Sunday, April 21, 2013

I'm #Blessed

Photo Credit: Saucy Salad (Rebecca Wilson)

It's been a stressful week! 

Last Sunday morning severe thunderstorms came through our community, and as a result of a close lightening strike, several electrical repairs had to be made this week. But the blessings in that are:
  1. Even though it was very close, the lightening did not directly hit my house.
  2. Overall very little damage was done (a part to the water heater, a part to the air conditioning unit, parts to the TV satellite, and DVD players).
  3. The repairs to the TV satellite were covered under our plan.
  4. The remainder of the repairs and replacements are covered by a surge protection program offered by the electric company.
  5. Friends and repairmen, who came to the house, multiple times throughout the week to make repairs and complete the necessary claims forms.
Sunday night my stepdad went the emergency room with stomach pains. And the blessings are:
  1. The diagnosis was food poisoning. While that is bad, it could have been something more serious.
  2. The time spent in the ER was only 2 hours.
  3. By late Monday afternoon my stepdad was feeling back to normal.
On Monday a high school friend, who is a nurse, was at the Boston Marathon finish line working in one of the medical tents as a volunteer. The blessing is:
  1. My friend was uninjured from the explosions.
Wednesday afternoon my stepdad was in an automobile accident, but the blessings abound in this stressful event.
  1. Despite an impact at a high rate speed on the interstate, my stepdad has only bruises and cuts.
  2. The air bags worked, and I'm sure, prevented more serious injuries.
  3. A deputy sheriff witnessed the entire accident and can state that the accident was not my stepdad's fault.
  4. My stepdad was able to get a ride with the tow truck driver back to our city, approximately 35 miles away from the accident scene.
  5. My stepdad already had an appointment with his primary care physician the following day for a check up so he was able to get his injuries checked quickly.
Looking back, last week was action packed, but it was also packed with many blessings and the ones listed above are only a small fraction of how God blessed me and my family last week.

Don't let the stressful times in your life prevent you from seeing God's caring and compassionate hands working in your life.

Linking with Melissa Taylor and Spiritual Sunday.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Stressed Less

Photo Credit:  Alan Cleaver

To be stressed less -- it sounds divine! It also seems too good to be true.  But that's exactly what I need and want at this point in my life.

I haven't been coping well lately. Life has worn me down. 

My dire situation is not well known because I've become very good at maintaining the fa├žade that says "I'm okay", when in reality I'm barely hanging on my a string.

I'm tired and I'm worn out. Status quo is not working for me.

I started a study of Stressed-Less Living: Finding God's Peace in Your Chaotic World by Tracie Miles this week hosted by Melissa Taylor. Talk about perfect timing!

While this book has proven beneficial to me so far, I know that a book alone cannot fix my problem. The only one who can help me -- to transform me -- is God.  Only God can help me stop trying to control circumstances and people (a major source of my stress) and teach me control my emotions and reactions (another source of my stress).

Every day will be filled with situations and people who will push my buttons.  I need to learn how to respond to these challenges, while being the salt and light to the world.  And along the way, I hope to find the peace, joy and contentment that I've lost.

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

New Year, New Me?

Happy new year! Photo Credit:  Leandro's World Tour (Creative Commons)

Yes, it's a new year.  The calendar has been turned, and time marches on.  It's a new year full of possibilities and opportunities.

But I'm still the same person.  No magical transformation happened at midnight.  I still have the same problems that I had in 2012.  My insecurities and weaknesses are still with me. 
The new year inspires me to change, but lasting change doesn't occur overnight and I can't do it by myself.  I can attempt to change my habits, but only God can change my heart where enduring alterations to my character occur.
So, Lord change my heart today and every day henceforth so I will become more like Jesus in my attitudes and actions. Give me the desire to the work that is needed for lasting change in my life.
Linking with Spiritual Sunday

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Where Is Safe?

the baby in the arms of father shot
Photo Credit: rocketjim54 (Creative Commons)

This morning I had a scary drive to work, as a cold front moved through causing the wind to blow fiercely.  As the traffic lights swayed wildly and the top of a pine tree was snapped off, I thought "If I can just get to the office and get inside, then I'll be safe".  But then I realized that's not necessarily true. A building doesn't guarantee me automatic safety.

Later in the morning, I learned that the elementary school that I attended as a child had been placed on lockdown because a suspicious person was in the area.  I was immediately saddened because things like that shouldn't happen in my quaint, little hometown.  It's always been a safe haven for me and so many others.  Fortunately, the suspicious person was apprehended without anyone getting injured, but to see the potential of evil touching my idyllic hometown brought me to tears.

Events, such as these in addition to the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, has made me all too aware that we live in an unsafe world.  There's evil all around us.

We may take measures to ensure our safety, such as putting our seat belts on, locking our homes, installing fire detectors, but there is no foolproof method or system to stop bad things from happening to us.

So where is it safe?

I believe the safest place anyone can be is in the hands of God. That's where I was during my morning commute -- safe in His hands, even when my environment was saying something much different. 

When my feelings about my circumstances don't match with the truth of God's power and authority over all, the only solution for me is to trust God. Trusting Him, even if the worst case scenario touches my life that He's still got a hold of me, that He's not going to let go and that He'll see me through the dark and dangerous days that I face on this earth.

Linking with Spiritual Sunday, Faith Filled Fridays and Fellowship Friday.

Monday, December 10, 2012

1000 Gifts–771 to 782

Gifts uncovered in Romans 5:1-11:
  • Faith in Jesus that justifies me in the eyes of God (#771)
  • “Peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ" (#772)
  • Access to God (#773)
  • Being a recipient of God’s grace (#774)
  • Joy in knowing Jesus (#775)
  • The hope that is mine because I’m a child of God (#776) and it’s a hope that does not disappoint (#777)
  • “God poured his love into our hearts” (#778)
  • “By the Holy Spirit whom he has given us” (#779)
  • “At just the right time” Jesus died for my sins (#780)
  • “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (#781)
  • Reconciliation with God (#782)

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Taking A Rest

Man and Bike at rest Photo Credit

I've been sick this week.  Nothing serious -- just the common cold that's annoying and makes me feel lousy.

Even though I got sick, I had ever intent of sticking with my exercise plan this week.  However, that didn't happen because I didn't have the extra energy to workout.
And you know what? I'm okay with missing this week's workouts. No guilt...yay!

In the past I would have got depressed over having my exercise plan derailed, but I'm realizing that my quest to get healthy is really a desire to take care of myself so I can be at my best. And sometimes taking care of me means resting.

Though being sick hasn't been fun, I have taken advantage of the opportunity to baby myself this week by getting extra sleep, taking all my vitamins and drinking lots of fluids. And now that I'm feeling better, I'm looking forward to being more active, as the holiday season begins!

Linking with Stick with It Saturdays.

Monday, November 12, 2012

1000 Gifts - 742 to 770

742.  Being renewed and refreshed by a good night's sleep and a good quiet time in the morning with the Lord 
743.  Fewer and less severe migraines
744.  Motivation to begin to exercise again
745.  Finding exercise videos online that push me to do more than I would on my own

746.  Prayers of my Twitter friends
747.  Getting an e-mail from a friend from high school checking to see how I am doing
748.  Getting my desk at the office cleaned off
749.  Opportunity to begin to blog again

751.  Motivation to exercise consistently
752.  Feeling refreshed after a good night's sleep
753.  Quiet times with the Lord that occur all throughout the day
754. God speaking to me in unlikely places and through unlikely circumstances
755.  For hearing God when He speaks to me

756.  Medicine that provides relief when I do have a migraine
757.  For how God uses painful moments to reveal a lesson to me that I need to learn
758.  Relaxing at home with my family
759.  Blankets on a cold morning
760.  Money to pay bills

761.  A pastor who is passionate about preaching the Word of God
762.  Grace for God and others when I forget to do things that I should
763.  How God uses my writing to speak to me and teach me
764.  Short commute to work
765.  Safety while driving when it is very foggy

766.  Rain
767.  Protection and shelter that my home provides
768.  Opportunity to vote 
769.  God establishes the leaders of our country
770.  God always acts in love and goodness



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