I am so happy that you are such a responsive group! Thank you for your emails and communicating with me. I realize that I'm not on this page as often as I had originally promised, but I thank you for being patient with me as I try to ramp back up to where we want to be.
In your email, the bulk of the concerns seem to be about overwhelm. A concept I am quite familiar with. The next on the "most popular" list seemed to be goals and goal setting. So I will devote these next few weeks to those topics.
It is easy to feel overwhelmed as everyone expects us to be Supermom at any given day or time. And we have a hard time saying "no". We've got an image to protect, after all.
Working moms feel guilty for leaving their children and stay at home moms get labeled as lazy. No matter the choices we make, someone, somewhere will find fault. And with social media, people are not shy about venting their opinions to all of Facebook.
So, first things first. We need to understand who WE are. We need to see our foundation clearly. It will help our decision making in every aspect of our lives. When we have our principles and our beliefs and our priorities in order then we won't be as easily distracted with others opinions, needs and wants.
Now, grab your coffee (or hot chocolate or tea... I'm in chai tea mode today) and get a piece of paper and a writing utensil of your choice.
Take a few moments to answer each one of these questions. There are no right or wrong answers, so don't worry about that. And, these answers are just for you. So be honest. Answer with as many words and feelings as you deem necessary.
Are you ready?
Here we go.... Question number one:
1. I spend lots of time doing:
2. I often think about:
3. I emotionally depend on:
4.When I need to experience growth, I:
5. When I crave relaxation and rest, I:
6. To feel alive I:
7. I experience purpose when I:
8. To feel love, I:
9. To feel safe and certain, I:
10. When I do _____________, I feel important and special.
11. I get the most accomplished when I:
12. Before I close my eyes to sleep at night, I mostly think about:
And there you go! Was that easy? Was it hard? Spend some time filling out the answers and then reflecting back on them. You might be surprised at how little you don't know about yourself.
Take these few moments, just for you and let me introduce yourself ... to you.
Happy New Year everyone! I just spent the morning "soft-scheduling" my tasks and goals for the year and I'm already overwhelmed! I tend to put too much on my plate and then wonder how it got there and what I'm going to do about it!
So, while in usual form, I have put way too many irons in the fire, this year, I have decided not to stress about it. I was blessed with abundant success on many levels last year and with that success comes more responsibilities. I have to keep telling myself that I asked for this! Lol! And Oh! What an exciting year I have ahead of me!
There are things that I MUST do, deadlines that I MUST keep and other schedules that I have to follow, but this year I've decided to include some de-stress time that will fall into the MUST keep category! What's the point of success if I am too stressed to enjoy it? So, I will spend more time this year doing the things that I love and not just the things that are required of me.
I love being here with you. I am happy to have you along. And I hope to spend more time here, writing for my websites, promoting other authors, creating my works of fiction and nonfiction and spending time out of doors.
What have you got planned for your new year? May I suggest that you make sure you schedule some peace time in there as well!
Blessings to you!
Not everything is going to work out exactly as we might have planned. Allow yourself to know that it is going to be okay. Sometimes our best laid plans get thwarted to make room for something better.
Make the most of every opportunity. -Colossians 4:5
Mommas, do have the habit of seeing the glass half empty? Does the negativity of this world push it's way into the forefront of your eyes? I would like to suggest that you make the concentrated effort to turn those thoughts away and look toward the positive. There is so much beauty, goodness and opportunity that surround us, but if we have blinders on, we are likely to miss these little gifts that are scattered along our path to make life more fulfilling and our burdens a little easier to carry. Look for the good, through eyes of love and watch the glass become half full... and then running over.
Have a great day, Mommas!
Ok, so we've been talking about Romans 12 for the past few days. What have you thought? Are you getting some good insight or at the very least a peaceful spirit as the quarrels go on around you?
I know that when I am feeling stressed or under the gun, I have a few go-to verses that help me manage the subject at hand, and these from Romans have always helped me in mediation with my kids, co-workers and even total strangers.
Here's the final one:
Romans 12:21: "Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good."
We need to let the anger and maliciousness or just annoyances from others roll off of us.
Conquer your enemies with kindness and patience.
When you allow your enemy to get you riled up and you shout back, or retaliate, they have conquered you. They have stolen your peace. Thwarted your train of thought and have injected themselves into the forefront of your mind. They win.
However, if you can repay evil with kindness, then you have defeated the enemy. When you remain calm and do not allow the actions of said enemy to alter your state or effect you immediate future, you have subdued your enemy in the most victorious manner.
It does not matter if your enemy is your co-worker, another driver who cut you off, or your three-year old. Take a deep breath in and let the enemy prattle on while you smile.
Don't let others steal your joy. Life is stressful enough as it is and it seems that everyone has an agenda. Most times they don't even realize they are imposing theirs on you. Whether it is for good or evil, most people only think about themselves. Be careful not to get swept away by other peoples angry agendas.
This is one of my favorites. I guess because I'm just ornery enough to enjoy watching other people's confusion when I am kind (overly kind) while they are being butt-heads. I feel it is my duty to aggravate the crabby people with kindness so that way when they are complaining about their day, they may recall; someone smiled at them. Some one gave them a drink.
Romans 12:20 tells us "If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by doing so you will heap burning coals on his head."
In being kind to others in the face of their unkindness, show a gentle heart. This verse does not imply that we are hoping bad things (hot coals) will come to this person, but the hope is that they will feel shamed from acting so mean to someone who obviously didn't deserve it and repent from the "attitude."
We don't know what kind of day each person is having and it's unfair of us to judge someone's entire personality based on a quick assessment or a few minutes in passing, so be kind. Maybe they don't realize they are being so contrary.
For others that it seems to be a lifestyle of curmudgeon, maybe their life is harder or more sad that we could ever know.
... or... they could just be mean. Who knows. But show kindness to them anyway, so that even if the rest of the world mirrors back what they give, you can be the exception and show them what a true kind spirit looks like... It looks like heaping coals.
We've been reflecting on the passages of Roman 12 these past few days and we have already learned so much as to how God wants us to deal with conflict.
In quick review, we've looked at ways to live harmoniously with one another (Romans 12:16)
- Practice humility (second half of Romans 12:16)
- We talked about being honorable and not repaying evil for evil. (Romans 12:17)
- And we also looked at being peaceable as much as humanly possible. (Romans 12:18)
You'd think we covered all the things we can about dealing with conflict and getting along with others, but to the contrary, since we are such disagreeable humans, Paul has a few more pointers for us to look at.
Today, we move on to Romans 12:19.
"Beloved, do not avenge yourselves. But instead, give place to wrath; for it is written, Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.
(I love it when he calls us "beloved")
This verse is telling us to forgive and let God take over. This verse was explained to me like this. We are God's children and we are loved. He will not permit anything to happen to us that cannot be turned around for good. Set aside your anger (wrath) and let God take care of things. Trust the matter to God who is the judge of all things. When we try to take care of things ourselves, thereby taking it out of God's hands. We can't see the grand scheme of things. We are very near-sighted when it comes to feeling we have been wronged. God will take care of it in His time. For those that deserve to be punished, God knows their heart and will see to it.
Don't allow vengeful thoughts take up another moment in your mind. The longer you hold on to those thoughts, the more bitterness and hate has the opportunity to spread. Let go and let God... he knows your pain. Your job is to forgive. Avenge not. Forgive and let God do his work.
Are you having trouble with holding on to hurts? Let us know how we can help and pray for you!
Anyone have other suggestions of how to let go and move on? Post in the comments!!
"As much as possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all."
So you've had a huge fight with your family member. You are feeling the pain of the disagreement all the way down to your core. You're miserable, undoubtably, they are miserable as well.
You try to live peaceably, but sometimes despite your best effort, the wrong person comes at you at the wrong time and with what seems like unreasonable issues... and that's just it. The blowout. But now you're miserable.
Part of being peaceable and living peaceably with all, is being the one to initiate reconciliation. You know how you were laying in bed just thinking about every little thing and wishing that the other person would just come up to you and wrap you in their arms and offer you a heart felt apology? Why not let that person be you.
Does it really matter who is at fault? Wouldn't it be better if you were able to move on? Get life back to where it's supposed to be? Do you think you could be the hugger?
As much as it is possible... be the peacemaker...
What are your thoughts?
Continuing on our look at Romans Twelve and how it helps us to be mediators of our homes and lives, we have made it to Romans 12:17.
"Repay no evil for evil, respect what is honorable in the sight of all men."
Don't take every little grievance to heart. Don't be so defensive that you are actually creating more of an issue than was there before. Think before you speak. Can the "offense" be taken out of context? Could the other person just be having a bad day? Could they have wrong information?
Look for the good in all people. Pride is at the bottom of this verse as well. Don't let pride creep in and cause you to stand in judgement of others. Be kind and forgiving. Focus on their positive attributes and not on their shortcomings.
Take the high road.
This little piece of advice was given to me at a time when I felt like I was under attack. My friend would rattle off the verses of Romans 12, but in a nutshell, it boils down to this. Take the high road. People are going to be unkind, annoying and even cruel. We have no control of any of that. But, no matter what, always take the high road. Do not be reduced to evil for evil but be honorable even in the darkest of times. Returning hate with more hate only creates more hate. Be the stronger person and bring the resolution.
Have you had a time when you just had to bite your tongue and walk away so as not to devour the person who is causing you harm in any number of ways? Share what you did to take the high road!
Continuing in our study of mediating our household and selves, we take on the second part of Romans 12:16
Romans 12: 16 "Do not have a high opinion of yourself, but be in agreement with common people. Never be wise in your own conceits."
Keep humility in mind when you are dealing with the people you love. How can you have an argument when you admit that you are human and fallible. Keep a humble opinion of yourself and be open to listening.
Never get yourself in the position that you feel you are too important to listen to the cries of others. Be it your children, your spouse, your friends, your co-workers. Do not be so proud that you refuse to look inward at your own misgivings and ignore the grievances of others.
Sometimes when we are the ones who have been hurt, we can see pride rear up as well. We forget that forgiveness is absolutely essential. We can feel that the other person doesn't "deserve" to be heard, or forgiven because of what they have done. But the truth is that none of us DESERVE to be forgiven, for we have all sinned and we are all guilty of hurting others.
I know it might sting a bit, but take a breath and be willing to listen. Then be willing to forgive.
What are your feelings on humility? Give us your feedback below!
Elizabeth Bourgeret is a life coach, author and she is the creator of the teen life skills event called Total Truth Workshop and the Leading With Love Series of books, workshops and coaching.