Happy Father’s Day to all the great Dad’s out there who are giving ice cream before bedtime behind Mom’s back. It’s totally cool, she will never find out. And to all those without their father today who may be struggling, know there is a Father in heaven who will always love you unconditionally, even if you eat the last cookie in the jar. 😎
This year is really flying by! I can’t believe we are already in March and it’s time for Lent. I am not Catholic in any way but I have always been fascinated by how Catholics and the, “I’m only Catholic on holidays” Catholics celebrate this religious process. The basic concept is denying yourself something for 40 days in an effort to draw you closer to God. It’s not Biblical but it is what they believe. I have yet to meet someone who hasn’t broken Lent within a week or actually avoided eating meat on Friday. I wanted to take this a step further to see if people can go without something important to them for any time period all in an effort to draw themselves closer to God? There are so many things we do on a daily basis that are such a habit that we don’t even realize we are doing them. Humans are ritualistic and forget to function on thought sometimes because it takes too long to break cycles.
What if we challenged ourselves to spend a few days trying something else? Doing something new or letting go of a vice that may be killing us in an effort to pull closer to God? And for those who don’t or refuse to believe in God, doing all the same just to find some peace of mind or clarity? I am not saying to do this for 40 days at a time but start small. If you smoke, go a full day without cigarettes. If you are a heavy drinker, cut back to once a week. If you have a gym membership that you barely use, make an effort to start going once a week. There are very big and small ways in our lives that we can make changes to find balance. It all comes down to if we are willing or not. I have challenged myself to get a lot of the stuff done around the house that needs it before it gets too warm outside. I like to do yard work in late Winter/early Spring versus trying to hump around all summer in the heat. I want to fully enjoy Summer this year. My smaller more personal goal, not just for 40 days, is to spend more time each day with God. I have found myself doing too much other stuff and then realized it’s just stuff. I felt empty.
What will you be inspired to do? Maybe it is time to let go of those old pains, get that big final cry out? Maybe it is time to try something new – almost anything new! Cliff diving in Mexico might not be your thing but wearing a dress for the first time in years might be your start. Going on that first date, deciding to take things to the next level, planning to get married or working toward making your relationship or marriage stronger versus throwing in the towel, or remembering why you have always loved that person no matter what and finally making your lives become one. It is never too late for any of this. You are the starting point.
Whether it is for Lent, one week or one day, you should strive to cut away the old bad habits. That is the only way new and positive habits will enter your life and stick around. What will you try today?
Between the pumpkin flavored things, lists being made in anticipation for the holidays and those growing out your facial hair for charity, remember to take a moment to smile and spread some love. It’s can be as grand as taking a relationship to the next level or as simple as sharing a friendly smile with someone in pain.
Actions matter – do them wisely.
I recently heard some people talking about the relationship between Ruth and Boaz and how much of an impact it had on their decision making when it came to picking a partner or waiting for that *right* person to come along. If you aren’t familiar with the story, Boaz is a well established Israelite of means who met Ruth, a Gentile who was at a low point in her life. This meeting changed their lives forever. Boaz was a blessing in Ruth’s life. I like to think that blessing went both ways for both people.
I was discussing with a good friend of mine how hard relationships can be, whether you are married or not. We also discussed why it seems that opposites always seem to attract and stick together longer than those who are too much alike. Like Ruth and Boaz, we may be brought together to be a blessing for someone else because we already have enough in our lives. I firmly believe that the story of Ruth and Boaz goes beyond the traditional male and female relationship. I feel that there are people who are like Boaz, male or female alike, and people like Ruth, again both male and female alike. There are times that we will have to hold up our partner through their season so that you two grow closer together. Sometimes we have to be the leader, teacher, shelter for their suffering or their strength like Boaz was for Ruth. There are times that we are like Ruth, feeling low and needing that hug or action of love to see us through. The core importance of the story is to teach us that we may not always understand our partner because they may not be “on our level” or they may have either exposed, hidden or unwarranted insecurities that are plaguing their life and possibly now your relationship and we can be quick to dismiss situations, people and emotions due to ignorance.
It is important to take a step back and realize that like Ruth who saw Boaz in a field, we have to strip down situations to its simplest form, like the field, to truly see our partner. Whether you are Ruth in the situation or Boaz, you should be able to be vulnerable to pave the way to a solid future together.
Have a great day! 🙂
The air is always too thick around here during the rush of activity during back to school week. It’s too humid, too warm still and so many leftover memories from Summer makes you wish we had another few weeks to lie on the beach. All good things should be cherished, remembered and eventually have to come to an end. Today marks the first day of school for some. That first day is always filled with anxiety especially if they are taking the bus for the first time. New friends, new teachers, and new challenges that will shape them through the year and teach them growth.
With the ease that popular culture has in reaching our youth today (and some adults), I think it is important to remember that during our time of growth, we remember to keep our feet firmly on the ground and remember what is important.
Put God first and pray each day.
I don’t believe in shoving God or religion down anyone’s throat because it defeats the entire purpose. Just know that in times of trouble and especially since this is a new start for so many of you, prayer can move mountains and calm seas (literally and figuratively actually). If you struggle with accepting that, I completely understand. There are so many things in life that make us question everything. What is real? Why is my life the way it is? Why can’t I find that answer on Google? Start slow, study often and let the word come to you. Take that with you this year and as you grow older. Empower yourself through faith not fear.
I encourage you to do well in all aspects and remember that roadblocks are keys to finding success. I’m sure this year will fly by and what will you have to show for it?
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What a weekend.
With all the emotions being thrown around, words being expressed and biases formed, broken and reborn, I think we need to keep something in perspective. Love. I’m not talking about candy, hearts and flowers – I’m talking about love where out of suffering we move on together, out of respect, we move forward and tolerance, we can find a way to live together to find peace.
This kind of love finds forgiveness in a dark place called humanity. The spectrum of light, colors and emotions – we feel everything, even if we don’t want to. The pain I felt last night and still do, and I probably will carry some for the rest of my life because I know plenty of people who fit the description, profile, complexion of being in the “wrong” part of town at the “wrong” time. Whatever the fuck that even means.
Growing up religion has taught me to turn the other cheek, that these insults, and trauma are caused by individuals who are hurting from their own demons but sometimes you have to wonder if it’s really the devil or their own ego? Now that I’m an adult and have a growing and continuing understanding that there is more to life than what fills the pages of any one book. There is a lot of truth and power to maintaining the spirit, both human and otherwise, moving forward, forgiveness, and hope and pray that something finally sparks and people will let go of the anger and hurt in their own hearts. Life is more than the color of skin, the neighborhood in which we live and the building we walk into once a week to absolve ourselves of our transgressions.
My spirit is low and my heart breaks for what is going to come from this situation. I remain optimistic that good will rise to the top and there is a greater hope for the future. Anything is truly possible.
I ask you to just remember the small things; the pleases and thank-yous, holding doors, remembering to smile – all the small things we take for granted or can’t be bothered to perform. Don’t let this just pass us by and have it turn into passing meaningless chatter.
Let us be more.
Let this mean more.
This is one of my favorite sayings because it can be applied to just about everything in our lives. What are you working toward? What is the result of your action or actions? If you are still waiting around for a sign, consider this your sign. I empower you to want to make a difference in not only your life, but for the betterment of everyone. It’s easy to create goals that stimulate our short term, possibly carry over long term, but how do they impact you over all?
If you are still struggling over something, take a breath and find out the core issue. Maybe it is time to move on, start over and find success and prosperity in another avenue. Often the greatest successes come from the greatest failures.
You can do it.
I believe in you!