hard testing

In my daily reading today, I came across these two Jesus statements…..

Luke 22:40 When he arrived, he said to them, “Pray that you won’t be put to the test.” 

 46 He said to them, “Why are you sleeping? Get up and pray that you won’t be put to the test!”

As I’ve mentioned before, I am currently reading the Complete Jewish Bible. Take a moment and read the Lord’s prayer in this version…..

 You, therefore, pray like this:

‘Our Father in heaven!  May your Name be kept holy. May your Kingdom come, your will be done on earth as in heaven. Give us the food we need today. Forgive us what we have done wrong, as we too have forgiven those who have wronged us. And do not lead us into hard testing, but keep us safe from the Evil One. For kingship, power and glory are yours forever. Amen.’

How do we apply these scriptures to the alignment of spirit, soul/mind, and body?

Because it’s always easier for me to focus on the body, I’d say that it’s high time that we quit putting our self-control to the test because you and I both know that there are areas in our lives where we lose all control. If you’re a sugar addict like I am, then stop buying processed foods filled with sugar. Yes, I know that your children, grandchildren, and husband love those things. But you know what? They love you more! Make a decision today to exercise whether you feel like it or not. And make a bedtime! Set your television to turn itself off at 10 pm and go to bed!

And then there’s the hard testing of the soul/mind. Paul tells us,

For although we do live in the world, we do not wage war in a worldly way;  because the weapons we use to wage war are not worldly. On the contrary, they have God’s power for demolishing strongholds. We demolish arguments  and every arrogance that raises itself up against the knowledge of God; we take every thought captive and make it obey the Messiah.  2 Corinthians 5:3-5

It’s important that we do not allow our spirits to be led into times of hard testing either. For me the best way to do that is to remind myself everyday that I believe that God is the creator of heaven and earth, Jesus died on the cross and was resurrected so that I can be a daughter of the living God, and that I am filled with the Holy Spirit.

When I say the Lord’s prayer (and I do so quite often), I pray…..

Our Father who dwells in heaven, who created heaven and earth, and created me in his image. Holy and wonderful is your name. Your name is love, peace, protection, mercy and grace (my favorite two characteristics), provision, and healing. May your will be done in, to, and through my life. May my life be a physical representation of heaven above. May I be as quick to obey you as your angels. Give me everything that you have provided for me and don’t let me miss a single opportunity to be grateful for all that you do for me. Forgive me for my sins even as I forgive others. Help me to remember that my perceptions of how other people treat me may be wrong so that I’m quicker to forgive offenses. Do not let me be led by temptation into places I don’t want to go. And don’t let me be led into times of hard testing.

Google doesn’t know everything

Google doesn’t know everything

Our local radio station here plays The Intentional Life with Randy Carlson for at least two hours everyday. So, whether I intentionally want to listen to him or not, if I’m in the car during those two hours I tend to tune in.

The other day he was talking about Millennial parenting. He said that this is the first generation of parents to seek the advice of their peers instead of their elders. He went on to say that most Millennials are more comfortable asking Google what to do with their screaming two year old than their own parents…..

Since I’m a grandparent whose friends are grandparents I know that this is too often too true.

But you know what else I’ve noticed? We who are now the elders are not as comfortable as the generation before us in sharing what we think and feel.

I don’t know about you but I had about 10 people in my life who were never hesitant to share what they thought no matter how much it might hurt my feelings…..And you know why they did that? Because they loved me and wanted to help not make the mistakes that they had made in their lives! 

Back to Intentional Living and the Millennials. They’re getting advice from their peers and Google while we are keeping our mouths shut so that we don’t offend them. Or maybe, truth be told, it’s because we’re intimidated by this generation who is so much smarter than we were at that age. It’s hard not to be intimidated when they are better educated, have access to more information, and are so comfortable posting their lives on the internet.

But that’s a mistake on our part. It’s our responsibility to help this generation avoid the mistakes that we made. Sometimes we don’t need to give advice but we need to be willing to share failure.

Now the reason I’m thinking about this is a little passage in 1 Kings 12:

Then King Rehoboam discussed the matter with the older men who had counseled his father, Solomon. “What is your advice?” he asked. “How should I answer these people?” The older counselors replied, “If you are willing to be a servant to these people today and give them a favorable answer, they will always be your loyal subjects.”

But Rehoboam rejected the advice of the older men and instead asked the opinion of the young men who had grown up with him and were now his advisers. “What is your advice?” he asked them. “How should I answer these people who want me to lighten the burdens imposed by my father?”

This didn’t turn out very well for Rehoboam and you can read it for yourself here.

I don’t think things will turn out as well as they could for our kids if we continue to keep our mouths shut. Now, I’m not giving you permission to stick your nose into their business. I am asking you to be transparent about your own experiences.

We don’t need to tell them what to do as much as we need to tell them what we wish we would have done or (ouch!) what we wish we would never have done.

neglectful….

Thank you Miss Gail for asking me what happened to my blogs. I wish I could say that I’ve been too busy to write but that would be a lie. Truth be told, I had convinced myself that nothing I have to say was worth writing…..

But your email told me that I have something to say that’s worth reading.

I originally intended for this blog to be about aligning spirit, soul, and body but somehow found myself focusing on the body and neglecting the spirit and soul. (I do this because I find it much easier to deal with body issues than with the spirit and soul.)

Somehow, I’m going to get this back on track by making regular posts that will focus the aligning of spirit, soul, and body into our daily lives.

Before I can move forward from here, I feel like I need to define spirit, soul, and body.

3d7bc4b266148a2f2bc38d5e6db0b3c2The body is easy enough. It’s the physical part of ourselves that carries the spirit and soul. And even though it’s easy to understand it has never been easy to control. The body wants what the body wants…..

The soul is the place that holds our memories, makes decisions, and carries guilt. The soul is where our will and desire battle to determine who wins. You know that place where you tell yourself that you won’t eat, say, or do that (whatever that is for you)  but you want it so bad…..

The spirit is the space that was made for God. It’s the altar on which we place our will and desire so that we can surrender to God’s greater good or purpose in our lives. The spirit is the sacred that dwells within each and every one of us.

You see, I believe that it’s absolutely impossible to stay in balance and that’s because life is always throwing something new at you and it often hits you square in the face. It’s can be quite difficult to stay in balance and take the licks that’s life is hurling your way and that’s because balance requires you to depend on your strength to keep standing and not fall over.

sunset_tree_grandeTake a moment and do a tree pose. How long can you stand like this? What if someone came in and tossed you a ball? Could you catch the ball? Would you lose your balance? Would you fall over?

If you get tired, can you take a break, get a snack, and find rest in this pose?  Can you move forward in this pose?

Now walk a straight line. If the line went on for miles you could keep walking, couldn’t you? If someone were to toss you a ball, I bet you could catch it. And if you couldn’t then you’d still be able to bend down, pick it up, and toss it back without getting off track. If you got tired, you could sit down, have a snack, and even take a nap before you started moving forward again.

That’s the difference between balance and alignment. Balance often causes us to stay still while alignment gives us the freedom to move forward.

Which makes me wonder what do you want. Balance? Or alignment?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

<90seconds

During my walk this morning, NPR reported that the most recent terrorist attack in London took less than 90 seconds.  The Sun reported that it took 82 seconds from start to finish.

In less than 90 seconds, 4 people were killed.

In less than 90 seconds, people were recalling their fondest memories of their loved ones instead of talking to them.

In less than 90 seconds, the Khalid Masood would become known throughout the world as a terrorist instead of a son, husband, brother, and father.

Thinking about this made me ask this question:

If I were to die in <90 seconds from now, what would people say about me?

What would people say about you?

 

 

I admit it. I’m a nerd. I’m actually listening to the supreme court confirmation hearings. Rest easy, I am not going to blog about the hearing itself or share any of my own political views as I think most relationships work better when political views are kept private.

What I want to talk about is the idea of having to answer for what we have said and done in the past.

Gorsuch has the benefit of being able to go back to read about the decisions he’s made, books that he’s written, and classes he has taught.

But most of us can’t do that, can we?

I don’t know if you’re like me but I find it far easier to remind other people about what they  have said or done in the past than to remember my own words and actions.

I don’t know about you but I can’t remember every conversation I’ve ever had. Usually, it’s friends and family  who tell what me what I’ve  said and, most importantly, how they perceived what I said, along with how it made them feel. I’ve rarely heard anyone say, we need to talk to tell me how I encouraged them in the past....

Whether good or bad, I am living the the life that Hank and I made for ourselves because of the decisions we made.

I’m guessing that you’re not that much different than me. You’ve spoken words you regret and made decisions that cost you greatly. But you know what? None of us are time travelers. We can’t go back in time and erase words that we’ve spoken nor make a different decision.

All we can do is ask for forgiveness, make better decisions, and move forward. And one more thing. We can give more thought to what people hear when we talk than to what we trying to say……

Jesus said, “Moreover, I tell you this: on the Day of Judgment people will have to give account for every careless word they have spoken; by your own words you will be acquitted, and by your own words you will be condemned.” Matthew 12:36-37

 

 

 

Hannah and I were talking today and she asked me some interesting questions…..

Why is it so awkward to to tell another woman that she has a good body? Or great skin? Why is it  awkward to tell another woman that she’s attractive or pretty?

Before we moved on to another topic, she asked….

Why is it so much easier for women to tear down other women than to build them up?

If you’re a woman then you have probably experienced another woman tearing you down, putting you in your place, or sharing their concerns about you. I know I have!

When I was in my late 20’s, I started running and cycling. It was also during that time that I stopped eating meat and focused on eating lots of fruits, veggies and beans and rice. So it was no surprise to me when I started dropping my baby weight.

But it was a big surprise to some of the ladies I knew. I heard people whispering when I came into a room but didn’t know what they were saying until a very good friend pulled me aside to tell me that she was concerned that I had become anorexic. She wanted to know just how much I was eating every day and if I was making myself throw up.

They couldn’t see the miles my running shoes had covered or the hills my bike had climbed. They weren’t with me when I was eating breakfast, lunch or dinner. All they saw was the girl who came to church every Sunday and Wednesday and that girl was losing way to much weight so something must be wrong with me.

sad_face_emoji_large

Just sharing this memory with you makes me sad! It seems like women treat each other exactly the same way that Satan treated Eve when he suggested that she was lacking something that could only be found in eating.

Ladies, it’s time for us to embrace the awkward and start telling other women what we admire about them.

Let me give you an example of how to do this….

oxygenmagazineliftless-01I was at the gym the other day and I noticed a woman about my age who has an incredible body. You know, like one of those bodies on the cover of Oxygen. I watched her work hard in the gym but I kept my earbuds in and my mouth shut. The next time we were in the gym together, I decided that I was going to say something and I told her that I really admire the body that she has built with diet and exercise.  She said thank you and I thought that was the end of the conversation. But as she was heading out the door, she came back over to where I was and said thank you. She went on to say that she’s used to men hitting on her and the jealous looks she gets from other women in the gym but that this was the first time she felt respect and admiration from another woman.

Her last words to me were….

I like this feeling!

Ladies, let’s stop tearing down others and start building them up! When you see a lady that you admire, tell her! Maybe it’s her parenting skills, the way she does her hair, the clothes she wears, or the body that’s wearing those clothes.

And if you feel awkward complimenting another woman then it’s time to…..

how-to-embrace-those-inevitable-7-638

I love you more than….

I love you more than….

It’s a game that I play with my 3 1/2 year old granddaughter. I tell her that I love her more than the beach, my dog Norton, riding my bike, sewing and anything else that I can think of. Usually, she laughs and says “nooooo, bebe” and waits for me to make up another I love you more than statement.

But this time she responded to my I love you more than game with her own….

I love you more than the cow place….

I know that the cow place, also known as  Chick-fil-a, is her absolute favorite place in the world to go for lunch so you can imagine how much this confession of love meant to me.

I want to live a life that worthy of not only her love and respect but also her sister’s. I want to be someone that the girls can trust. As they grow up, I want to be their biggest cheerleader.

And I want to be the older woman they admire. I want the girls to know that I pray for them. I want to be a physical representation of God’s love in both of their lives— you know the never leaving or forsaking kind of love.

I want to be strong and healthy so that I can be there for them if they ever need me. And I don’t want them to ever have to worry about my health and well-being.

These two precious little girls and their mam are big incentives for me to take care of my spirit, soul, and body.

What are your incentives?