Bending like a palm tree

palm tree

Do you find yourself thinking about why someone isn’t adjusting to your way? I often do. Let’s take driving as an example. My husband and friends out there can attest to me justifying why my style of driving seems like the best way- play it safe, don’t pull out in front of people and stay in the same lane the entire trip. So when I get in the passenger seat with my husband for instance I can get frustrated and sometimes ask him why he won’t stay in the same lane. I’m trying to justify my feelings instead of taking the time to adjust to his way.

Life is give and take.

I heard something recently that really stuck with me. The platinum rule. We’ve all heard of the golden rule- treat others like you want to be treated. A lot of us were raised on the golden rule and have done an awesome job at that. But stop and think- are we all created the exact same, with the exact same wants in life? No. (And thank goodness- That would be boring!)

The platinum rule is to treat others like they would want to be treated. It takes intention to stop our own thoughts and adjust to someone else’s way of doing things. Adjusting to those around us doesn’t have to change who we are but it changes how we react to those around us. I truly believe that this principle will help me grow as a wife, mother and Believer.

As I was writing this I started to think of palm trees and thought of this simple statement- Bend like a palm tree.

Have you ever watched a palm tree sway in the wind?

How about in a hurricane?

Have you ever seen a palm tree break?

It’s rare. Palm trees are rooted deeply into the earth. They have a trunk that allows them to sway with the wind but not break. We can take so much from a palm tree but I want to focus on how a palm tree naturally adjusts to the situation around it without breaking. We can apply this principle in our daily lives whether we are on our morning commute to work or in a battle with our two- year old who doesn’t want to brush their teeth. Next time you find yourself in a challenging situation where you are trying to get someone to see your point of view, consider gently swaying like a palm tree and adjusting to their point of view.

Finding Margin

Busy. It’s something I do to myself vs. something I am. Anyone else feel that way? I can have nothing to do, yet I take steps to make myself busy by cleaning something that doesn’t need cleaning or creating new tasks. The reality is I don’t like to sit down and relax.

Guess what I have to repeat to myself often? “Every opportunity that comes our way doesn’t mean it is something we have to jump on.” By saying no to some things, we are able to make room for more important things.

You may be at the end of your day, completely exhausted, wishing for more “margin.” The truth is we all have some margin in our lives, it’s just how we are using this that will leave our glass half full or half empty.

One of our family focuses this year is how we use our time together. As a family we are seeking margin in our lives. Often we think of margin as a financial term but we think of it as prioritizing to create time in our busy lives. We have found that it’s really not something you seek- it’s something you do. If you take a moment to look at your day, I’m sure you will find that you have time for the things that matter most to you- it just all depends on how it’s spent.

LUV at first sight

Image

More than 7 years ago, Ryan and I embarked on an important journey our lives. On the very first day of our orientation for class at our new job, I sat in a cold break room at a very full table of women. A cute guy with curly brown hair, and beautiful green eyes pursued me that night with the famous tag line “Don’t I know you?” I don’t remember my exact response. The truth is, I didn’t know him but in my heart, but I felt like I had known him my whole life in that moment. There was no exchange of information and we weren’t even in the same class so the story ends there, right?

Nope. This cute guy with curly brown hair pursued me. He found me online and from there he tried to get me to go on a date. I was completely against dating at the time, telling him “This is not rejection but, I’m not interested in dating…” At this point, he could have given up on me but he didn’t. My madly in love hubby kept pursuing me and it didn’t take long for me to give in. Most of our “dates” were working side by side passing the occasional post-it note or going to IHOP after getting off work at 2am.

I feel incredibly blessed to celebrate 6 years of marriage this week and I love reflecting on the start of our joyful life together as a family. Each day our love grows stronger and the roots of our family grow deeper.

Joy- Something contagious worth sharing!

During 2013 we received a simple, life altering tool from author Jon Gordon. He wrote a book titled “One Word” with authors Dan Britton and Jimmy Page. In the book he shares how finding one word for one year will have an endless impact on your life if you own it, and live it. Last year my one word was virtue which ties into Proverbs 31. I used this word to remind me to be Christ-like in difficult situations such as the urge to gossip or interactions with my almost two year old throwing a tantrum.

I’m so thankful that our church has also adopted this wonderful principle of One Word in our message series Small Things, Big Difference (http://www.lifechurch.tv/watch) In this message series, our Pastor challenged us to find One Word, One Thought, One Scripture and One Discipline. I prayerfully asked God to bring one word to me this year. It wasn’t but a week after the message that God showed me my one word is Joyful.

I have found over the last several months, I have been quick to let others steal my joy. I was truly convicted and realized that I need to focus on doing all things with a happy, joyful heart. It’s so easy to get caught up in the day and forget to slow down to be joyful in all things. Joy is one thing that can be stolen in a moment if you let it. My challenge to myself and others is to live a joyful life every day because joy is something contagious worth sharing with those around you. Whether you are sharing it with your two-year old at home or co-workers, we can all use an extra dose of joy each day!

A twinkle in the eye means joy in the heart, and good news makes you feel fit as a fiddle.

-Proverbs 15:30 MSG

Richly Blessed

“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Romans 12: 2 ESV

Being in America, it’s so easy to be caught up in the wants and must-have items that we tell ourselves are really needs. Most of the common things like a new pair of shoes to match every outfit are considered luxuries around the world. I have to admit, a lot of us, myself included take these things for granted.

Think about this- Poverty is defined as lacking both money and basic needs such as water and shelter. Forget about health care or even a nice hot shower… in many Countries those two things are unheard of. (No this isn’t a donate to charity post, but that can be a great thing to do)

One of our family goals for 2013 is to remember all the little blessings in life that we often don’t consider blessings such as a car that runs even though it’s not the latest and greatest. It’s funny because we thought our goal was to save money, and become more financially secure. God has opened our eyes to the realization that it’s impossible to accomplish this goal if you aren’t focused on how richly blessed you are. Our Pastor, Craig Groeschel put it perfectly this weekend when he said the rich line is a moving target and the more we get financially, the more we consume. The perspective we are gaining in our family is that the more we have, the more we need to give instead of consuming it all.

I encourage all of us to take a moment to think about this- we don’t need the things of this world or a status to make us richly blessed. We are all rich and God has given us more than we need.

I’m looking forward to the latest message series at Lifechurch.tv- Being Rich… In what matters most. Join me at www.lifechurch.tv this weekend to hear this awesome series from Pastor Craig!