Sunday, August 26, 2007

Go from Where You Are Now to Where You Want to Be

So the question is asked....Now that I know what my passion is, what my "sweet spot" is how do I make a living doing what I love. Well, there is a course of action to take you from where you are now to where you want to be. It takes vision, perseverance, sacrifice and accountability. I can't guarantee with all that that you will be exactly where you want to be but I can guarantee you will be closer than you are now. The average person, including myself obviously, tends to let life happen. We have dreams but really seldom have a plan and a strategy to obtain our dreams. Sometimes we do have a plan but when things are not working the way we want them to or it takes more work or sacrifice than we are willing to give we give up.

I am going to outline the steps to bring change in our lives. To be closer to obtaining the goals and the dreams than you ever have if you have never done this type of exercise. In all this I must stress that God is ultimately our guide and the one to seek in all areas of our life but we see many times in scripture that it we have to have vision and initiative to even complete the plans He has for us. Obviously seeking Him is the number one step in all we do. But for the practical aspects of obtaining your dreams and goals here are the steps to take.

1. Define your goal: this means to identify your goal and define what you want in clear and specific terms. This may be through researching your area of interest and what kind of opportunities exist or taking time for quiet and thoughts to come up with new and innovative ideas that haven't been done.

2. Write down and plan your Strategy: Your own will power to accomplish something is unreliable because it is based on emotions. Your environment, your schedule and your accountability must be programmed in such a way that all three support you. Major life changes don't just happen they happen one step at a time. Steady progress through well - chosen, realistic, steps. Know what those steps are.

3. Plan out your Problems: Any new endeavour will have it's own set of problems and set backs - think this out ahead of time and how you will handle it.

4. Build up Resources: This is part of your strategy, whether it be building up a certain amount of savings, networking with others in this area of interest, articles and books about how to move forward with this particular endeavour.

5. Time frame: Once you have determined what it is you want you must decide on a time frame for having it. The deadline you create gives you a sense of urgency or purpose which will motivate you and keep you from procrastinating. You may have a couple time frames..such as a half way point.

6. Create a Master plan: This is basically taking all of the above and putting it together.

7. Accountability: As with most things in life we have a better chance of making it with help, with another person knowing our vision and encouraging us to finish the race.
Ecclesiastes 4:9-10
Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble.

8. Do it Now: Nothing in your life will change until your begin to do something different each day.

Habakkuk 2
I will stand my watch and set myself on the rampart, and watch to see what He will say to me, And what I will answer when I am corrected. The Just Live by Faith Then the LORD answered me and said: “ Write the vision and make it plain on tablets, That he may run who reads it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time; But at the end it will speak, and it will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it; Because it will surely come, It will not tarry.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Finding your "Sweet Spot"

How do you find that place of passion and unique ability in your life? Here is a simple exercise that will get you thinking. Its a series of questions designed to lead you from our personal experiences and accomplishments to the skills and abilities behind them.

Think of a recent time when you found yourself involved in something with tireless enthusiasm. it was so enjoyable and fulfilling you had a hard time pulling yourself away from it. Or you were so engrossed that time seemed to fly by. When that activity concluded, you looked forward to doing it again.
It could be running a training meeting, organizing a supply room, teaching Sunday school, making a meal for a friend, maintaining your garden or decorating a room. I'm talking about anything you do that you can't seem to get enough of.

Another way to discover the area of skill and interest is to talk to the people who know you well: parents, spouse, children, close friends, minister. Ask them: "From your Observation,where do you think I excel? What are my best qualities? Where do you see me having the greatest personal success and fulfillment?" Interview at least ten people and you will begin to notice similarities in their responses and to discover the unique abilities that run like a thread through all areas of your life.

You probably have something in mind now. So start thinking carefully through the following questions as they relate to the activity that brings you so much satisfaction. They should give you a strong clue about your unique ability.

1. What specific skills were you using in this activity?
2. Why was this activity appealing to you?
3. Why did this activity seem important or valuable to you?
4. Why did this activity energize you?
5. Why do you want to go back to this activity?
When you begin to come up with this unique passion you possess you will have found your "Sweet Spot" in life. The more you know about yourself, your strengths, your gifts, and your talents, the better you are prepared for fulfilling your life vision - and have a great time doing it!
Jeremiah 29:11-13 (NLT)
For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Under Construction

As you may have noticed my blog is under construction. As previously stated I have been doing alot of praying, thinking and reflecting on my life purpose, goals and what exactly God has planned for me at this time in my life. Well, I haven't figured it out yet but I am noticing one thing I am good at is encouraging and motivating people.

So I am going to be studying and looking into a relatively new field called, "Life Coaching" and as I discover more and read more about this I will share these insights in this blog. I am going to try to read a book about the subject on a regular basis and will share from the books I am reading.

Life Coaching is not therapy, delving into the past but looking at the present, the future and being intentional about the way we live our lives and the changes we may want to make.

I am reading a book called "Life Focus" right now. In this book is a principle called the "Vector" Principal. A Vector is a mathematical term that quantifies the speed and direction of an object. Even a very small vector change can create a very big difference in the ultimate destination or direction in an object.

So we apply the Vector Principle in our lives in the same way. The vectors are the choices we make on a daily basis. Many of these choices seem insignificant at the time but small changes make a big difference over time. The Vector Principle states, Achieving a desired outcome in your life is the result of consistently making positive choices that vector you toward that outcome. For example, if you want a happy, fulfilling, lifelong marriage, you must consistently make choices that contribute to such a marriage. Occasionally we will need to make a sharp turn but most of our vectoring will occur as small adjustments to keep us on course. It seems simple but it does take a conscious effort with a clear course in mind to keep going in the right direction.
Think about your life story. Make a list of small vector changes and maybe a few big ones that changed the course of your life.

Psalm 16:8 (NLT)
I know the Lord is always with me. I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Grandbaby Day!!!

Yesterday was a good day. Sunday is usually our day with our two sweet granddaughters. It is a day I look forward to as my non - stress day. There is something about 2 little girls that just puts you in a different and better frame of mind. We go to church on Saturday nights right now so Sunday is our family day. Our daughter and hubby came over about 12:30pm after their church service and were going to drop off the girls so they could go out but decided to stay and eat with us. Son, Johnny just arrived home from his church and so we all sat down for an impromptu dinner. Sometimes those are the best of times...the unplanned ones. We had a great time talking - telling the usual family jokes and making some lighthearted fun of each other. It is great to finally see my son and daughter becoming friends as they are now adults and beginning to appreciate the unique very different people they are. Uncle Johnny loves his nieces and princess Kaitlyn loves him..Anna is not too sure about him yet....maybe it's the tattoos? (:
Anyway after dinner John and I took the girls to the mall and did all the things grandparents are suppose to take them on the carousel, go to the toy store, get an organic chocolate milk at Starbucks and buy licorice at the candy store. I hope mommy is not reading this right now. (: We came home and colored and put stickers in sticker books and had a tea party.

After everyone went home I just sat and thought about what a good day it was. It is days like this that I remember all the blessings that the Lord has given me.

Proverbs 17:6 (New Living Translation)
Grandchildren are the crowning glory of the mature; parents are the pride of their children. (this scripture was slightly changed from aged to mature) (;

Friday, August 10, 2007

Reflective "Thots"

pur·pose [ púrpəss ]
1. reason for existence: the reason for which something exists or for which it has been done or made the purpose of life.

I find that I am in a different place in life than I can ever remember being. I have always had a goal, a vision, a next step and have been somewhat driven to keep moving toward that next thing in life. I'm not sure why....possibly due to a few very big challenges in my life in the last 3 or 4 years, or maybe my age but I find for the first time I can remember I am sort of just maintaining. Is that a bad thing? I'm not sure, it kind of feels like it is but is that just because it is different for me. I am less involved in church activities than ever before. I don't have a plan for what is next in my life. I'm not sure if I am fulfilling the purpose I was made to fulfill in my life.

Now let me stop for a moment and say right now if you are reading this and feel a need to fix my problem please stop reading....I am really just reflecting.

I feel sort of lost trying to make some sort of connection to something or trying to figure out what it is that God wants me to do. I don't want to become complacent but then again maybe God wants me to rest for awhile until He is ready for my next step. Maybe He is going to open some doors I have never even thought of. I do know this for sure that there is a purpose and a plan for my life and I believe it changes with seasons in life. I also believe it is probably best to not try to make something happen (which I have a tendency to do) but to just wait on the Lord until He gives me some sort of guidance or impression. For someone like me that always has been doing...especially in ministry it is very hard just to settle and wait. I know my God is faithful and will in His timing show me what His plan is....and it may be very different than what I think it should be......just thots!

Psalm 27:14 Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Adendum to last BLOG... (:

Bless this house, oh Lord, we cry. Please keep it cool in mid-July. Bless the walls where termites dine, While ants and roaches march in time. Bless our yard where spiders pass Fire ant castles in the grass. Bless the garage, a home to please Carpenter beetles, ticks and fleas. Bless the love bugs, two by two, the gnats and mosquitoes that feed on you. Millions of creatures that fly or crawl, in FLORIDA, Lord, you've put them all!! But this is home, and here we'll stay, So thank you Lord for insect spray.

1. The birds have to use potholders to pull worms out of the ground.
2. The best parking place is determined by shade instead of distance.
3. Hot water now comes out of both taps.
4. You can make sun tea instantly.
5. You learn that a seat belt buckle makes a pretty good branding iron.
6. The temperature drops below 95 and you feel a little chilly.
7. You discover that in July it only takes 2 fingers to steer your car.
8. You discover that you can get sunburned through your car window.
9. You actually burn your hand opening the car door.
10.You break into a sweat the instant you step outside at 7:30 a.m.
11. Your biggest bicycle wreck fear is "To get knocked out and end up lying on the pavement and cook to death"
12. You realize that asphalt has a liquid state.
13. The potatoes cook underground, so all you have to do is pull one out and add butter, salt and pepper.
14. Farmers are feeding their chickens crushed ice to keep them from laying boiled eggs. The cows are giving evaporated milk.

Ah, what a place to call home. . . God Bless Our State of FLORIDA!!

Just a reminder...I'm not complaining! (: I'm just really enjoying the summer this year in FL.

Luke 12:55And when the south wind blows, you say, 'It's going to be hot,' and it is. I have no idea what this means but it seemed appropriate for the topic.... (;

Sunday, August 5, 2007

August 5, 2007 "HOT, HUMID Florida Summers"

This morning as every morning I planned to wake up at 6am to run before the hot blazing summer FL sun came out. But as usual especially on weekends, I slept til 8 (we went to church on Saturday night) I started to run at 9am. I am not a morning person so I always struggle with getting up early on weekends. Well, as I walked out my door for my morning the hot humid Florida summer hit me and I was reminded of the first time I came to Florida. I was born and raised in Pennsylvania, I love the seasons and I especially love the cold weather. Well, when I was 9 years old I came to Tampa to visit my older brother and his wife who moved here because he was in the military. All I remember of that visit was misery....being hot and running from air conditioner to air conditioner. I could not comprehend at that time how anyone survived living in this place. I remember telling my mom that I will NEVER live in Florida. Well, the rest is history and here I am going into my 34th year of living here. I still love the seasons and the cold air. My fellow blogger Cindy wrote recently about all the rain....well I know gardeners get a little frustrated with the rain but to me in the summer it is sweet relief. My niece Bev...was born and raised in Florida and absolutely loves the Florida summers, the beaches and laying in the sun in the middle of summer. So I realize it is a matter of perspective. My other fellow blogger is going to the North Carolina mountains this wonderful would that be!!! Oh well, I am at this moment being reminded in my spirit to be content in whatever circumstance you are in so I think I better just be happy for the wonderful Florida summer but I will be happy when that first cool front of fall comes!

"I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content" Phil. 4:11
(this is Paul speaking not me...I'm still working on it)! :)

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

August 1, 2007 "My Mom"

I have been gone for a few days from BLOG land and hope I still have a few bloggers checking the site. As many know my mom went home to be with Jesus this past Sunday. Although we miss her very much we are celebrating the fact that she has finished her race and she finished it well. My mom has endured the ravages of Alzheimer's for many years and to know that she is walking and talking and sitting at the feet of Jesus is enough to ease the pain of the loss of her sweet spirit here on earth. We had her celebration service today and I am going to write what I said at the service. There is so much more I could say but I think these words say it well

I just want to take a few moments to honor my mom. What a kind, gentle and gracious woman she was. My mom loved her family. Family was her priority. She always told me that all she ever wanted to be was the best mom and wife possible. Well, she accomplished her goal. Mom was a very self-sacrificing woman. She always put others before herself. I can remember her being up before everyone else in the morning and going to bed late at night. She took care of her family and her household like the Proverbs 31 woman. I can remember seeing her at the kitchen table every morning and evening reading her bible and praying. Mom loved God with all her heart and her greatest desire was always to see everyone she knew to know Jesus as their Lord and Savior, especially her family. Mom was a prayer warrior. When you asked mom to pray for a need you could be sure it was being lifted up to heaven on a constant basis as she would write your prayer request down in one of her many prayer journals. She would always buy extra groceries so if she found a family in need she could give them the extra bags. She would write letters of encouragement to college students and those away from home. She would save her birthday money and keep it in a jar and if she heard of anyone that needed help she would either give it to them when they visited or send the money to them. At funerals we tend to focus only on the positives of the person but in my moms case that is really who she was. I am so thankful that this wonderful lady was my mom. I have a very different personality then my mom but her influence is all over my life. I have learned so much from her and although I will probably never come close to being the person she was I know a part of her is in me and many of the things that were important to her are important me. Mom’s have a great influence on their children and how blessed I am to have had this wonderful lady to be that influence in my life.

1918 -2007

It's what's in the "dash" that matters.
I Love You Mom!