Don’t “Pray” for Me

Have you ever come across people that say, “I’ll pray for you”, and as soon as they walk away, you have the feeling like that was just a parting Christian term that they say all the time? Me, too.

Are you someone who has said, “I’ll pray for you”, and then TOTALLY forgotten to actually do it? Me, too.

I have found the very best thing to do is –

  1. STOP and pray for them, with them right then and their.
  2. As you walk away, take a moment to pray for them, while you are walking away and it’s fresh in your mind.

With the first suggestion I have found that their is generally enough time to pray for someone. Why? Because that is what God would want us to do, so He extends the time for us! Tell you what, grab a watch with a second hand or a timer and watch 30 seconds go by. It’s actually quite a long period of time! If you wait for each second to pass, you see how a little can go a long way. Pray, even if it’s for 30 seconds, pray.

With the second option, make sure you take a moment and pray for them as you walk away. If people you are walking with start a conversation right up, say, “Hold on for just a second.”. You don’t have to say you are going to pray, or maybe you do.

God still listens to “microwave” prayers. You know, the quick ones that are “Please, God”. The goal is to talk to Him more!

What I learned today…To NOT be someone who just talks about praying for someone, but to consistently PRAY FOR THEM.

Helpful Hint – Wherever you seem to stop and pray for the longest time, or whatever area you look at the most, put up post-its of who you need to pray for. My list around my computer has names I change frequently, as I hear of prayers being answered, and others stay consistent as they are always in my prayers.

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Don’t Feel Loving?

If you’ve stopped feeling love, the first step is to remember what it is like to act with love and then do it.  The Bible has the perfect verse to keep handy in these times.

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. (Galations 6:9)

I know I go through waves of not “feeling” like loving some of the people around me. Can you relate? Are you suppose to be loving that person? Spouse? Parent? Child? Sibling?

Don’t skip over this as you grow in your walk with God! I know it’s hard, but I bet God is putting someone on your heart who applies…”we will reap a harvest if we do not give up”. The more we are learning, getting closer to God, the more He will give us chances to be the loving people we are meant to be.

The challenge today is to pray that God will help you be more loving to whoever He put on your heart. Don’t expect a response from them. Don’t do it because you want anything reciprocated. Do it because God does it for us every day. When we are unlovable, He still loves us. Our goal is to be the best “lovers” of God and His people that we can be. Sometimes that means humbling ourselves in relationships and becoming better at loving.

Pray for your relationship with God to grow. It will! As that happens, you will automatically see those relationships around you change.

What I learned today…I can’t let a busy lifestyle rob me of growing in my relationships. Life is all about relationships.

The Ideal

We all have an ideal we’d like in all situations.

The ideal family.
Job
Kids
Parents
Grandparents
Friends
Vacations

As we sit and wish things were different…lets remember –

“So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life – your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life– and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him.” (Romans 12:1 MSG)

I have the ideal life in my mind…the ideal family, the ideal house, the ideal friends. It pops up around the holidays the most. I tend to want the situation I’m in to be perfect. My kids smile at me warmly as they self-sufficiently finish their homework, my maid lovingly doing the laundry, while my husband gets home excited to try a new recipe he’s heard of…while I read (to better myself of course) walk with friends – who have the same wonderful families at home – down our tree covered, quiet streets that lead to a pretty stream…. Okay, so this is not reality. I have to CHOOSE not to be upset when my “ideal life” is no where close to where I am. How would I grow if life was “perfect” like that??? God wants us to be happy today, right now, with what we have. Again, living in the U.S. we are BLESSED with all we have. Today…look at your healthy family. If you have sick ones in your family, I’m sorry…enjoy that you HAVE family. Do you have a roof over your head? Enjoy it! Even if it’s mortgaged to the gills and you might loose it…enjoy it TODAY while you are still in it. Is your car broken? Enjoy the fact you have legs to walk or a wheelchair to get you where you need to be. We could go on and on. Enjoy the blessings God has put in your life TODAY.

Today I learned…to look around and be content. Right where you are.

Mamas with Attitude

I have enjoyed 2 meetings in the last 3 weeks with mom’s with kids in high school and with parents at a soccer meeting. Years ago, I had the privilege of leading PTA, being a room mom, soccer mom, etc… anything I could do to be a “Super Mom” when I wasn’t working. During that time, I had my share of attitude, judginess (that is now a word) etc… At one point I was so bad, I actually approached a women who looked like she’d be fun to hangout with and said, she seemed like a blast, but I could never hangout with someone who married a guy that drove around in a T-top Camaro. I. Was. Horrible.

Since I decided to give my life to Christ and truly work on becoming a follower of His not just a fan, He has been working on my heart and attitude. When I went to the first meeting, I was floored to not have 1 person welcome me with a smile. I watched has snarky comments were thrown back and forth between a couple of the moms and was FLOORED when 2 of them were HORRIBLY rude to another woman who just lost one of her children tragically. She hadn’t called them back regarding a silent auction basket. An auction basket!

WHAT?!?!?!

Second, at the soccer meeting this morning. There was a woman who consistently interrupted the coach at the day 1 parent meeting for the spring season. Every time someone would ask him a question, she would answer. He was VERY gracious each and every time. It got to the point where a couple of the parents, stopped looking over at her when she would speak because it was disrespectful.

Both times I was saddened and realized that each case there was obvious communication problems. At the high school, it was the lack of communication, heart and understanding, and at the soccer meeting it was over communication, heart and understanding.

Something I try to do in these circumstances is to try and imagine what might be on their mind to make them act this way. For example, the ladies who were so hurtful in the high school meeting, maybe they have never dealt with death. Maybe they had just found out one of them has cancer and they just can’t wrap their brains around someone else’s problem Maybe they know a million people and have no idea about the tragic loss this woman was dealing with. Maybe their identity was wrapped up in how well the auction went and they couldn’t look past it.

What about the soccer mom? What if her whole identity is in her kids activities? What if no one at home listens to her, so when she is out at meetings, it’s her time to shine?

Rather than become part of the problem by not asking questions and/or pushing in, what if we actually talked to these people? We can be bold and taking time to help in these situations. Maybe pose a question like, “I’m not sure if you had heard, she just lost her son. I can’t imagine the pain that must create and how she could even find the strength to come to a meeting”. It is a gentle reminder and gives the woman a chance to collect herself and apologize to the one in pain.

I am still working on not being judgy. It is hard. But I have to remember, it is my job to love God AND love others. I am not responsible for their actions, but for my reactions.

What I learned today…we ALL have a story. Before we judge others for their actions, we need to remember they have a story, too.

 

People in the Bible Get It

Here are some of my go-to verses. Take time to look them up and underline them if you haven’t already.

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Romans 12:12

 ..being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, And joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light. Colossians 1:11-12

 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9

 And as for you, brothers, never tire of doing what is right. 2 Thessalonians 3:13

 As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love. Ephesians 4:16 

Reading through the Bible we see so many others felt exactly the way we do! They needed encouragement, too!

Take time to pray and ask God to show you someone in the Bible you can learn from. Someone you might not have thought of before.

If you STILL don’t want to open your Bible, check out Drivetime Devotions by Pastor Tom Holladay. Walk through one of the 10 minutes (ish) sessions with him. It’s a start. 🙂

What I learned today…The Bible constantly has something new to teach me. Even if it’s a verse I have read 1000 times.

 

Instagram & a Peak Into My Thoughts

I love it. I do. So this morning I’ll walk you through some of my thoughts as I scrolled through it. Now this is unfiltered, coming from me…and I’m broken, so don’t judge. AND, for the comments sent to me regarding appropriateness… I am not promoting or recommending or agreeing with any of the Instagram profiles. I follow them cause, well, I do. If you don’t want to, don’t. 🙂

Insta 16

WOW! What an amazing picture! It must be cool to be in space for a year…and confining…and lonely…and cramped. Never mind.

Isaiah 66.9  5

I NEED to remember this one. And remember it. And remember it again.

 

Insta 13

I absolutely love this post-er! These shots are so fun to watch. I sure love soccer.

 

Insta 3

EEEEWWWWWWWW!!! Brussel sprouts. UGH. I can almost smell their nastiness.

Insta 1.1

This is so cool. I need to look in to it more. I wish everyone had a mentor to go to when they are young.

Insta 2

BOOM! No it is not! Reminder: don’t get in a rut believing this is it. God wants the best for us.

Insta 1.3

This, is creepy. I’m sure he is saying something brilliant…but it is creepy. It looks like he is speaking truth to the darkness. Still creepy.

Insta 1

TRUTH! I love it! I wish more people would just do what they are built to do! They’d find the success they crave by enjoying a good day’s work.

Insta 5

UGH. I do. I know. UGH.

 

Insta 7

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAH.

 

Insta 1.2

Man I love the water. I wish I looked that “fierce” playing in it. HA! I crack myself up!

Insta 10

Wow. I have seen quite a few people post this lately. What if everyone posting it, really truly changed their life so they put it in to action. They started loving their enemies. What a difference that would make! I am so glad God worked on this with me. I can’t imagine life without the people He has softened my heart for.

Insta 12

BOOM! That is right!!! I wish more believed this!!! (God, help more of your people to see that they are the true movers and shakers in faith. They just need to answer your call!) – I had to stop and pray there. Then

Ooooo, look how cute those girls are! I miss being cute.

Insta 9

That is RIGHT!!!! Learn it, Live it, THEN share it. Otherwise shhhhhhh.

Insta 8

That is so me! I’ll have to show Chad. I love that he (my hubby) is so funny. Can I count laughing at his jokes on my fitness pal? Is that cheating? Could I eat more calories? Hmmm.

Insta 4

WAAAAAAAAAA. I want to travel!!!! Oh, well. Heaven will be pretty remarkable so I won’t have missed anything.

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And then I posted this.

This is the way I want to start each day. Not walking in to it, but praying and running in ready to do whatever God asks me to do with all the strengthen I have!!!!

There was a scary walk in to my mind as I journey through Instagram.

What I learned today…I am encouraged, discouraged and challenged by social media. And it’s okay.

 

Describe Yourself in 3 Words

I live in a house FULL to the brim of testosterone. With a husband, 2 teens and a tween, it can get loud and rambunctious to say the least. At their ages, it’s a time where they could tend to retreat in to their own “social” worlds within their rooms.

I have to consistently and intentionally draw them out to talk. It doesn’t work all that often. What does work, is forcing them to have time together with the family. Now I NEVER thought I’d have to force people to hang out with me as I always thought I had a bit of fun in me. According to my kids, that doesn’t seem to be true.

As I “forced” them to hangout this last weekend, we did the usual. I’ll ask them questions. It could be anything from “What is your favorite color right now”, to “What is your favorite movie of the moment”. This weekend, I took a stack of TABLETOPICS with me as I wasn’t in the mood to come up with my own questions.

One of the questions was Describe Yourself in 3 Words. Have you ever done that? Have you done it recently?

What is blurrier? World or Purpose

Life has been a terrific rollercoaster full of ups and downs.
Currently I find myself in seminary! What?! Right?!
More on how I got there in a later post. For now, I was asked to write a short post on Leadership and Blind Spots.

Reading through all the other students wonderful posts I was stumped. They were very elequent in talking about how blind spots in leadership can lead you down a slippery path. I agree.

I did want to take a different spin on it…

What I found is, anytime I see a blind spot was involved in my life and/or those around me, it’s been a huge benefit.  Most of the time it was an area God had purposely taken from my view so I could concentrate solely on the things HE wanted me to focus on.
As a whole I see it this way – If you hold your pointer finger up in front of you, and concentrate on the other side of the room, your finger goes blurry and you can see everything else in the room. Now, concentrate on your finger…what happens to the rest of the room, it goes blurry, right?

God puts something in front of us to steward well. If we pay attention to everything happening around us and in the world, our purpose gets fuzzy. When we look at just that 1 thing God put in front of us, the rest of the world and all it has to offer, and off-set our purpose, gets fuzzy and fades.
As we bring the finger closer, or what God has for us to concentrate on, suddenly blind spots start to happen in our view. When we are in relationship with Him and listening to His direction for us, rather than running and setting our own path (think Jonah 1:3), or hurrying His path along (think Sarah Genesis 16:2), He will put blind spots in our path to keep us on the straight and narrow. Not walking to the left or the right, but straight on the path. Proverbs 4:27
Are you paying attention to what God has put in your life? Who God has put in your life? What He has given you?
Take a moment to slow down…take a look around…and ask yourself, What am I doing with what I have been given?

What I learned today…I need to steward what I have around me well.

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.

Man Dates

I know, odd title.

As we get older, we have odd situations that pop up by well intentioned people. Sometimes we even put ourselves and/or our loved ones in odd situations.

Let me give you an example. When we are young, we hangout with the people who live around us. Those in our sports programs, from our schools…etc. As adults, we hangout with people from work, or our families. If you are a woman and become a stay at home mom, you go through times of feeling extreme loneliness so you try and join mommy groups

As men, you try and connect with those at work, which can be a challenge if you don’t drink as that seems to be the easiest way for men to connect. Second being working out or a sport.

Living in Orange County, California…most time spent is in making enough money to continue living in the OC. That leaves little time for being around others.

As a couple you dream of other couples you’ll connect with. Generally you like either the man or his wife…rarely both. I say that fairly confidently after a lot of discussions with others.

As soon as you find someone you like, it’s a prayer that the spouses will get along.

Let’s back up. I have always had a hard time finding and keeping friends. My problem is twofold (probably way more than that, but we’ll stick with 2). I don’t trust people. I assume as soon as I like someone they will leave.

With 2 issues like those, it’s been difficult. As I learned to work on my relationship with God, more than any other. I would cry out to God that I wanted a friend that I could trust. One that would stick with me, even when they found out all the ugliness inside of me.

God answered. It did take time, but as I learned how to be in relationships, through what I was learning in the Bible, He brought me an amazing woman who is just about as opposite of me as you could get.

We started a relationship in a ministry we were both involved in. (I had met her through our kids being in a small group together and talked her in to joining the ministry). Though we were so different, we started leaning on each others strengths and supporting each other through the weaknesses…and then we decided…as our relationship grew…it was time to get our husbands together.

We setup a double date to try and maneuver a “man date” to happen between our husbands. Thankfully, conversation flowed throughout the evening and the guys were able to find something THEY could connect with.

This started a great relationship between families.

Are you feeling isolated? Do you wish you had someone to hangout with? Call and shoot the breeze with?

You aren’t meant to be alone. You aren’t meant to live life by yourself. You aren’t meant to be around people who don’t love you enough to hold you accountable.

You can try getting set up on “friend dates” and having your relatives and other well-meaning friends try to connect you for coffee, or time out together.

The best way to find friends? Church. Now you might think that is a completely lame suggestion, but it works.

For example, our church has over 500 “ministries” you can get involved with. Everything from Basketball and Volleyball to Hula Dancing and Landscaping. When you find a ministry that sounds good, you join it! You aren’t tied to it, you can come and go as you please…but it is a great way to find people like YOU.

It’s kinda like when you were young and joined soccer…suddenly, during the soccer season, all those players became your friends. You liked soccer, they liked soccer so you became friends.

I promise…joining a ministry and meeting people who like to do what you like to do, will give you the opportunity to have great discussions, bond with others and give you an activity to GO OUT and do.

This my help prevent any uncomfortable man or woman play date that someone might try and set up.

What I learned today…I am so thankful for my friend and her family. And I am so thankful that people around us think enough of us that they want to introduce us to others that they think we might connect with. AND that as you get older, your circle of friends will get smaller so you can spend more quality time with them while you spend quality time with your family. It’s better to have quality than quantity.