Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Thoughts to Think

I have a few posts started and in "saved" status.... but, they just aren't quite right, and, in my opinion, they aren't very interesting yet, so I will keep them saved for awhile :)

But, today, I wanted to ponder a thought that I heard in church this past Sunday. Why do people have a magic age of retirement in our country? It seems to be what people work towards. The Pastor said, "Is that really your goal? To work for 40 years and then just sit back and go on cruises and collect seashells?" He went on to ask the question if this is a godly goal? I am far, far, FAR!! away from the age of retirement, but even people in my decade say things like, "I want to be retired by the time I'm 40." What a waste of talent and intelligence. After a lifetime of learning, through life experience and other educations, why would we hang up a whole generation of the fullest minds in our world? Just because they have reached the age of retirement?

I admire people who, after retirement, take on a new endeavor. I've heard of a lady who took up running at 83, and others in their "retirement" years who go back to University to learn a new trade after society says they should stop doing their last one. There was a man in his 70s who joked about continuing to race because once he hit 60, and was still running, he was almost guaranteed to get first in his age class - every single time! I might not be first in my class at 36 (ever!) but if I keep it up then by the time I hit 70, I'll be the winner!!

Recently, we have started watching the TV show "Betty White's Off Their Rockers!" What a fun bunch! As of today, Betty White is 91 years and 12 days. She looks about 70 and she acts about 18! She is one fun lady who hasn't let age slow her down.

I don't quite know why this topic struck such a chord this week. Perhaps it's because my sister is on the verge of a milestone birthday. Perhaps it's because I think back to all that my parents had already accomplished by the time they were in their mid-30s, like I am, and I wonder if I've done even half that much!

Whatever stage you are in, the Bible tells us we need to be thankful for what we have and where we are at. I don't dwell on the past because that's not the direction I am going. There are verses in the Bible that I cling to in different stages of my life, or depending on a certain situation, they comfort me. But, there is one full chapter of the Bible that I could hear over and over again. The words of Philippians 4 are so encouraging and inspiring that I often just play this chapter on my audio Bible (on my phone) to kick start my day.

 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!
Phil. 4:4

Read the whole chapter HERE

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Garbage In, Garbage Out

I like watching movies, don't get me wrong, but, if all I watch are the latest blockbusters, then I start to feel a bit flaky. People start to believe what they hear if they hear it over and over again. Whether the message being repeated is good or bad, it starts to weave itself into your thoughts. I heard a speaker say one time, "Thoughts become things." In the school that I work at part time, our verse for the year is all about transformation. Taking something that is not on track and transforming it into something better, something good, something right.

Romans 12:2
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed 
by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve 
what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

This past weekend my husband and I attended a business seminar in Tacoma, Washington, for the new business that we have just started in. We are working as independent business owners for a company called ACN. There is something inspiring about having a room of close to 1,000 like-minded people gathered together to learn from others who have found success in this industry. The weekend was filled with special speakers who shared their experiences and tips for success in business. I left with a head full of information and a heart full of determination to make 2013 the year that we become financially free. 

One speaker, Mathieu Lamontagne, talked about "Creating a New Attitude". He shared how Leaders need to be people that stand out as individuals who are skilled in their profession, they are hard working, humble and always take responsibility for their actions. Four points that Mr. Lamontagne laid out as key to a positive or "new" attitude are: 
            1) We need positive input (what we read, watch, listen to)
            2) The words we say matter (Garbage in, Garbage out!)
            3) Association with people (who we hang around with and
                     let influence our thoughts and actions)
            4) Learn from our mistakes. (lose the pride and take responsibility
                     for your actions, so if you make a mistake, it doesn't go to
                     waste, but you learn from it, and can help others not
                     make the same mistakes).

Although this was not mentioned in his presentation, his words immediately made me think of another verse in the Bible:
Philippians 4:8
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble,  
whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely,  
whatever is admirable
—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—
think about such things. 

About 8 months ago I was in town and got into a conversation with someone that really irritated me. As I headed for home I got more and more worked up until I felt myself getting angry. When I got home, I headed for the kitchen (my mom always says that when you are angry it is a good time to clean because you have so much more energy!). A few weeks before this, I had added the Bible app to my phone. I took my phone and set it on the kitchen counter and opened up the book of Psalms. You can read it, or have it read to you. I turned on the recording and went about my cleaning. It literally only took minutes for my mindset to change. The anger went away and I turned the situation from earlier into something much more trivial in my mind. Honestly, right now, I cannot even remember what the confrontation was about anymore! I kept cleaning and listening for a whole hour - my kitchen looked great, and I had created a new attitude.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013


Go confidently in the direction of your dreams.                                                                       Henry David Thoreau.
This is the quotation that is on the wall of the office my husband and I share.  I love it. Now, to dream. To dare to speak or write or think a dream. If it is not imagined, or dreamed, it will not happen. That's fact. 

A goal is fine and dandy, but it lays dormant until the action begins. So, to merely dream is not, in itself, quite enough. You must put it into action. The action word is Go.

2012 was a year of change for my family. Huge change. The only things that didn't change were our house and the number in our family.

The year began with a change in vocation for my husband. This brought with it a change of location for him as well. Later in the year we had other changes, including a return to work for me, as well as a change in school for the kids. At the close of the year, I said goodbye to my stamping business that I had been doing for 8 1/2 years, with the anticipation of the new adventure that is ahead. A blessed change was when my husband decided that temporary homes inside semi-trucks weren't suited to family life and he explored other options. A fit was found late in the year and he is now working from home again (sharing an office with me, no less!) and loving it. The kids love having their dad home 7 days a week, instead of just 3, and I am especially grateful for the long term blessings this new adventure will bring to our family. More of this adventure in future posts.

2013 has begun. We are determined, united, confident, ambitious, focused, and able to make 2013 an amazing and rewarding year. All these things are possible, not only because we dream and dare to put action behind our goals, but also, and most importantly, because of the strength we find in Jesus.

Mr. Thoreau may have provided some inspiration in the form of a quote on my wall, but it is by the grace and strength of God that we can face and conquer change, dare to dream, live the desires of our hearts and share our abundance with others. 

I can do ALL THINGS through Him who 
gives me strength. 
                                                                         Philippians 4:13