Monthly Archives: April 2012

Pointing fingers

I try really hard to show grace.

To give people a second chance.

I try not to judge people by a first impression or by their actions.

It’s something I think I do an okay job with – most of the time.

But then, I hear a lyric that cuts right to my heart.

Open our eyes to the world

At the end of our pointing fingers

I think to myself – I’m doing okay. I don’t point fingers anymore.

But I know I need to do better.

Because minutes later, I’m in the grocery store and irritated by what someone is wearing.

What? How can my mind switch gears so quickly?

How can I instantly judge, when my heart knows it’s not my place.

And that person probably needs an incredible amount of grace.

As I look up more of the lyrics, I see another line that hits home.

The truth’s become so hard to see

The world is on their way to You

But they’re tripping over me

And then I realize. I can’t do it on my own.

I continually need His grace to help me show it better to others. It doesn’t come from me. It comes from Him.

I want people to see grace and love through me. And, sometimes I need to be reminded how much more help I really need.

Can you relate?

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Filed under Authenticity

LifeChangers – On a new path

LifeChangers

It’s a series about people just like you and me, who decided to do something different.

They decided to change their life, or the lives of others around them.

They are inspiring.

They are making an impact right where they are.

They are passionate.

They are full of life.

And they are willing to share their story.

I am so excited to start this new series. I’ll be posting once a week with a story of someone who has inspired me.

This first post is very special to me. This person has been on an incredible journey over the last few years. I have always thought he was pretty amazing, but as he continues to grow and develop, he gets more and more interesting to me. He has always had a strong, self-confident way about him, but I have seen the center of that confidence change. It’s deeper, and more intense. I think he’s just starting to uncover what’s been hiding deep inside for a long time.

As some of you may have guessed, I am describing my husband, Rick. Let me assure you right now that I will NOT be posting only about my family on this series! However, I wanted to do this first post in honor of him and his recent significant accomplishments. He has a pretty unique story, and one that you will be hearing more about as it continues to evolve. He blogs periodically at I, Hammer, and I think you will enjoy his posts. He is a pretty cool guy. Not that I’m biased or anything.

Rick’s fitness story is somewhat like mine. He was an athlete for most of his life. Then, marriage, a career, and sedentary life settled in. He no longer played sports. He worked out every once in a while, but it was no longer a priority. Somewhere between working full-time, taking care of the kids, and keeping up with life, he found it hard to be motivated.

A few years ago, he bought a new mountain bike. He has always been good with bikes, and loved to ride when he was younger.  After he got his new bike, he started riding more. He found that he really enjoyed it again. He had uncovered a hidden passion.

Then, late last fall, he discovered a park near us called Saw Wee Kee park. It is a park right along the river with difficult trails, perfect for mountain biking. When he came home from that first ride, I could tell that something had changed in him. He had rediscovered an old love. He was hooked.

Not long after that, he made the decision to sign up for one of the largest mountain bike races in the country, The Iceman Cometh Challenge. Since that race isn’t until November, he decided to find smaller races to help him train. The other weekend, he competed for the first time, at the age of 43, in The Sylvan Island Stampede. The boys and I were so proud of him.

Some people will say, “What’s the big deal? It’s a bike race.” However, this was no easy bike race. It was seven miles of twisting and turning trails on slick mud and terrain. None of the competitors were having an easy time.

And, to me, the fact that he has chosen to train and compete at this point in life is truly inspiring. I know many people younger than Rick that say it is too hard to train and attempt to push themselves at something new. Not Rick. He now has a fire. He’s remembered what it’s like to push himself beyond something that he didn’t think he could do. And that feeling can be addicting. He’ll be competing in his next race in a little over a week.

Rick’s motivation is inspiring.

It makes me realize that you can do anything you put your mind to.

No matter how long it’s been, or the challenges that you’ve faced, you can always choose to start again.

You can choose to step out of your comfort zone.

You can choose to push yourself.

You can choose to live life.

You can choose to be a LifeChanger.

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Filed under Dreams, Encouragement, LifeChangers, Motivation

Brag it up!

I love to hear about exciting things that are happening to people around me. It energizes me. And I love to encourage people who are doing unique things.

But what I often find is that people are scared to speak up. They don’t want to appear self-centered. They are afraid they will disappoint themselves or others around them if they don’t finish what they are excited about doing.

Today is all about YOU!

I want to hear what you are excited about.

I want to hear what’s going great in your life.

I want to hear your dream.

I want to hear about something awesome that you just accomplished.

I want to hear about that new project you’re starting.

Today is all about shameless self promotion with no regrets!

Ready, set, GO!

 

 

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And the Winner Is……

Thank you to all of you who submitted suggestions via Facebook or in the comments. I appreciate your ideas, and some of them were very creative! But, they weren’t exactly expressing what I want the series to be about. I know what you’re thinking – how could you possibly peek inside my head to be able to figure that one out??

My husband and I talked about it all weekend long, and he actually ended up coming up with the name. I feel it best describes the series I will be starting soon. His response was, “So, do I win the Amazon gift card?” Yes, honey, yes you do! 🙂

So what was the winning name? Drumroll, please………………..

LifeChangers

It’s a series about people just like you and me, who decided to do something different.

They decided to change their life, or the lives of others around them.

They are inspiring.

They are making an impact right where they are.

They are passionate.

They are full of life.

And they are willing to share their story.

I am so excited about sharing the stories that I have already been working on. I am hoping that you will be as inspired by them as I am. I will be posting the series once a week.

I would also love to hear from you. If you would like to nominate someone, please let me know.

I have had this series on my mind and heart for a while now, and starting putting ideas together about a month ago. Little did I know that it would go along nicely with our new series at The Orchard! I love it when that happens.

Thank you again for all of your great suggestions. I appreciate it very much!

 

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Filed under Encouragement, Life lessons, Motivation, Uncategorized

I need your help!

I am so excited about a new series I am starting on my blog. Once a week, I will be featuring people or organizations that inspire me. The main theme is going to be around normal people who are doing extraordinary things right where they are, or people who have stepped out of their comfort zone to do something unique. Those are the kind of people that get me excited and inspired.

Here’s where you come in. I need your help.

creativity

creativity (Photo credit: Sean MacEntee)

I have been thinking long and hard about it, but I am having a difficult time coming up with a name for the series. I’d love your ideas for a series title.  If you are going to be reading it, I think it would cool for you to have some input. I’ll even throw in a $20 Amazon gift card if I pick your title. (I know, it’s probably not very motivating – but, hey, you will get to see the title every week too!)

So, throw out some of your creative ideas. Ready, set, go!

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You can’t make me!

Remember that line from grade school?

You can’t make me!!

I have been thinking about this in the context of motivation and encouragement. We can be positive and encouraging and do our best to lift someone up. We can even speak into their life and help them realize things they may not believe about themselves. But what I can NEVER do is MAKE them do anything.

They have to choose for themselves. The decision to change has to be more attractive than the decision to stay the same. They have to choose to change. This is true in so many areas of our life.

I can’t make someone stop drinking – but I can show them unconditional love.

I can’t make someone eat healthier – but I can offer suggestions that have helped me.

I can’t make someone want to have a relationship with God – but I can live the most authentic, loving life that I can.

I can’t make someone follow their dream – but I can ask them about it. And I can help them remember what it was like to dream.

The list could go on forever. But the one thing I have learned is that it has to be YOUR decision to change. It can’t be your husband’s, or your boss’, or your friend or family member.

Change has to come from you. It has to mean something to you. It has to cost you something.

But the great part is always the reward. It is always better than you imagined.

What significant changes have you made in your life?

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Filed under Dreams, Encouragement, Life lessons

Different paths

I have learned to appreciate the fact that everyone is in a different stage in their faith walk. I know this because my husband and I are in very different stages, and took completely different paths to get where we are. I also have friends in varying stages as well, from no faith at all to completely unwavering faith.

I used to believe that there was a “destination” that people worked towards. That’s what I was taught. I know now that isn’t true. Everyone’s faith walk looks different. There is no destination. It’s a continual journey. Just when we think that things are going great and we are right where God wants us, that can change in an instant.

Road Sign

Road Sign (Photo credit: freefotouk)

I have learned that it is silly to want someone to be where you are spiritually. Do I want them to experience a relationship with God? Absolutely! But what I go through looks different than what the person next to me will go through. The amount of work it takes to change my heart may be completely different than how someone else is impacted.I’ve also realized that God speaks to people differently. Sometimes it’s through music or nature or poetry, and sometimes it’s in a conversation with a friend. For me to expect someone else to hear or see things the same way that I do is pretty close minded.

One of the things that my pastor continually challenges us to do is to take one more step forward in our journey. Whatever it is. It looks different for everyone. But, if you are moving forward, and challenging yourself to grow closer to God, you will be amazed at where this journey will take you.

Have you experienced this? I’d love to hear from you.

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Filed under Belief, Faith

I thought I had lost her

I thought I had lost her

I was sure of it

I didn’t think she was ever coming back

She was unique

She was strong

She was in good shape

She was confident

She loved a challenge

She was comfortable in her own skin

And she was missing for a very long time

But she is slowly making her way back

With every workout

And every dream

And every new personal best

And each new mile walked or biked or ran

And each size dropped

And each new adventure

And every time she pushes beyond what her mind thinks she can do

But she’s also changed

While she is similar, she has something she didn’t have before

Years

And wisdom

And faith

And self acceptance

And understanding

I love getting to know her again

 

 

 

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