The Things We Did Right…

The Things We Did Right

Cultivating love between to people takes work. It’s choosing that person every single day, again and again. Even when tempers flare and life becomes over involved. Even when they misbehave and need help. You can become a better couple today.

Today is my anniversary, and we love to make it feel special. Last year, my wonderful husband worked extra hard and finally took me on my honeymoon. We went to Hawaii. Although we aren’t going to any place extravagant this year, we will celebrate us for sure.

I always feel sentimental in our milestones and victories. After all, we could have been a statistic but choose to deny the odds.

He and I had our hard times. If I really try we can remember the ugliness of our past. Where we came from, the stuff that creeps in, and everything in between. We aren’t perfect and still have things we need to work out, and do not always communicate in the best manner when things get heated, but over the years we know we have done some things right.

We were young when we married. That defies odds. We felt that even when our families did not approve of our union, we had each other. We decided to never allow the “D” word in our vocabulary with each other because we are better together than apart. We have a staying factor. Everything is trivial compared to what God has for us to do. We are not going to let the enemy destroy what God has put together.

We do not stay mad long. If we get upset with each other and even if it takes a few days. We will make up because we love our connection. We value our friendship and oneness, we know that we not only choose each other, but we complete each other. (I have to admit, my husband is a better forgiver than me.) So I am thankful for grace.

We have fun together. We had to really learn this. My idea of fun may be a shopping trip and his idea of fun is a thrill seeking adventure. So we often have to compromise or find things we can do together. I love that about us. Sometimes it works out, and sometimes it does not. But at least we tried.

We reminisce a lot. Not about the bad things. That is always easy to do. We laugh about our innocence of not knowing. Our adventure in life together and we often know what worked and what did not.

But we talk about falling in love with each other and the fun we had.

It’s the encounters that made our life worth every risk. Sometimes it worked out and other times we chalk it up to stupidity.

We choose to remember the good and because of this, we have a great relationship.

We are on the same team. There is no one I would rather pick than him. We laugh together. We serve each other. We remember that every disagreement is not worth lost connection (even if it took longer to realize that.) We are better together than we are apart.

If you are in a relationship, you can cultivate love everyday for your spouse. Stop looking at their flaws. Tell them you believe in them. Tell them that whatever their going through, you can do it together. It is not your job to fix your spouse! You can only work on you. Grow you and love your spouse. Remind yourself of who they really are. Kiss your spouse. Invest in your marriage. It’s worth it and its needed. Learn how to communicate better. Learn to forgive. Everyday will give you a reason not to connect, but be intentional about connection with them.

I know every day may be a struggle. I know that each relationship is different. But I also know that any situation can be worked out. There is always hope. We have to be willing to do the work.

So from James and I… Have a prosperous marriage!

 

Expectant,Excited, Thankful 

This year comes to a close… I’m ready. I’m expectant on what is to come. I’m excited about the possibilities and maybe the impossible too! I’m thankful for all the good memories, moments, relationships, and successes. When I look back, I’m humbled. Let the past go and look ahead. Let resentments fade and love come in.Leave disappointment behind and allow joy to have full reign. 

Setting Yourself Up for an Amazing Year

So maybe 2016 was trying… Ok, to be honest, half way through the year, I was ready for it to be over.

So what can we take away from 2016? What can we say we learned? What did God reveal to you?

Perception is key to where you need to go. How do you see yourself? Are you ready to go? Can you make it to the next chapter? Yes, you can!

I love when the end of the year comes because it means clean slate and begin again.

It means that even though we suffered some losses, that your life’s errors are redeemable. His grace is sufficient. He will turn our mourning into dancing. He will take our sins that are red as scarlet and make them whiter than snow. He will be the advocate in our lives and make us victorious ones. He IS that good.

So starting a new year right begins with you. Dust yourself off. Exchange your garment of heaviness for praise. And begin again.

A while ago, I was given some easy steps to make a new year’s declaration in my life. 3 things that will help you to focus on growth and cultivate new mindsets in my life. These 3 topics will help your New Year be better than last year. Stop and focus on them. Write them down. Habakkuk 2:4 and began to implement them in your life.

  1. Pick a fruit of the Spirit. We all posses the fruit of the Spirit inside us. But there are always one we can focus on.

Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Gentleness, Kindness, Faith and Self-Control. Galatians 5:22

Pick one and find someone that does it well, and just watch how they live it out. Find a scripture with it in mind, and declare it over yourself. Finally, began to see yourself as you would act if you had this fruit displaying in your life with other people.

  1. Pick a word or a declaration that you would want to declare over your life in the next year. For instance, “This is the year that there will be nothing missing, nothing broken, I will attain great peace.” It can be several. I always do three; One for finances, one for relationships, and one for health. Write it down and place it somewhere you see everyday. Like a bathroom mirror or even your refrigerator.
  1. Get a dream list. Simply write dreams that seem to far out of reach to attain for you. Maybe its go to Greece, or get married. It may seem like it will be far off, but allow yourself to dream and dream big. My heart is that you would have 100 things written down, but if you can only think of 25 then do it. Again, place them somewhere you can see them. Get pictures if you need to. Dream stirs up hope that good is coming. It challenges your brain that even in hard times, you can see a future of good. Its so good to dream.

Then, when all is written and done. Look at them, say them repeatedly, and see them every day so that you are reminded of where you are going.

So when you are tempted to dwell on the year of what could have been… I encourage you, no implore you…begin again.

Don’t wait until the new year to start…. Do it now. Take 10 to 20 minutes and write down what is on your heart for the next year. Place them somewhere you can see and start a new beginning before the old year runs out.

Cultivate your life….

I am thankful part 2.

The last post was all the uncommon emotions and words that I am thankful for… but here are some of these amazing Words from God that I am thankful and will forever be cherished as a promise to me.

The Bible is full of promises from a faithful Father. The word that in the midst of hard times we can grasp them and hide them in my heart.

I am thankful for…

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I Am Thankful For 

Thanksgiving has passed and if you are a “normal” American, hopefully you have reflected on your life and are at least thankful for one thing in your life. Family, love, health. There is always something to be thankful for.

As I reflected my year, I have to say that I am thankful that this year is close to an end. Its not been an easy year emotionally, yet I would not have had it any other way. When life seems to bring hard times, our Father, who never leaves us alone, will always bring us something in return.

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If I Could Be Anything ( Getting Rid of Titles)

 

We live in a society and world that needs and desires titles to identify who we are. As children, we get ranked into title from birth, “First, middle, only, and the baby of the family.” As Student we get titled into the “Intellectual”, “the overachiever”, “the class clown”, or even “the trouble maker”.  As a college graduate, we know the pressures that determine the status of our degree and the importance of a good career goal. We can all agree that we have been called or have been categorized into one of these, or something similar. But what if these titles didn’t exist. What would define us? Continue reading

Go Ahead and Go

We have an amazing Father who wants only success for us. It continually amazes me that people don’t know how God is literally cheering them on to do what their passions are. Just start somewhere. Quit waiting for the billboard of life to tell you this is where you are supposed to be, so what if you fail… so what if it gets hard. You moving is always better than standing sitting. 

A few months ago, I was praying about direction that I need to take in my life. I said to the Father,” I have been standing and waiting, when is it going to be over?” He answered me, “You weren’t standing and waiting. You were sitting and wailing.” So often what we are “waiting” for is something we have to be taking steps for. I encourage you to find the strength to just take the steps and watch as Jesus walks with you every step of the way, He will show you where to go.

The World of Assumptions

We have all been there. Someone says something and we immediately think of something negative. Someone glances a look and we think negative. We even hear we didn’t get invited and we think negative. These are all signs that we are making assumptions of other people. We are creating the story in our heads of who these people are. Well, today is the day you start taking a different approach.

I sit here and think of many of my relationships past, present, and future. Some good and some bad. I think of my relationships of those who are close to me and those who I know as little as a tabloid magazine. Those who really know me, I so appreciate them taking the time to look beyond my faults and love me anyway, and to the other… I hope that one day we get to know each other on a better level if possible.

I remember in my childhood and teenage years I moved around a lot because of my parent’s jobs. The new kid in town, I was overweight and quiet, and making friends was not easy for me.  Those I befriend were the ones who didn’t make assumptions about me and accepted me despite my look or my strange air of mystery.

The fact that they were not the “popular crowd” was evident to me very well. I was always kind and gracious for their open-mindedness toward me. Even when we eventually parted ways, I was always grateful for their acceptance of me. It took several years before other kids really got to know me. Often, those I went to school with would reference that they didn’t think I was this “cool”. My personality or status didn’t change, but their perception of me did. I would laugh their comments off, but inside I would have to say that stung a little.

Here I was open, ready to be me, and people judged me for my looks or what they assumed I was like. In my mind, I felt that I accepted everyone and often went out of my way to make everyone feel welcomed, because I knew what it was like to be the new kid. I remember that my teacher would purposely put me next to the “socially awkward, disliked by many, weird kid”, because she knew I would not be mean or treat her unkindly.

How often now do we make assumptions about people? How often do we judge them by the small amount of time we spend with them? Maybe its time we stop assuming who they are, and actually get to know them. You may find that you are not so different after all.

 

PEOPLE ARE JUST PEOPLE

I often tell my children, “People are just people”, to get them to understand relationships. Acceptance among teens are highly valued, and sometimes it hard to see my kids struggle with the same pressures I once did. Truth be told, it really doesn’t matter. If we take the approach the mindset that people are just people, then the assumptions start to fade. Then we get to see people who also have been hurt, or afraid, or called the “socially awkward, disliked by many weird kid.” Most people just want two things…to be accepted for who they are and to belong.

Yet, we dismiss them for voicing their opinion. We rebuttal their ideas and values. We reject them because they don’t have the same background or social status. We even stop giving them the time of day because they choose to live in their selfish, self-absorbed life.

If we are ever to be a thriving community, we have to stop assuming that people are assuming the worst in you.  We have to believe the best about them and that they are growing at a different rate than you. When we do, the world becomes a place of safety, and you and your neighbor begin to thrive.

Here are my antidotes.

  1. When you see someone who you may not know or even those you do. Stop assuming you know what they are like. To be honest, you do not know the heart or the intent of their heart. Keep this in mind when you see or talk to people. Most people are good and most people just want to be accepted and to belong.
  1. Realize you have not arrived either. Remember the golden rule, or the bible verse,” Treat others how you want to be treated.” Yeah… good rule of thumb. We often treat others how we are feeling inside. So assumptions are just as much with our insecurities as it is theirs. So, treat others with the trust and optimism you would want.
  1. View the world around you as good. It will become easier to not assume the worst in people when we stop listening to the other voices. Media, negative people, gossip, and slander all play a role in your beliefs toward people. Refuse to play into the negativity by choosing to believe that even though we hear the bad and the “worst case scenario”, the majority of people are good and want good things too.

Recently, I had a scenario where I felt people were assuming the worst about me. I will say, it really was hard. I had to forgive quickly, but then I had to do this. I had to choose to continue to believe the best about them, even though they did not believe the best about me. I chose to say, I don’t want to live my life in assumption of anyone else. I can not assume anything about them, if I don’t want them to assume anything about me.

So, here is my last thought before this is done. The way this starts is with you. You have to take the first step out of the world of assumptions. When you get that next comment, that next look, or that next “rejection”, choose to believe that you don’t know all the details. Choose to believe that regardless of their judgments, you will assume the best. Choose to know that both you and they are important in your roles in life. Maybe you won’t be best of friends, but maybe you will honor each other for what you both bring to the table.

The question I leave you…. What would your relationships look like if you did not assume you know the whole story and actually think the best about people?

 

 

 

This is how you cultivate your life.