Friday, October 31, 2014

Want to get even?

I usually don't listen to the radio on my way in to work, but this morning I decided to turn it on. As the people were talking, they said something that made sense.

If someone has hurt you, or made you angry, or did something to you or someone you love, get even with them. How? By forgiving them.

Yeah, that doesn't make sense, does it? You hurt me, I should get to hurt you back. Isn't that what people do? You say something that offended me, so I'm going to say something offensive back to you. You did something that made me feel guilty, so I need to lash out at you and say something cruel so that my guilt doesn't feel so bad.

Oh trust me, that has been my year, I think. But, I learned a long time ago that even though I can't trust some people, I can forgive them. They can not control my life by the things they say or the things they do. I forgive them.

And by forgiving them, I not only get even, I get set free. The more I withhold forgiveness, the more in bondage I am to them. When I forgive them, they have nothing to hold on me. I am free.

Want to get even? Forgive them. Let it go. Love them.

I read in a book recently that when we don't like someone (because of behavior or things said, or whatever reason), we should ask God to bless them. And be sincere about it. Jesus said that we are to 'Bless.... see Matthew 5 below.... NLT version.

The Beatitudes
3 “God blesses those who are poor and realize their need for him,
for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.
4 God blesses those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
5 God blesses those who are humble,
for they will inherit the whole earth.
6 God blesses those who hunger and thirst for justice,[b]
for they will be satisfied.
7 God blesses those who are merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
8 God blesses those whose hearts are pure,
for they will see God.
9 God blesses those who work for peace,
for they will be called the children of God.
10 God blesses those who are persecuted for doing right,
for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.

11 “God blesses you when people mock you and persecute you and lie about you and say all sorts of evil things against you because you are my followers. 12 Be happy about it! Be very glad! For a great reward awaits you in heaven. And remember, the ancient prophets were persecuted in the same way.

I am choosing to forgive, and I am choosing to bless. What about you?

Have a great day!

Blessings!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Enough!

I was thinking about that word this morning as I (once again) beat myself up and say "enough"! I'm so tired of being heavy - and I keep saying I'm going to do something about it.... and start off good.... but then 'fall off the wagon'. I have good intentions, truly I do. I just haven't stuck with them. Lots of things get in the way. People who entice you with chocolate, rich, fattening foods that you know you shouldn't have, but do.

Or what about healthy foods that are smothered in cream sauces.... along with a salad, of course. We have food here at the office all the time. Leftovers from breakfasts, lunches, etc. are nearly daily in the lunchroom for anyone who wants. I try to stay away from that side of the building, but once I hear food is there, I'm like an addict. I love food.

I love good food. I love chocolate. I love to eat. And sometimes I don't know when to stop. Or won't. Rarely is it 'can't'. I always can. I don't always choose to.

Last night, for example, we met friends at Sizzlers for dinner. You know, Sizzlers with the salad bar. Yeah, that one. And I got the salad bar. And I don't go for all that yecky potato salads, macaroni salads, crab salads, etc. I'm really good at getting rommaine lettuce, spinach, and then just a little of toppings, and very little dressing. Then I go to the other part of the salad bar. Where they have the little fried chicken wings. That's all I'm interestedin on that side. They are sooooo good. I usually have 3 to start, then I go back for 2-3 more. And after all that -we have to finish up with ice cream, of course. By the time I leave, I am so full. And I ask myself the same question.... why did I do that?

I have learned to take LESS salad, so I'm not totally miserable. Seriously, I used to fix TWO plates of salad fixings when we went to a salad buffet. The past few months I have dropped it down to about 1/2-3/4 size of the plate. Then if I want other things added, I can. And I'm ok. It's that stupid chicken at Sizzler that I really like. The fried wings. Good thing we don't go there but about every two months!

And I guess it really isn't about overeating last night - cause I overate all weekend - and we werent even home! I think I've already shared what we had then.

And once again. Today is a new day. A fresh beginning. I'm starting the day with my protein shake (which I've cut in half - years ago I used to drink 32 ounces - now it's only about 10) as usual, and fixed a pint jar of salad with a bit of chicken (no, not fried). Let's see how far that gets me! Got to focus on drinking my water more - yesterday I was so busy I only got 1 32 ounce glass of water down! I usually drink 4-5 of those a day.

And I gotta get to work - it's that time. So - what about you? Do you need a new beginning? A new day to start fresh? Well, this is it! Yeah, it's only a Tuesday, not a Monday, but that's ok. Who says we have to conform to everyone else and start on the first day of the week? I want to start today.

At least I start out well. It doesn't help that everyone around me has Snickers sitting in candy dishes (and other chocolate candies) open and begging me to take them. Snickers keep calling my name - I just need to learn to say 'no'.

Maybe that's what we all need to learn - the word 'no'. I'm taking care of me today, what about you?

Blessings!

Monday, October 27, 2014

I'm Back!

It's been a busy time since I last wrote. Not counting work, for sure. I worked from home for four hours on Thursday, then from that moment on until this morning, I was on paid time off (PTO). On the way in I reflected about what I did over the weekend, and realized how rested I felt. At least for that moment. I'm back at work, have already sent out two reports, and now trying to write this. And it's only 7:20AM. I still have six meetings to plan for this week - wait! I just looked at my calendar - wow - down to three meetings this week! Would be nice if we can delete another one or two. The one Thursday morning I know is NOT delete-able.... it is one of our 'biggies' and I've ordered a delicious hot breakfast for it. Yeah - it's a two hour morning meeting. Outside docs coming in and everything - about 20 people. (probably because of the food 20 people). But for today, it is preparing for the 'big' meeting and getting the minutes done that I have already to do.

Thursday was a good day. Marley went to the Pet Hotel and we packed up and headed south to Mesa, where we checked into a room at the country club. Nice. Had it for two nights. Small, but suitable for a short stay. We went grocery shopping as we had a refrigerator and a microwave so may as well use them, getting things for two days breakfasts. We knew our dinners would be taken care of with the rehearsal dinner and the wedding dinner.

Yeah, this was the weekend of my friend's son's wedding. Speaking of the rehearsal dinner - oh yum. After the rehearsal we went to my friend's house and she had fried chicken, huge baked potato bar and salad. It was so good. Hubby and I had to split the potato it was so big. She had us take some chicken and another potato and trimmings with us when we left, so we had some for lunch the next day. It was still good. Rehearsal went well and the day of the wedding was to ourselves as it didn't start until 5PM.

So what do we do? We go shopping at the mall! I had a black suit to wear to the wedding, but with it being outside, and the sun beating right on us - I wanted to find something lighter to wear. We went to Macy's and I found two dresses that were on sale, and then I got discounts on top of that so made out quite well. Still wasn't too sure about wearing them, but hubby was pleased I bought something. Then we went to Penneys. I found a gorgeous black dress that would work for the wedding - and ended up getting it as well - and got it for about 50% off too after discounts were applied. I don't even know what the discounts were, but they were willing to give them to me so I just kept saying ok. I've ended up with three nice black dresses that I can wear for most any occasion - with sleeves and sleevless. I did wear the one I got from Penneys to the wedding and it worked perfectly.

The wedding was beautiful. I think the groom has his hands full - but with 'going together' for five years, I'm sure he is quite aware of what is in store for him. I don't know the bride very well, but from overheard comments and actions, it was 'oh my.' I have a feeling who is going to be in control of 'that family'. VERY strong willed. And not afraid to speak her mind. Good at times, but .... rude at others. Very disrespectful to her parents, I felt, and she is old enough to know better. It was beautiful and warm outside for the wedding. It was just outside the fancy golf club 'ball room' - a fountain was in the background and it was very nice. The sun was totally in my eyes until the last sentence. The wedding started at 5PM so I couldn't see the groom at all when I looked at him - just a black blob with light all around his head. Being short was not to my advantage either, except when he stood at a certain angle and blocked some of the sun.

I have to laugh at brides nowadays. Well, some of them. I've officiated at a couple weddings of friends lately and the girls are already tall - and what do they do? Wear 5 inch heels with an inch platform. When this bride came in for rehearsal wearing those shoes I kid you not - she was a good 12 inches (or more) taller than me - and I'm 5'3"! It's like - on the day you will be on your feet so much, and will be dancing, etc., WHY would you wear those kind of shoes? Why not be comfortable with ballet slippers? I saw photos of a recent wedding where a couple used good sense and wore tennis shoes!

My son's renewing of vows comes up in a couple weeks. Then they are planning a reception a week later. I do hope they won't be too disappointed if not many show up - I think only about 1/4 have responded, and it is concerning as they want to buy food to have and they aren't sure how much to make - plus wedding favors. They have put a lot of money - and time - in preparing the renewal and reception, and I truly hope they will be happy how it turns out. They realize things happen and some people can't come, but it would be nice if most would respond one way or the other. (and no, I'm not pointing fingers, I think both of you have responded).

I got to thinking yesterday, when I officiate a wedding I generally try to wear something black and simple (like a suit, or now, like my new dress). At the reception, since it is a week later, I get to play the role of 'mom of the groom' so I can wear a color if I want - something fun and different. So I want to go shopping and buy a long dress (hubby asked if I was going to get a black one!LOL) to wear to the reception. Whatever I get, I can also wear to our office Christmas party. It will be nice to have a long, fun dress to wear. Haven't had one in years and I love long dresses.

I am reminded, with thinking of weddings, of how the bride prepares herself for her groom, and the groom prepares himself for his bride, how we are to be the Bride of Christ and are to always be ready and available to Him. When He comes, we are to be ready, pure and spotless as a lamb, for when the Lamb of God comes to claim His precious Bride - it's all over. I am so ready. Come, Lord Jesus, come.

Blessings!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

It's ok if I don't remember everything.....

my Princess says so, and if she says so, it must be true! Of course she ended our conversation with the "I love you more than you will ever remember" statement.

My granddaughter and I were texting this morning and I was trying to share some recipes. I kept trying to tell her a couple recipes I have made recently that were really good - but couldn't remember all the ingredients. To which she just said 'it's ok not to remember'. And it is - afterall, it has been a week or more since I made those specific recipes I was referring to - and I just couldn't remember the specific ingredients.

Which makes me pause and think about how glad I am that God doesn't remember my sins when I confess them to Him. His Word says that once we confess them, He doesn't remember them anymore. They are cast as far as the east is from the west. I'm grateful for that! We have too many people in our lives who like to constantly remind us of our mistakes. I'm glad God choose to forget it all. Yes, I still need to live with the consequences of my sin(s), but He forgives me.

Do you need to confess some sins but don't want them brought up time and time again? Then confess them to God and ask for His forgiveness. He won't remember (but that doesn't give you permission to do them again and again) the sin. He will love you with forgiveness.

When you think you are beyond forgiveness, by anyone, by God, just remember what I am sure He would say.... "I love you more than you will ever remember". Just saying.

Blessings!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Party time!

Well, not really. The boss is out of the office until next Tuesday - so most people would think 'party time' - but for me, it's another busy work day. I have twenty binders to put together for a meeting that isn't scheduled until the 30th, but I plan to work from home until 11AM on Thursday and then I will be on "vacation" until Monday. My boss's son is getting married this weekend and we are going to it. The rehearsal is Thursday at 5PM so we need to be there. I told my boss they can't start without me..... either day! Yeah, I get to officiate the wedding. I told her that I feel I'm her personal minister. I did her oldest son's wedding about 7-8 years ago. I did her daughter's wedding last March. And now I have her youngest son's wedding this week. Not everyone has this honor for officiating all three weddings in one family. I will miss my boss being here at work, but I have a lot to get done before I'm off - and I need her office to spread out the binders in - it's a win-win.

This morning the article I typed out for the report groups I send to was really interesting. In retrospect I know that I have done it, and I'm sure you have too. It's about listening. Yeah, of course you have listened, right?

But how many times are we listening, but only for the break to grab a breath so that we can input our own thoughts? See how different that is? We can be told something really good - and really very interesting - and our minds pick up one word and we "patiently" wait while the other person gets it 'out' and then we add our comment. And in the process we may have missed some vital information, some good stuff, just because we are in a hurry to talk.

I see it happen all the time in meetings. The manager I have mentioned frequently that drives me crazy because she doesn't know how to be a manager - does it all the time. She will talk OVER the person talking - and she keeps going on and on and on.... I'm not the only one who notices it, but I sure wish someone would pull her aside and tell her to stop it!

Edgar Watson Howe once joked, “No man would listen to you talk if he didn’t know it was his turn next.” When Lyndon B. Johnson was a junior senator from Texas, he kept a sign on his office wall that read, “You ain’t learnin’ nothin’ when you’re doin’ all the talkin’.”

Listening shows respect. Psychologist Dr. Joyce Brothers said, “Listening, not imitation, may be the sincerest form of flattery.” Whenever you don’t pay attention to what others have to say, you send them the message that you don’t value them. But when you listen to others, you communicate that you respect them. Even more, you show them that you care. German-born philosopher-theologian Paul Tillich commented, “The first duty of love is to listen.”

A mistake that people often make in communicating is trying very hard to impress the other person. They try to make themselves appear smart, witty, or entertaining. But if you want to relate well to others, you have to be willing to focus on what they have to offer. Be impressed and interested, not impressive and interesting. Poet-philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson acknowledged, “Every man I meet is in some way my superior, and I can learn of him.” Remember that and listen, and the lines of communication will really open up.

Hmmmm.... are you listening?

Have a great Tuesday!

Blessings!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Feeling Melancholy....

It's been one of those days. My middle child has been on my mind and in my prayers today-that he has to say 'so long' to another dear friend of his. Death is never enjoyable, and although I don't think I ever met this friend, my son has spoken of him frequently. I know that this was a good man, and he was a good friend to my son. My heart aches for my son. No parent likes their children to be hurt, but we can't always protect them. This is one of those times. It's life. I believe in the Lion King they called it the 'Circle of Life'.

It still hurts.

I guess I knew the end was near - even without knowing it. I was awake most of the night before, with the friend constantly on my mind, and I was constantly praying for him, actually praying for a miraculous healing. God could have done it, but chose not to. It was between 2AM and 4AM that I began to doze off and on - and finally falling asleep. It seems when I have someone on my mind, and there are serious things going on, I end up not sleeping a lot. Once they are gone, or turn for the better, I seem to be able to fall asleep.

I remember when my mother died. I was on the airplane heading back to Indiana. Although I don't remember the time right now, I remember a 'check' in my spirit and I glanced at my watch to note the time. Sure enough, it was about that time she passed away. Other times I've discovered that if I burst into tears for a very small or unrelated reason, something is about to happen.

Is God alerting me that something is going to happen? I don't know. When He brings someone's name to mind, I know I am to pray for them - even when I don't know how to pray or what to pray. I need to be more bold in doing what I'm led to say and do.

One friend I knew had been crippled for awhile. One day I took his hand and the thought came to me to tell him to 'In the Name of Jesus, stand up and walk~!' and I actually hesitated and started to say it, but not wanting to 'assume' anything and wasn't sure if it was just my heart-cry or God telling me to say it. I mean, I've heard God speak to me before. I KNOW His voice.

But, it was a thought, and I don't know if I was just wanting to wish it so. But I remained silent. And prayed as I left, that if I should have said it, for God to tell me to go back - but He didn't. I wish now I had said it and made a fool of myself. But what if. What if it had made a difference. I regret that I didn't do what the thought said for me to do. If nothing happened, I only looked like a fool. If God was behind it...anything could have happened.

Sometimes we want friends - and family - to all be well and healthy. To be alive. But sometimes, we just have to 'let go'. Not because we know best, but because God does. Going quickly they are removed from their pain. God knew exactly how long my son's friend would live. He knew it before He created him. All this was in His plan for this friend. There was nothing anyone could have done. The friend lived, and died. Just like we all will.

These times always remind me of the 'dash' in our years. What are we doing with that dash. I am sure I have written it out before - and I will have to look for it - but perhaps it is time to write it again.

This friend of my sons had many friends and was well loved. It sounds to me like he lived his dash well. His friends and family will grieve and mourn, but it is their loss of one they loved. The friend has no more cares, no more sorrow, no more pain. He is where he chose to be at the end of his life. I wish I had been able to see him and ask if he knew Jesus. I had even prayed for that opportunity. It would have been awesome to know for sure where he was going. But I didn't know him, and I wasn't asked. I can only hope he thought about it, and made that decision before the end.

Hope you have a good evening. Don't forget to tell those you love how much you care for them. It may be your last opportunity.

Blessings!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Looking ahead to tomorrow....

What's on tap for tomorrow? Nothing that I know of offhand - but it is a day off work.

We had so much food yesterday at our Boss's Day breakfast and then we had a catered lunch for our medical case management team meeting. I was so sick of food last night I wanted nothing for breakfast. Hubby fixed us salad and green tea. I was barely able to get it down. I was exhausted from all the walking around to get things set up and taken down - I walked nearly 15,000 steps yesterday. Looks good on our challenge here at work. I'm supposed to get 8,000 steps a day for two weeks, then it jumps to 9,000 a day for two weeks, then 10,000 steps a day for two weeks - then the contest is over. I know I've gotten extra steps in here and there this week and it is catching up to me. I need to keep the pace, though, I need to lose this weight!

Not doing too well in this weight loss challenge. I mean, weight wise, not bad - I've lost 5 pounds in 5 weigh-ins - not good, but not bad, still a loss. But they are basing it on body fat percentages and if I lose weight, my body fat goes up. If I gain weight, my body fat goes down. Not just for me - but it seems for the others as well. One guy here has lost 10 pounds and he is still at the same body fat he was. I told him that I am looking at it as if I lose weight, I am still a winner. Would really like to win the contest but am going to have to really apply myself to exercise to do so.

Eating yesterday was not good. Home made cinnamon rolls. A couple egg casserole dishes. Sausage gravy and biscuits. Ham. Fruit roll-ups homemade. and so much more. I didn't eat everything, but I did probably eat more than I should have. Need to recooperate today.

Traffic was horrible this morning - my exit was closed off and traffic was backed up quite a ways - so I jumped off and took side streets to work. It only took me about 20 minutes longer and I mark that up to having to sit in traffic for awhile before I could get off.

And I need to get busy - have a meeting at 10AM and I haven't started putting the packets together yet. Maybe this weekend things will calm down.

Have a great day.

Blessings!