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Motivation for Mondays

Motivation for Mondays and Anything That Feels Like One

Dependently Independent

In this day and age, we are taught as women to be independent, to take on the super woman role that we can do anything, and there is nothing we can’t accomplish. I do not agree with this, but hear me out……

I L-O-V-E, love being independent or at least some sense of being so. I love working and providing for myself and my children. I love being able to be some-what handy and fixing a few things that goes wrong in my own house, or at least knowing who to call to fix if need be. I love being able to make my own decisions about things and not being too lazy to educate myself in different areas if necessary. I love the fact I don’t need someone to come and rescue me, and I know I can fend for myself in most areas. I love feeling independent and that I can do it all myself, but before I start shouting “I AM WOMAN, HEAR ME ROAR” let me tell you what I can’t do….

I can’t be a listening ear for myself. I NEED my best friends for that. The real best friends that will not only listen, but know just when to tell you to SUCK IT UP and move on. The ones that support you and any decision you make, but don’t mind putting in their opinion, because well…..they do know you pretty well. The ones that are the first to brag about all the things you are good at, but don’t mind to give a helping hand in the areas you are not talented in.

I can’t love myself. I need a partner for that. I can have self esteem, and maybe even treat myself to things now and then, but I can’t give true, real love to myself. This is something all humans need, I am no exception to this rule. I am blessed to have someone that loves me, puts me first, is thoughtful of me, and doesn’t let a day go by that he doesn’t make sure I know I am loved. I need him in my life.

I can’t support myself. I need others for that. The ones that act as cheerleader when you attempt something new, and are there when things don’t go exactly as planned.  I cannot begin to explain how this whole group of people have supported and encouraged me along my life’s journey.  From my parents, my brothers, my church, my work family, friends, etc, etc, etc. In short I am blessed and everywhere I turn, I have support. God sure has placed me in the path of so many great people.

I can’t save myself. I need a Savoir for that. I needed a God that had compassion on me, saw me in a much less-than-perfect state, and decided to intervene. I needed a God to provide me with the real deal unconditional love that I could never find in the best of humans. I needed His grace, His mercy, His strength, His guidance, His provision, His words, and so on and so on. The song lyric sticks in my head that says this: “where would I be if not for His grace”. It’s something I shutter to think about. Not a day has passed that I have not needed Him….EVER.

I can’t do a lot of the necessary things I need in my life.

I think it is great to be/do/conquer anything you like, but it will never be independent of the relationships in our lives. Truth is, none of us get to where we are without the help, support, and love of others. We are not meant to live this life alone, completely independent of one another. We are meant to have meaningful, fulfilled relationships that both give and take.

No one can conquer the world, or even their dreams alone. We all need a hand reaching down to us from time to time, and we should be the type person that can give a helping hand when we see the opportunity to do so. Another song lyric comes to mind, this one from my childhood, Sunday School days; “When we all pull together, together, together….when we all pull together, how happy we’ll be”.

Even though it is a stab right to the heart of my pride, I can admit I am dependently independent. I can pull my own weight, am capable of plenty of things, proud of my accomplishments, and will continue to set and meet my goals,  but I sure am glad I don’t have to do it alone.

Jesus loves me, this I know

The timeless Sunday School song “Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so..” If you are like me, you were singing it at age three. But as I have grown in my relationship with God over the span of my lifetime, I now know His love for me first hand and not only because the Bible told me so. Now, I am not undermining the song, I am simply stating that I have experienced His love personally and not just read it from the pages of His Word.

But for many years, instead of focusing on the fact that God has unconditional love for me and humming along to hymns that tell of His love, I have often found myself playing the “He loves me, He loves me not” game. I have assumed that the love He has for me depends on the how good I have been, how great of Christian I could be, how much of His Word I could recite by heart, how many good deeds I had done, how much money I was willing to give to the poor, how willing I was to help those in need, and the list could go on an on. I was basing His love on what I did instead of what HE did.

Facts are, He died for me before I ever had the opportunity to sin, He declared His love for me before I was formed in the womb, He had already decided He would be my savior long before I came to realize I was in dire need of one. For all the times I thought “He loves me not”, I couldn’t have been farther from the truth.

When I have willingly sinned, He has loved me.

When I have shunned Him and ran from Him, He stood with arms open wide awaiting my return.

When I have chosen every other path except for His, He never stopped pointing out the way I should go.

When I have failed Him miserably, and found the courage to get into His presence, I was greeted with affection and not with a cold shoulder.

When I have been angry and blamed Him for things He didn’t have a part in, He never became defensive in explaining His side of the story, He simply was understanding of my feelings and never pushed me away.

He has never shamed me. He has never neglected me. He has never made me feel alone….matter of fact, there have been times He has been the only one there.

I’ve always been welcome in His presence, regardless if I felt worthy enough to be there. He’s never been too busy, never rushed, never made me feel as though I was a pester or a nuisance. As I look back on the many years I have known God, I honestly cannot say there has been one time that I could state “He loves me not”.

His love is overwhelming, never changing, and always consistent. His love will chase after you fiercely, continually, and forever. He will never stop pursuing you. He will never give up on you. He loved you enough to die for you, taking your place, and on top of that gave you free will to choose if you will love Him back. He died for you with no guarantee you would return your love for Him. That, my friends, is a love that is hard to deny. You can be given the “list” of dos and don’ts you are supposed to uphold as a Christian, and that is easy to walk away from. It can seem like a standard to which you cannot keep, it can seem impossible, it can seem as though you are defeated before you can even get started, because in your own strength, you are. None of us are perfect. But being face to face with His truly unconditional, no-strings attached, pure love…well, that was something I couldn’t say no to. As His word says, it is His love that draws us to repentance.

His love for me is the very foundation of the relationship I have with Him. It is what I can count on when I can’t count on anything else. It is something I know I can always find my way back to. If you are in the habit, like I was at one time, of considering your own love for Him and your own actions more than you considered His, then I challenge you today to not let your short coming outshine His love for you. His love is greater than your mistakes. His love is greater than all the times you have failed. His love is greater than yours.

Jesus loves me, this I know, because He has proven it over, and over, and over. I would assume He will prove it to me countless times more.

 

 

 

 

Your gift will make room for you and bring you before great men…

I’ll admit, my “favorite” scripture changes as often as the weather, but this is one I refer to often. “Your gift will make room for you and bring you before great men. Proverbs 18:16”

I am one of those people that listen to teachings and motivational speeches from people from all walks of life, and music that inspires me and even makes me want to do a little jig. I like listening to stories of how people have over come adversity, the rags to riches stories, and those of the underdog who won against all odds. I admire people who can tell their stories and teach others in the process. Not stories of some made up hero, but ones of real  people that were facing real problems in real life, and they came out a conqueror.  I’m addicted to motivation. I believe it keeps me focused on growth and not setbacks. Keeps me pushing ahead and not looking back. One of my all time favorite motivational speakers, Zig Ziglar, when posed with the statement “motivation does not last”, his simply replied “neither does bathing that is why it is recommended daily”.

For years I listened to such stories with the perspective of “I should be better/more”, or “for me to be better, I must change/be different than I am now” or “if I want to be like these people, I must do things differently”. Now, I agree that if you want different results in your life, you must do things differently, but I was going at it from the perspective of what I am now is not right, not enough, or I don’t have what it takes.

Then scriptures like “YOUR gift will MAKE ROOM for you” seemed to just jump off the page and I began to see growth (whether it be mental, spiritual, physical,or emotional) in a different light. Goes along with the scripture the says “He goes before you and prepares the way”. Just gives you a sense that the work has been done for me and maybe I just need to start down the path. I began seeing growth, not as something to strive for or a struggle to obtain, but as something that had been shelved for a long time in the corner collecting dust. That maybe I had always had a talent, but had never put it to use. Maybe there were dreams I had always had, but I had never pursued them. Maybe I had always had “gifts” but never gave them a chance to make room for me. For some time now, my perspective on self development has shifted and it has made such a dramatic difference in my life. Instead of striving, working, and trying to obtain to be something so different I have embraced who I am and develop the God-given gifts in me….as cliché as that may sound. But the difference between trying to be something you are not, and growing/developing who you already are is astounding, at lest to me.

Another scripture tells us to “stir up the GIFTS WITHIN YOU”. The very fact the scripture tells us to “stir up” our gifts let me know that they can lie dormant. Like a fire that only has embers…it still has heat, but stir it up and it can become a raging flame! Don’t let you talents be shelved. Don’t let your dreams go unpursued. Don’t hinder your gifts from making room for you. Let God do His part of “going before you and preparing the way”, and you just trust in His path and begin taking steps down it.

When you walk with purpose, you collide with destiny.

Rachel Ray

We’ve All Been There

We’ve all been there….

We’ve all spilled BBQ sauce on our white shirts.

We’ve all ran through a red light we know we should have stopped at.

We’ve all walked into a room and have no idea what we came in there for.

We’ve all fell in public, all sprawled out on the floor hoping to hold on to one shred of dignity. Here’s to hoping your fall was at least near a wet floor sign so you have a legit excuse.

We’ve all laughed so hard we snorted and that, in turn, made us laugh even harder.

We’ve all had very good intentions of being productive for the day, and stayed all day in the bed.

We’ve all tripped or our feet slipped and, although we may have not fallen all the way to the floor, we did however pull off some sort of karate/dance moves with flailing arms to be able to keep balance. It was the very definition of smooth.

We’ve all made up bogus plans that we just can’t get out of in an effort to avoid some sort of obligation we just didn’t want to go to.

We’ve all called in sick when we really just wanted a day to play, but we made sure to use our low scruffy voice to make sure we sounded convincing.

We’ve all walked around with a piece of food in our teeth, walking so confidently, but certainly not looking that way.

We’ve all had some sort of wardrobe malfunction at some point; a conspicuous hole that everyone can see but us, ripped seams in delicate places, or my favorite…your skirt tucked in your under ware or your ‘skirt-tail tucked in your britches’, as my Grandma would say.

We’ve all made promises we didn’t keep.

We’ve all looked for our keys, or phone, or glasses and they were conveniently located in our hands.

We’ve all tried to show out or impress someone and failed miserable in doing so.

We’ve all tried that trendy new haircut that wasn’t for us and we learned it’s not so bad to stick to the classic styles.

We’ve all laughed uncontrollably in very inappropriate situations.

We’ve all wanted to pull the words we just said back in our mouths at the very moment we said them.

We’ve all had our head at work while our bodies were at home, and our minds at home when our bodies were at work.

We’ve all half heartedly set goals that we didn’t really strive to achieve.

We’ve all said something ridiculous, like asking the lady just how far along she is, and as it turns out, she wasn’t even pregnant.

We’ve all  made terrible fashion statements that we thought were on point at the time, turns out we were wrong…..so, so very wrong.

We’ve all thrown our dirty clothes on the floor and left them there for days.

We’ve all promised ourselves we are going to eat healthier and are digging into our favorite chocolate cake before the sun sets.

We’ve all been lazy.

We’ve all tried on two different shoes with our outfit to see which ones looks better and forget to follow through with that decision and end up sporting two different shoes to work. Ok, maybe that one is just me.

We’ve all cooked a meal that wasn’t eatable.

We’ve all lost things.

We’ve all forgot the load of laundry in the washer and had to rewash it to get the mildew smell out.

We’ve all forgot an appointment or a meeting or to call someone back.

We’ve all tried something new that didn’t work.

We’ve all went against our mother’s advice, when we knew all along she was right.

We’ve all lied…to someone….at some point….about something.

We’ve all talked dyslexic at times and called the “tea pitcher” the “pea ticher” or (my favorite) the “squirrel feeder” the “ferrel squeeder”….Ok, again, maybe this one is just me.

Point is we are idiots from time to time. Glorious, failing idiots.

We are human, therefore, we are not perfect. But somewhere in the midst of making mistakes, accomplishing epic fails, and being a screw up…we sometimes get it right. We love, we share, we give to those in need, we lend a helping hand, we show compassion, we open our hearts, we hug, we smile, we care for a child, we give a listening ear, we buy lunch for a friend, we meet the deadline, we burn a few hundred calories, we work hard, we encourage, we strive, we dream, we achieve, we stretch ourselves, we motivate someone, we make someone believe in themselves, we help out a good cause, we get somewhere on time, we laugh and giggle and snort, we provide, we protect, we keep going, we don’t give up, we pray, we take help when we need it, we show grace, we give to a stranger, we are friendly and considerate, we give a compliment, we tell someone how much they mean to us, we have a shoulder to cry on, we learn, we grow, we change for the better, we hold one to courage instead of fear, we put forth effort, we keep our word, we take that chance, we take the advise, we believe, we hope, we strive, and we hope against hope we will end up where we want or should to be.

We are more than our mistakes. Scripture says we are fearfully and wonderfully made. We not only are here to check off a to-do list, but we have a purpose to fulfill, lives in impact, and dreams to chase in spite of our imperfections.  Know that you are not alone in your mistakes, it is what makes you human. It’s a pretty cool club to be in, there are only about seven billion of us.

We’ve all been there and I have no doubts that we will all strive to fulfill our purpose.

 

 

A Thankful Heart and Eyes That See

We have all heard the old sayings about being thankful: “a thankful heart is a happy heart” and “no matter what, there is always something to be thankful for”. Well, these may not sound like eye-opening or profound, life changing phrases, but the truth they posses still remains. I have been in some pretty low times in my life, as all of us have been I’m sure, and there was always something to be thankful for. Actually, when I got to looking around and there were lots of things to be thankful for. Many, many things that good, or could have been so much worse.

Yesterday, I had an routine appointment with my eye doctor. I am contact lens wearer, and have been for many, many years. When I have to change my contacts, I have the replacement lens right there ready to go. So, there is all of about 10 seconds, I am without 20/20 vision. At the doctor’s office, the first thing they did was ask me to remove my lenses. This was all fine and good while I was sitting securely in a chair, but then they had the audacity to ask my to move to another exam room, not only once, but twice. I was walking down a hall with my eyes wide, my steps slow, and my hands a little out in front of me because, dear Lord, I could barely see. They could have at least offered the assistance of a service dog, or a hand to hold, or a cane I could tap on the floor in front of me as I walked to insure I was not about to run into things, or something!! I felt helpless and awkward, and I’m sure I gave a few people a good laugh. My confidence of being able to do something as simple as walking a few feet to another room was shaken, and as I had to walk around, lens free….well, it was eye-opening (pun intended).

I have been taught from an early age to be thankful for most everything and to always find the silver lining, per say. So it has just became a habit for me that has pretty well turned into a lifestyle of being thankful. This is something I am trying desperately to pass on to my children, and  not a sense of entitlement. Sitting there waiting on my doctor to come and complete the exam, I got to thinking, what if no one ever invented contacts or glasses…how different would me life be? I would need much more assistance that I do now. I wouldn’t be able to see my kids on the baseball fields making the winning run, because I can’t see past my nose on my own. It would effect my work and I absolutely would not need to be behind the wheel driving.  My overall quality of life is dramatically different because someone took the time to invent things to correct vision. God bless the person who did this!!

As it has been my habit, I began to be truly thankful, not only for the lens, but for all the conveniences in my life that would make life completely different if I didn’t have them. Truth is most of us are over-the-top blessed. Most of us have people who love us, support us, encourage us, stretch us, hold us accountable, make us laugh, and give meaning to our lives. We posses things that make life easier, make our homes comfortable, make our commutes possible, and make our daily tasks more convenient.

We really do ALWAYS have something to be thankful for. I uses to sing a song in Sunday School, that said “count your blessings, name them one by one”. When I do this, I am always surprised at just how long the list is. Take five minutes and begin to count your own blessings, I bet you’ll be surprised too, even is you have to start your list with something like as small as contact lens.

Dang you Mr. Theodore….

I ran across this quote by our former President sometime ago and well, it has single handedly taken away my excuses for just about everything.

do-what-you-can

When I consider the quote “do what you can, with what you have, where you are” I immediately see opportunities to do more in just about any area.

But I like my excuses sometimes. I like to say I’m too tired when the truth is I’m too lazy. I like to hold onto my excuses like a warm snuggly blanket that comforts me. It’s nice sometime when I need a break. Sometimes I like to not be actively involved in the world and hid away in my little corner. And that is OK…

But the truth is I don’t need excuses or a break everyday. Some days I really am tired, but most days I could push myself just a little further in whatever area it is. Ole Theodore has made sure of that with his 3 lined quote. Maybe I could just show a little more compassion or kindness as I am going about my day.  Maybe be nice to the cashier who seems to have a bad attitude when what I don’t know, is every customer she has help has been over the top rude to her and maybe she’s just a little defensive and fed up. Maybe I could run just one more lap than I did yesterday and prove to myself just how strong my body really is.  Maybe I could enroll in that class I’ve been considering. Maybe I could “practice what I preach” to my children and be an example and not just a dictator. Maybe I could use patience when I am trying to teaching  my kids something instead of getting frustrated when they don’t get it right on the first few tries. Maybe I could buy breakfast for the person in line behind me at McDonalds. Maybe I could just make sure my face has a smile and not a scowl. Maybe I could make sure my widowed elderly neighbor is not in need of anything….especially some company. Maybe I could be the type person that people enjoy to run into at the supermarket and not one where they want to duck their heads and hurriedly try to make it to the next aisle without making eye contact. Maybe I could just be a good friend and listen to their problems or situations half as much as they have listened to mine. Maybe I could show the one that has my heart, that I do indeed love them every single day. Maybe I could not get so caught up in the few little pesky things in my life I wish would change, but I could be thankful for the tremendous, countless blessings I’m given on a daily basis. Maybe I could show love, understanding, grace, comfort, and mercy to others as I feel that God has so freely shown to me. Maybe I could realize that someone I talk to today may be going through a really hard time in their life and they probably don’t need my attitude, rudeness, or short words to add to their bad day. Maybe I could take note of that mom in the store with her small baby, bags under her eyes from spending the night in a rocking chair comforting her baby, just trying to get at least a few things on the list before it is time to get feed the baby again,  and maybe I could just put my hand on her shoulder as I pass by and say, “Mom, you are doing a great job”. Maybe I could open my front door, my fridge full of take out left overs and my momma’s cooking, my conversation, and my heart to anyone that happens to stop by.  Maybe I could even let my friend know that there is a boogie hanging out of her nose so that she don’t have to go around all day wondering why people are staring…

That’s a lot of maybes. But just maybe I could take the time to “do what I can” today and  it would not only make a difference in someone else’s day, but maybe I could sleep better tonight knowing I was a good, kind, generous, caring, compassionate, encouraging, or a strong person today.

Most of the time it is not one major decision that shapes our lives, but our small, daily decisions that makes us how we are. And let’s face it, when you can say “I did all I could do” then it puts you in a position to be able to accept the outcome (good, bad, or ugly). It is only when we know we have held back and not given our all, for whatever reason, that we are faced with grief and regret.

Now, GO…

Do what you can, with what you have, where you are. No excuses!

 

 

May this be the year…

May this be the year you have love that not only make you comfortable but also pushes you to realize your potential.

May this be the year that brings you closer to where you want to be, and when you get there, you push yourself a little further.

May this be the year you set and reach your goals.

May this be the year you learn to be even more compassionate and aware of the problems you can solve.

May this be the year you let go of what you cannot control.

May this be the year you focus on what is good, and perfect, and the blessings in your life.

May this be the year you count your blessings and are truly grateful for the people, things, and experiences this life has given you.

May this be the year you are brave enough to step out and believe in your dreams.

May this be the year you realize that you are not alone.

May this be the year that shows you that no one is perfect, we all have room for growth, and we have all made some pretty horrible mistakes.

May this be the year that teaches you a truly happy life is the life that gets lost in the service of others.

May this be the year that proves to you, you are worth investing in.

May this be the year you are set in places and positions you have dreamed about and strived for.

May this be the year that you are kind, not only to others, but to yourself.

May this be YOUR YEAR …

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