Category Archives: mindfulness

Control Is An Illusion And Resilience Is A Gift!

I have been through a lot of different things in my life and the toughest things have always been the things that strip away and take my ability to exercise control. Fred Bubbers said: ““Control is merely an illusion we construct to cope with the chaos that is reality.” and I have to admit that sounds pretty much right.

We like the idea of control, until we have to face the reality that control is really something that we have very little of. Chaos on the other hand is the thing that we have more of than we can stand.

When ever we face times of chaos that remind us of just how limited our control really is, it for some reason causes us to start looking back on our lives and living. We love to revisit our successes and even appreciate looking to see what we learned from our failures. We like to tell ourselves that learning something from our failures means that they were not a waste, but served a higher purpose.

In the last week of my life, I have been doing a lot of this looking back and one thing that the Spirit has been helping me to see is RESILIANCE. Resilience is the ability to come back from whatever it is that attempts to take you down and out. It is the ability to take the bad and do something good with it, the setback and use it for a come back, so that you can grow into the something greater that you have always been created to become.

Live life long enough and no matter how good you think you are, something is going to come along and knock you off of your high horse. Whatever it is that knocks you off and down is not the end, unless you give up. Resilience is an unwillingness to give up and a willingness to make sure that you get yours.

When I watch my Granddaughter Addie Jo, I see resilience in its most pure form. She came into this world, laying in whatever position she was placed in, but almost immediately, she was dissatisfied with that position and started working to figure out ways to experience the freedom she was looking for. She cannot even talk, but she has learned that if she grunts long enough and loud enough, with a tear here or there that she can manipulate others to do for her, what she cannot do for herself.

She does not give up, she does not give in, until she gets what she wants. I have seen her doing it in a thousand different ways and as I look back on my life, I have seen where I have done the same thing in a million different ways.

Proverbs 23:7 says: “As a man thinks in His heart, so is he.” The heart is the heart of resilience. While we may not have control, we do have resilience and with resilience, pretty much anything is possible, so let’s get to it…

2022 Word For The Year!

At the beginning of every new year, I pick a word that is going to be my one word for the year. It’s a word to guide me, encourage me and challenge me to grow on this amazing journey called life. I’ve been doing this for many years and I have found that it is a lot more motivating and easier to utilize than the half hearted resolutions that I used to come up with. It has amazed me at how realistic, powerful and true to life my words have been over the last few years and they have proved to be amazing predictors of the positive direction I was created for.

If you would like some help in trying to figure out your one word for the year, then you might want to check out http://myoneword.org where you will find lots of great ideas, resources and very helpful guides to head you in the right direction of discovering and harnessing the power of your one word.

Anyone who knows me, knows that I spend the last couple of months of the year thinking about and searching for the perfect one word for my new year. Sometimes the word comes quickly and easily, while at other times, it is a challenge trying to figure out the what and why of it all. Regardless of the process, I am a very big advocate of everyone working to discover and adopt their one word for the new year.

My word for this year is “THINK” or “THOUGHTS”, because what we think about has such a powerful impact on our life, who we become, what we experience and the way we live. Along with my WORD, I also try to find a Scripture verse or passage for the year that goes along with my word or sometimes I have the scripture and I am looking for the word.

This year my Scripture verse is Philippians 4:8, which provides a great starter list of the kinds of thoughts I need to be thinking…

“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” -Philippians 4:8

So here is my challenge to you with my new word for the year think: I challenge you to THINK about what your one word might be and how it can make a difference in your life and living…

Life Goes On!

Most of my days, now a days are pretty good. Looking back on my life from this vantage point makes me realize that most of my days have always been pretty good, but I often failed to see it and appreciate it, because I was too easily distracted by stuff that really was not that important, stuff that I often made a big deal out of, but that in the grand scheme of things, stuff that really didn’t matter.

Grudges will often cause us to miss the blessing of a good day. We trade away our happiness to hold onto resentment, judgment and condemnation. The real tragedy is that this is often with people that we say we love and care for. How sad to waste the beautiful gift of happiness by not taking time to appreciate and enjoy all that God has blessed us with. When I hold my 6 month old Grand daughter Addi Jo close in my embrace, everything else just seems to fade away, helping to remind me that there is what I think matters and what really matters and they are often miles a part.

An unwillingness to say “I’m Sorry!“ or to receive an “I’m Sorry!” can steal our joy and keep us from the day and life of blessing we were created for. Forgiveness does bless the other person by setting them free, but it also blesses you by keeping you from becoming enslaved in misery that loves company. If we mess up, then we need to admit it, learn from it and grow on. If others mess up, then we need to do our best to love them through it and if they are making any progress what so ever, then acknowledge and appreciate that by blessing them and giving God the glory.

Selfishness and greed can cause us to focus on ourselves and miss the blessing of the others that God has placed around us to make our life more special. The Scriptures teach that nothing really belongs to us, but that it all belongs to God. Anything we have been blessed with has been entrusted to us so that we, like God can be a blessing to others. The real joy of having is sharing, but we often miss it, because we convince ourselves that we’ve deserved it or earned it, because some how we are special, but the truth is: Anything we have has been given to us by God and not because we as so special, but because He is so gracious and He is offering us an opportunity to choose grace over grudge and live at a higher level by being a blessing to others for His glory.

Focusing on the negative and ignoring the positive can flat out drain us of the power that allows us to live blessed, fulfilled and happy. This one is so tough for most of us, because we live in a world that is constantly trying to manipulate and program us with the negative. We do have a choice and our choice is our super power, if we choose positivity over negativity. The flat out truth is that negativity is a choice we make that robs us of the people, places and things that really matter.

Mistakes made by ourselves or others, often become walls that imprison us from the world of blessing and lock us away in our own personal misery. The reality is that we all make mistakes. Look back on your life and you will discover many that you have conveniently forgotten about. When we remember our own mistakes, we tend to have a little more love, grace and mercy toward others.

The older I get, the more I realize that life is too short to waste my days away on stuff that really does not matter. Who said what or did what are really very small things when it comes to choosing to live the blessed life. I mean honestly: What grudge can you think of that has ever really been meaningful in your life in a positive and life blessing way??? Grudges are a waste of life, time and space.

Laughter is a gift from God that expresses the joy that flows from an inward place of contentment that can only come from being who, what, when, when and who God has created me to be and that is not a grudge holding, judgmental, miserable and unforgiving person.

If you do wrong, own it, by apologizing for it and then letting go and moving on. When others do wrong, forgive them, let it go and move on, regardless of their apologizing or not. The key is that we were created for freedom and the reason that most of us don’t live in freedom, is because we live in self constructed prisons of our own creation.

The older I get, the more I realize that God allows me to make mistakes so that I can learn from them. Looking back, I really can see how failures, mistakes and sins have been my greatest instructors and motivators in growing to become the person God created me to be.

I am learning that people change. In fact, we change everyday and it is up to us to decide if it is going to be change for bad or change for good. There are some things that are beyond our control, sometimes life throws you a curve and their is very little you can do about it, but miss it, fail and if you are smart, learn from it.

In the end, when it is all said and done and our life here on this earth is done, there is one truth that remains the same for all eternity and that truth is: LIFE GOES ON!