The 7 Experiment

Sunday began our new Connect Group Semester & honestly I can’t remember when I’ve been challenged this extensively.  I was feeling guilty/convicted for not doing the Daniel fast for the 12th year. Despite receiving phenomenal, clear-cut, precise directions from God every year, I can’t help but wonder if it had become ritualistic??  This is the fast I also use during the year when I need to make important decisions.  I firmly believe the Elevate Church Girlfriends book study of  “7 : An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess” will stretch me beyond my limits & empower me to become who I need to transition into. Initially I just wanted to read the book & not commit to the group. I’m very selfish about my Sunday evenings & wasn’t willing to give them up. I decided at the last-minute on Saturday to do this.  I can already tell relinquishing my next several Sundays will yield an unbelievable reward. The book doesn’t promote the age-old belief that the church needs to operate substandard or in poverty.  It promotes developing a relationship with God that is second to none.  He alone, not our things, will have priority in our lives.  

7What an amazing group we had  & it was only the first night!! Listening to everyone blessed me tremendously!! The study explores  7 areas  & each  requires a fast. Next week we begin the fast involving food. We have to choose 7 single foods & eat only those particular foods for 7 days. We all think we eat the same food over & over until it comes to actually doing so!  What would you choose??  Salt, pepper & olive oil are free!  So far I’m thinking chicken, eggs, spinach, grapefruit, rice, & honey. I’m stuck on #7.  I entertained using bacon for seasoning.  I LOVE bacon & have found some awesome nitrate & preservative free, uncured bacon, but I don’t eat it on a regular basis.  To add this for flavor would almost defeat the purpose of a fast!   I could switch grapefruit for a banana & peanut butter!  I’ve seen some cool recipes for pancakes using bananas & eggs.  Or I could make that Paleo multigrain bread I’ve recently gotten the recipe for &  skip the rice.  Like bacon, I don’t eat bread or rice on a regular basis either!  I can do this!! I’ve done the lemonade fast 3 times!! Decisions!! Decisions!  If these are the type of negotiations I’ll be making with myself over food, can you imagine the clothes fast?  The best part is, within the past several years, I’ve began practicing similar ideas & believe this study will solidify Biblical principles equipping me to more effectively mentor others.

I anticipate the results achieved by a determined group of women intentionally dedicating their minds, bodies, & possessions will be a force to be reckoned with!!

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.-Margaret Mead

This experiment, for me as a leader, is to reach the next level of responsibilities.  One of my fav scriptures comes to mind, “To whom much is given, much is required.” As I step into a new role, I believe God is stirring me to sharpen my skills.  I encourage you to read this book & if you conduct small groups, consider using it as a guide.  You will definitely not be disappointed.

Blessings
g

I think myself happy!

I recently enjoyed a conversation with a beautiful, brilliant, newly divorced friend.  We discussed many things, but the most significant conversation concerned  life & how it seems to be passing by without any joy, satisfaction or making memories.  Mere existence is simply not in my vocabulary!  I am a strong believer that life is what you make it. Granted, I can’t control whether someone runs a red light & crashes into me or a disease process takes it toll on my body.  I can, however, make sure I exercise wisdom, caution, & keen observation while driving.  I can also take care of my body including diet & exercise.

When mentoring, my opinion is humble & although it may not be taken seriously, I attempt to steer clear of it.  In doing so, I generally point to the Bible as my primary point of reference.  If I know a great historical example, I utilize them too.  During the above conversation I was immediately reminded of one of my favorite stories.  The Apostle Paul is one of my heroes next to David, Esther & of course, Jesus.  In this story Paul was captured, chained & tossed in prison.  The day came to stand before the King & what Paul said was profound.  Going back in history, it was prophesied that Paul would stand before Kings.  It didn’t allude to how he would be standing, but God would be glorified.  His statement in Acts 26:2 to King Agrippa was, “I think myself happy, King Agrippa, because today I shall answer for myself before you concerning all the things of which I am accused by the Jews.”  Regardless of his circumstances, Paul took responsibility & when the opportunity arose, he chose to think himself happy.

In our lives, we face circumstances that can steal our joy; render us paralyzed with fear;  & create anxiety by consuming our thoughts whereby dominating such emotions.  I could be wrong, but I haven’t seen anyone literally bound with chains & shackles.  Oh wait……I forgot!  This is exactly what our thoughts become.  See….it isn’t the circumstance that instills fear, but our reaction to the circumstance.  We have a choice.  Here is a simple example.  For years I volunteered as camp nurse at our state campground for  youth retreats or summer camps.  I loved this time &  there were always exciting challenges.  When my son, Bryce, was around two years old he discovered something fun.  Rhino Beetles.  I, on the other hand, was extremely afraid of them.  They were huge, ugly & I had absolutely no idea what their capacity was, but I knew I wanted nothing to do with them.  One day Bryce wanted to show me his catch.  When I saw he was carrying a Rhino Beetle, I immediately wanted to scream & run.  I knew my son well enough that if I showed this type of reaction, I would have Rhino Beetles in my bed!  Regardless of my fear & anxiety, my response, not my reaction,  was cool, calm & collected.  I shuddered after he left!   The beetles, my circumstance, had no idea I was freaking out.  We can respond appropriately or react in fear, anger or anxiety.  Paul had many valid reasons on numerous occasions to forsake his mission, yet he was a man with a determined purpose.

choosing to be happy is healthyEach choice we make requires energy.  We can expend our negative energy on fear, anger, or anxiety OR……we could devote the same amount of positive energy on faith, prayer, gratitude, confidence, hope & belief. Today I used an example from something the Apostle Paul did.  His choices became his legacy & continue to direct people on a daily basis.  YOU are just as valuable & capable of making significant choices.  The mind is the greatest battlefield.  Thoughts can be held captive or left to sabotage our lives. Either way we can direct the battleground. 

 It’s a choice.  In the end….I pray above all things that you think &  choose wisely! 

Blessings,

g

Kids & Self-Entitlement

After Christmas I began seeing quite a few blogs regarding the way we raise our children without creating brats or little humans displaying self-entitlement mentalities.  I found them very interesting & agreed with quite a few suggestions.

I have successfully raised two wonderful kids ages 25 & 36, both of which have children of their own.  When they were young I probably paid them for chores until I realized chores were a part of being a family. Everyone is responsible, pitches in & does their fair share or at least age appropriate fairness!  If there was a particular situation where they needed money for a project such as camp, I would suggest “working” for someone else or I would assign special chores in which I paid them for doing. I divorced when Summer was a senior in High School & Bryce was in first grade.  It was vital  to institute a plan that worked for everyone.   I will never forget when Bryce wanted to make money for something he deemed important & he created his own list.  Each contribution to daily chores were carefully calculated in cent values.  It was priceless!

When it came to gifts, I encouraged my kids to buy for parents, friends, etc.  When Summer was young, many of our gifts were handmade as we were very creative.  Bryce had the luxury of being raised as an only child after Summer married & had privy to all my spare change throughout the year.  He saved diligently & purchased gifts Christmas for friends / family.  Hearing his description of how good it felt to give to others is forever etched in my memories.

We were very involved in church & had many opportunities to sow into the lives of others.  These type of activities didn’t always include monetary donations, but rather time.  At one time, Summer & I were both enrolled in Bible School.  After my graduation I went on staff as the assistant administrator of the Bible School.  One of my duties included being the program director for community outreach & Saturday Sunday School was one of our largest ministries. On Saturday mornings, throughout the city, several student groups would host meetings with children of all ages.  We had praise & worship, played games, performed skits, offered time for them to ask for prayers & salvation.  We fed them lunch & left with indescribable feelings of love & gratitude for having the opportunity to serve such precious kids. I was a clown!  Of course I was! It was the greatest, most uninhibited freedom ever!  Summer was responsible for a group of her own. Every other weekend Bryce accompanied me & participated in every activity.  In addition to Saturday Sunday School, Bryce & I accompanied a group that visited a local Boys & Girls Clubs each week.  Our time was consumed with being others focused. One Saturday we blitzed a neighborhood where we would begin a new group.  Our conversation afterwards, describing his observance of the people we talked to that day, is another etched memory.  You see……we must give our children the chance  to understand how they can make a difference & in doing so they become extremely grateful for what they have.  

The Bible compares our children to arrows in the hands of mighty warriors.  Why do we feel like we are not giving them enough & continue to stress over it?  Arrows pierce.  Our children can & should be the greatest force in the world around them armed with confidence, validation, courage & purpose. Instead…..we allow the world to pierce or wound their little spirits.   ALL THE TIME I hear how people want to give their children things they never had.  Let me ask you some questions?

  • What kind of adult are you?  Responsible?  Irresponsible?  Complacent?
  • Do you work & provide for your family?  Do they have the basic needs – food, clothing & shelter?
  • Are you concerned about their well-being?
  • Are you protective of their associations?

As you ponder these, please think about what was so horrible as a child & what you didn’t have that fuels this drive to over produce for your children.  Going without “things” often creates a sense of determination to succeed & easily recognize the needs of others. Not having adequate supervision often creates a sense of responsibility & concern or protection for others.  The struggles you feel you had as a child could have affected the adult you are now.  I was raised on a farm & we pretty much had to be self-sufficient.  I worked during the summer helping my daddy with the crops.  I couldn’t do any activities until I completed my responsibilities.  My mom sewed our clothes, canned/preserved food for the winter, & we raised our own animals for meat / dairy consumption. When friends stayed over, they helped too.  Please evaluate what was so terrible about your childhood?  Chances are you are extraordinary & I’m confused as to why you won’t allow your children to develop the same amazing qualities.  In providing a hand out to our children instead of a hand up, we alter their ability to discover who they really are & what they’re capable of accomplishing. The result of producing clones mimicking the world around us is very frustrating. How many times have you told your children how ungrateful they are?  Why are they? Don’t get me wrong. I have seen some children who have been given every opportunity to show gratitude & simply won’t.  I was determined to help my kids discover & practice gratitude. Here’s a story!  Once we pulled in a drive through window at Burger King & as soon as Bryce got his kid’s meal he pitched a fit.  Not over the food!  He was mad because he already had the toy he just received in his meal.   At that moment I reminded him his behavior of being ungrateful was unacceptable & has just cost him the privilege of getting kids meals for quite a while.  When I finally allowed him to order them again, he never once pitched another fit!  We created a basket to collect duplicate toys & donated them to toy drives.  Again…..giving to others.

We, as adults, have self entitlement attitudes in in-quantifiable magnitudes.  Remember…..from the second we enter the world as an infant it’s all about us.  We’re hungry & we cry.  We’re wet/dirty & we let the world know.  The world revolves around us because our nature dictates so.  As we grow, we develop a learned behavior that quite possibly there are others who have needs as well.  This is a hard revelation for some!  I won’t begin to list the growing number of adults in our nation who continue to believe the world revolves around them & demand everything. We have a tendency to scold our children for being ungrateful or unappreciative, but in reality……they could be mirror images of who we are.

ImageI encourage you to chart a new course for 2014.  Find community opportunities that will allow you & your children to participate in serving others together.  Before getting new toys, have them give toys away to others. Instead of you throwing them in a trash bag & dropping them in a donation station, have them sort, pack & actively give them away.   Involve them in local seasonal activities such as Angel Tree gifts, back to school, Easter, etc.  Allow them to help you prepare meals.  They learn to appreciate the time & effort spent on your behalf to provide something for them to eat.  Suggest making meals for shut-ins & allow them to help you prepare it & accompany you with the delivery.  They can create the artwork for get well / thank you cards & have them write letters or cards to our military serving away from home.  Perhaps you could participate in a group clothing swap.  Instead of you spending time purchasing teachers gifts, involve them in making gifts from the heart!  When you financially prepare for sending your children to summer camp, provide a scholarship on behalf your child to assist with tuition for another child to go. Be sure to involve you child in making the money to do so!  I’m sure there are unknown hundreds of ways to accomplish your new course. Please feel free to share ideas, projects or technics you practice with your children.

Our children are only in our care for a few short years & the cycle they continue is critical. My childhood responsibilities on the farm has made me very independent & appreciative of my ability to embrace the natural basics of life with minimal transition.  I used to tell Bryce I wasn’t raising just him, but I was raising a father & a husband.  What I did may not have made sense to him at that time, but prayerfully it would later!  Today, I am so very proud that he is an extremely responsible father & husband!  The creativity I used to involve Summer in has paid off with undeniable dividends!  Over the years we have done some unbelievable projects & just spent New Years Eve creating our own whipped body butters, toothpaste, day/night creams, room sprays, shampoo & etc.  She is one of the most giving, talented & resourceful women I know.  As a single mom, I never felt I did enough & I certainly wasn’t a perfect mom.  I felt like a failure on so many levels I can’t even describe them. Somehow….my kids were resilient & are amazing!

At this point in my life, I feel beyond accomplished.  You can’t measure it materialistically, but that isn’t always what counts.  There is one thing you & your children are entitled to…. this feeling & living a life dedicated to serving humanity!

Blessings,

g

Regarding your children. The days might be long, but the years are short. – Andy Stanley

it’s just a light bulb!

I am so beyond excited for the latest endeavor in the area of ministry involving single adults.  I have started a Divorce Care Program though my amazing church as a Connect Group & community-wide outreach.  When I divorced 19 years ago this type of support group was probably not unheard of, but just not available in my area.  Falling in love with reading & being hungry to learn as much as possible about relationships, dating, etc., has helped me tremendously.  The #1 asset has been counseling other singles.  I learned to minister through my own pain, rejection, & inferiority.  You’ve probably heard the statement that if we wrote our problems on a piece of paper, put them in a stack to trade with others, we would happily take ours back.  Each story I hear reminds me of the redemptive grace of God & makes me realize just how far I’ve come in the season of singleness!  I’ve branded the name of the group journE³y focusing on the goals to encourage, empower & equip single parents.

Recently I sat with a friend who’s in the process of divorce.  It’s fresh, painful, overwhelming & just downright not fair. I am a well-adjusted, single woman, yet I have a personal vendetta against divorce.  While listening (key factor here!), I realized it doesn’t matter how educated, christianated (yes, I know that isn’t a word, but….you get the gist), successful or strong-willed someone is, when the heart & soul (mind, will, emotions) are involved we become vulnerable.

We daily live our lives unconsciously.  There are actions we do & never realize they’re being done until it’s totally our responsibility to perform them all.  Trash, clogged drains, yard maintenance, pool upkeep, & the simplest thing of all, replacing light bulbs.  When a parent has to factor everything that was done as a team to now being done solely by them, the slightest infraction can be the straw that breaks the camels back.  I picture a child afraid of the dark who is lying in their bed envisioning each bedroom accessory coming to life with monstrous teeth & claws hovering to consume the frightened child.  The fear of the unknown is gripping & can paralyze.  One day everything is manageable & the next it brings a flood of tears to our eyes imagining how we will fit this into our schedule.

The maintenance issues can’t even begin to compare to the psychological impairment divorce brings to a child.  Rejection, confusion, insecurity, separation anxiety, uncertainty, &  more. Children are resilient, yet these emotions can scar a child & affect future relationships.

If you’re a single parent, I applaud you with tremendous respect & affirmation.  If you’re a married couple who have single parent friends, step up & offer assistance.  A note of warning, don’t let their stubborn facade of “everything’s fine” stop you.  Our church practices & encourages performing ARK’s.  Acts of Random Kindness have secured new, tremendous friends for me since we’ve promoted it.  Examples could be from something small like changing light bulbs to making sure you invite them to dinner with your family.  I will not regress at the numbers of times I prayed someone, anyone would just invite my son & I to dinner after church that never happened.  I finally stopped praying & began inviting other singles to join me.  While this is awesome to form community, it also creates isolation.  A single parent was once a family unit & sometimes, it just feels good being surrounded by family.  One of our connect groups is family game night.  This was the one I chose to attend last semester & I can’t tell you how much I gained from those amazing weeks of association.  Besides becoming obsessed over the game, Taboo, the relationships are priceless.

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Life isn’t merely a destination, but who you become in the….

Blessings,

g

Buried–Parable of the Talents

There’s some things going on that I’d like to touch base with you about.  Have you ever gotten to a place in life where you’re not really bored, but feel a change is stirring?  I’ve learned to pay attention to these stirrings & entertain what they may entail.  During my years as a nurse, this generally meant I had to learn something involving new skills, areas of expertise or simply a change with the floor I worked on.  Each step brought me increase, not only financially, but in self-confidence & self-esteem.  However, these changes often required being uncomfortable or stepping outside of my comfort zone.  Later on I would mentor, precept & train others through the same processes with great intrinsic satisfaction.  I have a life motto– Never simply learn something for yourself, learn something well enough to teach it!!  Whether it takes devoting 10,000 hours or daily slight edge adjustments, do it!

Within the past few weeks I’m finding myself at the threshold of the familiar feelings.  Restless, indecisive, contemplative.  I admire John Maxwell & his wisdom & I’ve quoted him for years with this:

“People change when they hurt enough that they have to, learn enough that they want to, or receive enough that they are able to.” ~John Maxwell

I’m not sure what it takes for you to change, but any of those examples are amazing catalysts.  I’ve had a particular scripture resonate within my being to the point that I’m afraid I’ll miss the will of God if I miss changing.  Here it is:

Parable of the Talents

14“For it is just like a man about to go on a journey, who called his own slaves and entrusted his possessions to them.15“To one he gave five talents, to another, two, and to another, one, each according to his own ability; and he went on his journey.16“Immediately the one who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and gained five more talents.17“In the same manner the one who had received the two talents gained two more.18“But he who received the one talent went away, and dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.

19“Now after a long time the master of those slaves came and settled accounts with them.20“The one who had received the five talents came up and brought five more talents, saying, ‘Master, you entrusted five talents to me. See, I have gained five more talents.’21“His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’

22“Also the one who had received the two talents came up and said, ‘Master, you entrusted two talents to me. See, I have gained two more talents.’23“His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’

24“And the one also who had received the one talent came up and said, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow and gathering where you scattered no seed.25‘And I was afraid, and went away and hid your talent in the ground. See, you have what is yours.’

26“But his master answered and said to him, ‘You wicked, lazy slave, you knew that I reap where I did not sow and gather where I scattered no seed.27‘Then you ought to have put my money in the bank, and on my arrival I would have received my money back with interest.28‘Therefore take away the talent from him, and give it to the one who has the ten talents.’

29“For to everyone who has, more shall be given, and he will have an abundance; but from the one who does not have, even what he does have shall be taken away.30“Throw out the worthless slave into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Worthless! Yikes!  I never want to be referred to as this! He admitted to being afraid & there are probably many more explanations as to why he buried the one talent.   I don’t want to bury what God has carefully orchestrated for me to gain knowledge of!  At this juncture I feel like example #2 in having learned enough to want change. This doesn’t mean I’ve arrived by any stretch of the imagination!  I’m ready to stretch my faith, stack new knowledge on wisdom & embrace the new.  Better still…….multiply the talents entrusted to me!

ImageWhat’s going on in your life?  Are you stuck?  Which of the catalysts for change is screaming your name? YOU  possess more talent than you probably care to admit.  Others could benefit by you exhibiting courage enough to step out & change!   One of my favorite men recently said, “I don’t mind getting stuck in traffic; don’t get stuck in life. – Bob Goff”

Bury the things worthy of forgetting & utterly leaving behind– excuses, self-sabotage, insecurities, fear, doubt, unbelief & others opinions.

Blessings,

g

Trigger Points

A few months back my pastor quoted a very familiar scripture.  We know it well when used in the context of turning our backs on God.  Rejection of who God is in our life can be defined at various stages, situations or conditions.  Let’s look…….

Jesus replied to Peter, “I can guarantee this truth: Before a rooster crows tonight, you will say three times that you don’t know me.- Matthew 26:34

ImageThe story goes that Peter actually fulfilled that truth.  What isn’t revealed was the different take on this scripture.  It’s unlike anything I had ever heard taught before.  Why did Jesus reference a rooster?  Why didn’t he reference daylight or a specific person or event?  There are amazing lessons in each word spoken by the divine Savior.  Applicable lessons used  thousands of years later!  The sound of roosters crowing was an everyday occurrence in the life & times of Peter.  Each time Peter heard a rooster crow, he immediately realized his denial.  It goes even further than this.  Peter was reconciled to Christ & became one of the most profound leaders in the revival of the New Testament church.

There is something even deeper than his reconciliation.  As I pondered this teaching, I realized we all resonate with this.  How do you think Peter felt when he heard the roosters crow thereafter?  This was a daily reminder to Peter & would have been the perfect opportunity for guilt to eat away at his character & stand to serve Jesus.  How many times have we been out of the will of God, reconciled back to Him & yet……something would immediately cause guilt, remorse, or shame?  Those “somethings” are triggers & the enemy has recorded each & every one that  pushes our buttons!  I grew up on a small farm & had vicious roosters! The crowing was tolerable, but they had long, sharp spurs (talons) that could wreak terror!!  Think about it!  Does a certain smell, or lyrics to a song take you back to a time gone by?  I know it can with me!  I can hear the music from the late 70’s or early 80’s & suddenly transport to a dance floor!  I can even remember conversations!   I finally forgave Willie Nelson for being the typical male!  Seriously!  Can a phrase create a sudden lack of trust even though the phrase was spoken in a past life (divorce, past relationship, etc.) by someone long forgotten?  I constantly & continually struggle with releasing a fear of commitment because of this. I said it!  It’s out here in cyberspace now right?  Triggers, like the mechanism of a gun, in a split second, can be vicious & change the very atmosphere in our minds becoming a catalyst spiraling to sway our decisions.

How do we counter these triggers?  The best advice I can offer is to, first of all, know who Imageyou are RIGHT NOW.  I am not the same person I was 20 years ago or even last week. I seek to grow, change & develop into who God wants me to be.  This realization is empowering on many levels. Reminders of our past are perfect for triggers to arise & attempt to destroy us!   You are not the same person you used to be & hopefully don’t live there anymore!  But wait…..we can’t blame the enemy for some things, because we refuse to move on, let go, & refuse to live in the present.  Do you know someone who has the same hairstyle they’ve had for years because they used to get complimented on it then?  For the record…..Bald is beautiful guys!  LOLOLOL!  There are classic hairstyles ladies,  but let’s face it……some have to go! Another person may refuse to become technologically advanced because of intimidation or lack of self-confidence?  How about wearing the same perfume / cologne?   We set up the perfect battlefield –our mind– & the fight becomes self-inflicted. It’s a comfort zone that can literally be a prison.  I can’t imagine the constant state of turmoil many have by living this way. Please understand I’m not attacking / judging to be mean or degrading.  This is a different dispensation of time & one slight adjustment could make all the difference in how we view ourselves. One of my favorite scriptures is 2 Corinthians 5:17.  If any man be in Christ he is a new creature. Old things are passed away & behold all things have become new!!  Learn from the past, but please don’t dwell there!  Many, many years ago I had to look in the mirror & quote a mantra that, I must admit, was very painful to quote.  I continued & to date, it is the easiest, most uplifting thing I do.  YOU are amazing & once you take the time to know the real you, no one will ever be able to convince you otherwise.

The second & most vital piece of advice is to learn who you are in Christ.  You are fearfully & wonderfully made, the apple of His eye, made in His image, His handiwork, His friend & the person He surrendered His life for.  Each of those descriptions have scriptures attached  & committing them to memory will be your greatest shield of defense when a trigger happens.  Instead of reacting to the trigger, respond with the living word.  Anything spoken to you that is contrary to what the word of God says about you will soon dissipate.  Don’t misinterpret that there will never be triggers, instead…..you will be more discerning & equipped to face them.

On another note, sometimes things are said that convict us of something we need to seriously work on. Know the difference & I believe we are strengthened when we put forth the effort to change the things we can.

You are beautiful, yet not defenseless   When your “rooster” crows, pull the trigger back with confidence, conviction & clarity!

Blessings,

g

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Lessons Learned

Wow!  I’m so far behind in posts!  I have some notes saved to write, but I chose this to be the first!  In a world of best practices, advice, personal development, & etc., this pretty much sums up what I believe!  I respect this lady immensely!!

We could read & meditate on one daily & start over through the rest of the year!

Always remember lessons are invaluable, but your life is beyond even more that to someone!  YOU make a difference!

Blessings,

g

 

45 Life Lessons & 5 to Grow On by Regina Brett , a columnist for The Plain Dealer, Cleveland, Ohio.

1. Life isn’t fair, but it’s still good.

2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.

3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.

4. Don’t take yourself so seriously. No one else does.

5. Pay off your credit cards every month.

6. You don’t have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.

7. Cry with someone. It’s more healing than crying alone.

8. It’s OK to get angry with God. He can take it.

9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.

10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.

11. Make peace with your past so it won’t screw up the present.

12. It’s OK to let your children see you cry.

13. Don’t compare your life to others’. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn’t be in it.

15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don’t worry; God never blinks.

16. Life is too short for long pity parties. Get busy living, or get busy dying.

17. You can get through anything if you stay put in today.

18. A writer writes. If you want to be a writer, write.

19. It’s never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.

20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don’t take no for an answer.

21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don’t save it for a special occasion. Today is special.

22. Overprepare, then go with the flow.

23. Be eccentric now. Don’t wait for old age to wear purple.

24. The most important sex organ is the brain.

25. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.

26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words: “In five years, will this matter?”

27. Always choose life.

28. Forgive everyone everything.

29. What other people think of you is none of your business.

30. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.

31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.

32. Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.

33. Believe in miracles.

34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn’t do.

35. Whatever doesn’t kill you really does make you stronger.

36. Growing old beats the alternative – dying young.

37. Your children get only one childhood. Make it memorable.

38. Read the Psalms. They cover every human emotion.

39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.

40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s, we’d grab ours back.

41. Don’t audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.

42. Get rid of anything that isn’t useful, beautiful or joyful.

43. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.

44. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.

45. The best is yet to come.

46. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.

47. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.

48. If you don’t ask, you don’t get.

49. Yield.

50. Life isn’t tied with a bow, but it’s still a gift..

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