Why Is This So Hard?

    If you want to know the truth, I am more than a little embarrassed at how hard this week’s Power Thought has been for me.  I actually found myself thinking, “is it time for a new power thought yet?”  Nope, I havet today and tomorrow still with Power Thought #10:  I live in the moment and enjoy each moment.

     My goodness that has been a challenging thought for me.  Apparently, I need lots of practice living in the present and enjoying each moment.  I do not dwell on the past, but I do have a tendecy to focus a lot on the future, and I don’t have a lot of balance in my life.  I do my work.  Then, we get a free moment, I feel lost trying to figure out what to do with it.

     I have had some notable, memorable, lovely moments this week, but I need to learn to have them and savor them and appreciate them every day.  Here are a few highlights:

  • Sunday night, I decided on a whim to make homemade potato soup and get into the fancy sausage, cheese and cracker set we got for Christmas.  Yum–it was something different and my husband and I really enjoyed the meal.
  • One day this week, after class, a student stopped me to tell me that I am doing a great job teaching, and that I motivate him and make him want to come to class.  Those things don’t happen very often–took my breath away.
  • Maybe the best moment of all was coming home and finding out that my husband had gotten us peeps (baby chickens)!  I am enjoying them so much.  While I am looking forward to fresh eggs, I look forward to picking up the babies, thinking up chicken names (Chicken-Lickin,’ Chicken Biscuit, Chicken Little, Crunchy Chicken, etc.), and watchign their feathers come in.

So, I am not sure what’s next.  I am sad that this Power Thought was so hard for me.  When I really think about it, it might be that in order to really enjoy the moment, it’s necessary to let go of the future–trust God with it.  I have to let go of life, stop trying to fix everything, and just be.  In this light, maybe my issue isn’t an enjoying life difficulty so much as it is a trusting God difficulty.

     I tried to take pictures of the peeps, but I am having technical difficulties.  I hope I can post some pictures of them soon.  Speaking of soon, I have another day and a half to really focus on living in the present and enjoying each moment.  Oh, God, renew my mind, and help me to enjoy the abundant life you desire for me!


My Struggle with Worry/Power Thought #6


Today is my last official day of focusing on power thought #6: I trust God completely; there is no need to worry.  Boy did this week ever test me on that power thought.  I was stuck inside Saturday and Sunday, and had to miss a sewing class I had signed up for and already paid for.  We seemed to lose a calf a day for several days—calves that had been born during the previous week’s blizzard.  I hit a friend’s car in the parking lot.  I tried to catch up on a week’s worth of classes and grading.  My teaching was observed.  My step dad was in the hospital.  My mother had a cancer screening to see if she is still cancer free, and I celebrated my hubby’s birthday.  Yes, that really did all happen this week. 

Was tempted to worry?  Oh, yes.  I was tempted to worry about how I was going to get out with the roads so bad, how I would get to work, losing calves and money, making up the sewing class I missed, how to pay for the repairs on the friend’s car, how I would ever have enough time to get caught up on grading, whether I was doing a good job teaching, what was wrong with my step dad, would my mom be cancer free, would the apple cobbler I made hubby taste okay and would he like his birthday presents?

I was far from successful with Power Thought #6.  I think it did help me a lot though—especially if I was having trouble getting my mind calm enough to sleep or I started to dwell on and reason through a situation, I would stop and say, “I trust God completely; there is no need to worry.”  I know this is a thought I will need to work with much, much more, in order to renew my mind, and really believe it.

No Worrying! Trust God & Be Happy!

I always get excited on Friday, knowing that I have a new Power Thought to look forward to on Saturday.  I like to prepare on Friday.  I reread the appropriate chapter in the Joyce Meyer book Power Thoughts and I write out answers to all of the “think about it” questions in the book.  I write down the scriptures that go with the power thought, and I use my Crayola markers to make new signs to post around the house.  It has become a weekly ritual.  My husband always notices when I “change the signs.” 

Last week’s power thought was this:  I love people and I enjoy helping them.  While other power thoughts may help me in overcoming my negative thinking, this one was definitely the most fun so far.  I am trying to put more thought into being a blessing, and I have already learned that when I really set my mind to the idea, I get all kinds of creative inspiration for ways to bless people.  I plan to continue asking God each morning for someone to bless, and what to do for that person.  It’s fun!

Now, it is time to move on to power thought #6:  I trust God completely; there is no need to worry.  This one is huge for me.  I chose “trusting God” as my “word(s) of the year” because I felt that the single thing that robbed my joy most was worry.  I realized that trusting God is the opposite of worry, so that is why it is my theme for 2011.  I am excited to have the opportunity, and the inspiration from the book, to put all of my focus on trusting God instead of worrying.

This has been a challenging week for those with a tendency to worry (me).  We had a blizzard, new heifers calving during the blizzard, impassable roads, and lots of work/classes missed.  In fact today is my fourth snow day/full day in the house.  I had to cancel my classes again today because I simply cannot get out.  Our roads have not been plowed.  Clearly, there is nothing in my power to change the situation, and yet, there is still a temptation to worry about my classes, my job, missing school, falling behind, etc.  Instead, I keep reminding myself that I have done everything I can do.  This one is beyond my control.  I just keep saying over and over again, “Lord, I trust you with ____________,” according to the specific situation.  This practice is restoring my peace of mind, and enabling me to enjoy the day that I have, at home in the house.

This week, let’s all practice saying and thinking:  I trust God completely; there is no need to worry.

Grateful for What Is

     I think one of the many benefits of practicing gratitude is the fact that it shuts down a lot of other negative thought processes.

     On my quest of positive change and mind renewal, I have been faithfully repeating my mantra for the year–TRUSTING GOD,  and also meditating on this week’s power thought, I will not live in fear.  And…nothing seems to be happening.  Nothing seems to be changing.  If anything, I see myself becoming less motivated, and wondering How did that happen?

      I am clinging to my intentions here.  I am trusting that God is renewing my mind, and that I am on the right path, even if I don’t think I am seeing results.  I have been thinking a certain way, according to a certain pattern for an awfully long time–I must give the new thoughts time to take hold.  I will not live in fear that my motivation is gone forever.  I will not live in fear of being in a rut.  After all, that is just my perception of things today.  Perception changes.

     I have been helped tremendously by focusing on the many beautiful and rich moments I have enjoyed this day, and feeling gratitude for all that is, instead of fretting about what has not yet manifested.  AFter all, I can worry, or I can enjoy my life right now.  I am choosing to enjoy this precious life I have been given right now.

      Here’s a random list of what I am grateful for right at this moment:

  • I just want to scream from the rooftops how happy I am to have friends.
  • How happy I am to be able to read, how grateful I am for stories, and songs, and musical instruments
  • How I love tomato sauces
  • Scented lotions
  • And the different times of day—doesn’t each part of the day have its own beauty and special feel?  I love early morning, starting to work, midmorning-almost lunch, the noon hour, early afternoon, mid-afternoon, late afternoon, dusk and early evening, mid to lat evening, late evening.  
  • I know this will sound very old-ladyish, but I don’t care:  one of the most amazing luxuries I experience every day, is the pleasure I feel at going to bed.  I am tired when I go to bed, and when I lie down on that soft mattress and feel the flannel sheets and down comforter on my bare feet and legs, I relax and the tension leaves.  There are few things more pleasant than a comfortable bed when you’re tired, and the wonderful anticipation of a full night of sleep and rest and sweet dreams and the knowledge that a brand new day is coming soon.

What’s Hard About Trusting God

     When “trusting God” came to me (again and again) as my focus or word(s) of the year for 2011, I had the verses in Proverbs 3:5-6 in mind:

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;  in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.

I memorized these verses when I was in college and Sixpence (None the Richer) wrote a sweet little tune using the scripture.  It was light and melodic and may have lulled me into believing that what’s commanded in this verse would be easy-peasy!  Trust God?  No problem!  So, what makes it difficult?

What makes it difficult for this spirited girl is “”lean not on your own understanding.”  What?  But my understanding is good!  I have good understanding.  I’m smart and I can figure things out and “help” God along.  Haha!  What does trusting God mean?  It means I don’t lean on my own understanding of things, because after all, if I understood everything, there would be no need for trust or for faith.

This reflection about not leaning on my own understanding came to me this week because I was expecting–yes, even trusting God to do something in my life, and it didn’t happen (yet).  The more I thought about it, and wondered what went wrong, the more I realized that I had been trusting God to work based on my previous experiences, my thoughts, and my plans about how things should work out.  I wasn’t trusting God.  I was believing that God would meet my need in a very specific way based on my human understanding and reasoning. 

     Today, it is freeing to let that go.  Naturally, I was disappointed that I didn’t get the answer I was expecting.  Yet, I also realize now that God is going to do something new in my life.  I am trusting him to meet my need in a way that is beyond my understanding, my experience, and my human plans.  Now, that’s trust.

Ready for Anything & Equal to Anything on God’s “To Do” List

Check out Philippians 4:13 in the Amplified Bible:

I have strength for all things in Christ Who empowers me [I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him Who infuses inner strength into me; I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency].

Yesterday, while I was waiting for an appointment at the doctor’s office, I meditated on this verse, which is part of the “Power Pack” of scriptures to go with the power thought, “I can do whatever I need to do in life through Christ.”  Philippians 4:13 in other versions had become so familiar to me that I never really took the promise to heart as I should have.  I memorized the scripture years ago, as “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.”  As I read over the Amplified text, I zeroed in on ready for anything and equal to anything.  Wow!  I imagined someone speaking those words to me:  “You are ready for anything and equal to anything in Christ.”  In the past, I have often used the excuse, “I’m not ready for that,” or “That’s too hard for me.”  Well, here’s the verse to refute that type of thinking.  I am ready for anything and equal to anything.

This verse also has important meaning to me because as I was writing in my journal and thinking about my plans for the day, I realized that I want to as much as it is within my control, always say “yes” when my husband or another family member asks me to do something, issues an invitation, or just wants me to listen.  I also have a rule that I always answer my cell phone whenever a family member calls.  If it’s not possible for some reason, I call back as soon as I can.  I want to be ready and equal to anything they might need or request.  My husband asked me to go with him yesterday afternoon to look at some cattle he is considering buying, and I told him I would let him know.  I was in another town for my doctor’s appointment, and I wanted to browse the January sales, and do some work of my own since classes start next week.  I decided that everything would wait except for the opportunity to spend time with my husband.  I am trusting God that the other things will also be completed in due time.  I had a similar experience this morning.  My “to do” list for today was beginning to reach into Thursday and Friday, and I had no sense of where or how to start on the long list of tasks today.  I went to bed, trusting God to show me when I woke up.  This morning, I remembered that my mother-in-law needed a ride to work so that she could pick up her car which she had worked on, without having two vehicles in town.  My husband told me he could take her to get it Thursday or Friday, and I didn’t say anything.  While I was drinking my coffee, the Lord brought this to mind, and I felt compelled to get myself ready and take her to get her car.  I am trusting God to lead me through the day, even though it means that not everything on my list may get marked off.  I would much prefer to do the things on his list.

Singing Out on the Back Row

     Sunday, and I am still power-thinking away. On the spur of the moment this morning, I decided to go to church; this was scary for me and put my trusting God to the test.  Why is going to church scary?  Well, beside the usual nervousness about going to a new place, and going alone, I was concerned about how my husband might react.  He does not have much interest in church at this point, and Sunday is his only day off work, so I felt bad about going off on my own.  He said it was fine, so I was stripped of my “excuse” and off I went.  It was a good experience, and I felt very at peace being in God’s house on the Sabbath Day.  I was welcomed and enjoyed the service.  Afterward, the lady who occupied the back row with me invited me to a women’s Sunday school class, and the pastor invited me to attend choir practice.  Apparently he had a good view of me singing my heart out on the back row.  Isn’t that just the cliché?  The back-row Christian?  Well, it was a step in the right direction for me.  I did have the thought in my head that I would go to church, but that I would try to find one big enough so that I could “hide.”  Not very sassy, spunky, and spirited of me, huh?  Aside from the back row thing, this actually was an s-cubed moment.  It took a lot of courage for me to go, introduce myself, and sing out.  I am glad I did, but it still feels uncomfortable.

     I don’t want to let past church experiences affect my life now.  I am nervous about getting pulled into something, becoming involved too fast, or becoming over-involved.  I am not sure if I will go back, if I will try the choir practice or the Sunday school class.  I still feel unsettled about being away from my husband too much.  All of that has been swirling around in my mind today.  I am not going to worry about it though.  I am going to trust God to get me to where I am supposed to be.  I am going to trust God with my schedule.  I am going trust God to orchestrate how much I’m gone and how much I am home.  I am going to trust God with where I go to church and with how involved or uninvolved I am. I am going to trust God to move me from the back row, or not.   I am going to trust God with my husband’s feelings and attitudes.  I am going to trust that God will show me what to do and help me to do it when the time comes.

      Ah…Enter peace.  Peace comes from trusting God.

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