Category Archives: Appreciation

Early Riser

Good morning my friends! Welcome to another beautiful day! Yes, I’m that crazy person that starts their day at 5 a.m. with a morning run… enjoying the morning as I watch everything wake for another busy day. It’s amazing how busy our lives are that we forget to enjoy God’s creation and gift to us.

Depending on my route and the number of miles I run, my morning is filled with headlights as people head to their job, birds waking as the sun begins to peak from its blissful sleep, wildlife of deer that cross my path, raccoons scurrying across the way and sometimes a skunk or two, a family of foxes that are out looking for their morning meal and the occasional biker or fellow runner getting a jump on their day too.

We’re given a fresh start each day, and how we approach each situation is up to us… no matter how trying it is or rewarding. Taking time for ourselves, whether it is early in the morning, a mid-day getaway or an evening of time alone, we all need to spend time with Him to recharge.

Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Off-track?

Have you ever gotten off-track, without realizing what has taken place? How often have you found yourself starting… stopping… starting… stopping, and then without realization you’ve gone no where and accomplished nothing. With the distractions of social media, email, video chat and life… we find ourselves spinning with no end in sight.

Many times I think of how I need to continue my writing. My daily inspirational sight has gone unattended for months and I even moved my unfinished book to an online sight so that I can take a moment here and there to continue with that work too, even when I’m sitting at one of my children’s activities. For whatever reason, everything still sits.

Maybe I overthink my writing. That has crossed my mind. Instead of relaxing and letting the story flow, I find myself choosing the perfect words so that each sentence is just so. My downfall at times is being a perfectionist. It’s difficult for me to settle for less. After all, I truly am a good writer, but also wonder if the unknown of catching a break and being picked up by a publisher holds me back. Change is scary, something that I shouldn’t shy away from considering I’ve done well with throughout my professional career in public relations and marketing.

How to get back on track… to stay focused and not falter… that’s a good question that only I have the answer for.

Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

Have You Ever Wondered

If it was easy, we’d never grow, we’d never discover ourselves, we’d never follow the path that He’s guiding us on. How do we make the choices of love, careers, friends, and even our lifestyle. Some people seem to be born with the golden spoon, everything they say or do, flawless, money to spend, money to burn, the home that is worth millions, and a life that has others green with envy.While others live paycheck to paycheck, always working hard for every penny, never knowing if they’ll have enough for groceries, never enough extra in the paycheck to purchase extra or even pay for the unexpected whether it’s health, vehicle or home related.

How does this happen, how is this determined? I’ll never forget the time I listened to two men tell their stories of how they tithe. It was very interesting to listen to the older man, who had worked hard all of his life to provide for his family. He and his wife lived a comfortable life, their children grown and on their own; however, what was interesting is that this man didn’t feel it was necessary to purchase lavish homes, clothes or vehicles, nor did his family take lavish trips. Instead, he talked about loading the family into the station wagon, how his wife would pack food into the picnic basket and off they would go to enjoy time together, as a family.

Now the younger man’s story was opposite, he was a man of wealth, someone who craved a lavish home, clothes, vehicles and trips; not so much quality family time. The younger man most definitely hadn’t seen hardship nor a lack of income, he even took a moment to share that his wife always told him “not to worry, we’re very well off”. His story of tithing was not one of sacrifice or going without, his one was of his needs are first, everything else comes after.

Most of the audience reacted the same, truly not knowing if the younger man even realized what he was saying. I found myself walking out of the building in silence, not sharing my thoughts with anyone as I could only pray that God shed some light on this man’s life.

Hebrews 13:5 Let your conduct be without covetousness, and be content with such things as you have.

 

The Search

What should be a normal summer, it’s not. You’ve been given an unpaid vacation; one that you weren’t prepared for, one that you were thrown into. But how to keep things normal? There is nothing normal about this. Seriously, who yanks the carpet out from under another person without knowing a family is now in peril, that children’s lives have been turned upside down?

It’s difficult to not dwell on the actions of others that have sent your world spinning out of control; to focus on the task ahead is difficult, almost daunting. Now what? Where to start? Sure there are lots and lots of online postings from employers hiring. You’re diverse, quite the background, achievements and work experience; however, you know this will be a strike against you as someone with your skill level doesn’t find a job by accident, you have to know someone.

You put out feelers, make contact after contact with colleagues. You’re not used to asking for help and are worried at how this will be received. A few respond with keeping their ears open, how they’ll let you know if something crosses their desk, while others actively send you job postings they’ve learned of. It’s overwhelming, almost scary to think that you’ve shared with others what you’re going through.

Philippians 4:6-7:  Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

 

The Threat…

Everyday I hear it… it’s real, not just words being thrown around. I’m never really sure if I should respond or just listen. How does it happen that one person has the audacity to subtly hint to others of the peril they face, and not because of their own actions, but due to those by others.

It’s baffling, and frustrating to hold on so tight as everything begins to fall apart. There isn’t a safety net. No one will pick up the pieces. No one will know about the threat. No one will stop the person doing wrong.

Psalms 28:7 The LORD is my strength and my shield; My heart trusts in Him, and I am helped; Therefore my heart exults, And with my song I shall thank Him.

Don’t give in…

It’s difficult to not react, to not repay the wrong that is done to you, even when the attacks continue to come. For months I feel as if I’ve been in a battle, alone on the front facing many who believe that it’s their right to attack an innocent person as they cause harm to not only myself but so many others. Every day is a new battle, it’s tiring and it chips away at the strength it takes to champion and defend those that are innocent.

Prayer helps, it really does; however, the battle continues. I’ve asked numerous times why I’m subject to this, what is it that I’ve done or what am I supposed to learn… I don’t have an answer, I only know that I’ve suffered, my family has suffered as well others. But, seeking revenge or even the thought of retaliation isn’t an option; I’d suffer and not come through this as I must stay strong and move forward with good, not evil.

Romans 12:17-21: 17 If someone has done you wrong, do not repay him with a wrong. Try to do what everyone considers to be good. 18 Do everything possible on your part to live in peace with everybody. 19 Never take revenge, my friends, but instead let God’s anger do it. For the scripture says, “I will take revenge, I will pay back, says the Lord.” 20 Instead, as the scripture says: “If your enemies are hungry, feed them; if they are thirsty, give them a drink; for by doing this you will make them burn with shame.” 21 Do not let evil defeat you; instead, conquer evil with good.

Unanswered prayers…

Every day, it’s the same, seeking something that seems to be out of reach… financial stability, health, career, relationships. Why do these escape my grasp? Why isn’t everything in order, just as I need them to be? Or is it these will be in order when He feels the time is right?

It seems crazy, doesn’t it? Life should be simple, a job that pays the bills with something left over to put into your savings, a career where the possibilities are endless, a relationship that grows each day, and never a worry about your health faltering. Sounds like the perfect life, one that most wish for but never find as all of the pieces never quite fall into place.

My favorite Christian author has written about unanswered prayers, hitting the nail on the head, so to speak, with her words. All too often we forget that there is someone to help, not always in the way we think, but how He sees us needing His help when the time is right. She points out that no matter how rough it gets, by singing God praises we will receive His blessings.

I had to process those words and apply them to my life…

Years ago I worked for a Fortune 500 company. I really enjoyed going to work every day, I did well. My position, my salary, and benefits were good, and I was excited about the projects I was assigned. Things were good, each month there was always money left over, I worked well with everyone, my career was on the right path; however, I was naïve and without warning I found my amazing career spiraling out of control. It seemed as if every corner I turned the path was blocked, and I struggled as doors began to close. I was distraught and couldn’t understand what had happened, who had I wronged?

Finally a friend pulled me aside and let me know that they couldn’t stay quiet any longer, that I didn’t deserve being treated so poorly. My friend shared the story of how I hadn’t done anything wrong to warrant my downfall, that a small group of coworkers, two women, three men and a spouse of one of the women had formulated a plan months ago to force me out of the company; they wanted me gone.

I was devastated; I had no idea that these people despised me so much that they were willing to ruin my career and financial well-being. It was difficult for me to grasp how people that I worked with each day could be so cruel to sabotage my life right in front of my eyes because I was being recognized for my work that contributed greatly to the success of the company. It was then I found myself praying, and praying, and praying. I needed help. I needed His strength. Each day I went to work with a smile on my face, acting as if nothing had changed. Each day I prayed that He would end the attacks. Each day I prayed that He would help me understand how I had wronged my coworkers in hopes that I could make amends.

Then the day came, the day I had prayed for. I had no expectations about His solution, I just knew He would take care of me, and He did. Without warning an executive in another division proposed how the value of my talents would benefit their area of the company. As I held back tears, I eagerly agreed to the transfer. I knew my prayers had been answered.

Work went well after my transfer. His generosity was humbling. Once again I enjoyed my work and was able to keep my distance from those that were not beyond harming others. As the months passed, stories reached my ears about the group that had caused me so much pain, they had turned on each other; I wasn’t surprised. Even though I only stayed with the company for a few more years I thanked Him every day for His strength and wisdom.

Matthew 21:22: And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.