Category Archives: ACT

ACT by recharging

This blog has drug out and around every turn the message comes up again! It all started before our vacation to Florida. I was assembling all of the electronic devices. (No judgment). The one is my Kindle that I take mostly on trips because it has many books I want to read. I opened it and found a message that read “EMPTY BATTERY. Connect your Kindle to a power source and charge it until this screen disappears….. “

I am here to tell you, my Kindle is not the only thing in my life with an EMPTY BATTERY. I am pretty sure if I had a electronic scrolling sign that was on my forehead, it would say EMPTY BATTERY – Connect to power source! Sometimes I charge myself “just enough” to eliminate the warning. I might get a cat nap, or even a whole 4 hours sleep at night, eat a meal that is sort of healthy (potato chips are made from a vegetable), exercise a little (carrying groceries in or laundry up a flight of stairs), or maybe read a page or two before falling asleep.   I know the warning signs without the message scrolling across my forehead telling me to plug in to power source.   I get a little more (a lot) more snippy, headaches, fall asleep while typing emails (and wake up to a lot of a single letter across the page), a little more (ok a lot more) emotional, the desire to run away but don’t even have the energy to do it, and usually my back informs me as my muscle tense and I sleep in the tub. I even had a recent overnight hospital stay to rule out cardiac issues – talk about an empty battery!

After the message, I couldn’t help thinking about the warning.   The great part was I was going on vacation – the one time I usually charge my battery, reconnect with my family, limit electronic devices, squeeze chapters of books, and not have to cook or clean.

But my vacation start did not come without glitches… which probably were smaller than I made them out to be, but remember I was empty…

  • I had to ask for HELP! That is so outside of my comfort zone. I would prefer to deplete my own battery before asking. However, my friend agreed to take care of crazy dog, and I didn’t even die asking for help. (NOTE to self – when battery is running low it is wise to ask for help)!
  • I ordered a new paperwhite Kindle for the trip (my Kindle with low battery was having more issues and books are essential to me). It came in time for the trip, but wouldn’t connect to download my books, so I came up with a plan B to download them and reset it. (NOTE to self – when battery is running low, retail therapy can help (lol) and/or push the RESET button on button – go back to the basics).
  • We were supposed to leave at 1am, but were greeted with SNOW and slush and a mess. I had to speed up my plan and skip some things I do before I leave (clean out fridge, run dishwasher, vacuum, etc…). I usually roll with the punches and tried my best, but I felt rushed and fearful I was forgetting something (despite my packing list). (NOTE to self – when battery is low, eliminate the unessentials – did it matter that I wouldn’t come back to a clean house? Focus on the important – we had the essentials for a perfect vacation – the 4 traveling in the car and clothes on our backs!)
  • The roads were pretty slick for awhile and we were taking the car! We had snow off/on all the way to South Carolina. My battery was empty…. I hadn’t gotten far enough into the trip to recharge… it was a struggle not to say just turn around! We are blessed with great traveling kids who slept and entertained themselves or I may have thrown up the white flag of surrender. (NOTE to self – when battery is low, sometimes I need to just keep going thru the muck as the recharge lies ahead. The drain was temporary and vacation could recharge me.)
  • The trip continued to put my judgment at question… my battery was still empty from only napping in the car (you know the nap with the bobbing head). We had the WORST McDonald’s experience ever (so I wrote to corporate – I would normally ignore it). They messes with me when my battery was not charged (after traveling all day how hard would it be to get a correct order?). Then we went to a Walmart for Sam approved food (Baby carrots, fruit, pasta, popcorn). OH MY WORD! I am not exaggerating when I said we were afraid. Afraid Jim would get arrested. We couldn’t understand about 90% of the people. People were rude and pushy and scary. We escaped as quickly as possible even though they were out of most things we needed. (NOTE to self- avoid strange places and fast food joints when my battery is empty and not prepared to handle potential rude people and bad customer service).

The next day things changed.

  • That night we all got a good nights sleep (NOTE TO SELF – to recharge – sleep is essential).
  • The weather was beautiful, warm sun, green grass, flowers, etc. (NOTE TO SELF – soaking in nature is a great way to recharge. When I sit behind a desk all day, I may need to break for a trip outside!)
  • We reconnected as a family on the trip. We learned some very valuable lessons on the trip about working together and compromising. (NOTE TO SELF – family connection is imperative for recharging. They are my life line, unfortunately they are also the ones who pay most for my empty battery – I snap, I’m tired, etc.)
  • We did several spur of the moment decisions, which is way outside of our typical functioning comfort zone. The last day we went to a water park and I EVEN GOT IN THE WATER! That is a miracle. I am the observer and bag watcher – lol. I usually have a list of other excuses. It was the last day of our family vacation. (NOTE TO SELF – go outside the comfort zone, the result can be amazing!)

We had gotten recharged as a family – no more empty battery warning as a family. We were ready to come home to sameness (there is truly no place like home for us). We had some good conversations in the car on the way home – projects to complete, and even future vacations to keep our battery charged.

I can tell you though it didn’t take long to start losing my recharge on my battery. We ran into rain and more rain and more rain. The green slowly faded on our drive turning to brown and greys. We got home late eve and I had to work the next morning at 6am.   When we return home, there are no groceries (milk, bread, eggs) and I had to go grocery shopping after work. I also needed to pick up Easter Basket items. On Sunday, I missed church for the first time in years on my favorite Holiday. I missed being with my church family. Then I had a rough Easter morning over a broken heart of a child (another blog). I read facebook and looked at beautiful Easter pictures by others (honestly jealous!)….. and my battery was draining fast!!! I worked a four day stretch. We returned back to school. Therapy resumes…. and my once full battery is draining quick.

I am pretty sure I am not alone when I read Facebook posts.

  • I notice when I get in that empty battery, my gratitude lists disappear because I stop looking at life through gratefulness. I look at it through exhaustion and it just gets more empty, and the vicious cycle continues. NOTE TO SELF – to charge battery must look at positive!
  • When my battery is empty, I don’t take care of anyone well, not even those I love the most! NOTE TO SELF – to charge my battery, I have to learn true self-care. The self-care where I put my own oxygen mask on first, so I can truly be there for others!
  • When my battery is empty I disconnect from my friends. I think of them, but never reach out to them. My text are short and days between. I see sadness on Facebook and I like to try to send a note, but that seems to take too much energy or I forget. NOTE TO SELF – to charge battery connect to friendship power sources!
  • I really know my battery is empty when I forget to even look at my calendar. I forget big and little details, or overschedule because I don’t have the big picture in front of me. NOTE TO SELF – to recharge, reconnect to priorities, keep list simple, and don’t add more!
  • Why do I feel I am so exempt from recharging, when Jesus even took the time from His busy schedule of saving people to recharge – He withdrew from the crowds and the business.  NOTE TO SELF – make time to retreat and talk to the ONE who matters most!
  • When my battery is empty I forget the things that feed my soul. I always watch Elevation Network church on weekends. I try to choose spiritual things to fill the background, but I failed to even play these. So I started listening to them. One sermon even mentioned how we worry about our low battery on our phone, but not the low battery on our soul! OUCH!!! That is so me…  NOTE TO SELF – care about my low battery on my soul as much as I do my iPhone!

The key I am learning is to NOT WAIT for the warnings. It requires daily recharging. For me, it is holding onto the reminder in Lamentations 3:23 (one of my favorites). “His mercies are new every morning”. I have to remember to pause and collect them for daily deposit!!  I need to connect to my main power source – CHRIST – everyday!

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ACT by REJOICING

I was so blessed to spend the week after Christmas in one of my favorite places on earth – Virginia Beach, with my favorite people on earth – My family. My wonderful husband made the suggestion just to get away that week. We contemplated Florida, but time off was an issue. I was also blessed that work gave me a few days off just to get to the beach. I prayed and prayed that the weather in Markleysburg would be okay, i.e. no major snow storms, because we needed Bev to get to our dog to care for her. Well, the coast was clear and we left on Sunday evening. However, the weather at the beach the first two days was rainy and cold. I honestly was still okay with the weather, because I was away, watching the ocean, I could read and had no obligations. The other issue was many of our places were closed – the little mart across the street and the biggest crisis was the Dippin’Dot. It was a rough start on the attitudes. The weather continued to improve. The morning of the beautiful sunrise was the change in the attitudes. It was easy to rejoice the nice days at the beach. We also got to take a cruise to see whales, and it was incredible. We could have complained about being frozen on the boat, but the excitement over the whales was worth it.

I would be lying if I told you I loved winter. I would be lying if I told you I was not so disappointed that I couldn’t go to Ladie’s Bible Study / Tea due to our road (if Jim says its bad its bad). I would be lying if I told you I didn’t miss being with my friends and our church. I do like having my weekend evenings off, but I so miss being with our church to end/start a week. I could tell you how disappointed I was that I drove all the way to work on Sunday and there was a power outage and I had to come back home to work, or I can focus on the blessing that because I got to come home early, I didn’t have to drive home in the wintery weather in the afternoon.

So, I keep thinking of my crappy attitude. How my attitude can really take my day downhill quickly. If I am driving on crappy roads, I can let that rule my attitude. If my plan gets changed, not by my choice, I can get in a really bad mood. If I make plans to hang out with the ladies and I can’t, I can get in a really bad attitude  I can even grumble about the day or how events turn out, and my actions caused the outcome.   It would be okay if the mood change / the attitude only affected me. , but it spills over into my work, my home, my friends, my family, etc. It is also amazing how other people’s attitudes spill over onto me. How the little miserable irritants become huge deals and the negative attitude and the spouting of the mouth spills out and over. These same attitudes and continual complaints spill over on Facebook. The beautiful thing about Facebook is that I can hide those people from my “newsfeed”. I only wish that were true to face-to-face negativity. I am pretty sure I am not the only one that this has happened to.

Anyway, my word for the year is ACT – and though I can’t change many of the situations, the people I am around (because I can’t hide them), the weather, the roads, etc… I can ACT differently. At the beach I thought about this verse…. Psalm 118:2 (NKJV) – This is the day the Lord has made; I will REJOICE and be glad in it.

This verse does NOT say, this is the day the Lord has made and since it is sunny shining I will rejoice… and since my day is going perfect I will rejoice… and since the round-about in Morgantown is actually flowing as it should I will rejoice… it says This is the day the Lord has made; I will REJOICE and be glad in it.

I WILL REJOICE just because the Lord made this day… the day to count my gratitude, the day to love my family, the day to celebrate living. There are millions of people who would have loved one more day..

I WILL REJOICE and be glad in it. My ACT is to REJOICE despite the weather, the situations, and the negativity. MY ACT is to REJOICE because He gave me one more day to love, to celebrate, to count my blessings. Regardless of what happens I need to REJOICE….

 

ACT – FINDING MY FLOW (start digging)

On New Year’s Eve I was blessed to be at Virginia Beach with my family. Last year Elevation Church did an online praise party and I planned to watch, but being at the beach, some really loud neighbors, and getting talking to Mary, I became too distracted to fully listen to the sermon. Thankfully, they record them and I could enjoy once I got home. Mary had chosen the word FLOW for 2015, and the sermon from Elevation was “Find Your Flow” – Mary even said that’s a sign because she enjoys listening to Steve Furtick as well.

So, since I have been home, I have listened to this sermon about 10 times and every time I am convicted in a new way. He preached on Genesis 26:12-18 and how the wells were filled with dirt and used it as an analogy of my life and what block my flow from God? How I allow things to block the flow between me and Christ. In verse 17 he talked about how they settled in a valley but how sometimes I grow in Christ when I am in a valley / low place. Because when I am low, I tend to look up! In verse 18 scripture talks of re-opening the wells to allow the flow. Proverbs 4:23 talks how my heart is the well SPRING of life and how it needs to be guarded. But if I allow negativity, sin, complaining, complacency, regrets constantly bombard my thoughts and life, they are stopping my well – my flow between me and God. (if interested the sermon is at this link: http://elevationchurch.org/sermons/find-your-flow)

I think it hit me the hardest when he started giving examples of things that I fill my “wellspring” with – the dirt / the things – that block my flow

Complaining: Monday was a perfect example, the weather was COLD, there were internet connections causing major delays in me getting my work done, Jim wasn’t feeling well, we had to start back to school, I had an interrupted night’s sleep, I didn’t get up as early as I wanted, and the list could continue.   When I start a day like that – it truly stops any positive flow between me and God (and positive flow between me and everyone I come in contact with honestly).   Instead, my focus should be how BLESSED I am to be able to work from home, I am able to have the kids school from home, I got some sleep in my bed (versus a hospital bed), I got some extra rest by sleeping in a little later. Once, I focus that direction, my heart is less heavy, my stomach less knotted, and my hands unclenched.   I generally really focus on blessings / gratitude, but it is so easy to let one thought destroy a moment, a day, a week, etc..

Regrets: Ouch! So, it is New Years and well… last year I did not… lose the weight, read the Bible, work on my prayer life, fulfill my goal for encouragement, unclutter the house, control my spending, write enough blogs, and I didn’t OVERCOME (my 2014 word) everything I had planned. HOWEVER, the past is truly the past and I can’t change any of those things. I can stay in the past, or make progress toward the future.   S. Furtick mentions how some regrets are many years’ worth of “dirt” filling our wells. I can tell you that losing weight has probably always been on my New Years list. The beautiful thing is by choosing a word, I don’t focus so much on the list. The regrets, for me, are an attitude issue as well. I can focus on what I haven’t done or what I did accomplish. Sometimes I can accomplish big things, and sometimes I over estimate and have to take it in smaller “digs” to remove the dirt that stands in the way between me and God. I just have to ACT today to change the regrets, which isn’t easy, but in small shovel amounts, it is possible.

Complacency (another OUCH area): I call them my Eeyore moments. Where I excuse my responsibility by saying that is just how I am.   Or don’t do anything to change because it is easier to stay just the way I am. I also am great about making a list of excuses why they stay the same (I don’t have enough time to exercise or read the Bible, etc…) S. Furtick says how sometimes it is easier to dig a new well, but we really should be cleaning out the ones we already have (like broken relationships – instead of fixing the ones we have we make a new friend; like broken marriages – instead of fixing the one we have we get a divorce and a new spouse; like financial issues – instead of paying off what we already owe we get a new charge card).   I have been known to build new wells – my generally in the sense of taking on one more commitment. The bad thing is some of my wells (spiritual life well, self care well, friendship/family well, finances well, etc..) could use some clearing! I may have just a few shovel of dirt/ things in them getting in the way of the flow, but wouldn’t it be easier to remove a few shovels of dirt than a truck load full of issues. Some things have gone years without tending, and they are honestly major stressors for me (they would be on my “it drives me crazy list”). The stress of not taking care of them has / does / can get in the way of my relationship with God (and others).

  1. Furtick said something that really hit me as a nurse – if I don’t fix my heart issues, my flow between God and me, I will be living this year in a state of Spiritual Cardiac Arrest. As a nurse cardiac arrest leads to death, and I do not want a spiritual death because of everything I have allowed to block my flow.   So, what’s this girl to do?!?!? ACT by FINDING MY FLOW – I have to get busy digging. It may be something like an
  • Saying no to new wells
  • Taking care of me (now that is a really buried well – just saying!)
  • Creating a plan for neglected wells
  • Pick an accountability partner
  • Focusing on relationships
  • Rediscovering some of my passions
  • Reprioritizing my wells
  • Eliminating unnecessary for important (how I spend my time)
  • ACT by FINDING my FLOW!

Proverbs 4:23

  • (NIV) Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.
  • (NLT) Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.
  • (ESV): Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.
  • (NAS): Watch over your heart with all diligence, For from it flow the springs of life.

Matthew 6:21

  • (NIV) For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
  • (NLT) Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.
  • (ESV) For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
  • (KJV) For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.