Those “Almost”Moments

Ever thought about the “almosts”in your life? I am referring to those moments where you almost didn’t do something and realized later what a huge blessing you would have missed out on if you had listened to those voices of doubt.

I wrote a few days ago about being brave. I am embracing that phrase for this year.

 I listened to Joel Osteen via my temporary free subscription to Sirius radio yesterday morning. He was talking about the favor of God. One of the things he said really resonated with me. So many have this image of God where they are afraid of God being mad at them if they mess up. I have lived with that image for a long time, but God has been revealing to me His love is just because He loves me. It’s not about my performance, my attempt at perfectionism, or anything I do. If I am living in integrity seeking to serve God, He will bless me. It’s all about taking those little steps of faith.

Blessings come in various ways. For me, it is in a friendship, a stronger marriage, moments with my son and daughter, quiet mornings, a supportive work environment, and the growing confidence to be brave.

I am growing professionally, personally, and spiritually at my job…A job I almost didn’t apply for because I thought it would be too far to drive and maybe I wasn’t qualified.

Yesterday, I received word that something I submitted for possible publication was selected… Something I almost didn’t submit because I wasn’t sure if it fit what they were looking for.

When you hear those voices of doubt, those voices that tell you that you aren’t good enough, smart enough, creative enough, pretty enough, confident enough…Those voices that threaten to make you second guess your worth and your purpose…Silence them. Pray. Trust. Almost moments are telling you something. They are asking you to be brave. To trust. To believe. 

You are enough in Christ. Embrace that.

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Monday Musings on a Free Day

I’m not sure what I feel like today…a banker, a teacher, a government employed worker? I work in healthcare, a facility that operates 24/7, and I have a day off on Presidents’ Day due to a bonus holiday. I don’t know what to do with myself except…I should be productive…I have a closet I would love to clean but instead, I would rather relax. My commuting work weeks are a whirlwind of activity that being able to just sit is well, nice. I can sit and write. I can sit and do my taxes. I can sit and make necessary phone calls. So, all is not wasted. And, besides, I did exercise this morning already. I would do my laundry, but my washer hook-ups are leaking, and I am waiting for my plumber handy uncle to arrive and save the day!

So, I choose to look at this day as a gift.

A chance to slow down.

A chance to be spontaneous and enjoy whatever I feel like doing at the moment. For example, my 11-year-old son and I just enjoyed reading random facts about various Presidents on the computer in honor of Presidents’ Day. Did you know that President Calvin Coolidge slept 10 hours a night? I would love to be able to catch 8 hours a night!

My house is calm. My house is quiet. My house is relatively clean, not perfect, but not a cluttered chaotic mess that it will be by Friday!

A chance to reflect on how much I have grown in the past few years.

Food issues have changed my perspectives on food, on me, on health, and how God uses everything in my life to shape me and mold me into who He desires me to be and the direction he wants me to go. I changed jobs a year ago, too, and although I miss my former co-workers dearly, I would not have grown professionally, personally, and spiritually without the experiences I have had in this new position and environment.

In a year’s time, I have learned to LOVE and appreciate coffee. I have learned to have a greater acceptance of those different from me. I have learned greater problem solving skills. I have learned to be creative with time management. I have a greater appreciation and devotion for my family and friends. I am learning day by day to let go of the small stuff and embrace what truly matters. I am becoming a more confident driver in the winter weather conditions. I am learning that I possess greater patience than I realized I had. I am understanding with a greater clarity what my passion truly is.

I am OK with being me. Most days. I have moments I struggle, but I am trying to look at struggles and emotions as learning blocks in this journey of life. Some days I want to simply hide and blend in with the world around me like this tiny turtle I discovered during a hike with my husband. I don’t think I, or anyone for that matter, was meant to simply blend into our surroundings. I think, I believe, I, we all, have a greater purpose to leave our mark on this world for the better.

Pictures Fall 2013-Fall 2014 1315

On this “free” Monday, I reflect, and I embrace the journey I am on day by day. I am thankful for those who I am privileged to have journey alongside with me. When I am tempted to blend and tuck myself into my own world like the tiny turtle, I will instead face whatever comes my way with determination and confidence. I hope you will, too!

Jeremiah

Food Issues From a Child’s Perspective

Children are often listening and observing when you least expect it. They take in things, make their own conclusions and opinions about things surrounding them at home, church, school…and sometimes they say or do things that simply surprise you.

And sometimes, they do things that simply make you smile as a parent. Like when much younger brother and teenage sister are actually having a conversation together and not arguing. Or, on Christmas morning, when you open a gift out of your stocking from your 11 year-old son to find this:

642A mini Lego person. Now, my son loves Legos as many boys his age do. I had been talking with him about making Christmas gifts instead of buying them and had suggested he make gifts from Legos. But, when I first looked at this little Lego lady, I wasn’t quite sure what I was supposed to think. Then, he announced: “It’s a mini you! See the brown ponytail? And the banana and fish?”

And then, I had to smile. Yep, that’s me. Brown ponytail (always once I’m home from work). Bananas…my absolute favorite food. Fish…yep, love it even though it’s not a favorite with the rest of my clan.

Could it be that simple? Can it be that simple? I have spent a lot of time, energy, and money not to mention worry over food related issues. It has taken time to research my food issues and special diets I have been on as well as endless hours in the kitchen preparing food for the week. But, do I make things more complicated than they need to be?

Yes, life is more complex than a Lego miniature person, a plastic banana, and a plastic fish, but as adults, we tend to make things more complicated than they need to be. In my case, I probably do this a lot more than I need to.

So, through the eyes of my 11 year-old son, I will be reminded to focus on whole foods, to spend time in the kitchen with him, and remember to relax, hair in a ponytail, and laugh more.

I will face 2015 with confidence and determination. I will not let my food issues get the best of me. I will use this blog to connect with others and share in life’s struggles as they relate to food  allergies, intolerances, and annoyances! I will not complicate life so much…I will simplify more! And, I will remember that the God who created me, food issues and all, loves me simply for being me.

Facing 2015 with Confidence & Determination

2015..

I love a new year….a time to reflect on the good and not-so-good from the year behind and a time to look ahead to the new year. To dream. To plan. To hope. To believe that anything is possible.

Last year, 2014, was a year of new beginnings…I started a new job, and I graduated with my MBA. It was also filled with some times of uncertainty, hardship, and just emotionally trying times. I have grown professionally and personally this year. I’d like to think I am growing spiritually as well. Last week, our pastor challenged us to look at the new year with confidence, faith, hope, and anticipation. The week of Christmas, I watched the Nativity Story with my son. As I watched the movie, I imagined how Mary must have felt….did she look forward to the birth of her son, the Savior of the World, with confidence, faith, hope, and anticipation? I think she did.

As I take this first day of the new year to enjoy having nothing pressing to do, I am going to enjoy time with my family, taking down Christmas decorations, and enjoying sipping on tea. I have claimed two words for the new year: Confidence and Determination. Those are my words for my life as I face this new year with confidence, faith, hope, and anticipation.

According to Merriam-Webster online, confidence is defined as a feeling or belief that you can do something well and succeed at it and believing with certainty that something will happen. Determination is defined as a quality that continues to make you try at something despite it being difficult.

These are the words I am choosing to embrace this year. Confidence and determination to live my life as God desires for me. Happy New Year to everyone!