Friday, August 28, 2015

Deadlines

Some people thrive on meeting deadlines and actually work really well under that kind of pressure. Other people tend to get their projects done ahead of time so they are not 'under the gun' at the last minute.

19 years as a Tennessee state employee, I have worked in many offices with various goals and ways of getting the job done. What I have found is if your office has a true teamwork spirit, then you can get anything done when you work together. However, if you or any of your co-workers have the "not my job" attitude, you will be out on a limb when you are on a deadline.

Having peace at work is difficult at times when your office is on major deadlines because not only do you have the normal at home stuff going on but you have added pressure at work with lots more to accomplish.  To say we get on each other's nerves is an understatement at year-end. I work in an accounting office and from mid-June until mid-July, we are very stressed but we work together and get it all done.  We know that soon we will have a day where we can breathe again.

We all have deadlines or things we have to do by a certain date. Take paying your bills at home, that can stress you out tremendously if you don't have a system to keep up with them or if you forget about one at the last minute.

What I have found that works for me, is on my day off in the early morning hours on a Saturday, I will map out the week, from work, dinners, PartyLite events and workshops and bills that are due that week. This way I have it all in my phone and set myself reminders on my phone as well.

It is also healthy to get away from it all even if you only go to the local park and sit on a park bench to relax your mind. These days, most of us could use a day away from technology to help us get our focus back. 

Don't let your deadlines upset you, put them in a calendar and take control (as much as you can) so that when that chaos moment happens, you can handle it and not completely have a meltdown.

I also choose to listen to my favorite radio station online at work to keep myself in the right state of mind. If you are praising God, you will not be able to focus on your worries or fears.

Have a great weekend everyone, take an hour or 3 for yourself and enjoy life with those around you. Tell them you love them and encourage them. Call someone to check on them (even if you only leave a message).

If you are in danger, ask for help and call the Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Gratitude

Start every day with gratitude and prayer. It makes you mindful of what you have and in most cases will keep you from complaining at least for a little while.

One of the training classes I attended years ago suggested a gratitude journal and then after the months or the book is filled, you can go back over it and reflect on the things you were grateful for in the past as well as now. This exercise definitely put things into perspective for me in a time in my life when I needed a wake up call.

When you see all your blessings in black/white on paper you will truly understand all you have to be thankful for. There are so many things we here in the USA take for granted that many in other countries don't have access to. The USA is not perfect (and I will not get into political debates), but we are a blessed nation to have so many freedoms.

I suggest starting your prayers being thankful/grateful as well before you go to the throne asking for a laundry list of things from our heavenly father. This too will put your needs into perspective and just might make you mindful of those in your life who need prayer as well.

If you are in danger, please seek help from a trusted friend or call the Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-799-7233 for assistance.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

We all have Jobs to do.

I grew up in church and I have seen all kinds of people in all kinds of roles.

The challenge for any church and/or ministry is to have the right person in the right 'job'.  For example, you don't want a person with an abrupt way of speaking or nosy attitude to be part of your greeter ministry.

Trust me, being met in the sanctuary by a person demanding to know where you have been for a couple of weeks does not make you want to return or speak to that person anytime soon. There is a huge difference between a gentle concern for their well-being and putting them on the defense with your words.

I was not blessed with the ability to do children, youth or even nursery work in a church setting. I have tried and failed miserably.

I still could not tell you what my niche at church is other than helping. I tend to help with set up for events and work clean up as well. I suppose doing that type of thing since I was 15 prepared me well for it as an adult. I am also a pretty good planner and have coordinated a few fundraisers and expo's over the years as well.

No matter what 'role' you may have at your church or synagogue be sure you do it as if you are working in heaven itself. That will give you the proper attitude for talking to those visiting or just the regular membership. We want everyone to feel loved when they walk in the doors of a congregation.

If you are shown love and connections are made with those there, you will find a place to fit in the congregation and help them grow. 

Some people are part of the same church their whole lives and some who are in ministry end up changing churches every 2-5 years depending on the situation. Growing up as a minister's daughter, I attended many churches in Middle Tennessee and have many christian friends all over the state and beyond.

Be sure this week (and every week actually) to pray for your pastor, the pastor's family and anyone in leadership at your church. They need our prayers for guidance and wisdom to lead us where God would have us go.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Earnings

Were you ever told that you could not have the new bicycle or skateboard unless you did some work to earn the money for it?

I grew up in a time where this was the norm. I had friends who did yard work, had paper routes or babysat little ones to earn extra money.

Later as most of us grow up, we get our first jobs and learn just what it is like to have a paying job with a time-clock and a supervisor that we have to report to.  Most of us just learned to get the job done to get that paycheck.  Some people make that first job a lifelong career and many go on to get other jobs as their education/experience takes them down different paths.

But we earn other things besides money. We earn respect, friendship and admiration as we learn and grow on this journey. 

Think about the work you are doing daily and what you are working towards (aka earning). In this Christian journey we are all working toward a home in heaven. Thankfully, we have God's grace to get us through the mess-ups.

I have often heard the saying to do your work as if you are working for the Almighty God and you will keep a proper perspective. This saying helped me tremendously when I had certain supervisors that were not the best to get along with.

I have also heard that if you do what you love, you will never work a day in  your life.  But when you have a huge goal to achieve, it takes tremendous effort to keep going and keep working towards it when you have setbacks.

Some people I know of seem to worship money because that is all they appear to be focused on. While we all need money to get along in this life, money should not be the focus of your day or every thought in your head. You cannot take it with you after all.

My thoughts today boil down to this. When you look at your paycheck, remember it is not the sum of your value, it is simply the dollars to pay your bills. You are worth So much more than the numbers on a paycheck.

Be kind to others and remember that everyone is fighting some kind of battle!
If you are in danger, get help! Call 911 or the Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Standing Alone

From a very young age, most people want to be accepted by their friends, family, classmates and others in society.

However, as we grow older and gain experience, we lose friends over differences in belief systems and even personality clashes. This is not a bad thing, this is growing up and learning where our own boundaries are located. This is a healthy lesson to learn. Although it is very difficult to watch your child go through it, if you search yourself and be honest, you realize even at 44 years of age that you are still learning this lesson every day as well.

Keep true to your beliefs, compromise for no one and be sure you are fighting for the right things you want to keep in your life.

Being friends on facebook does not mean you are best buddies or even family. I know lots of people who live fulfilling lives and they are not on facebook. At times, I really envy them that stance. But again, that is their choice to make. 

I often clean out my friends list because of political issues and just things they post that I plain do not wish to see. It is not personal and most of them never even notice or say a word when it happens.

A true friend does not need facebook to keep up with you, they can call, text or see you at work and you can have a thriving growing relationship that feeds you both what you need.

Standing alone can be a freedom stance and I pray each of you find the strength to stand up for what you believe in and do not let anyone on this earth change your beliefs. The only relationship that truly will save you is your relationship with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

You are worth fighting for and I pray you look in the mirror and believe in yourself every day.

If you need assistance or help in a domestic situation, please call the Hotline at 1-800-799-7233.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Home

If you have a safe place to call home where you are not abused in any shape, form or fashion, you are truly blessed.

The main forms of abuse are:
Verbal
Mental
Sexual
Financial
Physical

Sadly, there are fully functioning adults that because of certain situations in their life that they continue to put up with and tolerate abuse of all kinds because they don't see a way out.  I have been there and it is not pretty.

If you live in a home full of strife, arguing and constant turmoil, I am so sad for you. I have lived there too. It is a very unhappy place to be 'trapped'.

While I do not have answers, I do have compassion and my heart goes out to those who put up with the snide comments and constant lies because you have no where else to go.  In my past, I have been tempted to live in my car just to escape the turmoil at home. It has been that bad at times.

My definition of a safe home is this:
A place you can go to recharge safely and not be verbally attacked for what you wear, eat or how you conduct your life.

You can have an address and stay at a place and truly never feel at home there. I know I have lived it and it is very sad and painful. Most people don't know that I have ever endured this and It is not something I share with everyone but today I felt I needed to be transparent and put this out in the open.

I pray each of you has a safe haven and a place  you can truly call home where you don't feel threatened or afraid when you put your head on the pillow.  I pray you are confident that you have a place to stay every night. There are many in shelters all over the city that do not have that luxury.

Please take care and check on your friends. Pray about this and if someone comes to mind please call and check on them or even drive over to make sure they are safe.

The domestic violence hotline is 1-800-799-7233 for you that need that number.

Be a blessing and check on those that come to mind, you might just save a life or give someone safe haven for the night.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Detours & Road Trips

Life is a lot like a Road Trip

Sometimes your path is a straight shot with no traffic and no bad weather. Then other times the same journey takes weeks or even months to accomplish because life's road has construction, obstacles and detours that we didn't see ahead of us.

You can complain about the detours, the rain and the wrecks in your way or you can be thankful for what you do have along the way. As my friend Judy says, "You can have a bad day but don't unpack and move in during the day".

Be mindful of what comes out of your mouth on a daily basis. Are you always complaining and griping? Or do you choose to see the blessings in everything somehow every day?

Pastor Wes said in his lesson yesterday that if you will just listen to others around you, you will learn very quick how they really view life in general. If all they talk about is illness, job woes and all the bad stuff, then they are not focused on the blessings or their faith for a solution ahead of them.

I still have bad days and some of you have had a front row seat to them recently and over my lifetime.  I know I have lots more great days and great memories to carry me forward than I used to.

I am not a 'Pollyanna', but I do my dead level best to look for the good in a situation or circumstance. Even on the days I feel covered by a cloud of gloom, I lean on my friends to help me see the blessings even if I don't always recognize them.

So my friends, take the detour, pack a picnic lunch and enjoy the scenic route. You never know what blessings and lessons could be on that detour. 

Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-799-7233
Call 911 for immediate help