This song is one of the most beautiful songs I have ever heard. It speaks my testimony so perfectly, I had to reblog this song and share it with all of you.
What could you accomplish if you stopped listening to doubt and fear and went after a life most people only dream of?
For 35 years, I listened to my doubt and fear.
I listened to the negative voices of other people telling me my dreams were not possible.
Maybe they were right….
I had no college degree.
No special skills.
How could a Custodian from Cleveland become anything that was of value?
It seemed impossible.
After the death of my son, I realized that whether or not it seemed impossible, I had to try.
Life is too short to die with regret, so I decided to go for it!
Seven years later, my life is amazing in ways I never dreamed possible.
This weekend while on a hike up to an ancient Indian village, Jeff and I were talking about “Happiness”.
We were discussing why there is so much unhappiness in the world, and why it is so difficult for people to shift their mindset out of depression and into joy.
Then at church yesterday the lesson was about Humility. We discussed, again happiness vs depression. The teacher pointed out that depression is a result of living life inside – out and happiness is the result of living life outside-in.
So today, I want to continue this conversation with all of you!
Here’s the thing.
Life is short, way too short, and none of us will live forever.
When we let doubt and fear win, we lose valuable time that could be used truly living.
Would you be willing to play with an idea for the next few minutes?
If you are…here is the idea;
(If not, skip down to the next paragraph.)
The worst critic and enemy in your life is YOU.
You are the one who is allowing your mindset to run a muck!
You are the one who is ruminating all the mean things that have been said and done to you.
You are the one tormenting yourself…
Yet, you blame everyone else.
You expect them to change.
You demand they fix things.
They never will.
It’s not them that is making you depressed.
YOU are doing that to yourself with your thought process.
Would you be willing to consider that this statement is true?
If you are, then by accepting responsibility for your thoughts, you can then change the way you feel about things.
You can accept that people sometimes hurt and disappoint us, but that WE are the ones that are allowing that small offense to grow into a monster that kills our happiness.
Why would you give your power away to someone who does not love you?
It really is that simple.
JUST STOP, giving them space inside your thoughts.
Replace those hurtful, negative thoughts, with the things that fill you with joy…
What would it take to start living your dream?
During all these discussions on happiness this weekend I noticed 5 common themes running through all of them. There seemed to be a consensus that there are “WAYS” to realize your dreams, thereby creating contentment and joy in your life.
Here are the 5 ways to squeeze every drop of joy out of your life…
1. Figure out what your dream life truly is.
Take some time to meditate. I always suggest starting with meditation, because your inner wisdom knows you better than anyone else ever will. So start there first.
Then, talk it over with someone close to you. Share your dream with someone who you can trust to support you in it, and hold you accountable for your goals.
But the most important thing is that you figure out all those things you really want to accomplish in life.
2. Put a step-by-step plan together.
We are blessed with this amazing thing called the “Internet.”
Use it to research exactly what it will take, down to the last cent, to make your dream your reality.
Find stories of people who succeeded in the areas you desire, then do what they did.
There really is no need to reinvent the wheel.
3. Take small steps.
The best way to test your plan is by putting your toe in the water.
Look at your plan, take one of the steps, and see if it works.
Once you take one small step, take another, and keep moving forward.
2 yrs ago, I weighed 80 lbs more than I do today.
I didn’t lose that much weight overnight. It took thousands of small steps to get me to the point I am today.
My first step was a glass of water when I had a craving.
So no matter how insignificant the step may seem…trust me it’s NOT.
4. Get ready to fall.
No matter how solid your plan is, we all experience a fall/failure when making changes.
The thing that separates those that are successful from those that aren’t, is the ability to get back up.
We all fall… but determine right now that when you do, you’ll get back up.
I always tell my kids, ” It’s only a mistake if you didn’t learn anything from it. If you learned something, then it was a LESSON.”
So don’t be afraid to make mistakes, they will be your greatest teacher in life. You will learn to embrace your failures if you approach them with this mindset…I promise.
And last BUT not least…
5. Keep pushing forward.
Fine-tune your plan, learn more about your dream, get up when you fall, and keep pushing forward.
You can do this:
you can accomplish anything you want as long as you keep pushing forward.
You owe it to yourself.
You owe it to your loved ones.
Let this be the year you beat those doubts and fears and accomplish the impossible.
It starts with making that decision and shift in your mind.
Once I made that shift… it wasn’t easy —My life changed in ways I never even dreamed possible.
I now enjoy a life of quiet simplicity that only a few years ago would have seemed impossible for me…
My home life is stable now.
I am surrounded by loving and supportive friends.
I am in a healthy, loving relationship with an incredible man.
I get paid to paint.
My blog is gaining popularity, and my dream of writing my book is becoming more and more of a reality every day.
They say when life gives you lemons…Make lemonade.
I’m a living testament that you can do this.
What could you accomplish? You can accomplish what most people think is impossible.
Maurice Sendak once said,
“There must be more to life than having everything.”
And the secret to finding it is to seek MEANING in your life, not CONTROL.
Today I want to talk about those CLOSED DOORS we all encounter in our lives.
My entire life up to this point could be seen as a series of closed doors. It seems that every time I turn around, another door that I assumed was open, Closes.
I am in a constant struggle with life it seems.
Yet, despite all that I have discovered peace.
I am at rest.
I am comforted.
I believe God showed me the importance of not giving up despite the closed doors in my life.
I had a dream several years ago, while I was going through my divorce, that for some reason came back to mind this morning. It was a dream about closed doors that has changed the way I handle trials.
I believe that’s how it is with us.
(Habakkuk 2: 3) “For the vision is yet for an appointed time and it hastens to the end ; it will not deceive or disappoint. Though it tarry, wait for it, because it will surely come; it will not be behindhand on its appointed day.”
I love this scripture. It has given me the courage many times, to trust in God’s timing, not my own.
Many people spend their lives seeking control… of money, real estate, jobs, careers, other people… you name it, somebody wants to control it.
But control is an illusory thing.
It’s like running side-hill on loose gravel. The terrain is always changing, so to maintain “control,” you have to keep moving.
In the end, people are much happier when they stop pursuing control and start seeking meaning.
At that point, you begin to establish a foothold on solid ground.
There are many ways to find “solid ground” and add meaning to your life:
Here are 6 ways that can help you establish a foothold on solid ground.
1. Follow your interests.
Pursue the things you feel passionate about. Your days will be full.
We all spend so many hours doing the things we are OBLIGATED to do. No wonder we all feel that there are not enough hours in the day.
Find time every day to pursue your passions.
2. Don’t be afraid of anything.
If you are afraid… of following your dreams,
of leaving the perceived safety and comfort of your home or job
or the status quo…
then confront the traumas that caused your fears.
Life is too short to be timid.
3. Avoid negative people.
Loose gravel is bad enough.
Negative people are like quicksand. Avoid them.
That includes people who are abusive in any way – emotional, verbal or physical. Don’t tolerate it.
If someone is abusive to you, tell them to stop.
If they don’t stop, leave.
Leave the room, leave the house, and if it still doesn’t stop, leave the relationship.
4. Believe in something.
Yourself (especially Yourself).
A life devoid of belief is a life devoid.
5. Help others.
If somebody needs help, lend a hand.
You will be rewarded many times over.
Last fall, I organized the first “Zombie Fun Run” in Carbon and Emery Counties to promote Fitness in our area. Then during the Holiday season we collected “CarePackages for Christmas” and sent supplies to the soldiers serving over- seas that would not be home for Christmas.
I started these events because I wanted to do something meaningful for others.
Along the way, I met many fascinating people and brought more meaning to my own life.
6. Lastly, open your heart.
The heart has an infinite capacity for love.
All you have to do is open up and let it out.
Tell your loved ones that you love them.
Tell them every chance you get–every time you see or talk or write to them.
And when somebody hugs you, hug them back.
If you do each of those things, you will have a rich and meaningful life.
You will never again be detoured by a CLOSED DOOR;
because you will know that it is just God’s way of telling you to keep searching for the RIGHT DOOR.
And when you get it, share it!
I don’t usually write more than one blog in a day, but today, I decided that I needed to write a second one.
Jeff has asked me several times why my husband would ever want to leave me and my kids.
I have offered him shallow answers to that question, but today I feel that I am ready to give the DEEP answer.
Maybe the wisdom I have gained through my failures will be of some help to someone who is currently struggling in their relationship.
Or maybe just give a good foundation for couples like Jeff and I that are just 5 months into a relationship, and are committed to growing stronger together for a long time.
So Jeff, here are, in my opinion the 4 ways my marriage was destroyed.
#1. Hitting the “Pause Button”
Kids, careers, friends… life.
Families are often built-in the early stages of a marriage, at the same time that careers are being established.
One or both may somehow believe that when everything slowed down, they could return to the relationship and pick it up where it was.
I was either pregnant or nursing a baby non-stop for sever years. That was a huge strain on our marriage. One that we never really recovered from.
Unfortunately, like many areas of life, there is no “pause” for relationships. They are either growing or deteriorating.
“Pausing” begins the process of disconnecting.
More than that, since we all need connection, when the disconnection deepens, it leads to hurt and resentment.
The hurt and resentment continue to perpetuate further disconnection.
The cycle deepens.
And a marriage “on pause” simply becomes a disconnected relationship, fueled by hurt and resentment.
I have learned that unless your relationship is a top priority, it will fail! There cannot ever be a PAUSE in your communication, or intimacy.
#2. Change and Growth
People are in a constant stage of growth and evolution.
Failing to acknowledge that fact is dangerous to any relationship, but especially to a marriage.
Unfortunately, how we are changing as individuals is often almost invisible to ourselves.
We don’t always even notice how we are changing, ourselves.
Which is why it is crucial for couples to continue having those conversations about what is important to each of them in life.
To illustrate this point, let’s go back to how most people fall in love:
We share our inner life, our hopes, our dreams.
We talk about our experiences and how they have formed us as people.
We discuss politics, beliefs, social issues.
We basically spend those early days of bonding by telling each other of how we have grown into the people we are.
And then, we stop.
Sometimes, it is gradual.
For many couples, it is abrupt.
Somehow, there is an assumption that the other person knows you,
SO… why continue to share?
Aspirations disappear from the conversation, covered over by the minutiae of existence, schedules, personal problems, etc.
We humans are aspirational, driven by dreams and hopes.
We are naturally drawn into conversations about our hopes, but tend to pull away from conversations about all that is going wrong.
Is there a need for sharing those frustrations?
That is part of being in a supportive relationship.
The problem is when the preponderance of the conversations are focused on the frustrations.
A focus on the frustrations keeps people locked into the feelings of frustration.
And the more locked into those feelings a person is, the less capable that person is of seeing the other elements of life — the points of connection, of love, of respect, the view of the other person and of life in more complete ways.
So the need to prioritize conversations about dreams, hopes, and desires are crucial to a healthy marriage.
Without these talks, the relationship will fail.
#3. Suppressed Conflicts
We have the mistaken nature that a conflict-free relationship is proof of a strong marriage.
In reality, this is a couple where one or both have refused to be honest and admit differences of opinion.
For the sake of maintaining pseudo-intimacy, the disagreements are avoided or denied, leaving a growing chasm between them.
You see, the conflict and disagreements do not ever go away.
They just get buried, slowly eroding away at the relationship.
Recently, in Australia, a coal mine caught fire. It is not the first coal mine to do so.
Sometimes, the fire erupts from the surface, as in Australia.
But other times, such as in Centralia, Pennsylvania, which has been burning for 50 years, the fire eats away at the underground, mostly invisible on the surface.
But what eventually happens is, the burning coal finally gives way and collapses the surface, swallowing buildings and homes.
The same thing happens with buried conflict and anger.
The hurt and pain eat away at the foundations of the relationship, often invisible to the people in the relationship.
As the buried conflicts build, a low-grade level of resentment begins to build.
And resentment becomes a systemic infection to the relationship, killing connection and numbing people to the relationship.
One day, someone realizes that he or she is numb to any connection with the spouse.
The feelings of love have evaporated, the connection is gone, and they are too exhausted to care.
The sad part of this process is that it was avoidable when there was a stronger connection.
When there is connection, a true and honest resolution to the conflict allows the couple to move through the stages of intimacy, finally arriving at genuine and authentic intimacy.
#4. Drawing Boundaries
One question that I wish I would have asked before I ever got married was,
“How do you plan to protect this relationship?”
Because on my wedding day, I never imagined all the ways we would be capable of hurting each other.
Nobody ever does.
But without boundaries, that is usually what ends up happening.
As the Head Custodian, I am responsible for large amounts of grass.
When I have a bare spot that needs to be re-seeded, I am careful to select a seed that is of high quality.
The contractor grade seeds will produce a green surface, but not with grass…it is full of weeds.
If I am not careful with the type of seeds I plant and water, I will end up with a lawn full of weeds, not grass.
Then those bare spots will become a source of major problems for my lawn. The weeds will spread if I don’t stop their growth, and the weeds may eventually destroy the lawn altogether.
So just like starting a lawn out with good seeds, we need to plant good seeds in our relationships from the beginning.
When we don’t think it through on the front side, we end up playing “catch-up,” often having to take extraordinary steps on the back-side.
And that is especially true with boundaries of a relationship.
A “boundary” is simply what you will not let someone/something do to you or what you hold dear.
It marks the “boundary” of how you expect to be treated.
For example, a boundary may be an unwillingness to tolerate someone yelling at you or calling you names.
A boundary is step one; enforcing the boundary is step two.
Why are boundaries so important?
Because the world is constantly encroaching on the relationship.
Boundaries can include how you protect family or couple time, how you monitor threats to your relationship, and how you take care of your own health (mental and physical).
Often, couples quickly fail to protect the boundaries around couple time, fidelity, religion, money, etc.
Unless boundaries are in place that protect the commitment to the relationship, the low connection point becomes a high danger point for the relationship.
It is easiest for a couple to establish the necessary boundaries of their relationship when there is no need for the boundaries.
That is why I think it is important to have boundaries firmly established before the wedding day.
So that is the 4 ways that my marriage was destroyed.
I have spent the better part of the past seven years trying to figure out how my marriage failed.
What my responsibility in that failure was.
How I could learn from those mistakes so that I could enjoy a healthy relationship in the future.
I pray that I will never again forget thses 4 points.
That I will always remember the ways that I allowed the love to die.
I never want to allow that to happen ever again.
Seven years from now, I am determined to write a blog about the 4 ways I have built a solid foundation for my marriage.
Jeff, I hope this helps. I promise to always remember that path I took before, and to avoid that path in the future.
Lately I have noticed that a melancholy has begun to settle in around my mind.
I am not depressed.
I am not sick.
I just feel kind of OFF.
So I deliberately woke up early this morning so I could have plenty of quiet time to spend meditating about this situation.
I have learned to hit the brakes and literally STOP everything when I have these types of feeling and emotions starting to surface in my life for more than two days in a row.
I have a favorite passage in the bible that I turn to in times like this.
(Psalms 46:10) He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.”
What I like to do with this particular scripture is to repeat it to myself taking off the last phrase each time I repeat it.
The first time I will say the entire passage.
The second time I will say, ” Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations.”
The Third time I will say, ” Be still, and Know that I am God.”
The fourth time I say, ” Be still, and know.
The fifth time I say, ” Be still.”
The final time I simply say, ” Be.”
By the time I have reached this point my mind is at rest. I am in touch with my higher power and can now ask direct questions, or ponder a specific problem.
So today as I was sitting in quiet contemplation, I was struck with an image of myself that was extremely enlightening.
One of my favorite past times is collecting rocks.
Especially rocks that are shaped like a heart.
I have hundreds, of rocks in my home that I have collected.
I cannot go for a hike anywhere, without picking up rocks, and putting them in my pocket.
By the end of the day, I am usually weighed down by several extra pounds of rocks in my pockets.
So this morning I saw this same habit of collecting rocks, but I saw the rocks represented as THOUGHTS.
It occurred to me that I have been collecting thoughts lately.
Thoughts that are not healthy thoughts.
On one of our hikes, I picked up a rock and asked Jeff if he knew the type of rock that it was.
He held it in his hand and carefully examined it, then boldly declared its name, “Leavearight”
I said, ” I have never heard of that type of rock before.”
He started laughing and then repeated the name, slower this time…
“Leave a right”
In other words it is not worth bringing home, it should be left right there.
The light bulb finally went off, and we both had a good laugh.
Today, I realized that the reason I am feeling OFF is because I have been collecting a bunch of thoughts that, like that rock, need to be left right where I found them.
How can you tell which thoughts and feelings are the right ones to leave where you find them, and which ones do you pick up?
What if you choose wrong?”
You needn’t worry about such questions. Here’s why.
There’s a way to know, without ever having to think about it, exactly which of your very own thoughts and feelings are your friends…
and which are foes…
A totally thought-free way to understand which of your thoughts are practical and necessary for everyday life.
And which ones are stealing your life with unsuspected self-compromise.
You possess unsuspected powers of perception just waiting to be awakened.
Just like when you are hiking, you will typically walk past hundreds of rocks, most of them you just observe, or even ignore…
but then… there are those chosen few rocks that you simply MUST bring home to treasure and admire..
Our mind is capable of sorting out thoughts in the exact same way, let me show you what I mean…
I am going to lead you on a simple meditation for a second.
Stop reading this for a minute and allow your eyes to fall on something familiar in the space where you are.
Notice how your mind immediately gives that object a name.
Having done this part of the exercise, keep your attention on whatever you’ve selected, and then continue to watch how more thoughts come into your mind about what you’re seeing.
Now, while you’re witnessing both that object and your growing stream of associative thoughts and feelings about it, just drop these thoughts and feelings.
You can still see the object, and you still know what it is — but now you are knowing without thinking.
This is your introduction to an unconditioned relationship with life.
This process always brings me back to that state of innocence that we all existed in when we were to young to ponder and reflect about our world, we just lived in it and played!
In this form of higher attention, of knowing without thinking, you can see that the meaning of the object has not changed.
The difference is that now its meaning speaks directly, silently to you — instead of your thoughts giving you a narrative of the purpose of the object in your life.
When it comes to seeing a chair or a pencil, this new kind of thought-free state may not seem too profound.
But this practice can, and should, be enlarged to encompass your whole life.
Imagine if you simplified such big responsibilities as parenthood in this way.
You see the significance of your role as a parent.
But you don’t engage in the thoughts that usually follow.
You simply observe the beauty that parenthood really is.
The benefits behind the ability to understand something, or someone, without having to go into thought, cannot be over estimated.
You may not be able to think your way out of a nagging problem…
BUT, you CAN see your way clear of it.
This special kind of inner seeing is safety.
This kind of perception is PEACEFUL.
It will give you rest.
Your thoughts can no more tell you what is true about your life than can a set of stream-side boulders know the nature of the waters that rush by them.
I realized this morning that I am feeling OFF because I am carrying around a bunch of “LEAVEARIGHT” thoughts in my mind.
Thoughts that don’t belong to me.
Judgements about things which, I have no right to be forming.
Ideas about how things should be handled, that are not my place to interfere in.
So this morning, I emptied my pockets, and left those thoughts at the foot of the cross.
I prayed and asked my Savior to pick them up, and do what he wished with these problems that I have unwittingly picked up along the way.
As we head into another weekend, I want to discuss a hot topic….
It is the most precious resource any of us possess.
My weekend is packed clear full.
So full in fact that I can only close my eyes and pray that I have enough TIME to get everything done.
Pray that there is enough time to devote to all the people and projects that are needing my attention.
So since that is where my focus is today, I decided to talk about TIME.
I have noticed in my life that there are THREE things about TIME that we tend to ignore…
Three things that you wished you hadn’t ignored when you get older,
Three things that you wished your children, spouse and friends wouldn’t ignore.
The FIRST principle about TIME that I want to talk about is this:
1: There is a cumulative value to investing small amounts of time in certain activities over a long period of time.
This a complicated sentence that has a simple idea.
Lets look at it like this…
If you NEVER exercise, and are overweight, and you decide ONE time to exercise. You will NOT see any difference in your body after one exercise session.
If you exercise on a consistent basis, your body, over a period of time, WILL show a difference because of the exercise.
And on the flip side of that idea…
If you are the type of person who CONSISTENTLY exercises, and you skip ONE day, your body will NOT suddenly fall apart after only missing one session.
That is what I mean when I say, “There is a cumulative value to consistent behaviors.”
*This is true in relationships.*
*This is true in your employment and career*.
*This is true in your education.*
*True in your worship.*
True in every single aspect of your life.
The truth of this statement is HUGE.
The SECOND principle about time that I want to examine is this:
2: Neglect is cumulative as well.
If you neglect to invest those small amounts of your time on a consistent bases, the consequences are often times nearly impossible to manage.
You may be seeing this in the lives of your parents now.
Maybe they neglected their health, and are now paying for it.
Or you may see this in your relationship with your teenager.
You neglected to spend small amounts of time with them when they were younger, and now you have HUGE problems with them as teenagers.
Or what about your finances?
When you neglect to make small, timely payments, the consequences are HUGE.
This is not something that can be taken lightly.
The people in life who enjoy the most success, and have the healthiest relationships are the ones who understand this principle.
The point that I need to emphasise here is this..
The problem with NEGLECT over TIME is that there IS a point of NO RETURN.
There is a point when you can NEVER recapture what has been lost.
This is one of life’s greatest tragedies.
There is always going tobe sacrifice in life.
The small daily or weekly sacrifice of your time is much simpler to manage and perform than the consequences of neglect ever will be.
The consequences of neglect are…
You get the point.
A small 15 minute conversation with your children on a daily basis, is a much simpler sacrifice, then watching them struggle with addiction.
Daily conversations with your spouse is much wiser than a neglected relationship that ends in divorce.
Small investments are the way to keep your life SANE.
My third and final principal today is this:
3: There is no cumulitave value to the random things we opt for over the important things.
What do I mean by this?
FACEBOOK for example.
How much time do you spend neglecting your kids, your marriage, your finances, etc because of the time you spend on FACEBOOK?
I am not saying Facebook is bad.
I’m just saying there is no REAL value in choosing it, over your loved ones, your health, or your finances.
Let’s say for example that you have not exercised once in the last month. If you were to take all those extra things you did INSTEAD of exercising, and added them all together they would add up to ZERO.
Take all the things that you did instead of spending time with your kids or your spouse…
What did you get?
We waste so much time OPTING for those things that have no REAL value, and neglect those things that we KNOW have value.
Then when we are nearing the end of our TIME…it is those things of value that we regret neglecting.
I am pretty sure that my co-workers think I am a freak sometimes because they will ask me if I read about, ‘ such and such’ on FACEBOOK.
I will reply to them that, ” I haven’t even logged on to FACEBOOK in over a week.”
They shake their heads and just say, “I could never go a week without it.”
The same is true of my preference to drinking water over carbonated drinks.
I choose water every day because of the cumulative health benefits of it over carbonated drinks.
When my son Victor died, I had no time to prepare.
No Time to say my goodbyes.
No time to fix our problems.
He died…and I was out of TIME with him.
That changed me in ways that I am only now beginning to understand.
The day he died was the very same day I started to notice time slipping by in my life.
It was the very same day that I started to live my life on PURPOSE.
It was the day I stopped wasting the precious gift of time with my other four children.
In so many ways, his death was my teacher.
I want to encourage everyone to spend some moments this weekend in honest evaluation of your habits.
Make a list of the things in your life that are of value.
Then make a second list of the things that are of NO value.
1: Then see what new habits you can begin to form that will help you learn to start making small investments on a daily basis in those things in your life that deserve your TIME!
3: Stop opting for those things that steal your time away from those things in your life that add value to it.
I would love to hear your thoughts on TIME.Please leave a comment below
What if I told you there was a way that you could once and for all Get out from under that Dark Cloud that has been following you around?
That you could REALLY start to enjoy your life at a deeper level.
Would you be interested in my idea?
Would you drop everything right now and read every word of this post, and then print a copy and carry it with you everywhere?
Would I become your favorite GURU?
Well, by the end of todays post, I hope to have at least opened your eyes to a new possibility on how to cope with trials.
Maybe you are currently struggling with:
* A struggling relationship teetering on the verge of breakup.
* A depression that coils itself around your mind the moment you wake up.
* The sinking feeling that you are well into your middle – age years and still have little to show for it.
* Exasperation over the countless responsibilities that hold you hostage and dictate your day from dusk to dawn.
* Gnawing anxiety over some looming financial situation.
Whatever the feeling…
I’m going to give you one single sentence that could save you years of useless struggle.
One sentence that could put you well on your way to the possibility of *instantaneous* self-rescue.
And that sentence is this:
You’ve been struggling with the wrong thing.
No matter how things may seem on the surface, the solution to these terrible feelings — the *permanent* solution — cannot be found through the popular approaches prescribed by today’s experts.
The pain and heartache in your relationship isn’t going to be chased away by filling your mind with “happy quotes.”
The tossing and turning at night over your money worries can’t be affirmed out of existence.
And the sense that life is passing you by isn’t going to diminish by visualizing or attracting some brighter future to come.
The only real solution that exists is the one that frees you from the pain of your situation…
before even one thing has changed in your circumstances.
How could it be otherwise?
How could REAL freedom ever depend on circumstances?
That would make your freedom conditional, which means it’s a knock-off.
Just another veneer covering up the fear.
Start learning to See Through This Diabolical Game
When we’re facing any unwanted condition, our typical mindset promises us lasting relief if we’ll just fight hard enough to overcome not just the circumstances, but the fear and worry too.
We are taught that we just need to change our thoughts…
as if that is actually something that is easy to do!
The illusion that you simply need to change how you FEEL and that doing so is the secret that will change the circumstances you don’t want… Is nothing but a con game.
The lasting relief never arrives, does it?
At best all we get is a temporary postponement of the pain.
And that’s because the only thing that frantic activity can do is lure you into a deceptive con game:
The illusion that the only way to change how you feel is to change the circumstances you don’t want.
Nothing could be further from the truth!
But that’s the unseen sleight-of-hand that has stolen your life.
Because in the end,
true freedom —
which implies the ability to instantly rise above *anything* life throws at you —
doesn’t mean possessing power over circumstances.
Far from it.
It means being in command of the parts of your own mind that insist the only way to be free is by controlling your circumstances.
these negative states have no real life of their own.
They live off of YOU!
Often without you ever knowing it.
And this is a fact you can prove from your own experience..
Fear feeds on you every time you imagine how nervous you might be when you get up to make that big presentation.
When you imagine how your voice might quiver if you offer a toast.
When you keep silent because you imagine that to speak up will ruin your relationship.
I think you are starting to see where I am going with this today.
I am trying to illustrate that it isn’t really the condition that’s creating your fear.
The fear comes from one thing and one thing only:
From your own mind fighting to escape the outcome it has imagined.
That last point should knock you clean off your chair!
And the same holds true when regret wants you to relive some past painful mistake.
Or when anger gives you all the reasons why you should hate or resent someone.
The condition isn’t the cause of the conflict you feel.
The conflict comes from the whisperings of an unenlightened mind that actually creates its own enemy.
The more you can be aware of this unconscious relationship within you — however it appears,
whether as anger,
or depression —
the more YOU will be in charge of IT.
So… How do you gain control over your thoughts?
How do you learn to RELAX and stop creating Fear out of every situation in your life?
In Ephesians 2: 8-9, We read, “For by grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”
That is THE instruction manual on how to once and for all free yourself from the power your imagination has over your life.
There is no other technique that is necessary.
The instant you speak the words that you believe in Him, you become part of his family.
We are nearing the Easter season, which is why I am writing this post today.
The greatest Gift ever given to us was the day of His Resurrection, when Jesus overcame death, and our sins were paid for.
That is why our FREEDOM, our SALVATION is an act of Faith…NOT WORKS.
*We are not able to stop the fear from ruining our lives, but HE can.
*We are not strong enough to resist sin, therefore becoming perfect, but HE was.
* We cannot know exactly what our purpose in life is, but HE does.
By believing in the only begotten Son of God, we join forces with the God of the Universe and become co- creators with him.
(In 2 Corinthians 5:17) Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
This is not just another BAIT – AND – SWITCH con.
This is a solemn promise made by the God of all creation.
If God cannot deliver on a promise he has made, he would cease to be God.
So, I want you to understand one simple thing today.
There is no mantra, process, or guru that can permanently fix your life but Jesus.
Give your life to him completely.
Make him number 1.
Each morning dedicate your life to Him.
Fear will lose its grip on your life.
That is not a promise that I make to you, but a promise made to you by God.
And that, my friends is not a CON!
It is the first step on a path that will lead to Sanctification, which means, you will be changed from the INSIDE out.
Recently the BBC asked people to give them some examples of important sounding, obscure, and even bizarre job titles.
My favorite one on the list was…
Underwater Ceramic technician…
Have you ever use a title or position to make yourself appear more important?
I believe, if you are being honest, you will have no choice but to answer that question with a YES!
We all do this. A LOT!
When the apostle Paul was listing some of God’s gifts to the church in Ephesians 4:11, I don’t believe it was his intent for those gifts to be understood as high – sounding job titles.
In the body of Christ, all parts are important and necessary to the proper functioning of the whole.
No one part is better or more necessary than another.
What IS of primary importance is the purpose of these gifts.
They were “for the equipping of the saints for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to…the stature of the fullness of Christ.” ( Ephesians 4:12-13)
It matters very little what title we hold.
What matters is that we are participating in the strengthening of each other.
This fact was brought home to me recently in a very powerful way.
I recently took my family on a vacation to Oceanside California.
While there, we had a different experience every day with the Lord showing himself to us.
On day one, we checked into our condo, and was heading downstairs to make sure we had gotten everything out of the car. We stepped onto the elevator, and met a man who had a long scraggly beard, and looked kinda “hard”, I smiled at him and said, “How are you?”
His response blew my mind. He said, ” I am very blessed, how are you?”
I paused, and then I thanked him for that response.
He then informed me that he has had many opportunities to share his testimony with strangers because of that exact response to that exact question.
On Day two of our vacation we went on a Whale watching excursion. Before the ship left the Harbor, we all joined hands and prayed that the Lord would bless us with just one whale sighting.
He did not bless us with ONE…
we were able to watch FOUR different whales playing in the water.
Two of them even breached for us to see.
On day three, we were on the pier to eat dinner at Ruby’s Diner for my daughters 13th birthday celebration.
She hurt her knee getting up out of the booth. So my friend Brenda, and I were trying to carry her down the pier.
We looked up ahead and noticed a band on the pier playing music.
My daughter loves street music, so I asked her if she wanted to stop for a minute and listen to them. She said “NO, I just want to get back to the condo, my knee is killing me.”
But as we walked past them, the leader asked her specifically if she would like a bible. She declined and told them that we all have bibles that we use daily.
They then asked if they could pray with us.
As we all gathered in a circle to pray together on that pier that night, we were all strangers, but at the conclusion of that prayer, we were all part of the same family.
He prayed and told my daughter that the reason we met today was because the Lord loves her and is with her always.
Again we were struck with the reality of the fact that the Lord knows us personally.
On day four, we had scheduled a visit to a place called Wild Wonders, because my youngest wants to be a Zoologist when she grows up.
When we scheduled this tour, we were hoping that she would be able to glimpse in person a few of the wild animals that she loves so much.
We got to do a lot more than just glimpse the animals.
Wild Wonders was a refuge where we were guided by a zoologist that allowed my daughter to get inside the pens and actually handle the animals. It was such a blessing.
It was for us a perfect example of the abundance the Lord loves to shower on his children.
On day five, we were playing on the beach having a quiet day.
We met a couple that was there with their grandson.
It turned out that their son-in-law is a youth pastor for a church in Oceanside. He has written three books, and recently had the series turned into a movie.
As we were talking Brenda and I were so amazed at the ability God has to put people together for the purpose of strengthening each other.
This couple agreed to send us copies of the books along with a copy of the movie. As a mother of four, I am always looking for material that will help me grow in wisdom and knowledge as a parent.
The books arrived in the mail the other day, and I have not been able to put them down.
They are literally a gift from Heaven.
On day six, we were able to feed a homeless man.
Brenda and I were enjoying our coffee, looking out at the ocean, and the park below. Suddenly a man caught our attention. For some reason we both started to watch this man, the ocean was completely forgotten. He walked up to a garbage can and took a tray out and began licking the remnants off it.
Brenda said, “Get his attention”, and then she flew into the condo to prepare some PB&J sandwiches.
She wrapped them in foil so we could thow them to the man.
After quite a struggle, we got his attention and threw the sandwiches to him.
When he looked up to catch the sandwiches,we realized that this man was probably homeless because he was obviously mentally handicapped.
He was in his sixties, so his parents had probably died, leaving him to try to fend for himself.
Brenda and I both thanked the Lord for allowing us to be His stewards in this mans life that day.
It was such a blessing to us both. We were both fed more than he was that day.
On day seven, we were in San Diego.
The battery on our phone that contained our GPS died, and we had forgotten to bring the charger.
So there we were in San Diego, lost with no GPS.
We said a prayer that we would be successful in retracing our steps back to our condo with no mishaps.
We drove straight home.
It was almost like we were natives and had lived there for years.
On our final day in California, we headed for home.
I wanted to stop one more time at this amazing discount store we had found and pick up a few more things.
That decision placed us on a different road heading home than the one we came in on.
Brenda had wanted to visit the Mission San Louis Ray while we were there, but we had not had time to search for it.
She had just barely mentioned how she was sad that we had not seen it, when we drove past a sign on the road,
On the sign was: Mission San Louis Ray 2 miles
We were blown away!
We took the exit and drove right to the mission.
What an amazing blessing.
We all got to spend our Sunday morning worshiping and giving thanks to the Lord for the blessings of the past week in one of the oldest missions in America.
The point that I want to make today is simple that everything we do, and everything we are is relevent to the “Job of life”
That we understand the importance of using our work as worship.
That our every word and action is a testimony of who and what the Lord is.
That we come to him daily in prayer and study his word.
If I was asked to say the event that touched me the most on our trip, I would not be able to do that.
Each day through the words of a man,
the tail of the whales,
the interaction with his creatures,
the feeding of his children,
the sharing in prayer,
the exchange of testimonies and books,
visiting an old church
He showed me that every person, and every job is necessary in the building of his Kingdom on Earth.