Dreaded October~

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October 2015 ~ Will we survive it?

Over the past few months I have heard; both in conversations and in the news, that this October will bring many brash challenges to we as Americans. There could be an earthquake that will take out the entire Northwest, our American dollar may become an invaluable currency, Iran may nuke China, and on and on the list of predictions goes.

Now, I am all for being as wise and as prepared as possible but when we hear these continual predictions we stand a huge chance of being gripped by fear and anxiety about our lives and those we love.  I have been pondering what I am hearing and wondering what, if anything, I need to change to be better prepared IF something “big” were to take place.

1.  I should try to be out of any debt.

2.  I should have a good size reserve of batteries, water, food, etc.

3.  I should try to be healthy so that I am better able to navigate challenging times.

4.  I should have extra cash hidden away.

Yet, these are all things I am already doing in my normal life. So, WHAT SHOULD I CHANGE TODAY IF THESE THINGS HAPPEN?

Actually, my biggest way to be prepared for challenging times is to trust God more.  Scripture says that He promises to never leave us nor forsake us, He will comfort us, He will provide, He will heal, He will carry us through, and He will give us wisdom to navigate anything that comes our way.

I don’t live my life with my head in the sand, but if I allow all these “predictions” to rob me of my joy, ability to sleep, desire to hope, and heart to care for others then I will move further and further from a life based on trust in a powerful God. I will miss what I could be doing in my life today because I am anxious about what may happen tomorrow!

Hard times do come, challenges do arise, there are uncertainties all around us, this is true but living in consistent fear and anxiety is not the answer!

A better approach can be found in Scripture:

“I lift up my eyes toward the mountains—
    from where will my help come?
My help is from the Lord,
    maker of heaven and earth.”  Psalm 121:1-2

“Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?”  Matthew 2:26

And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord!”  Romans 8:38-39

Let’s be wise, prepared, and informed people who are full of faith, hope, and trust in a God who keeps His promises!

Remember Y2K? 🙂

10 Tips To Help You Become An Unhappy Person

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We have all met people who are simply unhappy…..all the time.  What I have learned over time is that there are similarities between people who are chronically unhappy.  I would like to give you 10 quick steps to become an unhappy person yourself, read on!

1.  Look for the worst in every situation. Point out what’s not working, what’s not being done correctly, and why these things will never change.

2.  Worry about things you cannot change. Spend sleepless nights worrying about things you didn’t cause and cannot fix.  Worry about climate change and the government. Unhappy people fill their thoughts with what will go wrong rather than what could go right.

3.  Believe that most everyone cannot be trusted. Watch cautiously for people to want something from you.  Believe that everyone in your life is telling lies about you or to you.

4.  Spend enormous amounts of time on Social Media.  Compare your unhappy life with everyone else’s perfect life. Allow yourself to resent the happiness that others are experiencing. Compare everything from your body size to your pocketbook; recognize that life is just not fair.

5.  Refuse to exercise or eat well. Choose a sedentary life and fill your body with foods that make you feel tired and unhealthy.

6.  Fill your conversations with gossip and criticism. Spend the bulk of your time putting others down, making fun, and telling untruths.

7.  Set unrealistic goals and then fail at them all. To be truly unhappy, put undo pressure on yourself to real goals that stretch too far, too fast, and too costly.  Once you have failed at these you can berate yourself for the failure.

8.  Don’t get needed sleep.  Stay up late into the night on your computer and television. Sleep deprivation can be incredibly helpful on your goal to being a truly unhappy person.

9.  Worry about what everyone thinks about you. Fear anyone’s opinion, assume others don’t approve of you, and be certain that all those nameless, faceless people are talking poorly of you.

10.  Choose to do life without faith in an amazing God.  Allow yourself to believe that you were NOT created for a purpose.  Believe the lie that you are on this life journey alone.  Truly unhappy people are people without hope.

OR

Choose Happiness!

Do the opposite of each step!

Life is short~Live and love every day!

Happiness-is-a-choice

Things we might regret~

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This past week I had the privilege of traveling with my mother and her sister on a road trip to see one of their lifelong friends a few hours away.  This would be a 3 day trip full of laughter, meaningful conversations, shared memories from days gone by, and lots of reminiscing.   I enjoyed the time I had with them all; each of them are so precious to me.  One of the comments was that “time has just gone by so very quickly”, I even see this in my own life as I am celebrating 30 years of marriage this week.  Life does indeed move forward quickly.

Since I returned from the road trip I have been looking at my own life and asking the question, “am I doing all I can to live this life well, with purpose and meaning?”  As I think about that question my answer is “yes, some of the time.” I could do better.

I began to ponder the question, “What might we all regret when we get into our twilight years?”  and I came up with a list of things to consider.

1.  Not stopping to appreciate the “moment”.  Living life so busy-minded that we miss so many amazing moments all around us.

2.  Not traveling when we could have.  Seeing and experiencing other cultures makes a huge difference in our world view and can create memories to last forever.

3.  Holding grudges.  How sad to live life as a hostage to hurt feelings! Gotta let it go!

4.  Not having taken time to get to know God~ to invite Him into our lives. He gave us the very breath we breathe; how amazing to have a life knowing and trusting in Him.

5.  Not having taken time to volunteer.  Life is so much richer when we take time to come alongside those wanting to make a difference!

6.  Not spending intentional time with loved ones.  It’s a sad truth to realize that we don’t know how long we get to have those we love in our lives.  It’s best not to put relationships off “till tomorrow”.

7.  Caring too much what others think.   We will never please everyone all the time.  As much as we may try, there will always be those who see us through a filter that we cannot control.  Care more about being the best YOU that you can be!

8.  Working too much.   Decide when then work day needs to be done.  Disengage and fill your life with life-giving activities and people.

9.  Never having taken risks to pursue a dream.   Do you have a dream in your heart? Are you playing it so safe that your dream will never be realized?

10. Worrying too much.   Life is complicated and uncertain.  All of us could focus on areas of concern and find ourselves consumed with fear and worry.  However, worry robs us of joy.  We will regret having spent our days burdened and concerned.

It was fun to hear of all the ways my mom and her sister intentionally built memories from childhood till now.  When life was hard for them; they created space for joy and laughter.  When life has been joy-filled they have intentionally celebrated those moments with gratefulness.  No matter what stage of life you may be in; ask yourself if there’s anything on my list that YOU may regret someday.  If there is there’s no time like the present to turn it around! 🙂