Why we should incubate our thoughts

I’m at our cabin in the woods sitting in my bunk house and I was glancing through a book I brought up with me. It’s by John Maxwell and it’s called The Fifteen Invaluable Laws of Growth”.  This part is from chapter four, “The Law of Reflection”.  Up to this point, Mr. Maxwell has written about reflection or as I have renamed it, “empty spaces”. He mentions how reflection needs to be purposeful.

“Incubation is taking an experience of life and putting it into the slow cooker of your mind to simmer for a while.  It is very similar to meditation. It’s like the “flip side” of prayer. When I pray, I talk to God.  When I meditate, I listen to him. Incubation is listening and learning.”

He goes on to say how he does this, which is by using the Notes “app” on his I-phone to store quotes he finds helpful. I use mine all the time but never thought to use it in this way. He says he keeps them there for days, weeks, or months, however much time it takes to discover an insight. (If you are experiencing depression, this could really help.)

Then Maxwell discusses “aha” moments.  You know, those epiphanies when you experience sudden realization or insight. It’s the light bulb turning on. I love it when that happens. This week at the cabin, I’ve had a couple. And I agree with Mr. Maxwell that the light just doesn’t turn on willy-nilly. It always comes after we’ve been “cooking” something in the back of our mind for a while. That’s why “spaces” are so good.

I’ve been dealing with some relationship issues. I feel this week of rest and enjoyment has helped me incubate my thoughts, and birth has been given to understanding. I don’t mean everything is o.k. On the contrary, it’s been really hard to face and accept. Now, it’s what do I do? I don’t know about you but I be my own worst enemy. I think that’s true of everyone at one time or another. Do I continue to give as much as I have in the past or do I pull back? And if I pull back, what will that mean?

Most of us have a difficult time letting go of a relationship. But sometimes it’s that, or sink under the weight of constantly trying to make it work.

The Bible says I’m to “guard my heart”. I’m not very good at that. I have a tendency to let people trample all over it, my heart that is. I don’t seem to have the same defenses that others have. I don’t even know if I can build any boundaries around my heart. It’s not who I am.

That’s why I particularly like this idea of “incubation” that John Maxwell suggests. Incubation gives me time to process before I act. When it comes to relationships, we need to take all the time we need before we do irreparable damage.

God bless and have a good day.

how do you give back a blessing?

google images

google images

My husband and I received a very big blessing today. An all-clear medical report for one of our children and for the other one a few weeks ago. Before I write anything else,  I want to share with you what Oswald Chambers wrote for his January 6th devotion in My Utmost For His Highest.

“Whenever you get a blessing from God, give it back to Him as a love gift. Take time before God and offer the blessing back to Him in a deliberate act of worship. If you hoard a thing for yourself, it will turn into spiritual dry rot………..God will  never let you hold a spiritual thing for yourself, it has to be given back to Him that He may make it a blessing to others.”

But how? Do I find a way to give back right away today? Do I wait and watch and listen for that prompt from God as to something specific?  How is it even possible to give a blessing back to God?

Some authors suggest an extra financial gift to a needy organization. We have done that in the past as a way of passing on a blessing.

There are times when saying “Thank you, God”, just doesn’t seem enough. For God, it probably is but do we always want to do just enough? Aren’t there times we want to do much more?Today is one of those days for me.

I have decided I will be alert for a special prompt these next few days but until then I want to do something today. So here it is.

First of all, would you thank God with me for this blessing we’ve received? I would love to think that the heavens are being inundated with praise. And secondly, as you go about your day, would you be alert to that stranger that might need a prayer? And would you offer one up for them?

Years ago when I was in Brazil, I sat poolside on the roof of our hotel and noticed an unusual bird flying nearby. I was feeling pretty alone that day as my husband was working and no one else was on the roof with me. I kept watching that singular bird and thought how much we were alike. Both of us by ourselves. But soon that bird was joined by a flock of birds and he was no longer alone. Other people showed up on the roof and I was no longer alone.

For some strange reason, I felt God “speaking ” to my heart that day telling me to pray for those people on the roof. I had never felt the urge to pray for complete strangers before, but I did that day. (I mean how does one pray for a stranger)? I found it far easier than I would have thought and even today, years later, I often find myself praying for people I don’t know.

And just one last thought. Remember, that prayer you offer up for that stranger today may be the only prayer that has or ever will be prayed over that person. That really puts a different spin on things, doesn’t it? We know that no prayer ever goes unheeded. God hears them all.

Notice that stranger today and let God lead you to the words you will pray. You will both be blessed and thus I will have passed on my blessing to you.

God bless and let me know how it goes.

god hiding 2

What to do when God seems to hide

img_1672.jpg

 

 I don’t know about you but I find life pretty messy a lot of the time. The perplexities, the questions, the downright confusion. I have a hard time understanding where God is at times. It’s like he’s hiding.

Do you ever feel that way?

god hiding 2

When really good people get seriously ill, I think, “Why him?”, “Why her?” Shouldn’t cancer be reserved for murderers, rapist, terrorists, etc? (Yes, I know how that sounds coming from someone who’s a Christian. I’m just saying what a lot of people think.)

And yet many of these people would be the first to tell you of their faith and why they still believe God loves them.

This prayer from tworiversblog.com says it all:

“God, sometimes it is so easy to believe and sometimes… I know You are good. I KNOW IT, but sometimes… it just gets so hard to see it. You love me. You want the best for me far more than I even want it for myself. Sometimes I just don’t know how You are working good through the mess this life sometimes tosses me. In those times, as I seek understanding, help me to never lose faith.”

We put on a good front, but when no one is around, when it’s just us with our thoughts:

We doubt.

We question.

So if that’s you today, be assured.

God knows.

God understands.

God bless and have a good day.

 

 

 

 

 

God bless and have a good day.

commitment

How to commit to anything

I came across a couple of quotes I want to share with you.

Some of us make big commitments in word only. We’re going to do “this”, we’re going to do “that”.

Except we never do it.

I even know people who think about something so much, they even convince themselves they have done it.

So I want to share these quotes with you.

I don’t recognize the authors and it does ‘t matter anyway. These are basic truths but said in a different way.

You have to pay a price. You will find that everything in life exacts a price, and you will have to decide whether the price is worth the prize. Sally Nunn

One half of knowing what you want is knowing what you must give up before you get it. Sidney Howard

 

commitmentThen there is this list from John Maxwell, who has written many books and given many seminars on management and motivation.

SEVEN ENEMIES OF COMMITMENT

  1. A lifestyle of giving up.
  2. A wrong belief that life should be easy.
  3. A wrong belief that success is is a destination.
  4. Negative thinking.
  5. Acceptance of other people’s fences.
  6. An irrational fear of failure.
  7. A lack of vision.

I would add:

8. Not knowing what you are called to do.

9. Never taking stock of your life.

10. Plain ole’ laziness.

The first step to commitment is to simply make it. Many of us think but never do. We know what that’s called, don’t we?

Procrastination.

So which will it be for you this weekend? Will it be commitment or procrastination?  The choice is yours.

God bless and have a great day.

 

cooking tips

Some great cooking tips

We were at the cabin last week and I found an old magazine. There was one page that had some great tips that I had not read before anywhere. Not even on Pinterest!

So thought I would share them with you.

  • You know how strawberries go bad so quickly? Apparently, if you store them in glass jars (unwashed and unhulled) they will stay fresh for up to two weeks in the refrigerator. To me, if they even kept fresh for one week, that would be great. Let me know if you try this.
  • Now chicken on a grill is tough to get right. I like the charred marks and I hate dry chicken. So if you wrap a brick in aluminum foil (obviously, you will need a brick for each chicken breast) and place it on the chicken breast, the weight compacts the chicken breaststroke, keeps the heat in, and assures attractive grill marks. I’ve already found my “cooking” bricks.
  • This next one is a “Duh, why didn’t I think of that?” Poke two holes in a paper plate, then slide the heaters through to keep splatter at bay. Hope you find these tips useful.

cooking tips

God bless and have a good day.

%d bloggers like this: