Relax, Reflect, Recharge

Living Love When We Disagree

Thank you Melissa Spoelstra for today’s message:

Living love when we disagree sounds good on paper, but it isn’t easy. We’re different—we have different personalities, preferences, and perspectives. And we can struggle to get along, especially when we don’t see eye to eye. In the course of a day, we can find ourselves disagreeing or debating with family, friends, coworkers, and even strangers on social media about everything from food choices and parenting styles to politics and religion. Often we find ourselves divided—even as Christians. How can we work out our differences with humility and grace, always showing the love of Christ, while still remaining true to what we believe?

So who has been irritating you the most lately? Keep that person in the back of your mind and we’ll come back to them in a minute. Paul urged the church in Corinth to “be of one mind, united in thought and purpose” (1 Corinthians 1:10). He essentially called them to live love – even when they disagreed. Chapter 13, known as the love chapter, wasn’t included to be a nice poem for weddings. Instead, it was written to urge Christians living in a pagan and diverse culture to approach one another with the love of Christ. God’s Word calls us to do the same.

Regrettably, we often exercise the opposite of that kind of love, choosing instead to keep a record of wrongs or make rude comments—whether in person or on social media. Jesus prayed that we would experience unity as his body. “I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message. I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me.” (John 17:20-21)

In His prayer, Jesus asked that His followers would be as united as He and the Father are! We can never demonstrate this supernatural love and kindness with those who disagree with us apart from Jesus. Paul acknowledged this truth, mentioning the name of Jesus eight times in the first nine verses of his letter! He knew that we desperately need Christ at the center of our personal lives, including our interactions with others. Our unity comes only through Christ and His love.

Here are some of the main questions the concept of living love has brought up for me:

How can we?

  • Deal with our differences in a loving way without compromising our convictions
  • Achieve harmony while maintaining our diversity
  • Consider the ways that the surrounding culture impacts our beliefs
  • Agree to disagree on matters of preference and opinion
  • Humbly listen to others with views different than our own
  • Embrace ambiguity in some areas, acknowledging that our view is often partial and incomplete
  • Demonstrate to all that love is the greatest thing, which never fails

How have you worked through some of these issues? Have you noticed that sometimes Christians can behave unlovingly towards one another, especially online?

Now let’s bring it a little closer to home. So who was that person that came to your mind when I asked who has been irritating you lately? Think about that person right now. How is God calling you to live His love toward them today? We can’t do it without Jesus at the center of our lives can we? Know that I am praying that every person who reads this post would have supernatural power to live love in their midst of their disagreements!

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Relax, Reflect, Recharge

The Simple Things

Thank you Mary Southerland for today’s message.

Now as they went on their way, He entered a certain village, where a woman named Martha welcomed Him into her home  (Luke 10:38, NIV)

Balance always requires a fierce and ruthless examination of priorities. Our true priorities are not just lists of activities. They are candid reflections of our heart desires. What we deem important receives the most time, energy, attention and resources. The importance of right and balanced priorities is illustrated by the life of Martha.

Jesus knew that He was always welcome in the home of Martha. Scripture tells us that Jesus “had no place to lay His head,” but He often came to this home when He needed to rest or get away from the demanding crowds. At the age of thirty, the Son of God left His natural home and there is no record of His ever returning to live there. He often went to Bethany, to the house of Martha, Mary and Lazarus, and even spent His final week on earth there. Jesus didn’t have to wonder if He was welcome in this home or if Martha was “ready” for His presence. He knew she was. Can He say the same about us?

Seeking God begins with recognizing who He is and then inviting Him into our lives as Lord and Savior. If He is not Lord of all, then He is not Lord at all. For some of us, the problem is not that we lack a personal relationship with God. Our problem is that we are not “making room” for that relationship. Balance comes when we yield to His plan in the everyday moments of life

One summer our family went to Pennsylvania where we visited Amish country. I have always been fascinated by the Amish people and enjoyed every minute spent in their beautiful and carefully ordered world. As our visit came to an end, I wanted to buy a souvenir to remind me of the peaceful days we had spent there, but everything I picked up was too expensive. Being a committed shopper, I was not about to let that stop me.

We travelled up and down the small hidden back roads of each community, looking for the Amish products known only to a few and to those relentless shoppers who were willing to persevere. I was beginning to lose hope when I spotted the small, white sign posted on the fence of a quaint and absolutely perfect house. “Amish Crafts” it said. This was it!

As we climbed out of the car, a sense of peace settled around us like an old familiar blanket. Our voices immediately dropped to a whisper as we tiptoed up the narrow stone path and gently opened the screen door. When we stepped onto the porch filled with beautiful Amish crafts, a woman welcomed us with a beautiful smile and introduced herself as Mary. She invited us to browse and to let her know if we needed any help. I have to admit that I was almost rude in my pathetic attempts to catch a glimpse of her home through the porch windows. Reading my mind, she graciously offered, “Would you like to come in and look around?” I thought she’d never ask!

Mary’s home revealed a world very different from mine and an uncommonly simplistic lifestyle I desperately longed to experience. The house was sparsely furnished with only the necessities. Mary described her life and daily routine with words like “calm, uncomplicated, peaceful and serene.” When I asked why she had chosen such a lifestyle, she sweetly responded with words of wisdom I will never forget, “I have discovered that when my life and my heart get too crowded, there is not enough room for God.” Exactly!

An unbalanced life is too crowded for God. It is so easy to relegate our spirituality to religious activity when all He really wants is to spend time with us. He wants to wipe away every tear.  God longs to share every hurt and celebrate every victory. The Father yearns to wrap His strong arms around us, bringing the peace and balance we so desperately need.

Instead, we often relinquish control of our life to unworthy demands dictated by a world that operates in “urgent” gear. We forget what is really important. The important rarely barges in while the urgent is always an offensive intruder. Certainly, there are times when the important is also urgent – but we must learn to discern between the two. We wrongly conclude that a busy life is automatically a productive life and think that a full schedule will surely produce a full heart.

I have great news! He loves who you are more than He loves what you do. Seek Him today. Make room for Him. He is waiting.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

 

Hope Wissel

The Quest For Harmony

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Today’s blog is by my friend Mischa Ruddell.  She is the Founder and CEO of ShhhMySecret.com and of the Daisy Moon Society.  Mischa is a qualified psychic with the gifts of Clairaudience, Claircognizance, Clairessence, and Clairvoyance. as well as a  Certified Angel Card Reader who  gives accurate psychic readings through a range of mediums. She is a professional certified consultant who uses her intuition to offer guidance to all of her clients, encouraging them to move in a positive direction and face the challenges that may lie ahead of them.
My friend Hope asked me to be a guest blogger and write an article about “Harmony” and how it pertains to my work life; as I contemplated how to tie in what I do for a living with this important theme, it occurred to me, that harmony isn’t just about how it ties into my career, harmony is a topic that I am striving for in my life in general, and I believe this is true for most people.
According to Merriam-Websters Dictionary, Harmony is a noun and is defined as “a pleasing combination or arrangement of different things”  Isn’t that what most people strive for in life? To find a pleasing balance of home, love, work, play? Yet our society has gotten completely out of whack! With the recent events going on in our world, harmony is not what we see and feel. It is time to get back into balance individually and as a whole, it is time to speak up, stand up, and love one another!
 
I have been quiet for some time, too quiet I now believe. You see I am an Empath, and I easily absorb people’s energies, thoughts and feeling, they merge with mine and become one. I am still struggling at times to shake off negative energy and to differentiate my own from that of which I absorb. It is a difficult task, one that I have not mastered, but I know I will. Still, the time has come for me to speak up and to be a voice. The time has come for me to start a revolution!
 
Yes, you read that right, I want to start a revolution…..a SEXUAL revolution, a THINKING revolution, a BEING REVOLUTION! As Americans, we have allowed political leaders to manipulate and control us for far too long! We have both I believe knowingly, and unknowingly done this out of fear! Fear of failure, fear of success, fear of the unknown, fear that was instilled in us by our parents, and their parents for generations on  before us!
 
I am a parent of four children….I know the fear that parenthood brings with it. There is no instruction manual, it is literally learn as you go; and if you have not been fortunate enough to have a strong role model from your parents, then it is increasingly difficult to become a successful parent your own self! I believe that many parents teach their children to have low expectations so that if they don’t achieve their dreams, that they won’t suffer hurt, loss, grief, and disappointment. I believe that they do this with the best intentions…I choose to believe that MOST parents, truly want what is best for their children; the problem is, they don’t always, or even often know what exactly that is.  That is a concept that is hard for most parents to swallow!
 
I am 45 years old, and it has taken me up until this point in my life to be able to set aside all of the limiting beliefs my parents instilled in me, and be strong enough to speak my mind, and to live my truth out loud! I was raised with the mentality that children should “do as they are told”, to “not question the parents, the church or any authority figure”. Needless to say, I never quite fit into my family. I questioned everything, I wanted answers but never got them, in fact I was punished severely when I pressed for an answer! I was taught to squelch everything, and just do what I was told and get through it. A person can only bury things for so long before they explode! Which brings me to my point; I believe that by raising our children to just “do as they are told, and not to ask questions or expect answers”, that we have brought more harm to the human race by doing that, than by being allowed to ponder answers to the questions and come up with answers that fit us each individually.
 
If people were all raised with unconditional love and kindness….oh what a different world we would live in today! People fear whatever they do not understand! So by being ignorant, or just not comprehending, we form our own conclusions and shove those beliefs down the throats of our offspring, in a desperate hope to save them from something we either don’t believe in or don’t understand! Unknowingly though, we only perpetuate the cycle of fear! We end up teaching our children that being “different” is equivalent to being “bad”; when in fact, that is NOT true!
 
If parents allowed their children to express themselves in whatever way feels “normal or right” to them, there would be so much more love and acceptance, and far less hate and violence! So what if your child grows up and announces they are gay, lesbian, bi-sexual or transgender…..is it the end of the world? They are STILL YOUR CHILD THAT YOU BORE, RAISED AND LOVED….if you did in fact love them that is. I believe any parent that throws a child out, or disowns them because they are of a different orientation than what the parents believe they should be, is equivalent to a hate crime! Because to me there is no other action that you could do to show someone how little you value their life, than to disown them for something like that! Love is an action. To say “I love you” to someone and then throw them out like yesterdays garbage because they are gay is not love at all! I don’t care what kind of religious spin you put on it! For all you Bible Thumpers out there, it even says in the Bible to “Love your neighbor as yourself”, “Love casts out a multitude of sins”…I could go on, to treat our loved ones this way (no matter their age), is beyond inexcusable!
 
 To judge others for their sexual orientation, and to go so far as to pass, and try to pass more laws to take away our freedoms of expression, shows an immense amount of fear and cowardice! Let me divert momentarily by letting you know of this interesting fact; the human race is the only species that has sex with its dead, and has sex with animals! Ewwww right? But here is my theory on that; I believe that had we not as society as a whole, raised our children with such fear, hate and malice regarding things that we don’t understand or believe in, that the Jeffrey Dahlmers of this world would be far less, homophobic behavior would be far less, these rediculous laws that have been passed and are still trying to be passed, would be laughed at and thrown out of court! But instead of loving our children, our neighbors, our friends, our co-workers, or even strangers and accepting them for who they are…we have bred fear so far into our blood lines that the only way to release our true selves for some, is by choosing a life of anger, rage, violence, bigotry, maliciousness, and hypocrisy! It is my theory that because of this type of upbringing, is why there are so many rapes, child sexual abuse, child brides, domestic violence, and wars! Children that are not loved unconditionally by their parents are more likely to grow up to be abusers, and hypocritical politicians. Everyone needs an outlet for their anger, and if children are raised in a household where they are bad just because they may not have turned out how their parents envisioned, then those feelings of rage get repressed……eventually they will explode, and either take it out on another innocent person, or go inward and take it out on themselves by doing anything from becoming a drug/alcohol addict, non-sociable, or all the way to the extreme and take their own life!
 
What people don’t understand is, that creating more violence out of our fear of change will not make anything better, it will only create more violence! The change will start when we start loving our children unconditionally, then loving our neighbors unconditionally, then start loving strangers unconditionally…..it will create a cycle of LOVE, and THAT IS WHAT WILL BRING PEACE AND HARMONY TO THE WORLD!
Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!
Unclutter Your Life

Reflecting On January

 

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The first week of a new month and I am excited… I have a new planner this year “A Passion Planner” and it is AMAZING.  I haven’t quite got the hang of all of the benefits BUT I love that before I can move onto a new month, there are pages of reflection.  The best part is that I have committed to completing these pages BEFORE flipping to a new month.

This year’s word is CONFIDENCE” so I am focusing on all of the positives in my life.  I am celebrating the good things that happen each week which keeps me moving forward.

self-confidence

The questions that really got me reflecting were:

  • What was the most memorable part of the past month?  Then describe how it felt.

For me, earning our incentive, Ready Set Sell – Level 2, was the best for me.  WHY? Because when I started the month I had nothing on the calendar.  It showed me that when I focus on my goal, I can accomplish anything.  It felt AMAZING.

  • What were the 3 biggest lessons you learned during the past month?  I’m going to share just one.

The biggest thing for me is that I don’t want to work full-time or even part-time outside of the house.  I worked ALOT of OT for my part-time job so not as much time was spent on my business.  WRONG!  I want my focus to be my business.

  • Review your planner (or calendar) for the past month and assess your priorities.  Are you happy with how you spent your time?  If you aren’t happy, what steps can you take to change it this month?

If we want our life to be different, we need to do things differently.  Somethings we can’t change – work, kids activities, etc BUT there are things that we can schedule in that will help us to reach our goals.  One small step can make a difference and make that insurmountable goal become attainable. 

small steps

  • What or who are your grateful for this month?  GRATITUDE!

I actually write down my gratitude every week and in some cases daily.  It helps to keep Negative Nelly from knocking on my door

  • Name 3 things you can improve on in the upcoming month?  What are the concrete steps you will take to work towards those improvements.

For me: #1 is scheduling time for my business and sticking to it.  #2 is follow-up with potentials to fill my calendar and #3 have faith that as I long as I am turning my business over to God, he will take care of things. 

I challenge each of you to answer these questions as you reflect on the past month.  Whether you are a mom juggling kids and a household OR have your own business OR going to school OR trying to lose weight OR maybe jugging all of these – we have all said “there is not enough time to do XYZ”.

Creating harmony in your life may be as simple as looking at your planner/calendar just a little different.  Let’s plan out this month and stick to the plan.

Looking forward to hearing your responses and how things went.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Unclutter Your Life

Are You Living a Harmonious Life?

BALANCE SCALE

 

Let’s do a WOOHOO Wednesday!

Today, we are going to CELEBRATE all of you AWESOME mama-preneurs (thank you Desiree Wolfe for that term).  So, maybe you are wondering why I would celebrate YOU, right?  You feel overwhelmed.  Your business is not where you want it to be.  The house is a mess.  Dinner is take out most nights.  You feel like a failure OR that it was a lie – that you could have it all!

I am here to tell you that it is not a LIE!  You can succeed in all areas of your life IF you give yourself PERMISSION to succeed.  Sounds easy, right?  It takes practice but it is possible.

As a mamapreneur, you wear mega hats and play many roles. To have it ALL, you have to find harmony in your life.  WHY? Because we deserve and can have it all. Believe it or not, its not external but rather an internal experience.  When we do the internal work, it will show externally in all we do.

Here are some tips that I found and practice (at least try to) to bring harmony into my life and business:

1. Practice GRATITUDE everyday. Just for couple minutes, set your day off on a positive note. Let the UNIVERSE know what are you thankful and grateful for.

2. Love what you do. Enjoy your journey and how you show up in the world every day.

3. Have a plan. Plan your day with intention, purpose and a vision of what you would like to accomplish in your personal life and business.

4. Have healthy boundaries. Establish the boundaries and limits in your personal life and business. Its important to enjoy your life and the work you do with your clients.  This is still a work in progress for me.

5. Integrate your family in your business as much as you can.  For those with kids, it important to explain and talk about what we do in our business.   They may not always understand but I found it helps when they have an active part.  They will feel proud to know that you are IMPACTING the world in a major way. 

6. Delegate. Make sure that you get support for both your personal life and business. Delegate those things that you can give you extra time in your day to spend with your family or clients (doing what you love to do).

7. Flexibility. Life happens despite the best laid plans.  We need to be flexible to shift things as they happen. Having some help and support systems in place really do help in this department.

8. SELF-CARE. We need to take are of ourselves in order to take care of others.  It may be meditating or exercising in the morning, going for a walk, have lunch with our favorite friend, or having a conversation with someone you haven’t talked to in a long time.  Something that fills YOUR cup.

Finding harmony is all about letting things flow too as much as possible.  It means not having everything allocated on the balance scale but learning how to meld them all together.  This way we can be present in the moment instead of worrying about how we are going to juggle the tasks before us.

What do you do to live a harmonious life?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!