Archive | January 2018

January 12th: New Beginnings

January 12th-New Beginnings

One of my favorite childhood writers, Lucy Maud Montgomery, once wrote, “Tomorrow is always fresh with no mistakes in it.”

I have remembered that line throughout my life, long now into my adulthood and loved the beauty and simplicity of the statement.

It reminds me that when I have a bad day, when I feel that I have failed, when I wish I had made better choices, that if I truly want to make a fresh start tomorrow… I will have one.

I like knowing that I can make a new resolution on any day of the year.

I like knowing that I can choose to be a better person on any given day.

When my heart is heavy with the choices I have made, it gives me hope to know that I can turn things around at any time with resolution, effort, and faith.

“Dear God, help me to have faith when I feel that I have failed. Help me to be resolved to try each day to be the best I can be.”

January 11th: Playing God

January 11th

Once, several years ago, I was sitting with a group of friends when we began talking about God.

One of my friends said, “Would you rather be God or trust in God’s plan?”

Everyone went around the circle saying how they would rather trust God, believe their Higher Power had things in hand, that they found peace in letting things work out on “God’s time” until the conversation stopped at me.

I was amazed at them all and said, “I would rather be God.”

Of course they looked at me like I had lost my mind until I explained my reasoning.

“If I was God, then I could stop my loved ones from suffering the consequences of any of their negative actions. I could walk through life without seeing any of the people I love get hurt, or make poor choices.”

For a moment everyone was quiet, as they acknowledged my point of view.

It has always been hard for me, to watch those I love make serious mistakes that lead to hard consequences.

But I know today, that hard consequences often lead to true spiritual growth.

Some lessons that need to be learned are not positive ones.

Some poor behaviors need to be repeated until, exhausted, we are willing to change.

When I find myself wanting to be God instead of accepting God’s will, I know that I must pray for faith, and pray that my loved ones find guidance on their own spiritual paths.

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“Dear God, help me to have faith. Help me to remember that I am powerless over the actions of others and that I must trust in your plan for each and everyone of us.”

January 10th: Sharing

January 10th

I found that during my divorce, sharing my secrets, my truth with people I trusted, helped me to get through to the other side of my pain.

Holding pain in, being afraid to speak openly about my fear, hurt, or frustration, only left me feeling alone and overwhelmed.

When I share my heart, others will respond.

They are the beacons I must follow on my spiritual path.

They guide me through the dark, by sharing their own history, their own painful past, the times when they felt they could no longer move forward due to lack of faith and despair.

The people I love and trust with my deepest worries and fears, help to illuminate the light of what my future holds.

They are there to remind me that I am not alone and that a better life waits for me if I am willing to be brave enough to speak up and let their love and kindness heal my pain.

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“Dear God, help me to be brave. Help me to let go of my secrets and share my truth with those who love me and long to soothe my pain.”

January 9th: Serenity

Hanna Ocean

“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”

It is easy to say… “I’m not going to let anyone or anything take my serenity away today” but the reality is… without daily spiritual connection… serenity becomes easy to lose.

Without quiet moments each day where I make the time to reflect on what I am grateful for, pray to my Higher Power for guidance, or calm my mind before reacting, I can find myself straying away from my spiritual path, and inviting chaos to take hold of my life.

Whatever spiritual routine I choose to follow, I must practice it each day.

In this way, I will learn not to allow serenity to be stolen from me by letting my mind become overwhelmed with life’s daily highs and lows.

“Dear God, help me to stay in gratitude, walk in faith, and trust your path for me.”

January 8th: Fear

January 8th

Over the course of my marriage, I often took on more activities then I should have to distract myself from my fears.

I was so overwhelmed with the reality of my life, the fact that things weren’t really working between my husband and myself, that I filled my time with endless occupations, afraid to face the truth.

Today, when I catch myself working to be too busy to think, I stop and I look at what is really going on.

It isn’t easy to face fear.

It isn’t easy to admit that life can be scary and out-of-control.

But, by looking at what I am really struggling with, I can begin to address my problems and move forward on my spiritual path.

“Dear God, help me to trust in your plan. Help me to walk in faith instead of live in fear.”

January 7th: Limits

January 7th

I tend to be prideful regarding the fact that I don’t often ask for help.

To me, it has always been a sign of strength, accomplishment, this ability of mine to keep going and get things done on my own.

But just recently, I have realized that being stoic, although at times a very admirable quality, is not always a good thing.

It is important for me to accept that I have limits and that at times, I may need to trust that other people are capable of helping me… capable of picking up the slack if necessary.

To wear myself out, physically and emotionally, just to prove that I don’t have to rely on anyone’s help, is not in my best interest.

Knowing my limits, sharing my burdens when I am feeling worn, admitting that I need others, that I am vulnerable to the struggles of life, is important to my spiritual growth and to the growth of the relationships I value.

By being honest about my limits,  I show the people that I love… that I trust them enough to allow myself to let my guard down and accept their assistance when needed.

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“Dear God, help me to know my limits. Give me the willingness to ask for guidance if I need it and friends to trust with my burdens and pain.”

 

January 6th: Being in the Moment

January 6th

Yesterday I was with a dear friend and found my mind unable to stay in the moment.

I was so happy to be there:  sharing time with him, enjoying our camaraderie, our friendship.

It had been a long time since we had been able to visit and I was worried that it would be awhile before I would be able to spend time with my friend again.

Suddenly, in the middle of talking to me, he stopped and said,  “Man, I can just see that brain of yours ticking away. What are you thinking about?”

And I was caught.

When I told him all of my worries, all of my fears… how I was afraid that with our busy schedules and our lives so full… that it would be quite awhile before we could visit again and that it made me sad… he laughed and said, “Yeah but I’m here now and you’re missing it!”

I felt silly then and couldn’t help but laugh myself.

How many moments have I missed in life by letting my head run into the future?

I don’t know what tomorrow will bring and I can do nothing to change the past.

But I do know… that I must keep my thoughts in the present… and appreciate the day that my Higher Power has blessed me with.

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“Dear God, thank you for bringing love and friendship into my life. Help me to be fully present in each moment and embrace the gifts that you bring to me in each new day.”

January 5th: Self-Control

January 5th

The other day, I had a moment where I felt the urge to get into an argument with my ex-husband.

He had said something to our son about me that seemed unkind and unnecessary.

I was hurt… angry… and I wanted a chance to harm him with my own words for causing me pain.

As I drove around the corner in my car, and saw him standing with our son in my driveway, I felt my anger rise and could barely wait to park the car and let him have it.

But then… my spiritual growth kicked in… and I was able to sit for a moment and let that entire scenario play out.

How would my anger help my son?

Would it show him how to behave appropriately in a relationship?

Would it make him comfortable watching his mother be sarcastic and hurtful towards his father?

Would I stand out as an example to my child of how a mature adult, working towards taking the “moral high ground,” should behave?

No.

I chose to calm my thoughts and pray for my ex-husband’s well being.

I then got out of the car, opened the door of my house, walked straight in, and did not engage with my ex-husband for the rest of that day.

The relief of “not getting into it” in front of my child, of setting a good example soothed my soul.

There are times in life when something must be said… and there are times in life when I must practice the habit of self-control.

Today, I choose to think before I act.

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“Dear God, help me to choose my battles wisely. Help me to have self-control in my words and actions when it is for the greater good of all involved.”

January 4th: Waiting

January 4th-Waiting

Waiting on anything has always been difficult for me.

I am always on the move, always on the go, always finding something to do so that I feel that I am constantly making progress in all areas of my life.

When I catch myself becoming inpatient, forcing a change, I know that it is time for me to stop and wait.

It is hard for me to admit that not everyone is on my schedule, my agenda.

It is hard for me to admit that I do not have control over life, over change, over time.

Sometimes it is important to just… wait.

Maybe the timing isn’t right…

Maybe I’m not really ready for what I think I truly want…

Maybe my Higher Power has bigger and better plans for me…

If I find myself trying to force an outcome due to impatience, that is a clear sign that I should stop, sit back, and wait.

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“Dear God, help me to remember that waiting is a a part of spiritual growth. By choosing not to force outcomes, I am learning that life moves forward on your time and not my own. By relinquishing control, I am living in acceptance each and every day.”

January 3rd: Trust

January 3rd-Trust

I grew up in a home that was full of chaos and shaky boundaries.

There was a lot of love, a lot of laughter, but we learned early on, that the adults in our home often broke trust with us and with each other.

Nothing was ever “firm.”

No one could ever truly be counted on.

Growing up in dysfunction made me believe that all relationships, all families, must act this way.

So when I married, I looked for the same qualities in my husband that I had first found in my family home.

He was charming, talented, witty, intelligent, and helped me to re-create a world of passion, chaos, and poor boundaries.

Each time my husband promised me something, I would believe that this time… it would be different… this time… he would follow through… this time… I would be able to trust the person I loved.

It was as if I had never learned any of the lessons from my childhood: I trusted blindly.

Today I know that actions speak louder than words.

If I give someone I love chance-after-chance to be trustworthy and they continue to fail me… what am I saying about myself and who am I ultimately hurting?

If I allow myself to be hurt, disappointed, unnerved, frustrated time-and-time again… I must take myself in hand.

I cannot be angry with another person if I keep giving my trust freely and allowing them to have it when it has not been earned.

“Dear God, help me to protect and care for myself by living in the reality of the situation and not holding out for the fantasy. Help me to see I am worthy of more.”