Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Someone To Cheer You On

Who’s a cheerleader for you in your life? Who is that someone who is always supporting you, giving you encouragement and rooting you on? No matter how crazy your idea or what you’ve done to mess up – they believe in you and are endlessly boosting your morale?
Everyone needs someone like that in his or her lives. A few or more would be even better – but a lot of people dream of even having just one person who is their fan club and in their corner.

If you don’t feel like you have someone cheering you on or offering encouragement – why not? Is there something you could look at in your life that might be hindering someone else from taking that spot for you?

Do you withdraw a lot or keep to yourself? Do you have this “thing” about letting others into your personal life so you don’t confide often in them? Do you tend to maybe jeopardize yourself? Some people have cheerleaders but then they go out and sabotage their own life. It can get to be very draining trying to cheer someone on again and again when they only shoot themselves in their own foot!

How about you? Do you cheer anyone else on in life? Are you there for someone? Do you encourage and root someone (or many someone’s) on in life? If not – why not? Do you realize that other people need you just as much as you need other people?

We will always find a crowd ready and willing to boo us. There will always be those who want to get up and walk out on our “game” of life. But those special someone’s who stay and continue to cheer us on and encourage us to get back out there – those are the people we need. Those are the ones who give us the motivation, stamina, and endurance that we need to find on those days when we feel like we can’t find it on our own.

Everyone needs someone. Look for them and appreciate them.
Be them.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Warm Days

We are having a spurt of last-minute warm weather here in Idaho.  There are a few things I love about the sunshine and warm days. Okay, well there’s a lot of things I love. But a “few” of them are…

*Hearing people mowing their lawn. It’s the sound of “summer” to me. (Okay, I know summer is over – but it still represents that feel to me )

*The sound of sprinklers.

*Walking around barefoot. There is something so natural and yet so basic about it. It’s a very freeing and comfortable state of being for me.

*Driving with the windows down! It is so great to feel the warmth against my skin and smell nature. I love the wind blowing through my hair and the music blaring in my car.

Only one problem.

This is me driving with my windows rolled down…

A little hair in the face, you think?

It does make me laugh though. That must be worth it, right?

Saturday, September 25, 2010

It's All About Attitude

"The joy of the Lord is my strength." Neh. 8:10b

"By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another." John 13:35

How are you known by others? Do you radiate joy and love or are you tired, worn out, depressed, and grumpy?

It seems to me that for a Christian to win the “lost” over, they have to have something to offer. If we aren’t happy, we’re frustrated, at odds with one another, critical, and unkind – how can we possibly expect anyone who doesn’t know God to even want to?

How are we representing Him?

Life is tough. Sometimes it’s downright cruel. No one’s saying you need to walk around with a smile on your face all of the time. You don’t need to fake it or pretend. But as a believer, with a faith in God; there should be an inner peace and warmth that radiates from your heart outwards. Even through the tough times.

Just remember – the joy of the LORD is where you get your strength.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

What Do You Want Your Life To Be About?

I sometimes think about how I will think or feel when I’m in my 80’s. Will I be in a retirement home or still living in my house? Will I be fairly healthy and active still, or will I be in a wheelchair? Will loved ones visit me often or will I feel all alone? Mostly, I think about how I will reflect on my life. Will I have loads of regrets on how I spent my time or will I have great stories to share and more ones taking place?
I want my life to be about something that matters. I don’t want to live to be a mature adult and look back and see that I wasted it. That I focused on things that didn’t really matter. When I’m in my 80’s – I’m guessing that how well I tended a garden, or how many books I read won’t matter very much. Those are great hobbies – but they don’t impact lives. And that’s what I want to do.

I want to know that my children and grandchildren value me because of the time I invested into them. I want to know that I tried to help as many people as I could who crossed my path in life. I want to feel content knowing that I gave “my” time to God and let Him handle the scheduling. I don’t want to look back and see that I was busy with time wasting things…but rather God-causes. I want to see that I made a difference in the lives of those around me.

I think everyone wants their lives to matter. The hard part is not getting distracted by other things. Jobs, social commitments, hobbies, finances, and other stresses can so easily consume all of our time. We fail to see that in the process, they are pulling us away from a destiny and purpose that God may have in mind for us.

Look at your normal weekly schedule. What is it full of? Is that just a season or phase in life or has it been that way for a few years now? If it has, maybe it’s time for a change. It’s so easy to get comfortable with the way things are – but often times we don’t feel fully “alive” and engaged in life because we aren’t fulfilling the call that God has for us! We either overlook it, avoid it, or ignore it. It’s easy to do when that call may scare you.

But we only get one chance at this thing called life. We only have this shot in life to matter – to make our lives count. If your heart is being pulled for the orphans in another country, do something about it! If you wish you could be a part of something larger than yourself, stop wishing and do something about it! God gave you that desire for a reason. I promise you, giving of yourself is the most freeing feeling you’ll ever have when it’s done unselfishly and with abandon.

What do you want your life to be about? When you’re getting older in your years and you look back on your life – will you have made it an adventurous story by thrusting yourself into the opportunities that were presented to you? Or will you simply sit by quietly in a chair and wish you’d done more, seen more, and experienced more? Ask God today to show you and lead you where He wants you. Ask Him to help you make the most of your life. I promise you – He will.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

A Lesson On Honor

When I was a freshman in high school, I went to a small Christian school. They were pretty relentless in starting off the year making fun of the freshmen. We were the “peons” on campus and they drove that point home. I will never forget how they made us wear these ugly beanie hats the first week of school. Why did I wear it, you ask? Well, because if you didn’t wear your hat, they made you suck an egg. I’m not joking.

This year, we made the decision to return our girls to a private Christian school after having them in the public school system for 3 years. My oldest daughter is in the 8th grade. They call the seventh graders the “sevies.” Do you know what they did for the “sevies?” They matched each of the 7th and 8th graders up and as a service project, the 8th graders each decorated a 7th graders locker. They gave them treats in their locker and little gifts all day long in their classes (dollar store items). In addition, they bought them lunch and sat with them! I was so impressed.

My daughter went to the dollar store and she bought the nicest things she could find. Cinnamon smelling perfume….things that she’d want. She said, “I wanted to spoil her because I know what it’s like to not get a good gift.” She’s not kidding either. My daughter has gotten the short end of the stick a few times in gift giving situations. I was so proud of her for going “all out” for this girl that she didn’t know; and being prepared to make her day special.

What a contrast. I experienced one aspect of a school – one that to me, emphasized "status", and my daughter is experiencing another. She is experiencing what schools SHOULD be doing. They are acting like leaders and examples. They are trying to make the underclassmen feel wanted, loved, and special – not ridiculed, shamed, or embarrassed. No jokes. No gimmicks. They are loving on them. And that’s how it should be!

I want my daughter to learn that with age comes maturity and responsibility. In order to be looked up to, you have to earn that respect and not look down on those younger or more inexperienced than yourself. Her school is demonstrating that fact to the kids and I’m so honored to have her a part of it.