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Monday, January 30, 2012

Beautiful Vision

Do you think about your blessings when you are struggling with challenges?

I know I don't - at least not right away. But a friend reminded me this weekend - it's the little bright spots that help you get through the hard times.

In other words, we need to pay attention to the blessings, even in the midst of struggles.

I will admit this had not been an easy week - or month - for me. I have struggled with challenges at work that have tested my spirit.

If I listen to my friend though, I will focus on the "personal best" times I have had on my morning runs several times this week. And the fact that I've heard birds singing in the mornings again, and have seen a couple of gorgeous sunrises. And connected with some friends I haven't talked to in months.

I also need to focus on the accomplishments and not the long list still to go - I have completed or moved forward on several major projects that are important for the ministry.  And we have been able to bless clients by keeping their electricity on, helping them stay in their home a little longer and giving them food.

What beautiful vision of blessings will you focus on this week?

Thursday, January 26, 2012

We Can Touch The Stars!

Have you ever noticed how when the pressures of life are the worst, you tend to look downward and inward? But if you happen to look up and see the moon - or the stars - it can change your whole perspective!

I've spent the last few days struggling with work and life overload, and trying to maintain a positive perspective on things. I have found that God tends to put the things I need to see and read in my way at times like this. Leaving work yesterday, I glanced up and saw the moon - just a sliver, but it was so beautiful, it took my breath away. Many of the blogs that I've read recently have emphasized seeing obstacles as opportunities (Michael Hyatt), and the importance of a positive outlook.

The inspiration culminated with a podcast by Dave Ramsey for his EntreLeadership book, in which he talks about personal accountability. The podcast includes an interview with John Miller, author of QBQ: The Question Behind the Question. If you want to listen, click here and choose Link 5 Personal Accountability.

The QBQ approach is to ask "what can I do to make a difference today?" I can choose how to react. He says that "stress is a choice." I love that it helps me to make things happen instead of letting them happen to me.

My three words, CONNECT, TRAIN, ENJOY, are still viable when I can choose how to react to the stimuli coming at me.

So now I am CHOOSING to be positive, and to take one thing at a time so that I accomplish things to the best of my ability. I will surround myself with positive people and positive affirmations to help me touch the stars!

What will YOU do to make a difference today?

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Whisper on the Tide

CONNECT, TRAIN, ENJOY

When I first read about 3 words from Chris Brogan, it struck a chord inside me. You know how it is, everyone makes resolutions at the first of the year, but then things start to happen and by the end of January, you've forgotten them all. Or you've broken them, so you figure why bother?

But I can already tell that adhering to my 3 words is a different process, infusing each decision I make with meaning. In just two and a half weeks, I find myself mentally referring to them as I plan my day - and I'm planning my time more effectively.

I am more intentional. I balance my decisions on whether it hits one of the 3 words. For instance, I have returned to my Sunday School class at church after an absence of way too long - and find myself reconnecting with friends I had lost touch with.

I downloaded a workout app for my Blackberry that tracks how far I run and how fast, and I'm better able to track my training. I have also changed the way I schedule my work week, so I can schedule blocks of time to work on training documents and other priorities. Helps productivity!

The other, possibly most important change in my thinking, is that I am letting myself have fun, whether that is listening to music because I enjoy it, or reading for fun, not work. Or going for a walk to soak in some sunshine. I am trying to plan some "fun" in my life. What a concept!

I have a long way to go, but I'm excited that I'm feeling a difference in my life. The Whisper on the Tide will become a shout!