As you may know, I’m from Texas. I feel very strongly against our borders being flooded. Period. Many voice an opinion that this is not the “Christian” thing to believe. There’s a huge disconnect in the belief that Christians shouldn’t feel this way. I love God & serve Him daily. I choose as an act of my will to extend mercy, grace & unconditional love. My bible has story after story of how God protected his people & commanded His leaders to wipe out entire nations to do so. I’m not saying He should wipe out Mexico, Salvador, etc., so please don’t misinterpret that. I am saying we should exercise wisdom to protect our own.
I treat all mankind with dignity & respect & strongly believe children should never be used as tools for personal or political gain. This is not Christian, or humanitarian, but political. My governor has been soliciting the POTUS to come see for himself. His trip to Texas is to attend a fundraiser, not assess the situation. Really?? A local Mayor is up for re-election. He’s in the spotlight for the wrong reasons by offering shelters for immigrants without following procedures. Sound familiar? Protecting humans should come from the right heart motive, not personal gain.
Over 137,000 (87%) of the children attending Dallas schools rely on school-subsidized breakfast and/or lunch as their only resource for food. All too often, these children go without dinner. Many of them have nothing to eat from school lunch one day until school breakfast the next.
I love ending the week on such a completely positive, uplifting & encouraging note!
A couple of years ago we used the Hilton Garden Inn in Dallas for our Tues nite business meetings. Me & my besties usually hosted the door, so we were there early. We had the honor & privilege of working with a man named Richard. He always went above & beyond to make sure we had everything we needed to have a perfect meeting.
Everyone has a story if you just take the time to listen. His story was amazing & we couldn’t wait to see how God used his ill-fate, talents & abilities to help others. Today Glenda told me about his website & I’m in awe of the faithfulness of God.
Please read his testimony of being wrongfully accused & spending 15 years in a Texas prison. Going in at age 19 & leaving at age 34 meant he spent the formative years of his life incarcerated. He did use that time to obtain an education which he furthered once released.
During our weekly visits, we recognized there were seeds of greatness in him knowing he would definitely pay it forward by helping others. The thing I appreciate most was that he never represented a victim mentality nor was he an angry man with an entitlement mentality. Never! He had a servant’s heart & put others first. He was tested even after being exonerated, but……his dream & passion for others consumed him. How inspiring to see how he followed his dream not only in offering others a hand up, but sowing into the community. He kept his eyes focused on the prize & an attitude of resilience. After all…..attitude is the difference maker!
It truly makes me ponder how many other people I know who allow a simple obstacle prevent them from cultivating the gifts & talents God has placed in them. How many am I allowing to lay dormant? We may not be behind bars, but who or what are we allowing to hold us captive & steal our future? What measure of guilt & condemnation are we allowing to take up residence in our minds developing self sabotage & even more limiting beliefs? In the past 2 days I’ve been challenged to really set some things in motion & this completely sealed the deal! I think it’s self-evaluation time! How about YOU???
You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people.-Genesis 50:20
I surround myself with forward thinking, like minded people. The word success is regularly used in multiple conversations, articles I read or thoughts I contemplate. Many times, some may ponder what success looks like to them. I came across this & it beautifully parallels the law of sowing & reaping while perfectly embracing the philosophy of being “others focused.”
My hope is for it to actively stir your soul!
What is success?
To some it is money; to others it is position; yet to others, it is power. We all have different thoughts on what constitutes a successful person. And, at different times in our lives you may find that success will have a different meaning.
In developing your own definition of success, think of others and how you can help them.
If success means money to you, then donate money to a worthwhile charity.
If success means a position of status, then share your knowledge with others.
If success means power to you, then use that to advance worthwhile causes.
If success means happiness to you, then work at a job you love.
All to often, we get caught up in all the things we want, and forget to give back to the world. Our society seems to place more value on how much we have rather than how much we give.
What a different world it would be if society placed more value on how much we gave! If success was defined as helping others our world would be a changed world.
The words of wisdom said by Martin Luther King, Jr., sums up our thought:
“We are prone to judge success by the index of our salaries
or the size of our automobile rather than by the quality of our service and relationship to humanity.”
The wisdom of Mr. King’s words are ones that we all need to remember as we climb the ladder of success.
I love this man! This is a cry of my heart for every single mother. Schedules are crazy, kids have a million things that have to be done at one time & it’s up to us, one person, to do it. I know & appreciate that there are just as many amazing men who do this every day. I salute you & while the movie is about single mothers, please know you are valued just as much!
Can’t wait to see this movie! Please read what Tyler has to say about it!
Today is a very special day for one of my closest friends. Her marriage of 24 years ended & her divorce became final today. As an advocate against divorce, what I’m about to say is the exact opposite, but I have to confess….I don’t know who’s happier, me or her. Well….I know that answer, but you can tell I’m beyond stoked! I’ve known & worked closely with her since October 2005. She is naive is some ways, doesn’t attempt any of the things I do when it comes to DIY stuff, isn’t extremely internet savvy, reads daily devotions, but won’t attend church, wouldn’t stand up to talk to a crowd if her life depended on it, will procrastinate until I’m driven crazy & hates to veer out of her normal comfort zones. She is, however, one of the kindest, sensitive, loyal, most committed mother, cat lover & human I know.
Before they married, husband had a child & baby mama drama. Although her grandfather tried to warn her, she loved him & accepted his son. During the marriage, he was unfaithful & this produced another child & yes… another baby mama. My friend is precious & attempted to honor her wedding vows regardless of husband’s infidelity. They had 2 kids of their own & oops…another one happened. She worked 3 jobs during her pregnancy to provide for her family. This is acceptable right? I mean husband worked one job, paid all his money to baby mama’s for child support & expected to be completely taken care of with designer clothing, new vehicles, toys, etc. Wait…I had a lapse of sanity for a moment, because in no lifetime is this acceptable.
When things became unbearable they separated. [Enter humor] While living with his mother, husband got a taste of being responsible for himself. They attempted to reunite & make the marriage work so he moved back home. This is a great option if you’re not dating someone else in the process. During this time, he wrecked his truck & of course he got a brand new one. She paid the note, so why not right? It’s OK that she drove the hooptie with no A/C in Texas heat. The kids are young, they’ll survive. NOT! Finally the day came. July 2013 was the most memorable month for me ever. Wait….this isn’t about me, but I was rejoicing believe me!
Friend began “going out” with a friend she’d known most of her life. He had 3 baby mama’s, 7 kids & lived in a garage loft type room at his parents. Before you judge that she obviously has a problem, stop. In 20 years of mentoring single women/men, I’ve seen this cyclic behavior pattern a million times. Remember when I described comfort zone above? It was just a friend with a history of leaving broken hearts all over town & kids he’ll never contribute in raising. For 6 years I used to read during my 45 minute lunch break. I didn’t gossip with anyone, didn’t socialize or even sit in the dining room. This was my time to invest in my mind through books. Friend had a bestie that shared lunch with her. Bestie left & now friend & I began to have lunch together. I could have been extremely selfish, self-absorbed & genuinely not bothered by what was going on in her life. Except…..she’s my friend. I’ve heard every event that has taken place for the past 2 years. I’ve heard every event that has taken place for the past 2 years. I’ve heard every event….no this isn’t a typo. I have literally heard events, repetitively, for the past 2 years. If you know me, you know this rubs against every fiber of my being. Why did I listen? She has no one to mentor her in relationships. I am not the most sensitive, patient, polished, or kind person when it comes to advice sometimes, but I am thankful to say we have worked through many situations, other relationships & she is so much stronger because of it. Yes it was an extreme sacrifice sometimes, but to see her today is like there is nothing better. The reward is worth the investment.
My judgmental attitude overruled my best nature sometimes & I would call husband a parasite. Then lifetime friend became a parasite too. Having a 25 year background in nursing, I am familiar with what a parasite is. Not only what they are, but what havoc they can wreak on the lives of people or hosts. While praying for her to have courage & emotional stability today to face the judge, I actually began entertaining what a parasite truly does. I then had to look up the definition & description. Looking at pictures grossed me out completely. I can’t imagine enabling that type of behavior! Here it is:
Parasitism is a non-mutual symbiotic relationship between species, where one species, the parasite, benefits at the expense of the other, the host. Unlike predators, parasites do not kill their host and will often live in or on their host for an extended period of time. Parasites show a high degree of specialization, and reproduce at a faster rate than their hosts. Parasites increase their fitness by exploiting hosts for resources necessary for their survival, e.g. food, water, heat, habitat, and transmission.
Parasitism can take the form of isolated “cheating” or exploitation among more generalized mutualistic interactions. For example, broad classes of plants or fungi exchange carbon and nutrients in common mutualistic mycorrhizal relationships; however, some plant species known as myco-heterotrophs “cheat” by taking carbon from a fungus rather than donating it.
Synonyms – sycophant, toady, leech, sponge, hanger-on.
I was surprised at how this identifies to husband & lifetime friend. How quaint that leech was my other descriptive word. How many people do you know can be labeled as this? How many people do you know who are drawn to these types of people? Before we go further, please understand that co-dependent, manipulative, self-absorbed, ruthless, parasitic behavior patterns are not gender specific.
You can’t change what you tolerate & often we tolerate situations, husbands, wives, lovers, & friends just because we lack the courage to do anything else. The best thing you can do for someone who lacks the confidence to walk away from these parasitic relationships is to be a friend. Listen, offer advice & most of all validate their good qualities while constantly & continually building belief that they are much more valuable than this. Please, direct them to a community DivorceCare Group immediately.
Today is a new day in the life of my friend. I know it wasn’t an easy path to follow, yet there is such a release & relief. If you read this & think I’ve been stalking you because this is your story, please know there is hope & a cure for tolerating someone, a parasite, who is literally sucking the life right out of you.
I purpose daily to read several leadership blogs & intentionally post positive quotes. This morning my chosen quote stirred my thoughts. This is actually the purpose. Too many times we try to tell people what to think instead of inspiring or empowering them to think on their own. Here’s the quote:
A few years ago I learned about three little words that have the potential to create a catalyst for change. Be, Do, Become. These can be practically applied in any area in which we desire change. The process is relatively easy. Begin with a choice of what you want to change or who you would like to be. Now let’s not get crazy & want to become another human! Perhaps there is someone who is a role model to you. What is it about them that you want to emulate? Do they speak well in front of others? Are they kind, generous & thoughtful? Are they known for how they serve others? Do they exude a healthy lifestyle? Are they physically active? Are they disciplined in certain areas of their life that challenges you to raise the standard in your own life? Are they a great parent? Whatever it is, choose to glean specific info from an area. This focus will include reading specific subject matter from credible sources. Exercise discipline regarding this change by putting it into daily or even more incremental practices. A book that has changed my life in so many areas, The Slight Edge, provides tremendous wisdom in how to implement & enforce this. During your waking hours, purposely think about this change. One of my favorite Bible scriptures instructs us to call those things that be not as though they were. I like to refer to it as the Speckled & Spotted Principle! One of my favorite books, the ant & the ELEPHANT teaches us about the power of the conscious vs the subconscious mind. You have probably read how many world renown athletes see themselves batting that home run, or shooting that winning hoop, etc. There is something powerful about visualization.
The second step is to Do what it is that you want to change. If you are following a mentor or role model, do what they’ve done to accomplish their success. This can start as small as setting the microwave for 5 minutes, look at yourself in the mirror & give a speech. Said speech can be just telling the person in the mirror how wonderful they are! What if it’s writing a book? Begin a blog. Becoming healthy? Cut out fast food except for one day/week. A marathon? Start running at the local high school track or park that has a trail. How about a treadmill? A simple way to begin running if you’ve never done it is to walk 5-10 steps, then run 5-10 steps & increase this, yes, incrementally, until you are running. There are, of course, amazing apps to help you too. Whatever it is….DO something!
Finally…..look in the mirror. Who do you see? Better still, who have you become? Confident? Happy? Healthy? Competent? Courageous? Empowered? Free? In the process, I can’t promise easy, but I can promise it’s totally worth it.