From My Heart

I want to write

For several years, I’ve wanted to write.  It’s been on my Goals/Resolutions list for over 7 years now.  I wasn’t exactly sure what I wanted to write about, I just knew I wanted to be published.

I’m a voice and piano teacher but didn’t think I was smart enough to write for one of those music trade journals, although I have over 20 years of teaching experience.

I’ve been a church choir director and worship leader but what do I have to offer those publications?

I’ve toyed with several ideas for novels but nothing really grabbed me.

My husband thinks I’m a good writer and encourages me all the time.  But I feel this is so out of my wheelhouse, my comfort zone.

I was never good at writing. I’ve never done well on English standardized tests.  I’ve tried to keep journals for years but with only sporadic entries.

I didn’t think writing was in my blood…until now.

I am stepping out in faith and daring to dream a new dream.

I am overcoming the “I’m too old to start something new” stigma.

New season – new start
My seasons are changing.

Learning to blog has been a challenge.  The learning curve seems too steep at times. But I am willing to walk that steep hill because I have something to share.

I want to share my heart.

I want to encourage you to go ahead and dream those dreams.  Maybe it’s a dream you’ve buried while raising a family.  Maybe it’s a new dream.  Maybe you haven’t even allowed yourself to dream.  Or it’s a dream you’ve never told anyone. I want to let you know you can do it.  Dream!

Yes, I will give you tips I’ve learned along the way. We will learn to navigate changing seasons; in our vocation, in our bodies, in our marriages, in our lives! We will get to know others who have dared to dream new dreams, who have overcome the fear of being too old.

But I also want you to know, I struggle with fear.  I hear those voices saying “you can’t”, “you’re too old”, or “nobody will listen anyway”.

Let’s push past these lies together, you and me. Let’s dare to dream and then go about making those dreams a reality.

Oh, I know we will stumble on the way.  But we will rise together. Stronger together.

Will you join me?

One Thing

My goal this year is to read 48 books. I’ve talked about the book list I’m using here.  In addition to this list, I am reading books on business and self-improvement.  I always want to continue to learn and grow. If you have a book you would like to recommend, contact me and tell me about it.

One of the business books I’m reading is The One Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results by Gary Keller.

(This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase using these links I get a small commission that helps sustain this blog.)

In the book, Gary Keller helps you reduce your to-do list to that ONE Thing you should be doing right now to help you focus your efforts and accomplish amazing results. The question is “What’s the ONE Thing I can do such that by doing it everything else will be easier or unnecessary?”  It makes you stop and think about what I can do that is essential to my success. To make the best decision for right now.

Keller helps take you from macro planning (big picture) to micro-planning (small steps). He gives you practical tips so that you can live an extraordinary life; “to live with purpose, live by priority and live for productivity”.  He specifically wants you to apply focus to your business. But he lets you know you can apply the ONE Thing to any area of your life, whether it’s relationships, your spiritual life or your health.

I’m not saying there will only be one thing, or even the same thing, forever.  I’m saying that at any moment in time there can be only ONE Thing, and when the ONE Thing is in line with your purpose and sits atop your priorities, it will be the most productive thing you can do to launch you toward the best you can be.” (pg. 142)

I highly recommend this book to help you focus on what is most important to you.

As I was reading, I realized there is a bigger thing in my life to focus on such that by doing it everything else will be easier.  Not just business.

The ONE thing I can do…is pray.

Pray about my life goals.

Pray for my businesses.

Pray for my marriage. I highly recommend The Power of a Praying Wife by Stormie Omartian.

Pray for my kids. I also recommend The Power of a Praying Parent by Stormie Omartian.

When I center myself in prayer, I am more likely to listen.  Listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit revealing to me ideas or projects, or just reminding me of God’s faithfulness and love.  I’m more open to God’s guidance in my life.

I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go; I will counsel you with My eye upon you. Psalm 32:8 (NASB)

Only then do I feel confident doing what I need to for my businesses, my relationships, and my life.

We have a job to do.  A purpose in this life.  I don’t know about you but I want to live out God’s purpose in me to the best of my ability!

What is your ONE Thing?

Earnestly Wait

I’ve never been good at giving gifts.  It’s so hard to wait until that special day whether it is a birthday or Christmas.  I bought or made you something and I can’t wait for you to have it.  So, I usually end up giving the gift early! What a spoiler!

Waiting is hard!

Waiting in line at the store, waiting for your car to get fixed, waiting for dinner to be ready.

In a world of online shopping, courtesy cars, and microwave ovens, we don’t have to wait anymore!  We can have it now and move right on to the next commitment.

So, what do we do when we are in a waiting period? When things aren’t going the way we think they should as soon as we think they should.

Don’t sit around letting life pass you by, that’s not the wait I mean.  Wait with purpose.  That’s earnestly waiting.

I’ve got 5 ways to help you earnestly wait!
  1. Be grateful. There’s nothing that lifts one’s spirit like being grateful. Gratefulness keeps us focusing on the present positive.  What in my life now is good, right, lovely?  Somedays are harder than others.  Sometimes I can only be thankful that I have all my teeth or the sun is shining or knowing that God is still on His heavenly throne.
  2. Meditate on scripture. There are many verses in the Bible that speak about waiting on God. Psalm 37:7-9, Psalm 27:14, Isaiah 40:30-31 Type these verses and others you find. Post them everywhere; on your mirror, on the refrigerator, above your computer. You can even use them as your screen saver.
  3. Pray – for yourself, for the situation. Prayer is powerful.  Prayer changes things including yourself.
  4. Bloom where you are planted now. Make the most of every situation.  If you are doing laundry, be thankful for clothes, pray for those to whom they belong, be the best you can be! If you are in that long, slow checkout line, then smile at those around you.  Pray for them too!  We never know what issues other people have on their minds that a quick smile will help.
  5. Trust God. He is El Roi, the God Who Sees (Genesis 16:13).  He cares for you (1 Peter 5:7).  He hasn’t forgotten you (Luke 12:6,7). He has plans for you to give you a hope and a future (Jerimiah 29:11). You can trust Him!

Obviously, this is not an exhaustive list of how to wait.

So how do you earnestly wait?  Leave a comment and let me know.

Picking Up Socks; a Spiritual Discipline

We live in a war zone.  Every day there is a battle of good versus evil. Will evil triumph this time or will good rise in a final effort to defeat the enemy?

I’m not talking about the latest fantasy movie.  I’m talking about my life!

Every day I make a choice; good vs. evil.  That’s the big picture but what am I specifically talking about?

Socks!

Yes, socks.  Didn’t you know socks are the evil enemy?  Well, maybe not.

Let me explain.

My dear husband wears socks. Every. Day. Oh, that’s not the enemy.

You see, he doesn’t wear them to bed.  So what does he do?  He takes them off, throws them on the floor then proceeds to get under the covers.

Socks on the floor.  That’s my enemy.

For years I would do one or a combination of several things:

  1. Gripe him out for leaving the socks on the floor.
  2. Nag him to pick up his socks.
  3. Guilt him into picking up his socks.
  4. Pout.
  5. Throw fits.
  6. Pick up the enemy socks begrudgingly and put them in the laundry.
  7. Ignore them and hope they went away on their own only to find a week’s worth of socks on the floor.
  8. Get angry. (see no. 1)

Wow, that’s not the encouraging, supportive, loving wife I wanted to be.  But how could I be when he doesn’t hold up his end of the bargain.

I mean, it’s only socks.

Why can’t he put them in the laundry himself?!

One day, during one my pouting sessions, I felt a gentle reminder from God.  It wasn’t about the socks; it was about me.  I needed an attitude adjustment. A change in perspective.

The Holy Spirit reminded me that, more important than the socks, I had a husband who wore and tossed those socks.  A husband who sleeps in my bed every night.  A husband present with me.  He wasn’t in the hospital.  He wasn’t dead.  He was here with me taking off his socks.

I would rather have a husband here throwing socks on the floor than have the alternative.

This is about being thankful for the small things. The things that to our natural eye look bad…or annoying…or…

It’s about being thankful for that sink full of dishes because it means there was food to fill hungry bellies.

Being thankful for that pile of laundry because it means there are people in your life dirtying laundry.  It also means there are clothes on your back to keep you from being naked or dirty or cold.

It’s about being thankful for those small interruptions (little ones) in your day that keep you focused on what’s important. They won’t always be around, you know.

We now make it a game, my husband and I.  Each time I pick up his socks I thank him for allowing me to pick them up in the most animated way with a smile on my face!  It’s a reminder to thank him (and God) for being in my life.

Today, will you let evil triumph with a negative attitude or will good prevail with an attitude of thankfulness?

What do you battle against?