Snow Tunnel

Are we ever getting pelted with snow this month!  I love a snow day to slow life down, but this is really getting mentally hard to take.  Storm after storm.  Shovel, scrape, de-ice and sand is a constant battle just to function.  This winter feels like it is never ending, and in reality it is only just starting.

Thank goodness I have the mental relief of knowing that I am going down south for March Break.  We booked in July, wanting to make sure we didn’t back out and decide life was too busy and had other important thing to do that we couldn’t take a break from.  Am I ever glad that we did this now!  It gives me a light at the end of this long, dark, cold, wintered tunnel.

This long, dark, cold wintered tunnel is very much the way life can be.  Storm after storm.  You feel like you get out of one situation and you are in another before you can take a breath.  You shovel your way out of one situation only to be buried again by more troubles and despair!

Why?  Why do we have to endure through these winter storms?  It doesn’t seem fair.  We are all good people, and good people shouldn’t have to deal with this torture!  Right?  Wrong!  Nobody promised that life would be easy.  Everyone has their troubling times.  We all have to go through our ups and our downs.  It is what shapes us into mature human beings.

We have to remember that there is light at the end of these troubling times, just like the Cuba sun is for me right now.  We have to realize that these cold wintery days aren’t going to last forever.  It is just a season we are in.

Unfortunately, we can’t change the amount of snow that gets dumped on our lives, but we can change our attitude on how we de-ice ourselves.  We have to stop feeling sorry for ourselves, and rise above this egocentric stage of self-absorption, and instead focus on the connection we can have with others and the world around us.  The faster we realize life isn’t all about us, our problems and what we are doing the quicker our snow will melt away!

Today, snow or no snow, make the best of your day.  Do something for your community.  Did you enjoy a sport growing up?  Go and give back to that sport.  Do you enjoy the wisdom of the elderly?  Drop into a seniors’ home and spend some time with these wonderful people.  Do you know anyone with a young family?  Volunteer to keep their kids while the parents go on a date, or even get groceries in peace.  There are so many ways to give back to this world!

John 16:33 tells us, “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”  God tells us that we will have our snow storms and have our icy days, but if we stay faithful in him and his word, he will help you overcome the storm, we just have to ride it out and focus our energy on the positives in our lives.

Life isn’t all about you and all the snow that you have experienced over your life.  Sure it rots having to shovel, chip and pick away at the snow and the ice and maybe you seem to get more snowstorms than others.  Try taking the focus off of your storms.  You won’t notice all the ice and snow in your own life, if you go and help other people get rid of their wintery worries.

Life is about helping others.  Helping your fellow neighbor!  Try making the change in your February attitude.  If we get another storm, find the good in it.  Shovel a widow’s step.  Clean the snow off of the vehicle beside yours in a parking lot.  Just stop focusing on yourself, and the way the snow makes you feel and focus on how you can make someone’s day in this overly snowy month.  I promise it will help take the winter blues away!

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Love My Valentines!

The big day is finally here!  Valentine’s Day!  Don’t you just love this day of love?  The energy it brings with it!  I also love how the men are scurrying around for the last minute shopping, even in snow storms, you find them risking their lives for their dearly beloved wives.  Now, that is love and a reason to celebrate!

I love love!  It’s who I am.  A big romantic at heart, but I honestly can say, I was showered with love from birth.  My parents love me and demonstrated this to me in many ways, constantly, day after day.  Not only did they model what loving parents should be like, they also were very serving individuals.  They selflessly served others.  They loved doing things for their family, their neighbours, the church and their community.  They never did any of their deeds because they had to, or to get something back in return, they did it because they wanted to.  They wanted to make this world a better place.

As I get older and look back on my very fortunate childhood, they are the reason that I love love!  Their lifestyle of selfless great deeds, many of those were directed in my direction formed me in to who I am today.  My mother was a doting mother who still to this day is happiest when she is helping me, or others in some way or another.  My father spent countless long hours coaching me in my sport of choice, gymnastics, and still today at 66 years old, is now devoting his time to my daughter in gymnastics.

I can’t express in words how incredible these two individuals are.  They are the perfect example of “do onto others as you would like them to do onto you.”  They give, and give and give some more and never look for anything in return.  When I do try to give them a gift of appreciation they grumble that I shouldn’t do that, or I shouldn’t have gotten them that.  They are both true spirits of love to the fullest capacity!

I realize that when one thinks of Valentine’s Day, people think of the love towards their partner, but I wanted to explain, that I wouldn’t enjoy the love I have today if it wasn’t for the love that they modeled for me while I was growing up.  I love the saying that “you can’t give what you don’t have” and my parents gave me more love than a person can possibly imagine.  That is why I find it so easy to love and celebrate such a special gift that two very special humans gave to me from the time I was born.

Exodus 20:12 explains, “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.”  Today, I am honoring my beloved parents for all the love they poured into me, to make me what I am today.  It is through their love and devotion that I am able to experience this wonderful world of love, and pass this on to my children…their grandchildren.  There is no greater gift in my books!

I realize not everyone had the fortunate childhood I had, but it’s never to late to let love into your life.  If there is one gift you can give today, to anyone who passes you by, if you have it inside of you to give, give the gift of love.  It doesn’t cost you a cent.  You don’t have to trudge out in a snowstorm to get it.  It’s free to give to everyone!  This can be as simple as a compliment, or a smile.  A kind gesture or a minute of your time.  Whatever it is you choose to do today, try to do it with love in your heart.  That is what the world needs.  Love.  Free, simple, easy to give…LOVE!

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Deserve to Serve

Do you deserve love?  Do you deserve happiness?  Do you deserve success?  Did you answer yes to any of these questions?  If so, we might have a difference of opinion and I will try my best to explain why I feel this way.  It’s just to plant a seed, not to try and convince you differently.  If you think you deserve all these things, than you are more than welcomed to think this.

If you think this way, you may have a lot in common with Donald Trump!  I heard him say the other day in a speech to his American citizens that he is going to take back what is rightfully theirs.  America.  Nothing on this earth is rightfully anyone’s.  We came into this life with nothing and we leave this world with the same thing.  We have rights to nothing.

I want you to picture people that you find are loving.  Maybe it’s your mother or father, or that co-worker that just found new love.  Better yet.  Think about when you and your spouse first fell in love.  Whatever pops into your mind, what are your thoughts?

Your thoughts are what creates your feelings.  Your opinion.  Your reality.  This is how you are going to respond to anything about love.  Just like anything else in our universe, your thoughts of love are a form of energy.  If the thought of love is giving you a negative feeling, then it is going to give back a negative reaction.

We all know Newton’s Law of Physics.  For every action, you have an equal and opposite reaction.  If you have a negative thought on love, you are going to get negativity back at you.  The same is if you feel you “deserve” love.  You “deserve” happiness.  That is the same negative energy that you don’t want in your world.

Instead of feeling like you deserve love, try serving with love.  Give love away.  Smother others in love.  Be a serving person, not a deserving person!

Start with being more loving toward yourself.  This doesn’t mean letting your ego rule your decisions and feeling the world owes you something.  Remember you attract the energy you send out.  You send out gimmie energy, that is what you attract back.  Instead, think loving, respectful, empowering thoughts about yourself and build up this kind of energy in your life.

After you’ve mastered this technique within yourself, then start spreading this love, respect and empowering energy into the world, and watch what you get back.  It just might surprise you!  You might actually find this love and happiness you felt you deserved came to you all through serving your fellow man.

For everything that is going on in this world today, we really have to start ditching this “Trump Mentality” of only thinking of our own self-interests and what we feel we deserve and start thinking more and more about how we could make this world a better place for all.  If you start thinking this way, you will discover the truth.  A truth that has been known since the beginning of time.

I admire many thoughts from this 13th-century Persian Muslim poet, Islamic scholar, theologian, and mystic called Rumi.  His influence now surpasses national borders and ethnic divisions and he has become greatly appreciated for his spiritual legacy over the past seven centuries.  His wise words were, “Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.”

Do you have barriers up?  We have to get rid of this Trump attitude and start taking on Rumi’s!  We all have love inside of us, but we have to break down these barriers in ourselves that hold us back from giving it out into this universe.  We have to learn to tame our ego and free ourselves from the thoughts we deserve anything in this world.  It was written in 1 Corinthians 16:14, ‘Let all that you do be done in love.”  Today, go serve and let it be done in love and see what happens!

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Since the month of February is upon us, and we are all in the mood of love, I thought I would use this month to continue talking about this subject.  It’s easy to love lovable people, but I want to focus today’s blog on the people in our lives that make it difficult to love them.

We are told many times in the Bible to love our enemy.  Geeze, they even want us to pray for our enemy.  How does one come up with a loving prayer for these people when it is hard to even come up with a loving thought?  This is one area I know I need to continue to work at, but it is a work in progress.

It helps when I dive into the Bible and read great stories of incredible people and their choices to rise above their enemies and be the bigger person.  Today, I was studying 1 Samuel 24 and learned how David was hiding in a cave from King Saul, who was extremely jealous of David’s success as a warrior resulting in the king wanting to kill him so that he didn’t outshine him any longer.  Even though the hunt for David went on through many chapters, this was the chapter when it all came to a peek.

Saul went into a cave to relieve himself while on his quest to kill David and low and behold, it was the cave that David and all his men were hiding in.  David’s men were all encouraging him to kill Saul.  His men were convincing him that the Lord brought him his enemy to give David victory over this nasty man.

Did David kill Saul?  Did he treat his enemy the way he would have like to have treated him?  Did he bow down No, instead he cut off a piece of his coat and when Saul left the cave, David ran out of the cave chasing behind his enemy.  Not only did he chase him out of the cave, he bowed down to the ground in respect to this man that everyone knew was out to kill David.

How many of us in an even lighter situation would do anything the same?  I know friendships that are severed over much more trivial incidents all because one friend got bitter and couldn’t forgive the other.  Or co-workers that don’t get along because one person doesn’t like the way the other one dresses.  Some people don’t like other people because of their sexuality or race.  We all have our reasons for not liking people, but are they valid reasons?  Or petty?

I loved what David said to Saul when he came out of the cave to make amends.  In 1 Samuel 24:13, “You know the old saying, Evil is done only by evil people.” 

In the end, Saul admits to David, in verse 19, “How often does someone catch an enemy and then let him get away unharmed?  The Lord bless you for what you have done to me today!”

It’s time for all of us to start taking on the attitude of David and show love and respect for our enemies–or people in our world that we “think” are our enemies.  Just like I’ve said before–fear is not real, hate is not real, failure is not real either.  It is a perception that you build in your world or mind about someone, something or some race, religion or choice.

Use this great month of love to houseclean your brain of all this unreal, negative thought patterns that you have developed over the years and start seeing people like David sees people.  I don’t know if I totally agree with the old saying that David remind Saul about in this chapter.  Evil is done only by evil people, because I don’t believe that any of us are evil.  We might have evil thoughts but we aren’t evil people.

Try starting today not only to pray for love towards your enemy but also that you will change your thoughts to see the love inside every one of us.  Everyone has their story—just like David and Saul, and sometimes you don’t know what people are going through.  If you smother them in love and respect, as David did with Saul, you might just be surprised on the reaction of your enemy.

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February Challenge

Have you ever explored the wonderful world of Near Death Experience stories?  I am fascinated on the subject, and these encounters have been going on since the beginning of time.  They are just incredible and powerful how people that are on death’s door encounter a spiritual world that is so different than ours here on Earth.

I also love how they report an incredible amount of wisdom, understand and love in this other world.  There is no judgment or condemnation.  We are aware of the horrible things we did, and review it and judge ourselves, but it’s not like the world we live in.

Wisdom, understand and love are all very powerful elements but since it’s the month of February, I wanted to just look at the power of love.  This is the element that really stands out in most NDE recounts.  Many report they were enveloped in love that was far beyond a love they have ever encountered before.  They also tell their stories about meeting up with individuals they are familiar with in the spiritual world who are mostly concerned about the teaching of love.  These fortunate people who experienced this realm are expected to return to our world and bring back love and make it clear that love is the only thing that exists.

These encounters to this spiritual world change these people’s lives forever.  They come to realize that the trivial things in this world do not matter.  The only thing that matters is love.  These NDE-ers also find it difficult to put the love that they learned in their experience from the spiritual world into practice here in this world, probably because our sad, superficial world, isn’t receptive to such a great kind of love.

It’s not surprising that most of these lucky people who visit this spiritual world realize that God really does exist along with the incredible power and love he has for us all.  They make it very apparent that we have God to thank for every minute that we have on earth and that given the enormous importance of love – love is the foundation of life’s meaning. In Colossians 3:14 “And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.”

Are you feeling the importance of love in your life?  Are you in the belief that love is the foundation of life’s meaning for you while you are on your life’s journey in this world?  I know I wasn’t expelling much love for a long period of my life.  I had let bitterness and resentment for many beliefs, situations and people build a wall around me.  I wasn’t going to give out any more love because I felt everyone was selfish and taking advantage of me.  I wasn’t appreciated!

It wasn’t until something happened in my life that make me learn what a horrible person I had let myself become due to things that were going on in my life.  I had it all wrong.  I was the one that was selfish and trying to take advantage of any situation I could.  I was the opposite of love!

Some NDE experiencers realize this in their visit to the spiritual world too.  One I read about reported that the things he hated in other people were really the things that he didn’t like about himself, but couldn’t see these qualities in himself.  It is much easier for us to judge others and elude ourselves into thinking we are nothing like that.  Reality alert!

After I started following the learnings that these NDE-ers brought back from the spiritual world and changing my life accordingly things changed in my world.  My heart changed.  I started to learn and understand love and realized that life is our opportunity to express and experience love, not try to get as much out of this world as we can.  This was quite the opposite.  We should be giving as much love as we can.

Only love is real, unconditional love.  Our job here on Earth is to help others find love and joy.  You might read this blog and think I’m crazy.  I was in your shoes at one time too, but life will teach you the same way it taught me, along with all these NDE-ers, if you are open to learn.  It’s just a matter of time.  Instead of going against this love current relax and ride the wave of love and experience the reason we were put in this world.  To love!  How could you change your life this month of February to bring more love to this world?

I’m challenging you to try it for the month and see if you see a difference in your world.  Get rid of all your negative emotions and replace them all with love.  I’m confident you will notice a big change.  Enjoy!

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The Month of Love

February already!  Where did the month of January go?  I always find the first three months of the year long due to the weather with dreary days and cold temperatures, but when you keep yourself busy this time of the year, time will fly.

I do love the month of February.  The stores, commercials and internet are all littered with advertisements promoting love and Valentine’s Day.  Love is such a wonderful emotion.  I’m the type of personality that enjoys these things, but many people aren’t lovers of this holiday that celebrates the love in our lives.

I can understand why some people despise this time of the year.  We all have our hardships, and sometimes love-gone-wrong can definitely leave scars in our hearts and minds that cut deep into our souls.  It’s hard to celebrate a holiday when you don’t have this inside of you to give because someone or something along the way sucked this out of your spirit.  We can’t give what we don’t have.  Right?

The sad part is, we were all created to love.  It’s our number one commandment to love our God with all our hearts, and the second most important is to love each other the same as we love ourselves.  How many of us can actually say that we love each other as much as we love ourselves?  This is our problem.  We love ourselves more than we love anything else in this world.  Or is it that we don’t even love ourselves?

If you are one of these people who hate Valentine’s Day and all that goes along with it, did you go through a tough time and have your love robbed from your spirit?  If so, this is a horrible experience.  I’m sure it was nasty what you went through.  Your heart is your most precious system in your body, and having it broken is devastating.  You have banished the love in your heart and replaced it with the fear of being hurt again.  That is totally natural.  A defense mechanism that your body is going through, and rightfully so.

This fear that your system has created is robbing you of the joy of being all you’ve been created to be.  It’s depriving your world of enjoying this incredible month of love and spreading love to others in your daily life.  Your past experiences might have you believing that you are inadequate, or limited when it comes to love, but this is not true.

The fear you have created is just a myth.  It’s not real.  An illusion so to speak.  Your body’s way of protecting itself from the elements.  Heartbreak.  Fear you will fail at love again.  Failure is not real either.  It is just a method of analyzing your situation.  Nothing fails.  You just use the results of a situation to make the proper adjustments.

This is the where we all go wrong.  We let fear and failure intrude into our hearts and then our heart can’t let out the love that it has to give.  You can’t change your past or your experiences, but you can change your fear.  If you let go of your fear and allow love to come out of you, you will get love back in return.

Romans13:10 tells us, “If you love others, you will never do them wrong; to love, then, is to obey the whole Law.”  This is what life is all about.  Loving others.  If you give love, you will receive love.  If you let fear of failure leak into your spirit that is what you will get back in your life.  Take a risk and go back to loving like you did before your hurtful experiences and you will start to feel the difference that it will make in your month of February.

This February, try taking a different attitude about the month.  Instead of closing the door on love, close the door on your fear of failure.  Only let love in that door and it might just surprise you what comes knocking!  Happy February everyone!

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