Need To Do Better

I always have the need to do better…EVERY DAY of my life!

I need to do better in my prayer life.

I need to do better in my Bible reading.

I need to do better in my devotions.

I need to do better in my attitude when I’ve been up too late and risen too early.

I need to do better in going to bed at an earlier hour.

I need to do better in eating a healthier diet.

I need to exercise; I need to consume less sugar; I need to cook more meals at home; I need to eat out less.

I need to do better in loving and serving my husband.

I need to do better in not growing so frustrated with the kids.

I need to do better in spending more time with them.

I need to hug more, fuss less.

I need to serve more, demand less.

I need to give more, take less.

Oh, I so need to do better…

Do you ever just feel overwhelmed by the “Need to Do Better” syndrome?

Isn’t it great to know we have a Heavenly Father who is THE BEST at EVERYTHING He does? He doesn’t have to do ANYTHING better than He does it right now. He is the BEST. He is the best Father, the best Savior, the best Redeemer, the best One to forgive, the best Giver of Life, the best Love, the best Life-Planner, the best Refiner, the best Clay Maker, the best Designer of Creation (which includes you and me!), the best Comforter and One to confront, the best Provider, the best Protector, the best Deliverer, the best King, the best Lord!! He is simply the best!

So, my life areas marked,”Need to Do Better” might be just that, and I will strive daily to move from where I find myself today. However, if my whole life is in the very palm of the One who is the best at ALL He does, then, I can finally rest assured that my life is going to be okay…maybe not perfect, but definitely, okay. I may keep struggling to achieve perfection; however, if I’ll only remember that HE is the source of all my success, I will always be able to do better. If He is my role model, my foundation, my source and my guide, I can do ALL things! With Him by my side, I WIN! With Him guiding my life, I can’t NOT do better!

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13 (NIV)

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The Winds of Change

The winds of change have come

I feel them blowing on my face

My spirit is lifted with the dream

My heart is now set to race

 

The change is inevitable

But with God, all things are divine

The memories tucked safely within

Onward moving, not forgetting those behind

 

A new chapter has begun

A new home, a new city, and new friends

In Him, everything has a season

In Him, He brings joy, even before it all begins

 

penned – 1/31/12 – MG

A Little Change Is Okay

One Sunday afternoon, I just decided to paint my fingernails hot pink. I’m not big on painting my nails. It’s not that I don’t like painted fingernails; I just never do it, and when I say, “never,” I mean really, never…like once a year, “never,” maybe twice a year…if you’re really lucky. It’s just not something I really take time to do. I keep my toenails painted throughout the summertime, but my nails, well, I’m just a little impatient to wait on them to dry. However, this particular afternoon, I decided for a little change. Later that night, as I was saying goodnight to my very honest-and-bluntly-spoken twelve year old, he grabbed my hand and said, “What’s THAT?” I responded, “Nail polish. Why?” He said, “Mom, No. It’s just not your thing.” He didn’t say this to be mean, really; he was just speaking from that honest heart of his; yet, I didn’t know whether to be offended or to laugh…

I chose to laugh; however, it did cause me to start thinking. That nail polish represented something which, too often, we may avoid: CHANGE. That nail polish was such a stark contrast to my methodical way of life. That is just my way. I like methods and procedures. I enjoy plans and predictabilities. I like analyzing a situation and being able to find a solution. I like the old statement, “There is a place for everything, and everything has it’s place.” That’s just the way God hardwired me. I have a routine, and I generally stick to it; so, when I change something, even as simple as nail polish, to my children, it may not seem to be “my thing.” However, the nail polish was fun, and it made me feel pretty that particular day, and that little bit of change did me good. Yet, it made me wonder how often we, as humans, as creatures of habit, become so comfortable in our “routines” that we miss out on even the little things of change which might bring life back into our being…

I left the nail polish on for a few days, as I pondered these thoughts…I came to this conclusion: a little change is okay once in a while. We should all try something new. Keep yourself alive through the change! If we’re always seeking change, we, as well as those closes to us, may never have the stability and peace we need; however, if we’re never changing, we will never grow and develop, and an early death will be certain…if not physical, it may very well be emotional, mental or spiritual. Everything that grows must encounter change. A seed that grows into a beautiful rose must first change from a tiny seed into a rose vine, followed by a tiny bud covered by sepals, and then, as the tiny bud grows, the sepals open, and the flower blooms and changes into the beautiful rose. A bear is first a tiny cub before it grows and changes into a momma bear, and every elderly person was once a little babe who first grew into a small child, then into an adolescent, followed by a young adult, evolving into a full grown adult, and finally becoming an elderly adult. We don’t, necessarily, have a choice in our physical growth; as my husband jokingly states, “We are all growing older and uglier every day!” Yet, when it comes to our mental, emotional, and spiritual growth, we do have a choice. If we choose not to grow in these vital areas; then, we actually have chosen to allow that particular area to die and the others to eventually follow. An early death, whether it be physical, mental, emotional or spiritual, is always tragic. I have never once heard someone say, “Well, it’s a good thing he/she died so young.” It’s always a tragedy, and it always brings heartache. The only way we can stay alive is to allow change into our life! If you’re like me, and lots of change can, sometimes, bring feelings of apprehension and hesitation, just start with a few little things, and work yourself toward the big things. Although it may be a little “out of our norm,” change can be good for us….even if it is a little bit of hot pink nail polish!20140719-224346-81826658.jpg

 

Life In the Little Things

the little things I asked Joey the other day, “What are some reasons you like me?” Without hesitation, he said, “I like how you see things. I like the way you see the little things.” That simple statement stayed with me for days. It birthed something inside of me that had been growing for a while: another layer of confidence in who God has called me to be. It birthed inside me the confidence to begin this blog…the one I’ve been thinking about for years now but never put into action…
You see, I do have quite a “knack” for the little things…the details, the small things, the minute things that, to some, may seem unimportant or even insignificant. Often in my life, I’ve tried to hide this trait from others, or at least, not relish in it, for fear of being the “odd man out.” Sometimes, I’ve even tried to deny or ignore it within myself, because it seemed like a petty flaw. To shed a little light, I grew up with a single mom for many years of my young life, and she has a real “knack” for the more unstructured, artsy way of life; then, I married a man who is incredible at seeing the “big picture,” and who really doesn’t like to get bogged down with the minute details of things. In addition, we have two growing boys who are just that: “boys;” details to them just sound like a lot of work and rules, and “it definitely takes up too much time, Mom!” LOL.
Oh, but how I relish in details! For example, one of my favorite things to do is to edit/review papers for grammatical errors. I love to journal in full detail all of the happenings of the day…and sometimes, of a particular hour! I thrive when I can share every fact I know about personality traits or leadership styles. I get excited when I can evaluate, analyze and project about a particular subject I’ve been reading. I also love to sit by a campfire and watch the moving and crackling of the tiniest flame. I enjoy watching the flight of the small butterflies around the edge of a beautiful waterfall, even as one decides to land on my son’s shoulder (see pic). I smile as I watch a young mom on a crowded putt-putt course stop to teach the youngest of four rowdy children just how to correctly hold that club. I just love details! However, details take time, and in a society that seems destined for the fast lane, in a culture where things must be achieved this instant, and in a generation for whom waiting for a microwave to finish seems like utter torture, time isn’t something we always have, nor are quite willing, to give.
So, my love for details can, often, get in the way.
My love for the little things can often be a speed bump in this fast paced life in which we live, and sometimes, I do have to work to move beyond my hang-ups…like while telling a story, and I can’t remember the date and time of the given event! (If you’ve ever heard me tell a story, you know exactly what I mean!) I do have to strive to overlook the not-so-rinsed-off dishes that my sons just loaded into the dishwasher (because after all, they did load it!) I do need to not get so uptight when my husband decides it’s time to make a change which I wasn’t quite expecting.
However, I will choose to thrive in the small things which bring life back into focus. I will choose to recognize the small things that bring life back into life. There is life in those tiny hands and feet which remind me of days gone by, those days I won’t ever get back again. There is life in that little smirk my 12 year old gives me as he sees me “trying to dance” while doing the laundry. There is life in the unpredictable moments of my husband’s love for adventure and spontaneity. There is life in that tiny star which shines through the clouded sky as I gaze at it tonight. There is life in that small moment we set aside to make a call or visit to an elderly with failing health. There is life in that small, un-praised minute you take to pick up some trash so someone else just sees the park’s beauty. There’s life in that blooming flower which reminds you to stop a moment and breathe it all in. There’s life in that tiny trickling brook which brings refreshment to a weary soul. There’s even life in that rainbow which you send as a mobile pic to someone just because they were sick and couldn’t get outside to see it.
There’s LIFE in the little things of life. Don’t miss them!