Joy

sky.jpg

Through the fig tree may not blossom,

Nor fruit be on the vines;

Though the labor of the olive may fail;

and the fields yield no food;

Though the flock may be cut off

from the fold,

and there be no herd in the stalls

Yet I will rejoice in the Lord,

I will joy in the God of my salvation.

The Lord God is my strength;

He will make my feet like deer’s feet,

And He will make me walk on my high hills.

Habakkuk 3: 17-19

 

Choosing contentment

Restless.
That word describes me lately.

As I contemplated my life the other day, looking out at this view, I reflected on my friends’ lives, my staff members’ lives….things seeming to fall apart for people. Marriages falling apart. Financial issues. Health concerns.

image

My own life…far from what I ever envisioned but my marriage is sound, my children are healthy, I am a thousand times healthier than I was a few years back, I have a wonderful job….yet my life is filled with uncertainty.

As I work on freelance writing for the newspaper, I thought… this isn’t the type of writing I want to do. As I thought of going back to work Monday morning, I felt myself becoming anxious with concerns of all that needed addressed. I questioned my career choice…am I where I want to be?

And then…amidst all the chaotic thoughts colliding in my mind, I hear a spoken word… contentment. I paused, knowing…the restless stirring of my heart, mind, thoughts. I have lost my focus.

Contentment. I need to focus on the blessings. I need to focus on the day at hand. I need to choose not to worry and instead give it to God.

If there was any doubt, God gently reminded me Monday morning as I opened my Charles Stanley devotional…on feeling frustrated.. the Bible reading from Philippians….confirming for me the need to focus on choosing contentment.

I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. Philippians 4:12-13

image

Rest

Rest…
Time to pause
Time to reflect
Time to be still
Time to listen

Permission to breathe
Slow down
Release the stress
To share with God
Who cares about the big and small
Stuff of our lives

I am learning to rest
To release myself
From the guilt I so
Often feel when
I am still

The work will always be there
The to do list will
Keep growing
But I am learning
If I don’t take time
To be still…
Silently sipping morning coffee,
Listening to a friend,
Reflecting in the nature,
Writing,
Pausing amongst the chaos to pray…

If I don’t take time to be still
I can easily feel
As though I am drowning
In the stuff of life
And miss the simple moments
That matter, that mean everything.

Rest…

Be still and know that I am God.
Psalm 46:10

image

Alzheimer’s & Gratitude: A Matter of Perspective — The Long and Winding Road…

Great blog post on gratitude!!! I spend my days working with elders and their families so this really touches the heart!!! And, it’s just a great general reminder on perspective and gratitude!!!

June is Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month in the United States, and I’m grateful to my new friends at the worldwide Network for Grateful Living for helping shine the spotlight on Alzheimer’s! After being introduced to their site, I was inspired to write a piece about Alzheimer’s and gratitude, two things we don’t necessarily see as going […]

via Alzheimer’s & Gratitude: A Matter of Perspective — The Long and Winding Road…

Connecting with Others

I have come to believe, truly believe, that life is about relationships. It’s not about stuff.

People, our connections with others are everything. Relationships enrich our lives.

I witness this daily in long term care…the aged residents…the relationships they have with their families, friends, church, neighbors and the relationships they bridge with other residents….mean everything…their “stuff” no longer matters so much.

I witnessed this powerfully as I was in awe at all the people who came to my daughter ‘s graduation party last week… lives interconnected…. family and friends and teachers and neighbors and church friends….there to live and support her, us.

I feel the connection as I talk with my neighbor who willingly helps out when we need someone to pick our son up from school.

I realize the importance in time it takes to invest in relationship forming as I witness progress with clients and their families.

As I reflect on the value of relationships in my life, some things stand out as important….

1. Keep God as the number one in your life.
2. Talk less, listen more.
3. Eye contact is powerful.
4. Multi tasking while talking with someone says you are not really invested in the conversation.
5. Seek those who have common interests but don’t be afraid to learn and seek understanding from those different from you.
7. Did I mention talk less, listen more?
8. Apologizing to someone goes a long way.
9. Empathy and compassion speak volumes.
10. Be slow to respond when upset. Breathe.
11. Pray for His guidance in every interaction you have with the people you encounter.

A friend loves at all times. Proverbs 17:17

A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. Proverbs 15:1

Take a moment and thank Him for the relationships He has blessed you with, and seek His guidance and help with any relationships you are struggling with.

image