How do you feel about Valentine’s Day? If the thought of it leaves you feeling depressed or lonely, you’re not unique. According to one statistic, about 40% of people have negative emotions when thinking about the ‘Holiday of Love’. If you are currently single, widowed, divorced, or have recently broken off a relationship it may seem like everyone in the world is celebrating except you. Although I can’t change your circumstances, my aim in this short post is to give you some alternative things to focus on. What if you are happily in a relationship and these ideas seem far removed from you? Chances are you know someone who could use a boost in their perspective. Read my suggestions and reach out to someone who may be lonely. Better yet, send them a link to my blog and suggest they read it for themselves. It might change a dreaded holiday into one they cherish.
Today is the last posting for my New Year series. I thought I should use this final topic to discuss setting ourselves up for a good tomorrow by finishing our day well.
My days have drastically changed in the last year. Many days have no specific deadlines now. I could wake up and go about my duties in a leisurely way, although I think that would be a foolish waste of precious hours.
There is one day that stays consistent through the waxing and waning of my life – Sunday. Sundays are…well, dare I say it?…choaos in high gear. Looking back, I have no idea how I held Sundays together when my children were little. Even now, when I don’t have little mouths to feed and little arms and legs to stuff into their Sunday best, I can barely get out the door. Some might point to the fact that I travel almost an hour to get to church or that many times I stay in my church area all day long. However, I really don’t think that my problem lies in those excuses. I wake up 2.25 hours before I am supposed to leave. Any reasonable person (especially a person without others that are heavily relying on her) should be able to head out the door in peace with that kind of lead.
Instead, my Sunday face is not a pretty one. Most of the time I’m leaving with a look that contains a mix of frustration, panic, and even a bit of anger thrown in. Somehow those two plus hours go by with lightning speed and once again I’m walking out the door ten minutes later than I intended.
Today’s New Year’s topic is prayer. Once again I’m terribly shortcoming in this area of my life. In my younger adult years, I really struggled accepting that I needed to pray. I figured that God knew everything that I ever would think about praying for way before I ever even knew about it myself. On top of that, I had the attitude that God’s will would win out no matter if I prayed for it to happen or not. So what’s the use of putting in the time to pray if it really had no purpose? Oh and here’s the kicker, I actually became convinced that God was doing the opposite of what I prayed for. People would ask me to pray for them. Of course, I would tell them that I would pray and I even made sure I did (at least once), but in my head I would think, ‘You don’t know what you’re asking.’ Do you remember the Old Testament story in Numbers 22-24 about how Balak, the Moabite King, hired Balaam to curse the Israelite people? Every time he attempted to curse them, he ended up blessing them instead. Well, I felt like my prayer life was similar, only in reverse. When I cried out for God’s blessings on someone, something bad would happen. I was not the one you’d want on your church’s prayer team!
Even in my rebellion, there would be times I would feel guilty for largely abandoning prayer. I knew that Christians were supposed to pray. You can’t read the Bible and escape reading about people who prayed – David, Daniel, Paul, and even Jonah (who was a prime example of a rebel) prayed. Then, of course, there is the Lord’s Prayer. If God acted completely without regard to prayer, why would Jesus give His disciples (and us) an example of how to pray? I finally came to the conclusion that, even if the idea of why people should pray is beyond my comprehension, God wants us to pray and I needed to obey Him in this area.
Hello again – glad you’re still with me for week three of my New Year blog posts. This week I felt like I should talk about taking care of our bodies and keeping them under control. The trouble is, I have no expertise in this area. If I wasn’t so new at blogging and had more connections, this would definitely be a time I would have a ‘guest blogger’ take over. I could learn a lot myself! Instead of telling you what I’m doing to help my body, let me tell you what I should be doing.
I should be exercising. During the warmer months, I definitely am better at this. The trouble is, it is incidental exercise. My husband and I enjoy bicycling and hiking in parks. We like to walk around the nearby neighborhoods. We are having fun doing the activity and exercise is just a by-product. The trouble comes in when it is too hot, too cold, rainy, or icy. Then we don’t get outside. If I were more dedicated to movement for its own sake, I would find a way. We have a treadmill in the basement, but I have come up with countless excuses why I don’t want to use it – the basement isn’t finished, I have no secure way to keep my iPad in place to distract me, I have almost fallen off multiple times….You get the picture and while you’re getting it, imagine an out-of-shape middle aged woman sitting on her comfy couch motionless (unless you count the hand to mouth movement)! I must say that it did help when I listened to downloaded podcasts/Ted Talks while I was walking. If the subject didn’t keep me distracted, balancing my iPad did. If the topic was too interesting, I’d find myself slowing down until I was in danger of catapulting off the end. Last year I tried walking outside even when it was icy by using crampons on my shoes. This is a test of faith when your mind is telling you, “Don’t go there. You’ll slip!” and you know your metal spikes should hold you upright.
Hey everyone, it’s week two of my five week series on New Year’s Resolutions. Last week I wrote about the importance of implementing Bible reading into your daily routine. I’ve decided to mix up the last four weekly posts and not bring them up in any particular order.
This week my subject is menu planning. Now, I suspect that some of you have the opinion that menu planning is too time consuming, too complex, or maybe too boring. Your visualization of planning meals is something along this line: