The Words I Would Say

I love music.  There are so many songs that have inspired me over the years.  There are so many songs that can instantly capture my mind, bring it to another place, another time.  I’m sure you can relate to being “taken-away” to a past memory, an earlier age, an experience, or a relationship.

Most often, for me, it’s the words — the lyrics of the song that sink into my soul…

…that leave a footprint.

Today this one inspired me. encouraged me. brought a SMILE to my face.  I’ve heard it many times, but cling to the chorus tightly…

These simple truths…

  1. Be strong in the Lord
  2. NEVER give up hope
  3. You’re gonna do great things
  4. God’s got His hand on You
  5. Don’t live life in fear
  6. Forgive and forget
  7. Don’t forget why you’re here
  8. Take your time and pray

These are the words I would say.

These words are a reminder.  These words are affirmation.

These simple truths are for YOU and for me!  You can listen to the song, The Words I Would Say by Sidewalk Prophets here.

From one simple life to another, come find peace in the Father — BE encouraged.

Photo Credit: Zupao

 

Does it put a smile on His face?

images-3I learn so much from my boys.  Being a mother has taught me so much about life and even more about myself.  Here’s a little glimpse into some things that I’m learning:  How to be more patient, I’m not the only one that can do it, I need to be patient as others are learning.  Understanding the feelings that surround unconditional love – nothing that my boys do will keep me from loving them.  Forgiveness is for everyone, even me.  Give, Give, Give, but don’t lose yourself in the process.  Selfishness is something that we are born with, that’s what I think anyway ~ the journey of our life experiences allows us to start seeing the needs of others.

A couple of months ago, I overheard my boys talking.  Zane said to Zach, “Zach, would that put a smile on His face?”  I can’t remember now exactly what they were doing or talking about, but I tuned in and thought to myself, this is interesting, WHO is Zane talking about?  Then I heard Zach respond, “Probably not.”  I couldn’t help to ask, “Zane, would it put a smile on who’s face?”  He said, “God’s face, mom.”  I took a step back and thought, ok – you’re 7 – I’ve never said that before, where did you learn that?  I asked them.  They said at the same time “school”.  YES!!  They are learning at school – YIPEE!!

This is the first year that our boys have gone to a private Christian school – each day they start their day with a short chapel service.  They sing songs – put on the full armor of God – receive a biblical lesson through other classmates or a teacher – pray and then start their day.  I LOVE it!!  I frequently go to chapel with them on Thursday mornings and each time I leave there I feel overwhelmed with God’s blessings.

Does it put a smile on God’s face?  I love that question.  After I overheard my boys talking about it – I decided, hey, that is for ME!  That question is one I need to ask myself frequently in EVERY area of my life.  So, that’s what I’ve started doing.  I know it sounds silly and very elementary, but I’m doing it!!

By asking myself this question, I’m seeing things differently.  I’m thinking before I speak.  My thoughts are more pure.  The actions that I take have meaning – my desire is to put a smile on God’s face!!

I was amazed by the response I got from a friend the other day when I actually spoke this to her through a text message, I know it sounds strange, speaking through a text, but let me share with you what happened.  I received a text from a friend basically inviting me into gossip.  Her text went something like this……..i ran in2 “jane” she said that “jan” had become a stuck up snot, blah, blah, blah………….My response was this………..what ive heard or any thoughts that I have regarding “jan” would not put a smile on God’s face so I will refrain from that conversation :-) ……..then I changed the subject in the remainder of my text.  The next day when we actually spoke on the phone, she told me that she respected my response and it made her actually think about what she was thinking or saying.

I’m NOT telling this story to pat myself on the back, or put myself on a pedestal ~ BELIEVE ME I know that I screw up all the time and have a lot to work on in my life.  I simply wanted to share the concept.  Who in this life are we aiming to please?  Are we putting a smile on God’s face?  Consider asking the question………

Email Forward

images-1I am not a big ‘forward’ person when it comes to emails. In fact, I have to admit am guilty of ignoring an occasional forward. This one sat in my inbox for a few days before I finally got around to opening it. I loved it!  I’ve given thought to how I want to live my life as of late, changes I’d like to make- and many of these simple daily suggestions seemed obvious yet a welcome reminder. You know, one of those lists worth printing and hanging on my bathroom mirror. I thought I would pass them along, in hopes to hold myself accountable to them. Maybe one of you will be inspired to simplify your lives by following some or all of these words of wisdom. Many of them remind me of a daily KIP! Let me know what you think.

(By the way, I would site them, but don’t know where this email originated. I’ve also taken the liberty to edit slightly.)

1.  Pray.

2.  Go to bed on time.

3.  Get up on time so you can start the day unrushed.

4.  Say No to projects that won’t fit into your time schedule, or that will compromise your mental health.

5.  Delegate tasks to capable others. (Including husband and children!)

6.  Simplify and unclutter your life.

7.  Less is more. (Although one is often not enough, two are often too many.)

8.  Allow extra time to do things and to get to places. (This reminds me of my Grandpa Johnson, RIP!)

9.  Pace yourself. Spread out big changes and difficult projects over time; don’t lump the hard things all together.

10.  Separate worries from concerns . If a situation is a concern, find out what God would have you do and let go of the anxiety . If you can’t do anything about a situation, forget it.

11.  Live within your budget; don’t use credit cards for ordinary purchases.

12.  Have backups; an extra car key in your wallet, an extra house key buried in the garden, extra stamps, etc.

13.  K.M.S. (Keep Mouth Shut). This single piece of advice can prevent an enormous amount of trouble.

14.  Do something for the Kid in You everyday.

15.  Eat right.

16.  Get organized so everything has its place.

17.  Write down thoughts and inspirations.

18.  Every day, find time to be alone.. REPEAT…every day, FIND time to be alone..

19.  Having problems? Talk to God on the spot. Try to nip small problems in the bud. Don’t wait until it’s time to go to bed to try and pray.

20.  Laugh.

21.  Take your work seriously, but not yourself at all.

22.  Develop a forgiving attitude (most people are doing the best they can).

23.  Be kind to unkind people (they probably need it the most).

24.  Sit on your ego.

25.  Talk less; listen more.

26.  Slow down.

Answered Phone Call

dfp_500telephoneI have to share with you my friend’s story……
(for privacy purposes, I’m using fictitious names – thanks for understanding)

On Sunday my friend, Kelly was in her husband’s office at the church that he pastors.  She stopped in briefly to talk with him and the phone rang.  Understand, it was Sunday morning, offices were closed and she typically doesn’t answer the phone at the church office, but she did.  There was a female voice on the other end asking if there was any way she could get picked up to attend their church service that morning.  Kelly asked a few questions, what’s your name? where are you?  The caller answered, “My name is Heather, I’m at a woman’s shelter a few miles away, I just got out of the hospital last night, I’m here because of a domestic abuse situation and I’d really like to attend your church.  If it’s not too much to ask I really would like a ride.”  Kelly talked with her a little longer and got off the phone.  Heather told her that she would be waiting on the corner outside for her to pick her up.

This was an odd phone call.  When Kelly answered the phone she assumed that someone was calling who needed to know the times of the services or maybe someone needed directions – who would’ve thought there would be a call this early in the morning from a random person with such a need? AND What were the chances that Kelly just happened to be in the church office to pick up the phone?  THIS was a GOD thing!  How cool was that!

Ok, so Kelly made a phone call to the woman’s shelter to ensure that the call was legit, did some due diligence and off she went to pick up Heather; she took along a guy from the church to ride in the car with her for safety reasons.

During the drive to church Kelly and Heather got to know each other.  Heather shared with her the situation she was in and how she had broken ribs, a dislocated shoulder and had been beaten by her boyfriend.  She explained that she almost died and could not go back to the home where she was living and that she needed to get far away from there so her boyfriend would not find her.  She had NOTHING just the clothes on her back and a small suitcase.  She was in a lot of pain.  Defeated. No money.  No strength.

With the help of Kelly’s church they were able to help Heather purchase a bus ticket to make the journey to another women’s shelter that would get her closer to her family.  She was very grateful for the help.

One question that Kelly asked Heather was, “What prompted you to call our church? Did you find us in the yellow pages? or what?”  Heather responded, “While I was in the hospital last night, the nurse that cared for me suggested that I call your church, she gave me your phone number and said that your church would be compassionate and loving. So I called.  That’s how I found you.”

As Kelly and Heather’s encounter was coming to an end, Heather was dropped off at the shelter to get a taxi to take her to the bus station. Kelly asked her one last question.  She said, “Heather, do you have a relationship with God?  What keeps you going.”  To Kelly’s surprise she responded, “My father is a baptist minister.  Several years ago he told me that I could NOT be a part of HIS family UNLESS I got my tattoo removed, I stopped smoking, and I stopped living my life the way I had been living it.  He has put conditions upon me to be accepted.  I’ve done so many terrible things that God could NEVER forgive me.  I am unlovable – God would not want me.”

Through both of their tears Kelly shared with Heather that she IS worthy of God’s unconditional love no matter what she had done in the past and that what she was believing were lies.  God loves you – JUST AS YOU ARE – He created you, chose YOU! Kelly was able to give her some materials to read to help her understand God’s love and forgiveness and then Heather was gone.

I was touched by this story and I have to tell you why;  this is SO Keeping it Personal – I LOVE IT!!  You see it’s the little things that we do that make the most impact AND it’s those very simple things that we do or say that we may NEVER know the impact it has on another life.

The nurse who referred Heather to Kelly’s church DID NOT let the lingering thought pass through her mind – she took ACTION!  She shared with Heather, she encouraged her, THAT IS Keeping it Personal.

Kelly, picked up the phone, LISTENED, asked questions, gathered information, DID NOT pass judgement and that impacted Heather’s life.

The nurse AND Kelly may never know how what they did or what they said impacted Heather’s life, but they took action and it is so GREAT!!  Priceless.

I am inspired by this story.  I was grateful that Kelly shared it with me.  I hope that it inspires you to take action on those little thoughts no matter what the outcome might be.

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