Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Paying it Forward

"Changing the World...One small Favor at a time"

"Anyone can Pay it Back. The true beauty is Paying it Forward."

Good morning everyone. I pray you had a peaceful and wonderful holiday. As for me, this was truly one of the best, if not thee best Christmas I've ever experienced. We were even blessed to have a white Christmas this year! Although I'm not a fan of the white stuff...I must admit, it was just enough to add that special kiss to an amazing day and extended weekend.

As the Christmas of 2010 becomes yet another memory, I would like to focus on the inspiration for the upcoming 2011 year. The topic for this week’s blog was actually placed on my heart 2 weeks ago but because it keeps resurfacing, I know this is the destined place I need to park it - and share it. 
Over the past few weeks, I have been running head-on with the concept of "Paying it Forward." It's like everywhere I turn...I keep hearing about heart-tugging stories of people that have received blessings at the hands of a total stranger. I was first introduced to the concept years ago when I watched the movie, "Pay it Forward." The concept was popularized with the book Pay It Forward by Catherine Ryan Hyde, which was later made into the movie. Since then, I have encountered individuals that have shared their personal stories with me about how a total stranger did something for them...no questions asked. The only thing they may ask is that the person Pay it forward. Thus, do something kind for someone else that will be a blessing; just as they were blessed. Example, stories of people paying the tolls for the car behind them, buying groceries for the person in front of them in the check-out line, seeing a stranger in need of assistance and lending a helping hand..I could go on and on but I'm sure you get the picture. It's not always something big; in fact they are usually small gestures of kindness that have a positive ripple effect in the Universe.

"The world can seem like an unfriendly, threatening place, yet we all want safety, health, and happiness for ourselves and our loved ones. How can one ordinary person -- you or me -- make a positive difference in this world? One way is the practice "paying it forward." While the steps might be simple, the outcome could change the world."

The one thing I do know..the universe is round, "What you give is what you get...Universal Plan" and although you do things not expecting something in return, you never know when your act of kindness will boomerang back to YOUR doorstep. 

I would like to challenge you all to adopt "Pay it Forward" in your every day living. I know I am! I want 2011 to be the year that I personally do things that will have some positive impact on the way people view the world. No, Paying it Forward will not save the world..but it WILL perhaps change the way someone views the people in it. I want to believe that there are still some good, thoughtful, kind and compassionate people here! I want to believe that there are still people that will do good deeds without expecting something in return. I want to believe that people still care about someone other than themselves. So, the only way for me to believe that...is to start with ME leading by example.
My journey is to become a better & more spiritually aware person. Also to live more authentically. I've been in this journey for almost a year now. I learned several valuable lessons along the way and I'm thankful for what each one has taught me. I've learned that not everyone will see the good in people. I've learned that not all good deeds are rewarded (in the way that YOU feel they should). I've learned that people's perception about life... based on their own personal past experiences can shape and mold how they view others. I've learned that life isn't always fair. People aren't always fair, and people will misjudge you when your heart is in the best of places...my list could go on and on. But the one thing I want to leave you all with is that...living a self-less life and doing for other people will make a huge difference in how you respond to life itself. Be the light that will brighten the path for someone else along their journey.
Do something kind for another person and just watch how it softens your own heart.  
Pay it forward.

Until we meet again, Happy New Year!! 

Monday, December 20, 2010

When nothing's wrong....

It's ALL Good!

"Life isn't a matter of milestones but of moments."   Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy

Happy Monday to you all! I pray your weekend was filled with peace and love. This will be a short and sweet blog but one that has been layed on my heart.

Yesterday's word was, "Making it through the day." Meaning...sometimes life will throw you curve balls, painful events, disappointments and just "learning lessons" that are difficult to weather. With all that we go through in life..sometimes you find yourself just trying to make it thru the day. We've all been there at some point or another. And as the old folks would say.."If you haven't, just keep on livin'."
The purpose of this particular blog is to shine light on celebrating, enjoying and appreciating when things are all good! Those moments in life when there is nothing going on, no fires to put out, no issues to deal with, no drama, no immediate bill or financial issues, no problems with the kids, no brewing conflicts with coworkers...you get the picture. I find that we focus so much on things "happening" or pending things that could happen that we forget to enjoy and appreciate when nothings happening.
I found myself reflecting this weekend and I had to take a deep breath and say: "Thank you Lord for this time of everything being ALL good!" Happiness, peace, love, family, emotional, spiritual, mental, physical...friends, pets, finances....everything is just ALL good! I slept so well. I laughed, shopped... I mean, I just enjoyed Life!
We all know that old saying "If it ain't one thing it's another" and "It's always something around the corner"...and most times, these are very true. Which is why we must appreciate when life is calm, peaceful and going smooth. You need those times to help you maintain and weather when you do find yourself in the thick of Life. On the other side..if you are actively IN a storm...hold on! This too shall pass. You too will be able to enjoy a season of calm. You just have to hang in there and don't give up!
So, today I say...if you are like me, and in a calm, still and great season in life...no matter how long or short this season will be...enjoy it! Yes, there may be something waiting for you tomorrow, this week or next month... but for now...just appreciate the precious gift from God of everything being, all Good!

Stay Encouraged!
Have a wonderful week.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Giving & Receiving

The Holiday Gift

If you're a receiver..practice the art of giving from your heart. Do something that makes someone else smile and let that be reward enough for you.
"Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it."  ~William A. Ward

I hope this weeks Blog finds you all in the best health and strength. Since we are approaching the wonderful Holiday season, Christmas...I wanted to take a few moments to share my thoughts giving and receiving.

Some people are natural givers, this includes myself. Giving makes us feel good. It makes us feel of value and worth. It's the one thing we can do to bring a smile to someone else’s face & their hearts. The giving I'm referring to is not always materialistic. I'm speaking about the gift(s) of encouragement, uplifting, time, love, a helping hand, laughter, a shoulder to lean on etc. If you're like me, you actually sit back and think, "What can I do to put a smile on someone's face?" For those of you that know me...you'll get the occasional greeting card just because, my favorite "Stay Encouraged" text..Or my "come to the crib...let's sip some wine and tell me alllll about it." lol...Those things make me feel good. At this stage of my life I'm filled with love. Because of everything that God has done for me and with me. No, I'm not saying the "fleshly" part of Chanel, doesn't want to expose its ugly head from time to time but I work daily at putting others before myself. I do it because of my obedience, not because I necessarily want to. Also, because I am so grateful for being able to look myself in the mirror at night and sleep peacefully. Those things are... my gifts. To give you more about my personal background to help you understand where I'm coming from: I once took a spiritual gifts class. It was determined that I have the spiritual gift of exhortation. For those of you who don't know exactly what that means:
The gift of Exhortation: the special gift whereby the Spirit enables certain Christians to stand beside fellow believers in need and bring comfort, counsel and encouragement so they feel helped. It is ability to minister strengthening words of consolation to other members of the Body in such a way that they feel helped and healed. The gifted believer is able to reach out with Christian love and presence to people in personal conflict or facing a spiritual void. By virtue of this gift these people are motivated through encouraging words to live fruitful lives.
So, giving is not something that I do...but that which I am. I can't control it. It's a gift that I give to others...but it's primarily a gift given to me...by God. I always wondered why I have the strong desire to give (remember, I'm not speaking about material things here)...I always wondered why I feel complete and filled when I give. I also have cried a many of tears when I do give and it's not received. It leaves an emptiness that I have to pray in order for it to be filled. Well, once I took this class I realized. The answer is.. because it not for me...but for those who are in need. I'm just the vessel. But, God rewards me, with the feeling I get knowing I'm doing what I'm here to do. To uplift, encourage and comfort those individuals sent to me for such purposes.

Which leads me into the next area...receiving. Many givers are not always "good receivers." But it's so true; many people that are natural givers...do not always know how to receive. I'm not sure why, but speaking for myself, it makes me feel a little uncomfortable at first. You may question someone’s motives, or the reasons behind it...or even feel like "why is this person being SO nice!? There must be something wrong?" Does this sound familiar to any of the givers in the house? lol ..I'm sure it does. We are so used to giving that we haven't quite mastered the art of receiving. This leads to the other person feeling frustrated, unappreciated and confused. Although that is FAR from your intention, that's exactly what it does.

The truth is...everyone has a desire to give. We must allow people to DO what has been laid on their heart to do. Your inability to receive may in fact block someone else’s blessing. How so? ..Because if God speaks to someone and tells them to do something for you...and you give them a hard way to go or are always questioning why someone can be so nice, they may get frustrated and throw up their hands with it. Thus, not being obedient to what God has told them to do..and hence blocking a blessing they have coming to them. Learn to let go of fears and insecurities that hold you back from really receiving the love of God being shared thru someone else. Learn to trust God and break through walls that make it difficult for you to receive.
We are spiritual-beings in a natural living experience. Learn to give...but also learn how to receive.

May you all have a blessed, safe & peaceful week. Thank you for all of your kind words support. I appreciate it from the bottom of my heart.