Thursday, August 05, 2010

It's ALL In There.....

There is often a theory brought forward, in women’s magazines, business writings and with all those who are part of the powers that be to teach us how to be better in our lives, This theory is one of roles. We wear many different hats in life so to speak and we need to be good at wearing the right hat at the right time to be the best at the role set before us at that moment.

I have been pondering this lot lately because I really find it impossible. I am a mother, I am a wife and a daughter and a friend; I am an employee and a mentor and a student and a problem solver; at times I am a teacher and guide while others I seek advice and growth. I have not yet learned how I can take off my “mom hat” when I am working as an outreach specialist. I cannot figure out how to remove my wife hat when I am being a mentor or a student.

It is a current cultural phenomenon that we should simply be only the role we are in at the moment and no other in order to be the best at that one thing. I am finding I find that an absurd and impossible process that also requires me to remove half of my thinking and thus handicap myself in those roles.

I am a mother, as one I am good at being a referee and nurturer as well as guide. I am a professional who reaches out to those I do not know without any shyness or embarrassment. I am a student of those I respect and admire to learn how to better improve my own life and I don’t remove that hat.

I am finding for me, the best thing is to instead of trying to compartmentalize my life into these different individual roles that I am best to approach everything as a whole being. The roles I play bring a richness and capability to everything I do. To choose to only have one part of me tackle a problem because it is “work” when the teacher side of me may be what is needed seems foolish. It is by using all of our experiences to filter through and address a problem that we find the most creative and successful solutions.

My job has taught me to use non abrasive tactics in a lot of areas that being a mother would never have afforded (I mean really mom is a commander worker is a team member). Being a leader has taught me the best methods to learn when to step back and be gracious as a wife (yes unbelievable I know but good leaders know when to let others take the reins for them!).

I am entering into my own cultural revolution. One that uses all of me in every aspect to be everything I was created to be. The God of the universe did not orchestrate this life for me with all it’s wonder, sorrow excitement and abundance as well as need for me to compartmentalize but to bring it forth in all of its learning and usefulness to always be the best I can be at everything I put my hand to. I am choosing excellence in all things and this means incorporating all of my roles and events to come to the table as a whole and complete person.

This is just my random wanderings in the bunny trail that is my brain this week.

Friday, March 19, 2010

What I meant to say……

I have been thinking on this subject for a couple of weeks now. How often in life do we walk away from a person and event a subject and we never really say what we meant to. Now let me clarify I am not talking about “giving a piece of your mind” to someone or insulting them. I think we have too many people walking around being rude and unloving because it is their “right” when frankly, I agree 100% with Proverbs that says a kind word turns away wrath.

What I am talking about is a friend, a colleague, an acquaintance or someone you have run into who has done something they may not even realize that has positively touched your life. A cashier who although they have had a long day still smiles and asks how you are and maybe even chats about the local weather. Take that moment to thank them, to smile, to say have a wonderful evening… The person at church who takes an extra moment to stop come over to you and say hello, a child who does a little something sweet. These things happen all the time but we tend to focus on the person who cut us off on the highway, who jumped us in line, who doesn’t do things the way we think they should…..

Over the past few months a woman has become a part of my church that literally just exudes joy. I have never met anyone so lit up from inside. I know she has struggles; we all know since she has been through cancer treatments once and is facing it again within the next month. She started coming to our church with no hair but her eyes and her face positively shine. Her smile illuminates her eyes! Just being in her presence can make you stop thinking about what you face and have a moment that shares in her delight.

I don’t know her well, only casually at this time but every time I see her she blesses me. Last week, when I saw her I felt a need to tell her how her joyfulness makes my day. I did not expect it to impact her the way it did. In the moment I spoke I realized sometimes we need to stop what we are doing long enough to let the people around us know their positive impact on our life. Too often we only seem to share the negative and miss the opportunity to speak life and love to another person who is struggling to do the best they can with what life has given them.

I don’t know why THAT day I felt the need to speak except that one thing my life as a military wife has taught me is that if there is something you should say to another in love don’t let the chance pass you by. My need to speak to her was so much so I am not even sure I thought it through; I just spoke. Honestly, we need to recognize we may not get another opportunity to speak the things we feel at that time. You may forget or lose track of someone or even God forbid, they can be gone forever.

I have lost a sister, 2 grandmothers, my father and more friends than I want to think of over the years and they are gone forever. I can honestly say I wish had spoken to each of them about all they brought that was wonderful and loving and fun and special into my life. I am trying not to allow any more people pass out of my life without letting them know what good they bring me. I am convinced it can do nothing but good and really we all need some more good!

Friday, February 26, 2010

A little bit less......

It's funny I never thought I was a person of excess.  I am usually quite happy with what I have and although yes, I may want other things I don't find myself consumed with thinking about it in any way.

Lately though, I have been practicing "a little bit less." It wasn't an intentional action it was one born of exhaustion and frustration. I was beginnning to feel like I cold not keep up with everything I "needed" to do and yet things kept piling up and overwhelming me. So in order to keep going I started making changes I decided what happens if I do less?  What if I buy a little less (I am not a big shopper anyways LOL), I eat a little less, I "do" a little less as far as extras.........

 Less of the things everyone else does and not stress over what doesn't get finished today?  How many things REALLY need done NOW and cannot wait one more day? I don't mean not fulfilling needs but the things we THINK we have to get done all the time.  The things we waste all our time and energy trying to finish that really, in the big picture is negligiable?

I was put on a new medicine recently and it makes me need more sleep so I am going to bed earlier.  Thats a good thing since most of us run around sleep deprived but cannot figure out why we suffer migraines and other types of chronic issues.  I stopped buying so much junk food etc when I grocery shopped (ok the kids are having fits over no Dr Pepper) and I lost 4 pounds.  Go figure.

Now I don't advocate not parenting or keeping a sanitary home or being involved in your children's lives but I do think we way over reach ourselves in the name of "need" when what it is  really, is wanting to prove we can do. We can afford to put our kids in every activity; we can afford to have clubs; we can afford to go out and meet up etc. in the expenditure of both time and money (technically) but things are getting out of whack in too many palces anymore.  Nnot everything we can do; we should do.  In 1 Corinthians 10:23 Paul says everything is permissable but not everything is beneficial. Parents are dictated to by Johnny's soccer  and Mary's dance class and both are in extra clubs and swimming but they never sit at home together and just relax and talk and enjoy each other. 

Anyway I am doing a bit less and feeling a lot better.  It may be worth looking into for you as well.  One thing we can never gain back is time and in all my years of roaming around as a military wife I have not met a single parent or family member who says "Gee I wish I had spent LESS time with my family." They all say the opposite.  I often hear from parents of older children and my older friends how they wish they had stopped to enjoy life and relax more.  There is something to be learned there for me.....

Friday, February 19, 2010

Never Surrender
By: Colleen Saffron

In this nation we tend to have a concept that surrender is weak. For us, it goes directly to the very roots of what built our country! We do not give up or give in! However, this can become a stumbling block to our walk with God when we find ourselves applying the same attitude to our spiritual life.

PS 3:8 From the Lord comes deliverance May your blessing be on your people

As military wives, as women who deal with regular separations, stresses etc of this life we live; one that is in most ways subject to the Dept of Defense policies, we are “strong” women; we do NOT let anything stop us, overwhelm us or make us surrender. THIS is our life and we are able to run it, so surrender becomes a derogatory term. However, in the spiritual realm surrender is to back up and take your hands off what God already knows you cannot do.
The Lord warns us in Deuteronomy to do things His way and always realize it is because of your obedience and surrender to His will that we have any success, peace or prosperity (both financially and spiritually). This is not just a verbal confirmation that He alone is your strength but a heart, knowing as it knows, there is NO way you could have handled the situation, fixed the broken or overcome the temptation separate from Him.

Deut 8:10 When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the LORD your God for the good land he has given you. 11 Be careful that you do not forget the LORD your God, failing to observe his commands, his laws and his decrees that I am giving you this day. 12 Otherwise, when you eat and are satisfied, when you build fine houses and settle down, 13 and when your herds and flocks grow large and your silver and gold increase and all you have is multiplied, 14 then your heart will become proud and you will forget the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. 15 He led you through the vast and dreadful desert, that thirsty and waterless land, with its venomous snakes and scorpions. He brought you water out of hard rock. 16 He gave you manna to eat in the desert, something your fathers had never known, to humble and to test you so that in the end it might go well with you. 17 You may say to yourself, "My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me." 18 But remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your forefathers, as it is today.
19 If you ever forget the LORD your God and follow other gods and worship and bow down to them, I testify against you today that you will surely be destroyed. 20 Like the nations the LORD destroyed before you, so you will be destroyed for not obeying the LORD your God.

In order to become what God is creating us to be we must move ourselves and our human strength and pride out of the way. It is too easy to begin to make a god of our own self reliance and thus thwart the work God wants to do in us. IF we think that it is our abilities that have brought us this far then we begin t give the glory and honor not to the God who has made all things possible but to ourselves for being “strong” capable” and smart.

When we chose to surrender, to give up control and the need to handle everything we see a change in our life that allows us to sleep at night, feel a true peace and also realize with God in control we can trust we will not misstep. Ron Hutchcraft said in The Incredible Shrinking Me, “If you can surrender the control and the credit, you are ready for the incredible shrinking you. Our lives become more incredible than we could ever have imagined as our ego and our interests and our self-reliance begin to recede, and our lives become more about Jesus than ever before.”

Surrendering to God is giving “UP” in the sense that we fully acknowledge and see that all we are and all we can do is still not enough. It is only with His hand over us that we can find peace. Knowing he is enthroned in Heaven and He alone knows the beginning from the end so we can trust in His path before us.

I too have sat up all night worrying, I too can get to a point of frenzy trying to figure out how to handle a situation or a crisis but in the end, it does no good. My “fixes” are like putting duct tape on the Hoover Dam, very temporary and bound to fail sooner or later and when it does it is usually with catastrophic results. The simple knowledge of that alone can increase my anxiety! The me that is used to facing it all like the figurehead on a great old sailing ship, facing forward and stoic, wants to jump in and fix everything however the me that lives deep within my heart and mind knows it gets me nowhere.

(The Message) 1 Cor 1: 18-21The Message that points to Christ on the Cross seems like sheer silliness to those hellbent on destruction, but for those on the way of salvation it makes perfect sense. This is the way God works, and most powerfully as it turns out. It's written,

I'll turn conventional wisdom on its head,
I'll expose so-called experts as crackpots.
So where can you find someone truly wise, truly educated, truly intelligent in this day and age? Hasn't God exposed it all as pretentious nonsense? Since the world in all its fancy wisdom never had a clue when it came to knowing God, God in his wisdom took delight in using what the world considered dumb—preaching, of all things!—to bring those who trust him into the way of salvation.
22-25While Jews clamor for miraculous demonstrations and Greeks go in for philosophical wisdom, we go right on proclaiming Christ, the Crucified. Jews treat this like an anti-miracle—and Greeks pass it off as absurd. But to us who are personally called by God himself—both Jews and Greeks—Christ is God's ultimate miracle and wisdom all wrapped up in one. Human wisdom is so tinny, so impotent, next to the seeming absurdity of God. Human strength can't begin to compete with God's "weakness."

God has called me to do my part, to address situations as he has already laid out in His Word but beyond that he desires we completely 100% surrender to Him and allow him to handle things. The concept of letting go to get things fixed does not make human sense but in the spiritual realms it gets you out of the way of what God is trying to do.