The Next Right Thing

Our daily lives are a series of choices. It can be the simplest of choices, such as going to bed at a reasonable hour, so I don’t oversleep and miss another Monday morning Conference Call, at 6:00 am. To the hardest of choices as to who gets to be in the inner circle part of my life. My daughter and I discuss this quite often and we always decide to do the next right thing, and let God do the rest.

hardI’m reading “No Excuses“, by Brian Tracy and recommend it highly. It’s a refreshing read, reminds me of some things I know, but have forgotten, and Brian is just good. He said something, similar to the subject of this Blog post, but he took it one step further. He’s talking about doing the right thing and he said, “Practice the Universal Maxim of Immanuel Kant: “Resolve to behave as though your every act were to become a universal law for people.”

What kind of world would this be if everyone in it was just like me?

Well, it would be a happy place for sure, but this really made me look hard at myself. Every act become law? I don’t know about you, but I can think of a few things I wouldn’t want the entire world emulating.

So, that was my thought for today out here Inbarbsworld. What are your thoughts on the subject? Please, feel free to comment. I’d love to hear from you.

 

Snap Out Of It

When I wake up each morning, I thank God for waking me up sober, healthy and whole. That is the start of my day. Each day is new, so I treat it as new. There are tasks I want to accomplish each day, and goals to achieve, but there is no certain order. Just start to finish.

daily-routine-get-up-amazing-bedWorking from home has its perks. You can be amazing in yesterday’s clothes and no one will know. I juggle two business, am writing a book, acquiring a third business, homeschool my daughter, take care of two dogs and a cat, and run a household. I love my life and it has no routine or set schedule.

Instead of a schedule, I write down what needs to be accomplished that day. My work is done in segments of time and starts in the morning and is completed by a certain time. If something else needs my attention that morning, I move my business to the afternoon and stay flexible.

I have coffee in the morning and a pot of tea in the early evening. These are things that make my day better and me more pleasant to be around. No set time I just make time for them. I have learned, if it’s important enough to you, you’ll make time for it.

Living this way leaves room for God’s little surprises. I think people get so focused on schedule and routine they miss what God is doing in their day. Sometimes I get so focused on a task, I lose my peace. That means God wants me to do something else. He is done with that task for right now and it’s time to move on to the next. Keep my eyes on Him.

I believe there are no boring people, just boring lives. If they are bored, they have probably been doing the same things for so long they are not fulfilled. When I get overly focused on ‘me’, God always shows me this verse. Isaiah 43:19 “For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.” You cannot see it looking down, so look up and snap out of it!

I’m Drowning But Don’t Save Me

It has been raining this week for what seems like forever. I’m sure it was only two days, but here’s what my pond and pier look like. cockWhere are the steps? Lol

Looking out my window, this is what I see. Earlier today I was comparing this to God’s goodness. How He just loves to overflow in our lives. Later in the day what began as overflow, turned into drowning. Was it all God?

I don’t believe God wants to ‘drown’ us in goodness. We wouldn’t be worth much to Him in that capacity. He wants us to be usable so, gasping for air is not a pretty sight. Absorbing the occurrences throughout the day, I had to discern what was good and what was not so good. Was the not so good fixable? Yes. Sometimes we have to face the challenges and responsibilities of life to get to the goodness.

If I do my part and do the very best I can, God meets me there. If life hits too hard and fast, I’m learning to wait. God has taken so many problems out of my life just by waiting on Him and His timing. By continuing to give it to God, to lay it at His feet, He will take either take it, because it was a test of my faith, or use it to grow me up.

The picture of the flooded pond is a great example of my faith. Even though I cannot see the steps leading to the pier, I know they’re there. They are right below the surface, and by waiting for the water to recede, they will be revealed.

 

 

Open That Can Of Whoop A

What we allow to continue will continue. That is one of my favorite quotes and one of the hardest to implement. I’m a pretty laid back woman but when I get to the edge of a particular situation, I blow. When I was first learning how to spend time with God and pray, I would pray for patience. God had about a years worth of entertainment with me giving me more than enough to be patient about. Don’t pray for patience.

ignoreMy daughter is 15 years old and wise beyond her years. She doesn’t allow people or their behaviors to affect her. Everything I preach and every quote I’ve ever said has stuck to her like glue and she’s a mighty sight to behold. Now she gives me quotes and shares her strength with me daily. I strive to be more like her.

She’s active but selective with social media. Snapchat is one of her favorite tools of communication. I think it’s cool because you can show someone the expression on your face and also type a text across the screen. It’s the closest thing I’ve seen to receiving a message with emotion.

When you Snapchat someone, and they open it, which your phone will reveal, it’s considered rude if you don’t Snapchat back immediately. My daughter and I  live in a drama free environment, so it’s hilarious when she dramatically says, “FINE! DON”T SNAPCHAT ME BACK YOU PEASANT!”  It’s not good if my daughter calls you a ‘peasant’.

We burst out laughing, I say a quick prayer for the poor soul who didn’t respond, and she moves on. She’ll pick up her guitar and practice for her next cover, or go do schoolwork, just whatever is on her list that needs to be accomplished that day. She’s completely over it within seconds. It’s a phenomenon.

At fifteen years old, she’s got this. It should be of value when we allow people to enter our lives and truly be a part of it. You are valuable and you need to be treated as such. It’s rude to be ignored. Go over this list I try to live by and make sure the people you’ve allowed in, live up to these standards. Do they love you, motivate you, encourage you, inspire you, enhance you and bring you joy? If not…I’ll hold the can of Whoop A, and you pop the top.

 

Your Teflon Umbrella

I received this yesterday from a Blog I follow, Positive Outlook Blogs. It reminded me of all the storms I survived last year. This doesn’t include the ones created over my lifetime. Just the ones from 2014 were massive enough.

Man walking at sunsetNobody enjoys storms. Sometimes they are created by previously made choices that can compound into a storm. Sometimes they are created by others and I don’t tolerate drama very well. If I cannot remove that person from my circle, if they are family, I set strict boundaries and make it clear that I won’t participate in their drama. I can pray for them but cannot fix them or what they’re going through. It’s best to leave it in God’s hands.

The one thing I know about storms is, we are a better person afterwards. Just like the post says, “You won’t be the same person who walked in.” I barely remember my storms. What caused them and how I survived. It’s kinda like childbirth where you don’t remember the pain so much, because you’re left holding the most precious of gifts afterwards. We need to break out our umbrellas made of Teflon and weather every storm. No running allowed. Stand firm, hold your ground, and come out of it a better person than the one who walked in.

 

Sign Me Up

Last year I learned about gratitude. I’ve always been grateful, but was ready to dig into what gratitude looks like and feels like. That was my mission. Making a daily gratitude list was helpful. There’s something about making a list with pen and paper that satisfies the soul.

sign1I picked up this sign yesterday at a local shop downtown. Walking though these shops bring me joy. Seeing all the interesting things for sale, and sometimes beauty abounds. Something has to speak to me from across the room to consider bringing it home. You have probably read that I’m not into material things anymore, so it really has to scream!

Last year my mantra was gratitude, so this year I’ve chosen to pull gratitude, thankfulness and appreciation together and see what that looks like. Boil it down and maybe we have a bucket full of blessings to look through. God is good.

For someone on the outside looking in, it may not look like I have much. I used to have a guest house bigger than the home I live in now. Living here means I don’t spend a lot of time cleaning and maintaining stuff. I rarely dust because everything is used frequently and doesn’t have time to get dusty.

sign2I don’t count the electric guitar sitting in the line up of guitars. Bailey plays all her guitars, but the electric doesn’t get played as often. She still loves it, but we have to wipe the dust off every now and then.

Hanging yesterday’s purchase this morning, prompted me to hang a few more. The one that says, “When Pigs Fly” is made of wood. It was propped on a shelf and every time thunder shook the house, it would fly off the shelf and startle me.

All of them mean something to my daughter and me, so today they earn their own space. We have room to collect more but we’ll be discerning in our choice. They were scattered throughout the house, but the large ‘God’ sign brought them all together. If you noticed the spots of light on the wall you have a good eye. Those are the reflection from the Disco Ball hanging from the ol’ oak tree.

 

 

 

You Are Worthy

There are a couple of Farmer’s Markets, not far from my house, that I love walking through on Saturday morning’s. For the vendors, this is their livelihood and a delicious service to the community. If you read, “The Final Day of A Better Way To Live“, the Farmer’s Market is the perfect opportunity to give of yourself. I say hello and hug most of the vendors. It was cold this morning, so they were bundled up, but present. They were so happy to see a smiling face, it didn’t really matter if I made a purchase. The hug, smile, chit chat and laugh were enough.

mirror
Bathroom Mirror

As I was getting ready this morning, I read the writing on my bathroom mirror, and wanted to share. This statement was given to me by a friend of mine and I passed it onto my daughter. We say this out loud daily, and my daughter, Bailey, wrote it on the mirror. Isn’t that one of the places we look for approval?

“I am strong enough, pretty enough, smart enough, and I am worthy of all good!”

There is a difference between using a mirror to get ready, and looking in the mirror and seeing the person looking back. My hope is that you like that person looking back, because God doesn’t make no junk. It took me a long time to be able to look into a mirror after my drinking career. Once I did, I knew there was someone in there worthy of all good.

Write it on your mirror. Speak it out loud for you to hear. Give it breath and life and above all else, believe it’s true. Because it is.