Today my parents celebrate their Anniversary... 52 years and still going strong!
This ties so perfectly into my chosen bible verse of the week, "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness and self-control." Galations 5:22
Their marriage reflects these words and is an ideal example of the fruitfulness that living into the goodness of faith and the Spirit provides. I'm so grateful each and every day for the steadfastness of their commitment to each other and to their faith.
This week I challenge myself, and you as well, to not only keep in mind but to actively practice and share these life giving words with others. Throughout the inevitable highs and lows that each day brings, let's keep a mindset of love, patience and kindness. I promise you that the rewards we'll reap from sowing goodness will be beautiful and generous!
“The world is changed by your example, not your opinion.” Paulo Coelho
We all have our opinions and we have a legitimate right to them. It’s important to stand up for what we believe in. However, in order to be the change in the world that we hope to be, we have to remember to respect others and their opinions. But even more importantly we have to demonstrate love, kindness, acceptance and compassion. Those are the true catalysts for change. The world needs more coaches and fewer critics. We’re all more open and receptive to gentle guidance than to harsh opposition. Be a supportive role model rather than a chronic cynic. Share a smile and an encouraging word and watch how easy it is to make a difference and foster positive results. Make a prayer for peace your rally cry and let’s shine some light into our sometimes dark world.
"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." Romans 8:28 (NIV)
It's so easy to get caught up in all the busy work. Our day jobs, the demands of others, errands to run and schedules to keep, the constant ping of emails and messages. They can all steal our time, our joy and our energy. I nearly let it happen to me again this morning when I opened up my work email. The agendas and urgencies of others almost derailed my plans for the day. Plans that had nothing to do with my role as an accountant. Plans that had everything to do with what I truly desire to do with my life. Today I must remind myself of my purpose. My passions. My goals. And that although the needs of others and the need to serve others is also important, I must remember that God has called me to a much greater purpose than what is being demanded of me today. So I will give priority to what God has placed in my heart through his good and amazing grace. This is my true life's work. The work that will ultimately glorify God and please him.
Lord, I pray for the strength and wisdom of the Spirit to move me and guide me as I make a new way in my life. Your way. As you have intended for me. In Jesus name, Amen.
"That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither - whatever they do prospers." Psalm 1:3
It has been a remarkably busy few months. Too busy almost. While I absolutely thrive on being productive and on getting things checked off my list, I have to be honest. There have been times that I've felt more than overwhelmed with this busy season that I'm in. Not just summer. But this busy season of my life. Between my day job as an accountant, tending to the gardens and yard, working on projects for clients and on my own build projects, I have barely had an opportunity to sit back and relax. I certainly have not had any lazy hazy days of summer...
During these busy times, I remind myself often to remain present in the task I am working on at that very moment. I literally say (sometimes even out loud) "Ok Cheryl, where are you? Got it? Ok. Then stay there and stay with it". Eliminating distractions and quieting not only the external noise, but the noise of all the things in my mind, brings me peace and helps me to focus on the present. I'm incredibly more productive when I feel happy, calm and relaxed.
Being mindfully aware of the smallest details of the project or task, and of the space around me, also keeps me grounded and centered. I make special note of each vibrant shade of pink, orange and yellow in a sunrise, the graceful curves of an old piece of furniture, or the elegant simplicity of a wild flower. I bask in the warmth of the afternoon sun and linger in the cool crispness of an autumn morning. I take the time to stop, even for just a minute, to listen for the happy songs of the chickadees, the bold chirping of the frogs in the spring, or the content sound of the horses munching hay. I savour the delightfulness of the smell of fresh cut grass, the comforting aroma of a pot of homemade soup simmering on the stove or the stimulating scent of a piping hot cup of coffee. It's the little things.
More importantly though, I pray constantly and read scripture daily. And Psalm 1 is a great reminder for me to consistently meditate on and to take pure delight in God's word. To remain present in His purpose and plan for me. So during these busy seasons, I keep Psalm 1:3 with me to encourage me to stay near the living water of God's promises for a bumper crop. Of abundance and prosperity. These words give me the strength to not wither. To keep on keeping on during a busy season.