Tag: decisions

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.

 

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.

 

 

 

hope

Mom had a stroke and things are worse

I couldn’t share this sooner because my daughter and my niece were out-of-town for spring break. My brother and I decided the keep my mom’s condition quiet from all social media until they came home which is why I couldn’t post this sooner.

My mom had a stroke ten days ago. It affected her left side so she is unable to use that side. Her chewing and swallowing is affected. She is now in a wheelchair. To make all of this worse, she doesn’t remember having the stroke and doesn’t believe she had one either. She also thinks she can still walk so she tries to get up and, of course, has fallen twice more.

So now she is confined to a wheelchair and is strapped in. We have a strap ordered from Hospice so she can be strapped into other chairs as well. We tried a child’s bed rail but she got her legs tangled in it so today we are removing her box springs and lowering the bed. The mattress will be supported by plywood. If she falls out, she won’t have as far to fall.

Since the stroke, she doesn’t believe she is in her own home so she is getting agitated. We now have to give her a “cocktail” of medications (per Hospice) to calm her down so she can sleep.

This has been rough.

Some people have been very kind to suggest that her last days would be filled with quiet, bittersweet conversations, you know, like in a Nicholas Sparks movie.

That isn’t going to happen.

Instead, I’m going to see her get more confused and more agitated. I can’t tell you how much this saddens me. To think that these are going to be my last memories of her is hard.

But God has been close and I’ve felt his guidance every step of the way. I’ve prayed so hard for her to return just a little to her old self so we could have those sweet moments.

I don’t feel like God has let me down. I don’t feel he hasn’t answered my prayers. She is going to be healed, just not on this earth. When she passes on, I’m going to think of her smiling, cooking, working in her garden, and drinking iced tea on her deck. And that is one prayer I’m not giving up on, sitting on her deck and drinking iced tea with her one more time.

I’m sure some would think me foolish for my faith. Isn’t it apparent God doesn’t answer prayer? And yet I still believe.

People get old and people die;  illness affects us all. Nothing changes that. And healing is up to God. Why he heals some and not others, I don’t know. So I don’t pray that God will extend her life because she wouldn’t want to live much longer like this. Would you? I pray instead that I will continue to trust in God and that I will know what to do each step of the way. So far, so good. I can’t think of a single decision I’ve made that I haven’t felt was the right one.

I pray instead that I will continue to trust in God and that I will know what to do each step of the way. So far, so good. I can’t think of a single decision I’ve made that I haven’t felt was the right one.

The next big decision will be whether she has to live elsewhere. We are exhausting every possible solution before we get to that point.

Sometimes an impossible situation like this one, when things just keep getting worse and worse, are what make us stronger. But to tell you the truth, I’d just as soon not take this journey.

I just wanted to bring you all up to date. After today, I will quit posting about this unless something major happens.

My life is going on. My mother would want that for me.

God bless and have a good day.

growing

When you say, “I would never do that.”

Have you ever thought, “Oh, I would never do that, say that, feel that, etc.”

I used to say those things, too.

No more.

I’ve been pulled up my be bootstraps these past few weeks as I’ve had to deal with something I never thought would give me a moment’s concern. It’s a blessing but it also carries an obligation. I received a gift I didn’t ask for and now I’m responsible for it and all the ramifications that it brings with it.

And all this happens as my mom’s health continues to decline which means that my attention has been diverted from her somewhat and that bothers me. As of next week, much of what I am dealing with will be settled and I can relax a little.

But just like it can be in all of life’s challenges, much good came of it. These are the five things I’ve learned so far. I have a hunch there will be more.

First of all, some old resentments were brought to the surface. Once I became aware of them, I was able to put them to rest. Had I not been faced with this situation, I might never have had to confront them.

We think we’ve gotten over some things and when we find out we haven’t, it’s disheartening. But when we face ourselves, God’s love comes shining through reminding us we’re human and presenting us with opportunities to grow. 

growing

Secondly, I learned that satan (I never capitalize the name) is very alive and well. I’ve lost sleep over some decisions because I’ve let him influence my thinking process. I’m trying hard, most people would say, perhaps too hard, to be fair. What never occurred to me was that I should be fair to myself as well. I woke up one night and that is exactly what I felt God was saying to me, “Be fair to yourself, too.”.  So there’s that.

Thirdly, now I can rest knowing God will always “check” me when I’m heading down a wrong path, that my relationship with my heavenly father is such that I will have no rest unless I heed his voice. I’m so glad to know this. I would never want to think that I’m unteachable or “unleadable”.

Fourth, I’ve learned that honesty and openness with people are the only options. Sometimes it’s easy to assume in advance how people are going to respond. And it’s nice to be wrong. I was pleasantly surprised.

Finally, I’ve learned that if we give God enough time and if we just “coast” a little (assuming we have the time), the answer always comes and we feel that enormous sense of relief. When Philippian, chapter four, talks about the “peace that passes all understanding”, it never says it’s going to come easy.

I could write volumes about the roller coaster ride that has been my life these past few months. I’m looking forward to a smooth carousel ride in the future.

God bless and I hope you have a good day.

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.

 

%d bloggers like this: