Thursday, September 3, 2009

Dealing With Grief And Loss

The pain of losing a loved one can be unbearable. These are times one must depend on friends & loved ones, and pray for the "peace of God, that passeth all understanding" (Philippians 4:7).

Here are a few resources I found to help those on their journey of grief:

Coping With Grief & Loss

Online Grief Support-A Social Community

Ashes To Blessing: Answers To Difficult Questions For Grieving Families

Grief Loss Info Blog

Open To Hope: Pregnancy & Infant Loss

In Suicide's Shadow: An article about 3 women who found God faithful in the midst of their loss

Torn From Our Arms: Books for grieving Christians

Peternity: Pet Loss Support

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

I Can't Take It Anymore

Take a look at this heartfelt poem by Paul Davis. To learn more about Paul Davis, click here.

I can't take it anymore!
God help!
I'm at my wits end
It seems there is no friend
Nearby to hear my heart's cry
To understand why
Surely my plight is out of sight
Beyond their view and eye
My intense inward struggles
Nobody to listen, cuddle, and snuggle
Perhaps I'm just in self pity
Or overly absorbed
With my current situation
Nevertheless I feel the irritation
The continual stress and frustration
Not to mention the perpetual accusation
I have no energy to defend myself
Emotionally I am utterly exhausted
No time to be daily drained
And held a hostage
Come and rescue me
God Almighty, most merciful and mighty
I desperately need Thee
In my heart and home
For You and You alone
Can bring peace
Jesus the Prince of peace
Deliver me and bring release
Vindicate and ride triumphantly
Free me to live victoriously
Settle and secure me in my identity
So I don't think to run and roam
In the past, Your power You've shown
Therefore I wait patiently upon You
To arise and do it again
You are my closest, most trusted Friend
You remain with me until the end
You know what is around the bend
You have power from on high to send
Because You in Christ became flesh
You understand that
With which we have to contend
You also are aware
Of the sin toward which we as humans tend
Constrain me,
That on it my life I won't spend
To become enamored and seduced
Help before by it I be reduced
Focus my heart on my life purpose
Remove from my lips
Divisive and devilish discourse
Help me meditate on Your Word
And my speech rehearse
Purify and prepare me
For that which You have fully
Ordained me to be
Created me to do
For God in heaven
I love you!
People often disappoint
Yet You remain there for me
Ready to listen and love continually
Lift my heart to the heavens
Open my eyes to see
Remove from my heart hostility
Pluck me out of
Strange situations
Heal me from
Unrealistic expectations
Give me strength
In the midst of intimidation
When I need to be bold
Remove all hesitation
Maybe I'm just airing out
My loneliness
Or perhaps self-actualizing
Nevertheless myself I'm not despising
Nor others who get me down
Ask of me more than can be found
For I too live in flesh and blood
And have my limitations
As difficult as it may be
To live with others reservations
And irreverent assessment
Of myself and occupation
Liberate me from others opinion
Grant me peace and dominion
Yet help me be merciful
To my accusers and critics
Though they make my life difficult
Causing my soul to slow
To the confusion and chaos they cause
Whenever they assault me and show
That in me with which they disagree
God in my own skin, just help me
Live contently and peaceably
Remembering that personal growth
Occurs progressively
And that meanwhile
I must love myself unconditionally.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

You Never Really Know What Your Neighbor's Going Through

Humans, by nature, are selfish creatures. This gets us in trouble many times. My pastor was talking the other night at church about being patient with others, and trying to see things from other people's perspective. He told a story about a driver who cut him off and then broke a few traffic rules. They were both on the way to the hospital. When they got there, my pastor sees why the man was in such a hurry. The man helped his pregnant wife out of the car. Sometimes we get so annoyed by the way people are behaving when we don't really know what they are going through at all. It reminded me of this song by Sawyer Brown, "They Don't Understand".

"3Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.
4Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others."
Philippians 2:3-4 (KJV)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Ordinary Accomplishments

My life is filled with very boring and mundane tasks that are quite important in the big scheme of things. For example, I feed the children in my care, I change their diapers, and then I do it all over again. Those tasks are pretty mundane and time consuming. Yet, if I did not do these tasks, their little worlds would crumble. Its actually very important tasks I am completing to help these children grow, one meal at a time. A man that is working an incredibly boring job to provide for his family may feel like his day to day tasks are not that noble or significant. But if he just stopped completing those boring and mundane tasks, leading to the loss of his job, his family would certainly feel the consequences. My point is, if we realized how really significant and important our day to day tasks were, maybe we would have a different attitude when we did them.

"I long to accomplish a great and noble task, but it is my chief duty to accomplish small tasks as if they were great and noble." Helen Keller

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Praise Him In Advance!

True faith is praising God for answering your prayers before he has answered your prayers!
"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."
Hebrews 11:1

Friday, August 14, 2009

If You Lose Faith In People, Don't Lose Faith In God

I recently corresponded with a woman who was really discouraged about church. She was privately struggling in her beliefs because she had seen so much backbiting in churches. She felt like her eyes were starting to open, and she was losing her faith in God because of everything she had seen. I think this is what happens to a lot of people. The older you get, the more you see, and everything you once believed gets shaken. My advice to her was to realize that everyone goes through these struggles at one time or another. God knows that we are flesh, and his grace is sufficient. I told her that I think anytime you get a group of people together, there is going to be drama, and especially in churches when there is an enemy out to get us off the track we are on. Look at all the issues Paul had to address in the letters to the churches. What I have learned to do is to understand that its okay if I lose my faith in people, but I can't let it cause me to lose my faith in God. It's not the will of God for churches to become bashing grounds, but it is God's will that churches are a place of love and fellowship. I have also come to an understanding that I can't worry too much about what people think or say about me. There will always be those people that feel the need to try to bring others down, or talk about people behind their back. When it's all said and done, we really only need to please God, and that is enough. He, alone, will be the judge. I think this is one tool of the enemies to get us down about church to the point that we lose faith in God. Please, realize the vices of the enemy, and know that God is still God.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

How To Cheer Yourself Up After You've Been Hurt

When you're feeling hurt here are a few ways to cheer yourself up.

1. Share your feelings with a friend. Talking about your problems can help lift the burden and make it feel not so bad. Sometimes, you will gain a new perspective and have more clarity after talking it over with someone who cares about you.

2. Pray about it. It helps to pray about hurts or disappointments and ask for God's comfort. The Bible says that he gave his spirit to us to be a comforter.

3. Daydream. In other words, go to your "happy place". Think about a good memory, or imagine a peaceful and comforting situation. Its important to use daydreaming in a healthy way to escape in times of deep hurt or sorrow.

4. Laugh. Laughter is healthy. Talk to someone who makes you laugh, or watch a funny movie. It can get your mind off of your problems for a while.

5. Cry. Crying is also healthy. Sometimes it is good just to cry it out. Chemicals are released in your body when you cry that actually soothe you. Crying can be a nice release.

6. Find someone who can relate. If you have a personal matter that you would rather not discuss even with a friend, there is a place you can go to tell your story and remain anonomous. The site is called, The Experience Project. You might be surprised to find others dealing with the same things you are dealing with. This can also be a healthy outlet and a good way to cheer yourself up.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Ten Signs You Need a Vacation (especially for stay at home moms)

1. You’ve lost all sense of empathy when your children whine.
2. The nervous twitch you used to have is now a violent jerk (borrowed from the1cooljay on
3. Going to the mailbox becomes the highlight of your day.
4. You can’t remember where you put your phone, wallet, or car keys, but you’re pretty sure they’re in your diaper bag.
5. You take a break from potty training after you clean poop off the deck, again.
6. You volunteer to mow the lawn so you can get away from the kids for a while.
7. You don’t think a thing about waking up 2, 3, or 4 times per night, every night.
8. You beg your husband to take the kids out on Friday night without you so you can do some house cleaning.
9. You are secretly happy when it’s their children screaming at the supermarket or restaurant and not yours.
10. You pray every day that you have the strength to make it until naptime.

I have had vacation on my mind lately, since we planned a Disney vacation a few months ago. Its been the only thing keeping me going for a while! We decided we wanted to use part of our tax refund on a vacation, and were surprised that Disney World package deals weren't that bad. I came across an E-book created by some locals that is filled with tips for creating an inexpensive Disney Vacation, Click Here! The best thing we discovered was that if we put it on a Disney card, we would get no interest for 6 months, and could even have the trip paid off before we took it. So...if you think you absolutely can't afford a vacation, check into it, you may find out its exactly what you need.

*Update: If you want to plan a Disney Vacation, but you are overwhelmed by all of the options, check out this site. This woman is a Disney expert who can plan your Disney Vacation for you (for a nominal fee), and get you all the best deals: Travel With The Magic.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Understanding That Everyone Has Feelings

Carly Fleischmann is a 14 year old girl who is severely autistic. Through typing she is able to communicate very well, and is unlocking the mysteries of autism. She writes about her frustrations of not being able to communicate, and not being able to go to school like "normal" kids. It is a good reminder that everybody has feelings and we should never treat anyone like they are "lesser" just because they are not able to express themself like we think they should.

You can view some of her writings here:
Here is a video on ABC News that tells more about Carly Fleischmann:
Autistic Girl Finds Voice Through Typing

Friday, August 7, 2009

How To Melt A Hardened Heart

There's nothing that can melt a heart like unconditional love. And, who better to give unconditional love than a puppy. Puppies Behind Bars is a program that uses the natural loving affection of puppies to give prisoners a second chance. I was watching Oprah yesterday when I learned about this program. It is such a win win situation for everyone. The convicted felons are given puppies that they must train to prepare them to become service dogs for wounded soldiers. You have to take a look at this touching video:

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Who knows your name?

When you feel unimportant to the whole world, remember you mean the whole world to somebody.

The following is written by Charles Schultz (the creator of the "Peanuts" comic strip).

"1. Name the five wealthiest people in the world.
2. Name the last five Heisman trophy winners.
3. Name the last five winners of the Miss America pageant.
4. Name ten people who have won the Nobel or Pulitzer Prize.
5. Name the last half dozen Academy Award winners for best actor and actress.
6. Name the last decade's worth of World Series winners.

How did you do?

The point is, none of us remember the headliners of yesterday. These are no second-rate achievers. They are the best in their fields. But the applause dies. Awards tarnish. Achievements are forgotten. Accolades and certificates are buried with their owners .

Here's another quiz. See how you do on this one:

1. List a few teachers who aided your journey through school.
2. Name three friends who have helped you through a difficult time.
3. Name five people who have taught you something worthwhile.
4. Think of a few people who have made you feel appreciated and special.
5. Think of five people you enjoy spending time with .


The lesson:

The people who make a difference in your life are not the ones with the most credentials, the most money, or the most awards. They are the ones that care."
(Charles Schultz)

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Tips On Motivating Yourself

When I feel unmotivated, sometimes I have to just dive in. Visualize the end result, and remind yourself of how much better you will feel when the task is complete. I found an excellent article about motivating yourself on The Positivity Blog called How To Motivate Yourself: 4 Timeless Thoughts (view here)
A summary of these tips is:
1. Make a conscious choice.
2. Walk your talk.
3. Set goals that really inspire you.
4. Don't get too hung up on getting motivated to get started. (In other words, just dive in!)

One more piece of advice. Throw perfectionism out the window. Sometimes that is what keeps me from doing things. I think I have to do it just right, and it overwhelms me enough to paralize me. Instead, just start in, and realize that motivation will follow action. Everything doesn't have to be planned out first.

Monday, August 3, 2009

The Importance Of Prayer

For me, having a good day or having a bad day usually depends on if I started the day with prayer or not. Prayer, puts things in perspective, and allows me to free myself of unneccessary worrying, and to be thankful for the blessings in my life. Here is a poem from

Our Father Sees In Secret
"Our Father sees in secret when you pray,
so when you pray, go in and shut the door
and pray in faith, your mind and heart toward
what He has done for you, what He shall say,
and all the ways He shall lead you today.
Then when your prayers are answered, that reward
shall mean to you and others so much more
than glory men would give, that fades away.
And if you ask Him time and time again
to answer prayer, whatever it may be,
the God of all comfort shall not refrain,
for God is just, and soon your eyes shall see
that faith's repeated askings are not vain.
Our Father shall reward you openly."

We used the song in this video at our wedding. It is so beautiful & meaningful!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Declutter Your House, Declutter Your Mind

One of my biggest struggles is getting rid of clutter. I have found there to be a strong connection between clutter and my peace of mind. Looking around at piles of clutter can really be discouraging. When clutter builds up, it is overwhelming to know where to begin. The flylady site ( has many good ideas about getting rid of clutter and establishing better routines. Here is an encouraging video about doing a little bit everyday to see results. Also, click here for a motivational ebook to help you declutter fast.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Forgive Others For Inner Peace

Forgiving others is a good way to let go of anger and resentment. It is a gift you give yourself. It does not cost anything. It is simply a release. Forgiving others is a process that may take time and prayer. It is a recognition that we are all human, and we all make mistakes, and since God forgave me, I can also forgive others. Here are some good quotes on forgiveness:

"We are all full of weakness and errors; let us mutually pardon each other our follies."

"To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover the prisoner was you."—Unknown

"Resentment is like a glass of poison that a man drinks; then he sits down and waits for his enemy to die."—Unknown

"Sincere forgiveness isn't colored with expectations that the other person apologize or change. Don't worry whether or not they finally understand you. Love them and release them. Life feeds back truth to people in its own way and time—just like it does for you and me." --Sara Paddison

"Not the power to remember, but its very opposite, the power to forget, is a necessary condition for our existence." -Sholem Asch

"You will know that forgiveness has begun when you recall those who hurt you and feel the power to wish them well." --Lewis B. Smedes

"Forgiveness is me giving up my right to hurt you for hurting me." --Anonymous

"Never does the human soul appear so strong as when it foregoes revenge, and dares forgive an injury." --E. H. Chapin

"A happy marriage is the union of two good forgivers." --Robert Quillen

"Not to forgive is to be imprisoned by the past, by old grievances that do not permit life to proceed with new business. Not to forgive is to yield oneself to another's control... to be locked into a sequence of act and response, of outrage and revenge, tit for tat, escalating always. The present is endlessly overwhelmed and devoured by the past. Forgiveness frees the forgiver. It extracts the forgiver from someone else's nightmare." - Lance Morrow

"Never forget the three powerful resources you always have available to you: love, prayer, and forgiveness." --H. Jackson Brown

Friday, July 31, 2009

Gain Control Of Your Life By Setting Boundaries

I am one of those people who has trouble saying "no". I also married someone with the same problem! We both drive each other crazy sometimes, because we see the other person get into situations, simply because they didn't want to let someone down. I finally got to a point where I realized I was going to go crazy if I agreed to one more thing I didn't want to do. I had to simplify my life, and if that meant telling everybody "no" for the next year, then that's what I would do. I came across a good book called Boundaries, (When to Say Yes, When To Say No To Take Control Of Your Life) written by Henry Cloud. I realized that people don't mind all that much when I am not able to do something, like I thought they would. A polite "no, I won't be able to this time" can free me up to focus on the things I am already committed to. It allows me to be in control and realize that it is okay. The best part is, I don't have to resent the committments I take on, or feel like anyone is taking advantage of me. It is not selfish or rude to turn people down politely, or not take on extra committments. However, it can be selfish or rude for people to put you on a guilt trip for not being able to take on one more responsibility or new committment. Just remember that you don't have to be a superhero, and that if you do take on more than you can handle, it will only lead to burnout. If you focus on fewer things, you can give yourself more wholly to them, and get a lot more accomplished in the long run.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Help Yourself By Helping Others

Sometimes the best cure for feeling down is actually to stop focusing on our own needs and wants, and start focusing on how we can help others. Serving others creates a feeling of self worth and joy, and a better attitude towards life in general. And, somehow, helping others puts you in the position to be blessed yourself. I've noticed the happiest people are the people that make other people happy.

Growing Good Corn
Author Unknown

"There once was a farmer who grew award-winning corn. Each year he entered his corn in the state fair where it won a blue ribbon. One year a newspaper reporter interviewed him and learned something interesting about how he grew it. The reporter discovered that the farmer shared his seed corn with his neighbors.

"How can you afford to share your best seed corn with your neighbors when they are entering corn in competition with yours each year?" the reporter asked.

"Why sir," said the farmer, "didn't you know? The wind picks up pollen from the ripening corn and swirls it from field to field. If my neighbors grow inferior corn, cross-pollination will steadily degrade the quality of my corn. If I am to grow good corn, I must help my neighbors grow good corn."

He is very much aware of the connectedness of life. His corn cannot improve unless his neighbor's corn also improves.

So it is with our lives. Those who choose to live in peace must help their neighbors to live in peace. Those who choose to live well must help others to live well, for the value of a life is measured by the lives it touches. And those who choose to be happy must help others to find happiness, for the welfare of each is bound up with the welfare of all."

24 "One man gives freely, yet gains even more;
another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty.
25 A generous man will prosper;
he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed."
Proverbs 11:24-25 (NIV)

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Rising After Failures, Part II.

I wanted to share a few real life examples of people who failed, yet didn't let it keep them down. Here is a video that has real life stories of famous people, and the failures and rejections they overcame before succeeding. This is a good reminder that failure is universal, and everybody at some time or another has failed or been rejected. The key is to rise after failure, and not let failures, rejections, or weaknesses keep you from pursuing your dreams.

Here is another inspirational story about a ballet dancer who injured her ankle. I think you will enjoy this article by Dr. Anthony Fernando called "Change Your Focus, Change Your Life".

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Rising After Failures, Part I

One of the most important things in life is to get back up after failure. After you pour yourself into a project, and it fails, it can be so easy to give up. This is the time to push forward and keep going. It happens to everybody at one time or another. The key is to realize that the project failed, you didn't fail. You, yourself, are not a failure. I like the poem by Rudyard Kipling, titled "If"

"If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or, being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;
If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with triumph and disaster
And treat those two imposters just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with wornout tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on";

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings - nor lose the common touch;
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run -
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And - which is more - you'll be a Man my son!"

"8Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy: when I fall, I shall arise; when I sit in darkness, the LORD shall be a light unto me." Micah 7:8

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Finding Your "Why"

I just received this in an email, and I thought it was very good advice.

"Denis Waitley writes:

For the high achiever, it's natural to seek out challenging goals because he or she has an inner, intrinsic drive to succeed. And success doesn't mean pet rocks, get-rich-quick schemes, lotto jackpots or chain letters. High achievers are looking not to receive, but to contribute, to give. They're looking for problems that are personally satisfying to solve. Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey and Warren Buffett, three of the wealthiest individuals in the world, eagerly go to work every day to face the challenge of solving a new and bigger problem. All could be playing Backgammon on a tropical island or two rounds of golf per day.

Since the accomplishment of a difficult task means more to the high achiever than any external motivation, it means that motivation will remain strong throughout his or her career. Think of how much stronger and more permanent such a motivation is compared to one that is extrinsic.

Suppose you choose a particular career because of the money. What happens when there's more money in doing something else? You're likely to abandon one path as soon as another possibility opens up, and eventually you'll find yourself wondering what you're really doing, maybe even who you really are.

Since there is no inner drive to stay on any particular path, the journey will be arduous, and motivation will tend to weaken whenever the external reward seems remote or out of sight. This is especially true with individuals who want a home business with high rewards and minimal risk. Some people spend their entire lives wandering from one field to another, always looking for an easier way to find that pot of gold, never achieving a significant goal worthy of their inner potential.

I've met many people who fit this description. If they're in sales, they move from company to company, from industry to industry, from one product or service to another. They are very hard to keep on your hand held electronic address book or in your directory of contacts because they are always either coming or going or starting another new business of their own. When that doesn't work, they get involved in sketchy enterprises, especially start-up-companies offering big, easy rewards, such as a wonder diet company where you can lose all the weight you want by eating anything you want and swallowing one amazing pill a day. They go from one Roman candle to another, from one "exciting opportunity" to another disappointment.

The problem is, money alone does not stimulate intrinsic motivation and therefore is a means, not an end. Money is like fuel for your car. It is not the destination. It is not the journey. It is only part of the transportation system. Make your "why" grab you by your very soul. You'll never be disappointed for very long. And you'll stay committed regardless of "stock market gyrations" or setbacks.

This week, find your unique "why" and pursue it with passion and commitment!"

Thursday, July 23, 2009

What To Do With Worry

The problem with worrying about things is that small worries grow into big worries, and eventually turn into anxiety. The cure is to first identify what the worries are, and then come up with a plan of action. Talking things out with a good friend when you're feeling anxious about something can help to identify the cause of worry, and come up with a plan of action. Now, there are just some things that are out of our control. We tend to worry about these things the most. These are the times that we need to recognize that there is nothing we can do, and just let go. Last night at church, we sang an old song, "When I Lay My Burdens Down" and it made me think about what a relief it is to be able to "lay my burdens down" and trust that God will work everything out. If we pray about the things that are out of our control, and believe that God will work it out, then we can have peace about the situation.
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God." (Philippians 4:6, NIV)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

How Gratitude Affects Your Happiness

Being grateful is one way to focus on the positive. This is one of the secrets of truly happy people. Instead of focusing on what they don't have, they focus on what they do have, and they take time to appreciate those things. Have you ever visited a nursing home or a retirement home and noticed that there are some people that are very bitter, and then there are those that are quite content? The people who have bitter attitudes can't seem to take their minds off what they don't have. It has just consumed them. Yet, the content people are quite the opposite. They have a thankful disposition, and refuse to allow their situation to bring them down. We can choose to be grateful everyday. Prayer is one way to take a few minutes everyday and thank God for the blessings in our life. We can also make a list of things we are grateful for, and post it somewhere we will see daily. That way when we feel ourself start to complain, we will remember all our blessings. Taking time to help people that are less fortunate than we are is also a good way to put things in perspective and remind us of our blessings. It is very sad that half of marriages end in divorce. I believe one of the biggest reasons that this happens is that we are not grateful for the person we have married. We choose to focus on the negative aspects that drive us crazy instead of being thankful for their presence in our lives, and then forget that we could lose that person altogether. After being together for a few years, it is so easy to take each other for granted and lose the appreciation and love that brought you together. In all types of relationships we would find that being grateful of each other leads us to more happiness and fulfillment.

"Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion into clarity.... It turns problems into gifts, failures into success, the unexpected into perfect timing, and mistakes into important events. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow." Melodie Beattie

Monday, July 20, 2009

The Power of Dreams

Dreams are powerful. Dreams lead people to face their fears and persevere through challenges. Don't let anyone take your dream away or tell you it isn't possible. Pray about your dreams. Set goals to reach your dreams. And do whatever you can to keep your dream alive.

"Far away there in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I may not reach them, but I can look up and see their beauty, believe in them, and try to follow where they lead." Louisa May Alcott

Sunday, July 19, 2009

My Source Of Hope

I can't talk about hope unless I talk about Jesus Christ, for he is truly my source of hope and my rock in this crazy and turbulent world. The words of the song, In Christ Alone, has been on my mind lately. Brian Littrell (formerly part of the Backstreet Boys) made a comeback of this old song a couple of years ago. Check it out here:

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Everybody Needs a Break Sometimes.

Sometimes, escaping the realities of life, can be very healthy and refreshing. For example, going on a mini vacation can have a nice recharging affect. Today, we spent the entire day at the zoo with our son and my parents. It was a very nice and inexpensive way to get away from it all and have a good time. When we got home this evening, I actually felt a desire to clean the house! Wow, that doesn't happen very often, I better jump on it. I guess I really did just need a break. How long has it been since you had a break? I mean a whole day, out of town, just relax and have fun kind of a break. It might be just what you need to get your motivation back to doing the ordinary things.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Learning To Love Yourself As You Are.

Everybody is so different. Nobody is better than anyone else, but we are all creations of the same living God. There are many qualities that we feel are weaknesses or even failings, but can actually be used in positive ways . I was watching the 700 Club, and they did a story on a man who had lost his wife. His grieving process took him on a lot of twists and turns, and led him down an incredible path. He learned on his path that God loved him as He was, and that God made him the way he was. For example, he was a thrill seeker and loved living a more dangerous life. He realized that God still loved him, and that God could use that personality trait to reach others. You can read more about him here: One thing I struggle with everyday is staying organized and on task. When I joined an online group at I received a very eye opening message that changed my whole view of myself. It relayed how "messy" people have trouble staying on task because of their creativity. Flylady's focus is using creativity to solve the problems of disorganization and getting sidetracked. Fly stands for "Finally Loving Yourself". What do you struggle with? Try to look at your weakness in a different light and remember, God loves you the way you are, and that you are his creation. Even if you struggle with sin, God still loves you. He paid the price so you can be free from sin and live in his grace. You can't become good enough to please him. You come to him as you are, as a sinner, and he will give you grace and help free you from the sins that bind you. Learn to love yourself. God does.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Being Happy At Home.

It seems like we all go through times in our life when we are "stuck" at home. Whether you had lack of transportation, you were unemployed, you were caring for the children, or you were sick, you have probably experienced that feeling of being "trapped" at home. From the outside view, it may appear to be a luxury. But the reality is, staying at home day after day can become mundane and miserable without the right perspective. Being a home daycare provider, I have learned that I have to make the best of being at home. I have found the best thing to do is to try to focus on the positives, and enjoy my time at home. I found a great squidoo lens from someone who has learned how to be "Happy at Home". Here is the link: Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Saying Goodbye To Yesterday.

"It's so hard to say goodbye to yesterday..." I heard a group of men sing on America's Got Talent last night. How true it is. This got me thinking about, how so many people, not excluding myself, hang onto our pasts. Our could've, would've, and should'ves that ring in our minds, holding us back from the present moments and opportunities of today. It reminded me of one of my favorite quotes:

"Finish each day and be done with have done what you could; some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; you shall begin it well and serenely." Ralph Waldo Emerson

I often does holding onto our past keep us from realizing the opportunities of the present and dreams of tomorrow? Do we let our past failures keep us from taking chances today, and forget that the day is anew, and anything can happen? Of course there is a time and a place to reflect and look to the past. But let us not live there.  The only way to truly say hello to today, and look to a brighter tomorrow, is to say goodbye to yesterday. Every hurt, every pain, every failure is behind you. Today is a new day.

"21This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope.
22It is of the LORD's mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.
23They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. "
(Lamentations 3:21-23 King James Bible)

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Waiting For The Sunshine...

Feeling down sometimes is natural. But when that feeling just won't seem to go away, it can be even more discouraging. Have you ever realized that you feel happier when the sun comes out from behind the clouds? I started paying attention, and my mood really is affected by the weather. I think weather is a great analogy for the moods of our soul. There are times in our lives when we just can't seem to see things positive no matter how hard we try. It seems like a permanant dark cloud has settled over our head. These are the times that we need to remember that just like the changes in the sky, the emotional clouds will also pass away and the sunshine will once again return. If you realize that it is a passing emotion, that may linger at times, but is in no way permanent, it just might ease your mind. And don't forget that sadness and depression are common to humanity, and we can encourage and lean upon each other when we are down. Never isolate yourself or hide your pain. It's okay to cry.