Thursday, January 15, 2015

How Do Our Crossing Life Paths Change Us?

I was at a big box store today doing a little grocery shopping.  MAP FBP...milk, antiperspirant, (that's the MAP), foil and baby powder.  Yes, I did buy a little more than that, but that's ok.  I also found out that this store has my favorite pretzels.  Yay!!!  I digress.

At the check out I commented to the cashier that her bagging was very neat.  She told me that it isn't always that way, but she does try.  She also told me that even though she sometimes takes verbal heat from customers and supervisors, she does like her job.  She also told me that she understands sometimes people take things out on others because they have extremely difficult life situations behind the scenes that we do not know.  She told me that after having learned about the situation of a coworker that she now takes extra moments to be kind.  She then told me how she realized she had been wrong for misjudging the "attitude" of her coworker.  I thought her to be very wise.  She was able to look inside of herself and admit her own wrong doing in misjudging someone.  I had a lot of respect for this young woman when I left.

In the parking lot while I was unloading groceries, a young man asked me if I had some change because he was out of gas.  I didn't think much of it.  I had some change and gas prices are lower now, so change would actually help him.  Yeah, I could spare some change.  The young man said thank you and walked away.

...then he did something a little different.  He turned around and with tears running down his face, he came back to me and said, "I just want to say thank you.  The last 3 people I asked yelled at me and said I wanted to scam them."  Then he went on to tell me what was going on in his life and with his family and what they would be facing in the coming days or weeks.  It touched my heart and made me very sad for him.  When I asked him if I could pray for him, all he said was, "please."  (I don't think it was a very good prayer because by this time I was in tears too, but God will take care of all the details.)

Driving home, the cashier's wise perspective really struck me as I thought about how much this young man had going on behind the scenes.  If he hadn't come back to say thank you.  I never would have known any of this.  Maybe today I was able to be a little like Bob?  (See earlier post to learn about Bob.)  Maybe I made his day just a little bit easier.  Maybe today he knows that someone does care.  Maybe this crossing path was a little tiny beacon of hope for him today.

Father God, I pray that you will be with him and his family now and each coming day.  I ask this through Jesus.  Amen.  

Sunday, December 28, 2014

The Best Gifts

During this Christmas season we can easily get caught up in "things" we want and don't have.  It can be rather frustrating.  I realized that a friend of mine gave me one of the best gifts possible.  When asking me if there was something I wanted for Christmas, I told her I had all I wanted or needed.  It was then that I realized she had given me one of the best possible gifts...contentment!  Thank you for that!!! to continue with that I need to stay away from stores, advertising and the web showing me eye candy of future clutter.

The other gift we can all receive is Jesus.  He came down from heaven to save us.  He gave us His love, His word and His life.  Thank you, Jesus, for being THE BEST GIFT ever and for all eternity.  He only asks that we believe in Him and ask His forgiveness.  I do believe it is that simple.

John 3:16  (NIV)

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Rest Days

As we move about our daily lives taking care of family, friends and responsibilities - whatever they may be for each of us - let us not forget to rest.  Part of taking care of oneself is resting.  As I've mentioned, I am working toward eating less and a little better, exercising consistently, saving money and utilizing my time in constructive ways.  All of those things are great, but none of it matters without allowing time for rest, relaxation and spending quality time with loved ones. 

Today is my day of rest.  I enjoyed every minute of it.  I visited someone, made a couple phone calls to friends.  I took a nap with Lovely and Pup.  (Pup is very warm on these chilly days.  Curling up with her is quite soothing until she decides to use me as a launching pad for her mischief...Ok, I have to admit, I like that too...she is adorable.)  My final act of relaxation before I watch some TV or curl up with one of my two, currently half finished books, was to make muffins for my children and I.  The house smells sweet and feels warm...soothing and comforting.  :-) 

This is a really nice time of year.  Crisp.  Cool.  Refreshing.  Don't forget to enjoy the colors and rest to keep the body healthy as the winter cold and flu season is fast approaching.  Oh, and I took the day off from exercising too.  I really rested today - emotionally, physically and was fed spiritually at my local church...a great, enjoyable day.  I hope you had a great day too.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

More on Starting.

Well, just like starting over and taking responsibility for finances, I've had to do that for my health and wellness too.  One of my children was injured recently.  The child will likely be fine with a little time and some work.  It made me take a look at my own life and health. I started exercising again.  I have to admit that I have missed it.  I also have to admit that I'm ready to do it now.  I had to reach that point, but I don't like starting over.  I used to exercise about two hours a day.  Then, as life fell apart, I became pretty sedentary.  I didn't like that either, but some days, well, one is just satisfied breathing.

I've moved furniture and brought out my weights, yoga mat and other exercise toys.  I went through my dvd collection to see where I wanted to start, and more importantly, where I could realistically start.  I've started at the beginning.  I'm going low weights and sticking with basics.  I've given myself two weeks to stay at this level.  Then I'll add a bit more, go a little heavier and reevaluate again.  I'll progress from there until I am back to the level of strength I want.

I've also accepted that as much as I want to lose some weight, I'm not really ready to go the extra distance to change my eating habits right now.  So, I am willing to accept that I can improve my health through exercise and eating a little less for the moment.  It is a starting point.  It will propel me to the place where I will want to begin clean eating again.  For now, I'm thankful I have a starting point on this topic.

I am glad I found a starting point on the financial topic.  I am surprised at how much I've accomplished in about 2 months.  This sense of accomplishment and the one that will come from exercising will also spur me on to accomplish more.  Starting points are nice because they mean the journey has, in fact, begun. 

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Fall is Coming

I love the change of seasons, although the change from summer to fall usually comes too soon for me.  This year is no exception.  According to the records, the temperature is a bit chilly for this time of year.  I agree with the records. 

I didn't feel great today.  The scene was set for making soup and bread today due to the the cool temperature and a need for some rest.  By the end of the day, I felt much better and wasn't feeling let down that another fall might be rushing in.  Yes, it is going to get colder and I probably won't be thrilled with that, but for now there are things to look forward to: bonfires and the wonderful smell that comes with them, toasted marshmallows, savory slow cooker meals, leaves changing colors, the view of the city from a hilltop as the colors come into full peak, sneaking in a few more beautiful warm days and going for walks with Lovely.  We all like different things.  Lovely helps me appreciate cold weather.

I hope you had a beautiful today and wish you a great tomorrow.  Take some deep breaths and enjoy the moments as they come.    

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Thinking About What I Don't Do...Another Step Toward Wisdom, I Hope

As I've begun to analyze my motive for things I do or want to do, I've started to think about the things that I don't do.  What are my reasons?  Is it fear?  Lack of faith or trust?  Selfishness?    Maybe its just poor planning on my part that holds me back from some things.  

I'm finding that I may be holding myself back from things because I don't want to face the unknown or come out of my comfort zone.  One example that keeps coming to mind, and I still have time to ponder this decision is a possible trip next year.  At first, I thought I'd love to go.  Then I pondered the finances and while I figured it would be tight, I thought I could potentially swing the expense.  The climate will be hot and humid with the potential for many mosquitoes. 

Recently I spent a little time walking pup in the woods on a hot and humid day.  After about 20 minutes I thought, I hate this!  I decided considering the trip was dumb.  I'd be miserable for the whole week and instead of helping people, I'd be bringing folks down. 

...while I still have not decided what to do, I have decided to revisit the topic and look at all of it again.  Can I handle the expense?  How will it affect my family?  Will it make a difference in the lives of others and my own?  Yes, it is worth looking into.  I don't want to say no to a potentially amazing experience that could benefit others because I don't like mosquitoes and being seems that might be a little selfish.  

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Changes...Always Something

I've been told by many neighbors with regard to owning a house that, "there is always something..." one needs to do maintain or improve the home.  I think that is true.  While contentment is my goal, I agree nothing is really stagnant and somethings need to be done.  We can't stop the world from moving and rotating.  We can't stop the seasons from changing or the cycles of the moon, which by the way, tonight was a beautiful moon!  I was able to enjoy the view with my son as we drove home.

Sometimes I struggle with change because it feels like it conflicts with my desire for contentment.  I've realized this isn't always true.  For instance, painting the bathroom.  If I let the desire to paint the bathroom turn into a complete gut and remodel, then I think I've missed the boat on contentment.  However, if I stick to my plan to do things myself or with help from my family and reuse what we have with some extra cleaning and freshening up, then I've just done what needs to be done to keep the house in good working order.  There is nothing wrong with that.  It's actually a good thing.

Lately,  I've been thinking about continuing my education.  I have a desire to learn more to move to a different job in the coming years.  Yes, I did just recently learn the trade I am in, but I have a burning desire to help human beings, not just animals and if I can do both together, that would be awesome!  I greatly enjoy the folks I work with and hope that I am a positive influence on them and a witness for Christ to them, but my desire to continue my education isn't a lack of contentment based on selfish desire, but a desire to make a positive difference in humanity. 

As I age, I hope to grow in wisdom.  I believe I am taking a step in the right direction by learning to analyze my motives before I move forward with something.  Is it for practical, emotional or selfish reasons?  Will be fixing a problem or creating one?  Will I be setting an example I want my children to follow?