Saturday, April 30, 2011

DAY FIVE/SIX: 30 Days to a No-Regrets Life

Since I missed a day, I will post DAY FIVE and DAY SIX in this entry. (I noticed that the email alert for yesterday’s post came through this evening?? Hopefully this one won’t come through tomorrow.)

          The beginning of this chapter spoke about a comparison I had heard of before. It was the mentioning of what a flight attendant says regarding the oxygen mask in case of a problem during the flight. She reminds us to “place the mask on ourselves first and THEN help another person” . . . even our children. We cannot help our child if we have passed out.
I am really bad about this. I virtually ALWAYS try and put the mask on others, and then make sure they are comfortable . . . then I will worry about mine. More than once, that codependent technique has bitten me hard.
This chapter reminds us of an important part of the commandment about loving God first, and then we are to love our neighbor as ourselves. Many of us disregard the part about loving ourselves. We must learn to take care of ALL of us; our bodies, spiritual health, emotional health, and our relationships. Again, I probably need to read this chapter again, numerous times. As I sit and reflect, I am wondering what I am doing?! It strongly links with codependency . . .
I will go hungry so another person can eat. I will work on my time off, which SHOULD be time with my kids or to me, just because someone “NEEDS” my service. That is not their fault. It is mine.
If my life was certainly soon to end, I would be proud of my sacrifices to and for others, but I would have regrets for not enjoying the life God gave me. He has called me to be a servant in many ways, but not to surrender my life to others. In the midst of doing my perceived calling FROM Him, I usually do not factor time FOR Him in the equation. RED FLAG: Something is out of balance.
The chapter goes on to talk about going overboard with self focus on physical things. The body is a “temple,” but that does not mean to worship our bodies. The reference meant that our bodies are a temple for GOD to reside. In that way, we should keep it healthy, along with other things. Don’t trash the temple.
Basically, we tend to do as we feel. We go to church when we feel like it, be nice when we feel like it, work at being a better parent when we need to feel better about ourselves, not when the child needs to be loved. We have to learn to acknowledge and experience our emotions without allowing them to control us.
I see this about like balancing on a tight wire. We are not to suppress our feelings, as so many of us are taught to do. We are to be true to our emotions. YET, we cannot be a ball of emotions and allow life to be dictated by them. The goal is to feel what you feel, but do what GOD wants you to do. (My pendulum totally swings all of the way to the left or right side here ...)L
COOL QUOTE: “This is your life. Are you who you want to be?”
                                          By Switchfoot

The Monkey Bars of Life …
The author speaks of an analogy with him/his son and us with God. His son was on the monkey bars and then wanted to get down. The dad said, “I am here. Just let go and I will catch you.”
That did not sound very good to the son. He did let go out of necessity, and was caught. The author says this is what God says to us. We have to let go.
For me, I came face to face with a problem where I was hanging on to the monkey bars. Here is the scenario:
You are trying to become financially FREE. It takes focus, sacrifice and discipline. Summer is coming and part of your peace in life comes from that tradition that has been around for over 2 decades. EVERY year, summer includes a trip to the beach. However, the trip will be about a $2000 expense with work time missed. It is a treasured memory for your children, an escape for you and everyone will be saddened. Now what?
Well, I can tell you. IF something were to happen to me or one of my children, whether that is by death, injury or sickness, I would regret not taking the vacation with them. It would be lost time … but I would have saved money. At that point, what will money matter? Sure, I need to be debt free, but I am not sure the sacrifice will thrust me THAT far forward. I’m going to the beach and taking my children. It may only be for 3 days, we may eat PB&J and the room won’t be a 5 star … but sand, sun, pool, tans, shall unite with me and my kids. That’s my decision after looking at it through 30 days. God and I will make a way. I will let go of the bars.

THE question: What are you clinging to right now that you need to let go of in order to move forward in your life? What keeps you from trusting that God will catch you?
Well, I know my biggest answer, but I will not share it on the internet and most likely not in class. Good thing I just need to share it with God, and that’s all that matters … Ha!

The last part I will mention that hit me for DAY SIX was about making it count; risk management and just doing it. The parable was the one about a man delegating to his servants and giving them money. The first 2 servants took the money and multiplied it, while the 3rd had fear and buried his for cautious reasons. That did not go over well.
I by no means think this story has to do with $ management. It has to do with gifts.
When God gives us a gift, we are to go out and share it. We are to sharpen our ability and use it for the good of God. We are NOT to “hide it under a bushel.”
We cannot always play it safe and there is always room to grow.
Another good quote:
“A ship is safe in harbor, but that’s not what ships are for.”
By William Shedd

24 more days,

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