Tag Archives: Blessings

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.

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.

Why are they so difficult?

We all know that person, the one we find “difficult” in one way or another. Have you ever wondered why you’re the one that deals with that person? Whether they’re selfish, argumentative, condescending or just simply rude, somehow they know how to create chaos, and drama surrounds them. They drain a person, and their actions become tiring.

Why are we the one that deals with that person?  Is He asking us to handle something, is this an exercise to learn something, but what? It’s easy to respond, and not in a kind manner.

1 Peter 3:9: Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.

The Threat…

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

It’s baffling and frustrating to hold on so tight as everything begins to fall apart. No safety net, no one will know about the threat – the person doing wrong will continue their ways.

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 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’ll grow 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.

Keep Your Eye on the Prize

We all have a to-do list, whether it’s daily, weekly or monthly, we all know what needs taken care of in our lives. It’s easy to flow through your life making sure the daily chores are taken care of, bills paid, children off to where they need to be – it’s a routine.

The question I find myself asking is where are you going in your life?

Years ago, I found myself tasked with a variety of writing assignments that ranged from marketing campaigns, relationship management, and customer service enhancement, incident mitigation; executive messaging, scripting and speeches, public relations, research, product literature, web content, social media management as well as advertising, and proposals. It didn’t matter what the piece was; I was called upon to be the lead writer.

What was disheartening was that no one appreciated my ability to research, how I took time to understand the topic and how I could let the words gracefully flow resulting in works of art. Okay, not works of art, but amazing pieces that benefited my employer, and with the types of projects I was assigned, I knew what I was producing was top notch.

During my time of writing for everyone else I found that my love and enjoyment for writing would lead me down a different path, one that wasn’t going to be easy, one that I would put on hold time and time again, one that would take years to accomplish. It’s easy to go to work and know what you need to achieve for the day. It’s not difficult to go home at the end of the workday and take of care things there; however, it’s difficult to do something for yourself.

The day I began to pen my novel series, well, I didn’t realize what a long road it would be. I’m sure I’m not the only writer that gets excited when they have what they believe is a bomb of an idea for a story and can’t wait to let the thoughts in their head spill out for all to read. It’s a good feeling to know that once you’ve written, and rewritten, and tweaked, and started over, and stopped, and started again, and again, and again, that when you feel your work is finally ready for the next step someone will jump at the chance to represent your work – oh wait, now the tricky part begins, correct?!

It’s exciting to read about others who have made it, and they’re a published author! Typically their road was filled with bumps too. You can hear their joy as they proudly announce how they’ve signed with an agent and their book is one step closer for the world to read.

That’s motivation for those of us who dream of being the next Stephen King or J.K. Rowling — just knowing that one day too we will be there, that we will be an inspiration for others to not give up on their dream of being a number one selling author — inspiring someone else to write, inspiring someone to read!

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

Always Brightens My Day

Each day I look forward to a visit from a very dear friend, someone who always brightens my day with his smile and a story that he shares. My dear friend has lived a life that I will never truly understand. At a young age, he served our country, has worked hard his entire life, he’s an honest man, and he’s thankful for all of God’s blessings.

Today my friend greeted me with his cheerful hello and asked if I was working hard, followed by his boisterous laugh. My chuckle preceded my daily answer don’t I always? This response makes him laugh more as he steps into my office.

I stop what I’m doing to spend some time with him. I never know what he’s going to share with me; it doesn’t matter, I’m always excited to hear what he has to say. He asks if I have ever been to Belgium. I haven’t and inquire about his time there. As I listen, I try to picture him as a young soldier during World War II as he traveled to a foreign land to serve his country. Unfortunately for me, the only visual I can put together doesn’t honestly depict what he experienced.

I can see in his eyes that his memories are clear and he talks as if he was still there. He’s gracious enough to only share the good with me. On occasion, he’ll talk about someone he served with and share a story or two about their time together.

Even though his visits are brief, I cherish each one as I thank God for bringing this amazing man into my life.

John 15:13: Great love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.

What makes us happy?

If I were rich, I would be happy, correct? If I had a rewarding career, I would be satisfied, maybe? If I had a newer vehicle, I would never need another, right? And the list goes on and on – what defines happiness? Have you thought about what makes you happy? The other day as I was out for my morning run along the trail I was focused on the view. It was serene as the sunlight filtered through the trees and danced along the ground. The only sound was the crunch of fallen leaves beneath my shoes; it was hypnotic. With each breath, crisp, fresh air tickled my nose. It was peaceful, just Mother Nature and me.

I began to think about my life, my family and how good I feel about myself. Without hesitation, I thanked God for His many blessings and realized how happy I am with what He provides and how He answers my prayers even when it’s not what I expected.

Psalms 37:3: Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shall you dwell in the land, and truly you shall be fed.

What’s Right with this Picture?

Each day we’re blessed with a fresh start, a chance to start anew. What an amazing gift we’ve been given, but all too often without realizing how we take this for granted, it slips away. The daily grind of work, shuffling children to and from, running errands, meeting deadlines – wears us down. At the end of the day, it’s easy to find so many things to grumble about.

We tend to let the negatives flood our thoughts; after all, misery loves company. What happened to make you feel so down? Was it really that upsetting when your supervisor was critical of your work? Did your coworker realize they hurt your feelings? Were you really that angered when that car cut you off in traffic? STOP!

Take a deep breath and honestly think about your day. How did it begin? Were you greeted by your children with smiles and hugs? Did your spouse pull you close for a good morning kiss? Were the birds singing as you stepped outside? Were you able to catch the morning colors of the sky as the sun crossed the horizon? Did someone brighten your day because they took time to smile?

Knowing that we’ve been given a precious gift, one that only He can provide, challenges us each day to work His will and be His hands as He wants the best for us.

Psalm 118:23: This is the Lord’s doing; It is marvelous in our eyes.

What awaits around the corner???

Each day we awake to new opportunities, a chance to be there for someone – making a difference! So many years ago, too many to count, I believed my work made a difference each day. I found myself determined to work my way through all of the politics and setbacks of being a woman in a Fortune 500 company. By far it was a boys club, one that no female would be welcomed; however, we were needed for the daily tasks our male counterparts felt beneath them.

Don’t get me wrong, I loved what I did, I was good at my work and found myself being sought out for high profile projects. I thrived on challenges, no project too daunting, and was genuinely overloaded, but always willing to work the hours needed for success. I always believed in the success of the company I worked for and knew I made a difference each day. After all, my work would be noticed, someone higher up would commend me with a kind word, possibly a raise, maybe a bonus, or even a promotion.

Oh, how naive I was. While I was busy with my work and lost in my thoughts of successful projects and accolades to come, another female coworker was pleading her case as to why she deserved a promotion. It was quite a surprise the day it was announced how she would be my new supervisor.

Without hesitation, I questioned why I had been passed over for this promotion. I was shocked at the senior vice president’s response; a slap in my face. A calmness came over me, I could only say, “well, this is it…” and walked away without any regrets.

What’s interesting is I knew it was a BLESSING in disguise. The hours I spent at work kept me away from my family – I was missing so much of their lives, and for what? To be passed over for a meaningless promotion? To continue being part of an organization that had shut the door on me?

PROVERBS 23:18: There is surely a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off.