Sometimes you just know when you are with family.
When you sit quietly, and want to listen. When all of you share your wants and desires. And their goals are the same as yours.
When they pray with you and allow their hearts to pour out for all to see, and their hearts are pure. And neither age nor employment affect the direction of your lives.
Tonight I give thanks in praise and relief for newfound family.
Day 11 – Reading Benefits: Soul Searching
Welcome to Day 11 of our 31 Days of READiNG Rewards!
Don’t forget to read down to the bottom to see how to win a $10 Starbucks Gift Card!
What do you do when you feel lost, tired, or depressed? Quite often, we reach out to God. We take some time to search for the meaning in our lives, for our purpose.
We might do this through prayer, volunteering, journaling, or meditating.
Another way we might do this is through reading.
This could be fiction – it doesn’t have to be an instruction manual!
And it could be spiritual – the Bible is the best example of this. If you need a new version of the Bible, try The Message. It is written with today’s terminology and is very easy to understand. Christ’s message is all about love, and when we soul search, we are truly looking for the peace that comes from acceptance and love, and Christ can do this for you.
So embrace your journey, be open to new things, including Christianity. Don’t let your preconceived notions stop you on your soul searching journey for love.
I am constantly working on finding a balance in my life. When I make a plan, keep a schedule (even loosely), I find more balance in my life. In all areas – emotionally, physically, and relationally. When I deviate from the plan (or the light schedule…), my balance is out of whack!
Of course, it sounds like that would be something I would notice right away.
For the past several weeks our pastor has been talking about being BOLD Christians. Even just being BOLD enough to LOVE EVERYONE.
And I mean everyone.
But his awesome sermons have been motivating people to reach out even more.
And in my case, I have been wracking my brain hoping I will be hit with the PERFECT way to reach out and be BOLD in my community – more than my daily interactions. I don’t really know why I wanted to be BOLD in a big way, but that has been on my mind.
Now, I’ve spoken of this before here and here and here and here (and probably more places, lol) but I REPEATEDLY am HOT and COLD with my bible study and scheduled prayer time. Well, I know you’re all thinking of this – yes, I have NOT been reading my bible lately. Nope, lots going on, it got relegated to the pile beside my bed. With all the other devotional books and notepads (along with some thrillers, which are also collecting dust).
Because getting 2 kids off to college, vacation, FLEAS, a sick dog, house projects, & yard work has been keeping me distracted.
And what do I also always say? If it isn’t on the calendar, it won’t get done!
So I am back on schedule once again (if we stop trying, we wither and die). And to celebrate, I picked up two drawing pads, with the hope that in the morning my 15 yo daughter will join me in bible reading and study.
I will start a new reflection journal.
Doodling and painting and writing go so nicely together to encourage prayer and cement thoughts.
I will keep you posted. Please share how YOU are dedicating yourself to your bible study now that summer is waning…
Wow, I posted this and promptly went off on my way. So now that I’m back online this looked pretty funny. As if I was whining about having to love the hard to love.
I have NO IDEA where my awesome post went (and it WAS awesome, I’m telling you), but I CAN clear this up:
I was NOT whining about loving others!
I was mulling over John 13:34 which states:
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”
So, yes, EVERYBODY.
Bloom where you are planted! Boy, dandelions sure do that.
And oh, yes.
You should, too.
You should be all that God wants you to be at this moment. You should be your best you, even if your situation is negative. You may not know what plan God has in store for you or the people around you who will be affected by your presence.
Does this mean that you should stay in a horrible situation, through days, weeks, or years of painful interactions, because you need to bloom where you are planted?
God wants the best for you – not just for you to BE your best. And I don’t care what you are doing, or where you are working, you deserve to be supported by the people around you. So yes, be the best you that you can be under whatever circumstances you find yourself.
But while you are blooming, don’t forget that God wants you to FLOURISH, so look around you and get ready to be like that dandelion, and hitch a ride to the next garden God has in store for you, where you can SPROUT and STRENGTHEN and THRIVE.
Something to meditate and pray over. Have a great day.
Okay, so he wasn’t really driving…
And this isn’t exactly how the conversation went, but this was some of the dinner table talk tonight <smile>.
And I really did see a bald eagle. But he was in a tree. Not in a car.
Do you ever find yourself doing this?
There are so many funny ways to express yourself. From spoonerisms to malapropisms, to purposeful wordplay, words can say a lot about a person. Language itself is a fascinating peak into society, and etymology is one of my secret love interests (no, that’s not bugs).
But I digress…
Over the winter I was looking for a new book of daily bible meditations. I write a LOT about how I sometimes slack off and then stupidly wonder what’s wrong – and then realize I haven’t been reading and praying daily. I have checked out a few books that I liked to help me in my prayer life. Sometimes meditations are not interesting because of the author’s tone, or stilted word use, or <gasp!> poor word use.
Fortunately, the books I have been using have all been blessings to me.
But this spring I bought a book from Ollie’s (Good Stuff Cheap! – you know it?).
I bought a bible to keep in my car. I found a very interesting version in a book published by Thomas Nelson publishers and titled, Serenity. I put the link to the publisher but you can get it for less on Amazon.
Anyway, I picked up this bible and tucked it into my car, thinking that I would always be able to pick up God’s word as I wait (and wait) for the kids (school play practice, music practice, etc). Today was my first chance to pick it up. This is a great book! There is an introduction to the 12 step program (history) and in addition to having the Bible in front of you, it is interspersed with thoughts and meditations to consider related to each of the 12 steps of addiction (remember, this isn’t just for Alcoholics who want AA, it is for computer addicts, compulsive over-eaters, gamblers, relationship issues, and more…). And throughout the pages, verses of scripture are highlighted showing evidence of how the program relates to Christ’s commands.
So, I am bringing my “car Bible” into the house and using it for my upcoming scripture reading time in the upcoming months. As always, I would love to know what you are using to help you draw God’s strength (in addition to the BIBLE, lol).
Have a blessed holiday weekend. I hope you get to spend it with your loved ones as you honor and remember our soldiers! And like the majestic eagle, I hope you soar above your troubles as you commit to walking with Christ.
Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. – Romans 12:10
And as an aside, I thought I would share the 12 steps with you. I copied these from www.12step.org
Step 1 – We admitted we were powerless over our addiction – that our lives had become unmanageable
Step 2 – Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity
Step 3 – Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood God
Step 4 – Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves
Step 5 – Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs
Step 6 – Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character
Step 7 – Humbly asked God to remove our shortcomings
Step 8 – Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all
Step 9 – Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others
Step 10 – Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it
Step 11 – Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood God, praying only for knowledge of God’s will for us and the power to carry that out
Step 12 – Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to other addicts, and to practice these principles in all our affairs
This version of the 12 steps is an adaptation from the original 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous and is intended for general use with any addictive or dysfunctional behavior.