Tag: choices

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.

How to make good decisions, part one

how do we know

……..when we’re making the right decision?

Sometimes, it’s so easy. Our thinking, our circumstances, God’s direction all fall plainly into view. We just know. I love times like that. I’ve always found decisions easy to make for the most part. Some people are paralyzed by the prospect. I find sometimes making a decision is better than letting something stagnate.

But then there are those times, like right now when I’ve exhausted every possible avenue in my “tired of thinking it through” mind. I’ve thought through every possible angle, read every possible Scripture verse that applies, been praying for days. I’ve decided one way and then another and found justification to support both opposing views. I’ve felt great peace and then no peace. When I made my final final decision, my hubby asked me, “Are you sure?” 

“Of course, I’m not sure.”

There are some decisions we will simply never be sure about. Even if everything turns out o.k.  And even when it doesn’t, it may not mean we made the wrong decision. No amount of Monday morning quarter backing will make it any clearer either. That’s why sometimes we just have to make our decision and live with the consequences of our decision. When it directly impacts others, we just need to be as sure as we can.

In this case, I’ve done my homework. I’ve  worked through every possible scenario. Unless God makes it clear I’m heading down the wrong path, I’m going on the assumption that my decision-making process has been directed by God and my decision meets with his approval. Every day I ask for wisdom for whatever comes my way. God promises that wisdom is ours for the asking and I sure have been asking.

I know it’s possible to convince ourselves of anything but when I look back over the decisions I’ve made over the years, I feel a certain sense of confidence in my decision-making ability. Often those of the Christian faith refer to having “peace” about their decisions. But there is such a thing as a “false” peace.  We can talk our selves right into a  feeling that mimics peace and thus convince ourselves that because of that feeling, we have made the right choice. But it’s not the peace that comes from God. (Jesus said there is his peace and then there’s the peace that comes from the world.)

The peace that comes from God is almost never accompanied by a feeling. It’s more of a quiet confidence that he is in control because you’ve asked him to be. In fact, we can be making the right decision and still be uneasy about it. God never said doing the right thing or making the right decision will always be accompanied by positive feelings. In faith issues, we too often let our emotions get in the way. I posted a few days ago about “dizzy” emotions being a good indicator of how we’re living our lives. I don’t have any of that “dizziness” going on inside so that makes me feel good.

We’re human. Most of us try to do the right thing.  Sometimes we get it right.  Sometimes we don’t. We can feel good with the first and we can learn from the second.  In a few weeks.

I’ll know the results of my decision but whether it was a good or bad decision I may never know. Sometimes decisions are neutral.

I told you back week that we are adding on to our cabin. That was a difficult decision. It’s difficult to know whether you have a good contractor or not. Sure, you can get references. But who knows even then. We all different definitions of what a “good” contractor is anyway. For me, a good contractor is someone who does quality work is, who knows the codes and requirements of the area, who comes in at the budgeted amount, and of course, who is willing to work with me. We’ve had a number of conversations with this young man and so far, so good.

However, we also just had some work done on our deck and in that case, I’m not so sure it was a good decision. ‘

There are times when even with our best effort, we make a mistake.

When that happens, I try to remind myself that it’s a “thing” not a “person, so I try to not be so hard on myself.

I’ve looked back on the years I took care of my mom and the huge amount of decisions I made about her and her health. There were lots of them. She was almost deaf, had vision problems, had high blood pressure, A-fib, fell a lot, suffered from depression, etc. In each of those areas, there were multiple layers of decision to be made. I’m fairly confident I stayed on top of everything and always did what was best for her. But there were times I had no time to think and I had to trust that God was leading me.

Because we never know when we may be called on to make a decision, I pray for wisdom every day for every decision that comes my way, whether big or small.I would be afraid to start a day without that request.

How about you?

Are you praying for wisdom?

Are you trusting that God will direct you?

Remember, every decision we make has repercussions.

God bless and make good decisions today.

 

 

 

What is the foundation of your choices?

I am continuing from yesterday. As I wrote then,  I am listening to a series of sermons that Pastor Andy Stanley is doing on the Beatitudes. I wrote yesterday about the tenuous situation I find myself in because of my mom’s health and about how I will be making lots of choices this summer. Last week I wrote about that sometimes transparent line between hope and reality.

While his series focuses on happiness, I’ve chosen to pair it that subject with choices because happiness most certainly piggybacks on the choices we make.

Andy further says that “we suffer for doing the right thing and we suffer for doing the wrong thing, so which side do you want to be on? But you can only be happy on one side of that equation.”

Even an unhappy person can find happiness doing the right thing but an overall happy person can not be happy doing the wrong thing.

Andy Stanley again, “You sow and reap  your way to happiness.”

In my own words,

“The path to happiness is sowed (choices) along life’s way. Happiness is harvested (reaped) when the time is ripe.”

Matthew 7:24-28 is all about house building. The wise man makes the right choice by building on rock, not sand. His house will stand any storm. The foolish man makes a wrong choice and builds on sand. Well, you know what happens when sand castles get hit by waves, don’t you?

This story is often used to make the point that we are to build our lives on the only foundation that will stand, Christ. But maybe the lesson to be learned is that even that decision begins with a choice. Our “home” will either stand the storms or it won’t. It all depends on what choice we make from the very first part of construction.

So it goes with our future.

Our future dwelling places depend on the choices we are making today. I have chosen to build my life around the teachings of Christ. They have proven to be a strong and enduring foundation. That doesn’t mean my “house” hasn’t been shaken a few times. That doesn’t mean I haven’t had to shore up the foundation. But it (me) is still standing.

What are you building your future on? Do you even know?

God bless and have a great day.

 

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