, time spent, and acts of service.

I talked about it with Chad, way back when, and realized, his love language is absolutely physical touch. That mixed with time spent. UGH. Mine are the opposite. I’m more of an affirmation and gifts type of person.

When I realized how different we are, and how I was doing to him what I like, I realized I needed to make a change. I started touching him more. Yes, I did hope that meant he’d start working on showing me he loved me the way I feel it, but that isn’t how it works.

I started touching his back more. Grabbing his hand. Holding his arm. Sitting close. It wasn’t something I was used to doing, it was something I was made aware he needed.

As I started to purposefully touch him more when I was around him…and be around him more, I noticed, he became happier! Isn’t that funny how it works.

He wasn’t even aware I was purposefully doing it, until a funny interaction happened today.

The conversation went like this…

I walked by while he was shaving and I started scratching his back lightly.

He said, “Thank you. I love when you do that.”

I said, “I know. I do it purposefully.  You told me you liked it so I do it.”

He said, “That is so nice!”

I said, “I had to learn to do it…kinda like I was hoping you’d learn to affirm me and give me gifts. Ha Ha”.

He responded with, “Wow. That must mean I’m a much better teacher”.

BWHAHAHAHAH

I couldn’t stuck on what I wasn’t getting, but look at that humor. I love the man. It could’ve gone south, but his response was perfect!

What is something you do for your roommate, sibling, parent, spouse, etc… that you do because you know they like it, not because you get something out of it?

What I learned today…Remember what makes my people happy and do it. The joy I can find in their happiness is priceless. AND continue to remind them what makes me happy. Especially if they aren’t natural inclined to do it.

 

The “Wedding” Verse, Again

Going back to the “Wedding Verse” and remembering, again, it’s not just a verse for weddings….Read 1 Corinthians below and think of the people in your life…those you are surrounded by…your friends, old and new…your family, kids, parents, spouse, siblings, cousins, aunts and uncles, grandparents…at work, your boss, co-workers, employees, …

”If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails….”

“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”

Sometimes the most significant truth is the easiest to overlook.  While reading self-help books and motivational books on leadership can be incredibly helpful and necessary, Paul, the author of Corinthians, reminds us that if we do not begin on a foundation of love, then all of our actions in the name of our faith are worth absolutely nothing.

Likely, we don’t wake up one day with the intent to leave out love.  Rather, it is something we forget as we get wrapped up in the busy details of our daily life.  Paul’s words are a HUGE reminder to the church to not forget our identity as loved people who are called to love others.  Yet, even when we forget, we are met by our loving God, who forgives us and shows us how to do life based on love.

Take a moment to reflect on the relationships God has put around you.  Are those relationships built on a foundation of love?  Are there ways you can change your behavior today to love others the way it directs us to in the verses above?

Remember, this isn’t about beating yourself up on how you have treated others.  Rather, it’s a time to reflect and look to God.  How might he be inviting you into deeper expressions of love…His love?

Today I learned…God puts people in our life that take a little extra grace so we can grow. Our job is to love those people. God made them for a reason, too.

Reminders

1) Don’t whine about a problem to others unless you can also suggest solutions.
2) We need to touch people more. Many people aren’t hugged as they live isolated. A hand on the shoulder, two hand shake, hug, etc…
3) If you get frustrated by some of the people around you, look for the people who you can admire, they’ll be there too…just quieter.
4) If you want something, ask.
5) Small minds think a like. Challenge each other, and respect the differences.
6) If you are a leader, lead.
7) We influence others everyday. Pay attention to how you present yourself.
8) Don’t work overtime on being different. You were born unique. The only YOU ever. Own that.
9) Never stop learning, in love and life.
10) Show grace. No one can live up to your expectations.
11) Your kids will mirror you. Act how you’d like them to turn out.
12) If you are over 35yrs old, you should never again be called “The Drunk One”. There is so much more to do in the world. Stop trying to find fun and purpose in a bottle.
13) Have family? Be thankful. Have kids? Be thankful. Have a husband/wife? Be thankful. Healthy? Be thankful. Have change in your pocket? Be thankful. A Home? Be thankful.
Stop concentrating on what you don’t have and enjoy what you do.
14) Raise the bar. Those around you will reach for it.
15) Don’t be jealous of those who have skills you don’t. Hangout with them. They’ll enjoy the skills you bring to the table too.
16) Have tough conversations after praying about it and getting good counsel. Be bold and compassionate. Now.
17) Set a goal. Make it big.
18) Help people. Everyone needs some.
19) Listen. The people around you have stories that need to be heard.
20) Don’t let the Bible intimidate you. Pick it up and read it. Ask someone for help. All the answers you need are in it. If I hadn’t started the journey by taking the first step in a RELATIONSHIP with Jesus, I wouldn’t know the Hope, Peace and Love that comes with it.

What Am I Doing?

So in 2016 I have decided to goal myself to post at least one time a day.

I will be posting whatever I have learned or something that I have been thinking about that day.

This will probably turn in to a horribly written journal that only I read…but I am okay with that.

If you happen to fall across this and you don’t like it…don’t tell me as I have HUGE inadequacy issues, so I don’t want to hear it.

If you like it…feel free to let me know as Affirmation and Gifts are my Love Languages (5 Love Languages) – Feel free to lean heavy on the Gifts.

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Post 1

Today I learned that sometime you need to throw tradition out the window.

I have always been excited to wake up January 1st and watch Bob and Stephanie bring the Rose Parade to life in the quiet of my home as the rest of the family slowly wakes up.

Change of Tradition

  1. This morning I woke up to find our downstairs body to body with teen boys sleeping, so turned it on in my room.
  2. I turned it on in my room, while my husband was NOT snoring next to me…;-)
  3. My husband woke up and did NOT go to start making us our traditional Jan.1st breakfast, but instead said, “Let’s go to breakfast”. And started to get ready.
  4. We went to Denny’s.

All of this was a PUSH for me! What happened to watching the parade?!?! Sure, it’s on 15 more times…but it’s TRADITION!

Instead of pushing in with my whine and thinking only about myself, I looked at my husband…the guy who LOVES breakfast anytime of the day…and saw that breaking this tradition, this one morning, would bring HIM joy.

So I shut my mouth, tossed on some clothes and went to breakfast.

Good decision, as the happiness I saw on his face, and the conversations around the table were worth it. I wouldn’t remember what float was what in 3 days…but now I have a memory of discussions and my man’s face that will last a lifetime.

Today I learned to – Make good choices when looking at traditions and make sure you can bend if needed.