Monthly Archives: February 2016

Let the Good Times Roll

Let the Good Times Roll
My husband and I love to have a good time. We love to travel. He has been all over the world with work…seen London, Paris, spent a New Year’s in Madrid, backpacked the outback of Australia. I’ve been lucky enough to have checked off a few places from my bucket list…New York, Jamaica, Boston, northern Maine, Philadelphia, Yellowstone, to name a few. I’ve seen Broadway shows, flown first class, spent a day being pampered and sipping champagne at the Ritz Carlton spa, swam with stingrays, the list could go on. Our children have had the fortune to go on cruises, fish in the northern lakes of Minnesota and Canada, attend a weeklong program at Yale University, and many other things. We have hung out at the biker bar in the Poconos (who’d have thunk it?), chilled with the Scots in the Caribbean, and danced with Irish soccer players in downtown Nashville. An exciting life! Bear with me, I am going somewhere with all of this. We have been very blessed, blessed indeed, and extremely lucky. Many of my dreams have come true, including going to college, and my husband is always thinking more about our kids and me than himself. Of course, all good things must come to an end, so they say, and hard times have hit.

With the oil industry in the dumps, work is near impossible to find and my husband is working his butt off to make sure we have food, our home, and lights. It is hard and frustrating when your bills can’t all be paid and you must start selling off things before creditors take back other things. I’ve let my nice new Durango go and downgraded to an older, smaller car to save money. We are in survival mode and praying for relief, but we are optimistic and full of love. As we go through the fire, we are going through it together. Sure, our kids have to make sacrifices along with us, but we are strong and we are all going to come through the incinerator better and more refined than when we went in. We have always been people who would much rather go on adventures and make memories than have a bunch of “things”, so as long as we have each other, our home is full of laughter, mischief, and love.

We may not be traveling the world anymore, but instead of worrying about what we cannot control, we say “let the good times roll.”

For Bible based truth, here’s what Matthew 6:25-34 has to say:

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?

“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

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Intent

Let’s take life one day at a time. Live intentionally. Be purposeful and prosperous. In relationships, your spiritual life, in your work and even in your free time. When you approach tasks, or even life in general, with intention, things get done. You take ownership and pride in what you do, and people will notice. Not that you should live for other people, but it is nice to get recognition and appreciation sometimes.

This morning, my daughter was telling me how she kept getting noticed the other day everywhere she went. A friend at school told her she looked fancy today. Friends at the theatre were telling her how pretty she looked and some others complimented her on her out fit and hair. It made her feel good, of course, didn’t fully understand why everyone noticed her that day. I explained to her that people take notice when you put forth a little more effort. She was well put together that day. She wore a blouse instead of a t-shirt, nice jeans and dressy pink shoes instead of tennis shoes or flip flops. She had taken the time to curl her hair and put on lipstick. She rarely wears makeup because she’s beautiful without it. But, the little bit of intentional effort to spruce up that day paid off.

People notice even the slightest difference. This is what I mean. No need for big or elaborate differences, but little purposeful actions can make a difference in our lives. The difference between plain and marvelous, the difference between safe and sorry, the difference between happily ever after and frustratingly dissatisfied. The difference between acceptance and rejection letters. You get the picture. Now, go live with intention!

Write Drunk

Write drunk. Edit sober.
This was Hemingway’s words to live and work by. I like it! It makes sense to me. Allow your imagination to run free and wild. Write like a madman then go back later more objectively to fix up the craziness.

When creativity brings his madness, don’t deny him. Let him sink into every fiber of your being.

When the juices start flowing and there’s nothing hindering you, magic can happen. That’s when greatness strikes and inspiration is at its best. Wildly creative folks have changed the world this way. Join me as I challenge myself today to turn off the editor and just write drunk.

Old School

It is never too late.
It’s never too late to follow a dream, try something new, or to embrace an adventure. You can learn something new every day and never grow bored.

I am going back to school now in my mid-thirties, not exactly “old”, but not exactly a spring chicken, either. Some days I feel like I can’t keep up, I will never learn everything I need to know, and what is going to happen when I graduate and start working in my new field and can’t recall anything I’d studied in college? Then there are days where everything clicks, I can apply what I’m learning to real life, and I can’t wait to move up into a new position where I can put it into practice. I know that God has allowed me the privilege of going back to school for a reason. He’s got big plans for me, greatness, and he knows I’m capable, so who am I to doubt myself?

My husband and I watched the movie The Intern, with Robert DeNiro and Anne Hathaway the other night. Even though this gentleman was 70 years old, retired, and a widower, he was very full of life and had such a positive outlook and spirit. He loved people, and was determined and capable to learn new things and make a difference. He didn’t just give up when things became difficult, but kept an open mind and overcame whatever obstacles.

How cool is that? In the same way, even though Joshua was well along in years, approximately 80 years old, God gave him a new job. Can you even imagine? God called him up to bigger responsibilities because Joshua had been faithful with smaller responsibilities. And the Bible shows us that when God gave instructions, Joshua obeyed. He moved forward obediently. Followed as the Lord led him.

I’m sure it helped that God continually encouraged him with these same words, “Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” (Joshua 8:1)

Just like God wanted Joshua to trust Him with each new assignment, He wants us to trust and follow Him too – no matter our age. When He calls us to new things, we can be strong and courageous because God doesn’t expect us to do it alone. He says we have access to lean on His unending strength instead of our limited abilities.

When I feel like I’m in over my head I don’t need to shake in my shoes. And you don’t either. When God tell us to go – to move on to the next thing – to trust Him in a new adventure – we need to go! We need to move forward and expect Him to provide everything we need so that we can be faithful in the small and big.

After all, when we depend on God, we are depending on the faithful Protector, Provider, Defender, and Guide… who will never leave or forsake us.

Creativity

 

This is a work in progress, I’m not satisfied with it just yet, but wanted to share it in hopes maybe it will spark a bit of inspiration for someone else. Hope you enjoy:)

Creativity is a strange creature. It strikes at the most insane times! Creativity doesn’t usually like to wait for the calm, clear moments to inspire greatness. No, he waits for the most chaotic, hectic moments in the midst of life changes.

Creativity likes to peek his head into the midst of our dreams at 2 a.m. Or, whisper in our ears during tests, meetings, and cleaning spurts. He often leads one to madness with bursts of insanity.

He is a beast of a friend that consumes an enormous amount of time, before leaving one on the lurch, drooling for more of him. He brings a period of productivity and an ounce of inspiration to see us through, but often strips us of everything we’ve got, leaving us dry and parched, but with something wonderful in our hands.

Some fail to see what benefit can possibly come of befriending this cryptic being. What a waste of time, talent, or resources they say. Why would anyone bow to such a barbaric and abstract soul? Those who question the value of creativity, question the threads that piece our cultures together, and have never experienced the tingly satisfaction of holding a newly born work of art all their own.

Somewhere I Shouldn’t Be

wordistryinc's Blog

I have dedicated Friday’s to be Fiction Friday. Here is a short story that isn’t actually fiction at all, but some things you just can’t make up. This truly happened, with only slight embellishments.

Who hasn’t been lost at some point and time? Who can’t relate to the feeling of helplessness when you are surrounded by unfamiliar places, people, smells, and sights? One such experience made me acutely aware how easily and innocently I could end up somewhere completely out of my comfort zone. On one sunny day in September a few years back, I looked in my rearview mirror and saw the familiar terrain of downtown Dallas behind me. Ahead, I could see I was travelling somewhere I shouldn’t be.
​I had come to Dallas the night before for a conference for work. Since I processed payroll for a living, a refresher course in state and local income…

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