Today I am grateful for the birth that gave hope to the hopeless. In this season of birth and renewal in the midst of confusion and fear, I am praying for sufficient strength to be hopeful, effective faith to believe, and enough compassion to be loving…
“For a child has been born—for us! The gift of a son—for us! He’ll take over the running of the world. His names will be: Amazing Counselor, Strong God, Eternal Father, Prince of Wholeness. His ruling authority will grow, and there’ll be no limits to the wholeness he brings.” Isaiah 9: 6-7, MSG
We see our present experiences through the blurry filter of our past experiences. Time and time again, we allow our past to pop up and block our present. But our previous experiences don’t have to preclude what we want to do in the present. We don’t have to be stuck in our story.
“…affirming our existence requires affirming the past that led to it.” ~ Todd May
In my early 30s, I experienced some major disruptions in my life. I left an abusive marriage and took my toddler out of the country to a new assignment in England, courtesy of Uncle Sam. And then DESERT STORM happened.
At first it, was difficult to get my footing. I had to find a place on the economy that wasn’t looking for a man to guarantee the rent. I beat myself up for thinking my daughter would easily transition to a big-girl bed. Why didn’t I bring the crib? I worried about deploying; should I send my 3-year-old to the States? I wondered if I could juggle all the demands…
But we survived. In fact, we didn’t just survive, we thrived! And I learned some things about myself…
“If I have to, I can do anything I am strong I am invincible I am woman…” Helen Reddy, I Am Woman
“Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am.” ~ Philippians 4:13, MSG
At church this weekend, it was all about seeds and growing, reaping and sowing. Even during story hour for the young and young at heart, the pastor shared a fable about seeds that face obstacles to their growth.
In the story, some of the seeds decide to postpone any attempts to grow until the obstacles disappear (they don’t). But one determined seed decides to face possible destruction and fulfill its purpose to become a palm tree with an extraordinarily strong trunk.
“What do you think happened?” the pastor asked the assembled 6, 7 and 8-year olds.
And one brave young soul answered correctly, “The obstacles made the tree grow stronger.”
I’m a fitness instructor with bad knees. My clients are often surprised to see me taking an elevator instead of the stairs after a class. I don’t take the stairs because walking up and especially down stairs puts a lot of strain on my knees. I save my knees for demonstrating the best form when I’m teaching and being in the best form when I’m taking class.
My knees let me know when I’ve gone too far. My knees are the reason I challenge my clients to push themselves to THEIR limit versus what I might think they can do. Because each client is the only one who really knows if they’re pushing to their limit, challenging what’s comfortable and living up to their potential.
In life as in fitness, you are the only one who knows if you’re giving it your best shot or just coasting. And you’re the only one you have to please.
“The journey to wholeness requires that you look honestly, openly, and with courage into yourself, into the dynamics that lie behind what you feel, what you perceive, what you value, and how you act.” ~ Gary Zukav
You are co-creating your life with every action. Do you like what is manifesting in your life? If so, keep doing what you’re doing. If not, make different choices, choose different actions, and act intentionally to manifest something different.
Someone recently requested a favor of me, a favor that would have inconvenienced me. I was assured I could say NO… which I promptly did.
The giving of permission to refuse stood out not because it wasn’t required but because it reflects a reality– we often do things we don’t want to do because we give more weight to other’s feelings than our own.
But what I’ve learned as I mature is you aren’t obligated to do things that don’t serve your greatest good, you aren’t required to say yes to anything not in your best interests, and you don’t need permission to say no.