Value

To piggy back off of the post from the other day, I would like to share this tweet from @RevRunWisdom. If you don’t know who that is, he is one third of the group Run-DMC and also apparently a practicing minister. I actually love following him on Twitter because he has some really good wisdom. Yesterday he posted this:

@RevRunWisdom Ladies: If sum1 hurts or leaves u,, u neva lose value! If u saw a crumbled $100 would u pick it up? Ur #Valuable always!!

For those of you that don’t speak tweet, here is the translation:
Ladies, if someone hurts or leaves you, you never lose value! If you saw a crumbled $100 bill, would you pick it up? You are valuable always!

I loved that visual! So true!

Five Favorites

1. This video cracked me up! Thanks to Kate for showing it to me and to Bryan for making it!  As you know from this post, I have issues with inefficient meetings and I have definitely felt like the lady in this video!  By the way, if you do lead meetings on a regular basis, I do recommend that you read the post above.  It’s not funny (like the video) but it offers a great lesson from Thomas Jefferson and Napoleon Bonapart on efficiency.

2. My sister, Leah, posted this video in her weekly favs and I loved it! So precious!

3. Dear Girls Above Me The poor guy that runs this website apparently lives below the dumbest girls on the planet and can hear everything they say. So, he uses his twitter account to comment on what they say and it cracks me up! WARNING 1: Some of it is inappropriate. But, most of it is just funny. WARNING 2: These girls are really, really dumb. Here are some of my favorite post so far (in quotes are what the girls say and then there is his response:

“Did you hear that all these kids were rescued in Chile after being trapped in some mountain?” Miners, not minors.

“He said he was Spanish but not a Mexican. What the hell, that doesn’t even make sense!” It does to the entire country of Spain

“She JUST won a Golden Globe, why the hell is Natalie Portman doing ads for tampons?” No Strings Attached is a movie.

4. One word: Delicious! You can buy them at Costco. But don’t, they are too dangerous!

5. My Brother-In-Law, Reid, once again rocks it out with the iBand. This time for AT&T and this time with Livin’ On A Prayer!

Worth It

So if you are going to read this post, I need you to take a minute and decide that you are not going to be judgemental and that you will keep reading even if you get skeptical.

OK…did you get there?

Great, I will continue then.

I just read Twilight again.  (Remember the exercise above!)  I promise this is not a post about Twilight, but something I read in there triggered this thought, so I have to bring it up.  You don’t have to like or care about Twilight to keep reading this post.  So here we go.

So there are these two characters, Bella and Jasper, that are having a conversation.  You need to know that Bella is the main, human, character that is in love with a vampire and is always getting herself in dangerous situations.  Jasper is the vampire brother of the vampire that she is in love with and has the power/gift to control the emotions of people around him.  Like if someone is anxious (Bella always is), he can calm them down.  He can also feel the emotions of the people around him.  In this scene, there are some vampires hunting Bella and Jasper’s whole family is going to fight them.  Bella is opposed to this because she doesn’t want them to get hurt.  They are standing in a room together and this conversation happens (Bella is narrating):

Jasper and I looked at each other.  He stood across the length of the entryway from me . . . being careful.

“You’re wrong, you know,” he said quietly.

“What?” I gasped.

“I can feel what you’re feeling now – and you are worth it.”

“I’m not,” I mumbled. “If anything happens to them, it will be for nothing.”

“You’re wrong,” he repeated, smiling kindly at me.

So this triggered me into another thought.  I so often feel that I am not worth it.  Why does God even waste time on a person like me?  We often say that we are unworthy of God, and we are.  I mean, this is the God that created the whole world.  The God that put every star and galaxy into place with the flick of his little finger.  We are unworthy of that God.  But were we worth it?

This dialogue made me think of God with both of His hands out.  In one hand was a picture of Jesus.  His perfect, sinless, beautiful, kind, loving, only Son.  In the other hand is a picture of me.  Dirty, sinful, arrogant, prideful, constantly messing up, learning the hard way, me.  He literally had to choose.  It doesn’t seem like much of a choice to me.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son …

Translation: WORTH IT

Trusting Through My Nothingness

I am so extraordinarily grateful to have a God that I can trust.  Trust is the main lesson that I have learned over these past few, uncertain, months.  I still don’t have a full resolution on what I am doing next, but I know that I have a God that I can trust.

It seems so simple to say that.  In fact, I have been saying it all of my life.  I have read about it and learned about it since I was little.  We can trust God.  But had I ever really fully trusted God?  I don’t think I had, to be honest with you.  But in these few months, He has really stripped me down.  I mean, if you think about it, I don’t really have a lot going for me right now!  But you know what?  That’s OK. Because in that revelation of nothingness, I have found everything.  I am certain of whose I am, and for the first time in my life, I have truly experienced the trustworthiness of God.  He is my provider, He is my foundation, He is my purpose, and He is where my value is found.  I have never felt so much peace in my entire life.  That’s completely ironic since my life has never been less certain from the world’s perspective.  The truth is though, my life has never been more certain.  I feel like I am finally beginning to grasp who I really am in Christ, and it all came back to trust.

This is something that I am still really working on trying to describe, so that is the best that I can give you right now.  Here are some verses that God has been repeatedly reminding me of though:

Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.  (Psalm 20:7)

Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD. (Psalm 27:14)

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;  in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.  (Proverbs 3:5-6)

And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. (Ephesians 3:17-19)

Read

Most adults don’t like to read.  I don’t know how I didn’t know that, but it’s a shocking fact (to me) that I have just recently discovered.  When people find out they have to read a book, even if it’s a short one, they absolutely dread it.  I LOVE to read, so this is a very difficult fact for me to grasp.

This post has two focuses: to give you some major benefits to reading and to suggest some books that would be good to get started on.

I googled “benefits of reading” today and found several lists that I have compared.  If you want to take a look at some of them, I recommend this one, this one, and this one. The bottom line is that reading makes you a better person. Here is why:

  1. It is an active mental process.
  2. It improves your vocabulary.
  3. It improves concentration and focus.
  4. It improves your memory.
  5. It reduces stress.
  6. It improves your discipline.
  7. It gives you something to talk about.
  8. It makes you a better writer.
  9. It improves your reasoning skills.
  10. It builds self-esteem.

If you don’t want anything on that list for your life, then you can stop reading now.  But, if you were intrigued by that and realize that you may be missing some of those things, then I have some suggestions for you.  If you are just starting back to reading, don’t start with something too heady.  Maybe start with some fiction.  The only suggestion that I have for you as far as content is that you read something that is entertaining, but that you also learn something from.  Even if it’s just something small.  Here are my suggestions:

  1. The Twilight Saga- I am hoping I didn’t just lose most of you by saying that.  I am serious though.  You will be entertained, but it’s not as mindless as some think.  You may not really expand your vocabulary (except for the vampire terms that are completely made up), but you will expand your imagination.  This is completely fiction, so your mind has to work overtime to get a mental picture.  I can’t stand science fiction (that’s right, I hate Star Wars), but this worked for me somehow.  I personally think it’s a great starting point.
  2. Redeeming Love- I don’t know anyone that doesn’t like this book.  Even my non-reading friends have read this book and loved it.  It speaks right to the heart of a woman and you actually learn a Bible story without even realizing it.  It’s an incredible love story and you learn some history with it.
  3. Mark of the Lion Series- For those of you that loved Redeeming Love, Francine Rivers hits another home run with this series.  What I love about these three books is that you get the incredible story that sucks you in, but you also learn a ton of history.  They are set in ancient Rome right after Jesus died.
  4. Andy Andrews Books- This guy is the king of coming up with a relatively short but intriguing story that teaches life lessons.  My favorite is The Noticer followed by The Heart Mender and The Traveler’s Gift.
  5. Chasing Fireflies- Charles Martin is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors.  This story, based around the hope of foster care, really touched my heart.  As a result, I have 5 more of his books on my reading list for this year.  You feel like you are a part of the story.

I think five is a good number for now.  I hope that some of you have been at least slightly inspired to start reading.  It’s worth it to just set out some time each day to do, even if it’s just a few minutes before bed.  Someone told me that you actually get dumber watching TV, so this has to be better than that, right?

If you have any great book suggestions for people that don’t like to read, please leave them in the comments section!

Resolution Game Plan

My New Year’s resolution is to write my New Year’s resolution blog for next year before next year actually roles around!

Here we are, three days into the new year, and I start thinking about resolutions.  I don’t normally make them.  I am not sure why, but I would assume it’s because I don’t want the guilt that comes from not following through on them.  So as I was riding the bike at the gym this morning, I decided that all I really need to be successful in my resolutions is a good plan.  Of course, while on the bike, I came up with the plan.

Kelly’s New Year’s Resolution Solution (I am so proud of myself for rhyming!)

  1. State the resolution.  Make sure that it is somewhat manageable and actually achievable.  I know, I know, you can do anything you set your mind to.  But in reality, you can’t.  If your resolution is to ride on Air Force One, you are setting yourself up for disappointment.
  2. State the reason why that is your resolution.  If there isn’t a “why” driving you towards your goal, then all you are doing is making a list.  Make sure there is a purpose in your plans.
  3. State your plan for completing the resolution.  How are you going to get to the finish line?  What are you going to do to start working towards it?  Don’t end up with a list of resolutions that you never even start, let alone finish.

Here are my four resolutions, broken down using my “resolution solution.”

Memorize the book of Philippians.

  • Why? Because God has given us His Word to build us up, encourage us, teach us, and arm us.  If I have enough room in my head to memorize all of Taylor Swift’s songs, then I have enough room to memorize the book of Philippians.  Why Philippians?  Because the great folks over at the Gospel Coalition posted this free resource that you can cut out and paste into a moleskin notebook.  I love that it’s free and I love that it’s in a moleskin.
  • The Plan: Put the verses into a moleskin and get to work!  They break it down into 16 weeks.  My plan is to focus on it every day, several times a day.  The notebook is small, so it’s in my purse.  In the morning I memorize a small portion of it and read out loud the verses for the week. Constant repetition.

Train for and complete two duathlons and two 10Ks

  • Why?  Because my body is a temple to the Lord and I need to maintain it so that it doesn’t fall apart.  When I set the goal of completing in races, it gives me something to work towards.  I feel better when I am in great shape, and right now I don’t feel good.
  • The Plan: I went online and combined a few half marathon plans to come up with something that is doable for where I am right now in my fitness.  I knew that if I started too strong, I would quit, so I am starting slowly.  It also involves a lot of cross training and strength training.  I put the workouts on my calendar as a part of my regular schedule so that it becomes part of my routine.

Eating healthier, more nourishing food

  • Why?  Once again, my body is a temple.  What I put into it greatly effects how I feel, how I think, and what I am able to accomplish physically.  I don’t feel good right now.  I want to feel better.
  • The Plan: Use online resources to get ideas for easy to make meals that aren’t too tough on the budget.   Make meals (like this stew that I am making tonight) that can be used for a few lunches that week.  Plan ahead so that eating nourishing food is easier.  The more difficult it is, the more likely I am to eat out.

Be more intentional about friendships that are replenishing

  • Why?  Because these are the people that fill me back up after the draining people or circumstances have sucked the life out of me.  But, these are also the people that I tend to neglect because they aren’t needy.  But I need them. This verse and this verse are also good reasons.
  • The Plan: make a list of these replenishing friends and call or spend time with at least one of them every week.  Be intentional.