Tuesday, June 29, 2010
So many of the Spark mails get my thoughts going and give me the ideas for my blogs. Today one of them was asking how you bring out the best in others. Most of us will do unto others as we would like for them to do unto us, though of course, not always. So I will tell you how to bring out the best in me and perhaps it will ring true in your heart as well. I won't have a lot of contact with others today, but I always try to inspire excellence in those around me because when I do, we all benefit.
If you want me to excel there are several things you can do. My attitude will improve if you simply compliment me. It tells me what you expect of me and when I am getting through to others. It tells me I am making a difference and encourages me to continue the behavior that I was complimented for. It also brings a smile to my face. It becomes my very inexpensive reward.
I do well with encouragement too. For someone who has grown up with terrible self esteem it does wonders to me to know that I have someone to stand beside me and that I do not go it alone. If I fall I know I have someone standing beside me to help pick me up and tell me it is going to be alright again. When I struggle it helps to know that someone is there to listen to me and build me up again. It gives me strength I might not otherwise tap into.
I was a communications major in college and there learned the value of communicating. Don't laugh! It is at the center of our lives and marriages break up because of this central problem. I don't mean merely talk at me, but take the time to figure out what makes me tick. If I fail to meet your expectations, find out why and then work with me. Make sure that the words you use mean the same thing to me that they do to you so I have a clear picture of where I am heading. I have told many a person to tell a child exactly what you expect of him because he will give you exactly what you say. This is true of all of us really.
Love covers a multitude of sins. When all else fades away, love will remain. It is the greatest force on earth. It is a life giving force. If all else fails just love me through whatever it is we face together. I can do anything if I know I will be accepted at the end of it all. When someone is grieving a simple hug can mean more than all the words the world contains. Be there for someone else and they will thank you for it. Love them without expecting anything in return. Let love permeate all you do and you will have impacted your world immeasurably.
These are just a few of the things that mean the world to me if I am struggling. I am sure you could add more of your own to the list. I hope this inspires you just a little bit if you see someone struggling. I hope that if you are struggling, this may help you somehow as well. Bring out the best in others and they will be inspired to become something they were not until they met you.
Monday, June 28, 2010
The rewards of serving God are so many I would not know where to begin in counting them. I will list here though some of the reasons I am glad I know God. I used to be depressed as a way of life. I had no purpose, no passion in life and very little compassion. I was sad and lonely. I had few to love and was not very lovable myself. I was always wanting more from life and felt shortchanged as I watched everyone around me being happier than I. All that has passed away.
Though my life is not perfect, today it holds far more promise than thirty years ago. I have a family that has survived a drug addiction that would have destroyed an average family. I have found a strength that I never knew existed before. I have peace when everything around me rages. I know that my life matters to others and that I have something to offer them, not because of who I am, but because of who He is inside of me. I no longer feel as a wanderer in this world, but someone with a path laid out ahead of me. My life is filled with adventure and excitement at every turn. Imagine it, communicating with the maker of the universe! I have had conversations with Him in my darkest day that have given me hope for the future. My God is not dead, but very much alive and I have the right to carry on a conversation with Him. His love has sustained me and comforted me. There is no one like Him, no one at all. He is all I want and all I need. I am in love with the One in love with me. Because He loves Me so, I love Him back in gratitude. I want everyone to know my very best friend.
Saturday, June 26, 2010
What is your relationship with your parents? Sadly, I no longer have either of mine. I think I was too much like my mother and we clashed often even in to my adult years. I loved my daddy. I'd sometimes get frustrated when I asked what I thought was a simple question and the answer would take what seemed to be a half hour from him! If they asked me to do something I would rarely, if ever, question them or think of disobeying them. I tried to teach my kids to be the same, but somehow never really succeeded. I always wondered what it was that they did differently.
Our parents have wisdom sometimes just because they have experienced more of life and have hopefully learned a few things as they went along. They offer advice based on their experiences and the wisdom they have achieved. They know the pain caused by not doing things a certain way. They speak out of love for us.
Sometimes, though, you find a child who thinks that they know better than those years of wisdom and trial and error. They do not wish to do things as they are told. Some children can only say, "gimme, gimme." This is not only the very young, but sadly sometimes even adult children. They set their jaw and become angry when not catered to.
Today, though not Father's Day or Mother's Day, tell your parents how much you appreciate all they have done for you as they have led and directed you. Let them know you appreciate the sacrifices they have made. I know not all parents were great parents or showed tons of love towards us, but dig deep if you must. Pray that God would bless them today at the very least. Go find someone in an old folks home to visit if your parents are gone. Listen and learn from those who have gone before you. There is much they can tell us.
Friday, June 25, 2010
Human beings are comfortable with "the way things always are." We don't like the unexpected and find comfort in routine. We don't like change. Even autistic children find comfort there and become very upset when the routine changes even slightly. We resist change.
Children and adults benefit from a routine in our daily lives. Take a look, for example, at a consistent bedtime. I know when I drove a school bus I would go to bed at 9pm. I could set a clock by my body even on days off because my body would desire to be in bed at that time every night. I'd get frustrated when I wanted to watch a tv show that came on later. I would see the beginning, the middle or the end, but rarely the whole show. When I vary my bedtime or waking time, I am sure to have a headache as I do today. Children too benefit from a regular schedule.
When we have a routine we do not have to worry about what comes next in our day, we know what comes next. It becomes second nature to us. Routines can also be called habits if you think about it. Perhaps we always put our left shoe on first, or both socks, or even one shoe and one sock. When I set a specific time to pray or a place in my routine, it becomes natural to do it then. I don't have to remember to do it then.
The problem with routine though is that sometimes we get bored with it. Many have pointed out the importance of shaking up a routine every now and then. We can continue on with an exercise program if we vary it some. Our brains stay more alert if we will take a different route home from work every now and then. But sticking to doing things at the same time every day, our lives will be more manageable if we will apply simple routines to the way we do things.
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