Liar Liar Pants on Fire

I know I probably make you exhausted reading about my kindergarten Physical Education class, but these kids teach me way more than I teach them!  They make my day complete in more ways than these little five year olds will ever realize.  There is nothing that makes a woman’s day like hearing, “Mrs. Madame Hale, you are so beautiful!”  They are more than precious and every day they open my eyes to life lessons through their five year old eyes!

Our district has an event that is called “Go for 42” which is where they walk or run two kilometer a day for four weeks until they reach 40 kilometers and then they run the last two kilometers all together at the first of the summer and they have run a marathon in total.  It’s a great eye opener for these students because two kilometers to a five year old is quite far, but they do it.

We are a K-5 school, but adjacent to us is a middle school that has grades 6-8.  We share a cafeteria but other than that, the children at my school don’t get to see the world at the middle school.  When I first brought them over to use the middle school’s track, their reaction was what struck me funny.  All their “oooohs and awwwws” made me realize that because of the big brick structure that blocks them from seeing this, they have no idea that this world on the back side of the school even exists.

This is very parallel to our lives.  We only know what is brought into our world.  You are what you are exposed to.  Just like these five year olds, not realizing that there was a track and a huge baseball field just around a corner of their school, we are the same.  If people are born a certain religion, this is what they believe in, because this is what they were exposed to.  This is what they know.  If people don’t educate themselves on other religions, they become prejudice against others, because they don’t understand what they aren’t exposed to.

Just like homosexuals.  If you aren’t exposed to them you might become prejudice to them as well.  This seems to be the big argument lately in the churches.  It says in the Bible that God doesn’t permit homosexuality, so these people should be banned from the churches.  Churches should not allow or promote homosexuals belonging to their church.  Again, this is what people are not exposed to and don’t understand, but did you know that the Bible only talks about sexual orientation five different times, but it talks about how much God hates a liar over 360 times.  I’m not a math teacher, but this is some easy math for me to figure out!

Proverbs 6:16-19 explains, “There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers.”

Honestly, we are all sinners, and we should concentrate on the second and most important commandment in the Bible and love others first and foremost.  Who cares what people choose to do with their sexual apparatus on their own time?  I would say looking at the ratio of 5:360 that God would rather us be homosexual than liars, but that is just my opinion.  If we kept liars out of the church, we wouldn’t have anyone attending, so why are some churches trying to keep homosexuals out of theirs?

I just think that our God is a loving and amazing God who wants us to just love everyone.  I know it might sound corny, but it’s true.  Let’s live by the Proverbs 6 rule and stop having a heart that devises wicked plans to ban homosexuals from having a relationship with God.  At least they are trying to build a relationship with him, which is more than I can say about much of our population today!  God loves us all!  Even liars!

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Opening Day!

Opening day!  If you are a baseball fan, you understand the excitement that comes with these two little words.  Opening day is the first game of baseball played on your home field.  Your home turf.  Your stomping ground.  It’s exciting to start a new season of baseball after a long winter of waiting for the snow to melt and the grass to turn green so you can enjoy this incredible sport.

Yesterday was our opening day for my son’s baseball team.  Having my husband coach his team makes it even more exciting at our home.  They are both very passionate about this sport and so the energy that is floating through our home is felt by anyone who walks in.  It’s a father-son love that has been blooming since our son was born.

First of all our son is named after the legendary baseball player Lou Gehrig.  You know how it is said that God has the name for your child before he was even born?  I am a huge believer in this statement, because our son was to be called “Mark” right up to the day before I gave birth.

My husband asked me what I thought we were having a boy or a girl.  I explained that my intuition is saying it’s a boy and that is when he told me that he really loved the name “Gehrig”.  I agreed it was a cool name.  It was different, but we still had lots of time to discuss it.

The next day, to my surprise, I was tying up my shoelaces to head out for my morning walk, when my water broke.  This was two days earlier than my due date, and it wasn’t really in my plans that day.  To make a long story short, our son was born about six hours later, and my husband was never so excited in all his life.  A BOY!!!  He asked the doctor if he could take him out to display him with pride to all that were anxiously awaiting in the waiting room and the doctor gave his approval while I had the pleasure of delivering the afterbirth.

When my husband finally returned with the little bundle of amazement, he questioned, “So we are going to call him Gehrig, right?”

Fatigued and not having the energy to even think about a name for this little human being that I just pushed out of me, my response was, “We have lots of time to agree on a name.”

To my surprise, he answered, “Oh-um-you see-I already told everyone it was Gehrig.”

Instantly, I started laughing.  I don’t know if was from total exhaustion, or the fact that he was that thrilled he got his dream come true, and couldn’t wait to proudly give him the coolest name my husband ever heard of.  It melted my heart right there and I decided to just agree and give my husband this moment in time.  I will have to admit, it did take me three days to learn how to spell my own child’s name, but he is so a Gehrig now.

Jeremiah 1:5 tells us, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.”

That is why I am a firm believer when they say that before a person is born, God knows your purpose, and your name, because I witnessed it all unfold before my exhausted eyes the day I gave birth to our precious son.  Fourteen years later, I can’t imagine him being called anything but.

Not only is my son called Gehrig, the day he was born, my husband had the joy of spending his first evening with his newborn son bonding with Gehrig in his arms and they watched the Home-run Derby of 2002 together on the little mini-television that are in hospital rooms.  It’s been a tradition every year to watch the Home-run Derby together and baseball holds a huge place in our family.

Our son Gehrig is Gehrig for a reason, and now looking back at the thought of calling him Mark, just doesn’t fit who this incredible young man is!  We all have a purpose in this world, and Gehrig is here for a reason.  Is it to be a baseball player?  Maybe not, but whatever it is baseball is shaping him into the grand design that the great Creator has for him.  The same is true for each and everyone of us!  Life is shaping us into what God wants us to be!  Isn’t it amazing?

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Reading the Tao Te Ching

I have so many friends who are turned off by religion, and I have to honestly agree with many of their arguments.  I also have to admit I was feeling the same way too at one point in my life!  So many people put on this charade of how pure living they are, go to church every week, never missing, yet are judging others that don’t. They proudly and vocally say grace at every meal, yet are gossiping and making fun of people with vicious hearts every chance they get.

Then you hear stories about what they do on their free-time, which you would never do in a million years because your moral standards are not in that range, even though you haven’t darkened the church doors in over a year.  You believe and feel the activities they participate in are downright morally wrong, but people are free to do what they please with their lives.

It just makes you wonder, how can these people who claim to be religious think that just because they go to church every week, yet treat their human race with such judgment; nurturing such feelings of superiority; have such a love for revenge; and have all these negative loves and hellish mindset think that going to church and claim they are Christian, is going to be the cure of all evil?

The more I read and research, which I have been doing extensively in my spiritual journey, I’m realizing more and more that it’s not just Christians who go to heaven and I don’t believe just because you call yourself a Christian it is a ticket to heaven.  Just because you are “saved” doesn’t give you a free ride.  Sure, it might help keep you out of the pits to total despair, but you have to live a forgiving, nonjudgmental, and selfless life if someday you want to experience the joy of the afterlife.

I’m reading the Tao Te Ching and it is very interesting how a book, that was written over two and a half centuries ago, has such love and wisdom in its 81 little verses, but aligns itself very well with the morals of the Bible.  If you’ve never met the word of God but lived by these simple verses, I am sure you would also experience Heaven.  I’m a huge promoter of the Bible, and there will be no other book for me, but the Bible is only useful if you makes you do positive life changes and try to live up to its word.  The same as any religion.  In the end what matters is the love you have towards the human race, which is very directly put in the Bible, and it other religions too.

Luke 6:27 tells us, “But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you,”  yet, honestly how many people who call themselves Christians can say that they actually do this one?  This is very hard to do.  I know many Christians that love to make fun of their enemies.  I know Christians who gossip about their enemies and go out of their way to make their enemies lives miserable.  I know Christians who center their world on getting revenge on their enemy or wishing the worst on them.  It’s very sad to listen, and hear, and hard to bite my tongue, but it is not my place to say anything.

The 11th verse of the Tao Te Ching states,

“Heaven and Earth are everlasting,
The reason Heaven and Earth can last forever
Is that they do not exist for themselves
Thus they can last forever

Therefore the sages:
Place themselves last but end up in front
Are outside of themselves and yet survive
Is it not due to their selflessness?
That is how they can achieve their own goals”

If you look at this deep enough, it is not saying the same thing as many Bible verses?  Is this not saying that we have to put everyone above ourselves, even in our enemy?  We have to exist for everyone else, but ourselves, just like Heaven and Earth.  Deep stuff from the Tao Te Ching.

I guess what I am trying to say is that Heaven is real.  Hell is real.  It’s not whether we call ourselves Christian while we are on earth that determines our destiny in eternity.  I feel we have to be more open minded to the reality of the spiritual world.  Going to church once a week and living a self-absorbed, revengeful, gossip filled, and having unforgiving, vengeful heart is fine if that is what makes you happy here on earth, but it is not a ticket to a place I want to spend my eternity, but that is just the way I look at spirituality and the afterlife.  I could be wrong, who knows!

I am a Christian, trying to live a Christian life, but also look at the great things in other religions and try to learn from them as well.  Just because I am learning, doesn’t mean I am honoring another God, I am just curious and I think you have to educate yourself on everything no matter what the subject area.  It’s a huge world of spirituality out there, and I think understanding them all is the way that you will come not to judge others and what they believe in.

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History of Heaven

How many of you enjoy history?  I’m not the biggest fan of learning about ancient societies and civilizations.  Never have been and honestly, never will.  Teaching grade five has opened my opinion a bit, because I had to teach about the Middle Ages, Ancient Egypt, and other Ancient Civilizations which I grew to enjoy.

As I progress on my spiritual journey, my father who is a huge history buff, has been encouraging me to learn about the history of religion and faith.  This has been my latest quest, and I have to admit, I’m actually enjoying it and it is opening my eyes to religions and affirming many of the things that have been put in my heart.

Religion really was warped by mankind.  No wonder there are people who are turned off by religion.  I have friends that don’t want to have anything to do with organized religion anymore for valid reasons.  In our community there are many self-righteous people thinking they are better than others because of their religious beliefs.  The tiny rural community I grew up was horrible!  There was a huge prejudice between the Catholics and the Baptist.  Now that I’m older and I look back at all the things that went on, especially with my friends who were not of the same denomination and whose parents really trashed the other religion and forbid their relationships, I’m horrified and I can’t believe this actually went on.

How can you call yourself a Christian if you think your religion is better than others?  How can you have such hatred for a religion that is just trying to teach love and community?  It’s astounding and it still happens today.  We see it with the happenings of September 11th with the Islamics but there is a long history of religious aggression, and using religion to justify wrong doings.

In my quest to educate myself as recommended by my father, these are some of the problems that have come up with religions and being aggressive to their beliefs.  It starts in ancient times, even in the Bible, when Kings of different countries would capture other countries and they would impress their beliefs on those countries.

Christianity itself was at first a persecuted religion for its first three centuries, but then once it gained more power and control, it, itself started persecuting other religions.  Christianity was the one that closed the pagan temples, the philosophical temples, like Plato and other philosophers attended.   They also persecuted other Christians whose beliefs were not in line with that of the established church.  It was honestly crazy and barbaric.

Some had said that in the Catholic Church in the Middle Ages, was the first attempt at forming a total society, which means not only political control, but complete religious and ideological control.  This lead to terrible persecutions.  Later on there were more wars between the Protestants and the Catholics trying to stop this control.

The 16 and 1700s this craziness persisted and we still had terrible warfare times.  The Thirty Year War that happened from 1618-1648 was total religion oriented as the Protestants and Catholics continue to battle for whose religion is correct.  Needless to say the Baptist-Catholic silliness that went on where I grew up is really only a repercussion of all this foolishness that happened many years ago.

Then we have to look at all the indigence religions that were scorned and prosecuted for their beliefs.  India, which had a tremendously rich civilization was totally demoralized by the Christians who tried to make their religious beliefs inferior, and many people still do.

Christianity has become less and less belligerent, especially after the Referendum and the Thirty Year War, but it still continues today but not to the extreme that it used to.

In my opinion, when you are in touch with God, you don’t have this separate mindset of religion and God.  You love God, you love all that is good, and if good people have different religions, then who cares?  As long as people are good people trying to live good lives, it is not our place to force our beliefs on an individual.  Sure it is nice to introduce them to the Bible, and to the greatness that our God is, but when you look back on the record of Christians pushing Christianity it’s almost shameful what we’ve done.

Luke 6:37 explains, “Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven.” Christians don’t judge other people’s religions.  Christians don’t condemn other people for believing in things they believe in and Christians forgive so that we will be forgiven.

This history was definitely an interesting venture.  It’s embarrassing to think that people were treated so poorly all because of what they believed in.  Thank goodness for freedom of religion, but even after that the condemning and judging didn’t cease.  Hopefully people will strive to live a good life over being a religious person, because if you watch the news at all, it seems like history is repeating itself in this area and this craziness is still going on today!

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Revengeful Hearts

Revenge.  Do you believe in it?  I had an older brother growing up and I lived for revenge.  I was a little runt, and I was climbing my way to the top of the family hierarchy no matter the cost.  I tattled.  I bribed.  I sabotaged.  I would be devastated if my children acted like I did.  I was rotten to the bone when it came to my brother.  Why?  Goodness, I have no idea.  It was just my character at the time.

Today, however, I am a totally different person.  I am very non-confrontational.  I don’t have the energy to fight for things like I did when it came to my brother, or maybe I grew up and realized it wasn’t worth the fight.

As my life has unfolded over the last few decades, I have learned many life lessons, and many of them, the hard way.  Isn’t that always the way?  One of my biggest life lessons is I’ve realized that holding resentment in my heart or harboring a grudge does nothing to the other person, but it does elevate my blood pressure and makes me lose sleep.  I’ve also learned that sometimes life throws things at you that you think are insurmountable, but if you are patient and lean of God for strength you can surmount anything.

I’m very glad that I’ve learned all this through my years, and looking back at my life circumstances I’m realizing how easy it is to let bitterness in your heart and want to get revenge.  This is the hardest battle I’ve ever been faced with myself.  When someone hurts you, it is natural instinct to want to hurt them back whatever way you can think of, but if we pray about it and leave it in God’s hands, he will take his own revenge.  Call it karma if you wish, but the old saying, “What goes around comes around” is very true, and you don’t even have to worry about making it happen.  It will all happen in good time.

Just like myself, clawing my way to be superior above my brother—something I am not proud of–we have to realize that we all going to want to be superior over certain people, but for what purpose.  What purpose does it really prove?  Selfishness.  Self-absorbtion.  Self-worth.  That’s it about it.

Becoming revengeful and bitter over what people have that we don’t, or what people have done to us in our past is not the kind of heart that God wants us to have.   Thankfully I grew out of that horrible heart I had, or at least I feel like I have, but there are many people that still carry this begrudging heart.  They have the desire to be better than everyone else.  If someone hurts them, they need to get even.  If someone is blessed with something they don’t have they are bitter.

Studying Deuteronomy 19, the 13th verse jumped out at me, “Purge the guilt of innocent blood from Israel, so that it may be well with you.”  God, will provide a refuge for those who accidentally commit sinful acts, but is revenge an accident?  Nope.  It’s very premeditated.  Moses was trying to explain that God will help us to purge our guilt but we also have to try not to do the same sin again.  It’s like nailing God to the cross again and again and again if we continue to sin in the same manner over and over again.

God is going to look after us, and our enemies.  It’s hard to trust sometimes, because we want revenge ASAP, and it is hard not to retaliate!  I’ve been there many times, and it is the absolute hardest thing that I have to make myself do.  It’s hard not to try and ruin someone’s life who tried to ruin yours.  It sucks to watch other children be mean to your children, or watch your children fail at something they worked so hard for.  It’s difficult experiencing a co-worker be unkind to you or others for no reason.  It’s hard when someone says something mean about us or a person we love, but these events all happens to help develop our personalities.

Next time this happens to you, try NOT to retaliate!  Instead, turn inwardly to the power inside of you.  Keep smiling and don’t let these people rob you of your entitled happiness.  Turn to your creator and watch the power that he possesses. Feel him purging your soul from sinful acts.   It might not happen as fast as you would like, but it will happen.

Hopefully by the time it does, your heart will have softened to forgive this person and you will not want anything to happen to this person, because people that hurt others aren’t bad people—they are just selfish.  Selfless love is what brings miracles, but loving people who hurt us is one tough job.

After time, you might even appreciate this person for what they did to you, because your life ended up so much better in the end for what they chose to do to you.  Life’s ever enfolding plan is a miraculous event if you can just relax and enjoy the ride!  Try it and see where your ride takes you!

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Spoiling Supper

Supper time is always a challenge at my home.  Why?  You may be wondering.  It’s very hard to make four hungry people happy and reach all their wants and needs in one meal.  I was a picky eater when I was younger and my incredible mother would make me whatever I wanted or felt like for supper, even if it was over and above what she already made.

Now, I am blessed to raise a picky eater of my own and I am doing exactly what my mother did for me.  I sometimes make three or four different meals, or renditions of my meal.  I’m still a bit picky and don’t like potatoes, so when I make the rest of my family potatoes I have to make some other side for myself.  It’s never ending, but I don’t mind.  I’m in the kitchen anyway, what would it matter if I add more to the menu.

I have a great friend who thinks that I am setting my son up for a disappointing future, because how many woman are going to be like me?  I have to admit, this friend has a great point.  Does it change the way that I am going to treat my family?  Absolutely not!  Will my son find a wife that will do this for him?  Great question!  I’m not a fortune teller, so I can’t answer that, but if God has anything to do with it, I guess the answer is yes.  I’m already praying that my son meets a great Proverbs 31 Woman who will treat him the way a man should be treated.

My mother taught me the most valuable life lesson and that is to love your family with a selfless love.  You serve your family with all your heart and soul and if that means making four different suppers, then so be it.  Being a mother has also taught me to put my children before myself.  I realize this might be an archaic way of thinking, but it is who I’ve become.

Many things will happen over the years with families, and if we take a selfless love point of view life becomes so much easier.  Before reading the bible every day I was never of this opinion.  I really struggled when I first had my child, mostly because I still had a selfish heart.  I still was worried about my needs, about my wants, and about my desires.

Eventually, I grew out of this stage of my life.  They say that having infants are expensive, well, it only gets worse when you have two very active and accomplished athletes.  Money goes out as fast as it comes in, which means Momma Bear has to sacrifice some of her wardrobe spending to compensate the budget.

Having children has been a great lesson for my heart, and so has being married and living through the different seasons that a couple goes through.  My heart has changed and now it is starting to change outside of my family too.  I find myself much more empathetic and in touch with my inner self, that I never knew existed before.  It is all because of my time with God every morning.  He is making me see things through new eyes.

In 1 Corinthians 13:10-12 it is told, “But when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.”

I’m just starting to see how childish I really was—even in my late 30s, I was still growing as a mother and a wife.  Things happen in your life to help you to grow up and find that selfless self that God wants us to be like.  I still have childish ways that I have to grow out of, and with God’s help I know it is possible.

People can tell me that I am crazy to spoil my family like I do, but it is just part of who I grew to become.  Since it is God echoing this selflessness in my heart, I am going to fly with it.  He is the Divine Creator, so I am following his lead.

Are you giving selfless love to people around you?  If not, give it a try.  It is more rewarding that you could ever imagine!

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Backyard Trampoline Basics

Backyard trampolines.  What is your opinion?  Being a gymnastics coach needing to be certified on trampoline as well as artistic gymnastics, I hate them.  The word hate, doesn’t even touch the surface of my negative emotions towards this piece of play equipment.  In my opinion, it shouldn’t even be available for the public to purchase.

My daughter being 12 years old now, has wanted a trampoline for many, many years but eventually gave up asking for one.  Their danger factor is off the radar for me, and I have a long list of reasons why she was never going to get one.

My husband wanted to come watch our daughter at Atlantics, but I convinced him to stay home.  He had to fly there, and it wasn’t really worth it for him to travel that far to see her do a total of two minutes of routines.  I just felt it wasn’t worth the cost, but knew that our daughter would be devastated that her father wasn’t coming.

In attempts to ease the pain, the idea popped into my head to buy her a trampoline as a replacement for her father not travelling to watch her competition.  She was ecstatic!  It was a dream come true, but then had doubts on why I was changing my train of thought on the backyard trampoline.

It didn’t change my feelings about this bouncing death trap, but I did feel that she was old enough to follow my rules about it, and that the neighborhood kids were old enough as well.  It’s when there is more than one person on the trampoline at a time that this apparatus becomes dangerous.  If used properly, maturely and under a certified instructor, a trampoline is very useful tool for a gymnast because the elements on the trampoline are transferable to the other events.

This is the same with our spiritual world.  When we are younger, just like using the trampoline, we don’t realize the danger of not believing that there is a greater power that controls the universe.  We are oblivious to what can happen to us if we bounced out of control and lose our air sense.  The same is true with spirituality.  We can bounce out of control and lose our way, and usually do.

As we age, and learn from our life experiences eventually we learn the value of spirituality and that is transferable to our real life, just like trampoline skills transfer to the gymnastics world.  We begin to understand more of the power that is within us, and God.  We learn the reward of being selfless and charitable and having a strong spiritual connection.  Just like our daughter using the trampoline now that she is older.  She realizes its value, along with its power.  Now what was once a devise that she didn’t understand its ability is now a great tool for her to use in her to better herself in her gymnastics career.

Colossians 1:9-10 explains, “And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.”

Just like being filled with the knowledge of being safe on a trampoline and having the wisdom to understand its dangers, it’s the same with spiritual wisdom.  As we increase in our knowledge of God, our potential is limitless.  Take time every day to walk in the manner worthy of the Lord and watch your life transform.

Just like my daughter and her backyard trampoline.  Bounce your way from living dangerously not knowing the power the trampoline has to educating yourself and using it to benefit you in other parts of your life.  You will love the ride!

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Summer Selfless Fridays

Aren’t Friday nights the best?  I love Friday nights, especially in the summer!  There is nothing that tops the reward of working all week, to come home and enjoy your Friday nights with friends and family around a bonfire and indulge in some great food and a few drinks.  My favorite is when I have people over to my house and then I can spoil my visitors and my family with lots of munchies and other treats.  I love it.

To me this is what is meant by the second most important commandment, “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.”  It’s a time to get with the people that you enjoy after a long hard week of work and relax together.  Such a simple commandment has such a deeper meaning that just hanging around a bonfire with your neighbor.  This commandment in the literal sense is just this, but just like most of the Bible, there are so many levels to these seven little words.

First of all, this doesn’t mean that you are kind to just your neighbor, it means everyone that you come in contact with throughout your day and even life.  This includes that friend from high school that you are still harboring a grudge towards because she made fun of the pimple on your forehead in 11th grade.  This means that mother at day care that might have said something about your child in passing and you took it the wrong way and are secretly hoping that her child grows warts all over their body.  Even the co-worker that drives you crazy day in and day out because the way you see your work and the way they see your work is not the same.  This means EVERYONE.  Not just the people that you enjoy being around—but everyone.

Secondly, loving your neighbor means encouraging people in your life to do the right thing, and not what is going to be the best for you.  It means cheering on your co-worker who might be up for the same promotion as you are.  It means that you are happy for the child who just won the big educational award that your child has been longing for since they started middle school.  Its feeling happiness in your heart for when good things happen to others when you feel like all you get are rough breaks.  Is this hard to do?  Definitely, but if you would be happy if wonderful things came upon yourself, then you have to be happy when it comes upon others.

And finally, it is about being totally unselfish.  When something horrible happens to you and you feel like you were treated badly in a situation, you don’t wallow in self-pity, you find a way to push out the desire to feel sorry for yourself and put a smile on your face anyway.  Maybe your husband hasn’t been the stand-up guy that you have been wanting him to be lately; or a friend hasn’t been there for you when you needed them; maybe your children are taking you for granted and totally exhausting you; and that boss of yours you can never make happy and you feel like giving up.  All these things might make you feel like lying around and sulking about how horrible you have been treated.  Don’t!  Get up and shower these people with kindness.  It comes back to that old saying, “Treat people the way you want to be treated.”  Watch how things in your life turn around by putting everyone above yourself.

I was studying Deuteronomy 28, the very first verse was the one that touched me the most.  It said, “And if you faithfully obey the voice of the Lord your God, being careful to do all his commandments that I command you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations and the earth.”  This is Moses explaining to his people the blessings that will be brought upon them for following the Lord’s commandments, but the same will happen for you.  Just rise above those selfish feelings that take over your mind and focus your energy on loving your neighbor, which includes everyone in your life.

Friday nights are worth waiting for, and maybe your Friday nights will be even better if you learn to put everyone ahead of yourself all week long?  It might be hopeful thinking, but I know I love to dote on the people in my world and I never want anything in return.  Is this because I am focusing on the second most important commandment?  No!  It was what my mother modeled for me all my life, and I am just lucky enough to enjoy being the way she was.

I’m working hard on being a selfless person, because when you have an incredible mother like mine, who put you ahead of herself all her life, it is an enormous adjustment.  I am reassured by Deuteronomy 28 of all the blessing that I will receive being selfless, which makes the transition easier.  I will be spoiling my children just the way my altruistic mother spoiled me and I hope my children are as proud of me as I am my mom who showed me what it is to love your neighbor like you would love yourself!

Happy Friday everyone!

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Forming Relationships

Have you ever watched the Goldbers?  My family and I enjoy watching this 80s family’s tales unfold that all have a valuable life lesson at the end!  This family is priceless!  I’m not much of a television girl, but this show is on my weekly routine.  If you’ve never seen this show, I highly recommend it.  It is a family from the 80s and the mother, Beverly Goldberg is hilarious.  Maybe I find her character funny because I can relate to her being a crazy mother myself, I don’t know.  I just enjoy her character and she is always going to make me burst out in a full belly laugh.

I watched the Mother’s Day episode and once again it lived up to my expectations!  It wasn’t as centered around mothers as I thought it was going to be.  Part of the show was showing how the father, Murray Goldberg wouldn’t let his youngest son, Eric, attend space camp.  The son set out in a mission to convince his father he had to go, and to stop crushing his dreams.

Eventually it is revealed that his father’s dreams of becoming a ventriloquist were smashed by his father.  Eric visited his father’s father and this story was unveiled.  Eric took the dumby home with him, trying to touch the child still left inside of his father, and try to make the connection how it is history repeating itself.  His father crushed his dreams and now Murray was crushing Eric’s.

Sure enough, this technique works, but not before Mr. Goldberg divulges his disappointing childhood not knowing if his father was going to come home at night.  How his father deserted him most of his life.  How his father never let him do anything.  It broke Eric’s heart and then he became empathetic to the way his father has become.  It broke my heart too.

How many of us harden our hearts towards people that might come off brash or bold?  How many of us form judgment of people before we know what lies beneath the surface of these human bodies?  We all have our stories.  Some might be sadder than others for sure, but everyone has their heartaches and hurdles they have to overcome.  Just like Murray Goldberg, he had a sad story, but he rose above it and left his past behind and became a better father than the father he had.

Mr. Goldberg didn’t form a relationship with his father.  How many of us are like that?  How many of us don’t have a relationship with our Heavenly Father?  I was watching Dr. Oz the other night because a friend of mine informed me he had on Near Death Experiences on his show this day.  One individual experienced the depths of hell after he was shot, but was saved by his great father, whose voice thundered, “It is not your time.”

Why did this man who had a NDE explain he experienced hell?  In his words it was because he didn’t have a relationship with God.  He really didn’t believe that God existed, and so didn’t ever think about God.

We all have to develop a relationship with God.  Make time for him.  Be thankful for everything that we have.  Even if you are in a low part of your life, you still have things to be grateful for.  We can all take time out of our lives, whether it is lying in bed in the morning as you slowly wake up.  Give praise then for the gift of another morning.  Be thankful for the roof over your head, the food you ate and the days that you are still blessed to see the sun rise.

Hebrews 11:6 reminds us, “And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.”

There is a reward for seeking God, and building a relationship with him, just like there is a reward for building a relationship with your own father or mother.  It is the most selfless love there is.  He wants you to be happy, but if he’s not making you happy he is teaching you a lesson.  It might be hard to build a relationship with a person you can’t see, but it has its huge rewards.

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Circumcise Your Heart

My husband and daughter are not morning people!  They enjoy the morning, but not if they have to get out of bed.  They love to lay around and take their time easing into the day instead of jumping up and hitting the floors full force into their day.

My son and I, on the other hand, are total opposites.  We enjoy our mornings and get up quickly to savor them.  I have to admit, it was kind of rotten when my son was young, because he was up super early, but we learned if we put him to bed later at night then his early bird personality was at least bearable.

The other morning, my husband said to me, “I don’t know how you get up an hour early every morning to do your meditation time.”  I just chuckled to myself, and stayed silent, but in my head I was thinking—I don’t know how anyone doesn’t do it.

My meditation time is my time to focus on myself, and how I want to transform myself to become a better person.  It’s a very important time when I make time for God and read his word.  It’s my time to look at myself and figure out what my purpose is in this world.  I live for my meditation time.

The other day studying Deuteronomy 10, one verse really touched me.  Moses was teaching the people that he brought out of Egypt what life should be lived like in the Promised Land, and was reviewing what had happened when he came down the mountain with the two stone tablets with the commandments on them.  Deuteronomy 10:16 states, “Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no longer stubborn.” 

Circumcise the foreskin of your heart?  Really?  What do you think they meant when they wrote those words?  To me, I feel like it means to cut away the selfishness that engulfs every one of our hearts.  We have to lift the layers of self-centerness and put everybody’s happiness above our own.  We are human, and we are selfish but it should be our goal to transform our hearts more towards the likeliness of the heart of God.

How many of us actually care more if others are happy over our own happiness?  I know it is easy for me to put my children’s happiness above my own, but other than my children I tend to have a selfish heart.  I’m learning to peel away these layers of my heart to get to the inner core and try to put every person’s happiness above my own, but it is hard work.  If I didn’t make the time every morning to sit and gather my own energy from within and continue to educate myself in God’s word I would find it near impossible.

I sit and think about the person that I used to be, and how self-centered I was and I am ashamed.  Our thoughts and feelings are a reflection of what our true spirits are.  I’m proud to say that I don’t even have as many selfish thoughts anymore since I started meditating on having a good heart and trying to tap into the power of the energy of God inside of me.

Some people, like my husband, may think I am strange, but I think those who don’t take time in the mornings to better themselves are strange.  I’ve always been a huge fan of personal improvement.  I didn’t like reading until I started reading parenting books trying to better myself as a parent and a teacher.  Now, I’m a maniac over reading the Bible, and learning all I can about the power that we have inside of us.

Try circumcising your heart.  Anyone who comes into your world today, think to yourself, how can I make them happy.  Any time you have a negative thought about someone, turn it to a positive.  See the positive in everyone and everything.  Put yourself last in the line of happiness and see how that makes you feel.  That is just step one in the process of circumcising your heart, but once you start peeling off the layers, I guarantee you are going to love it, and might even start giving the first five minutes of your day to saying a prayer of praise for all that you have.

There is a great app called the First Five, check it out, it’s free!  Once you see what five minutes of this does, you will crave more and more and might even end up being strange like me!  Give it a try.  Five minutes is all it takes!

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