Bloom Where You're Planted

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How many people do YOU know who are discontent and unhappy about where they are in life right now?

How about YOU?

Do you grumble and complain about life? Think about your life from every angle: emotionally. spiritually. financially. health & wellness. professionally. relationships. «« do you find yourself wishing you were somewhere else? or further along in the "process"? or maybe with a different "group" or someone else?

I have.

ALL of those questions from time to time, I could've answered yes to. BUT, the problem with this way of thinking is...

...it's NOT fruitful and it actually keeps us STUCK.

How crazy is that, right? It's the exact OPPOSITE of what we want! GROSS!

The ONLY solution I've found to move us (myself included!) forward is to STOP IT...and choose to BLOOM where we are planted!

Yep. It's a shift in mindset. A different way of thinking. A decision we must continue to make.

Here are 4 ways, that work for me, to jump start the mindset shift the minute you recognize discontentment or frustration of "where you are" creeping in:

  1. LOOK FOR THE GOOD. Seriously. Take out a piece of paper and write 10 to 20 things that are GOOD about your current situation. This exercise alone cultivates gratitude and appreciation about where you are. (NOTE: If you're unable to see anything that's good, ask someone else to help you see it! Sometimes we are so unhappy/hurt/discontent that we need others to point things out.)
  2. SET GOALS or REVIEW YOUR GOALS. If you're not a goal setter, become one! Start small and determine where you want to go or be or feel! This will help you develop a plan to get there, and more importantly track your progress! When we don't like where we are, having goals gives us hope and something to reach for. Everyday you can take 1 step forward, however small, in the direction towards your goal and have something to celebrate!
  3. TAKE RESPONSIBILITY. You are where you are, period. Change will most likely NOT happen unless you do something to bring it about. Accepting that you alone are responsible for accomplishing what you want, feeling a certain way or being somewhere else » EMPOWERS YOU! Take this on with a smile! Joy and contentment are yours to have no matter where you are in life or what your circumstances look like.
  4. LOOK UP. Last, but certainly not least, go to your Creator! Pray and ask God to open your eyes to see, your ears to hear, your heart to know what HIS plan and will is for your life. Ask HIM for guidance and courage and patience. Ask HIM to help you see the good and show you what needs to be changed inside of you and in your attitude. It's amazing what happens when we bring God into our equation...peace that passes all understanding.

Life is a journey, we will never arrive to a perfect place here on earth. AND, because we are human, we will continue to experience seasons of restlessness or discontentment. Instead of staying in that icky stuck place, remember it's a mind shift + these 4 things will help you...

...BLOOM WHERE YOU'RE PLANTED!


The Words I Would Say...

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Do you ever feel empty? Like your "cup" is dry and you've got nothing to give?

That's how I felt this past week. empty + BLAH!

If you really want to know, there were a couple of days that I didn't want to get out of bed! BUT...that wasn't my reality. I had places to go, people to see, phone calls to make, laundry to fold, family to care for, and the list was LONG...

...just like yours, right?

While I was doing life on empty, driving home from my son's hockey game (I LOVE watching my boys play hockey!) I listened to a song that FILLED MY CUP! The words brought encouragement to me + a smile to may face and my heart.

The song, The words I would say, by Sidewalk Prophets, lit me UP, gave me hope, and energized me. It was like getting a hand written letter in the mail from a good friend. I thought, maybe, just maybe you could be encouraged by the message too, wherever you are today, these are the words I would say:

Three in the morning and I'm still awake
so I picked up a pen and a page.
And I started writing just what I'd say
if we were face to face

I'd tell you just what you mean to me
Tell you these simple truths

Be strong in the Lord and
never give up hope.
You're gonna do great things
I already know
God's got his hand on you so
don't live life in fear
forgive and forget
but don't forget why you're here
Take your time and pray
These are the words I would say

Last time we spoke you said you were hurting
and I felt your pain in my heart
I want to tell you that I keep on praying
Love will find you where you are

I know 'cause I've already been there
So please hear these simple truths

Be strong in the Lord and
never give up hope.
You're gonna do great things
I already know
God's got his hand on you so
don't live life in fear
forgive and forget
but don't forget why you're here
Take your time and pray
These are the words I would say

From one simple life to another
I will say
Come find peace in the Father

Be strong in the Lord and
never give up hope.
You're gonna do great things
I already know
God's got his hand on you so
don't live life in fear
forgive and forget
but don't forget why you're here
Take your time and pray
Thank God for each day
His love will find a way
These are the words I would say.


Tap Into the Grace Bucket

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I've held onto anger, bitterness, and resentment. I've struggled with letting go of past hurts and pain caused by others' actions and words.

Sometimes, I feel like I'm the one losing...

..IF I choose to forgive.

Is that what it's about? Winning or Losing? No. Not really.

But, kind of...it can feel that way.

I know that when I choose to forgive, I'm doing it for me. I'm doing it to sever the steel bond that destructively connects me to a past event: person, place, thing, situation, institution. I've found that with forgiveness comes freedom. But what I've also found is that with forgiveness, I still hurt. I still have scars...

...I still have the memories.

Forgiveness is a process.

The Lord's prayer says, "and forgive us our sins, as we have forgiven those who sin against us." {Mat. 6:12} We are called to forgive, "...not seven times, but seventy-seven times." {Mat. 18:22}

But, there is often a stumbling block »» it. is. difficult.

How do we turn that stumbling block into a stepping stone? GRACE.

I honestly never thought about asking for, or inviting grace into the forgiveness process until I tuned into the lyrics of the song "Losing" by Tenth Avenue North.

How could I've missed the opportunity to: Tap into the grace bucket?

Asking God for GRACE, like the lyrics of the song say. "Oh Father, give me grace to forgive them; Cause I feel like the one losin'"

Do you struggle with forgiveness? Are you holding on to hurts and pains, anger and resentment? Have you "forgiven" but each time the memory is triggered in your head -- the storm in your stomach rages again?

IF SO » tap into the grace bucket! There's SO much there for US!

Take a couple of minutes to watch the video below...listen to the words. If you haven't asked for GRACE to forgive, maybe that's the piece that's missing...

...in your forgiveness process.


Are you a "right fighter"?

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Let's talk quick about relationships. Sound good?

Are you a "right fighter" in your relationships? OR...maybe not in ALL your relationships, just a certain few, or perhaps a certain one?

CONFESSION »» I used to be. (still am at times, I'm a work in progress)

I'm typically not one to back down, especially when I "think" I'm right. I like to prove my point, get others to see my perspective and acknowledge that they have! In some strange way, that felt like "winning" -- BUT, at a very high price.

What I've learned is, being a "right fighter" doesn't build bridges in relationships, it builds walls.

When we look to be the one to say, "I told you so, I knew I was right!" OR our mindset is fixed on "It's my way or the highway" we lose opportunities to accept and love others.

Now, I do understand there are fundamental truths that are RIGHT and worth fighting for. Globally, in our communities, and behind closed doors. Yes. there. are.

But, in our everyday relationships and interactions, when conflict arises -- is it more important to be RIGHT? OR, to find resolution and a common ground?

My desire to be a "right fighter" started to slip away in 2009 after I read this prayer by St. Francis of Assisi:

"Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace;
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love;
for it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life."

WOW! What a way to live, don't you think? Seeking to console, understand, love? With this approach I don't see fighting, I see peace.

I see "win-win"! «« THIS is what I'm striving for!

What do you think? Hit reply and let me know »» What's the biggest challenge or problem you're facing personally, professionally, or in your faith?