Bible, Encouragement, Faith, Hope, Reconciliation, Time, Timepieces

GOING ROUND IN CIRCLES

There was a pretty clock in the bathroom where I visited recently that I glanced at each morning when I brushed my teeth. The first couple of days, I noticed I was up between 6:00 and 7:00 a.m., a normal time for me. However, the third morning when I showered later than usual, I realized the clock was back on 6:15.

While the second and minute hands swept around normally, the hour hand stayed between the six and seven. Maybe it was loose and couldn’t climb farther up the clock’s face. Whatever the cause, according to that lovely timepiece, the world was stuck between 6:00 and 7:00 all day, every day. My hostess and I laughed about it, and it didn’t matter because I had my watch.
 That twirling hour hand reminded me of how sometimes a song goes round and round in my head for several days — which is especially bad when it’s one I don’t like. But what’s even worse is when I can’t get a problem off my mind.
We all know there are some things and relationships that are just what they are. And we have to come to terms with them. It’s especially hard if it involves family or someone you work with everyday.

I found an answer for those situations several years ago when I was trying to mend what appeared to be an irreconcilable relationship. It seemed no matter what I did, it was misunderstood, and I ended up hurt or disappointed. I felt pretty miserable about it until one morning as I was reading the Bible, Romans 12:18 jumped out at me. The verse says:

If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.

I had read the verse many times, but that day, If it is  possible seemed to be illuminated! The words stopped me in my tracks. Could it be that some things were just beyond my power to change?  In that moment, I understood that it was not up to me to fix that particular relationship. All I had to do was be kind if I saw the person and to stay open to reconciliation.

The freedom that accompanied the revelation was astounding. Even though I had to remind myself occasionally not to fall back into the worry-and-fix-it cycle, I’m happy to say I was able to release the individual from expectations on my part. Over a period of time, the problem seemed to resolve itself.

I wish I could say I always remember to “let go and let God,” but I don’t. Periodically, I have to deal with worry, hurt or disappointment whirling around in my head. However, I’ve been blessed with friends who lend an ear as I talk things through.

I’m grateful for their encouragement and understanding as they help me get over it and move on! Their support in the process reminds me of an old Billy Preston song. 

At the risk of planting it in your mind, read on!

Will It Go Round in Circles?

 I’ve got a song, I ain’t got no melody
I’ma gonna sing it to my friends
I’ve got a song, I ain’t got no melody

I’ma gonna sing it to my friends

Will it go round in circles?
Will it fly high like a bird up in the sky?
Will it go round in circles?

Will it fly high like a bird up in the sky?

What about you? Do songs or problems ever get stuck in your head? What’s your solution?

Many thanks to faithful friends!
 

 Love …  bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.  I Cor. 13:7-8

Authenticity, Blogging, courage, Encouragement, Individuality, Support

THE POWER OF THREE

Timmy, Max & Lucy are poster children for competing and comparing at dinnertime.

Anytime I read or hear something three times, I stop and take note, which is one of the reasons my experience at the 2013 Arkansas Women Bloggers Unplugged Conference was so meaningful.
Arkansas Women Bloggers


Although the offerings and speakers varied, each person, in her own unique way, presented some of the same principles I’ve been hearing at gatherings of writers over the past year. Each AWB speaker confirmed the advice of a previous mentor. Which takes me back my Rule of Three: Pay attention to the truth of a repeated message.

Here are some of the things I’ve heard again and again over past twelve months.

Don’t Compare!    Don’t Compete!     Don’t Compromise!

Wait a minute! If we’re going for the gold or a big scholarship, we’d be foolish not to compare our performance with others seeking the same thing. How can you break a record if you don’t know how you line up with your competition?

It’s a given that no one wants to lose that tennis game or play on a noncompetitive team. But that will happen if we don’t compete. Right?

And anyone who has been in a close relationship knows that compromise is important when family, colleagues or friends disagree. It’s a sign of maturity not to always demand your way. Maybe their way is better.

If Competition, Comparison and Compromise are such important components of our culture and obviously a part of human DNA, why don’t they belong in the world of writing?

Perhaps it’s partly because the creative arts are subjective. They can’t be evaluated by a stopwatch, scoreboard or test key. Even though there are guidelines in writing, we’ve all read things that appeal to us that aren’t the norm. Throw out a topic and take note of how differently individuals approach it.

I’m blessed to be in a critique group that meets once a  month to discuss one another’s writing. For the most part, our group focuses on the positive, but we also challenge each other to do our best work. Otherwise, why meet? It has stretched me at times, but my writing is better for  it. And we’ve formed friendships because our work is done in a spirit of encouragement, not comparison and competition.

Recognizing our natural tendencies to compete and compare is the first step in creating a healthy support group. If we don’t, the Three Cs will separate and reduce us both individually and collectively. As with much of life, these challenges are intertwined, so the answers to them overlap.

Here are just a few of the things I heard at AWB and other gatherings this year that resounded with me. Most can be applied to other facets of our lives, too. 

DON’T COMPARE

It’s Okay to Be Who You Are!

To find my voice, I must Be Relentlessly Authentic.

To be Truly Authentic, I must write from my Own Experiences.

The answer to “Who am I to blog?” is:
I am a Person with Stories.

We’re all on Individual Journeys, but they all involve the same Universal Truths.

Don’t look at numbers, just write what’s on your heart.

Your message Won’t Appeal to everyone, but Your Audience Will Find You.

Authenticity is a Powerful Force.

DON’T COMPETE


I lost track of the number times we were reminded to look for ways to encourage and promote one another at AWBU. In this dog-eat-dog world, it doesn’t come naturally. But when you realize the other person is pulling for you, it’s easier to do the same.

Don’t be a Blog Snob, Promote Others.

         Invite people to Guest Post.

Find blogs that Nourish Your Soul. Read. Comment. Interact.

 DON’T COMPROMISE

It’s so important that I’m going to say it again:

It’s Okay for Us to Be Who We Are!

That involves accepting ourselves – the good, the bad and the ugly.

Just find the middle ground. Don’t blast your readers with a daily dose of angst, complaints or too much information.

Be Fearless.

Stop doing what the other guy is doing.

Ask yourself: What is my passion?

What do I know to be true

                                                                                       Curly Girl (Leigh Standley) is my inspiration


Remember that accepting and owning your own individual strengths, weaknesses and experiences makes you unique.

Don’t discount the power of your voice.

There was enough wisdom dispensed at AWBU to fill several posts. The bottom line for me is that I felt empowered by the support and encouragement of the women I met and the speakers I heard that weekend. I’m encouraging my blogging friends to join Arkansas Women Bloggers www.arkansaswomenbloggers.com and to attend the 2014 AWBU with me! 
 
We need each other. We’re more powerful when we band together.


I have to express special appreciation to my friend, Talya Boerner, for prodding me to start a blog, helping me set it up, holding my hand all along the way and for telling me, “You need to join Arkansas Women Bloggers. You need to go to this conference.” 
Talya is the perfect role model for this wonderful organization!

If you haven’t read her blog http://gracegritsgarden.com, I hope you will today.

T, You’re the best! I love you!

And thanks to all my friends who take time to read, like, share and comment on my blog. You are Wonderful!

Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. I Cor. 5:11



 

 


 

 

Children, Encouragement, Happiness, Joy, Life Challenges

BAREFOOT HAPPY

When Trouble comes — and it will —  
When You want take to your Bed,
I hope You’ll Dance instead.
Not like a Grownup,
but like You’re Three or Four,
Head up, Heart open,
Happy Barefoot Dancing!
 
 
 

Sing along, too!
It’ll take a Head Adjustment, 
But if You Let Go and Follow your Heart,
You might just Sing and Dance
Yourself into JOY!

 
 
BETTER THAN PILLS, BETTER THAN BOOZE AND FREE TO BOOT!
 
 
Let them praise His name with the dance;
Let them sing praises to Him with the timbrel and harp. Ps. 149:3
      … for the joy of the Lord is your strength. Neh. 8:10b