simplyenjoy


Life to the fullest.

wpid-20131030_214253.jpgI’m not sure what it really is I want to write tonight… so I’ll just start typing… it’s been a while…

I’ve been distanced from my blog for a few weeks, wrapped up with work issues and the busyness of life. I’ve had an unexpected lull in work, the reasons for which I’m not going to divulge in this blog entry, but those closest to me will recognize the trials I allude to.

Sometimes it is very difficult to be different – to take a stand for what is right and to go against the grain. It is very much what I have been up against this month and I’ve been asking God why when I know that my heart is in the right place. More than that, I’ve been praying for the strength and wisdom to walk the right way and seek God in this confusion and to be the best me I can be. Sometimes, and especially this month, my “me” just hasn’t felt good enough for the status quo.

However, the question of why it’s happening is naive and juvenile. I recognize this even as I ask it and I realize that I’m not the only one who has faced opposition when doing the right thing. I’m not the only one who has suffered or hurt for telling the truth.

It’s difficult to tell the truth when it’s not what people want to hear. It’s also difficult to hear the truth and take it in when a person tells you. Both take courage.

But even in this trial I have sensed God with me. I am so grateful for some great coworkers, friends and family who know my character and know who I really am. I’m not perfect and I make mistakes all the time, but I’m trying…

I guess, what I want this blog post to be about is that you never know what someone is going through in their life. You can’t assume you know why they are acting in a certain way unless you ask and unless you inquire. I’m taking my current circumstances as stepping stones to a deeper life with Jesus and a growing experience. I know He has me right where I’m supposed to be. I know He is at work in my heart and in this situation. His love is so wide and so high and so deep. I’m taking the blind trust-fall backwards into His arms. Only he knows the outcome.

      Proverbs 3: 5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart
      and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways
      submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.

Walking by faith and not by sight is not always so simple

Beyond this trial, I see that my life is so full and my joy still over-flows because of God’s grace. I have so much to be grateful for and I want to be in a position where I can continue to serve others through my gifts of encouragement, writing and caring.

Trust fall… go…

It takes courage to listen… it takes courage to speak… sometimes, it feels like a mighty act of courage just to take one baby step forward.

If you need courage today, I hope this encouraged you and I pray you take refuge in God for greater peace. God grant us the serenity to accept the things we cannot change, the courage to change the things we can and the wisdom  to know the difference. Amen.

 

John 10:9-11

9 I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture.

10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.



12 Things

Source: http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-6296/12-Things-Successful-People-Do-Differently.html



It is

It is coffee

6 a.m.

Morning stretches with me

lengthening across the sky

muddy periwinkle horizon

early on a Saturday.

Awake

deep breaths

of autumn air

we’re searching for the same things

truth and feathers and a spark

to warm us.

Always striving, looking, reaching

while others reinvent the wheel

to relabel the truth

and analyse how they feel

It is all here

under this veil

Coffee at 6 a.m.

It is.



Question: Who Could Ever Love Me?
October 4, 2013, 2:40 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Question: Who Could Ever Love Me?.

via Question: Who Could Ever Love Me?.



Simple poetry.
October 2, 2013, 9:12 pm
Filed under: Mind, Minimalism, Motivation, Poetry, Writing

Feels like a day for poetry
And uncertainty
Government unsure and stuck
Middle class still working
Compromising, muddling through
Making meetings and dealing with life
Simplicity is…
Not wanting it all
Knowing all things slide through your fingers
Blessed is he who holds on
Loosely, but doesn’t let go
I see so much frustration
Aggravation
A medley of problems across the nation
On the daily, folks juggling life
Sets of issues
Joys and problems
Simplicity is…
Knowing you don’t know
What your neighbor may be facing
Being lead by grace
Instead of money chasing
Simplicity is…
A dinner on the table.
Clean sheets.
A friend to confide in.
Giving more than you take
Speaking less
Listening more
No need to impress
Or pull down another
Holding your love in peace
The glow of contentment
is the simplest ease.



In the moment (grace)…

There seems to be a lot of emphasis on “living in the moment” and “in the now” in popular culture. We ingest messages of “just do it” and “go with your gut” and “YOLO – you only live once” in social media, reality TV programs and even in our social circles where we’re possibly even encouraged to make impulsive decisions.

But what if we don’t only live once?

What if all of our choices and actions have a huge impact on our life and the lives of those around us? It’s actually absurd to believe that they don’t.

Behavioral science 101: You are already being what you will become.

It’s the butterfly effect. Our choices and actions influence others and vice-versa.

Consider how strong habit is for a moment. Consider how difficult it is to change deeply conditioned negative habits. When we are comfortable with a behavior, even if it is maladaptive for our lives, it takes an incredible amount of effort to begin to change or modify the behavior.

(Courtesy of Google images.)

But change it we can, if we allow space for the change. This requires a shedding of the attachments to the behavior that keeps us performing it.

Our daily choices literally shape and wire our brain to behave.

One of the reasons we may find change so difficult is that we try to do it all in our own strength. We use our own effort, our own force and our own ideas and strategies.

We try instead of surrendering.

“I’m trying to eat healthy!”

“I want to go to the gym, but I don’t have time…”

“I try to get along with him/her, but it’s so hard…”

“I tried doing it that way, but it didn’t work.”

Try. Try. Try.

All human effort inevitably leads us back to the futility of our carnal thinking.

In the book of Romans chapter 7 we see the yo-yo reality of trying to accomplish change and right living entirely in our own strength, as it is written:

15 I don’t understand what I do. I don’t do what I want to do. Instead, I do what I hate to do. 16 I do what I don’t want to do. So I agree that the law is good. 17 As it is, I am no longer the one who does these things. It is sin living in me that does them.

18 I know there is nothing good in my sinful nature. I want to do what is good, but I can’t. 19 I don’t do the good things I want to do. I keep on doing the evil things I don’t want to do. 20 I do what I don’t want to do. But I am not really the one who is doing it. It is sin living in me.

21 Here is the law I find working in me. When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 Deep inside me I find joy in God’s law. 23 But I see another law working in the parts of my body. It fights against the law of my mind. It makes me a prisoner of the law of sin. That law controls the parts of my body.

24 What a terrible failure I am! Who will save me from this sin that brings death to my body? 25 I give thanks to God. He will do it through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Instead of facing our challenges head on and allowing God to restore us and to lead us through, we often, in fear, turn away to walk down different roads and rely on our own strength. Perhaps an alternative path can give us some space and perspective for a time, but if the problem or negative habit is never dealt with and released, it will keep rising up. If not now, then later. Avoiding the truth only leads us in delaying the inevitable.

(Courtesy of Google images.)

The “in the moment” philosophy of popular culture is beneficial in reminding us to release the need to control outcomes and elements in the external world in order to feel more internally free. However, it in a way deemphasizes the personal power and responsibility in the individual in choosing their own behaviors and responses to the stimuli. Every day we are choosing our actions and our motivations for those actions.

DSCF5926

Instead of simply reacting to the world around us, we are actually behaving in ways that create culture and create a tone and pattern for the future.

It’s easy to slip into living “in the moment” and the moral relativism that is intrinsically linked with this philosophy. If anything goes, then we’re under no authority and nothing is required of us.

But, we know in reality, that’s not the case. We have many responsibilities and there is always work to be done.

When I think of what it truly means to “live in the moment” I think of Jesus, hanging from the cross, forgiving right then and there what most could never. It’s that in the moment realization that you control nothing and no one that is the most radical freedom available to human beings. And it’s totally accessible in the cross of Jesus Christ. It’s a free gift of salvation with far-reaching redemptive implications for our lives. Instead of trying so hard to change, it’s easier to surrender space in your heart and allow Christ to move in and work.

The love of Christ is the only love that turns the other cheek, that loosens attachments, that allows us to love and serve and give as unto the Lord and not as unto man.

Man will always be flawed. There will always be people darkened by the futility of their own minds and hearts. Yes, and even believers wander and stray.

But the cross is always there. And the resurrection of Christ is a beacon of renewal that reminds us change and transformation are possible through Jesus. It’s always available when we reach out for it and when we surrender to it…

..and we stop trying so hard.

What a paradox.

What a beautiful mystery.



Speaking the Truth in Love
September 23, 2013, 4:28 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Speaking the Truth in Love.

via Speaking the Truth in Love.



Still searching…

 

1 Corinthians 13:12

For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror;
then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part;
then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.


Stress responses.
It’s Not Stress That Kills You: It’s How You Handle It
BY CAROL KLINE
SEPTEMBER 20, 2013 5:00 AM EDT

Most wellness specialists agree that stress is on a par with smoking as far as health is concerned. You may even occasionally see stories about stressed-out workaholics who suddenly leave it all behind. But most people don’t want to live on the streets or off the grid.

Until recently, researchers have viewed stress in much the same way as Stanford neuroscientist Robert Sapolsky, author of Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers. Dr. Sapolsky says all primates release hormones, such as adrenaline and glucocorticoids, when threatened by predators. The likelihood of being eaten by a crocodile raises the heart rate and prepares the body to fight or flee.

In the modern world, we’ve been conditioned to react to psychosocial “crocodiles.” We get stressed at the fear of being passed over for a promotion. Or at the prospect of meeting a lover’s parents at Thanksgiving. We try not to think too much about what chronic stress does to our minds and bodies.

Stress is not to be ignored or despised. In a recent Ted talk, Stanford psychologist Kelly McGonigal said she is embarrassed to realize that she characterized stress as “the enemy” to students and clients for years.

Treating stress as an enemy, she says, creates fear. Fear makes the blood vessels around the heart contract, which is not good. Dr. McGonigal points out that envisioning stress as a kind of partner that helps us prepare to meet a challenge can change the body’s response so profoundly that the blood vessels remain open, just as they do when we experience joy or courage. She suggests we respond to stress by first noticing we’re in its grip and then by telling ourselves, “This energy can help me rise to the challenge,” instead of, “Stress is killing me!”

Dr. McGonigal says it isn’t actually stress that kills people, anyway. It’s how we handle it. One study demonstrated that encouraging a positive view toward stress reduced the production of cortisol in people placed in stressful situations.

Another study, out of the University of Buffalo, did not surprise researchers this year when they noticed a 30% increase in people’s risk of dying for every major stressful experience, such as financial difficulties and family crises. But those same researchers were shocked to discover that people who respond to such crises with the desire to care for others don’t just reduce their risk of dying. Instead, their risk drops to 0%. Caring, says Dr. McGonigal, creates resilience, the ability to meet with life’s crises with creativity, hope, and connection

Dr. McGonigal adds that the stress hormone oxytocin can have a valuable role in helping people use stress in a positive way. This neurohormone primes people to seek out and link up with one another, to feel and express compassion and a caring attitude. When oxytocin is released into the body, we are motivated to connect and become, as she says, “fully human.” Oxytocin encourages us to surround ourselves with other people who care about us, rather than run off into isolation, licking our wounds and building walls around our hearts and minds. And even though it’s a hormone released during stress, oxytocin has another benefit: it protects the cardiovascular system from the effects of stress.

When we choose to view stress as helpful, she adds, we create the biology of courage. With courage, we can trust ourselves to handle life’s challenges. Dr. McGonigal suggests we can all use a more positive approach to retrain our thought processes. We can crank up our curiosity and ask, “What can I learn from this? How can I make my life richer and fuller by embracing this moment instead of trying to kick it to the curb?”



Worn

 




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