September with a Backpack of Decisions

Autumn has suddenly reached us as we flip our calendars to the month of September.  We have had so many changes these last few months.  It leaves us trying to figure out what is truth, what is needed to keep our family’s health safe, and what activities we can do safely but still make positive memories.

As I enter stores, I see little kids with face masks.  It seems they can adjust better than us adults.  I fight with trying to keep my glasses from foggy up, making sure my mask is with me as I enter stores, and rejoice when I can take it off.  We are learning what respect is for other people and for our own self-care.  Each week we are learning more and more about this Covid-19 virus.

Now school is upon us with Pre-school, K-8, high school, and college.

I truly sympathize as parents have had to make decisions about what to do with their children and school attendance.  Being a single mom for years, I would have wrestled with what to do and I do empathize with all of you.  We all have different life situations, so I feel we need not be judgmental and respect what others choose to do.  We are only responsible for our choices.

What I found, as my children went back to school, was the important of structure and schedules whether home schooled or in the actual classroom.  Kids don’t know it but they need boundaries and schedules balanced with some flexibility.  My counselor, years ago, told me this and I tried to follow it.  It was a game changer for everyone.

We can be encouragers to those whose kids are back it whether studying at home or in the classroom.  Pray for their protection, for their emotional well-being, and for the parents. These are stressful days, and we need to BE KIND.

Don’t stay far away, Lord, my strength comes from you, so hurry and help. Psalm 22:19 (CEV)

Don’t forget to make some Autumn fun mixed with homework. That fills the backpack full of memories! 😊

OPEN YOUR BACKPACK:

  • Pray for kids during this time
  • Help your children get back into routine
  • You, yourself, need the time to re-adjust too
  • Respect the decisions of those around you regarding school
  • Pray for the teachers, whether that is your new role and hat you are wearing or for the ones in the classroom
  • Pray for a vaccine
  • Respect others, and please wear a mask!

YOU CAN DO THIS!

 

 

LOST DREAMS

I met Zanne on social media after reading one of her devotionals and reaching out to her.  It has been wonderful getting to know her.  I asked her if she would be willing to share on my blog.  Truly, Zanne, thank you.♥

LOST DREAMS

Do you still have dreams? Or did you hit too many roadblocks on that last trip to dreamsville? To dream is natural and even healthy. As kids we wanted to be Olympians, superheroes, or princesses, but as the years yawned, we discovered capturing a dream is not so easy. Life gets in the way. Lost jobs, new expenses, failed marriages, unplanned pregnancies, illness or even death. For others it’s fear or low self-esteem. But these detours aren’t the death of a dream—it’s the failure to reroute.

Pretend for a moment, you’re on the way to an exciting event and you miss your turn. Would you give up and go home? Not likely. As your GPS repeated, recalculating, you’d reroute, and put on the gas. Same with dreams. Whatever your goals are—to perform in the arts, to be a medical professional, a business owner, or to make surfboards on the beach—it’s important to you! Giving up could lead to a sense of emptiness or even depression. Instead, try something new.

If your ambitions aren’t in immediate sight, engage them in new ways. Learn as much about your passion as you possibly can. Take online classes, read related books, watch associated biographies, find like-minded friends. Use the resources you have now, and while you wait for life to afford new opportunities, have fun doing what you love most. In other words, just because you can’t go to a dance academy, doesn’t mean you can’t dance!

Personally, I had two dreams. The first was to dance. An injury eliminated that one, so I turned to my second dream—to write a book. But the stars in my eyes soon faded when I discovered a writer can work for ten years, without pay, and still not be published—a luxury I couldn’t afford. So, I took another road. At age 38, when my children were older, I went back to school, obtained my Masters, and became a Christian Clinical Counselor. At this point, you’re probably thinking—Wait a minute, that wasn’t one of your dreams! But I didn’t give up my dream, it was just put on hold.

While I waited for life’s GPS to recalculate, I stayed busy. Instead of chasing my own dreams, I helped others’ find theirs. Meanwhile I wrote. I wrote therapeutic articles, devotionals for my friends, and short stories for my children. No one seemed to care if my work was published or not, and I had fun doing it!

The point is, instead of lamenting the loss of your dream, practice living it now. Live in the day you’re in and look forward to what tomorrow may bring. For example, that photography or video project you’re working on today, could go viral, and become tomorrow’s opportunity. The medical chatlines you’re enjoying now, could provide later tips for a medical grant. Those crafts you’ve listed on Pinterest could lead to a major business. And the dancing you’re doing, between dishes and laundry, might inspire your child or grandchild to perform in the Nutcracker Sweet Ballet. Remapping and rerouting plans, even if it means taking the long way home, can work!  I know it did for me.

Years later, as I continued to counsel, I finally finished my first novel—a psychological thriller. To my astonishment it’s been published and recently released. I’m now a full-time writer, but I know without a doubt, my years as a counselor made me both a better writer and a better person. I don’t regret a moment!

Now, it’s your turn to convert dreams into action! And on that next trip to dreamsville, you might consider one more thing—a reliable GPS system. I personally recommend the GOD model, a heaven-based navigational system specializing in divine reroutes, celestial rest-stops, and timely U-Turns. With our Heavenly Father at the wheel, not only will the best parts of the road-trip be the stops along the way, but the final destination will be absolutely dreamy.

Zanne Marie Dyer resides in Daytona Beach with her husband and three young adult children. With a background in family counseling, anger management, and individual psychopathy, she became increasingly interested in the psychology of the criminal mind. Her dream to write has resulted in the new mystery murder novel, Dark Motives. She is now working on a sequel, focusing once more on the detective, Jet Wholeman, and his unique style of tracking down homicidal killers.

Zanne currently has a staff position with Word Weavers International, and also provides pro bono counseling services at her local church. Her hobbies include reading the classics, water activities, painting, and spending time with her children and their families.

INFO at:  https://Linktr.ee/ZanneMarieDyer

Check out one of her fulfilled dreams in print!  You can find my take on the book in ‘Linda’s Library’ on this blog.  Can hardly wait for the sequel.

 Dreaming…You Can Do this!♥

 

ONE BIG BOAT, DIFFERENT PADDLE: Do You Praise When He Gives Help? Part 5

One of the many manners we were taught growing up were two words, Thank you!

While in our life boat, we will have many opportunities to say thank you to people but most importantly to God.

This is where I fail many times.  When God answers a prayer, even if it seems very small, we need to thank Him.  It is an important mindset to live a life being grateful and thankful.

When life situations blow into our boat, it is time to thank Him.  A beautiful sunset, a quiet moment to regroup, an encouraging word from someone, a financial provision, a little child’s hand tucked in yours, safety of friends and family, or justice served.  The list is endless.

God loves to give us things.  Are we really aware each day of those precious little things He bestows on us?  As long as we still have breath, we need to praise Him.

King David said, I will never give up hope or stop praising you. All day long I will tell
the wonderful things you do to save your people. But you have done much more than I could possibly know. I will praise you, Lord God, for your mighty deeds and your power to save. Psalm 71: 14-16 (CEV)

 Bow down and worship the Lord our Creator! The Lord is our God, and we are his people, the sheep he takes care of in his own pasture. Psalm 95: 6-7 (CEV)

For me, personally, I struggle to praise God during tough times.  Life is hard enough fighting waves in my life boat to then be told to praise God anyway.  I am sure you are much better at this than me so I need to keep working on it.

My friends, be glad, even if you have a lot of trouble.  You know that you learn to endure by having your faith tested. James 1: 2-3

I prefer enjoying the view and a calm ride in my boat than the wavy times with my paddle fighting to keep afloat. Do you feel the same way?

When we are in a thankful state of mind, it helps our attitude and perspective on life.  That is sketched on my life to-do list.

Well, that wraps up the series on One Big Boat, Different Paddle. It is important to remember we cannot compare our life to anyone else.  We have our own ride on the water.

So, the choice is ours.  Will we let God be Captain of our Life Boat clinging to our paddle that has been given us? Hope you will join me.

See you on the water!

One Big Boat, Different Paddle: Do you Trust His help? Part 4

Ever heard these sayings?  Just Trust me, or Once bitten twice shy?

Trust is a toughie.  Humans make promises and then don’t keep them. Maybe an ex-spouse, a BFF, a family member, your adult kids, a pastor,  or a close co-worker. It could be a long-time neighbor or someone in the church that seemed to have your back.  What about an acquaintance that talks behind your back, a business partner, a classmate, roommate, or a co-worker that is jealous?  Who can we really trust?

Life in our boat can hurt.

The Psalmist, David, felt the same way too.

My enemies are not the ones who sneer and make fun. I could put up with that or even hide from them. But it was my closest friend, the one I trusted most.  We enjoyed being together, and we went with others to your house, our God. Psalm 55:11-15 (CEV)

It can be easy to put up walls and push people away with our paddle and say ENOUGH!  It hurts the heart too much. When life hits us with curve balls, we can’t always trust in people. That is when bitterness can begin to tear at the heart. That is not a good place to stay.

What about trusting God?  There have been numerous times in my life when I have come to Him trusting He would answer and yet; silence.  That is when doubt comes in, and that is not a good place to stay.

It is human nature to ask why, why, why?  I am going to be honest.  Some people say to me, you shouldn’t question God?  It has made me think I am less of a Christ-follower.  Didn’t David wonder and talk to God about it?  So did Elijah, Moses, Gideon, Simon Peter, John the Baptist, and Thomas to name a few.

God is way bigger than our questions.  He wants to hear our heart and to be honest with Him.  I tell people to ask Him the whys and share how you feel, but don’t say mad at God forever…work through it with Him.  He wants to work with you. Now, that is a good place to stay.

I have to claim what God says in his Word to lean and trust in Him.  Easy?  Not always. We are human and we can’t see what lies ahead.

While working on this blog, Chris Tomlin’s song popped up. I think it will encourage you.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ohvhmGSfxI&list=RD1ohvhmGSfxI&start_radio=1&t=0

Will you trust in the Almighty, perfect God who loves you?  I have determined to keep reaching and communicating with Him.  He is patient as I work on this trusting issue.

Sheila Walsh recently posted on Instagram this verse,

Everyone who honors your name can trust you, because you are faithful to all who depend on you. Psalm 9:10

As you and I sit in our life boat with the paddle we have been given, let’s trust God who helps us fight the waves even when it doesn’t make sense.  It is my desire. Will it be yours too?

Why not join the God Team.

God can be trusted, and he chose you to be partners with his Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 1:9

Grab your paddle:

  • What life issues are you struggling to trust God in?
  • Memorize 1 Corinthians 1:9 and Psalm 9:10
  • Take some time to talk to God honestly? Then try and listen to His heart.
  • People will hurt us, so how we respond will determine our healthy outcome.
  • Trusting is hard, but we can do this.

See you next time.

One Big Boat, Different Paddle (Part 3)

From sea to sea and shore to shore, we all are traveling life’s journey in one big boat. However, we all have our own paddle to navigate through life.

The next few weeks let’s take a look at how Jesus can help us move our paddle in life. We can’t compare ourselves to someone else. This is our own personal paddle for life.  How we use that paddle will determine our outlook. Three questions we will work through and hopefully be an encouragement are:

  1. Do you want to seek His help?
  2. Do you trust His help?
  3. Do you praise when He gives help?

 

  1. DO YOU WANT TO SEEK HIS HELP?

If you have a child or ever babysat one, you probably have heard these words, I DO MYSELF.  It’s because we feel we have the resources to do life on our own.  Sometimes, I have found myself in a pickle because I have thought, I do myself!  So much time and energy was wasted trying to fight an issue on my own.

We were made to work hard and challenge ourselves.  That is what builds character. I get that.  In my own personal experience regarding decisions of life, I first and foremost, need the Captain of the life boat to help and guide me.   Truth is, we can try and pretend He doesn’t exist, think He couldn’t be bothered, or believe He really isn’t in that much control.  Does that ring a bell?

Remember Jonah. He took off in a sprint from God’s instructions. Result:  I guess he didn’t like the Club Med retreat inside the large fish. (Jonah 1)  King David’s desire for a woman made him lose good brain cells scheming to have her husband die in battle so he could have her for himself.  Result: He then lived in guilt and shame due to his own “I do myself’ consequences. (2 Samuel 11; Psalm 32)

As we all look at our own paddle with important issues we are facing, we need to decide a very important question.  Do we want to seek God’s help? What is stopping that decision?  Past hurts? Accepting if God exists? Unanswered prayer? Wanting total life control?

Hurtful life waves can make us feel as though we are going to drown.  Our paddle feels too small or too heavy to fight. We don’t want to lose control of our life because we feel we have been doing a pretty good job ourselves. Many keep looking for someone new or something exciting that will hopefully change the course of life. Some look for their own god and make it whatever they feel will help.  Do you feel a hole in your spirit that nothing seems to fill and are you tired of saying, I do myself?

I keep remembering the verse in Philippians that says, true peace will only come from the True Caption in the Life Boat.

Then, because you belong to Christ Jesus, God will bless you with peace that no one can completely understand. And this peace will control the way you think and feel. Philippians 4:7(CEV)

The Lord will always guide you and provide good things to eat when you are in the desert. He will make you healthy. You will be like a garden that has plenty of water or like a stream that never runs dry. Isaiah 58:11 (CEV)

Why not take some time this week to talk to The Captain?  Tell Him about your life, your paddle, and the waves you are encountering. He wants to partner with you.  Will you seek His help? I plan to.

Grab Your Paddle:

  • Are you tired of saying, I Do Myself? Will you seek God’s help?
  • What is one thing you are struggling with that you need to seek God’s help?
  • What past or current situation is making you question God’s help?
  • Ask God for His True Peace and His help.

YOU CAN DO THIS!

See you soon.