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Monday, January 14, 2013

What's Your Adventure?

This weekend, there was a lot of conversation about adventure. What defines an adventure? Is it skydiving or is it just having the courage to get out of bed in the morning? Is the local grocery store accurate in advertising a "produce adventure?" What does that mean? Attack of the Avacadoes? Captain is my most adventurous cat. He was often fearless. The other cats watched Captain, with admiration or concern, it was hard to tell. As Captain has matured, he has become afraid of people he doesn't know. Like so many of us, as we age our fear and resistance to adventure creeps into our lives. It's easy to stay "safe". But that's not really living. Moses told God, "look, I'll go talk to that Pharoah guy, but YOU better go with me!" (that is slightly paraphrased). Today consider taking the adventure presented to you. If you ask the Lord to go with you, even failing can be a win. What adventures have you taken? What have you learned from failure? Would you take another one?

Friday, January 11, 2013

It's Her Birthday!

That's Cooper. Isn't she cute! She just turned two this week and belongs to a friend of mine. Rumor has it that she is definitely in the "terrible twos" stage. Cooper is a cute Beagle. Beagles are notorious for "following their noses" and forgetting all about the people around them, the dogs they may have been playing with a second before, or food on the table. Scent rules and kicks in their instinct to follow, no matter if it leads them far from home or into dangerous traffic. Can you relate to that? I know I can, only too well. We are also "prone to wander." When our focus is not on God, remembering what and who He is to us, we look at what's right in front of us. Suddenly our senses tempt us away, following what is immediately appealing, even if it takes us into the path of danger. The next thing we know, we may be far from home. The good news is that God welcomes us back with open arms when we realize we were fools, broken and dirty from our "adventure." Rejoice!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

One Step at a Time

Today I saw a posting inquiring about what this particular group's measurable goals were for 2013.  When there were few responses, she reminded that 93% of people do not make goals and therefore fail.

Me being who I am (read: pain in the butt who just can't ignore stuff like this) responded that each time I'd made measurable goals, they get completely messed up.  It would seem that God has had a different plan than mine, no matter if I "committed it to prayer" or just went with my hunches.

Frankly, it made me mad to read that if I didn't write specific goals for that particular undertaking, I'd be a failure. 

Did your guidance counselor ask you what you wanted to be when you were out of high school (along with every other adult)?  If you went to college, it was all about preparing for your career.  I'd like to say that I've never had a specifi career path in mind.  That's a good thing, because if I was driven, having to deal with caring for a terminally ill husband would have been more difficult than it already was.

Goals are great.  I love to plan.  It's in my personality.  However, I'm now old enough to realize that not having goals, or not meeting them, does not equate with failure.  I'm not suggesting that a person shouldn't plan or have sense of what they want to achieve.  I'm just thinking that one can become a bit too compulsive as well. In fact, I'd suggest that thwarted goals and plans that land in the dust provide a better learning environment than achievement brings.

What do you think?

Monday, January 7, 2013

The Importance of Routine

Recently, a dog owner told me that he was having housebreaking issues.  Let me rephrase that - his DOG was having issues (I assume he was doing fine).  Indeed, when the dog was here, it was very messy with lots of inside accidents.  However, it's not too uncommon for a dog to get off kilter in a new environment.

Surprisingly, the owner called me when the dog was home to report that since he'd picked up the dog, there were no more accidents.  He credited the fact that the dog went out more often than at home.

Dogs love routine.  Cats love it even more.  Predictability brings stability.

Today, January 7th, is the first Monday of the new year (it's also my brother's 50th birthday - Happy Birthday Todd!).

Many people are returning to their first day of work.  While this may cause groans, other people freely admit that being back to a routine is a good thing.  Our eating habits certainly suffer, as well as exercising.  And too often, so do our habits of praying and spiritual readings.

To prevent physical and spiritual flabbiness, a consistent routine keeps us on track.

No more piddling in the house!

Did one of your habits fall to the wayside over the holidays?  What do you find comforting about routine?  Are you the type of person who likes to "shake things up?"

Friday, January 4, 2013

Resolve to be Content

Do you make New Year's Resolutions?  If you don't, you at least have been asked.  Most resolutions focus on improving themselves - diet, exercise, saving money, getting organized, praying more etc.

It's like we're just not good enough the way we are, isn't it?  Self-improvement can be exhausting.  We may fear others won't love us if we aren't thin enough, that we are failures because we're in debt, the clutter in our homes equates with our failing at life, or at least Martha Stewart. 

While it's a good practice to evaluate how we can make some changes, it shouldn't crush our souls.

"He will take great delight in you."

Who?  The Lord God almighty himself!

Notice how the words from Zephaniah 3 do not say "But only if you are perfect."  God loves us - DELIGHTS in us - with all our faults, shortcomings, and failures.

Today, resolve to remember that perfection is a nice goal, but not an endorsement of you as a human being.

"The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save.  He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with ihs love, he will rejoice over you with singing."  Zephaniah 3:17