Monday, January 31, 2011

Season's DO change...& it's Okay.

Season's Change....& It's Okay

Great Monday morning to you all. I pray you had a peaceful weekend. As for me..I enjoyed my awesome "Snowcation" and I didn't want it to come to an end. Although I despise the white stuff, I do appreciate the stillness and calmness it brings to the universe. I love the fact that it has the ability to slow life down a bit and I think we all need that.

Pay It Forward: I tipped a waitress a good chunk on my food bill on Saturday. I was blessed with a very successful night with my business on Friday so I wanted to share a little of what I had received. I hope it met a need for her.

This week’s blog, Season's speaking about the seasons of our lives. We have seasons where we experience moments of being lonely, trials, restructuring of relationships, financial instability & uneasiness. Then we experience seasons where friendships/relationships blossom, finances are plentiful, there's laughter, excitement, new opportunities and a great season of harvest! Then we have the seasons where there isn't much going on..nothing bad..nothing good. Just a life plateau. You go with the flow of things and just enjoy things being uneventful. We have seasons of sowing and we also have seasons of reaping.
The changing of the seasons in our lives is not only good for us but necessary for individual growth and development.
These seasons also have an impact on friendships and intimate relationships. There are people who come into our lives during various seasons and they serve a purpose for THAT season. I know we are all too familiar with the saying "Season, Reason & a Lifetime." I don't have to explain that one any further. But, I do want to stop for a minute and park it on the fact that oftentimes we hold on to relationships and friendships that are past their expiration dates. What do I mean by that? Some people come into our lives to teach us things, to challenge us, to motivate us, to serve as our reflective mirror {meaning they help us see ourselves in them}, to comfort us etc. Many of them placed by divine intervention. We don't know what the reason is but God knows. After their purpose has been served in our lives....the season's change. Please note...I'm not speaking of those connections that are divinely determined to be your "Lifetime" here. I'm speaking specifically about those connections deemed by God to be for a season. Seasonal connections expire. This is not a bad thing. It's simply the way life evolves. The ultimate purpose for our lives is to fulfill a destiny and some connections are made to assist us on that journey..nothing more. Nothing less. He designs the paths we cross, when we cross them and for what purpose they will have in getting us to where He ultimately wants us to be.
 The problem comes in when we don't want to let go of the connection for whatever reason. The connection is past its expiration date...the season has changed...but we are still holding on. This leads to relationships/friendships filled with confusion, disruption, non-productivity, side-tracking from your goals and purpose, heartache, financial problems, and just pure chaos. Many times He's trying to tell us, "Let the season change...and Let go of the connection." It's up to us to listen. In some cases HE will end the connection for us, but it’s for our own good. Holding on to relationships/friendships that have a divine expiration date will not produce good fruit. It's not always easy for us to accept this. Nor is it always easy to let go. In these situations you have to really pray and seek wisdom.
So if you're in a transitional season....accept it. Embrace it. Approach it with clarity and comfort knowing He is the driving force behind the transition. He is the meteorologist of your seasons! Your transition may involve your job, family dynamics, children coming of age, school, finances, death of a loved one, emotions, spirituality etc. Whatever the transition is…simply travel along your journey, pray and know that seasons will change....and it's okay.

Have a wonderful week!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Moving Forward

Keep Moving Forward!

Happy Monday Everyone! I pray you had a peaceful weekend. As we are approach the end of January, I sincerely hope your 2011 has started out in a productive direction.

Pay It Forward: I spent a little extra time actually talking and listening to someone. I often feel like I'm so in a hurry with the daily grind that I often miss the opportunity to talk to someone that may very well be alone. A simple polite conversation really made someone's day. It made me feel good. We greet people with: "Hi, how are you?" But we don't actually Stop...and listen to the person. So, my pay it forward was something valuable....a little extra Time.

This week's blog is simply...Keep on Moving FORWARD! In certain areas of my life I sometimes ask, "What's the point?"..."Why do I have to do this?" "Why am I still dedicated to this?" I have my moments when I don't see results or things just seem to be at a stand-still I tend to get frustrated and feel like maybe this is not what I'm supposed to be doing. In those moments, I just keep telling myself, "Keep moving forward."
Specifically this blog, I know it was laid on my heart to do it but sometimes I just don't see the results in it. I've prayed and devoted to planting whatever seed given to me for that week, however I do get discouraged. I do feel like I'd rather be doing something else with my time on Monday mornings. I do feel like, "Lord I practically have to beg for people to receive the seeds & comment." I do feel like why was I selected to do this when most people don't even take the time to read!?"

Then He says.........
"This is NOT about you. It's about Me. You do as you're told and let me do the rest."
So I keep moving forward.

I shared this personal nugget with you all because you may also feel like "what's the point?" regarding a certain area of your life. All I can tell you is if you're striving for something that you know will yield positive results...KEEP moving FORWARD! You may not see the results right away. You may not know what impact you've had on someone else’s day/life. You may not ever see the reward in what you're doing in the natural realm. You may not ever get your "just due." You don’t know if what you’re doing is actually a critical part of your life’s plan & destiny. You may not even understand why you're doing what it is that's been laid upon your heart to do...but just KEEP being obedient. He will send you confirmation, encouragement and re-enforcement to help you continue the journey. There is reward in being faithful. There is reward in Him for doing things that you may not want to do.
Just Keep moving forward and let Him guide!

Have a super dooper week!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Change is a Process

Change: Celebrate the small Steps

Happy Monday Everyone! I pray you had a peaceful weekend.

Pay It Forward: I gave away items to 2 of my coworkers for their kids. I was asked several times "How much do you want for this?" It made me feel good inside to simply say, "Nothing."

This week I want to focus on the topic of Change. A week or so ago, I was talking to a dear friend of mine...we chatted a bit and then out of the blue she said to me, "You've changed." I asked her to explain to me how so...she went on to say that based on our conversation she could tell that something was different with me and that I had in fact, changed. She went on to assure me that the change she saw in me was in fact a change for the better and that it was evident. That made my heart smile more than she could have ever known. It almost brought a few tears to my eyes. To know that I was making the necessary adjustments in my life, my walk, my daily living that someone else noticed a change...made me feel so thankful and proud. It let me know that not only am I hearing the word...but I'm applying it to my life. I am living with the goal of not only talking the talk...but walking the walk. Meaning, I'm held accountable for what I say and do. But in that...I can STILL be myself! I'm FAR from perfect and there are still areas of my life that I know I need to zero in on and really pray about them. There are situations & fears that I have to work daily at making sure they don't become stumbling blocks for me and where I want to go in life. My destiny. My God given destiny....
The change that she, and other people have witnessed in me...has been a process. I'm still in process mode. I do believe now more than ever in the saying: "I may not be what/where I want to be...but I THANK GOD I'm not what I used to be!" Man see's my flaws but God knows the finished product. I'm just so grateful that He allowed her to reveal that to me because that encouraged ME to keep on keeping on!
When we think about changes that we make in our lives...we often get so caught up in the final product and don't take the time to celebrate the small accomplishments. Example: If you say you want to stop smoking....and one day you "fall off the wagon"...don't beat yourself up about it! Celebrate the fact that instead of smoking 10 cigarettes a're now down to 5! You may not be at your "I've quit smoking" stage but you're well on your way~! So, celebrate! It will give you more encouragement and will serve as a reminder that change is in fact a process. I used smoking as my example but it can be anything...maybe you want to change how you react in stressful situations, how you deal emotionally, how you treat other people, how you manage your finances, how you treat YOURSELF, how you manage your time etc. Whatever your change is...just remember that change is a process. Don't beat yourself up if you have a setback. Simply acknowledge it and keep moving on! Celebrate each and every milestone, no matter how small you may think it is. Before you know will be at the finish line and the change will be a new way of life.
I have to note that not everyone will support, accept or love the changes you will make. They may have a hard time adjusting to the "new & better" you. As long as you know the changes YOU are making are for you to live a more peaceful & authentic life..don't let how they feel or what they say discourage you!! Stay focused on your goals!
I encourage you all, if there is something you have been desiring to change...Pray and ask God for wisdom, strength & direction. With Him as your guide you can never go wrong OR fall short!

Have a super dooper splendid week!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Perfect Timing!

Perfect Timing

Happy Monday Everyone! I pray you all had a peaceful week. Before I get into this weeks blog, I want to an effort to hold myself accountable for my "Pay it Forward" declaration & way of living I will post my deeds each week on this blog.

Pay It Forward - I placed 30 minutes on a clothes dryer for a man that looked like he could use it. It wasn't much but he simply smiled and said, "Thank you." It felt AMAZING!

This week I want to zero in on Gods Perfect Timing. As I was driving to work this morning, I spent time reflecting back on specific situations in my life where I spent time worrying, losing sleep, not eating, sad, depressed and anxious. The never ending questions: IF certain things would happen for me? Would things work out? Why didn't certain things work out? How would they work out or come together? When things would fall into place? Those questions that can and will drive you crazy! In that same reflective moment, I fast forward to where I am now. I think about how IF certain things didn't happen EXACTLY when and how they DID happen.....I would be screwed! {For lack of a better word}. If things had happened when and how I wanted them to happen I can't even begin to imagine the horrible place I would be in right now. Emotional fear based decisions on MY part would have landed me in a place where I would be begging to get out of! Although at the time..I thought I knew what was best and when it was best for ME!

Thank GOD for His perfect timing! The great thing about praying for direction and surrendering control over your life is that you don't have to bog yourself down with the pressures of life. AND...even GreatER is that your prayers won't be answered not a moment TOO soon! Even IF you don't understand the why, when or how of things, just know there is an appointed time for everything. Pray, live & let God guide.

Life is a process. The thing you've been praying for may very well be in your plan BUT there are things YOU need to go through BEFORE you can obtain it. Perhaps He knows that you're not quite ready for it. Perhaps if you DID get it wouldn't be able to hold on to it. Perhaps there are other things that need to happen in your life to season you and prep you for it. Perhaps if you did get it really wouldn't appreciate it. My point being..He knows. He knows your desires, prayers & concerns. Not only does He know IF...He knows WHEN. So, don't worry yourself to death over things in your life. Trust I'm speaking to you...I'm also listening to myself! I need this word like many of you and I know how difficult it is at times to trust that His timing is in fact, Perfect.
Don't give up! Hang in there...and know that if you surrender the best life you can...try to make the best decisions you can...He will bless! And..even if he doesn't give you what you've been praying for, He has a far better plan than we do. You just have to trust that!

I leave you with my favorite scripture:
Proverbs 3:5-6 "Trust in the Lord with ALL your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In ALL your ways acknowledge Him and he shall direct your paths."

Have a super week!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Unrealistic Expectations

"Unrealistic Expectations"

Happy New Year!!

Wow..the first blog of 2011! I'm super excited about what this fresh New Year is going to bring. 365 more days of new mercy, favor, opportunities, blessings, growth potential, milestones, accomplishments & personal development. I don't know about you, but I'm really looking forward to this year and I pray that with each day I'm granted... I live more authentically.

This week I want to talk a little about expectations. I selected the above picture because I think most of us will agree that when you think of the word almost always shares the word disappointment in the same thought. We place expectations on every aspect of our lives. We place expectations on our partners, children, co-workers, friends and associates. We've come to place these expectations without even realizing we are in fact doing so. It should be noted that in many of these dynamics, we should have expectations. Without them, there is no reference point nor is there accountability to the individuals involved. Example: We should have expectations of our intimate partners when it comes to certain core values and considerations of the relationship. There are certain expectations that come simply because you are in a relationship. With each relationship, the expectations will be different and will vary depending on the stage of the relationship but there are certain foundational expectations that BOTH people should have in order for the relationship to thrive and be healthy. Three of the foundational elements/expectations are trust, communication and compromise. If any of these expectations are not met and shared by the individuals involved, there is sure to be discord ultimately leading to the demise of the relationship.

This leads me into the purpose of today’s blog. Although there are certain expectations we need in order for us to remain accountable for our actions and/or inactions, we place too many unrealistic expectations on other people. We expect people to make US happy, we expect people to know what WE are feeling, we expect people to read our minds, we expect people to make US proud, we expect people to never let US down, we expect people to never make mistakes where WE are concerned, we expect people to never hurt OUR feelings, we expect people to Always come through for US when WE need them, we expect people to always be dependable, we expect people to cater to our emotions, feelings, and woes, we expect people to make US have fun, we expect expect expect! It was exhausting just typing that so I'm sure it’s even MORE exhausting for the people we expect those things from. It's exhausting to know that you are personally responsible for all of those things.

Imagine waking up each morning knowing that another person depends on you for ALL that! It's unrealistic and just like the T-Shirt says...will ONLY lead to disappointment. People are going to make mistakes. They will let you down. They will make you upset. They will not always be there for you in your time of emotional, physical and/or financial need. They will not always be able to read your mind/mood. People have limitations. People are flawed. People are not the end-all-be-all of YOUR happiness, security and well-being.

Along my journey I've come to realize...the only one that can meet and EXCEED all of the above is God. I've shifted my expectations from the only one that CAN meet my every need. If you keep your focus on Him you won't have unrealistic expectations of people. I'm not an expert at it; in fact I work daily to keep my focus where it needs to be. But, in such a short time of making Him my central many doors have opened for me in many areas of my life. Some really unexpected! I’ve been granted emotional & mental stability because my shift of expectations has resulted in a significant reduction in my disappointments. I'm just happy again. I'm content because I'm not depending on other people to meet requirements and expectations that I know they cannot possible maintain.
So...I charge you today: Shift your expectations from People to the one that will NEVER let you down!

Have an amazing week! Have Peace..until we meet again.