3 Ways To Stop Beating Yourself Up!


Do you beat yourself up for making mistakes?

I was at the grocery store last week and purposely chose a check-out lane manned by one of my favorite cashiers. Alice is fast and friendly and packs my stuff like an engineer.

But as I looked over my receipt on my way out of the store, I realized she hadn’t credited me for a $5.00 coupon.

I wheeled my cart back to Alice’s lane and explained the sitch. Her face fell as she flipped through coupons in her drawer. “Is this it?” she said sharply as she thrust the coupon at me. “It is, thank you,” I said, “Sorry for the trouble.” As she turned away from me, she snarled to herself, “I do everything wrong!”

Whaaat the … ? Moments earlier, we’d had a very pleasant exchange. I’d chosen her. Smiled at her. Complimented her. Affirmed her. Then boom! It had all shifted over an innocent oversight. 

I was shocked, but then, it wasn’t all that long ago, I might have reacted the same way.

What you DO is not who you ARE.

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Super Bowl Sunday & Sacred Moments

It’s Super Bowl Sunday!

My team didn’t make it to the big game, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t watching the Super Bowl. The fridge is stocked with salsa and cheese slices. Wings and pork butt are in the smoker. Beverages are chilling and extra ice is on the back porch. Friends have been invited and reminders have been sent. The bathrooms are clean and the rest of the house is … tidy.

We are ready!

Even if you don’t succumb to football frenzy, you can probably relate to my excitement. Think about the anticipation and preparation of organizing any party, or redecorating a room in your house or planning a vacation.

Don’t you look forward to it? Of course, there is the organizing and preparation and the clean up, but the outcome is worth it, right? Parties and remodeled bathrooms and family vacations are the result of a thousand decisions to culminate an exceptional experience.

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You Can Experience God

 

The holidays are over and the mailbox offers nothing but junk and bills. Winter storms and cloudy skies are the norm. It gets dark at 4:30pm! Flu bugs and close quarters breed bad moods, discord and discouragement.

I was sharing some bluesy feelings with my friend Marilyn* and she gave me some great words of encouragement.

When the days are dark, take heart. God is with you.

Now lots of people will tell you God is good and All you need is a little more faith, but when you are under the cloud of despair, you really need something more than a pat on the back and a platitude – even if it’s true.

What you need is an encounter with God. That’s what happened when the skies were very dark in Marilyn’s life.

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What Do You Want To Ask God?

 

Do you ever wish you could ask God a question? Maybe clarify what to do about a specific situation taking place in your life? Would you like direction toward your calling? Perhaps you’d like relationship or parenting or employment guidance. 

The Bible is flawless, but what if your situation isn’t specifically addressed in it? I’ll talk more about this next week, but to get you started, what do you do when you want to know:

  • Whether to stay in your job or take a new one across the country?
  • If you should buy this house or that one?
  • Is homeschooling really be the right path to educate your children?

None of these issues are specifically addressed in the Bible. 

The only reasonable solution is to ask God to direct you through listening prayer. And he will. Priscilla Shirer says, “Do you really think God loves you enough to die for you but doesn’t love you enough to talk to you?”

I’ve created a quick video on listening prayer to teach you how to hear from God. Watch it then do the exercise. When you’re done, leave me a comment about how it went, and what you heard.

 

 

 

 

Restart Those Resolutions!

Are you on track or faltering?

I so wanted a different story to tell you but I’m already faltering in my New Year’s resolutions.

My first goal for 2020 was to abstain from chocolate for 30 days. Let me tell you how that worked. Girlfriend, it’s embarrassing! I fulfilled the letter of the law, I’ve had no chocolate. Instead, I had VANILLA pudding, strawberry shakes, and sugar laden coffee drinks.

My second goal was to exercise a little bit every weekday. Well, I sorta did this. But, a couple days, I counted grocery shopping or laundry as my exercise.

My third goal was to fast between meals (which is a fancy way of saying no snacking). This is a lot harder than I thought it would be. I legitimized that if I didn’t CHEW, it wasn’t eating. It’s amazing what you can smash up enough with your tongue to swallow.

Take thoughts captive. 

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That’s A Wrap!

It is finished! 

Can I confess that when the calendar rolls past the holiday there is a certain relief that falls on me?

The pressure is off to send one more card or shop for one more present or bake one more cookie or attend one more holiday gathering. Curiosity is satisfied and expectations were either met or disappointments dealt with. 

It is finished. I’m grateful and even a little relieved. So where is the wonder and joy? 

Unexpected emotions.

For some, this Christmas was unexpectedly different. The death of a loved one left an empty space at tables and in hearts so vacuous that facing the cheerfulness of the holiday was nearly impossible.

Military families with service men and women serving far away from home secretly hoped for a surprise visit like something out of a television commercial. (I know I crept downstairs on Christmas morning hoping to see an Eli-lump on the couch. Sigh. Just throw pillows.)

Empty nesters sleep in on Christmas Day, missing the pre-dawn promptings from children eager to open presents under the tree.

Snowbirds celebrating Christmas in the south are unexpectedly sad, feeling the absence of family members, silently missing the familiar cold and snow.

College students back home for the holiday are more excited about reconnecting with friends and time away from studies than celebrating Christmas. The childlike wonder and surprise is missing.

The monumental expenditure of creative energy and resources can bring out the crazy in the best of us. I’m guilty of losing sight of Jesus in the crush and sorrows of Christmas.

Christmas is over, but Jesus remains. 

When the shepherds were told of Jesus’ birth, there was a good deal of excitement. Anticipation of our Messiah generated spontaneous travel plans, making arrangements for the sheep, getting cleaned up and their hair done (presumably) deciding what outfit to wear (perhaps) baking and creating gifts to bring to the party (maybe)? Ok, that’s a stretch.

Wonder and Joy

What we do know is the shepherds were filled with wonder and joy. A wonder and joy that could not be contained. The Bible says, “When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them.  (Luke 2:17-18) Enjoying the Presence of God will fill you with wonder and joy, too. All. Year. Long. 

Following the example of the shepherds, I’m going to find Jesus and be with him. In spite of changes and losses and angst about what next year holds, I’m going to take some time to recapture a bit of lost wonder and joy.

What’s next?

This week, I hope you’ll ponder and remember Jesus is the reason for Christmas and celebrations all year long. All the traditions and parties and gifts are just accessories to remind us that Jesus was born, and He came to save us. To be with us.

Sit in Jesus’ presence and be filled again with wonder and joy. I find Jesus in my Bible study. In my prayer closet. In my dreams and at my church. Where will you look for him first?

Leave me a comment where you connect best with Jesus to recapture your wonder and joy. 

My Favorite Holiday Recipes From My Kitchen To Yours

Girls, I have kept these holiday recipes secret for decades,
but they are just too good not to share.

These recipes for easy pumpkin pie and super simple fudge
are easy to make and taste like they took hours.

From my kitchen to yours,
just in time for Christmas dinners, parties and last minute gifts,
Merry Christmas!

Best Ever Pumpkin Pie 

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Your Presence Is The Best Present

 

A rough start to the holidays.

My holiday season has gotten off to a rough start. I’d planned to serve Thanksgiving dinner at 12:30. At noon, the turkey wasn’t close to cooked.

Not even close, I tell you!

Mashed potatoes and stuffing, sweet potatoes and green been casserole waited impatiently in warming ovens.

Tick.
Tick..
Tick.

At 3:30pm that bird finally surrendered enough breast meat to give each person a sliver.

Arrgh!

Girls, it was the ugliest looking plate of food I’ve ever served on Thanksgiving. Tasty, but ugly.

Interestingly, holding dinner hostage gave us all time to really catch up and interact. To connect. It was relaxed and fun for everyone. Everyone but me!

I should all over myself.

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What is your favorite Christmas movie?

The Christmas season can be stressful.

Christmas season is filled with activities that can stress us out! The shopping, the parties at homes and work, decorating the house, the tree, the cookies, the kids, the car, and ourselves is all-consuming.

One way to decompress is to watch a Christmas movie. Holiday movies bring tears of joy, hold you in suspense, and usher in a season of hope. Miracle on 34th Street, It’s a Wonderful Life, The Grinch, Elf, Jingle All The Way, and Polar Express are all great choices, but my favorite is Christmas with the Kranks, based the the novel Skipping Christmas by John Grisham. 

I explain why in this 3 minute video. 

 

What is your favorite holiday movie? Leave a comment below and tell me why you love it!

Merry Christmas!

 

The Universal Language Of Kindness

“Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.” – Mark Twain

The beautiful thing about kindness is that everyone can do it. Anyone … in any season of life, whether young, old, male or female, rich, poor or even sick can show kindness.

Not to be confused with generosity, (which I generally associate with giving money) kindness requires nothing more than intentional action.

Kindness is more powerful than anger, selfishness or even hate. It morphs us into women who look, sound and act more like Jesus. When we clothe ourselves in kindness as Col. 3:12 directs, we affect people in a positive and lasting way. 

Contagious and courageous.

Those who are shown kindness will surely pass it on. Like a train of Dominos, when the first one falls, the rest follow. Taking the lead to demonstrate kindness softens hearts, quiets tempers and provides space for tenderness to grow. So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you. Matthew 7:12 

In close relationships, kindness can overcome the temptation to hold grudges, get revenge and act selfishly. Random acts of kindness toward strangers can break down prejudice, overcome greed and restore faith in humanity.

“Tenderness and kindness are not signs of weakness and despair, but manifestations of strength and resolution.” – Kahlil Gibran

Sometimes the kindest thing you can do is put down a suffering animal. It’s tough to help pack up your best friend to move away from you. Being a listening ear or returning a lost wallet can be time consuming. Keeping someone company till the ambulance or locksmith arrives can mess up your schedule. 

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