Monday, March 31, 2014

The Beauty of England, Scotland, and Ireland

Our family recently got to travel overseas for a brief stint. I am so thankful for the opportunities I’ve been given to see God’s world. It never fails to amaze me. It is so beautiful.

I find big cities beautiful. I find the countryside beautiful. I find people with their differing customs, accents, and way of living… beautiful.


And I just wanted to share a little slice of it with you.
























Friday, March 28, 2014

When You Plan In Advance To Be Upset




There are moments in life where I dread something coming up. It’s either an obligatory kind of thing or something I feel trapped into doing or going to. I hate these times for I don’t feel like I can be at my best due to my attitude.

Sometimes we plan in advance to get upset.  We know what someone is going to say, we know what action is going to be demonstrated on their part and before it even happens, we plan in our hearts to be upset about it. Without even giving them a chance to be different, or to act different. Without giving ourselves a chance to be different or act different.

I’ve done this. I’ve BEEN this. Have you? Have you planned in advance to be upset about something?

It’s as if we’re not just upset at that moment in time, but we’re upset every day leading up to that moment in time, as well. Because we know how we are going to feel about it.

I think I have pretty good instincts about people. And I’m often right about the outcome when it comes to these same people. So I have plenty of occasions to get upset, if I choose to. And sometimes, unfortunately, I do choose to. Sometimes I’m entitled to be upset. Other times, well, not so much. I can make things bigger in my head and heart because of all that time I gave myself to dwell on the issue.

It’s a lose-lose situation.

When I plan in advance to be upset about something, the other person loses because of the unfortunate choice or action they made. I also lose because of all the time I lost harping on the thing. I lose because of all the stress I put myself through and I lose because I didn’t choose (on the occasions that call for it) to not let it ruin me or affect my joy.

I can choose so many different ways in which to respond. But often, my pride wins out by telling my heart that it’s going to be upset before anything even happens!

I could do a lot better by myself.

I could choose to pray about things leading up to the moment in time that I’m focusing on. I could choose to let the issue drop at God’s feet instead of my own – thus removing the weight of the burden on my heart and shoulders. AND, I COULD choose to forgive BEFORE the offense is given. Especially if I’m expecting a predictable response or pattern.  I could even somehow set up a boundary in my heart and life so that I avoid the moment all together.

Getting all worked up is something we are good at. Especially women. Some things are indeed worth fighting for. But our frame of mind in the process is so crucial to how drama-free our lives can truly be if we want it badly enough.

We just have to want it badly enough. Bad enough to wait and see what will happen. Wait and see what God will do.

Isn’t that worth putting off the “upset” for a bit?

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

You Are Precious, You Are Priceless




A parent’s worst fear is that something will happen to their children. Illness, accidents, abductions and other kinds of harm fill our hearts and our minds.

And it’s not just worrying about our children. A parent can worry about themselves too. That something will happen so that their child has to grow up parent-less.

So many worries. So many fears.

Fear can rule my life if I let it. And it would be so easy to let it. But I have to live instead; in courage and in faith, trusting that my God will take care of my children and that He will take care of me.

I realize that life is not perfect. Not everybody gets to live through it without disease, sickness, accidents, or tragedy befalling them. In fact, very little of us get to go through it without being affected in some way.

But there is so much to be hopeful for. So much to be thankful for. There is still so much that is good.

I am thankful every time my children celebrate a birthday. Every milestone that I get to watch, I am blessed that my children get to reach it, experience it and touch it. And of course, I’m thankful that I get to be a part of it.

I think of the “what if’s.” I try to prepare my children for those possible scenarios and I pray that they will never come to pass. But if they should, then I have to trust my Almighty God that my kids knew the most important things they could know.  I have to trust that they knew how much they were loved and valued. How deeply they brought joy to my life.  And I have to trust that they saw the Lord in my life and that they too, will always seek to have Him a part of theirs.

I have to believe that they knew how precious and how priceless they were to me.

So I tell them. I tell them often. I hug them. I kiss them. I love on them with everything in me. I laugh with them and I enjoy them. I listen.

Time is so short. Every birthday shows me that.  But each year is a blessing.

I don’t know what the future holds. I pray, of course, that it holds many more blessings and joys.  But if it also holds unspeakable pain, then I will carry with me one thing – how great a blessing I was given, to be given children that were so irreplaceable and so beautiful. How lucky was I to be their mom for however long I was allowed to place my arms around them.

May I tell them often, “You are precious, you are priceless”…..  so it is always felt, always known and always carried with them.

Monday, March 24, 2014

5 Ways To Still Be "You" As You Blog



There are so many sites out there with blogging and social media advice. I’ve been writing online for a while now and I’m still learning so much. Technology is changing right and left and it can almost be a full-time job trying to keep up with it all.

One thing I’ve learned along the way, is that no matter what changes – I need to still be “me.” I need to keep my own voice. It’s too easy to see what someone else is doing and try to adapt that to fit yourself. You can do that in a way, but sometimes you have to go against the grain and simply decide that being “you” is more important than being SEEN by everyone.  For if you do this, the ones that read your words will be the right audience because they will see that you are authentic to your own life and world.

So, here are 5 ways that I’ve been able to distinctly keep my own voice and heart in my blogging and writing.


1.     Use the layout that you like.  There are trends in blogging layouts. Some only show “snippets” of a post, some have a cover page, and some are only on white backgrounds with a header.  Personally, I like to be able to scroll down a page and see the whole post. I don’t enjoy having to click to “read more.” But that’s just me. And that’s my style. So my recommendation would be to use the format that works best for you. It doesn’t matter if it’s the new trend or not. Be “you.” If you like a cute background, use a cute background! Just make sure that everyone can clearly read your words.

2.     Use the blogging platform that you find to be the easiest. In a world that says “Use Wordpress or bust,” I have stuck with blogger. I’m not great at coding or using complicated systems. Blogger is easy, simple, and it’s been reliable for me. I did purchase my own domain so that I don’t have a “blogspot.com” address – but I went through blogger to do that. Simple is what I need and simple is what I use.


3.     Write about what you love.  If you only want to write about your kids, then write about your kids! It won’t feel right to write about other topics. If you are passionate about knitting or fashion, then write about those. There is an audience out there for everything.  But, you also don’t have to stick to one topic alone. It’s YOUR blog. You can do whatever you’d like! So, if you have a cooking blog, and your heart just really feels like it needs to write on a story in the news – go for it! Your audience will enjoy getting a glimpse of you that is out of the norm. For me, I write on whatever topic is on my heart and where God prompts me with that. It usually ends up being mostly on faith and learning through life’s ups and downs with a little bit of lifestyle  and beauty thrown in from time to time. I enjoy writing on life in general.


4.     Talk to people. Let people get to know you. If people leave a comment, comment back! You don’t have to reply to every single one – but a blog is partially about relating to others. If it’s just for you, you might want to keep it private. But if it’s public, others want to get to know you and talk to you. Reply to comments if you’re on twitter or instagram. Relate to others on your facebook page. No audience wants to feel ignored all the time. It can get harder the more responses you get, but it’s important to remind others that you aren’t “above” them. You are ONE of them. You can do this on any level you feel comfortable, but it truly does reinforce who YOU are.


5.     Ignore the advice out there if it doesn’t “fit” you. If you don’t enjoy having to have an email list just to grow your blog…. don’t! If you don’t have the time to participate in different discussion groups….  don’t! If you don’t like using SEO words in your posts just so you will be listed in Google… don’t!  You will be discovered by the people who find your words meaningful, helpful, or relatable in some way. We all only have so many hours in a day. We can’t do it ALL. Use the platforms that matter to you and ignore the ones that you don’t enjoy or have trouble grasping. It’s okay.



There are definitely certain rules that seem to work for growing an online presence. But overall, I’ve found it’s important to enjoy what I do. Don’t focus on popularity or success. Focus on passion and joy and the rest will truly follow if it’s meant to be.


**I’d love to connect with you on the many different social networks I’m a part of. You can find me here:
Google Plus - +DionnaSanchez


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Saturday, March 22, 2014

God's Timing Is Always Perfect




I have a hard time being patient. I do. It’s not just that I live in a society that is so quick to “feed me now” or deliver whatever I want, when I want it. I think it’s the way I was wired. I get so excited over things that I have a hard time waiting.  Just like a child.

I love it when my children get excited over a vacation, or a special “someone” coming to visit. They often ask for the time, or stand watching out the window. They are so anxious and excited they can barely contain themselves and have a hard time waiting. I compare myself to them sometimes when it comes to my prayers and things I want out of my life. I can barely contain myself. Oftentimes out of my excitement or zeal, other times merely out of my impatience in having to wait for an outcome that I think will be exciting.

One of my favorite lines from a movie is from one of the “Love Comes Softly” movies. It’s the one where the main character’s father comes to visit and right after he arrives, her baby dies. What should be a time of rejoicing in seeing one another becomes a sad time.  But after some soul searching and deep healing that only begins to take place, she tells her father that she is so thankful that he happened to come at that exact time, for she doesn’t know what she would have done without him. And he replies with, “God’s timing is always perfect.”

I love that.

“God’s timing is always perfect.”

And it is.

I may wish He’d get with it, sooner – but His timing truly is perfect. I can see it woven throughout my life in retrospect, time and time again. How my timing would have been so wrong and the outcome not blessed by God at all. But His timing…well… it was just perfect.

So here we are, His children, standing at the window waiting for Him to arrive. Waiting for Him to come and answer our deepest prayer requests. Waiting for Him to swoop in and deliver us. Waiting for Him to grant us our wishes. And yet He knows what is best for us. He knows that in the waiting we are learning – growing – being molded – and made into a far better product of ourselves. So that when He does come to knock with that answer, that wish (maybe a better wish than the one we thought we wanted), the timing will be so perfect. And we will look up and smile, knowing that He came at just the right moment.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Prove Your Love


Tough times in life. They come and they go. But when they are here, they can be downright excruciating. It can feel like life will never resume a normal daily pace.

During one of my recent “tough seasons” I was having to have some real “nitty gritty” talks with my Lord. Over the course of days and actually a few weeks, he brought many verses to me. Many of them were reassuring verses of how He would fight for me. Many were about trust. And I needed those verses! Oh, how I needed them.

During a “low point” one night I finally just out and out told God that I was frustrated and that I didn’t understand why He so clearly was withholding something from me. I basically (not in so many words) through my prayers, pleas, whines, and cries – was begging for him to prove His love to me.

As if He hasn’t done that so many times already.

As little as I liked the answer, a whisper came to my heart – “What if God is waiting for YOU to prove YOUR love to Him?”

You see – it’s so easy to love God when things are going well. We can praise Him and speak of Him glowingly. We can teach our children how to follow Him. But when the darkness comes at us, that’s when the real test of our love comes in. And God has nothing to prove to us. He’s God.  But what does our trial show of our love for Him? Do we bail quickly? Do we hide out? Do we curse the one we say we love? Do we try to handle things on our own terms? Or do we get on our knees, pray, and offer up our lives to Him? That’s tough to do.

Most of the time, I don’t think God is even asking us to give up things for Him. I think He just wants us to consider the cost. There’s a lot we can learn in merely the thought or mention of certain costs and losses in our lives. There’s a lot we feel in the temporary losses of things in our lives.

I remember in the movie, “Facing the Giants” the football coach’s wife wanted a baby badly. She’d had so many disappointments in this area and finally thought she might be pregnant only to be told that she was again – wrong. Deeply crushed she went out to her car, stifled her tears and looked up into the sky where she told God, “I will STILL love you!”

I think that’s what God wants from me. He wants to hear me say that I will still love Him when things go unfairly in my life. He wants me to stay dedicated to Him even when I don’t understand the “why’s.” He wants me to prove my love just as Job proved His love despite losing almost everything he had in the Bible.

Will I be worthy when the challenging times come?

Will you?

All I’ve ever wanted is God’s love and favor in my life. And I know that’s all He wants from me as well.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

When We Try To Go Through Tough Stuff Alone




Going at life “solo” is dangerous. I’ve seen it happen time and time again. You grow frustrated with your church and so you stop going. You drop out of your ladies Bible Study or pull away from your friends because tough stuff is going on in your life.

Whatever the reason; suddenly, we have put ourselves in a position of great vulnerability. Not that Satan doesn’t like to attack us in any kind of situation; but I think he finds us an especially easy target when we are going at life alone and without the support of a community of believers.

Yes, I’ve seen it. I’ve seen tragic things happen to families and friends who removed themselves from a positive and Godly circle of influence. I’ve watched marriages crumble into divorce. I’ve witnessed children fall prey to drugs and sexual temptations. I’ve cringed at unnecessary deaths.  And I’ve painfully seen people sucked into the vast tunnel of emotional and physical illness.

When tough stuff is going on in our lives; that is when we need one another the most. That is not the time when we should be dropping away from people who care about us. And yet it seems like that becomes such a magnetic pull for us. It’s like we think we will get back into church once we get our lives on track again, or we will rejoin that group once we can overcome “just this one” hurdle….and our “justs” become our downfall. We open ourselves up for attack.

I believe there are times where it’s important for us to take a step back from what we are doing and where we are going in life. I think fresh focus and clear insight can only be gotten by sometimes putting a “pause” on what we have going on with and around us. But I also believe that usually those times are entered into with a convicted heart – never an ashamed or guilty one. We go into these zones of life with every intention of renewal, obedience, and humility. Our heart focus is different.

We all are flawed. We all hurt.  We all wish that we could sometimes hide the ugliness that life can inflict on us. But those also are the very things that make us relatable to others. God can use them in our lives to be inspiring, healing to another hurting and lost heart… and He can turn our sorrow into a blessing by using it for the good of another.

Give others a chance. Give them a chance to truly love and accept you despite what “junk” you may have going on. Give them the opportunity to help you bear your burden. That’s what they are there for. And in the process, you just may find out that the perfect part of relationships is the imperfect threads that connect us all.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Moving the Line of What is Acceptable




I was talking to my girls a few years ago about music. We were downloading some new songs from Itunes and one of my daughter’s was asking me what some of my favorite current hits were. I finally mentioned one that I liked, but was hesitant to buy because of the singer’s reputation.  She told me, “That has a bad word in it.” Really? I hadn’t even noticed. She told me if I listened carefully that I would very clearly be able to hear it. Which brought up a short little discussion on content in songs.

When I was growing up (yes, I can’t believe I’ve relegated myself to using those lines!)…I informed my daughter that bad language in music wasn’t allowed on radios. Now, it’s commonplace.

Why do you think that is?

I think it’s because we’ve allowed it. We’ve desensitized ourselves to what is bad and what is okay. 

Say you have a song that is really vulgar. Everyone is in an uproar about it. But then another song comes out that isn’t quite as bad and so it’s allowed. Then down on the road, more songs come out. Some push the limit, others go back to that one song that was a little “edgy” but allowed and so they too – are allowed, because “hey” – they aren’t “as bad” as the other songs.  This continues for a while until you start having a market saturated by songs that once would have been deemed “unacceptable.” The line keeps moving. And it’s moving in the wrong direction. Instead of starting back where we didn’t allow any of these words, thoughts, or actions; we’ve allowed them in small doses because they aren’t “quite as bad” as some others out there. But the limit keeps getting pushed to worse and worse – more vulgar and more vulgar and so the ones that aren’t “as bad” also keep getting pushed because everyone thinks they are tame “in comparison.”

Just what is “our comparison?”

Whether it’s movies, music, commercials, television, news…whatever….we’ve allowed the line of what is acceptable to continue to move, when in reality it should be back where it started. No bad language. No untruths. No demeaning of people. No sex. The list goes on and on.

For me – God’s Word is what I hold everything in comparison to. His Word never changes. It was relevant yesterday and it will be relevant tomorrow. It doesn’t get to be “old fashioned.” It’s amazing that way.  His values and morals are for our protection. And the line of what is and is not acceptable never moves or changes.

I need to hold what I listen to, see, think, and act upon – on His Word. Always. Just because something is “less bad” doesn’t mean it’s good. That fact will never change…no matter what society does or does not allow.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Love Is The Greatest Of Them All


“Love keeps no record of wrongs.”  God drew my attention to that verse the other day in 1 Corinthians 13.  This part of the “LOVE” chapter had never quite struck me as it did this time.

A very familiar verse to most of us.

“Love keeps no record of wrongs.”

I think it’s one of those things that we are so familiar with, that we gloss over it in our minds. But the words are very important. They are very true.

I think of all of the things that my children have done wrong and how easily I have forgiven them. It comes naturally to me, because of my great love for them. I know they will mess up. I know they will get it wrong. They are growing up and learning. It’s easy for me to forget about those moments. It’s tougher, however, to forget about being wronged by someone else. To forget – and to – forgive. Even if that person is a friend or relative. It’s tougher because we probably have to work harder at making the choice to love.

I think about all of the grievances that I’ve kept a mental note of in my head. How it’s easy to put mental “debits”  in my head next to a person’s name because of mistakes or things they’ve done that have hurt or annoyed me. And yet love keeps no record of wrongs.

So who are we to love? Well…God says we are to even love our enemy.

I’ve been convicted about all the mental “recordings” I’ve kept of the wrongs done to me. Wrongs that maybe weren’t even intentional by another person. They were simply being human. And being human means you will let someone else down. You will anger them at times. You will disappoint them, hurt them, say something you regret. We all do it. We are human.

I would want someone to erase the mental checks they have next to my name. I would want someone else to make the choice to love me and to forget about the wrongs I’ve done them. Oh, how I’d want that! So I need to find it in my heart to do the same for them. I need to erase the record I have of the wrongs they’ve done to me, too.

It’s a tall order. It’s a tough job. No one said it would be easy or fun.

I guess that’s why love is the greatest of them all.




*Published at DevotionalChristian.com - March 2011

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Finding Courage Through Tears





One day after school a few years ago, one of my daughters inadvertently allowed me to see something that wasn’t supposed to be for my eyes. It led to a huge discussion between my husband, daughter, and I, which although unplanned – ended up being a good thing. We may never have known something and it was a blessing in disguise.

You know those times as a parent. Long discussions that last a couple of hours. Lots of tears. Decisions that need to be made on the part of the parent and ones that you aren’t always sure are right.  That’s how this evening was for us.

At one point in the evening I moved to the floor where my daughter was and enfolded her in my arms. I know that I’m the kind of person who when I’m really distraught, a hug is the thing I need most. It doesn’t solve the problem, it doesn’t say that someone agrees with me or thinks what I did was okay – it simply says I’m loved despite what is going on and that’s what my heart needs to hear. So on this night, I offered the same to my daughter who willingly took it.

I did something else too. I told my daughter that I didn’t want to condemn her for what she did.  We all make mistakes. I think she really needed to hear this for what she did was totally out of character for her. It was not something miniscule and it truly shocked and bothered my husband and I. But I still wanted her to know that we all make mistakes. For we do. I made a mistake just a few weeks prior to that and certainly know how much I need grace and forgiveness when I mess up. I needed her to know that too.

I’ve never seen her cry so much. I knew she truly regretted what she had done and I knew that it was a mistake made in a “moment.”  We talked and talked. We asked questions. We listened.

Near the end of the evening, my daughter said, “Thank you.” I couldn’t imagine what she was thanking us for. Here she was embarrassed, upset, and in trouble. So I asked her. “What are you thanking us for?” We had all decided together that some changes needed to be made – hard ones. And so she said, “For giving me courage.”

Parents – sometimes you don’t have to have all of the answers. And you don’t need to act like you have it all together and your child should know better (even if you truly feel they SHOULD). Sometimes you just need to listen, put yourselves, in their shoes, and try to understand. Sometimes you just need to be honest (in love), and encourage.  Sometimes, you need to push gently in the right direction all-the-while letting them know that your love, your faith in them, and your devotion to supporting and standing with them, are strong.

I started to tear up when my daughter told me that I had given her courage. It was the last thing I expected to hear. But I’m so thankful for our relationship. She may make mistakes that make me feel like I failed somewhere along the way, and she may make choices that I don’t agree with – but there is nothing she can’t do that would make me stop loving her. And there will never come a time in life that I won’t fight for her – physically, emotionally, or spiritually.  I will always be honest with her.

All I know is that if you take the time to know your child’s heart, invest in them, and listen to them – it WILL pay off. And when you think they are in trouble, they just might surprise you and say “thank you” for giving them the courage to stand up for what’s right when they were having a hard time mustering it up on their own.


Sunday, March 9, 2014

Believe In Your Husband's Heart





How can you make your husband feel like a king and treat you like a Queen in return? Believe in him!

Do you know that the average man has never had anyone believe in him? They feel a great deal of pressure to be a success, take care of their family, be involved in their children's lives, etc.  Just like us - they can feel overwhelmed at times and are very afraid to let us down; or fail.

Lift up your husband.  Encourage him especially when he is feeling "low" or having a weak moment.  Pray for him and believe in the possibilities.  Your husband will feel your belief and that will impact him in a powerful way.

Sometimes we expect our husbands to have it all together as the head of our households.  But it can be lonely at the top especially when you don't have all the answers. And no one does!

So be your husband's strongest fan and cheerleader.  Let him know that you believe in his heart and what is inside his soul.  He really needs to know that and to hear those sentiments coming from you.

When we feel special we tend to bloom and grow.  The same is true for your husband.  Watch what happens when you convey your belief in him... and prepare to be inspired.

 

Friday, March 7, 2014

Don't Take This The Wrong Way, BUT.....


“Don’t take this the wrong way, but….”

“I hope you don’t mind me asking, but….”

“I hope this doesn’t sound rude, but….”


You know, the moment those words come out of someone’s mouth, that your defenses are going to go up; because you’re just not sure what’s coming next.  Usually, we DO take it the wrong way and we DO find it rude.

It can be hard to politely respond when we are put on the spot in these moments. I think, personally, that the person knows what they have to say maybe should be better kept to themselves….but they just can’t help themselves. They HAVE to say something.

The problem with this is that the question or comment hangs out there long after it’s said.  And what was intended to squelch someone’s curiosity, or need to give advice – ends up landing on our shoulders and sticking there – unwelcome.  We end up taking on a burden that should have probably stayed with the other party.

There are times in life where we are hurting. Maybe we don’t welcome a change made by someone we deeply love and care about. Maybe we really want to know something that is really none of our business. Whatever it is, the fact remains that if we need to preface a statement with something to clarify that we mean no harm – then maybe we need to rethink bringing it up in the first place!

There are just some things in life that we need to keep to ourselves. Some words, some thoughts, some hurts. And we can lay them before the Lord and let HIM deal with them and with us on whatever is weighing on our hearts, whether it’s idle curiosity, pride, malice, or selfishness.

Some people are very private. They DO mind your asking. Some people are very sensitive. They DO take your words the wrong way. It’s good to think about that before we broach a question that we know might be misconstrued or is too nosy.

Relationships that have a good vibe to them don’t need tentative comments made. Each party knows the other one’s heart and can feel free to ask questions or make comments – because everyone knows they are done in love. There is a difference in the closeness and the authenticity of the friendship or relationship that gives people the freedom to inquire and advise….never having to step on eggshells knowing they don’t have the ground to walk where they intend on stepping.

We need to think twice before we say, “Please don’t take this the wrong way…BUT….” For that “But,” could lead us down a slippery slope and a wedge that will forever sit between us, and someone we love.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Released


I’m finally ready. I’m ready to be released from what others think of me. From the expectations others place on me.

I have always wanted others to like me. Still do. But I’m finding strength and freedom in ME. Not in my own strength, mind you, my strength always comes from God for I am so feeble on my own. But I’m finding strength and freedom in simply resting in being who God created me to be.

Some days the “me” God has created is wise and discerning. Other days the “me” that God has created is soft and compassionate. Each quality always exists, yet becomes clearer on some days more than others, as I allow myself the freedom to feel what I’m feeling, love what I’m loving, hurt from what hurts me, and dream of what inspires me.

As I shed the skin of expectation that others have put on me, as I stop caring if I meet up to their inquisitive eyes or sideways glances; I am feeling more relaxed, more courageous, and more of who I have been all along.

Self-esteem grows in freedom and release.

Tenderness and compassion grow with release from bitterness and hardness, as they get broken up and smashed into tiny bits that are slowly discarded and swept clean from my heart and life.

I love feeling the release wash over me. I love not being afraid that the other shoe will drop at any moment. I love feeling blessed and thankful. I love knowing that I won’t always be in this glorious moment and that trials will always be before me – but I can feel calm and steadfast instead of panicked and fearful.

There is such beauty in release. We hold onto so much. We let it cling to us, and mold its way around our hearts, gripping us with such fierce claws, that we don’t often know how to unwrap ourselves from its hold.

But it’s possible.  And it’s beautiful.

Let it go. Let it all go. Let the pain of the past go. Let the thoughts, words, and unhealthy impressions that others have left on you….go.  Don’t let them have any more power over you.

Accept the release that God has waiting for you. He wants you to be free. Free in Him.

Free indeed.


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Monday, March 3, 2014

Leave Your Day Open to Interruptions





I used to get irritated when my day didn’t go as I’d planned. I’d have a list all made out and at the end of the day, I’d see that only 2 things were crossed off. Sometimes, it was of my own choosing. Maybe I’d gotten distracted or felt lazy for awhile and so I didn’t accomplish what I thought I would. But sometimes, sometimes it was due to interruptions from others.

The great thing about life is that it’s always fluid. Nothing is “set in stone.” Each day changes. Each moment can change. There are so many of us. We interact with each other and we affect one another’s lives. We truly are, dominoes. 

When you are a wife and a parent, it is a “given” that you will have interruptions. Whether it’s last minute homework and school projects, or a shoulder to lean on, that is needed – your family needs you. And that’s a good thing, for we want them to need us, don’t we?

I want my children to come to me to talk. I want them to ask for my help. I want to be the one they turn to. I’m thankful when my husband wants attention or “me time” with me.  It means I matter to them. My values, input, and opinion matter.

I have also learned that it’s not just my family that interrupts my day. Maybe it’s a friend, a relative, or a stranger. People reach out sometimes, if they think you care, and they need someone to listen. They need someone to validate their feelings. And it all takes time. It takes time to write someone back. It takes time to listen on the phone and give a thoughtful reply. It takes time to meet someone for lunch or coffee. And maybe none of those events were “planned” in our day – but aren’t they so worth it? Doesn’t it matter more that someone reached out to you and wants your investment than getting that carpet vacuumed or that load of laundry folded?

So, over the years, I have taught myself to leave room in my days for interruptions. I don’t plan for them, but should they come, I don’t get disgusted with them. I welcome them. I’m thankful for them. And I feel like I actually accomplish more when I interact with someone else in a deep and meaningful way than I ever feel like I accomplish by dusting or cleaning or any other menial chores.

Life is about relationships. It’s relationships and people that matter the most. Sure, sometimes, an interruption may not come at the most convenient time…but it’s the fact that someone cares what you think, that means the most.

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