Granting Grace

After nearly thirteen years together sometimes he just works my last nerve!  Last night I was frustrated to no end with my Love so I decided to leave the house to get some air.  I needed to go to Wal-Mart anyway but then I figured since Chick-fil-a was right next to Wal-Mart I deserved a cookies & cream milkshake…heaven on earth!

At the light while waiting to pull out of my subdivision, still fuming, I was going over the events of the past few minutes.  Even though I was in the car by myself and no one would have known, I was silently praying to God to help control my anger as to not start cursing that man out verbally or in the quiet corners of my mind.  

Sitting my anger at that light I clearly heard God say, “grant him grace.”  Ugh!!! God has been doing that a lot lately.  Just jumping into my thoughts, reminding me that in order to complete my circle not only do I have speak my faith, I also have to act my faith.

Grace is one of those words we hear so often that we tend to brush it aside when we are frustrated or angry.  In general, we all know what grace means but in all things Christ-like we have a choice in whether or not we use it.

Like I said, I know generally what grace means but I decided to look it up anyway so that I could make sure it was really grace God wanted me to extend in this current situation with my Love. (Won’t we try to find a way not to do what God tells us to do?  The flesh is weak!)

By definition, grace is the unmerited divine assistance given to humans for their regeneration or sanctification.

In reading the definition, it was the word unmerited that stood out the most so, I looked it up too.

Unmerited – not adequately earned or deserved.

I meditated over that word for quite sometime before I started this post.  No one and I mean no one, not even I, deserve grace.  If I were totally honest I know without a doubt that I sometimes say, do, think and act in ways that anger or frustrate God yet, even though I did absolutely nothing to earn or deserve it, I EXPECT God to grant me grace.  To forgive me, bless me and love me no matter what.  So who am I to not give to others what God so lovingly and freely gives to me each and every moment of my life?

I had the most enlightening drive to Wal-Mart! I also enjoyed my milkshake but then went home with a better attitude, helped my son with an online exam, hugged my Love and peacefully went to sleep.

Learning how to listen so that I can listen to learn.

 

Morning Drive – Part 1

We all know that things in life happen for a reason.  What I’ve come to know is that no matter what the reason, we should learn something from all that we experience in life whether good or bad.

So around the beginning of the school year this past August or September I had gotten to the point where I just didn’t like any of the morning talk radio shows.  As I drove to work I found much of the commentary quite annoying and silly.  I kept thinking to myself, “what in the world am I learning from this?”

I got up in the morning, went through the whole morning routine with the family and then once they were out of the house I sat down to have my quiet time with God and pray.  When my quiet time was over, I got in the car for the twenty minute drive to work listening to morning talk show hosts go from one silly, crazy topic to another.

Just before getting into my car I’d spent fifteen minutes or so preparing my heart and mind for what I already knew would be a stressful day.  I’d arrive at work feeling as if all of that preparedness at home was zapped away on the drive in.  Once I got clear about my very draining and sometime negative drive to work I figured I had two options:

  1. I could turn off the radio and drive in silence like my mother used to do (now I understand why she did it)
  2. I could find something more positive to listen to

Last March I had purchased a new car that had Bluetooth capabilities.  At the time I had no idea how important that little feature would become in my life.  Not long after the purchase my niece connected my cellphone to the Bluetooth so that I could be hands-free.  But then a little while after that my co-worker walked me through how I could use my Bluetooth to listen to Pandora in the car.

One of my favorite people to listen to sometimes during my quiet times is Pastor John Gray.  I watch him on YouTube.  I enjoy his positive messages and he’s pretty funny.  As I was dealing with my morning drive issue I thought, “how great would it be if I could listen to Pastor Gray on my drive to work?”  Then it hit me, if I could Bluetooth Pandora, maybe I could do the same thing with YouTube.

So I sat in my car one afternoon, followed the same steps my coworker taught me to connect Pandora and whaa-laa, my car was connected to YouTube!

Now, each work day morning, I get to have what I like to call my, PHOP, Positive Hour of Power!  I have my quiet time at home and then hop in the car with my YouTube and positive message from Pastor Gray.  It’s amazing what a good morning of positivity can do for the rest of your day.  I am so very happy with my drive to work. My PHOP gives me more than enough energy and a definite positive attitude to get through the day.

Attitude is everything…:)

Finding My Passion

In my last post I mentioned that one of the things I learned in 2017 is that as an educator, I’m going to need multiple streams of income if I’m going to do more than just survive.  In an effort to begin sourcing these multiple streams of income I thought maybe I’d try out this business idea I had.

While on Christmas Break I had the opportunity to chat with my father-in-law about my idea.  You see, not only is he a very sweet man, he happens to be a very successful business man.  At his urging, when I returned home and I began doing some research on my idea.  I’m certain I sat in front of my computer for two days just fascinated and taking notes on all the information I found.

Then I came across a website, http://www.womensbusinesscentre.org.  This site had a wealth of information to help women.  They encourage women who are in business or thinking about starting a business to come in and take advantage of all the resources they have available.

Among the resources they offer are several on-site training classes and seminars to help women get familiar with the many aspects of running a business.  To get myself familiar with their resources I signed up and attended an Introduction to the Women’s Business Centre class.  I had no idea what I was in for!

In that hour long course, not only did I learn a ton about starting a business, I met some incredible women who were in various stages of their business.  I was very proud to learn from several, young female entrepreneurs who’d simply found something they enjoyed and took a chance on turning their passion into a business.

I so admired these women for their vision and courage.  The hour long session wasn’t enough time to get into their back-stories but from the little I was able to get I was totally inspired.  So here are just a few of the businesses I had the opportunity to get to know that night…

✔onlyherz.com, Clothing Design

✔essentialyouyoga.com, Yoga

✔tbahcare.com, Companion Care

 

Adding my business in 2018…😄

Life Is Like A Boat!

Jonah 1:15 – Then they took Jonah and threw him overboard, and the raging sea grew calm.

I read this passage during my quiet time this morning and it got me to thinking! Jonah boarded this boat headed in the total opposite direction that God told him to go, right?  Jonah was running and yet the other guys on the boat had no idea what Jonah he was up to.  What should have been a normal, easy trip to Tarshish turned wild as the sea began raging.  The other sailors weren’t certain but they had a feeling something wasn’t right and that maybe someone was in trouble with God, but who?

As they began tossing their cargo and trying to figure out how to calm the raging sea, Jonah said nothing.  In fact, Jonah was sleeping like a baby.  It wasn’t until the sailors woke him and told him to pray that Jonah became aware of just how dangerous a situation they all were in.  When they sat down to cast lots and the lot fell on Jonah, they asked, “what should we do to you to make the sea calm down for us?”  Jonah’s reply, “pick me up, and toss me overboard.”  They didn’t what to and they tried to go back to land but the raging sea only grew worse.  Finally, after praying, they threw Jonah over and the sea grew calm.

How many people do you have riding in your boat that’s causing the sea of your life to rage? We so often spend time trying to figure out why things in our lives are “raging” and why situations just won’t go right.  At times like this, yes, it’s great to look within ourselves to make any necessary corrections but we also need to take a closer look at the people in and around our lives. Just as God was calling to Jonah and the crew on the boat inadvertently got caught up in his correction, we, too, can sometimes get caught up in God’s correction of others.

Our sea of life could be raging because of a relationship, friendship or acquaintance.  We may not be able to cast lots but we can pray for God’s direction and ask him for clear eyes to see if those in our lives are right for us.  Then to calm our sea, we just may have to throw some people overboard.

Keep calm and trust God…:)

Welcome 2017

As 2016 has come to an end, just like my winter break, I spent a few moments last night and today reflecting on my life this past year.  To be perfectly honest, I am just grateful to be alive and as far as I know healthy.  I have my family, I have a job, I have a roof over my head and I woke up this morning in my right mind. Can’t ask for much more than that.  While I didn’t reach all of the goals I’d set for myself in 2016, I did make some very big gains in my personal, profession and spiritual life.  Of course, there were some good times and a whole bunch of not-so good times but all in all it was a very good year.

I am just as equally proud of my bad days as I am of my good days.  Over the years I have come to understand that without bad days I would never learn how strong, dynamic, resourceful and creative I am.  All the things I say I can do and will do won’t mean as much if I don’t have some struggle along the way.  I put forth every effort to live the life that my parents dreamed for me and one that will leave a legacy/impact that will make those around me proud to have known me.  I don’t always get it right.  I don’t always handle challenging situations appropriately.  However, every morning that God wakes me up, I open my eyes with prayer in my heart and I am grateful for another opportunity to get it right.  I’ve learned how to say, “I’m sorry” even if I may not be in the wrong because my relationships with my family and friends is important to me.  I’ve learned to forgive even when I don’t necessarily “feel” like it because I know forgiveness is for my betterment and well being, and not someone else.

There are so many things to look forward to that I didn’t spend too much time looking back.  We want to reflect not dwell!

Expecting great things in 2017…:)

 

 

 

 

Why I Pray

Why I Pray

After spending about fifteen minutes complaining about her life and all that was going wrong in it, she asked me, “how do you stay so positive?” My response, “I pray.” Then she asked, very sarcastically, “why, why even bother?”  To say that I was shocked or even bothered by her asking why would definitely not be telling the truth.  To be perfectly honest, I am no longer bothered or agitated when people question my ability to stay positive or, in this case, why I bother praying.  I actually thought it was rather ironic that she would question my positive attitude amidst her complaining, frustration and negative attitude.  Now, are there times when I’m not so positive…absolutely.  But those times are happening further and further apart.  The older I get, the more I come to realize what is really important in my life.  For me, that is my faith, my relationship with God, my family and my true friends.

Each day I wake up, turn on my television or browse the internet, I am being constantly fed the negativity that has begun to blanket this world.  Here and there, I will find a few newsworthy bright spots.  However, it seems that the negative definitely outweighs the positive.  So here is my response to her “why” question: The way I see it, I can continue to contribute to the negativity of this world by complaining about all the things that are going wrong with the world, with my life, with my job, my family, etc., and in the process negatively impacting my own health and peace of mind or I can pray.  I can pray for peace, positive outcomes, a clear heart and mind.  I can pray for my family, for my children and for my students.  I can pray to see the goodness in others rather than assuming the worst about them.  For me, prayer helps me to keep the truth about my real identity in constant, unbroken focus before me.  Prayer also makes me aware of all of the resources and strength and protection God has already placed at my side.  It works for me.  It may not be for others but if you find yourself in a constant negative state, you might want to give prayer a try.

Know your worth…:)

 

 

 

Chapter Two – Turning

God is Able By Priscilla Shirer

As Mrs. Shirer continues to discuss the scripture Ephesians 3:20-21, I am really looking forward to the other chapters in this book.  When I chose this book, I had no idea that she was going to focus specifically on this scripture in Ephesians but I am very glad she did.  Chapter One prepared our hearts and minds to begin understanding that connecting with God’s power is available to us now.  In looking at our situations and circumstances, we can have the power right now to overcome them.  We don’t have to wait for things to get better in order to feel and use God’s loving power.

I really loved Chapter Two!  Turning…unto Him, wow!  How about that?  Something we know to do however, something we don’t often do.  Sometimes it’s kind of hard to focus on a relationship with God when we feel that our world is going to come crashing down on us if we don’t get the light bill paid on time, or have enough money at the end of the week for groceries, or even enough money to put gas in the car to hold us until payday.  Our circumstances and difficult situations are very real and they do require our attention.  We can’t receive a final notice on the light bill and simply ignore it.  However, what I think the author is trying to get us to understand in Chapter Two is that our focus shouldn’t lie with our situations and challenges.

By turning our attention and focus on God, we are saying that we trust Him to do what is best for us in every situation.  We are turning toward that power now when we need it most.  When we don’t turn to God in our difficult times we allow the burden of our situation to weigh us down, the sadness and frustration begins to mount, we shift our focus away from Him and stare directly into our problems.  We meditate on our problems, looking at them from every angle trying to sort them all out.  Here in Chapter Two, the author reminds us that we don’t have to carry the weight of our burdens alone.  Actually, we don’t have to carry them at all.

When difficult times arise, focusing on Him will turn your heart, mind, and body in the sole direction where all of your help is coming from. (God is Able, pg. 46) We know and love Him when times are going good.  Let’s remember Him during those not so good times and begin turning to Him so that we can see His love and power at all times.

Feel free to share your comments about this chapter in the comments below…

P.S. Happy Valentine’s Day 🙂