Tag Archive | Make a difference

One Thing I Missed

As many people do, at the beginning of the year, I’ve been considering the year just finished, and digging deep to find how the year I’m entering can be better; more productive, more quiet, more adventurous, more of whatever it is supposed to be.

Like a hastily taken photograph, there has been a lot of noise in this picture.

I have been able to narrow that noise down to three top priorities.

I posted about them here and here.

In short, they are; 1. Use my writing to help others to heal from their trauma. 2. Take my photography to a higher level to show God’s magnificence and 3. To help people in a more person to person sort of way.

All of these simply mean that I need to stop making excuses, and carve out more time to work on each of these things.

All this past month or so, a different kind of thought has been surfacing around me.

It manifests in different ways and places, but it means the same thing.

I simply MUST take more time to be quiet.

Remain still.

I don’t mean just idle, we all know how to do that.

What I mean is taking that time to quiet the noise inside, so that I can think more clearly.

If you know me, you know that I am a big proponent of “Quietude”, even to the point of making little YouTube spots to help in the process.

Truth time; For the past six months or so, I haven’t been making those spots, or even using them for what they are created for.

It happens.

Life takes a turn sometimes and gets crazy.

When the crazy comes to an end, it takes some time to get back to where we (read I) need to be so we can gain some strength back – mentally, physically or spiritually.  

Enter oversleeping, overeating, over social media-ing, binge watching TV.

This isn’t all bad; the trick is to know when that time is here to stop it, and then do something about it!

One of the ways that it is being made clear to me that it’s time is through a little daily devotion that I read.

Over the last little while, it keeps talking about time, and how it’s been difficult, busy, frustrating and somewhat stagnant.

It also has been encouraging in regards to priorities, entering a new phase of life, knowing I’m not the only one, and resisting the urge (or the habit) of staying hidden away.

These devotions have talked about the significant (I like that word!) changes that have taken place during this time; and now it is time to accomplish what these changes are bringing to pass.

Coming out of this place of retreat, can seem overwhelming.

The habits that help us to be calm, take time to bring to the surface again;

The New and Improved Model!

It seems slow, even one step ahead is always preferred.

But it all makes me want to run forward.

Then today two things came in front of me almost simultaneously;   

  • I heard a friend speak (on Facebook Live) that I hadn’t heard in a while. He was talking about “Zoning out”. His word for “Quietude”. And how he must do this every day, to quiet the noise, to turn off the world we live in, so he can think; the silence speaks volumes. The “Mind of Christ” becomes clearer to him at these times.
  • Today’s devotion was this; January 14, 2020:  Take a breath and settle down, says the Lord.  I know your sense of urgency and impatience to get a move on, but right now I need you to be tolerant and long-suffering.  Otherwise, you will remove yourself from the flow of divine destiny.  Keep yourself in My Spirit and take life as it comes with the grace I will provide.  Romans 16:24 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.

Oh my goodness.

Gently and kindly I’ve been being pushed in this direction – and then today……

It didn’t seem very gentle.

It seemed very firm and deliberate.

Listen up.

Take the time.

I used to teach people that even if you start with five minutes, it could help.

Then you can move the time out as your grow in strength.

But God can work with ANY time that we give Him.

How did this get left off of my priority list?

Well its back on there folks.

Beginning today!

“Quietude” first!

The results will be amazing!

I’ve experienced them before, those “Quietude” moments.

And look forward to enjoying them again!

Thanks for staying with me.

Until next time!

Friday Favorites; Photos

First off, here on Friday, I would like to send out a great big Thank You for all of my new followers;

as well as all of those who have been here for quite a long time.

Just this week I noticed that the followers number went over 300!

Exciting!

My hope is that I can make some small difference for you in the heart you live with.

January 5, 2020

This view never gets old.

30 years, and I still feel so blessed.

January 8, 2020

Even in town, the beauty is stunning.

Be well.

Be blessed.

Until next time…

Just Notice

The last post I posted in 2019 was about three things that I have put on high priority for the year 2020 and beyond. Year End Ponderings

  1. Helping people
  2. Writing
  3. Photography

Notice. This word keeps coming back to my mind. Notice.

The official definition of the word was much more involved than I first thought.; Written announcement – Warning – Attention – Review – Observe – Perceive – Mention – Recognize – Discern – Detect.

Oh my goodness.

So much more than I thought, so much more than meets the eye.

So where do I want to go with this.

My original idea was to just NOTICE what is around me.

Hmm. I’m still there, but there has to be more, just by virtue of the scope of the definitions.  

The words that are most directly connected to my own thoughts on the word NOTICE, are the following; PERCEIVE, RECOGNIZE, OBSERVE, DISCERN.

*When I was growing up, I had very little if any ideas of my own.

I’m not sure I NOTICED much.

I did only what was expected (barely) and what I was told (I was afraid not to).

I was taught WHAT to think, not HOW to think.

When I had children of my own, a new PERCEPTION began to rise in me.

I RECOGNIZED that I actually had choices that I could make for myself, and I also RECOGNIZED that I could teach my children the value of making good choices.

(To this day, I can hear my daughter, sending her teenagers off to school, calling out – “Make good choices!)

Later on, I began journaling while I was reading my Bible.

Much of that was simply about what I NOTICED in my Bible.

It began simply by writing out, word for word what I was reading, if it made sense to me.

Eventually, I was able to begin OBSERVING I was having some thoughts about what I was reading.

I was RECOGNIZING how God’s word could apply to my life.

So my journaling began to look a little differently.

The bullet point OBSERVATIONS became more like real sentences.

Real sentences became more like real paragraphs.

And low and behold, I OBSERVED that I could help people with my words.

So those words turned into a blog.

A blog in 2012 that was very different from one in 2019 and beyond.

Here is where some DISCERNING came in.

DISCERNING what is needed, what to share, what will be the most helpful to the person out there searching.

I began to NOTICE along the way, that there are folks who need to be loved, honored, taught, and yes, NOTICED.

And I am happy that I can be capable of some of that.

*These are some of the same things I NOTICED when I began just taking photos on my phone a few years back.

I PERCEIVED that there is a lot of beauty out there that others never get to see.

I RECOGNIZED that all my years I have been a lover of sky watching, far away landscapes, and enjoying beauty in general.

I RECOGNIZED that by photographing things, I could lift my own mood, so DISCERNMENT came in right here too; why not use that enjoyment to help lift the moods of others.

The fact that a photographer often OBSERVES things in a different way than the general public looks strange to some, but for real, it is a gift to those who do not possess it.

It is just one of the myriad ways to help bring peace to an upset countenance.

*Finally, with the same process, I PERCEIVED that through all of my life, I’ve been able to RECOGNIZE those around me who have been somehow traumatized in their lives.

Not all have been able to find the way to mental or physical health.

DISCERNMENT helped me to NOTICE/REALIZE that not all PTSD is combat related.

I learned through study, that it can also be caused by multiple kinds of trauma; mental trauma, sexual trauma, trauma from an accident or loss, or a host of other things.

There is no end to the things that cause harm to people.

Just because you can’t see it, doesn’t mean it’s not there.

I OBSERVED that sharing my story, in whole or in part, can help some to find a step to begin on, and even a soft place to land, when things don’t turn out the way they should.

I can indeed be a “basket holder” while their pieces are flying off (because they will fly off).

When they stop flying, I can help in some way to put their pieces back together again.

DISCERNING when, where, and how, is a gift, and it can be PERCEIVED if I am quiet enough.   

In Isaiah 54 the Bible speaks of the Covenant that God makes with those that love Him.

My favorite verse is #17a KJV – No weapon that is formed against you shall prosper.

It does not say there will be no weapon – like depression and sadness, or trauma and PTSD, bad physical or mental health – it says they will not prosper.

Until next time.

Year End Ponderings

The last post of the year, and especially the new decade, should it seems, have at least a little weight to it.

Or maybe, a whole lot of levity.

I have neither.

Cognitive Dissonance keeps coming to my mind, perhaps because it is in this season that we recognize where we need change, and decide if we really want to do that or not.

(cog·ni·tive dis·so·nance nounPSYCHOLOGY-the state of having inconsistent thoughts, beliefs, or attitudes, especially as relating to behavioral decisions and attitude change.)

Most times we begin out new day, week, month, year, decade with great gusto.

There are many things on our minds that seem like they can get us where we want to go; help us accomplish what we want to accomplish.

Problems arise I think, when we do not have a clear idea of the place we want to end up.

I am very guilty of such vaugery.

The vagueness of my thinking, has landed me in spaces of cognitive dissonance more than once.

Helping people, isn’t clear enough. 

Just writing isn’t enough.

Enjoying taking photos isn’t enough either.

 Do I do these things simply for enjoyment? If so, that’s OK.

But if I want to excel in any, or all of these areas; to minister to others or to make a bit of money, that’s OK too.

But then my actions must change to reflect that.

For many years I’ve found myself going in and out of the space of cognitive dissonance.

Making the decisions that go with helping people, writing words, or taking photos, are directly related to the amount of effort I am willing to put into them.

At decision time; I’m gung-ho.

Then after a bit, I fall into procrastination, in-attention, fatigue, or just plain laziness; this is where the cognitive dissonance comes in.

I become so disenchanted with my “work” that whatever ends I thought would come, seem to melt away.

Followed by guilt for not following through.

Cognitive dissonance – My actions fail to line up with my goals – enter guilt.

Such a cycle.

I know that it happens to you as well.

I have it on good authority it is a very human thing.

“Decisions are part of life. You have to make hundreds of decisions to get through each day. What you may not know is that decision making arouses dissonance as a general rule.” Understanding Cognitive Dissonance.

My general belief, is that the trauma that I lived through, whether intentionally, or unintentionally placed on me, has shown me how one can not only survive, but forgive, and thrive regardless of the past;

And so I write.

I write with the intention of helping others avoid some pit falls while on their way to healing.

I have always loved looking at the clouds, the trees, the rivers, and the sunsets.

The architecture of buildings, and the things that God has built for us to enjoy, have always been a way of escape;

and so I take photos.

What happens when these two things take place in my life?

I get to exchange the savagery of a past life, for the beauty of a creation that God has given me; a creation that enlightens my heart and overshadows any incoming grief.

It is a constant reminder that God is always there.

He shows Himself to me daily.

I need only look.

And share.

And that will be enough.

I want that to be enough; enough to help others out of the darkness that so tries to entangle them.

Since these are my core beliefs, I can tell when I’m veering away from them.

That cognitive dissonance begins to try and bring me down, and away from my purpose again and again.

I hate to leave you hanging, here at the end of 2019, but I need some more time to consider this position.

Perhaps you do to.

I’ll return on the first day of 2020.

Join me here please!

So we can encourage each other on how to make our 2020 just as productive as we possibly can.

So we can face the distraction of cognitive dissonance.

Together.

Three Ideas to Make a Difference

I always joke that my husband’s middle name should actually be “Service”.

If you can’t find him in the grocery parking lot, look for the car with the hood open – look there, that’s where you’ll find him.

If he can’t fix it, or help you in some way – he’ll find someone who can.

He is energized by helping others, and helping, and helping, and helping.

Lazy is not in his character, his “No” button, sometimes gets stuck.

But all in all, he inspires others to do good.

He leaves me in the dust.

In this post, I’ve collected three different places on the web that give me great inspiration.

If watching the news makes you believe that we’re “Going to hell in a hand-basket”, try some of these links; see if there is something that your heart may be telling you to do.

In Returning the Favor, Mike Rowe from Dirty Jobs, “Returns the Favor” to people across the nation who selflessly give of themselves to help others.

Here are three of my favorites episodes;

The next set is for those of us who feel like we are not enough.

For when I feel like maybe I’ve crossed the line between hope and a twilight zone of some sort.

The persons in the I Am Second videos are from every walk of life, every lifestyle, every variation of behavior possible. They are every man. (and woman)

The third and last I’ll share here, is near and dear to my heart.

Rebuilding Together rehabilitates and modify homes for those with low income, disabled American veterans, and families with small children.

Rebuilding Together has 164 affiliates nationwide.

Rebuilding Together is a 501c3, and charges nothing to it’s clients. RT uses corporate dollars and volunteer labor to get it’s work done.

It’s main goal is to keep people safe, warm and dry.

Here are three videos to let you see more about them.

Whether you want to change your own circumstances, or be the one who can change someone else’s, take time to check out some of these videos, and get your own ideas rolling.

A mentor of mine from years ago was teaching about it being “too late”.

The part that stuck with me was “Don’t delay. Start today.”

Anything is possible. Make good choices!

Thanks for reading. See you next time!