Monday, April 27, 2009

How about a Little Optimism?

"Nothing can be done without hope and optimism," wrote Helen Keller. I'm creating an environment of gratitude today. I break through limitations and feel empowered by truth, health, joy, peace, and victory. I not only claim that for myself but for my mom who has been having health issues. I claim that for my husband, my children, my grandchildren, and my friends too. "So I tell you, whatever you ask, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours." (Mark 11:24)

I'm asking the Lord to be with my mom tomorrow as she has surgery and to give her strength. I'm expecting the glass to be more than "half full"; I'm expecting the glass to overflow! "Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see." (Hebrews 11:1) I know God is in control.

I believe in miracles. I've witnessed them personally several times. My youngest daughter was told that she couldn't have any children after her motorcycle accident; yet she has given birth to two beautiful, healthy children since then! If God can work those kinds of miracles in my daughter's life, He surely can make Mom well again. Arnold Palmer said, "The most rewarding things you do in life are often the ones that look like they cannot be done."

Today I will not limit a God of unlimited resources. Joel Osteen writes, "Today I'm beginning to change my mind, to allow God to help me make it anew. No more limitations. God created me to be a champion in life, and I'm going to start thinking like a champion." Me too, Joel. I'm not going to worry about the Swine flu, the economy, cancer, or anything else. I'm not going to tell God how big my challenges are; I'm telling my challenges how big my God is!!

Monday, April 20, 2009

My Best Life Now

I am choosing right now to step out of negative emotions into the present. "Yesterday is history; tomorrow is a mystery; today is a gift....that's why they call it the Present." I love that quote. Although I don't know the author, it means so much to me. If I follow it, I will live my best life now. I won't live in a world of guilt for what I did or didn't do. I won't worry about tomorrow. That's a tough one right now because my mom is getting test results from a biopsy back tomorrow, and yet I know that my anxiety will not bring about better results. It will only cause me pain so I don't want to go there. Today is all I have...actually tonight is all I have. This is a precious moment in time. I am sitting at the computer writing...which is one of my favorite things to do. My granddaughter is doing her homework, and I just enjoy knowing she is here with me. This is my life. I'm living in the present moment. My husband is on a business trip, but I will not waste precious time wishing him here. Instead I choose to be grateful for his contributions to our income. I am enjoying being in the presence of God. The present moment is the point of access to the timeless form and being of my Creator. This moment is my reality. Eckhart Tolle says in THE POWER OF NOW, "Just as the moon has no light of its own, but can only reflect the light of the sun, so are past and future only pale reflections of the light, power, and reality of the eternal present." Joel Osteen says, "Happy, successful individuals understand that the future begins with what happens today. They make the most of the present moment and build their future one day at a time." Yes, I am living my best life now.....right NOW!! How about you?

Monday, April 13, 2009

Stay Passionate about Life

How do we keep our enthusiasm for life? I think the best thing we can do is be grateful. Life has its share of disappointments, to be sure, but there are so many blessings as well. If we focus on the blessings, we can't help but be thankful for life and love.

For those of us who have significant others, when we think back to when the relationship was new, we can't help but remember how wonderful it felt when our love called us or held our hand or any number of little things that made our heart race. We need to rekindle that flame and remember how fortunate we are to have someone in our lives. There are so many lonely people in this world.

Even if everything in our life is not perfect, we can be happy. We have discussed the idea before that we have a choice about our feelings. Joel Osteen says, "Quit looking at what's wrong in your life and start being grateful for what's right."

If we have a job, we need to remember that in these challenging economic times, many people would love to have our job. When I walk into the classroom, I always smile because I know that at least one of my students is going to smile back. Smiles are contagious.

Romans 12:11 says, "Never lag in zeal, but be aglow and on fire serving the Lord." Before I get out of bed in the morning, I start counting my blessings. My body is healthy; I have a wonderful family; I have an awesome home; my car works; I have food to eat......well, you get the many things! "This is the day that the Lord hath made. I will be glad and rejoice in it."

Isaiah 1:19 says, "When we are willing and obedient, we will eat the good of the land." What that means to me is that I need to have a good attitude! It's a privilege to go to work. It's a privilege to live in this great country. There are so many things I get to do. If I keep my perspective and say, "I get to do_____instead of I have to do_______," it makes a huge difference. I get to fix breakfast and make coffee in the morning; I get to go to school and teach awesome kids; I get to run an errand for my husband; I get to take my granddaughter to an appointment. Joel says, "When you focus on the good, that's when you bolster your enthusiasm and passion."

It's spring now, and everywhere we look, we can see the miracle of new life. We need to cultivate a spirit of thankfulness. Colossians 3:2 says "to set your mind and keep it set on the higher things." Let's stay passionate about life!

Monday, April 6, 2009

From Believing to Expecting

I came across a picture of Sierra,one of my granddaughters, with an empty Easter basket but a huge smile on her face. I know why she was smiling. She was expecting to fill that basket with goodies! She was prepared. She had a big enough basket to hold everything. She was hopeful and positive, and she was putting actions with her expectations.

That is a good example of how we are supposed to start receiving. Dr. Bruce Wilkinson says, "Asking is the beginning of receiving. Through a simple believing prayer, you can change your future. You can change what happens one minute from now." James 5:7 says, "Be patient as you wait. See how the farmer waits expectantly." James 2:17 says, "Faith without corresponding actions is dead." That's why Sierra had an Easter basket and was ready to hunt for eggs when I snapped that photo. She was putting actions behind her belief. She was making preparations!

Isaiah 40:31 says, "Those that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount up with wings as eagles. They shall run and not be weary. They shall walk and not faint." Sierra, making preparations in a small area, such as getting out an Easter basket to prepare for finding eggs and other goodies is just a little example of getting ready to receive God's blessings. We may have bigger expectations in our hearts. But the one thing we can learn from a child is to have simple faith and put actions behind that faith.

Sometimes we need to ignore negative reports. Maybe someone will say, "You can't do that." Maybe we will start to sabotage our own efforts by telling ourselves we can't do something. I remember that in 2005, I was so tired of being overweight. I had tried many times before to lose weight, but this particular time my husband was going to eat healthy right along with me. That, along with some other things happening in my life, inspired me, and eventually I lost 66.7 lbs. Now I'm struggling again with my weight because I've gained about 30 of those pounds back, but guess what? I'm making preparations to lose those 30 pounds. I started a week ago and have already lost 3.4 of them.

Joel Osteen says, "Stretch your faith. Put some actions behind what you are believing God to do for you. Maybe you've just about given up on what God has put in your heart. You think your life is never going to get any better. It can, but you must rekindle the fire."

Like Sierra, I'm prepared. I bought the right kind of groceries. I went to my weight watcher meeting. I am keeping the right attitude. I'm going from believing to expecting. I will receive the desires of my heart. Thank You, Lord.