Tag: #makeadifferenceeveryday

Making The Most of Your Life’s Space.

“Make the most of every inch of space.”

That is the theme of blogs, podcasts and TV shows everywhere cashing in on the new wave of tiny spaces.   They refer to their collection of techniques as “small space decorating” or “extreme small space decorating”.  Tiny houses are all the rage and minimalism takes the prize.

I love organizing, decluttering and decorating.  I love seeing how these masterminds take the smallest of areas and make a beautiful space out of it.

Last week while I was in Atlanta, I stayed in a hotel that lived up to that theme.  It was a regular hotel room but it seemed so much bigger.  It had a king size bed, a comfortable couch that pulled out into a bed, an ottomon to rest your feet while watching TV and a little portable TV tray where the legs went under the couch allowing the tray to be brought close for maximized use.

There was no traditional closet as we think of it but rather an inset to the wall on both sides of the window with rods for hanging clothes and a place to keep the iron and ironing board all hidden by beautiful matching curtains.  The refrigerator, microwave, coffee center were inset into the wall next to the bathroom allowing one door to double as a bathroom door and closure to the coffee center with just one effortless slide.

There were shelves all the way up the bathroom wall next to the vanity and a shelf encompassing the vanity area itself maximizing every single space possible.

I was impressed to say the least.  It certainly had the newest industrial interior decorating style while still feeling warm and very functional.  I kept finding  hidden shelves and drawers everywhere I looked.

And then right there on one of the shelves in the TV unit was a blue hard-bound book with the spine facing me.  The Holy Bible from the Gideons.  I gently picked it up, running my hand over its cover with a soft smile on my face and warmth in my heart.  Of all the spaces in that room, they still found a perfect spot for God’s Word.

That should be our life’s mission.  In all the decorating of our homes, the search to make healthier choices in our lifestyles and the decluttering of every corner of our lives, we should always find room for God.

We can be dressed in the most stylish of clothes, have the coolest of home decor and the most organized of schedules but if we don’t find room for God, we’ve missed the boat.

As you start your adventure through this day, take time to make room for God.  I believe He loves tiny spaces, spinach smoothies, leopard-print outfits and shiplap decor but only when He can be found in the center of it all.

JIC – Just In Case

Two large checked suitcases.  Two carry-on suitcases.  One backpack.  One over-the-shoulder bag and a purse.

That’s what it took to take all of our necessary items on our two-week vacation.  Well maybe not ALLLLLLL of it was our NECESSARY items but our necessary items plus our JUST-IN-CASE items.

Okay, I will be honest…I think we could have survived comfortably with one large checked bag, one carry-on, a backpack and purse.

Are you an over-packer?  I thought I was doing well.  I even told myself I was only taking what I needed.  But I came home with probably 4 extra outfits and I know I had 4 pairs of shoes I didn’t wear.  And jewelry.  Don’t even get me started.

What was I thinking?  I started evaluating the situation and realized that I live my life in the “Just In Case” mode.  What if this pair of shoes didn’t look right with this outfit?  Maybe I should take an extra pair of black shoes just in case.  What if I decide I don’t want to wear yellow jewelry with the gray outfit but rather silver jewelry?  I guess I better take both just in case.

What if I am on the 7-hour plane ride and finish one book.  I probably had better carry on two books just in case.  What if  my computers or phone can’t pull up my emails?  I better take my  iPad just in case.  And heaven forbid I should get hungry on the plane that doesn’t have anything outside of peanuts and crackers!  I should take food and lots of it, just in case.

I realize that this mentality is really fear.  Fear of things not being perfect.  Fear of the fact I may have to suffer a little bit.  My goodness, how would I survive if one pair of black shoes didn’t look right with my outfit!!

There is a song by Zach Williams titled “Fear is a Liar”.  And it’s true.  Fear is of the devil and he is a liar.  Faith is of Christ and He is truth.

Jesus Christ is not here just in case we need Him.  He should be the first thing we pack in our heart and use daily.  Not just in case we can’t do it on our own.

If you live in the “just In Case” lifestyle, I encourage you to join me in starting to dig in to the Word more and find out how to overcome this liar of fear and to look to the only One who can help us. No more JIC living,  Only JC (Jesus Christ)!

 

It’s Slick Out There!

Left?  Right?  Highway?  County roads?  Faster route?  Scenic route?

I have several ways that I can go to work and because I don’t like doing everything the same way each day, a lot of times I mix it up.  A few days, I made the wrong decision and couldn’t wait to get to safer ground.

It had rained a little bit through the night and with highway department trucks placing salt on the highway in front of my house, the roads looked fine.  Left I decided.  I pulled out of my driveway and turned left.  But my car kept going left and the backend went right.  Then I turned the steering wheel right and could gradually feel there was very little traction.  I drove about 300 feet, turned around in the neighboring driveway and headed right back home to safety.

Yesterday it seemed there was just a little snow on the roads so I decided to turn right.  Then right again onto the county road.  It seemed fine until I got to the point of not being able to turn around and it was a solid sheet of ice.  All I wanted was to get to the point of safety and some traction.  I finally reached the highway up ahead and made it safely to my destination.

Throughout each day we have a lot of decisions to make.  The devil draws us to ones that seem easy and the fastest way to what get what we want.  We seem pulled in both directions.  We may know the right route to take but the shortest path seems easier.  We’re all about what’s easier or faster right?

But sometimes God wants us to wait and take the longer route or the route that makes us depend fully on Him but we don’t like to wait or not exercise our independence.  I know.  I’ve been there.  I am there.  I’m tired of waiting on God to open doors.  I’m anxious.  He keeps telling me to hang on.  Be patient.  Enjoy the ride.

But I am so tempted to do things my way and find ways that I think will open the door.  It’s like driving on the icy, snow-covered roads.  Which way do I go?  The short cut or the longer way?

Sometimes I take the icy route and can’t wait to turn around and head back to Jesus.   It may take me longer to get there.  But it will be the right way.

I’m not sure what you’re going through today but I urge you to not be tempted by the devil’s schemes of the easy, faster way but rather to seek God for the perfect way.  Because if we seek Him and follow His direction, we maintain traction and don’t get stuck on the devil’s slippery slope.

Left?  Right? Straight ahead?  Nope.  Look up.  He’ll take you there.  And if you choose the wrong route, don’t be afraid to stop and turn around and go back to Him.  He’s wants to put you on the path with traction.  Which way will you choose?

February Make A Difference Month Challenge ideas:
Day 6 – Give a special treat to your mail carrier.  Sunday was National Mail Carrier Day.
Day 7 – Feb 7th is national send a card to a friend day.  Choose a special card and a special friend.
Day 8 – Buy a dozen donuts and drop off to your favorite business.
Day 9 – Take some homemade muffins to your neighbor.
Day 10 – Put $1.07 in a baggie with a note that says “buy yourself something on me today” and leave it in the toy section at the Dollar Tree.
Day 11 – Give a hug to someone who looks like they need it!

 

February Make A Difference Month Continues.

If you are just joining us – see February Make a Difference Challenge post on February 2.

Here’s a recap of suggestions for make a difference kindness acts:

*Day 1 – send a hand-written card
*Day 2 – positive message sticky notes left in public places
*Day 3- buy something extra and give away, i.e. like popcorn at a ballgame
*Day 4 – donate to your favorite charity
*Day 5 – Buy a gift card for someone and give it away.

*Let’s go make a difference to change the world one act of kindness at a time.  🙂

Paint Your Corner Of the World.

January.  I seem to always feel a little down and somewhat depressed this time of year.  It’s cold in Indiana and although I love the snow, once it melts away, the land just looks dirty.

Christmas is my favorite time of year and I look forward to the holiday season starting in September celebrating fall and Thanksgiving and then, for me, the best time of the year.  Then I prepare my goals for the new year and am excited to start fresh.

But I have such a hard time getting back into the swing of things.  I procrastinate.  I seem to start worrying more.  I don’t know…maybe it’s because my mind isn’t as filled with busyness as it is during the holidays.  But all I know is that I HAVE to get out of this low, lazy lull that I am in.

What seems to help me is to remember it’s not about me.  Life.  It’s not about me.  It’s not about what others can do FOR me but rather what I can do for others.  About what I can do for God.  How can I make my little corner of the world a little brighter for others?   And then it will start looking brighter for me.

Life throws us curve balls.  Work isn’t always fun.  People are not always kind.  My ideas aren’t always others’ ideas.  God didn’t call me to do what others are called to do and vice versa.

So today, I’m going to get back up.  Kick myself in the bottom and get busy painting some sunshine in my corner of the world.

It’s up to us to show God’s love to others.  We are in charge of our joy.  It’s not about what HAPPENS to us.  We all have bad days.  But rather it’s about how we HANDLE  what happens to us.

David cried out to God in Psalm 94:19 – [God,] when anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul.

I’m going to work real hard to find joy in my day, sunshine in my path and spread that joy everywhere I go to overcome the anxiety within me and let Christ bring joy to my soul.  Who wants to paint some joy with me today?

Make A Difference Monday!

For Make A Difference Monday, I am challenging you (and me) to send a card to someone every day this week.  “No one has a birthday” you may say.  “Who could I send a card to?”  Dr. Seuss says “Oh the places we could go.”  Dr. Deanna says, “Oh the places we could send.”  🙂

Here are some ideas:

*the working mom who needs a little encouragement that she is doing great.
*the single dad who plays the role of both parents with grace.
*the worship leader at church who put together a great service on Sunday.
*the pastor who works tirelessly to serve the congregation.
*the coworker who put forth extra effort to make the project complete on time.
*the friend you haven’t seen for a while.
*the cousin you used to play with every Sunday at grandma’s house.
*the author of a good book you just read.
*the newspaper columnist who wrote a great article you enjoyed.
*the neighbor who needs to know you care.
*the student who received a special award.
*the nurse who gave special care to your mom.
*the doctor who calmed your child during stitches.
*the teacher who took extra time with your son.
*the coach who knew it was more than about the win.

There are many opportunities to send cards to people who sometimes we don’t remember could use some encouragement.  Take time this week to think about some of those people and then go make a difference to someone by encouraging them with a card.  Let’s go change the world, one act of kindness at a time!

God Speaks Through A Word.

BELIEVE.  RELAX.   JOY.   SIMPLIFY.

Each year for the last several years I have chosen a word to be my “theme” for the year.  This year I chose SIMPLIFY.  On January 1 I woke up feeling a little unsettled.  And I kept singing that song, “I surrender all” over and over.  I don’t even really like that song.  Why am I singing it?

Did I have a dream?  Why is that song and that word so heavy on my mind?  As the morning went on that word SURRENDER would not go away.  So I stopped my morning routine of “work as fast as you can to be productive” and just sat….quietly…and prayed.

I asked God why I had that word on my mind.  And I believe He revealed to me that SIMPLIFY is my word for the year but I needed a second “S” word and that was SURRENDER.  I felt Him telling me that I have made my life so complicated by trying to control so many things that the word SIMPLIFY was a natural choice for a word to help me improve.  But the natural choice word needed a spiritual choice word – SURRENDER.

I need to surrender my worries, my control, my manipulation of trying to make things turn out how I think is best for everyone; my obsession with trying to protect everyone from harm.   God told me to SURRENDER in order to SIMPLIFY.

So this year my word for 2018 is actually an equation.  SIMPLIFY+SURRENDER=PEACE.

Yes, Lord, I’m going to try really hard to SURRENDER ALL so that I may have a more simplified life in order to feel Your peace every day.

It’s Goal Time Again!

New Year’s Resolutions.  Phoooweeeee!

We start with not planning to eat sugar and planning to exercise 6 days a week.  We plan to be a better spouse, parent and co-worker.  We are going to declutter the house by spending 15 minutes each day getting rid of the unwanted and then being so organized we will always be able to find our latest tax return and the receipt for the sweater we bought our friend for Christmas.

Then January 15th rolls around and we realize we had cookies this week, yelled at the kids, and snapped at a co-worker.  The house is worse than it was before we made the resolution and the exercise equipment is still in the box.

So we give up.  Heck with it.  Resolutions failed.  Give up.  Right?  Wrong!
What if we had a different plan?

What if we set “goals” instead of “resolutions”?  Goals we have all year to accomplish.  Resolutions can make us feel like a failure if broken.  But goals give us the opportunity to start over multiple times without feeling like we have failed or giving us an option to quit.

This year I want to pray more, write more, speak to groups more about making a difference to someone every day.

I want to read more books and read more of my Bible.  I want to increase my exercise and keep going with my weight loss plan.  I want to encourage people more and do more intentional acts of kindness.

All of these things are great to put on paper but without a plan nothing will be accomplished.  Take a few minutes today and write down what you hope to accomplish in 2018.   Then think about how you want to accomplish those goals and make a plan.

What is your biggest goal for 2018?  I would love to hear about your goals so we can work together to make 2018 the best year yet!

Dinner’s Ready!

I walked in the door to an invitation to come straight to the kitchen to sit down.  Morgan and Roger had prepared dinner for me.  The table was set; the water glasses were full; ranch chicken, mashed potatoes, green beans and rolls were waiting for me.  What a wonderful welcome!

It was like heaven on earth.  I  didn’t have to do anything except sit down and enjoy what those two had prepared for me.  What a gift it was!

Jesus gives us the same invitation only instead of food, it is eternity in the real heaven.  We come just as we are.  It doesn’t matter what we’ve done, where we’ve been or who we were with.  He just wants us to come to His table and dine with Him.  He’s done all the work for us.  It truly is a gift.  Accept the invitation and you can dine with Christ in heaven for eternity.  You can talk to Him day and night and He will be with you every moment from right now and forever in eternity helping you through each day.

Dinner’s ready.  Will you join us?