Sunday, February 13, 2011

Taking a Break...

My very special friends, last Tuesday I had back surgery (fusion) L4 and L5....back home on Friday...Need to take some time to heal as my sitting time is very limited :-)

Bob is my Nurse :-), I should have some interesting things to write about before long!

I would appreciate any prayers sent my way in regard to healing properly.  Didn't want any of you to think I am ignoring your blogs....I am trying to keep up on reading them.

Thanks for the blog life we share, I love it!!

I suppose Bob too could use some prayers since, I am the patient :-)

Friday, February 4, 2011

Putting it In Capable Hands....

Stress, it can come from simply trying to prepare a dinner without burning something, sitting in traffic to much more complex situations.  Often it comes in some form of insecurity such as, lets say, public speaking....of which I am not  a fan.  In fact, because I'm not a fan is likely why It was suggested that I be the spokesperson/queen of announcements at my church's up coming Women's Retreat... YIKES! A reminder that God has a sense of humor and is willing to use me in a place I don't want to go, a place  that I must rely on Him.  Trust me, I will be doing a lot of relying!

Sometimes our stress turns in to distress, creating major anxiety.  I am a carrier of  this affliction....nothing worse than that horrible feeling of not being able to get deep enough breaths, which when really bad lead to feeling lightheaded. The worst is the feeling that a 100 pound weight is sitting on my chest and my heart starts racing.  The fear that comes with these feelings is very real.

I remember one many nights that I shared a bed with my older sister when my Dad was hospitalized.  On one particular night we had come close to losing him and it was likely the most stress I had ever felt.  I remember having all the symptoms I previously mentioned and I was fearful.  Fearful enough that I wanted her to know my symptoms should I croak right then and there.  I was so relieved once I did, as she replied, oh I have that too, its called (some long a name I can never remember).  It made me relax knowing someone else experienced this, and the good news was that she was still alive!  

The worst part of stress is that while experiencing it, in the midst of it, I'm doubting my faith to a degree. I'm not giving it to God and trusting that, He's got this!  So, I am working on it and it hasn't been a quick or easy process. It takes me focusing on the truth, that it's out of my hands and in very capable ones :-)

A verse I read frequently while my Dad was hospitalized has become my go to verse when I need to get rid of my stress.

I sought the Lord, and he answered me;
he delivered me from all my fears.
Those who look to him are radiant;
their faces are never covered with shame.
This poor man called, and the Lord heard him;
he saved him out of all his troubles.
Psalm 34: 4-6

 It's a reminder to me that God is always here to help me, providing me with refuge and strength which leads me to my peace and security.  He will not fail to rescue those who love him......He, is our refuge and our strength in any and every circumstance.
So, we can be confident in the midst of distress.  We need to trust Him, and allow Him to carry the burdens for us.  His desire is for us, His children to be relieved of worry and stress.  It's so simple for me to understand when I think of myself as a child of God.  What he wants for me is not different from what I want for my own children.

Today I believe I will be giving my, distress, to Him. I just have to believe!  This is what echos from my heart to day..........

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Accountability, It Makes for The Best Relationships ...

Accountability is not a popular topic of discussion.  We all want to live our lives free to do what we want, when we want and if expected to be accountable....well, with that often comes  feelings of guilt not to mention its not always a comfortable thing to do.

Accountability is about being responsible for our actions even when its hard, and it can be hard.  Our actions rather they be in word or attitude effect others in either a negative or a positive way.  By choosing to be accountable to others it puts a responsibility and motivation on ourselves to live life how we were intended to live it.  Without accountability we are more likely to make poor choices, choices without much if any, thought of the consequence it brings.

Walking through life refusing to be accountable is risky.  Temptations are everywhere that ultimately lead to regret and painful consequences.  Which on the flip side , if we are being accountable and living a transparent life we free ourselves from many of those painful lessons.  I have mentioned before that it took me sometime before I myself realized how important and freeing accountability truly is. It allowed me to remove the chains I carried around my neck and freed another to experience someone actually admitting saying they did wrong and being accountable for doing so. It removed the wall between us.

I myself, do not want relationships in my life that do not require accountability on the other persons part or mine.  I have said for years, my best friends are the friends that will tell me what I need to hear and not what I want to hear.   Friends who are committed to an open and honest relationship, one of accountability.  Often that  may require confronting an area in another person's life that is not healthy or down right sinfully wrong. All done with the purpose of making them stronger and experiencing a more peaceful life, as well as to encourage them in their walk in this  life.

I have a small group Bible study at my home every Thursday night.  Once a week  us gals often share an area we are struggling with in our lives.  It is so freeing to hear someone willing to share an area of their life that they want to change,  because it frees others to want to open up and do the same. A group of women not to proud to discuss their faults or weakness's. Knowing that these women will be praying  about my struggle, brings with it encouragement and a feeling that I will persevere!  We help to keep each other on track, as oppose to allowing another to derail :-)

We likely started out being accountable as children with our parents, eventually to God and then to our playmates, and eventually our spouses.  Then, we in turn were responsible to teach our children the importance of accountability and the results of  a poor choice in the form of a consequence. We do this in hopes that they too will become responsible adults....we owe it to them.

I remember once my oldest son was disrespectful to a  Little League umpire who had successfully made the poorest of all calls throughout the entire game. Now, everything he said to him was true, it was the delivery that lacked respect.  I recall all the parents were very upset with the umpire as well and were possibly thinking, that kid said what was on our minds ! On the drive home I began to explain to my son that regardless of the bad calls made by the umpire, that did not excuse him being disrespectful to him. I explained to him that later in the day he would be making a phone call to the umpire at home and apologizing to him.  He wasn't thrilled with the idea  but that phone call was made and he handled himself perfectly.  I was very proud of him and I believe he felt better about him self as well.  The lesson wasn't what was said, it was in the way it was said.  An example of accountability that was uncomfortable for him to do, yet afterword he knew he did the right thing.

The one person we are all going to have to be accountable to one day is God.

All mankind will face Him at the judgment.
Rev. 20:11-15
I personally am a Christian and I am responsible to God for how I live my life presently.  I too will stand before Him and have to give an  account for myself and the choices I am making everyday. With that, will come my judgment, not in condemnation, but in my rewards or loss of them.  I am preparing myself for that day by first, being accountable to Him daily, starting with asking Him to help me make choices that would please Him first.  I fall short everyday, yet I am comforted to know that by being accountable to Him, it helps me to make better choices versus a  poorer choice that may have resulted in very harsh consequences.

We should be doing this with each other, it helps us grow and become stronger, it provides assurance that others have our backs.  My older sister has corrected me a few times in the last couple years in my wrong thinking about a situation.  One, I love that she loves me enough to be honest with me and two, it is in those areas where I have grown the most. Its all good :-)

Personally I am offended by others who do wrong, know they have done wrong and allow their pride to keep them from humbling themselves and being accountable, honest and transparent. They fool no one, and the person that suffers most is them.  It takes so much time and energy to continue to convince others of their "rightness" and its sad that they can't see how freeing  it is to humble oneself into the act of accountability. This is when it is a blessing to have someone around you that loves you enough to point out your wrongness (in a loving way), rather than playing it safe and allowing you to stay in a place that is not pleasing to God and is robbing you of peace and happiness.

I encourage you in every type of relationship you have to remain humble and be accountable when you may have fallen short.  It sends the message to the person on the receiving end that they are important to you, and that they matter to you.  Most importantly I encourage you to surround yourselves with real friends, the ones who love you enough to tell you the truth, even if its not what you want to hear, even though it may be initially painful to receive those truths. It can be life changing if you do so...

If I am your family or friend I want a relationship that is open, honest and transparent. You are  the type of people I choose to have in my life, and they are the relationships I treasure. By being open, and honest with me,  I am then reminded how much you love me :-)

No time like the present to prepare to answer to God one day....a good start is giving to Him the area you failed at or an area you were neglectful in, daily. Life is short, is their someone you need to be accountable to?  Someone you may have hurt or wronged and your tired of carrying that around with you still!  Accountability its freeing both for yourself and  those on the receiving end. One of the greatest things about God, we can start new everyday and I hope you do!

One thing keeps us from accountability, its called, pride. This is what echos from my heart today ......