Category Archives: Living

How Much Is Enough

And my God will meet all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus(Philippians 4:19, NIV).

How much is enough? How much do we need? How long can we wait for it?

Starting a new business is an arduous task. No matter what industry, there are endless guidelines, detailed plans must be written, budgets drawn up, a million questions must be answered, and then the rejection begins when you ask for money. My husband and I are in the first stages of this process. We are currently answering the questions for ourselves, how much do we need, we need enough to cover the initial purchases and to operate the first year and we certainly don’t want to have to go back and ask for more, but we also don’t want to overestimate and ask for more debt than we will be able to pay back.

This is where writing is so much simpler. There are no start up costs to start writing. You just write. With today’s technology, many editors accept online submissions, which still costs nothing. If you do mail it in, you are out minimal costs for paper, ink, envelopes, and postage. No big deal. Of course, you’re still facing rejection, but it only costs you a little pride, not $1 million you need to set up shop.

Luckily, God never rejects us when we have needs in our lives. Whatever we need, He knows without us asking, and He knows just how much we need. When we think we cannot wait anymore, He fulfills our needs and often fills the desires of our hearts at the same time.

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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.”

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!

Something Rotten!

Teenagers! Boy are they dramatic! I asked my teenage daughter to do a simple chore. One that wouldn’t take probably ten minutes and I got the full head roll eye roll. The eye roll where you see nothing but the whites of the eyes, full fledged eye roll. Then I hear the huff. My reply was, “I sure wish my life was as difficult as yours.”

How spoiled is my kid? How spoiled are most of them? And in the grand scheme of things, it isn’t cute and it isn’t pretty. My daughter is 17, going on 18 very soon and will be out of high school in three short months. She’s practically an adult and who likes a spoiled adult? Of course, she’s my daughter, but she doesn’t always act like that. She’s going to be a productive and successful adult, but this incident made me think about life and how spoiled we are sometimes when we approach God for things.

Do we throw temper tantrums? Do we ever wine and roll our eyes at God, even figuratively? Are we always grateful? Do we obey him and worship him without question? Are we judgmental towards others?

While we’re certainly encouraged by Scripture to make our requests known to the Father (Philippians 4:6), the highest calling on our lives is to love God with all of our hearts, souls, bodies and minds (Matthew 22:37). We can do both, but we are commanded to seek God first: to look to Him as our Ultimate. Our Portion.

Asaph wrote Psalm 73 with a lot on his mind. He was flustered about all the bad people around him. He wondered why God wasn’t smacking them around for being so wretched and was struggling to keep his eyes on his own life. Sound familiar?

Then his woes turned to worship as he entered into the sanctuary of God (v17). His heart began to untangle as he remembered God’s sovereignty. In Psalm 73:26, he finally landed in a good place. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.