Monthly Archives: May 2011

Noise

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma–which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”   Apple Computer Founder, Steve Jobs

I have been pondering this quote for some time. We hear a lot of noise as we eat breakfast, drive to work, play with our kids, wait in carpool line, etc. Sometimes it is hard to hear our own heart song or God’s small still voice because the noise is so loud. And then there are times when we truly waste our days trying to live up to someone else’s expectations or ideals, also known as noise.

I had a recent example in my own life where I knew exactly what God wanted me to do in a certain situation, but I listened to the other noise in my life for a few days. It is easier to sleep walk through life sometimes. You know what I mean. It is easier to sing with the choir than it is to break out and sing a solo.

But there is a part of me that is a rebel. Someone who wants to color outside the lines. Lose my religion for sake of gaining my life in Christ. My soul aches for what is real and right and alive. So when I chose to mute the external and internal noise, I chose to be obedient to what I knew God was saying to me. Then and only then, did I have peace about the situation. Who knew that in losing something, I could gain so much?

There is a song by Sara Groves that talks about someone who was hiding and finally decided to show up for the reality known as her life. 

The chorus is as follows:

“There are so many ways to hide
There are so many ways not to feel
There are so many ways to deny what is real
And I just showed up for my own life
And I’m standing here taking it in and it sure looks bright”

Here is the link to the rest of the lyrics:  

http://www.saragroves.com/lyrics/addtothebeauty/justshowedupformyownlife/

You may not even realize you are sleep walking. Noise, what noise?? I don’t hear anything…that is a good clue that you may be hearing some noise! Here are some questions to help you drown out the noise so you can show up for your own life before it’s too late:

Where are you “sleep walking” through life? What do you use as your “sleeping pill”?

Where is God calling you to sing a solo? What or who are you waiting on to give you permission to live your life?

Quit hiding…give yourself permission to feel and experience what is real in your soul. You may experience pain, but you will also fully experience love. To feel is a good thing. It is what we choose to do with our feelings that give them a bad reputation. Let yourself go there. You can’t hide from God…He already knows and loves you anyway. Trust His goodness and His mercy, dear friend. He loves you!

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Details

Hate ’em. Can’t stand them. I am a big picture kind of person and the details tend to get in my way. A coach friend of mine calls me a bottom liner. Just the facts, please. No details, no drama, just the facts.

Serves me well in some areas and not so well in other areas of my life. As difficult as it is for me to admit, I am finding that details are important and a necessary evil in life. I am sure you have heard the adage, “the devil’s in the details”. In other words, it is often the small details of a project or task which make it difficult or challenging. Details can often prolong a task or make it more convoluted and less straightforward. The bottom line becomes a novel and that frustrates me!

Success or reaching goals is very rarely haphazard. Success most often comes as a result of planning and projecting. Then reevaluating, and more planning and projecting. You see, success is in the details!

Let me share a recent example. I am training for the Ramblin’ Rose Triathlon with a friend of mine. I never learned how to swim properly as a child. My swim lesson took place when I jumped off the pier at White Lake and my dad said, “now, swim!”. Just thinking back to that day makes me laugh. Good thing the water was only 3 feet deep.

So, when I decided to sign up for this triathlon, I knew that the swimming leg would be the most arduous part for me. However, I was determined to swim!! I joined a fitness club that has a pool, bought all the proper equipment (goggles, swim cap, tri suit, etc.), jumped in the pool. And I discovered that I could not swim laps. I could swim a lap, but I could not swim the laps required of me for the upcoming triathlon. I was scared to death of putting my head under water in the beginning if that gives you some idea of where I began on this swimming journey.

I knew I was in trouble. I also knew that the devil had to be in the details. I was not doing something right. I mean, I can bike and run for miles. Swimming can’t be that different, right?? Well, my friend, success is also in the details. I called a friend of mine who grew up swimming and swam competitively all through high school. I shared my story and my fear of water and she agreed to teach me proper swimming technique.

The first time we met, I was full of fear. I am sure she has no idea to this day just how scared I really was. She helped me with the details, putting my head in the water, breathing, my stroke, turning my head, creating a pocket with my armpit for breathing, etc. I was overwhelmed with all the details. I truly wanted to call my other friend and tell her that she would be flying solo for the triathlon.

I tried to swim on my own several times after my first lesson. I left the pool each time very frustrated and exhausted. I wanted swimming to be easy for me, for it to come naturally. And it did not, to say the least!

I met with my “swim coach” again and she helped me by watching me and critiquing me. She showed me that I was sticking my head out of the water like a turtle instead of keeping it down in the water. I worked on this until I got it, but I was still exhausted and I couldn’t find my pace or rhythm. I left the pool frustrated again.

The 3rd lesson was by far one of the most amazing things I have ever experienced. My “swim coach” told me to change my breathing pattern and it was almost as if the water parted and I crossed the Red Sea!! I got it!! I got it!! I could finally swim laps! All of the details finally came together and I experienced success! I will never forget that feeling or the look on the faces of my dear friends, my “swim coach” and my training partner.

In the beginning, I wanted to jump in the pool and swim. I can do this!! I can WILL this to happen!! Well, maybe not. Success is truly in the details, my friend. I used to avoid swimming and go biking instead. Now, I want to swim everyday. It feels as if I have been swimming all my life.

I am also learning this same principle in other areas of my life, budgeting, parenting, coaching, friendships, cooking, etc. Details, as much as I would like to hate them, have become my ally. A week from today, my friend and I will become triathletes…and I almost let my fear of swimming prevent me from experiencing this challenge.

Where do you want to experience success? What areas of your life are lacking in details? Look at the details and develop a plan for moving forward. Start small and you will end big, with success!!

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5 vs. 3

Both of my kids have great appetites and also have a sweet tooth that was passed along from their daddy. They both love chocolate! So today, after Sean gobbled up all of his lunch, he smiled and asked for dessert. I asked him what he wanted and he said, “Hmmm, ‘lemme’ go see.” He walked over to our pantry and looked in our candy bowl.

The kids got dye free jelly beans in their Easter baskets and he decided he wanted some jelly beans. I told him to pick out 5 jelly beans and show me. Here is the rest of our conversation:

Sean said, “No, mama, I want 3 jelly beans.”

I said, “Sean, 5 is more than 3. Are you sure you don’t want 5 jelly beans?”

“No, mama, I want 3 jelly beans!!”

“Okay, Sean. You can have 3 jelly beans, but you are missing out. You would get more if you got 5 jelly beans.”

Sean crossed his arms, furrowed his brow and said, “NO! I WANT 3!!”

At this point, I chuckled, seeing the irony. God has probably seen me in this position many times.

What are you holding on to that is less than what God wants to give you?

What is your “5” and “3”? Remember, 5 is more than 3…release and give God the space to give you exceedingly more than you could ever imagine!

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Love

When I think about Mother’s Day, the word that comes to mind is simply love. The word love is used so casually that it can easily lose some of its meaning. However, as a mother, love has taken on a completely different and much deeper meaning for me.

When I had children of my own, my capacity to love grew exponentially. I saw dimly before, but after having a child who is completely dependent upon you for the first few years of her life, the light started to get brighter. It was only after I had Callie and then Sean that I began to understand God’s love for me on a much deeper level.

Before I gave birth, I knew God loved me and everyone else. I was no different from His other children. Boy, was that thought completely wrong and misleading.

God used my children to show me how He loves me. May I share some examples?

1. When my children hurt, I hurt. I have cried more since having children than in all the 29 years prior to children combined. John 11:35 says that “Jesus wept” when Mary came to Him weeping because her brother Lazarus was dead. God doesn’t want to see us suffer and it pains Him when we do suffer. He, being sovereign, allows suffering for our benefit. Much like I allow suffering/pain/disappointment when I don’t let my children have all the chocolate they want and go to bed at midnight. It is for their good, even though they may not think so!

2. Because I love my children, I will stand in the gap for them and fight for them. God loves my children and says in Matthew 18: 1-6 that “whoever causes them to stumble, it would be better for him that a heavy millstone be hung around his neck, and that he be drowned in the depth of the sea.” Wow…I think that qualifies for standing in the gap!  

3. Without blinking an eye, I would die for my children. Jesus died for you and for me. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). He LOVES me!

As God has so graciously blessed me as a mother, I have grown in my love for Him and I more deeply understand His love for me. God has given me a great example of what this looks like. When I go to Callie’s school to volunteer and open the door to her classroom, she springs from her seat and leaps over to give me a great big hug. She LOVES me! She is my child and she knows she is my child. None of the other children spring forth from their seats to greet me even though they are happy to see me. She is my beloved daughter and I am her beloved mother. The difference is in the relationship we have as mother and daughter. A synergistic relationship where we know whom we belong to.

I am His Beloved and He is mine. Also, a synergistic relationship where I know who I belong to. May you continue to grow in your love of our Father and may you continually receive His love for you, His beloved child.

Happy Mother’s Day!!

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