Archive for the ‘making decisions’ Category

Balance Your Day

Thursday, July 9th, 2015

Crashing metal, thudding, and sounds of heavy furniture being slid across a tile floor brought my husband Garry and me out of our chairs and onto our feet. The noise was coming from behind the closed utility door.

With adrenaline pumping we flung the door open to find the clothes washer thrashing about like a monster trying to rid itself of an unpleasant pest.

Garry began talking to the machine, asserting that he had not put in too many jeans to wash effectively in a single load! The moving slowed after he pushed the off button, and he was then able to open the lid and view all those jeans piled up on one side of the tub. There may not have been too many clothes, but they had gotten completely off balance. In the lop-sided condition the tub simply could not take the ‘spin’ cycle.

Our lives can be a lot like my washing machine. We fill each day to the maximum with stuff. When we get overloaded, it’s hard to do a good job. Maybe we have even calculated the day and it looks like the number of things we have scheduled is a do-able amount. But there is still one more important detail that must be considered. That vital aspect is balance.

A friend of mine, who started his own cabinet-making company, found that his greatest challenge was consistently taking a lunch break. Before he owned the company, lunch was an anticipated joy so he easily kept track of time. But when he became the owner, he tried to get ahead by working nonstop all day long. After many hours of not eating, he felt weak and his hands would begin to shake as his blood sugar dropped dangerously low. He learned that to really be successful he would have to work in harmony with his body.

In the same way, if I neglect the spiritual side of my life by going extended periods without praying or reading the Bible, then I will find myself becoming emotionally unstable, as well. And so will you.

We were made to have balance in our spirit, soul, and body—time to work, play, eat, exercise, rest, create, pray, and contemplate. Balance creates order, focus, and boundaries. Balance keeps us from becoming burned out. Balance allows us to refuel and enjoy a greater sense of accomplishment and fulfillment throughout the day. We may not even have too much stuff. We may just need to prioritize and arrange it differently… especially when life goes into a ‘spin’!

Are you out of balance in the spin of a hectic schedule today? If so, then I pray that you would stop and create balance in every area of your life: spirit, soul, and body. May you live a healthy lifestyle and be strong even in old age.

May your day be blessed and your tub in balance!

“One hand full of rest is better than two fists full of labor and striving after wind.” (Ecclesiastes 4:6 NASB)

Dis Distractions

Monday, April 7th, 2014

I have to keep my guard up every day to keep from getting side-tracked—or derailed completely—from my mission and goals. It’s just so easy to get pulled aside to work on projects that are good and need to be done but are not part of my top priorities. I am multi-talented and am tempted to try many new activities, but are they important enough to use my energy on? Distractions beckon around every curve. One more activity might be OK, or even fun, but I have to ask myself if I will be able finish strong that which I’ve prioritized and planned.

 

I love the spontaneous. There is a certain freedom in knowing that life isn’t so structured that things can’t be changed, tweaked, and enjoyed at a moment’s notice. I must know that I am not a slave to some printed schedule that has to be acted out in robot fashion.

 

But being in charge of the direction of our lives and ultimately making it to our destination means not succumbing to distractions that are unworthy of our time when they appear. I must know the difference between nice and necessary. 

 

My self-dialog and conversations with others have the ability to distract me from reaching my goals. Stopping to visit or check on a friend is encouraging and uplifting. But trash talking, gossip and arguing, drain creative energy and draw me aside from my schedule. I must maintain control over the words I speak and discern whether to engage in a confrontation. I don’t have time to waste trying to prove that I am right. I must conserve my energy to speak up when my voice needs to be heard because it is the right and relevant thing to do. 

 

Baby animals are led astray by just nibbling and following the next patch of desirable green grass. Boundary fences of safety are pushed over with the thought that the grass is greener on the other side. Most of the time it is not.

 

My prayer for today: God, give me wisdom to know what is real and relevant for today, enough common sense to know when to speak out or to shut up, and the confidence and integrity to be satisfied with being right and real—without having to prove it!

 

“And as Christ’s soldier, do not let yourself become tied up in the affairs of this life, for then you cannot satisfy the one who has enlisted you in his army.” 2 Timothy 2:4 (NLT)

Stop the Thunk!

Tuesday, September 10th, 2013

 I wish I could tell an armadillo about the value of change.  I’m saddened each time I see a ten pound, brownish-gray, nocturnal animal lying dead along the highway. I don’t even really like armadillos.  They dig holes in the yard and then I have to deal with a bumpy ride each time I mow the lawn. But I do hate to see failure just because of refusal to change. I am told that armadillos have a sure-fire way to ward off intruders. An armadillo will stand its ground until the opponent gets close.  Then it flexes and jumps straight into the air.  This scare tactic worked for centuries. But then along came the invention of the automobile. And when a big, big animal, with headlights for eyes, topped the hill the armadillo did what had always worked. The armadillo stood its ground, waited for the car to get really close, then flexed and jumped straight into the air.  Thunk was the outcome!  Thunk is the only sound and word to describe a once sure-fire method that had suddenly ceased to work.

Do you ever feel like you’re beating your head against a wall?  Does the same old method, that used to bring good results, now bring you failures? If so, it might be time for a change of tactics.

I have no idea how to save an armadillo from jumping into cars.  I can’t tell you how to easily cross the roads of life. But I do know that God promised that He would give us wisdom if we just ask. Being willing to honestly assess situations and seek wisdom, on the right method of response, is vital to stay cutting edge—and alive.  I can change even though it goes against my genetic predisposition.    

Renew your mind daily through prayer and ask God for wisdom in every situation.  Don’t second guess yourself or God’s ability to know the road ahead.  Trust in Him. Stop the thunk.

“If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking.” James 1:5 (NLT)

Let It Go

Monday, January 21st, 2013

Let it Go

The difference between great success and failure may be as simple as knowing what – and when – to let go.

I heard a story about how hunters in Africa catch monkeys. Monkeys are very smart and difficult to trap. So the hunters build a container with an opening large enough for the monkey to put its hand into, yet it’s too small for a clenched fist to be removed. Hunters then place tempting trinkets or food into the container. The monkey reaches in, grips the treasures, and is trapped by its own fist. It’s hard to believe that a monkey will stay trapped until the hunter returns and captures it – when all that was needed to be free was for it to let go.

We’re more intelligent than a monkey. Yet no matter how much we know, there are times when we struggle to just let go.

Do you want to know three words to make your life more successful?  “Let it go.”  Three simple words will make your life more successful. We must evaluate often those things that we are holding onto and understand why we might want to cling to them. Things that have fulfilled their job or no longer pulling us forward have to be released to make room for the new and relevant. It is a waste of precious time and energy to keep hammering away at issues that we are powerless to change. We can gain tremendous peace just by letting go of past hurts, bitterness, or things we just never could quite figure out. Relationships also have to be evaluated. People that I pull into my inner circle will either lift me up or pull me back. I must evaluate my circle of friends and choose to stay in close contact with those who value what I have to say, encourage new ideas, and share some goals in common. You, too, should let go of friends who merely tolerate you. This will make each day an uplifting celebration.

It may not be easy to let some things go. That time, relationship, or plan in your life became part of you.  It is normal to feel some temporary sadness when you let it go. That’s OK.

Push past the disappointments. Open your hand and release. There are new people, places, and experiences ahead for you. Move forward into the great plans God has for you.  Just let it go.

“I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.” Phil 3:13,14 NLT

No More Detours

Saturday, January 12th, 2013

The count is definitely in, and everyone I know is glad for the past year to go. I too welcomed a new year because I wanted a fresh start.  But this New Year is now into its second week and life is throwing me some pretty fierce distractions to deal with. I wonder if what I did last week was done any differently than this time last year.

Distractions don’t go away. They must be dealt with. I can’t drive down the main street of our small town or log onto my computer without the possibility of getting sidetracked. But I can become stronger and make wiser choices.

Our paths are strewn not only with distractions but also opportunities. So the question to ask ourselves when things pop into our world is, “Is this a distraction or an opportunity?” When distraction comes and opportunity knocks, we have the power to choose which one to answer and entertain and when to just stay focused on our present path.

If you plan ahead what you would like to accomplish in your day and upcoming year, it will make right choices clearer.

Decide where each new “unexpected” will lead your day. Distracted days add up to months, and soon another year has come and gone. We do have the core strength to do things differently. Be courageous and push pass that first uncomfortable moment of taking charge of your life – choose opportunity over distraction.

Give yourself an internal boost of energy by taking some time upfront to define your goals clearly, rid your path of proven distractions, and quiet your mind each morning.

Know that if you follow distractions, you will take a detour yet again this year.  But if you face the ongoing distractions, choose to stay the course, and keep going forward, you will enjoy great success in the coming year.

“For I can do everything through Christ,* who gives me strength.” James 4:18 NLT

A Fresh Start

Sunday, December 30th, 2012

on the WINGS

uplift for your world

Yesterday, at a get together in our home, after most of the guests had said their goodbyes, we three girls gathered around the bar to chat.  We three girls were those closest to me, one ahead and one following on the road of life – Mom, me, and my daughter.  After sipping yet another flavor of coffee, and tasting just one more bite of cherry pie, we talked about life.  Mom wished she knew what she knew now when she was my daughter’s age.  My daughter thought this wonderful concept could be achieved if mom’s wealth of wisdom was just downloaded to her immediately. It was a great idea of how becoming wise as an elder while still being young, could indeed be accomplished.  We laughed knowing that wisdom principals can be taught, but each person must then know when and how to apply those principals in his/her daily life.  Each path has different twists and turns that have to be personally walked out.

I have sometimes thought that if I could start over I would do things differently.  But after starting over, after many bummer days, I’ve found that it wasn’t just a second chance that was needed, but wisdom. Sometimes the wisdom ingredient to success was additional planning. After not being on time or prepared yet again, it became evident that I must avoid the trap of procrastination on a daily basis, to be wise.

I also had to let go of the myth that today’s fresh-start-path would somehow be easier than yesterday. Sometimes life is hard whatever the path. But hard is not always bad. Sometimes our greatest victories and highest joys are only realized by pushing past our comfort zones.

To totally embrace a fresh start, make peace with things in your past that cannot be relived or redone. Forgive, let go, and untie negative people and circumstances of yesterday.

Write down your goals, dreams, and ambitions and keep them before you. Surround yourself with people you would be happy to become more like.

Today is the day for a fresh start, whether it is your second or hundredth chance to live how you would — if you could — do it over.  Be diligent to live by wisdom principals that will bring the results you want in your life.  Learn something new each day, love well, and enjoy those before, beside, and behind you on the path of life.

Would you like a fresh start in any area of your life?  If so, then I pray today that you will commit to searching for wisdom, going past your comfort zones, and planning ahead.  May the God of all wisdom be your guide as you spend time in reflective silence before Him today.

By Reba Wilson (c)2012

“Wisdom is the principal thing; Therefore get wisdom. And in all your getting, get understanding.” Pro 4:7 NKJV

and, The Final Answer is….

Tuesday, June 14th, 2011

Life is filled with choices, some pretty easy- or maybe not- like where to eat lunch today.  Others are tougher deciding where to go to college, what kind of car to drive, or which person to marry.  Yet another question we face is what God we will serve, trust and obey.

Each answer we give denotes the paths and directions our lives will take. So many questions, so little time and limited knowledge to determine that final answer- the one where you are taking the plunge and paying the price.

1)      Make sure the big, eternal questions get first priority in your thoughts, effort and time.

2)      Look ahead in time.  Will it make any difference the next year, twenty years- or even tomorrow- which choice you make?

3)      Set a time limit on making choices.  Get all the information you can on the subject… and then make a decision. People riding the fence, never committing, become unstable in all areas of their lives.

4)      Just do it.  Enough said.

5)      If you make a mistake.  Quickly admit that you were wrong. Get on the right road and go for it.  Mistakes are also a form of teaching.

Make the most of the path you’ve chosen.  Plant some flowers on the road during the journey.  Some for now…. Some for those coming behind you.