simplyenjoy


Hope is an anchor.
March 12, 2014, 8:15 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , ,

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With so many distractions, interruptions and things fighting for our attention… Focus can seem fleeting. Balance feels elusive. Hope seems unreal…

But the truth is that God’s word is a rock to stand on.

I love this strong word describing God’s love –

Rock.

And others…

Anchor.

Refuge.

Strong tower.

Cornerstone.

That’s what the hope of a personal relationship with Jesus brings. Solid security of a life-long relationship.

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Art created at Westerly Town Beach, Westerly, Rhode Island. Sunshine yesterday – rain, ice and snow today. Even the weather displays confusion.

Life is not without storms, without fear and without failure, but The Lord is holding His people steady. The promises speak to this.

I’m grateful for this undeserved gift of grace.

Hebrews 6:19 We have this hope as an anchor for our souls, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary, behind the curtain where our forerunner, Jesus, has entered on our behalf. He has become a high priest forever.



Trust.
November 1, 2013, 12:21 pm
Filed under: Environment, Mind, Minimalism, Motivation, Poetry, Spirit, Writing | Tags: , , ,

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Happy first of November! I’m praying this month brings moments of cozy clothing,  family togetherness and comfort food. Hot chocolate, pensive misty days and perhaps a first flurry. Most of all I’m praying wisdom, protection, love and pursuit of truth and the healing love of Jesus for all those who are seeking. God’s love never fails. ♥

I feel cozy already.

Thank God it’s Friday and we’re into November.



Taking courage.

Today thousands of people  are reflecting with still heavy hearts on this date, though a dozen years have passed since 9/11/2001. The loss and sacrifices of so many civilians, responders and emergency personnel is etched in hearts and minds. But we move forward, as we always do. And in these days when still more decisions are being made about our country’s involvement in conflict and international affairs, there are no easy answers.

There are no simple cliches of consolation that can erase the day.

Simplicity seems lost in these days of foreign interests and terror.

How do we see so much hurting, remember the pain and shock, and still feel hope?

Today I’m praying for continued healing and praying for our leaders in these complicated times.

Every day we have to remember how fragile our world is.

But I choose to remember how great God is and how vast His knowledge.

And these words are all I have today.

Be strong and courageous.

Do not be afraid or terrified because of them,
for the Lord your God goes with you;
he will never leave you nor forsake you.
Deuteronomy 31:6

I lift up my eyes to the mountains —

where does my help come from?

My help comes from the Lord,

the Maker of heaven and earth.

Psalm 121: 1-2

 



Grace to balance, courage to stumble.

little itty bitty tips

to untangle complication

sip coffee and smile

don’t spend more than you make… it doesn’t make sense.

it’s ok to be alone

it’s ok to reach out, too…

it’s ok to just be.

it’s safe to smile

it’s safe to ask for help

little by little

slow and steady wins the race

patience is a virtue

good things take time and yadda yadda yadda

and that’s alright, darlin’

ain’t no thang but a chicken wang

are you in a hurry?

be fruitful, not frantic.

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Some artwork I painted in my office.

Painting helps me slow down… and reflect.

The creative arts are also a great way to achieve better brain balance.

(Courtesy of Google Images)

The left brain: I am the left brain. I am a scientist, a mathematician, I love the familiar. I categorize. I am accurate and linear. Analytic and strategic. I am practical. Always in control. A master of words and language. Realistic. I calculate equations and play with numbers. I am order. I am logic. I know exactly who I am.

The right brain: I am the right brain. I am creativity. A free spirit. I am passion. Yearning. Sensuality. I am the sound of roaring laughter. I am taste. The feeling of sand beneath bare feet. Movement. Vivid colors. I am the urge to paint on an empty canvas. I am boundless imagination. Art. Poetry. I sense. I feel. I am everything I wanted to be.

What are some ways you search for balance in your life? Is it working for you? How do you define balance?



He will cover you.

(Courtesy of Google images.)

“He will cover you with his feathers,

and under his wings you will find refuge;

his faithfulness will be your shield…”

Psalm 91:4

Faithful.

Constant.

True.

Loyal.

Amazing.

Just.

Compassionate.

Merciful.

Omnipresent.

Forgiving.

Strengthens the weak.

Protects the weary.

Refuge for the wounded.

Solid rock.

Sovereign.

God.



Happy Saturday :)

Hope everyone out there is having a beautiful weekend!

Psalm 18:28

You, Lord, keep my lamp burning;

My God turns my darkness into light.

(Courtesy of Google images.)



The only thing.

The concept that wisdom only comes with age and experience is like saying that basketball prowess comes through simple observation alone. Wisdom does come as we age, of course, and the odds of getting it increase with time, but it is actually achieved through the active process of seeking understanding and the application of the understanding – practicing discernment in our daily choices.

So seeking wisdom begets wisdom. Thirsting for understanding leads us in walking a careful and thoughtful path of curiosity and wonder in a relationship with God as we understand that we can learn, know and discover many things, but in the long-run – all knowledge and wisdom are His.

Proverbs 3:5

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.

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(Images from my sketchbook 5/22)

Understanding is something that can be achieved at any age.

Wisdom is different than intelligence.

Wisdom (noun) – the quality or state of being wise; knowledge of what is true or right coupled with just judgment as to action; sagacity, discernment, or insight.

Intelligence (noun) –  capacity for learning, reasoning, understanding, and similar forms of mental activity; aptitude in grasping truths, relationships, facts, meanings, etc.

So we see intelligence is the ability to grasp truth, but not the capability in seeking it and following it justly. Smart people may see the “right” path plain as day, but not see following it as the “right” answer. Wise people will see the right path and choose it, knowing the cost, but knowing there is truly no other better alternative.

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“Receive your day piece by piece from Him

who will remember always

when He gives you work to do,

that you need strength to do it.”

– Priscilla Maurice – 

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Dear Lord,

Give us faith and wisdom in our walk with You. Help us to discern between Your voice and all the endless chatter that exists in the world. We know that your word is truth, light and redemption for the lost. We know your plans for us are for good. Your plans are to prosper us and not to harm us. God, we ask for wisdom to stay on the path with you.

Amen.



The empirical experience of faith.

In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:

Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;

rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.

And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross!

Philippians 2: 5-8 

A few posts ago I wrote on empirical versus clinical research in regards to behavior change and kicking old habits by sticking with them consistently for 21 days. To rehash it, the gist is that empirical evidence is based on results gathered through actions in practice, observation and experimentation. On the contrary, clinical research is a branch of medical science  that determines the safety and effectiveness of medications, devices, diagnostic products and treatment regimens intended for human use. These may be used for prevention.

So empirical evidence stands in contrast to the rationalist view under which reason or reflection alone is considered to be evidence for the truth or falsity of some propositions.  The senses are the primary source of empirical evidence. Although other sources of evidence, such as memory, and the testimony of others ultimately trace back to some sensory experience, they are considered to be secondary, or indirect.

So I’ve been reflecting on these two different types of evidence and research gathering methods in regards to faith-based belief systems. I see that since I was a young child I’ve been taught to put God first, to do the right things, to care about people, to think about others and to forgive and show compassion. As a child, this was simple and very natural. In preteen years it became more complicated and challenging to stay focused, but support and direction were always ever-present. In teenage years, it became even more challenging and temptation was more present in the form of boys, alcohol, drugs, cheating, skipping school, being distracted from purpose, work ethic and God. Also, at this time there was a large falling away from faith of some of the people closest to me within my circle of friends and in my family, and myself. (I guess this is just what they call “growing up” and learning.) It seemed that distraction and confusion was the norm. The clear, simple-to-follow golden rules of childhood melted away under the distracted, busy adolescent years going into the 20’s. So I also fell away from faith and for many years lived without outwardly expressing faith in Jesus, though I was always searching, studying and working to be a decent human being.

And I see, as we all move through our lifetimes and face challenges, obstacles and distractions from our faith, we are being tested, strengthened or shaped into the people God would have us to be.

But see, we have this element of free-will wired into us, and during all these events we’re constantly choosing our reactions and the path that we will take.

What does all this have to do with empirical evidence?

My faith in Jesus has been strengthened through the storms, trials and the falling away. It has shown me two ways of living: with Him and without Him. I see that without Him, drugs, sex, addiction, confusion, low-levels of health and poor habits were mastering my life and so many lives around me. I learned that with Him, I was stronger, making healthier connections with people, learning how to give back, to love, to lean on Him entirely and to rest in the perfect peace of his light yoke. The empirical evidence gathered by experiences, the observations of the experiences of others, my sight, my heart and my mind reactions began pointing me back to the truth of Jesus Christ.

I’m at the point in my faith where a lot of things slide off of my back. Because based on all the empirical evidence I’ve been gathering over the past 28 years I see that my faith and my story has absolutely nothing to do with anyone’s lack of faith or lack of belief. But it has everything to do with the ultimate sacrifice Jesus made when he gave Himself – totally – for the betterment of humankind. And my faith, my walk, my health has only been strengthened because of His mercy and His hand on my life. I see that God gets all the glory for saving me from a life of shame, anger, addiction and pain and for doing this for so many others. His grace truly is amazing.

This is why the Serenity Prayer is so powerful in recovery practice – recovery from abuse, recovery from drug and alcohol addiction, recovery from sex addiction, recovery from co-dependency or recovery from loss and the bereavement process. We truly must ask for discernment and wisdom in our walk to good health and a good life. This is why recovery is a process. It’s a daily walk.

We must ask God to weed out the poor influence, the low feelings, the hurt, the pain – we must ask Him to pull all of those things out and to help us change what it is we can change. He has to pull out the bad roots to allow his good seed to grow. We must use our free-will to assume control over the things we can control. Only the things we can control. And we ask for wisdom to know the difference. It’s amazing what this prayer can do. It’s amazing what God can do!

serenity

(Courtesy of Google images.)

Great scripture for meditating on wisdom:

Moral Benefits of Wisdom

Proverbs Chapter 2

2 My son, if you accept my words
and store up my commands within you,
turning your ear to wisdom
and applying your heart to understanding—
indeed, if you call out for insight
and cry aloud for understanding,
and if you look for it as for silver
and search for it as for hidden treasure,
then you will understand the fear of the Lord
and find the knowledge of God.
For the Lord gives wisdom;
from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.
He holds success in store for the upright,
he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless,
for he guards the course of the just
and protects the way of his faithful ones.

Then you will understand what is right and just
and fair—every good path.
10 For wisdom will enter your heart,
and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul.
11 Discretion will protect you,
and understanding will guard you.

12 Wisdom will save you from the ways of wicked men,
from men whose words are perverse,
13 who have left the straight paths
to walk in dark ways,
14 who delight in doing wrong
and rejoice in the perverseness of evil,
15 whose paths are crooked
and who are devious in their ways.

16 Wisdom will save you also from the adulterous woman,
from the wayward woman with her seductive words,
17 who has left the partner of her youth
and ignored the covenant she made before God.[a]
18 Surely her house leads down to death
and her paths to the spirits of the dead.
19 None who go to her return
or attain the paths of life.

20 Thus you will walk in the ways of the good
and keep to the paths of the righteous.
21 For the upright will live in the land,
and the blameless will remain in it;
22 but the wicked will be cut off from the land,
and the unfaithful will be torn from it.

 

weeds

(Courtesy of Google images.)



Keeping aware.

“Every morning I spend fifteen minutes filling my mind full of God;

so there’s no room left for worry thoughts.”

– Howard Chandler Christy –

 

Dear Heavenly Father,

I am so thankful for your loving care.

Your provisions are sufficient for all my needs.

Keep me ever aware that I am Your child.

Amen.



In the quiet.

“Now arise, Lord God, and come to your resting place, you and the ark of your might. May your priests, Lord God, be clothed with salvation, may your faithful people rejoice in your goodness.” 2 Chronicles 6: 41

WordPress has some very inspiring writers. It’s so much fun to receive new alerts and posts and see what everyone is sharing next. I’m grateful for this space to share musings, poetry and mental healthcare information. For me, this place is about community and connecting, but it’s also about helping myself understand and express the  journey of life. I write a whole lot better than I speak. I can’t convey the same things in person as I can through a keyboard.

For me, words are little chunks of communication that sit on the page and beg for eyes. I’m here. Read me. I’m calm and quiet. These words don’t move. These words don’t stutter. These words don’t mumble or turn away from you.

I realize lately my posts have taken on a more spiritual theme and I want to offer more frequent clinical and scientific posts on mental healthcare, behavioral change/modification and minimalist organization, as this is the theme of this blog; to simply enjoy life and work at creating better balance, space and simplicity. Stay tuned for more of that.

Today is my birthday and I slept on the sofa last night. (My hubby’s away for work.) I woke up very peaceful because I had an awful dream and when I realized it wasn’t real I was so thankful. Then my thoughts go to my parents. I can’t help but think of my parents on my birthday because they’re the reason why I’m here.

I’m sure all can relate to family member’s having a designated seat in the home – dad’s recliner, grandma’s rocking chair, etc. Well, today I’m thinking about my lovely mother who perches on “her sofa” when she wants to sit. She gazes out the front window, watching the bird feeders and drinking her coffee. This is her “living room” and it’s her domain. There is no TV. Never any music. There is only silence and reflection. There is only peace and quiet.

My mom and I are different in that I am still learning the art of sitting still in the quiet. I am so high-energy it is often difficult for me to settle all my ways until they are gathered and at ease in the Lord. I know my mother’s sitting and the graceful way she rests is a reflection of her age and experiences. I am grateful that my mom has always helped me learn how to “rest” and her continuous prayers have been in protection for her children to find escape from the very real worldly stresses, commotion and noise.

Today I am in the living room. I am sitting still. I rest.

Stitched Panorama

 

(Courtesy of google images.)

“Give me the benefit of your convictions if you have any,

but keep your doubts to yourself, for I have enough of my own.”

– Goethe –




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