My Feet, My Faith. His Will, His Grace!

I just love new beginnings, don’t you? The dawning of each day! Mondays … the first day of the month … the New Year … it’s like we’re given a fresh start over and over again, throughout the year! Oh joy! I definitely want, need and value these chances to begin anew … do you?

It’s January 2 and I’m deep in thought about the year ahead in 2018. How will I make my life count this year? In what way will I maximize the hours in each day to make every day count in a meaningful way? What plans do I have for our business this year? What steps will I take to bring it all to fruition?

So many questions spinning around my head. The answers?  Not coming so easily. Continue reading →

Christmas is Here! Breathe Easy.

As so often happens when I express what’s in my head and on my heart, the words take on a life of their own and run away with me … and I’m led into something much deeper {and lengthier} than I first intended. This is a continuation {part 2} of my last post called “The Holidays Are Here! Just Breathe!”

The original post was intended to be a short blog entry not a book, so I decided to turn it into a two-parter. Lol!  Thanks for sticking with me and my random ramblings about the holiday season.  I’m hoping the forthcoming message helps you in some small way.

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If You’re Standing Still You Aren’t Moving!

Sometimes the simplest of things have the most profound impact on us!

For example, look carefully at the graphic above, and read the caption several times. It clearly states the obvious! The trees are standing still, so they’re not moving.  In fact they are rooted into the ground and there they will stay.

No kidding … we all know that, right?

It’s a known fact that trees don’t have legs or wheels so they can’t walk or roll away. Unless they are uprooted and physically moved by a violent act of nature or intentional human effort, they are not moving from their spot. They perpetually stand still.

Did you notice the longer you stared at the picture and the more times you read the caption, the greater it impacted you … and the deeper your level of understanding?

Weird isn’t it?  With a cursory glance, I suspect you concluded it’s rather silly to put two thoughts together that mean the same thing and are SO apparent. After all, if you’re not moving you’re clearly standing still … in the same way, if you’re standing still, you’re not moving!  

But that’s why stating the obvious is so powerful. It has impact. I want it to have an impact.  To make a lasting impression.  

Sometimes simplicity rules.

I’ve noticed that often we humans, like trees, stand still and don’t move.  I don’t mean we’re not walking around … I mean we aren’t moving forward in our job, our growth, our life … were stuck in one boring spot … rooted to our own comfort level, or frozen in fear, complacency or confusion. 

The other observation?  With a few exceptions {of course there always are some} the majority of people are not happy when they’re standing still.  Progress matters to human beings … even a tiny little bit.  We don’t take well to being stuck in a rut. 

So how do you break out of the rut?  How do you get moving again? The answer is in the picture. It’s embedded in the caption.  So often though, we can’t see the forest for the trees … or we over complicate the situation. We overthink it.  That’s when stating the obvious is helpful. It’s a bit like underlining capital letters.  Annoying but effective!

The answer is simple. Stop standing still and get moving!

Move and you’ll stop standing still! 

“If you don’t like how things are, change it! You’re not a tree”  ~  Jim Rohn

Creating New is Easy!

Life is a beautiful thing! Do you agree? Just look at the magnificent tree I caught on camera in Cornwall 10 years ago.

I have no idea its age, but it has seen many years of life. Its height and breadth took my breath away … a 6 ft man {the white dot to the right of its trunk} is dwarfed under its massive, spreading canopy of leaves. Leaves that have provided shade and shelter to many a traveler through the ages. Its gnarled and twisted branches reveal struggles it endured to withstand a multitude of environmental and seasonal challenges. 

Yet here it is! Planted solid in all its glory. Stately, strong and majestic.  A testament to time. One of God’s magnificent creations. Standing beneath this tree, looking skyward in wonder, my senses were engulfed in the rustling motions of it’s millions of leaves.  I listened as they sung their enchanting song and danced in response to the gentle sea breeze that day … and I marveled at its beauty, power, perseverance … its long life!

This tree has a history!

Oh!  The stories it could tell. The wisdom it could impart. How did it thrive when others {more recently planted} have long since fallen by the way, succumbed to disease, the elements of nature, or withered and died in their struggle to survive?

How much joy has this tree bestowed over the years, to how many children {and adults} who accepted the challenge to climb it’s branches to new heights? How many lovers might have carved {or been tempted to carve} a heart with their initials and love notes, now concealed deep within and beneath its toughened ancient bark?   

This particular tree made a lasting impression upon me, so it was easy to recall its image when I happened on this quote.  I am uncertain to whom I give credit as there seem to be conflicting ideas on its origin. If you know, please enlighten me.

“Creating new is easy!
Creating something lasting is the challenge.”

This got me thinking about the way life is today. More often than not it’s easy come, easy go.  Of course, there are always exceptions, but this seems to be a trend.  The days of staking a claim and toughing it out to create something lasting is so yesterday! Instead, we tend to eagerly drop whatever or whoever and jump ship as frequently as we change underwear. Well, not really, but as fast as time flies and as often as things change, it seems that way.

Do you ever wonder about this trend?

Sometimes we just aren’t strong enough to weather the challenges of life.  The twists and turns thrown our way – the unexpected arrows aimed at us, so we seek asylum from the pain!  Maybe we’re tired of the monotony and ho-hum of a boring life … or we flee from uncomfortable situations in search of peace and quiet, or reduced stress. We simply can’t weather the storms of life.

Then there are times we’re happily trucking along, satisfied where we are and what we’re doing … doo-dee-doo-dee-doo … when BOOM … out of the blue appears an exciting new shiny distraction that catches our attention and we simply can’t resist its lure, so away we go in hot pursuit of a more stimulating adventure.

It comes down to this. 

It is in our society to hop from one thing to another, especially when the challenges appear … which they always do in anything and everything. Lol! Shiny objects grab our attention and we’re off to the next best thing, dazzled by the “new and exciting”, attracted by the “different”, seduced by the promise of “better”, convinced by an expectation of “more” and ever hopeful of “easier”.

It’s so easy to create something when it’s new because we’re living on an adrenaline rush! It’s like a drug! A new addiction!  It’s titillating,  it’s exciting and different … and {for a while} it gets our blood pumping and our heart racing so we’re filled with a wild kind of energy, a deepened resolve and heightened dreams that fuel us into frenetic action! 

Creating something lasting on the other hand is not always as exciting as when it’s brand new. There are times of triumph and elation of course, but mostly it’s more of the same year after year. It’s building a strong foundation, growing deep roots, dealing with the challenges of daily life and staying the course. This requires unshakable belief and commitment, the ability to gain strength from the challenges, knowing in your heart that weathering the storm and keeping on keeping on will build something of lasting value.

Through the ages, SURELY mankind must have
learned that while the grass often appears greener
on the other side, it’s just as hard to mow.

Alas, too often those who are constantly lured by shiny new objects are the same ones who flit from this to that always seeking the greener grass or the new thrill! Sadly most never build anything that lasts … whether it’s relationships, success or power … because the problem isn’t what they’re doing or who they’re with, it’s who THEY are.  It’s an internal issue … not a matter of circumstance.  Kind of like JOY.  It’s an inside job!

Apparently some haven’t learned that anything worth having doesn’t come easy.  And hopping the fence to the greener side expecting things to be different?  Guess what?  When the luster wears off  … and it will … it always does sooner or later,  will they make a stand and weather the storm … or will they decide to flit again? 

The beautiful old tree teaches us some real-life lessons if we’re willing to listen and heed its advice and wisdom.  Whatever your heart desires to create, whether it be a relationship or anything else, stake your claim, firmly plant your roots deep and wide, stay put and weather the storms of life.

Face those challenges head on and you will grow strong like our tree … you will endure and what you create will be lasting.

He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, Which yields its fruit in its season And its leaf does not wither; And in whatever he does, he prospers.  Psalms 1:3

Comfort Zone Discomfort

The Comfort Zone!

It’s such an easy place to slip into and so much harder to climb out. Have you ever eased into a comfort zone? Were you really happy there, or did it per chance haunt you a little as well?

I have totally been there! I liked it and I despised it!

Inside the fortress of the comfort zone it’s warm and cozy isn’t it? It feels safe, easy and pleasant, kind of like being in a cocoon – or what one might imagine a cocoon to be. No agitation, no stress and no demands of one’s self … so what’s not to like? Hmmm!  What’s not to like? Continue reading →

Begone Naughty Little Voice!

I can’t believe what I almost missed yesterday!

My morning began with the usual leisurely cup of tea and devotional reading, followed by a brief peaceful quiet time.  I sat thoughtfully in the semi-darkness of early morning, pondering the busy day ahead, visualizing what the chronological events of my day would look like based on what I recalled was on my calendar.

All of a sudden, out of nowhere, the naughty little voice in my head rudely interrupted my concentration and began to chide me … and tempt me! Grrrrrrr! It was doing its utmost to persuade me to skip my Thursday morning study on Biblical Womanhood. Really?

The naughty little voice chastised me: “You don’t need Gracepath today! It’s okay to stay home! Seriously Anthea, you need a break to catch your breath! With what you’ve got going on today plus the impending trip to visit your Dad, no one will blame you for bailing out. Besides, do you really need this chapter on mothers and daughters?”

Do you ever have a day like that once in a while? A day where you’d rather tune out, bail out or rearrange your calendar and stay home? LOL! I hope I’m not the only one!
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How Many Life Lessons Does It Take?

LessonsLearned2

I gazed out my bedroom window, longingly staring into the carefully manicured back garden where my parents were relaxing together after mowing the grass, weeding the flower borders, edging the lawns and trimming hedges.  Long lazy shadows stretched across the newly mown lawns and although the sun shone faintly, it bounced little glints of flashing light and sparkles up at my window as its rays danced on the water, bringing my attention to the two fish ponds.

It was mid-summer of 1952 and daylight savings was in full bloom in an unusually warm summer in England. It would have been close to 9:30 pm … approaching sunset … but still light enough to keep a seven-year old wondering why she was supposed to be asleep when she yearned to be down there enjoying the magical moment. Continue reading →

Just Laugh …. At Yourself!

Laughter is great medicine they say, so here’s the thing to consider … if you decide to take life less seriously, and learn to have a good laugh at yourself, you will never cease to be amused! It’s so true … at least in my case! Pretty much every day, I can find some silliness, or something I say or do that is humorous in nature!

Take today for example, I’ve already had a few laughs on myself, because of my own antics! First off, I decided to forgo the sandwich I lusted after for lunch, in order to keep the promise I made {to myself and others} to eat a boatload of greens at each meal for 21 daysl! So what’s funny about that? Read on ….

Everyone knows I’m all about eating clean and green living – I live, eat, breathe and promote it {99.5% the time} so healthy stuff is part of my daily life {going on 34 years! I love smoothies, but this green brew, stagnating {and almost fermenting} in front of me right now, isn’t the usual tasty yumminess I’ve whipped up in the past! What the ….? What happened to it?

Oh I daresay it’s healthy for me but the slick green slime appearance resembles pond scum and I’m half-expecting a green frog-like creature to emerge! After drinking half of it …eeeew … I can now confirm without a shadow of a doubt that it does indeed taste like pulverized earthy, moldy moss with river water and frog parts!
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