Saturday, May 24, 2008

Living with Enthusiasm

"God's people should be the happiest people on earth," says Joel Osteen in the last chapter of the book. I usually don't post until Monday. Even though the reading is not due until then, I'm so excited about a video that Frank put together that I decided to post ahead of time. We picked quotes that we try to live by and put them on photos that we have taken on our various trips. We used Enya's music for a background and assembled our video. I'm all about living MY BEST LIFE NOW with all the enthusiasm I can muster. I believe in looking at life as a breeze instead of a battle. That is not to say the hard things don't happen in life. I've had two daughters in ICU in the past so I have been through challenging times, but I refuse to let things get me down. I wake up in the morning with a smile on my face, and just today I made up a little poem: "Life is easy, light and breezy." This doesn't mean that I am naive or frivolous; it just means that I've made a choice to be happy. I have so enjoyed reading this book with you and your comments throughout the discussion. Thank you very much for your participation. Some of you were able to get on the blog quite a bit, and some of you didn't have the time or the desire. Whatever your part was, I want you to know I appreciate you all. Without you, Frank and I wouldn't have put together this blog or examined the book so closely. It has been a blessing to us. I hope you have been blessed in some way too. Whether you have read the book or not, feel free to make comments this week about enthusiam.

We would like to share our video with you. Click here! All of the photos are photos we have taken over the years! God Bless!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Our Nature is Truth

(Photo of my daughters)
It’s time to Launch off a life of pure excellence. We can each do this by embracing one simple, yet amazingly insightful truth.
Our Nature is Truth!!
This indeed means it is natural for us to live IN truth. Not only visit it from time to time. We require no education, no amount of money and no career to live a life of integrity. It is our very nature!! Now isn’t that something worth getting excited over? I am a nature lover. My love spans upward to the deepness of the blue skies and below into the soil at the wonders of the earth. Nature exists effortless and just as each river leads to the sea, each one of us has a sea of truth within us waiting to open to freedoms. Holding back the truth in any situation creates waves within.
Avoiding the truth because of fear only adds more fear and that becomes a problem.How often does this happen where circumstances “seem” to be asking us to leave out the truth or fib in order to avoid an even bigger dilemma and inconvenience another. You’re late for work so you find the best reason to suit the situation. Your friends want to go out, and you don’t so you make up some fib to avoid hurting their feelings….you get the idea.
I was a proud 4 year old riding on the John Deer tractor down the gravel road with grandpa. It was the best! I was born the youngest and often more times than not when I wanted to do something I was told “You’re not old enough yet”, so this day was extra special. I savored every moment of the cold fall winds blowing on my face until… One of my mittens fell off my hand. I watched it hit the tire and fall onto the road. I loved those mittens!! Now what! The entire journey home became only a memory to me of fear. I did not tell grandpa my mitten had fell off. I withheld the truth. He was running late and I didn’t want to cause him any more delay. Once at home my tears began to flow and suddenly the truth came out. It couldn’t be helped as immediately my bare hand was noticed, even though I tried my very best to hide it.
I did get my mitten back. We made a trip in the car back down the road to get it.At the age of 4 I realized telling the truth even if it seems better to lie causes less problems. From this story I share of when I was very young I have found the biggest truths of who I am are Now impossible to lie about. So I don’t like liver, there are many who don’t, and I don’t like ice-cream…and so on and so on. It’s ok to be who you are even in moments where it feels uncomfortable and would be easier to grab a costume and become a clone in perception. The truth cannot be hidden forever. There is no part of our unique essence that can be hidden in the end. The journey back to find your truth may take time, but like a lost mitten found to a little 4 year old girl it will bring you great Joy in the end.

Colleen C Smith

Monday, May 19, 2008

Being a Person of Excellence and Integrity

Being people of excellence and integrity is the only way to be truly happy according to Joel in chapter 31. What does that mean? It means going the extra mile and having a good attitude at work while you give the best quality and taking pride in what you do. If you are a homemaker, keep your house looking nice. If you are a teacher, you give your best to your students. If you are a businessman, you give your company a full day's work. These are just some of the examples of being a person of excellence and integrity. "Whatever you do, work at it with your whole heart, not unto men, but do it unto God knowing that God will reward you." (Colossians 3:23) I'm going to brag a little bit on my husband now because I have accompanied him on business trips and watched him teach agents about insurance. He gives it his all. I'm always proud of him for that. He never takes the easy way out. His former boss told me that she wished she could clone him. I know this will embarrass Frank. He hasn't been on the blog for awhile because he has been so busy with travel and work, but I am proud to say that he exemplifies this chapter. I thought of him with almost every word I read. I want to follow his example in this. I want to follow Christ's example even more as He did what was right, even in the face of great persecution. May we live happy, fulfilled lives because we are doing God's best work.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Happiness Is a Choice

Happiness really has been knocking on my door lately. I had a marvelous birthday and Mother's Day. I have so enjoyed enlarging my vision, recognizing my royalty as a child of the Most High, realizing the power of my words and thoughts, letting go of the past, finding strength in adversity, living to give, and choosing happiness. We are finishing the book in the next three weeks, but I want to continue to blog and enjoy my best life. Joel says, "Your best life starts today! God wants you to enjoy your life right now." I think that we need to realize that happiness is a choice. It is not dependent on a particular set of circumstances, our relationships, or some wonderful event taking place in our lives. It is dependent instead on living life as an adventure with an open heart and tuning into the joy of this very minute. Happiness is available, but we must choose it every moment. Even though I'm tired tonight from my trip, I am so grateful for the opportunity I had to travel. Happiness is all about gratitude. We have such an abundant life. "Bless the Lord, O my soul who satisfies you with good as long as you live so that your youth is renewed like an eagle's." (Psalms 103:1, 5)

Monday, May 5, 2008

Sowing and Growing

"They are to do good, to be rich in good works, generous, and ready to share, thus storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of the life that is really life." I Timothy 6:18-19. God created us to be a river that is constantly flowing, according to Joel. "When we live selfishly, always receiving, always taking but never giving, we become stagnant and polluted.....Yes, God wants to pour good things into your life, but if you want to live your best life now, you must learn to allow those good things to flow through you to others. As you do, your supply will be replenished and your life will maintain its freshness."