Tag: choices

peaceful

an alphabet of thanks, “Q”

 peaceful

Today I am thankful for quiet.

Quiet doesn’t necessarily mean lack of noise. We can be quiet within even when it’s noisy around us. But for this post, I’m referring to quiet as the lack of noise. I’m not one of those people who need someone around all the time. I don’t mind being alone especially when I can have quiet time. I find I listen and think better when it’s quiet.

Religious leaders from all faiths have extolled the importance of quiet for meditation. In Christian vernacular, quiet times refer to the times we set aside to read our Bibles and pray.  Although I still read and study my Bible, there seem to be more and more times I remain quiet and just listen. Every once in awhile I like some extended time of total quiet, when even my own voice is not allowed to break the silence.

quiet

There has been considerable research about noise and stress and the conclusion has been that noise is a huge stress factor. It certainly didn’t use to be that way. Life was simply quieter a hundred years ago.

Of course, in our own home, we can turn off the noise if we choose. We just seldom choose. But complete quiet is hard to get used to.

Most of us are uncomfortable with quiet. There are reasons for our uneasiness with quiet.

When we are quiet, the chatter in our head seems to get louder and that’s when our demons can come to haunt us. We are faced with our fears and insecurities. It’s hard to hide from ourselves when our minds aren’t bombarded, when we aren’t thinking about that next thing on our list.

That doesn’t scare me like it used to. I’m learning to be comfortable with the “quieter” version of me.

 

Most of us are going to go through a period of quietness before we leave this earth.  Due to the infirmities that accompany old age, we will have no choice.  Being comfortable with “quiet” and being unafraid to face ourselves now will prepare us for those times when we will have nothing but our thoughts. I hope this doesn’t sound maudlin but the truth is unless our lives are “interrupted”, we are going to experience old age. If we want to be a serene, contented elderly person, we need to become a serene contented person now.

The future always begins with the present.

Don’t be afraid of being quiet or being alone. Learn to be a friend to yourself. I think all of us would do well to incorporate real quiet in our lives.

We are approaching the busiest few weeks of the year. I’m sure many of you are thinking, “I’ll incorporate quiet later. Certainly, not now.”

But I would suggest that now is the best time. If ever we need to take some time for quiet, it is during this season.  You might be surprised how taking some to be quiet and reflect might actually energize you.

peaceful

God bless and have a quiet day.

options

an alphabet of thanks “O”

Option one over option two. We even have toilet paper options.

Choice

I don’t like playing guessing games with life.

I like concrete answers.

I like people who are open. I don’t like people who have an agenda; you never know where you stand with them.

I like to organize-things, my schedule, my life. I don’t like chaos. I could write volumes about each of these but I’m going to settle on “OPTIONS” because “options” is really just another word for “choices”.

And I’m a big believer that we all have choices about most things in our life.

We’ve updated our big old farmhouse over many years. I had a general idea where I was headed. I wanted to ditch the heavy, wood-grained look and go for something crisper. I have made a lot of painting color choices.  At one point, I had nine, nine, samples of white paint. I never realized there were so many different whites.

Painting the furniture, however, was a no-brainer. I had studied decorating websites and magazines for months and months and when the time came to decide, it all just kind of fell into place. I am fairly confident in my decorating abilities as it is one of my passions. It’s been my experience that when we’re passionate about something we’re usually good at it. I feel like I make good decorating choices. At least most of the time.

I have a cousin who is passionate about cooking and she’s a wonderful cook. I’m not passionate about cooking-enough said about my culinary skills.

But when it comes to people, our options are crucial. Things are just things but people can hurt us and they can be hurt.

For example, relationships can be damaged forever if we choose the wrong words.

Sometimes there are more options than the obvious but they usually only show up after we’ve let some time-lapse.

Many decisions can sit on the back burner for a while.

Often situations resolve themselves if we let them sit and simmer. That’s the wonderful thing about options. We even have options about our choices!

The holiday season is fast approaching. We are faced with all kinds of options, what to buy, what to bake, what to wear. It’s relatively easy to see these options. But we have options about everything. So let’s choose:

  • politeness over rudeness
  • kindness over meanness
  • love over hate
  • tolerance over injustice
  • helpfulness over selfishness
  • giving over taking
  • generosity over stinginess
  • initiation over laziness
  • courage over fear
  • respect over disdain

If we remember we have options, life can become so much easier.

God bless and have a good day.

 

 

 

 

painted acorns

A wonderful thought

Hubby and I are at our cabin.

Can’t wait to show you pictures of our new bedroom. It’s coming along and just kind of “coming together” without much over-analyzing.

We took a long drive yesterday and stopped at a cute coffee shop for lunch in a quant little town. It was the best BLT I’ve had in a long time.

On the way home I asked my husband how he thought I was doing. I was referring to my grieving process as my mother died about five months ago.

(By the way, will saying that ever not cause my eyes to tear-up?)

He said he thinks I’m coping just as one would want expect so early in the process.

My mother loved the fall and I looked forward every year to taking her on a color tour and stopping for lunch at some place quaint and cute.

So I’ve made it through summer and now I have fall. Each season brings its own set of memories I have to wade through and process.

I’m at the bunkhouse right now for my devotional time and I came across this in a book by one of my favorite inspirational authors, Grace Stoddard:

“Live at ten while you can. Time (and I would add, health, and circumstances), diminishes our options, but fight it.”

I am entering a new phase of life. While some doors are closing, others are opening.

The funny thing about doors though, is that it doesn’t matter how many close or open, we are still the ones turning the knob.

So live your life today as close to ten as you can. It’s your choice.

God bless and I hope you 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.

 

decision-making

How to make good decisions?-part two

(This post today was a follow-up to yesterday’s post. This happened four years ago and I had kind of forgotten about it. That’s what is so great about blogging. I have a record of past events.

I was very vague when I wrote this but now with the recent death of my mom, I can tell you this post was about her. I loved her very much. I still do. But we had some difficult times. I tried really hard to make her happy. Sometimes I know I did but I often felt inadequate because I didn’t know what else to do. 

I can tell you now that this was about a trip to Florida. My husband and I love our two weeks away. He loves fishing there. I love the beach. To cancel our trip would’ve been a big deal. We had already reserved our usual place, stopped the mail, were packed etc.

The day before we were to leave, my mother told me she felt really sick.. I saw her every day and she had not mentioned it the day before.  It seemed she only had a cold with a slight cough.  When I asked her how long she had felt “really bad,” she said “days”.  I was not happy that she had sprung this on me at the last-minute knowing we had been planning this trip for months. I told her she was going to the doctor the very next morning then if she was that sick. She balked but I insisted.

I took her to the doctor the very next day and she was diagnosed with bronchitis. This was the day we were to have left for our trip. We cancelled it. And while I didn’t like it, I knew I couldn’t just go off and leave her.  Before you say, “Well, of course not,” I need to tell you my brother lived with her. He had lived with her about four years and lived with her until her death.  But let’s just say I was the one who kept on top of her health. I wasn’t sure he would take proper care of her. 

I look back and am very happy with that decision. God knew there was no way I could go off with a clear conscience and so he made it clear what I should do. Yes, my husband was fully supportive. I didn’t mope or carry-on or any such thing. I had a real peace.

The following post is all about that process of decision-making.)

 

 I just want you to know that my decision-making process has begun all over again because of new developments.  Developments that took me by surprise and threaten to completely mess everything up.

Remember I said in the last post that I was counting on God to make it clear if I am to change course. I should’ve added that it’s sometimes hard to know if God is telling us to change course or if it’s the enemy’s (you can call him what you want) way of causing us to doubt what God has revealed.  This can be very difficult to figure out.

There are some who would say otherwise, that God always makes things crystal clear, but I try to avoid contact with these people because it has been my experience that those people generally live with their heads in the clouds.) It would be wonderful if life were easy to figure out. Maybe for some people it is. Their life is easy; things just fall into place. My life is not like that right now-not at all.  It’s complicated. Very. And just a few hours ago, it got a lot more complicated.

So how will I know now what to do? I have a very narrow window to make a decision.  I’m honestly not trying to be vague. But the details of what’s happening in my life or yours are not as important as discussing this whole business of decision-making overall. I need to be general enough to help everyone. But if I’m aware of that, you ask, why can’t I just move on? Well, this same person is very elderly and not emotionally stable having suffered severe depressive episodes their entire life. Our decision is whether we leave on a trip tomorrow or not. If I had days to write and you had days to read, I still wouldn’t be able to explain it all to you. It’s that involved.

You can know that this is an elderly person who is not emotionally stable and has suffered severe depressive episodes their entire life.  Consequently, sometimes it’s hard to know if there is a valid crisis or not. Our decision is whether we leave on a trip tomorrow or not. If I had days to write and you had days to read, I still wouldn’t be able to explain it all to you. The history with this person is that complicated.

So once again I’m on my knees, if only figuratively. This morning the decision was made to go. We’ve rented the car. We’ve stopped the mail. We’re packed. Are you getting the picture? Now I’m having to reconsider. But I’m very proud of the fact that once again wisdom has been provided and once again I’m on the right track in my thinking. Tomorrow’s doctor’s appointment will seal the deal one way or the other.

I am hoping this will now be an easy decision to make but considering this person’s history, it won’t be. This is leading me to make an important point about decision-making.

A decision that is right for us may not feel that way to someone else. As long as God is behind our decision, it’s ok.

What do we do if our decision is going to cause someone some degree of discomfort? It depends on the degree and who’s going to feel it, doesn’t it?

Whose discomfort is going to be greater? I didn’t realize until I started to post tonight that this is what this decision is all about. Their discomfort or mine? I can handle a lot. I have a track record that proves it.

So here I am tonight. Not looking forward to tomorrow. Knowing there’s no way, no matter what decision I make, that I’m going to come out on top. Finally, God knew all this was going to happen so he must have a plan. Tomorrow it will unfold. I am trusting God will once again put a stumbling block in the way if going ahead with our trip is wrong. If he doesn’t I’m going to assume it’s still a go.

But God knew all this was going to happen so he must have a plan. Tomorrow it will unfold. I am trusting God will once again put a stumbling block in the way if going ahead with our trip is wrong. If he doesn’t I’m going to assume it’s still a go.

God is not a God of confusion. Scripture is clear about that. If I’m confused tomorrow about what to do, it will be my own confusion that I must muddle through.

God bless and I hope you have an non-confused day.

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