May 28, 2013
All Aboard! And welcome one and all! Merry Monday!
In today’s world where instant gratification seems to be the norm, people have a very hard time with the concept of waiting. So when we pray for something and don’t receive an answer, from our Heavenly Father, that we want to hear, we tend to want to help him out. We must learn to be patient. As we study GOD’s Word we begin to understand what the LORD has in store for us. We must take time to understand his nature then we will better recognize his answers to our prayers. The one thing for sure GOD will answer our prayers. We may not always like the answer, because sometimes the answer is no or wait. Ensure that your prayer lines up with GOD’s word and you shall find what you seek. Jesus said in Mark 11:24, “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours” (NIV). But you must do two things, first ensure your prayer does not violate GOD’s nature and you must be patient.
In our weekly Praying 4 You Ministries’ Bible Study (visit www.praying4you.org for more information) we have been studying the life Abraham, so I thought today’s message was very enlightening and timely to kick our week off right. Read and Enjoy.
Patiently Trust His Timing
God’s direction and timing is always perfect and always with a purpose – but it is often with a purpose we may not initially see or understand. Even when we earnestly ask for direction through prayer and the study of His Word, God’s answers are usually not what we expect and are often perceived as slow in arriving. However, His direction and timing still remains, always perfect and always with a purpose.
God called Abraham to follow Him when Abraham was already seventy-five years old. Though advanced in years, God blessed Abraham with great abundance and soon promised he would have many descendants; “I will make your offspring like the dust of the earth, so that if anyone could count the dust, then your offspring could be counted” (Genesis 13:16).
Although this was a wonderful promise from God, it certainly did not seem possible. Not only was Abraham an old man, but his wife, Sarah, had never been able to have children and was now long past the normal child bearing years. Therefore, when Sarah failed to become pregnant – when God’s promise was apparently going to be unfulfilled – she formulated a plan to “help” God.
“The Lord has kept me from having children. Go, sleep with my maidservant; perhaps I can build a family through her.”
Since this was an accepted practice and seemed like a reasonable way to fulfill God’s promise, Abraham agreed. Not surprisingly, great tension soon developed between Sarah and her maidservant. This tension increased when Ishmael was born and even continues today with the unfortunate hostilities we see in the region of the Middle East. Abraham clearly heard the call and promise of God, but he became impatient with God’s timing and resorted to a worldly solution.
It was another thirteen years before God fulfilled His promise through the birth of Isaac. These were thirteen long years of waiting and wondering if God had forgotten…but God’s direction and timing is always perfect and always with a purpose. With Abraham one hundred years old and Sarah ninety, the birth of Isaac left no doubt that God was in complete control and guiding the events in Abraham’s life.
In a very real sense, we are foreigners in this place and time; “Aliens and strangers on earth” (Hebrews 11:13). We will never understand how all the pieces fit together until we stand before the Creator of the Universe. Until then, we must continue to love and worship Him with all our heart. We must continue to seek His face and ask His guidance for every step. We must continue to follow His direction and patiently trust His timing.
Have a Christ Centered week!
All Aboard! The LifeTrain!
May 16, 2013
“As soon as you trust yourself, you will know how to live.” ~Johann Von Goethe
Hey Passengers if you or someone you know needs to change a negative outlook on life to a much more positive one. Here’s something started to apply what I call the 10 “T”s to help with feelings and fears.
The 10 “T”s to help relieve depression and heartache:
1. Trust yourself and God.
Know that God has a greater plan for us than we can ever imagine. My first authentic feeling of surrender came by reading self-help books and the Bible. This gave me the first push toward believing and trusting in the power of the universe. It’s the greatest comfort knowing that you are taken care of.
2. Touch other people’s lives by sharing your personal story.
By reaching out you can help others in similar situations. Blogging (the LifeTrain) and interacting with you, my fellow passengers helped me recognize that I am not alone with my emotions. There are people out there fighting the same type of battles who are willing to share their experiences. This kind of support system was needed in order to rebuild a healthy relationship with myself.
3. Therapy sessions are like taking an inner journey.
With my therapist’s help, it became clear to me why I acted the way I did and how I could overcome the fear, sorrow, and aggression I felt trapped with. Although professional therapy worked for me on a deeper level, the support from friends and family has been invaluable.
A previous teacher also helped me tremendously during a mental down period. She instantly saw my full potential and became my friend and mentor. We keep in regular contact. She is a true source of inspiration that motivates me to be the person I want to be.
I encourage everyone to connect with someone they trust. Perhaps it’s your grandmother, aunt, friend, teacher, or neighbor who inspires you. Whoever it is, cherish that relationship.
4. Treat yourself (and others) with respect and compassion.
When suffering from depression and heartbreak, the last thing you may want to do is take a walk or go for a haircut. Beauty comes from inside, without a doubt, but taking care of yourself will make you feel better and stronger.
Start with little things, like moisturizing your skin with some nice smelling body lotion. You deserve the extra attention.
5. Tear down those walls that you have built up saying that you are not good enough.
I tell myself every day that I am a unique and beautiful, and I believe it.
6. Thank the Lord for keeping you healthy, safe, and alive.
I do this every night before going to sleep. It truly helps. I promise.
7. Tea and other hot drinks (not coffee) are calming.
Lighting a candle and drinking a nice cup of green tea can be such a soothing sensation. Pizza has the same effect for me!
8. Trying new things is fun.
For me, writing has become an important part of my healing. I am still learning and loving every minute I dedicate to my craft.
9. Traveling can be therapeutic, relaxing, and stimulating.
Until recently, traveling was my drug, as I would “use” it to escape from my anxiety. It seemed like a great idea for years, even though the outcome was always the same: I’d spend all my money and still feel empty, as the destination and people never made me feel complete in the way I’d hoped they would.
It took me a long time to accept and realize that serenity and peace start from within. Today, traveling is pure joy and inspiration.
10. Taking risks and chances is crucial to find a sense of purpose.
By throwing yourself out there, amazing opportunities can and will arise. I know this because it has happened to me several times via this blog.
For example, after accepting the fact that I could publicly write without shame, I suddenly felt a wave of courage to write publicly.
I’ve always dreamed of writing novels, but, I was scared of making grammatical mistakes.
This goes back to my first T: Trust. And the quote by Johann Von Goethe, “As soon as you trust yourself, you will know how to live.”
I do; I listen to that inner voice and the guidance I’ve been given from the Father and I have felt more joy, abundance, and happiness than I thought was possible.
The same can be true for you!
All Aboard! The LifeTrain!
May 14, 2013
“Pain is not a sign of weakness, but bearing it alone is a choice to grow weak.”
A while back, my friends and I dealt with a challenging situation that profoundly affected all of us, including one friend who struggles with intense anxiety.
While I’m usually a proponent of giving specifics, I’d rather not call her out publicly, so suffice it to say it was a hard time, and everyone felt the weight of it.
Unexpectedly, this friend emerged as a source of support and comfort for everyone else.
In the face of tremendous adversity, something in her shifted, and she channeled a sense of strength to help everyone else cope better.
Except, she didn’t see it that way. In a private conversation with me, she disclosed that she wasn’t strong. She was only pretending, and was secretly crumbling inside.
She was hurting, feeling deep, overwhelming emotions, and putting them aside to help other people. In her eyes, she was weak; she was just trying to be considerate of everyone else.
I told her she misunderstood the definition of strong. It doesn’t require us to not feel. It requires us to act in spite of our feelings, and to also be willing to share them, just as she was doing then.
She was admitting to me that she was struggling, after helping others who were hurting, just like her.
That isn’t a sign of weakness. It’s a sign of humanity. Sometimes we’ll need to lean on someone; sometimes we’ll be there to hold someone else up.
In a blog post I recently read about strength, a writer suggested we tell people to be strong when we’re uncomfortable with their pain—as if this implies they should stop talking, crying, or expressing themselves.
Maybe we don’t have to choose one or the other—sharing our feelings or accessing our personal power. Maybe the key to fostering fortitude is realizing it’s possible to be simultaneously strong and hurt.
Even the most firmly rooted tree can break its branches in a storm. Strength doesn’t mean we’re invincible. It means we have the capacity to move through the pain and heal.
All Aboard…The LifeTrain
May 13, 2013
To my niece, Get well sweetie…see the light at the end of the tunnel! With Love, Uncle Chuckie. And Ps. Don’t feel bad or ashamed, your lion of an Uncle has fault off the blues a time or two…So…age ain’t nothing but a number number it’s happens to the best of us…
Hey Passengers this week remember, sometimes even if you’re playing a fair game, life deals your hand from the bottom of the deck. There’s no reason for it, necessarily, but it happens. For some people, “Life sucks” might be no date for the prom, or a big zit on the nose—just in time for that big date. For others, it might be getting a phone call as you and the children are decorating the Christmas tree, saying your spouse was just killed in an accident. You may suffer from chronic depression, such that even though you know how good things look on the surface (to others), life couldn’t be worse for you. Let’s examine some options on how to deal with it when life leaves a great big steaming pile on your doorstep.
Examine your situation. What’s causing the pain you are feeling? This is going to be key to working your way back to positive territory.
If it’s situational for example, you got fired, it’s pouring down rain, and on the way home with all your office belongings in the car, that little spare tire that you’ve been running on gives up the ghost, leaving you stranded on the other side of town—you’re going to need a different set of “positive” tools than if you have been diagnosed with a melanoma.
External factors can be dealt with by taking positive steps to repair or at least address the root problem as best as you can. Whatever the primary cause of the suckage, that cause must be addressed first. You may or may not be able to solve the problem, per se, but at least knowing you’re taking positive steps forward is one less weight to have to carry, and it will help you improve your outlook. It will not be easy, of course, or we wouldn’t be calling this “sucking.”
If it’s physical or mental—maybe you’re bipolar, or suffer chronic depression—you must balance any attempt at “being positive” with an understanding that the reality is, it’s going to be an ongoing battle for your own survival. Because depression will undermine even the strongest of wills, you will need help to maintain—or at least be reminded of—a positive outlook. Counseling, psychotherapy, and the right combination of medication will play a crucial role in helping to keep you from sinking into that very dark place that is the essence of depression. Be patient, but don’t look for miracles. It may be that you will need the help of professionals throughout your life to maintain a generally even keel.
Don’t give in. When you’re in the middle of a suck vortex, those words will have little meaning, because everything you know in your bones to be true is telling you that giving in would be so easy to do.
People will tell you “just get over it,” or “get a grip.” They know—and you know—that if you were to look objectively at the sum of your life, that it’s not as bad as it feels; there are many people whose lives are measurably worse than yours. So what! Their lives, no matter how terrible, are not your life, and your situation is unique to you.
Don’t try to “get over it.” If one could “will away” depression, there would be no need of doctors or drugs. What you can do is understand why you feel like you do, and explain to your would-be counselors that you wish it were that easy, and that you appreciate their concern. Don’t push them away—at the very least, you can be positive that they are there for you, however clumsy and unaware their platitudes may be. Who knows, their bumbling efforts may even provide some amusement or distraction!
Take care of your body and soul. Given that you are probably an emotional wreck in a world of sewage, swimming in the debris of whatever damage the suckage has wrought, this is not the time to become a world champion hot dog eater, consumer of tubs of ice cream, or finding the bottom of the bottle of Jack. Treat yourself well, even though you feel like hell. How, you ask? Here are some ideas:
Give your pet some love. They know you’re not their normal human, but the beauty of pets is unconditional, unquestioning love. Be playful with them, find a simple game that amuses both of you (the fake ball-throw is always a canine favorite), and let yourself forget your troubles for 5 or 10 minutes. It won’t solve your problem, but it will lighten the load.
Join a community that you’re not already part of. It could be a support group for whatever you’re going through, or a group of people that share your love of Lord, Jesus Christ or a charity such as Habitat for Humanity. You may find solace and purpose in ways you never imagined.
Do not crawl into a hole and disappear. Your friends and loved ones probably know your life is off course. They may or may not be able to help you directly, but they can give you emotional and moral support.
Sleep. You don’t need to be told this. Your body is probably begging you for it when you are in the middle of hard times. You may actually be drawn to sleep all day. While that might feel good at the moment, it only puts off the inevitable, so try to maintain good sleeping habits. Maintain a consistent sleep schedule.
And…Hop the LifeTrain daily!
All Aboard! The LifeTrain!
May 9, 2013
ALL ABOARD! …
LIFE ON THE TRAIN EXPLAINED…
May 6, 2013
“Breakdowns can create breakthroughs. Things fall apart so things can fall together.” ~Unknown.
ALL ABOARD!!! Merry Monday! Kick it!
Note: I started this post during a set-back, i.e. a hospital stay, from my hospital bed…
It never seems to fail, Just when I think I’m ready to get some of my ideas into motion and action, I have a setback. Previously setbacks involved finances (unexpected bills, for example), time delays, and an unresponsive partner or friend when I wanted to make changes.
My current setback came in the form of a massive health scare.
Anyway, whenever I’ve gotten over some fear and or self-sabotage, and I feel like I’m finally ready to take action, like completing my book, it always brings up things for me…
At that moment of action, when all my hard work starts to pay off, my little voice creeps in to stop me from moving forward. It creates doubt and makes me question my decisions.
It feels like I’m going to fall—or rather jump—off a cliff. But I know I need to get out of my comfort zone and take that leap. I also know, on some level, that these setbacks show me how close I am to achieving my dreams, if only I can find the faith to push through them.
Still, this setback was extreme, even for me! I was injured at work and due to complications,; I almost lost my foot. Thank God for his love and mercy though.
As I stated above I was writing this from a hospital. After I wrote my goals for the next six months, and got ready for an action-packed week ahead, I had an accident and was later admitted to the Hospital.
As I write this, again with much appreciation, I realize that facing and dealing with setbacks is a part of life for all of us. And sometimes when we think we’re ready to unleash on the world, God may have other plans!
I’ve learned that we can choose to find something good in our setbacks. It all depends on what we want to take from them.
If you’re dealing with a setback too take a look at what works for me:
1. Acknowledge it.
No one is immune to setbacks. If you have one, recognize the problem. By doing this you can start the process of transformation, for it is on the other side of the setback that we realize we are not going to be the same person we were before. We are going to be wiser, stronger, and better for it.
Like nature and the seasons, the caterpillar and the butterfly, the tadpole and the frog, there’s no turning back, there’s no putting our head in the sand to pretend it isn’t happening. Acknowledge that through the tough times, the miracles of transformation happen, and we can flourish on the other side. We are capable of doing amazing things—and even more if we can grow through our challenges.
2. Eliminate blame.
Things happen for no obvious reason sometimes. Exploring the way forward is much healthier than trying to blame someone or something for a setback that is irreversible.
3. Access your spirituality.
Spirituality can sustain us in times of uncertainty and difficulty. When we feel like we don’t have the physical, mental, or emotional strength to pull through, our faith in something more— it gives us the energy we need to keep going.
Spirituality reminds us that we are a gift, and have gifts to offer the world. Our job right now is to discover these gifts and to remove the setbacks so we can give them to others in the future.
Focusing on our spirituality allows us to see beyond this setback and find a purpose for it.
4. Give yourself time.
Just as we need to allow time for wounds and broken hearts to mend, we need to allow ourselves time to overcome our setbacks. Impatience only makes them harder and longer than they need to be.
We are in such a hurry to fix our problems and move on; usually this impatience is a pattern that overflows into other areas of our life.
I am terribly guilty of impatience, and the only solution I have found is focusing on and enjoying other things while allowing a setback to be resolved in its own time. I try to remember what really matters. I think back to happy memories and keep faith that after this setback I will be where I want to be.
It serves no purpose to dwell on a problem. Allow the movement of time to push you through it. Time does heal!
5. Step out of your comfort zone.
This is what I am doing now—confronting and staring a setback in the face, and sharing it honestly to say, “Hey this is where I’m at.” This type of openness has enormous power. We can learn so much from other people who are dealing with their own challenges, but we have to share our own to do it.
I had to deal with a health challenge, but I was not a victim. Setbacks can be overcome—even sickness.
I knew I would be in a better situation on the other side of this, especially having held onto my faith and joy. I was confident I would beat this!
Yes we are all going to deal with setbacks in life, but we can overcome them if we see them as part of a bigger life picture, and commit to seeing them through from start to finish.
Remember that this setback won’t stop you from being who you want to be and doing what you want to do. SO…
Do the dang thang this week!
All Aboard! The LifeTrain!
May 2, 2013
And how not to get caught up again…Kick it (The musical accompaniment)
“What you do today is important, because you are exchanging a day of your life for it.” ~Unknown
I have always loved to-do lists. It gives me joy to plan my day in advance. Lists give me an overview, focus, and I simply love crossing things off.
Things changed when I became self-employed. My to-do list behavior turned from a supportive tool into an instrument of self-imposed pressure. Try employing 25 people, supplying them with health care and other benefits…and oh! “PAYROLL TAXES”. That’s pressure.
I felt that being self-employed meant that I had to work very hard to make things happen. The lists became longer and longer, at least fifteen big items per day.
As a result, it became nearly impossible to finish all the tasks on my list in one day. And as a result of that, I was not happy with my daily progress.
Even doing half the things on my list was not good enough. All I could think of were the things I had not managed to do.
My focus shifted from the positive to the negative, from where I was to where I desperately wanted to be. I was not in the now. I was always one impossible to-do list away from being happy with where I was.
I felt grumpy, did not want to speak frankly of how things were really going, and was constantly putting myself under pressure. I felt that I had to prove myself. Prove to the world that I could be successful.
So I tried a bunch of different things.
Among them, I tried living without to-do lists altogether and just going with the flow. I know people who are able to do that and I really admire them.
This did not work out for me. Instead, I shifted the to-do lists from paper into my head, which is a much messier place. So rather than just coping with an impossible list, I was also trying to memorize all the items. Not a good idea.
Then I tried working with weekly to-do lists because this would allow me to spread things out and give me more freedom to allocate tasks, according to how my day was going and how I felt.
Doing this eased things up a bit, but the lists just became even longer so I was still feeling that sense of pressure. I hardly granted myself time off, and all my focus was in the future. Where was the next client coming from, should I mentor or fire an employee, How to keep harmony with my business partner. putting out a fire(s) with a key client(s)…and SHOULD I MENTOR OR FIRE AN EMPLOYEE…Good help IS truly hard to find.
I never got out of bed motivated to do the things on my list, because the sheer bulk brought me down. I was actually stressed before the day had even started.
I did not realize that the one who had to believe in myself was me, not everybody else. My to-do list was full of things that I felt I had to have in order to be successful: A good business name and reputation, a great website, a list of followers, paying clients.
This was a reflection of my forward focus, the notion that “things will be great in the mysterious land of tomorrow.” It all came from a sense of not being good enough now.
I was dedicating my focus to a place I was not even ready for yet. I was confusing growth and improvement with what it looks like when you are successful, and I was not doing the work that mattered: the internal work.
Once I started doing the internal work I realized that the best way to get forward is to be happy in the now.
So, I developed my own little ritual. I now do this consistently (even though I’ve sense sold out my partnership) and make it a point not to check my phone or turn on my computer before doing this morning ritual.
It has changed the way I perceive work. I am more excited and in tune with myself, moving at a comfortable pace.
Here it is. Maybe it serves you too:
1. Be grateful.
I start my day by giving thanks to God the father where I am now, for all the wonderful things that have happened that transported me to this beautiful time and place called the present.
2. Take your time.
I make myself a big pot of coffee, sit down in my favorite spot on the weekends
3. Connect with your vision.
Before, thinking about the future meant thinking about all the things I do not yet have or do. Connecting with my vision is different.
It means envisioning a world much bigger than myself. My vision guides what I do today. If today is a step, my vision is the direction in which I take that step.
4. Choose a theme.
Each day, I choose a theme that feels right. It reflects how I want to feel and what I want to accomplish. It can be anything, long or short, specific or general. “Today is all about…”
5. Find your three priorities.
Research shows that you can only do three to five meaningful things per day. I feel comfortable picking three and leaving enough space for magic to happen.
6. Assign celebrations.
Since I tend to gloss over my accomplishments after five happy minutes and move on to the next thing to do, I now assign a celebration to each of my three priorities. A celebration can be anything you love, big or small. It can be a walk in nature, a drink with a friend, a nap, or reading a chapter in an inspiring book.
I hope this ritual inspires you. If you try it out and like it, I’d love to hear how it goes!
And guess what!!?? The weekend is almost here!
All Aboard! The LifeTrain!