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The Love That Never Changes

In the midst of so many changes in such a short period of time, I find myself searching for familiarity, normalness, and hope. Hope that this pandemic will be over soon, hope for no more suffering, and hope for a renewed spirit of togetherness. As I look through photo albums, I get teary-eyed as I think about how long it has been since I have spent time with the people I love. I long for their touch, their hug, and the feeling of closeness. I get all emotional and somehow feel cheated because of this time lost. I find myself feeling disappointed about the trips we had to cancel and not being able to go about my normal routine. Then .. snap.. I am in reality again. I realize that there are times, even before the Covid-19 virus, we would go weeks without seeing our children and friends. Work and other obligations keep us all busy. When my husband and I go on two week vacations, it is sometimes three weeks before we see the rest of our family or get together with friends. So I tell myself.. No pity parties allowed! There are people all over the world who are suffering and here I am upset because I can’t go get my hair done. I hear these thoughts in my head and realize how shallow that sounds. I want to be a better person through this experience , not a bitter one. I want to focus on what I have gained through and not what I am missing.

Are you able to think of something you have gained through your current situation? If not, I challenge you to sit down and clear your mind, and reflect on your life right now. Put all the worries aside, focus on your rhythmic breathing, and listen to your heart. Listen to God. Look around at your home and with a sincere heart, be thankful for the blessings in your life. The blessing of sitting in your warm house enjoying the rain, reading a favorite book, learning a new skill, quality time with your child or spouse or maybe time to reflect on life.

I don’t mean to minimize any problems you may have. I know that even though you can put on a happy face and look at your blessings, you may be facing challenging situations and changes in your life.

As Easter approaches, this is a perfect time to remember that there is one thing that never changes. God’s love for us. This time in history has proved to us that jobs, money, possessions, our health, and sadly, even loved ones can be gone before we know it. God’s love for us is secure, it never changes. He loves you even if you don’t love Him. He loved you yesterday, he loves you today and He will continue to love you tomorrow. Allow His love to calm your heart and give peace to your soul.

Hang On To The Love That Never Changes

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16

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Be a Ninja

I am sitting at my computer thinking about what to write this week. It is Friday morning and I usually write on Tuesday or Wednesday, but I have so many thoughts jumbled in my head that I haven’t had a clear path to what I wanted to write about this week in my blog.

As of today it has been three weeks since the world as we knew it changed. Most of us can recall where we were when everything shut down. I was in a classroom cleaning up after a long day when we got the news. Schools are closing indefinitely. We were told to take all our personal belongings because the administration didn’t know when or if we are coming back this school year. Your experience may be different, but perhaps you had the same surge of emotions: disbelief, denial, and anxiety.

I have struggled for the last three weeks with my purpose in life. Grasping at anything that will bring me some kind of fulfillment. Then yesterday I saw a young boy about three years old wearing a black mask. As he walked with his mom down the street, he was pretending to be a ninja. I thought, Wow, if we could all be like this small child who doesn’t allow the reason why he wears the mask to take his joy of life away. He found a way to embrace his “new normal” and actually have fun. How can you and I find joy throughout this crisis?

Joy is always inside us. The question is are we allowing fear to steal our joy? When problems come up we can either chose to be a victim of despair or chose to see life from a different perspective. Viewing life from a different perspective takes insight into yourself, insight into the facts of the situation, and insight into your true reality, not what other people say it is. Are you housed, clothed, and fed right now? Are you worrying about something that might not ever happen? This doesn’t have to be a time of worry and despair. Stay strong in faith. Stay strong in body, soul and mind. Remember to find joy in life.

Be a Ninja!

I included a link to Pastor Rick from Saddleback Church. I listened to this message this morning and it brought me peace. If you need some encouragement, just click the link below.

. A Faith That Works When Life Doesn’t: A Faith That Handles Difficulties

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Keeping the Connection

Isolation, social distancing, stay home be safe, school and business shut downs are all terms that are becoming everyday phrases in the midst of our “new normal”. We are asked to keep our distance from each other physically, but it is more important than ever to not distance yourself emotionally and mentally. Right now, it is vital to stay in contact with family and friends, especially the elderly and people who live alone. I know we can all think of someone that is at risk of feeling lonely. In this age of technology, it is easy to type someone a text , leave a message on Facebook, or better yet, give someone a call. Maybe send a card to brighten someone’s day.

Connection is good for the soul. Everyone needs it, even you. Lack of connection can lead to depression and despair. So reach out with a funny story, send pictures, ask someone about their day, challenge someone to an on-line game, or just let someone know that you are thinking of him or her.

The most important connection we have does not require social distancing at all. Our relationship with God is vital to keeping us strong and at peace in these difficult times. Talk to God everyday. Tell him your worries, your fears, and your feelings of thankfulness.

A strong connection with others and with God strengthens and nourishes the soul

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Dwell in the Sunshine

Sunflower field. Beautiful sunflowers blooming on the field. Growing yellow flowers

With so many unknowns effecting our everyday life, it is easy to get swept up into the turmoil and despair. You watch things change right before your eyes and wonder, “What is next?” Kids are out of school, maybe you are working from home or not working at all, stores are limited on supplies, and you hear news reports that this situation is going to get worse before it gets better. Have hope, this situation will end. It won’t go on forever. I have hope that God knows what is going to happen and in His plan I have faith. I pray you hold on tight to the hope that only God can give.

I ask myself, “What is the current situation going to bring out in me? Is it going to bring out fear? Maybe insecurity? Of course, all kinds of feelings are going to come up, that is natural, but which ones are you going to dwell on. We all have those dark feelings but we also have, what I call “sunshine feelings.” Feelings of encouragement, positivity, and peace that we can “soak up and dwell in ” just like the warmth of the sun after a cloudy day. Think positive thoughts, turn off the news, don’t get caught up in negativity, and be the “sunshine” in someone else’s cloudy day. Acknowledge your feelings of fear, insecurity, and despair but don’t dwell there.

Be like a sunflower and dwell in the sunshine.

“Finally my brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy- meditate on these things.” Phillipians 4-8

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Seek Peace Not Panic

Facing the unknown can be scary. Whether the unknown is starting over in an area of your life, changing directions, or dealing with something that is out of your control. One thing to remember when facing a path that is unfamiliar and the destination unknown is to stop and breathe. Take time to think instead of reacting. Reacting from emotion or from the emotions of others causes panic. When a person is in panic mode, he or she is more likely to follow the opinions of others. Take time to be alone. Think about the options, the pros and cons of your journey, and consider the facts of the situation. Then make a decision to make a decision to do what is best for you.

It is your life. Decide to seek peace and not chaos. Think about what you need to do to create peace in your life so that you can face the future with confidence and a clear mind. Sometimes you may have to distant yourself from people who try to sway you toward a direction that is not your path or situations that distract you from making the best decision for your life. Keep focused on YOUR journey.

Our nation is facing a situation right now where panic is replacing peace. Stop and breathe. Consider the facts of the situation, pray for direction, make a plan about what is best for you, and most of all, seek peace over panic.

Philippians 4:6-7 New International Version (NIV)

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

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When Your Story Changes

What do you do when life takes a different route? Plans change, circumstances happen, or your dreams fade. You finally got the courage to take a chance and start over in some area of your life. Things seem to be going smoothly and then somewhere along the way there is a curve in the road.

It is easy to feel discouraged, frustrated, and defeated. First, take a deep breath. Reflect over your journey so far. What have you learned? Have you gained skills or insight? Are there people in your life because of your decision to start over? Next, be thankful for the insight, new skills, and people who are apart of your life now. Realize nothing has been in vain.

Embrace the change. Look for opportunities to keep learning, growing in insight and connecting with people along this new path. Maybe this is the path God had planned for you all along. Have faith. Stay strong.

Just Because Your Story Changed Doesn’t Mean It Is Over

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Speak To The Heart

Everyone has a story from the mail carrier who delivers your mail in the morning to the server who brings you your dinner in the restaurant. The child who acts up at school has a story. The person who cut you off on the freeway has a story. What if you could hear their troubles and know their thoughts? Would you want to know? Would knowing change your perception or reaction to them?

It is human nature to go about our lives focusing on our problems and daily activities. What if we began thinking about the other people around us instead of ourselves some of the time? Instead of pumping your fist at the person who cut you off, you could smile and allow them to have room to go on their way. Instead of giving up on an angry child, maybe you could put a caring hand on the child’s shoulder. Instead of reacting negatively to a person’s action, speak to his or her heart.

A kind word, a smile, or a thoughtful touch goes right to the heart of a person who is hurting. Reaching out to touch someone’s heart takes emotional maturity. You have to be willing to be rejected. If you are emotionally mature you understand that hurting people hurt people and won’t take a negative reaction personal. Just be proud of yourself for trying.

You may think, “I have problems too. I don’t have enough time or energy to worry about other people.” That is the beauty of reaching out to others, soon your problems won’t seem as big anymore. Yes, you still have your troubles to deal with but the good feelings you get from caring about others helps produce feelings of empathy, peace, and perspective in your life.

Speak to someone’s heart today