Circle of Friends

Last night, I went to dinner with some friends who I haven’t seen since the summer.  We had a great time reminiscing about how much fun we had in years past. We laughed and recalled conversations.  It was great! But it wasn’t awesome!

During dinner, my newest best friend of 2 years, texted me and said that she missed me.  She sent me a picture of her hanging out without me. I texted her back and said that I was coming over.  My dinner friends wanted to go bowling after dinner, but I wasn’t feeling it. I told them that I wasn’t going because I needed to take care of my best friend who was going through some stuff. (which is true)

While spending time with my best friend, my second best friend texted me and wanted to talk.  It made me smile. I am a wanted woman! I sort of felt bad for ditching my summer friends to hang out with my newest friends.  But once I thought about it, I realized that my circle of friends had changed.

When you begin to change, the things around you change as well as the people.  Your circle of friends changes. My summer friends are a great group of people.  We will always be friends but with your change, comes new: new friends, new adventures, new doors, new ideas, new attitudes, new mindsets,  new relationships, new favor and new blessings.

As the old year closes and the new year begins, consider what your “new” will be!  And remember there will be things and people you will leave behind. But “new” things and people will find you, support you, love you, hug you, hold you accountable, encourage you, pray for and with you!  

Many blessings in your future endeavours and goals in 2019.  I pray that your “newness” will bring many new things and a new circle of friends.

Become The Change!

Wow!  It’s almost 2018!  Happy New Year!   Most of us want to set resolutions for the new year, but if you’re like me, you’ll break them before January is over.  I resolve the same things every year:  get out of debt, save money, lose weight, exercise, etc.  Blah, blah, blah!  

There are things this year I want to resolve (the firm determination to do something) and I’m sure, maybe, I will, maybe.  But it’s hard to focus on changing yourself!  You are your worst critic.  So it’s easier to give up and no one really knows anyway; unless you tell them.  

This year, let’s change our mindsets.  Let resolve to focus on others this year.  When you focus on other instead of yourself, you forget all about what you need to resolve.  Begin the change by sharing a smile, a handshake or a hug.  Choose to listen instead of talk, let someone go ahead of you in line, help someone with their groceries, pay it forward in the drive-thru line, invite someone to dinner or the movies, volunteer to babysit a busy mom/dad’s children so they can rest, take someone to church and introduce them to Jesus, make a gift basket for someone who doesn’t get out much and shower some love on a pet.

Simple, but effective.  Not for you, but for others.  It doesn’t take a lot to add to someone’s  life.  It isn’t rocket science.  You don’t have to get out of debt first or save money.  You don’t have to lose weight or exercise first.  You don’t have to be rich and successful.  You just have to be kind, good, faithful, gentle, lovable, peaceful,  joyful, patient and have self-control.  These are the Fruits of the Spirit found in Galatians 5:22.  

We want kids in school to change their mindset from “I can’t do it” to “I can try it.”  It’s called the growth mindset.  If we expect kids to change how they think, why shouldn’t we?  You can try to change yourself or you can let God change you while you are being the change for someone else who then can change another and so on.

What do you resolve to do this year?  Is it for you or someone else?  Here’s a tip:  If you let God have control of your life and lead you where He needs you to be, your resolves will be resolved.  “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11 NIV

Let God give you your future, your new year, your new you!  Your resolves will change, your life will change, you will become the change!  

 

You’re Not Alone

I’ve waited until the last day of the year to write this message. As I mull over the last year, I’m reminded of how my life has changed even in a course of a year. I’ve grown wiser (not that I use that wisdom consistently), I’m more content with what I have and I appreciate things more like nature and my family. I try to notice things, listen more and managed money better. Have I succeeded in making these habits or daily rituals? NO! I still struggle with these things daily. I mess up, make mistakes, procrastinate, fail, and fall off the wagon! I carry these things into a new year each year wanting to be perfect at them. Wanting to improve them and change them into good daily habits! But I don’t and I can’t do it alone.

I need help! Thank goodness, I’m a Jesus-follower! I need him to help me daily, hourly, minute by minute! I can’t do life without him! He makes my life look easy peasy. But you don’t see me at my lowest. You don’t see me struggle with paying my bills or listening to my children. You don’t see me struggling to understand why my students aren’t learning or why I get so nervous when I get observed to make sure I’m a great teacher. You don’t see me struggle trying to be a good single mom, carrying the load of two parents on my shoulders. You don’t see me struggle to understand why my books aren’t selling and what I need to do about that. You don’t see me struggle to make videos so you will know who I am. You don’t see the weight of my burdens because I hide them inside for only God to see. I don’t allow you to see. I don’t want you to think I’m human, a person, and a wounded, broken soul struggling to make a life. But I am.

Is this you? Do you struggle to change? Do you hide your life from society so that they only see the good you, not the broken, run down, wounded you? YOU’RE NOT ALONE! I am YOU! But if you don’t have God in your life, we are not the same. God gives me peace about the things I cannot change. He gives me peace about the things I can and helps me overcome them. God carries my burdens for me so I don’t have to. He fills me with His joy and that is what you see. I struggle to write this because there are so many things I want to tell you, but it’s not coming out the way I want it to. That is God as well. He gives me thoughts and things to tell you and I write them down. These are not my words but His. He loves you so much and wants you to know Him. He will give you the peace you are looking for, searching for. He will help you with you resolutions and He will give you new ones (the ones He wants you to have). Instead of having our own new year’s resolutions, ask God what He wants for your life? You will be surprised at what He thinks you should do or change.

In Jeremiah 29:11 NIV – “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” The God of the entire universe who created you specifically on purpose for a purpose and with a purpose, plans to prosper you, not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Now that’s LOVE!   If you give him your heart, no matter what condition you’re in or where you come from, He will save you from yourself and all your resolutions! He will create in you a new heart and give you a new life, a new beginning! When you fall, He will be there. When you falter, He will be there. When you succeed, He will be there. Talk to him; let him know what’s going on. He already knows, he just wants you to talk to him, just like in any relationship. He will pick you up, dust you off, stand you up and walk with you. He will never leave you. I have left him, but He has never left me! When I’ve come back, He was always waiting on me. That’s LOVE!

In this New Year, I do have resolutions. I call them the ABC&G. I resolve to be active physically and in writing/authoring. I resolve to be Bold in writing/authoring. I resolve to be Consistent in being healthier, money and writing/authoring. But most importantly, I resolve to Have God in my life helping me resolve these things and the things He wants to resolve in me. You are not alone. As He was with those in the Bible and throughout history, He is with you!

Joshua 1:5, 7-9 NIV – No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. “Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you, do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

The Book of the Law is the Bible. If God was with all of these people long ago, He will be with you like He is with me. YOU ARE NOT ALONE! Resolve to God and He will bring you lasting relationships with people who will encourage you, love you, inspire you, take care of you and be honest with you. And, you always have me! I will be here for you, praying, encouraging, inspiring and loving!

Happy prosperous and successful New Year!