Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Remember the lobster...

When our daughter was four years old, she went on a field trip to Publix with her preschool class.  They took a tour of the store, which ended with a visit to the seafood department, the lobster tank to be exact.  The store employee gave the kids the opportunity to pet a lobster.  All of the kids did it, all except one.

When our daughter got into our car that day after preschool, I asked her to tell me about her field trip.  Immediately she began to cry, and said, "Mom, I have a regret.  I should have pet the lobster."

It's always amazing to me how life just hands you lessons all packaged in a gift wrapped box.  Since that day, whenever either one of us would be presented with an "opportunity" that was outside of our comfort zone, we remind each other, "remember the lobster."

Even though learning the lesson was definitely done the hard way for our daughter, it has proved to be invaluable to her since.  On the whole, she is growing into a young lady that takes chances and does not allow fear or insecurity get the best of her.  There are certainly still moments that come when we have to "remember the lobster," but overall that one little lesson has changed her life, and mine.

Today, I want to encourage you to also remember the lobster.. think of a time when you turned away from an opportunity out of fear, doubt, or insecurity.  Do you feel regret? If you do, don't dwell on it.  Instead use that regret to propel you forward in future situations that will almost surely arise.  Don't let your past regrets continue to hold you captive in your future.  Use that feeling as a guide, allow yourself opportunities to try new challenges and face your fears.

Remember the lobster..
Your Sole Searching Sister,
Julie


Thursday, May 22, 2014

Waiting...



This week I experienced an unfortunate situation.  The situation was unexpected and surprising to me, and it put me in a position that I did not really want to be in.  I was pretty disappointed about it that day and into the night.  In fact, I had a really tough time getting any sleep that evening.  My mind just kept racing.. trying to figure out how this situation came to pass.  I kept torturing myself, thinking of all of the possible who, what, where, and whys that could have prompted this situation to take place.

Finally after a little sleep, much prayer, I allowed the worry to fade and my faith to take the spotlight in my heart.  It was there that I experienced God's peace.

Today, a few days after the incident, I went for a run with our puppy, Peaches.  Peaches and our other dog Ginny wake up fairly early with us, typically before 6:00 a.m. My husband and I have our routine when we wake up;  make the bed, brush teeth, drink a cup of coffee.  Then, I usually get my running clothes and shoes on.  The final step is gathering up my "gear;" iphone with Nike+ app, SpiBelt, earphones, leash, harness... and then I am finally ready to go.  All this time, I noticed Peaches was waiting.  Waiting patiently, but expectantly.  As soon as she saw me pick up her leash, she ran towards the front door with great gusto.  She knew what was coming next, and she trusted me to take her along.  God is has a wonderful sense of how to get us to learn valuable lessons - he can use anyone! (even pets!)

Today I am wondering why I allowed myself a whole day and a half of worry over the "situation." Why could I not just wait patiently, but with expectation? God always, always, always works it out.  Sometimes situations happen that we do not like, or that hurt us.  But God always allows these things to happen, with the promise of something good on the other side.  

Psalm 27:14 is my verse of the week.  

Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD.

Whatever you are going through today, please consider just allowing the situation to play out.  Trust and have faith that the other side of this issue will bring you good.  Until then, wait, be strong, and allow God to fill you with His peace.

Your Sole Searching Sister,
Julie

Thursday, May 15, 2014

What are you waiting for?



“Procrastination is one of the most deadly of diseases and its toll on success and happiness is heavy.” -Wayne Gretzky 

Is there something that you really want to do but you just have not started? Do you want to start a new career, go back to school, or start a healthier lifestyle? 

What is holding you back? What are you waiting for?

Somewhere deep in our minds and hearts, we all know and are aware that tomorrow is not promised.  We know that life on Earth is temporary.  I this it is very interesting though, how quickly we allow ourselves to forget this fact.  We end up giving ourselves permission, and often excuses, of why it's ok to procrastinate in following the plans and dreams we have for our lives.   Why do we do this to ourselves?

I can only speak for myself so I can share with you today why I believe I procrastinated going to back to school for so long... one word: Fear.

Fear of not finishing, fear of not finding a teaching job, fear of being horrible at it, and the list goes on and on.  But finally about 2 years ago, I reached a point where I really examined what I was feeling, and more importantly how I was giving my feelings and emotions free reign over this decision, instead of doing what I knew would be good for me and my family.   And so I began.  It has not been easy, but I knew it wouldn't be.  Just like living a healthier lifestyle.. it's not easy.  I choose to get up early and run or walk in the dark hours of the morning, and hey, some days I would rather be sleeping.  Once I am out there, I feel invigorated, knowing it is good for me, my mind, my soul, my family.

I want to invite you today to take the time this week to really search your heart.  Answer the questions I posed at the top of this post - 

Is there something that you really want to do but you just have not started? Do you want to start a new career, go back to school, or start a healthier lifestyle? 

What is holding you back? What are you waiting for?

Don't let another day pass without taking steps to reach the dream you have for yourself.  Wouldn't you give the same advice to your kids? Your friends? Your family? 

Why is this same advice not applicable to you???

YOU are important.  YOU deserve to reach your goals.  YOU deserve the benefit of investing in yourself.  Do it today.

Your Sole Searching Sister,
Julie

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Playlist for your life

I love music.  I grew up singing in church, singing in school choir, and now I teach Mommy and Me music classes.  I sing with a small praise group at our Church and in the choir.  I love how music can make me feel.  I enjoy dancing, toe tapping music as well as music that can move my spirit.

I wanted to invite you all to join me in thinking about music that speaks to you, or that you relate most to.  I would like to challenge you, and me, to create a playlist for our lives.  Choose 5 to 10 songs that you think sum up your life as it is now, was, or how you would like it to be.

Sharing this music with one another will give us an opportunity to get to know one another, as well as introduce new music to each other.

I cannot wait to see what you come up with!

Ready, set, go!

"Sing to him, sing praises to him; tell of all his wondrous works!" -[Psalm 105:2]