Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Did I mention profound?

What was I thinking?! Me, come up with something profound? It's a beautiful rainy day - unless you are out in it. Now that I'm at work, the rain has stopped. It wasn't too bad driving in to work, but it was raining pretty good. Hubby has already text'd me that flood warnings have been issued around our home area. Huh.

I love the rain. As long as it is "gentle", I don't even mind the thunder and lightening. Right now I am sitting in a manager's office who is at a conference. I have so much work to get done that I need to spread papers out - and my boss suggested I take this office. Nice. I have a great window view of the lake, the grey clouds, some construction going on next door. The lake is still and serene. The rain has stopped.

Stillness, quietness. What does that remind you of? It always reminds me of Psalm 46:10 - 'Be still, and know that I am God'. Even with so much to get done today, I'm grateful I am in this office as it pulls me out of the busyness of those around me. The constant interruptions. And I'm captured by the quietness and stillness of the early morning before others arrive.

When was the last time you took some time to be 'still and quiet'? Without thinking of other things, but just being in the quietness and stillness of the moment? Not reading your Bible or a good book, not hiding from the children, but just being still.

Try this. Find a quiet location. Sit down, relax. Place your hands on your lap, unfolded. Do not cross your legs, nor your arms. Relax. Close your eyes. Let everything flow from you, and receive what God has for you. Love. Joy. Peace. Patience. Kindness, Goodness. Gentleness. Self-control.

Relish the moment. Take a deep breath. Face the day with renewed strength and energy. Make it a good one.


Monday, August 18, 2014

Ugh - back to life!

Short and sweet today - I'm back at work - but have already been busy and with being busy, it is already 8AM and I need to get to work.

The past Thursday and Friday at the Global Leadership Conference was awesome. I learned a lot - and I proceeded to tell my boss some of it this morning, especially about the part where the leader needs to get rid of a manager if the manager isn't producing. After my temper tantrum last week about the manager who was 25 minutes late for her own meeting, my boss knew who I was referring to.

Saturday and Sunday were quiet days - my oldest granddaughter was in town last night and I got to spend a bit of time with her. We did dessert first, then picked up take-out from Outback and took back to the house for dinner. A storm was quickly moving in so I took her home shortly after that. It was good to catch up on what is going on in her life.

Her wedding is quickly approaching, for sure! She showed me a photo of the dress - absolutely gorgeous! I know it didn't do her justice in the photo, but it was beautiful. I found out I had the wrong date (a week later!) written down, so need to make sure I have it on my calendar for 2015.

Short and sweet, as I said, cause I don't have time to think of anything profound. Maybe tomorrow. First day back at work since last Wednesday - big meetings this week and I have lots to do.

Hope you have a good day!


Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Wednesday already?

It has already proven to be a busy week - and it shows in that I haven't had a chance to do a post the last three days. I took Monday off work as a mental health day - and I really did neet it. I was getting burnout and needed a break from everyone and every thing. I had a doctor's appointment in the morning for my annual physical. That started my day off. From there I decided to go over to Canaan in the Desert. I haven't been there in years and I decided I needed to have some time alone in the prayer garden there.

I arrived there around ten-ish, I think. It was already starting to get very warm. I took my journal, my water, and began my walk through the prayer garden. About half-way through I was starting to sweat. Yes, I rarely do more than just glisten, but the sweat was rolling down my back, the sides of my face, etc. I continued to walk the garden, sitting in shade when if I found some. I finally made it all the way around and to the fountain. I drank a lot of water by then.

Making my way to the chapel I was able to sit inside the building - yet, it was warm in there as well. I had just settled in for a few minutes when my phone decided to ring with a recorded call. It made a distraction and I was unable to get focused again because it had disrupted my quiet time of just sitting and being at peace. I finally gave up and headed back home.

It was still a good morning and I was able to think and just be by myself for a couple hours.

Hubby and I then went to lunch, and then a little later we took a walk around Paradise Valley mall. It beat sitting at home another day. After the walk we had and early dinner than went home. Overall, it was a good day. But Tuesday came and I was back at work. Early.

I had a 7AM meeting yesterday morning and I was here just before 6AM as I needed to check the folder to see if any changes had been made since Friday - and they had, of course. So I had to redo the agenda, and do more printing of documents. I was able to complete it in time for the meeting.

Last night I got my 'reward' for having to rush around - I went for a deep tissue massage - and wow - did he ever find the knots in my back and work on them! I'm feeling a bit stiff and sore this morning; I probably should have taken an aspirin or something before going to bed. But I didn't. I did drink two large glasses of water to help flush the toxin out. But it was late, and I do get up early, so didn't stay up long. Of course the water I drank before bed caused me to get up a couple times during the night. I've already got my appointment scheduled for next month.

Today is my last day in the office this week. Thursday and Friday hubby and I will be at a leadership conference. I've heard of these in the past and how awesome they were - I'm hoping this will be just as great. I'm looking forward also to a couple days off work so that I can relax and learn some thing about leadership. Also today my boss is taking me out for my birthday lunch and a pedicure. I am looking forward to that pampering as well.

It was interesting this year as far as my birthday at work. I do have a lot of friends here - and I work around about six women who do THEIR coworkers birthdays up big, decorating cubicles, etc. They are in a different department than I, although we sit next to each other. Interestingly enough, none said anything when I left Friday, nor when I returned. No happy birthday, no decorations, nothing. It was interesting. Two of my friends from my previous department gave me gifts last week. It's not about the gifts, but I'm amused. It's hard to explain.

And I'm rambling, I've shared too much personal stuff. It's raining outside and I wish I could just stand outside in it. It wasn't too bad driving in to work this morning. I was singing and praising God on my way in and didn't have any trouble at all, although we did run between 30-50 MPH on the highway. I wasn't in a hurry so it didn't matter. Tonight is praise and worship at church - I think we are going.

Hope that you have a good day. Maybe by this weekend I will have something to share of value.


Saturday, August 9, 2014

It's My Birthday!

Today is my birthday - my 65th birthday - and I am so excited! No, not about turning 65, but that I get to spend some time with children and grandchildren tonight at a restaurant (of sorts) nearby. For me, it isn't about the birthday, it's about spending time with those I love so much, and making memories that I, as I grow older, can reflect on. It is everyone taking time out of their busy schedules to humor me, and spend time with me.

That has been my request the past three years - for my family to come near and have dinner with me. It doesn't matter where we go, just that we are together. My youngest son can't join us as he is in South Carolina, and I have one granddaughter in Safford, and another granddaughter - and great granddaughter - in Nebraska that can't join us. But, that's ok. At some point we will all be together.

We will get to see our granddaughter and great-granddaughter next June when she gets married. She has asked me to officiate her wedding - and I said yes! Now we have to save in order to be able to get there! But we will get there. Haven't been to Nebraska before, and I bet it will be beautiful then.

I'll see my granddaughter in Safford soon - she will come up and we will go to our favorite hang-out place - Cold Stone Creamery. I like taking all my grandchildren there at some time or another. We just go and sit and talk - and of course eat ice cream! Fun times, for sure. Treasured memories. This princess is getting married next May - but we won't have to travel far for it.

I've already received a lot of cards in this mail this week. It's always fun to get 'happy mail'. I even got a package from my little sister yesterday - only hubby forgot to bring it in - so I got it this morning! That was fun.

Hubby gave me just what I needed - a bottle of Red Door cologne - I think I'm down to the last squirt or two in the bottle he gave me last year. It obviously lasts about a year for me. :-) He has gone over to the restaurant to make sure we have tables reserved for tonight. It's a buffet place so it is a little easier to get tables pulled together, but one has to get there early in order to get them.

Anyway - not worried about gifts - nor cards. I just enjoy being with my family. They make my birthday perfect.

I had something I was going to add this morning, but I think I will just leave it about me. After all, I am important too. Some may not think so, but I do. God made me very special, and He made this day special just for me.

I found out on facebook I share it with four friends. Well, I knew about two of them, but not the other two. See how special we are?! I read somewhere on a card where they put 'God danced on the day you were born' - and I like to believe He did. He loves me and He shows me all that time that He does.

Yeah, sometimes He has to discipline me. Sometimes it feels like it is more often than not. But He disciplines me because He loves me and only wants the best for me.

And God blesses me. All the time. Sometimes it is just by letting me feel His Presence. Sometimes it is letting me hear the birds sing outside my window. Sometimes it is in a book I read, a special passage that touches my heart. Sometimes it is in the times I get to spend with those I love.

Life is good.


Friday, August 8, 2014

Speaking of dreams........

I may have shared this story before.... but even if I have..... it's worth sharing again.

Keep Your Dream

I have a friend named Monty Roberts who owns a horse ranch in San Ysidro. He has let me use his house to put on fund-raising events to raise money for youth at risk programs.

The last time I was there he introduced me by saying:

“I want to tell you why I let Jack use my horse. It all goes back to a story about a young man who was the son of an itinerant horse trainer who would go from stable to stable, race track to race track, farm to farm and ranch to ranch, training horses. As a result, the boy’s high school career was continually interrupted. When he was a senior, he was asked to write a paper about what he wanted to be and do when he grew up.”

“That night he wrote a seven-page paper describing his goal of someday owning a horse ranch. He wrote about his dream in great detail and he even drew a diagram of a 200-acre ranch, showing the location of all the buildings, the stables and the track. Then he drew a detailed floor plan for a 4,000-square-foot house that would sit on a 200-acre dream ranch.”

“He put a great deal of his heart into the project and the next day he handed it in to his teacher. Two days later he received his paper back. On the front page was a large red F with a note that read, `See me after class.’”

“The boy with the dream went to see the teacher after class and asked, `Why did I receive an F?’”

“The teacher said, `This is an unrealistic dream for a young boy like you. You have no money. You come from an itinerant family. You have no resources. Owning a horse ranch requires a lot of money. You have to buy the land. You have to pay for the original breeding stock and later you’ll have to pay large stud fees. There’s no way you could ever do it.’ Then the teacher added, `If you will rewrite this paper with a more realistic goal, I will reconsider your grade.’”

“The boy went home and thought about it long and hard. He asked his father what he should do. His father said, `Look, son, you have to make up your own mind on this. However, I think it is a very important decision for you.’ Finally, after sitting with it for a week, the boy turned in the same paper, making no changes at all.

He stated, ‘You can keep the F and I’ll keep my dream.’”

Monty then turned to the assembled group and said, “I tell you this story because you are sitting in my 4,000-square-foot house in the middle of my 200-acre horse ranch. I still have that school paper framed over the fireplace.”

He added, “The best part of the story is that two summers ago that same schoolteacher brought 30 kids to camp out on my ranch for a week. When the teacher was leaving, the teacher said, ‘Look, Monty, I can tell you this now. When I was your teacher, I was something of a dream stealer. During those years I stole a lot of kids’ dreams. Fortunately you had enough gumption not to give up on yours.’”

“Don’t let anyone steal your dreams. Follow your heart, no matter what.”

- Author Unknown


We’ve probably all seen the movie Pretty Woman starring Julia Roberts and Richard Gere. Remember the man walking across the street talking to whoever would listen – ‘What’s your dream?’ …(or something like that, guess I need to go watch it again).

So I ask you – what’s your dream?

Is your dream to get more education - have you taken the first step towards it?

Is your dream to get out of debt - have you reined in your expenses so that you can apply everything towards your debt?

Is your dream for a new home – are you looking around?

Is your dream a different job – are you pursuing the steps to reach your goal?

Is your dream to get healthy - are you watching your food intake and getting exercise?

What’s your dream? Don’t let anyone steal them. Dream BIG – and make it yours.


Thursday, August 7, 2014

Do I or don't I?

I have got to be good. I've got to quit eating so much fattening 'stuff'. That's all it is, anyway. What is that saying, 'a moment on the lips, forever on the hips'? Guess what - it's true. Sigh. It tastes so good on the lips - but after that...... I made brownies last night. Turtle brownies. You know, the ones with nuts and caramel in them. Hey, it was a box mix! I was going over to visit my neighbor last night and she loves chocolate. So I made them and took part of them over to her last night. The rest I brought in to work. All the way in to work I told myself I wasn't going to eat any. I told myself I was 'allergic' to them (they make me fat). It didn't work. I was passing them out this morning and a corner piece spoke to me. And I ate it. And it is even now on its way to my hips. Oh well, 'it is what it is'. One of these days I will get back on track.

I have finished the last chapter in the book I have been using for the reports here at work. The book ended with a story about relationships. One of the quotes was from children's author Dinah Maria Mulock Craik who wrote, "Oh, the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person; having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but to pour them all out, just as they are, chaff and grain together, knowing that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and then, with the breath of kindness, blow the rest away."

When somebody loves you with no strings attached and no personal agenda, it's the most freeing thing in the world. It creates a safe environment wherever you are.

It's hard to find those people who can love you with no strings attached. Usually it's your mother. LOL Of course it is your mother!

Seriously, (well, I was serious about the mother part too) when you have someone in your life who will accept you just as you are, love you in spite of your mistakes, walk the life journey with you no matter where it takes you, that person gives you freedom to be who you are, who you want to be. That person gives you freedom to dream, rather than be a dream killer. When was the last time you had a dream, and when you shared it, was told to 'go for it'? I'm not talking about 'sleep dreams' but about dreams of wanting to achieve a goal.

Maybe it is about losing weight (ok, on the brain right now). Perhaps it is to write a book. Perhaps it is do do a certain occupation. Perhaps it is to go somewhere. Perhaps it is just to do some thing. Whatever it is that your heart longs for - do you have the unconditional love of the person who walks life with you - that you know you can do anything, you can say anything, and they can read between the lines and understand your heart, and not judge you for it or read more into what is said?

Are you that kind of person for someone else?

Do you encourage others to dream dreams of achieving great things? Or are you a dream killer, a dream crasher, when they share what they want to do. Do you take everything they said to you and turn it around for your benefit? Or do you let them dream and dream with them - for them?

God has designed us all for great things. Some dreams won't be realized until you are in your twilight years. Maybe your dream was going back to school. Why not take one class right now, just to get your mind thinking about the dream again? Maybe your dream was to travel - are you saving your money so that you can travel at some point in your life?

Do you have someone that you can open up and share your heart with, someone who won't read the words but hear your heart? Those people are invaluable. You don't want judgement, you want acceptance, whether it agrees with their philosophy or mindset or not. Just because you aren't as 'religious' as some, does not mean your words are not valid. And, while I'm at it, don't take people's comments or statements about their dreams and build your thoughts on them. It isn't about you. If it was your dream, God would have designed it for you.

Don't you just sometimes like to have a conversation in which you could open your heart and not be judged; not be condemned, not be criticized, not be.....

Geez, I can't even write my blog cause I have to keep changing things so that I don't offend anyone. So don't judge me. Don't condemn me. Don't criticize me. Just...."neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but to pour them all out, just as they are, chaff and grain together, knowing that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and then, with the breath of kindness, blow the rest away."


Tuesday, August 5, 2014

and it came to pass.....

I am a little amused. Although I must admit it isn't funny, and yet, it made me smile. I read my son's blog just now before heading over to my blog. I understand, ironically, what he went through last night because I, at times, will lay there awake with the same thoughts. Beating myself up, sometimes.

But yet, I smile. Why? Because his last comments, directed at me, stated "RM, I don't need a speech".... and I won't give him one. And because of what I got in my devotions this morning.

I started reading Job this morning. Not that I selected it specificially, but in my daily readings, that is what came up for today. Job, chapter 1, verse 1: 'There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was blameless and upright, and one who feared God and shunned evil.' As the story goes, Satan came to visit God one day and God brought to Satan's attention Job. vs 8: Then the LORD said to Satan, "Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil?"

And, as you know, Satan brought adversity upon Job, killed his children, had his livestock stolen, and other things. Then God gave permission for Satan to inflict Job - and painful boils came upon his body. Job's wife told him to curse God, but Job refused. Job would respond, 'The Lord gives, and the Lord takes away'. And as we all know, Job prevailed in his faith and God held him accountable.

There is a limit to adversity. It will come to an end. My mother would always say, "Well, this too shall pass....." (or would tell me, "Honey, pray for them, they need prayer".)

One woman said her favorite Bible phrase is "and it came to pass." She said, "Just think - it came to pass. It didn't come to stay!"

Remember that today's troubles are just that; today's troubles. A season of trouble is just that; a season of trouble. Crisis pass. Circumstances change. Situations evolve. God works in and through adversity to bring it to an end, according to His timetable.

Job 2:10 - "Shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity?" If God is sovereign, and if He loves us, then we must believe that nothing reaches us without first passing through His omnipotent hands.

Sometimes we all go through tough times. Sleepless nights. Sickness. Disease. Death. Job loss. Financial difficulties. Children difficulties. The list goes on. We just pray that we escape the tough parts of life - but sometimes we get them anyway.

But we can believe that if God has allowed it (definitely without OUR permission), He will walk with us through the valley. The thoughts that torment us through the darkness of night, don't seem quite as acute in the light of the day. The Lord is with you even when things look like they are against you, because God is looking at where He is taking you, not where you are. Trust Him. But the thoughts have come for a reason.

Write that letter, make that phone call. Don't live with regrets. For though you think YOU are going through tough times, you have no idea what the other person is going through. Your pain does not equal their pain. Your opinion of situations does not equal their opinion of situations.

Forgive. Make amends. Renew friendships. Don't keep living in the past (after all, 'this too shall pass'...)or what might have been. Today is the first day of the rest of your life. What are you going to do with it?