Category Archives: Appreciation

The Words

This morning as I ran with the cool winter air around me, I knew exactly what I was going to write about… as I finished my run the words were gone. Those words that formed so easily in my mind as I made my way across the trail were no more. When it’s dark and still outside, being alone with my thoughts gives way to the flow of ideas, the words come so easily even though my plan is to share with the world falls apart. This happens more often than not.

As my day moved forward, I found myself perplexed with trying to recall the amazing story that had formed in the early morning hours. Where did all of those words go? Lost as the overwhelming deadlines, commitments, tasks to complete had entered my day. Oh to be back on the peaceful trail with only my thoughts to occupy my thoughts.

The day will come soon enough when all won’t be lost…

Psalm 62:1-2 My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken.

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Crossroads

Have you ever taken a step back and wondered where time has gone? Every year as one closes out and another begins there is always recaps of the years past, how many years ago something took place, and so on… I look back with the thoughts of what have I done?

It’s easy to trace my work history; no secret where I’ve been or what I’ve done with my career. My desk holds numerous years of paper planners, yes you read correctly, paper planners that not only hold my daily schedule but also each family member’s schedule. Coordinating multiple activities, meetings, obligations and commitments takes more than a quick glance of the calendar on my phone.

Today I ponder the question of what have I really done with my life? I’m not talking about the typical things such as college, family or work. I’m looking beyond that part; what is it I’ve really done. Hmmm…. that is the question that’s difficult to answer as I’m not sure if it’s about me and what I’ve always dreamed of doing, or is it about what I’ve done for others before myself.

Some people talk about the beginning of a new year and wanting a fresh start with a different company or even changing careers. Others say they’re going to focus more on themselves – changes to help move a person in the right direction?

I’ve always wanted to be a full time writer, someone who becomes the author everyone clamors to read; however, I’m continually pulled in a different direction. Maybe the fear of failure is too great or it’s easier to put this dream on hold to take care of my family, make sure I’m doing well at work, or commit myself elsewhere so I won’t fail.

Continually I encourage my children to follow their dreams. To put in the effort and time needed to get where they want to be, and yet I hold back without following my own advice. Maybe that’s where I fall, at the crossroads of time past and what’s ahead.

2 Chronicles 15:7 But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded.

What if…

How many times do you find yourself saying… what if? Some say it’s second guessing, while others always wonder about the what if. I’m not talking about the “what if I would have cleaned the bathroom instead of watching my favorite show”, no I’m talking about the “what if I would have eaten an apple instead of a chocolate bar”… OK, I’m just kidding.

It’s human nature to wonder about the what if’s in life, something that starts at a young age. Think about the day you chose to walk by the high school musical tryout sign-up sheet without giving it a second thought only to learn later how disappointed the director was when your name wasn’t on the list. So what if you would have given the musical a chance or better yet, given yourself a chance?

When the lottery announces a winner, I always wonder what if I would have purchased a ticket or what if I would have chosen different numbers and my name was announced? Oh my, all of the debt I would pay off with my newly won riches!

How often do you wonder about your what if’s? I’ll be honest, I’m always wondering about my what if’s. Sometimes I find myself wondering about some of my past what if’s. Not that I have regrets, just the thought of what would be if I would have followed a different path.

For months now I find myself thinking about the what if’s such as what if I finally focus and finish my book, what if my friend and I finally launch our boutique business we continually plan for, what if I get back on track and write something everyday for my Next Chapter site, what if my daughter is recruited by her dream college so she can continue to play the sport she loves, what if I think more about how to move forward with a better life for not only myself but also for my family, what if I appreciate what I have…

That’s the most difficult what if… appreciate what we’ve been given – our health, the means to support ourselves financially, family and friends, opportunities to make a difference in someone else’s life, and so much more.

But, what if life hasn’t been easy; not so rosy?  What if your health or that of a loved one isn’t 100%, what if the financial struggle is constant or what if there are other things in your life that keep you from finding peace.

It’s difficult, let’s be honest, there are days that I feel like life punches left then right… while other days it’s all sunshine and roses. Oh what if I could learn from the daily lessons, the punches that knock me down, but also from all the good I experience. 

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18: Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 

Kind Words

What a surprise today, one of the sweetest ladies that walks by my office every day stopped in to say thank you. She just wanted to let me know that she watches and pays attention to what people are doing around here and I’ve really impressed her with the success of my projects in the one year that I’ve been here.

My mouth was hanging open, really, it was literally open as she spoke. Her words were unexpected and caught me off guard. I did regain my composure so my mouth wasn’t hanging open the whole time… ha, ha.

She’s an older lady, very smart and kind. I speak with her almost everyday. She always has a kind word for everyone, but she doesn’t hesitate to tell it like it is either. I truly enjoy talking with her.

Her kind words were something that I needed to hear. We all need to be told thank you and that we’re appreciated. There are two things I’ve always believed. God will put the right people in my life at the right time, and for the right reasons, and He will never give me more than I can handle.

It’s so easy to fall into the daily grind that we lose focus on how others perceive us. I’m thankful that my friend took time today to share her kind words with me.

James 1:17: Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.

 

 

It’s Ok

I haven’t written for awhile, not really sure why. Nothing bad has happened, nothing super amazing has happened, just the same day-in-day-out. Everyone goes through it, the hustle and bustle of family, work, activities, commitments, trying to keep up with everything at home while trying to feel good about myself. There are times it’s just chaotic!

I have been working on my book, not my first book but my other book, the piece that’s coming together nicely; the first book needs a lot of rework. It’s ok though, I’m good with letting it sit for awhile before tearing it apart to only make it better. My goal to write something everyday on my site thenextchapter.com has fallen by the wayside. I keep telling myself that it’s ok, if inspiration hits for my latest book then write… and write… and write!

I have found myself kind of blah about things, not overly enthusiastic but not negative either. Just going through the motions. I actually had a person tell me that I was negative just because I gave an honest answer. Hey, if you didn’t want to hear it then don’t tell me that you want my honest opinion. Oh, and they’re upset with me too because I disagreed with them, they’re trying to chop my head off. Oh my, I’m not always gong to agree with you nor you with me. It’d be an awful world if we all just said yes. It’s ok though, I did nothing wrong; they’re just upset that someone actually had guts to stand on their own.

I have been looking closely at the job boards again. Not that I’m leaving my current position anytime soon, heck who knows after disagreeing with a coworker, but I know that where I’m at now isn’t where I’ll be in the days to come. It’s ok though, my ultimate goal is to have my book published and that it’s a best seller. A book tour and promoting my work would be a dream come true, but in the meantime I’ll stay the course, continue my work and keep my out for the next opportunity.

I have been learning to say no. Really, it’s just something that I don’t like to tell people when they ask for my help. I get myself into scheduling crunches, deadline crunches, overload with personal commitment crunches… my work is always done, done well and I come through each and every time, but sometimes the stress is just too much to continue to handle. It’s ok though, I can say no and people don’t get mad, they just have to ask someone else.

James 1: 2-4: Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

 

The Golden Spoon

We all know the type, those that have everything handed to them and yet they don’t appreciate what they have. They’re always the first to criticize, the person that looks down on others, and they always have to best of everything.

As I sat in a meeting the other day with a group of men and women, I had to hold the laughter in as I listened to a small group as they spent time trying to best each other. It was comical to say the least; they weren’t hearing what the other said.

Their conversation was quite interesting as they spoke loud enough for everyone to hear. Each trying to out do the other with the stories of their summer excursions, shopping trips, purchases and future plans of how to spend their wealth. As I listened, I noticed that several others in the room had also tuned in. This added another element to the situation. As the focus turned toward their conversation, the volume began to rise. The show became quite comical.

Many people spend their lives working and saving for what they have. Taking the time to plan, save and truly appreciate the fruits of their labors, while others have had their good fortune handed to them. Wealth does buy a lot, but it doesn’t buy happiness.

Ecclesiastes 5:10:  Whoever loves money never has enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with their income. This too is meaningless.

You Reap What You Sow

We’ve all worked with that person, the one that always looks over everyone else’s shoulders, their concerned about others’ work and they’re always talking behind your back. They’re not happy with their life and chose to make the workplace their playground.

As an outsider looking in, I would never have dreamed that this one particular coworker would be this way; however, in time I learned. It started just a few months into working with this person, they would make comments about others in the workplace. I’m not one to talk poorly about another person as I don’t walk in their shoes. I was taken back by the comments but considered that possibly something was going on in their personal life affecting their emotions and judgement.

It wasn’t long before I figured out that this person isn’t happy with their life and will turn on others without reason. I was shocked to learn how my coworker had been speaking about me behind my back; no different than what they had been saying about others. It’s disappointing, and I shouldn’t have been surprised as we all know that people that have nothing good to say about others will target everyone and anyone.

I truly believe that a person who is good to others and works hard no matter what their profession will when the time is right enjoy the fruits of their labors. Those, like my coworker that chooses to spend their time being miserable will never enjoy the rewards.

Galatians 6:7-8: Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.