Greetings and Joy in Abundance!

Ever wonder why some people seem to be floating through life and others stumble?



I wonder this, and seek to find ways to float instead of stumble. Maybe you would like to join me in this search.

Seeking a closer relationship with God seems to allow my life to float along a little easier.







Phillipians 4:5-6 tells us to reveal our gentleness outwardly, that God is near and that we should not be anxious about anything, but through prayer and petition, we should thankfully approach the Lord with our concerns.

As a high energy person, my anxiety can run high. I am constantly seeking ways to leave my concerns at the foot of the cross.



Random? Probably not.

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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Thankfulness

Do you ever have one of those days?  I have to admit, I wish I didn't.  But I do.  In the face of that day that you wish had started differently or where your choices were not exactly what you think they should be, take a moment.  This is where the rubber meets the road.  This is where the wheat and the chaff are separated.  I was having one of those days and in the space of an instant, it changed.  Why?  Because I saw my reflection in the mirror and realized that I didn't see a reflection that I would want to come into contact with.

Yikes.  That is the moment.  The moment when I look, see, view, take in, reflect and shatter myself.  I came upon a book on the shelf a few minutes ago.  It is a 3 inch by 4 inch book.  A tiny little thing.  It's called, In All Things Give Thanks - it's a little pocket book.  It came in a basket my parents gave me for my birthday.  Inside the front cover, my mother wrote, To Our Dearest Lori, from Mom and Dad, Happy Birthday 2002.  She went through each page in the book and made little notes for me to share with me why she gave this particular little book to me.  My absolute favorite note in there is "Praise God for the love you show others." And she drew a little heart.  It still makes me cry thinking of my mother spending time writing these notes in a little book for my birthday when she was battling recovery from cancer and running a 40 unit retirement facility with a staff of 3.  She loved her ministry to the Lord, and she came out of retirement to take on that position.  This was her gift. 

So today, when my eyes lit onto that book and saw my face in the mirror, I shattered inside and recognized myself.  I took a few minutes, prayed and asked for a new view of myself.  I want to reflect the glory of the Lord - the special pieces that I am, not the broken parts that live in my yesterday.  I thank God for my parents - for the amazing gift of teaching the Word to my sister and me.  I am thankful in so many ways, but today, especially, I am thankful for the gift of my mother's careful hand...leaving me a legacy in a note penned in a cute little book. 

Taking those small steps for our children, our friends, our co-workers, just taking the time to comment on a facebook post - these are important and can change someone's view of who they are.  My view is changed because I saw myself through my mother's eyes for a moment.  Is your view of yourself encouraged by the positive attributes someone noticed about you?  Of Course It Is!  You can make a HUGE difference in other people's lives by just telling them something wonderful about themselves today.  Hold the standard higher by telling them how wonderful they are...this is a great and wonderful principle!  "So we, Your people..., will give You thanks forever; we will show forth Your praise to all generations." Psalm 79:13

Give thanks and share God's praise for others through you, the vessel of the Most High...

Friday, June 25, 2010

Moment by Moment

I am encouraged.  This is a powerful statement, but it is so true.  I must tell you that I am so encouraged by the love of people who surround me.  I am encouraged by the receptive nature of people.  I am encouraged. 

Today, it is very hot outside.  The asphalt is steamy and the humidity is high.  It is the kind of day that you just want to crawl into an air conditioned space and remain there.  When you get into your car to attempt to go to the next appointment, you can barely catch your breath because the air inside your vehicle is so hot.  It takes several minutes for the air to stop heating the inside of your nostrils on these types of days.

I am encouraged, though.  The cooler days are coming.  I know this because of the nature of our world.  God gave us seasons in our world and seasons in our lives.  This is a season of encouragement for me.  I am grateful for the opportunity to share some of my thoughts with you and with those who fall into my path in a restaurant or in a grocery store or at the nail salon...wherever I go, I can't escape who I am.

Each day, every moment, I look for a reason to be thankful.  Each day, each moment, I try so hard to be a person who I would like to be around.  Each day, each moment, I remember the words of my parents as they taught me that life is precious and every moment is important.  Where you spend your time and how you spend it is a reflection of how you think and who you are. 

This is a hard reality, but each moment matters.  I am grateful for the encouraging moments I stumbled upon today.  The employees who had a few moments to ask me questions, the radio time to talk about responsibility and delegation of duties, the moments spent in grateful honest counsel with dear friends.  Later, the expression of joy and lyrical representation of self and fun as we dance this evening.  I cherish the moments in my life.  I also cherish my moments I spend with each of you.  Thank you for the gift of time and interest.  God bless you!

Friday, June 11, 2010

It's hard to breathe on the high road...

Yes, when you go up in elevation, it can be hard to breathe.  The air is thinner.  I know this from experience - one year for vacation John and I went to Colorado and drove the Trail Ridge Road (I actually read to him from a book called The Geology of the Trail Ridge Road).  When we got to about 14,000 feet, John had some difficulty getting full breaths.  I didn't have any trouble, but I was used to less oxygen - found out a few years later that I have a deviated septum and I only get about 1/4 of the oxygen that I should...fun fun!  I thought about the fact that as you get higher up in elevation, you get lightheaded, there is less oxygen in the air, the view is spectacular, but in order to see the view, you MUST climb (or drive) very high up. 

The expectations that we put on ourselves and the expectations we have of others can either lift us to heights or cause us to remain at the bottom of the mountain.  Remember, the only person who is capable of fully understanding you is you and God.  Everyone else is doing their best, but they will never fully understand you.  We are complex beings, designed after a complex God...whom we also will never completely understand.  Remember to give yourself a break, but also to lift the expectations of yourself to a height that is just outside your reach.  This will cause you to stretch a little and keep you high up on that mountainside.  It is important that you set a good example for those who look to you for leadership and guidance.

Just keep in mind that other people are setting their own expectations of themselves, and it is hard for them to receive your expectation as their own.  Looking and seeking a comfortable agreement of expectation is important.  Be true to your word and keep the agreements you make.  Your example is what the rest will follow.  It matters not what you say if you are displaying the opposite in your behavior.  It's not the easiest way, but it is the only way to be righteous. Proverbs 20:24,25 "A man's steps are directed by the LORD.  How then can anyone understand his own way? It is a trap for a man to dedicate something rashly and only later to consider his vows." 

Let us agree that we must indeed set the pace.  Take the high road.  Work on being the measure everyone else wants to meet.  Proverbs 16:3 "Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will succeed."  If we work as if we know that God is our boss, we will certainly do our best.  Does it matter what people on earth do to us?  Not really.  Bottom line, when we are no longer here on earth, we will meet Jesus face to face.  No matter our life, the questions will be posed asking us to account for our choices and actions.  By ourselves.  Accountability to the MOST HIGH.  On earth, we seem to think that this is a permanent place to be, but it is temporary.  The pain and suffering are temporal.  I want to be able to hear, "well done, my good and faithful servant."  Don't you?

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Ethical? Moral? What does that mean?

I worked in the mortgage industry for 20 years.  I've worked retail, wholesale, A paper, B-C lending or what they called sub-prime, I've underwritten, audited, processed and originated loans.  I hold a DE certification to underwrite loans for FHA.  I've seen it all in 20 years - the advent of computers helping to process paperwork in the early 1980's to the automated underwriting of the early 2000's. 

The one thing that remained consistent was the challenge to fight of the greed monster.  There was always a way to tweak the system to get your loan through.  Committing fraud used to be a lot harder in the 80's and 90's before computer generated forms became so commonplace.  It was work to alter a document and cut and paste or whatnot to change a figure.  Now, it's not that difficult.  It's harder to detect that fraud now, too.

Why do I bring this up?  Because honestly, I think that it has become socially acceptable to skirt the system.  I think that it doesn't feel like fraud anymore.  Our balance of justice is skewed and we don't even know what is right or wrong anymore.  I want to know that there are people who do know that it is not okay to misrepresent your income.  I want to know that there are people who are completing documents for a loan and only writing down the truth and allowing a loan to be declined and sent to a wholesaler through a broker because it doesn't meet the requirements. 

It is so hard these days.  Do our children know what is right and wrong?  I wonder.  I see so many people who have no remorse, no concern, no empathy.  The truth is that we are the only ones who can change it.  Never fear!  Christ is here!  The truth of the Gospel can help us turn around our economy and our morally bankrupt society.  We must seek to share the truth in ways that our offices can adapt to.

Stay tuned for steps to turn an office around!  The high energy, high productivity and caring attitudes can return!  The excitement about working together can return!  Let us seek together the gems and pearls that will bring us back to that environment we all desire to be in.  Don't you want to work in an office where you feel cared about, honored and lifted up?  Oh, and paid according to your contribution?  Pearl #1 - Do your work to the best of your ability - God is watching.  Even if the boss says it's good enough, if you can do it better, keep working at it.  God knows what your best is, and He is the boss that account to.

:-)   Think what it would be like if everyone worked like that.

Moments

Moments
A quiet moment of reflection