Monday, January 16, 2012

I just want time to do my one life well.

Ok! If you've been following my blog- you know that I started reading "ONE THOUSAND GIFTS" during the Christmas break.  Well I'm only to chapter 4!  It takes a while to digest the thoughts on these pages.  And chapter 4 is right where I need to be today!

It starts with a J.R.R.Tolkien quote:
All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.

Hmmm!  What do I do with my time?

I remember the words of a song
Five hundred, twenty-five thousand, six hundred minutes
Five hundred, twenty-five thousand moments so dear
Five hundred, twenty-five thousand, six hundred minutes
How do you measure, measure a year?

Wow! 525,600 minutes!  Now if I had that in dollars, I would think that was a very good thing.  Yet when I think of it in time, that does not seem very long!

Especially when I sleep 8-10 hours.
Talk on the phone to my girls or family.
Answer emails.
Check facebook & website.
Talk on the phone.
Watch TV.
visit friends.
go to church
work my budget get the idea!
(hmmm!  I noticed that I didn't say clean or exercise.  That's sad! I'm trying to do both with more intentionality girls! I promise!)

But am I really using my time in a way that brings richness to my life.  Am I making choices that give fullness.  "Time is life.  And if I want the fullest life, I need to find the fullest time." ~Ann Voskamp

When I look back at 2011, I am really amazed!  I began the year by launching my new practice as a life & relationship coach called Green HOPE Coaching!   I knew it's what I wanted to do!  I knew the timing was right for me!  I knew God was directing my steps!

But I felt, at times during the year, that I wasn't 'getting anywhere'!  I wasn't moving fast enough! Yet as I got to the end of the year, I felt good; that I had made progress and accomplished things I wanted to accomplish.

Do I have any regrets?  Yes, I think I do!  In chapter 4, Ann V. asks the question, "What's the most profound regret in life.

Being in a hurry. Getting to the next thing without fully entering the thing in front of me.  I cannot think of a single advantage I've ever gained from being in a hurry.  But a thousand broken and missed things, tens of thousands, lie in the wake of all the rushing...Through all that haste, I thought I was making up time.  It turns out I was throwing it away.

Hmmm! What am I throwing away?  Where do I choose fullness of life?  So some of those 525, 600 minutes are already past for 2012- and I have had a slow start!  What am I going to do with the rest of my time?

What are you choosing?

Sunday, January 15, 2012

from a heart forever changed!!!!

So this weekend at church, the worship team led us in a new song!  A great song with great words!  I caught it right away and felt like the words were speaking my heart, as if my heart knew the words before I sang them.

I wanted to share it with you- but I couldn't find it on the internet.  That's when I realized that it was Jason's song.  Jason is our worship pastor and song writer.  He is a friend who is empowering me to worship freely and be part of leading worship once again.  I truly thought I might be 'too old' to be part of that again.  But now that my heart is ready, he is helping me get ready in other ways. Someday I'll share the tune with you- but for now- let these words encourage you to give your 'offering of praise' to the one who changed your heart forever.


Lord, I can’t contain it,     I wanna shout it to the world
You have changed my heart, And given out Your love so freely
And though I don’t deserve it,     Yet You gave it anyway
You offered up your life, So I could live

            Receive this offering of praise, It’s from a heart forever changed                                                
            My life is overflowing with Your love and with Your grace
            I praise You Lord with all my heart, and tell how wonderful You are          
            I cannot help but burst in loudest song before You now


   There’s not a day that passes, when I don’t think about Your Love
   You sustain my life,  and fill each day with grace and mercy
   And so with every heartbeat,     I will give myself away
   I’ll offer up my life in praise to You



Hallelujah!    Oh oh   You’re the One who freed my soul
Hallelujah!    Oh oh      Now I’ll let my praises flow                   
Hallelujah      Oh oh            


Thursday, January 12, 2012

Today I was inspired

Today I read a blog from a woman I admire!  Her name is Carrie- and this is some of what she said

"I am just like you. I am successful when I do the right things, with the right consistency at the right times. (psssst, I suspect ‘THEY’ are too!)
The inconvenient truth is that we dug out of debt one day at a time, one dollar at a time, one choice at a time. No bankruptcy or bailouts.
I dug out of my weight the same way. It’s still a battle…I yo-yo like everyone else. When I quit paying attention or make unhealthy choices, the weight comes back with a vengeance. I am working on that diligently now.
I still struggle with discouragement and confidence issues, like you. It helps when you string baby steps and small successes together.
My ‘overnight’ success online came as a result of studying people doing it right and then taking action, quickly. It came as a result of 13 years of overnights. As a result of listening to my market, putting in the hours, sacrificing TV shows and some hobbies. It came as a result of me be willing to mess up and fall on my face.
I didn’t ‘luck’ into my spouse. I chose him and he chose me back. We work DAILY on our marriage. We choose to stay.
The naked truth is that the ‘successful and highly visible’ people struggle, fail and fall…like you.
Maybe they string their failures closer together.
Maybe they choose to fail bigger and fall faster.
Maybe they put in more hours, take more classes, hang around with positive people.
Maybe they consider gym time their ‘job’ time if image is part of their paycheck.
Maybe they write 12 books to every 1 best-seller you see.
Maybe they cry in the shower, so no one sees.
Maybe they’re looking at you and thinking…I could sparkle & shine like her, if I only ________

I love you!
I love your honesty!
I love your persistence!
I love your ability to share so transparently- and in such a way to help us translate what we are learning from you into our own stories right away!  
I love the example you have lived to keep at it.
I commit to keep at it too! 
in business
in products
in finance
in debt
in weight
in life
in hope!

Thank you Carrie!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Only ONE resolution this year!

So if you asked me what my favorite Christmas gift was this year, I would have to say a book!
One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp.

It's not just because it was from a very special friend on a day that we enjoyed a very special meal together.  It's not just because I have wanted to read it for a while and I like the cover of the book- though I do and have for a couple of years now.  It's not because it is fresh off the presses, because it came out in 2010. It's not that the author is saying anything brand new really- I've been told these things often before. I have even had a 'gratitude journal' often in my life.

No, as I've thought about WHY this book is so special- I guess it's because of the 'timing'!

The timing of when I received it and when I started reading it.
I was ready.
My heart was ready to receive it's message.
My life was ready to be inspired by it's words and the challenge it offers.
My spirit was ready to 'begin again' in the new year to live with a grateful heart.
My eyes were ready behold the gifts that were given each day
My mouth was ready to voice my thanks.

The timing of the interview I heard with Ann this morning.
The author speaking with excitement and passion about a message given to her to share with the world.
The reminders
...that each day is a gift.
...that when we receive the gifts in each day we enter into communion with the Giver of the gifts.
...that when we take the time to notice the gifts, we wake up to the little things, slow down enough to see them.
...that when we ask "what are gifts?" we begin to see the gifts in all things- even the hard things as being from the Giver of gifts.
...that you can't feel two feelings at the same time.  You can't feel fear and thanksgiving together.
...that people who keep a gratitude journal are 25% happier.
...that when Jesus knew it was time to die- he didn't buy a ticket to go see a place he had not seen yet. He broke bread and gave thanks.
...that the only place we need to see before we die is GOD-in the here and now.

The timing of the words in the book- creative structure-
         sometimes flowing, sometimes disjointed with intentionality and yet, as if random thoughts.
               Sometimes the words spoke peace and hope and JOY, great joy.
               Other times they were painting with great detail the hardship or pain in life, in Ann's life, in mine!

But always they were pointing to the everyday gifts that we are given each day-
- things that we have most often taken for granted.
- moments that are precious yet fleeting.

As I begin this new year, my only resolution is to live each and every day GRATEFUL! To see where God is breaking into my world and to thank Him for it!

How about you?  What are you grateful for today?  I'd love to hear your thoughts!