Do you Validate?

Validation signifies that you belong. When a company validates your parking, not only do you save money, they confirm the necessity of your presence. You are
not an intruder. You are welcomed. You may even be vital.

It is satisfying to be considered vital and if you are like me, it fuels you. (Obviously we are not the only ones or the word “vitality” would have a different meaning.) I would take that a step further by saying it is…yes, I am going there…vital. When we lose our usefulness or even just think we have, we lose much of ourselves. We search for meaning. We crave validation. Often, we come up empty.

My question to you, however, is: Do you validate? Do you recognize others as important and do you let them know?

I challenge you to do the following three things today and see what happens:

  • Take the opportunity to look a stranger in the eye and smile. Perhaps even add an nod of acknowledgement.
  • Tell a subordinate (sorry, couldn’t think of a better word) or someone younger you appreciate their work.
  • Tell a boss or someone older that you admire their hard work.

Share the experience if you’d like. #AskSeekFind

Redefine Easy!

Persevering is easy. Quitting is hard.

Taking care of yourself is easy. Fighting illness is hard.

Practicing is easy. Watching your dreams fade away is hard.

Making sacrifices is easy. Regrets are hard.

If you redefine easy, you see options and hope instead of limits and dread.

Bible Story mashups

 If you are like me, you experience Bible Story mashups. I don’t mean to, it just happens. I combine the works of prophets and the troubles of the kings. I cannot keep straight who went insane or whether Ellijah or Elisha drenched the logs and offering of the altar with water and asked God to set them ablaze. (I looked it up. It was Elijah.) I even confuse the names of the longest living person (Methuselah) with the Greek goddess (Medusa.)
 
But I tend to remember the difference between the war filled reign of King David and the peaceful one of King Solomon. I also manage to keep straight that David wrote most of the Psalms and Solomon wrote most of the Proverbs. This father/son team penned many beloved verses.
 
I pray you will join me for the May Proverbs Challenge. I will be writing more background information, most of which is in my soon to be released journal, over the next few weeks to encourage you to participate without feeling you need to purchase my journal#Ask Seek Find

Proverbs Challenge

The body of my latest journal is in the hands of my editor. My goal is to have it available within the next two weeks in time for a May Proverbs Challenge.

Whether you use my journal or not, I challenge everyone to read Proverbs this May. There are 31 days in May and there are 31 Proverbs: perfect match! Every day read the chapter of Proverbs which coincides with the day on the calendar. Be ready to take notes and ponder on the words.

The journal is designed to help facilitate the learning, but don’t feel you have to purchase it to participate in the challenge.

Please write a comment if you accept this challenge. #AskSeekFind

Where have I been?

I am happy to say that I have not been posting because I have been working on my latest journal. I am creating a Proverbs journal and hope to have it published in time for a May challenge. I hope everyone will join me in this challenge with or without my journal.

More details to follow. #AskSeekFind

Blind Trust

I have a passion for truth. I search for it. I delve deep. I find a rabbit and chase it down a hole. My quest does not always lead to enlightenment or even answers. Many times it leads to more questions.

But questioning is a good thing. When we question and research we end up with a greater understanding and a solid belief. When you begin with blind faith, the truth is superficial. Testing and research gives the truth credence and durability. Experience grows understanding if you open your eyes and ears.

The funny outcome is that after years of study, testing, and trials, I have developed a blind faith. #AskSeekFind

Please leave a comment if you feel inclined.

Sixth Love Language?

Who likes to be corrected? Not me! (No comments necessary from my family.) But how else do we learn?

We accept instruction from a coach and we pay a doctor for advice, but do we humble ourselves to take words of correction from a spouse, a good friend, a sibling? Does pride get in our way or does hurt take over?

If you have never read the book, The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman, I highly recommend it. He writes how it is important for couples to speak the same language to show love. The five are: Quality Time, Gifts, Words of Affirmation, Touch, and Acts of Service. But there is another language that few care to show, but is the most powerful and most difficult: Words of Correction.

I have a good friend who says he was abused as a child because he was given everything he ever asked for. He believes his parents didn’t love him enough to teach him patience and the joy of accomplishment through hard work. Their instant gratification of seeing their son happy overpowered their desire to build a disciplined adult. Disappointment and waiting are powerful tools in the formation of a well rounded adult.

If a relationship is built on flowery words, it is shallow and, just like flower petals, easily scattered by the wind. Be willing to speak unwelcomed words for the sake of your loved one with love in your eyes and with soft tones. Do not put your fear of repudiation ahead of their needed message.

And with that said, when a loved one is correcting you, listen. You may not like what you hear and perhaps, not the way you would like, but accept their message with the understanding that they are trying to help. If you do, you are building a relationship on solid rock. #AskSeekFind

Please leave a comment if you feel inclined.

Broken Trust

Trust is the foundation of all relationships and when it is broken, it is difficult to recover. But what does it mean to trust? Everyone messes up. Everyone fails. Can we trust anyone?

Trust is a heart issue. We trust someone who has our best interest “at heart.” But what if there is a disagreement on our “best interest.”

Often it is difficult to know what is best for us. The rebuke of a parent is difficult to hear, but we trust it is spoken out of love. Do we give the same credence to others? Do we have the same assurance of their motive? That takes years to establish, but in order to establish it, truths need to be said. If flowery words are the basis for relationships, trust is not necessary. Trust happens when you go beyond comfort. When you speak in order to build not be admired.

Unfortunately, years of trust can be broke in an instant. Why? One poor choice can destroy a relationship. Should it? We are human and we fail. Can we look in another’s heart? Can we know their motives? No, we can only see their actions, hear their words. Do they build or tear down?

Be aware of your words and actions even more than those around you. Do they build up trust? #AskSeekFind

Please leave a comment if you feel inclined.

Reason for absence

Time is such an interesting concept. Though told it is constant, I find it waxes and wanes like the tide. Some days fly by and others drag like being pulled by a tortoise with a heavy weight on its back. The latter describes my last few days.

My computer, held hostage by malware, currently sits at a shop waiting for release. I write with pen and paper–an odd occurrence as of late– but I find myself enjoying the feel and flow. My left hand remains dormant as my right scribbles away. Is my left brain busier than my right or does the calmness of my left hand give my right brain freedom from duty and allow it to roam? I don’t know, but it makes me ponder.

Using the old fashion process also frees my ears from the sound of the clicking of keys and the percussive tapping of my fingernails on the hard plastic of the keyboard. Again, more active brain or less distraction?

The silence is peaceful. I am enjoying the quiet, but I am eager to get my computer back. It has become a comforting fixture of my day and holds the originals of my books and journals.

I pray this story has a happy ending and if you are reading this blog, the ending is known.

p.s. Happy ending. Computer better than new. Back to normal blog posts tomorrow.

Please leave a comment if you feel inclined.

Inevitable Death

I think more about death than I ever have before. Maybe it is a natural progression when getting older, but more likely it is that cancer seems to surround me.

My prayer list is full of friends and family who are battling cancer, one of which is my husband. No tumors are present, but he is receiving radiation treatments as precautionary since the tumor he had removed in his neck was cancerous (#8 of 30 as I write.) I do not know the outcome of all the battles I see, but I do know everyone, at some point, will die…including me.

I am not in a depressive mood. I am in a reflective mood. I do not know who will be born, but I do know all will die. Stephen Covey’s Seven Habits of Highly Effective People lists “Begin with the End in Mind,” as #2. If we truly did that, would we live differently?

I compare the Christian life to an Ohio State football game (who doesn’t?). As I watch, not knowing the outcome, I am fretful and fearful. My palms sweat and I try all kinds of superstitious ploys to give MOJO to my Buckeyes. (You have no idea how many wins are caused by me standing a particular way or making chili and buckeyes.) If however I am watching a recording and I know we win, I do not let the fumbles and interceptions bother me and I relax and enjoy the game.

But the key is knowing you win. Will Jesus say He knows you? That is the only “win” that matters. #AskSeekFind #GoBuckeyes

Please leave a comment if you feel inclined.