Thursday, January 12, 2012

Adversity - The Purpose...

Adversity changes us -  is what shapes the knew us, the better us if we allow it to.   We as humans are always trying to stay comfortable, we are always trying to avoid adversity.    I am one who has tried this more than anyone to stay happy and comfortable in life -  I know.  I don't like to be uncomfortable, or sad or unsure of what is going to happen next....I don't think I'm alone in this.

Someone once said: 
"Life begins at the end of your comfort zone" (Neale Donald Walsch)

The next step in facing adversity is to realize these things:
  1. Difficulties, trials, adversity is normal, expected and purposeful.  1 Peter 5:10
  2. God will transform your life through adversity
  3. Adversity is temporary. 
If you meet people who have alot of character, have rich relationships, an amazing amount of wisdom and maturity and have great influence and are inspiring to others - I can pretty much guarantee they have been through adversity and come out the other side changed for the better.

In our world instead of going through adversity and letting it change us we give up - We give up on our vision, we give up on our marriage, we give up on our close relationships and sometimes we give us on life.  Many times we are at the turning point, the point where it will get better but we give up because it is too uncomfortable.

We must overcome difficult, painful things in every season in our lives to become the people God purposes us to be - to confirm, strengthen and establish us.

We need to look at adversity differently -instead of looking at it as "this is unfair" try looking at is that "This is normal" ", "This is expected", "This is creating a purpose in me", "This is temporary"
"What does God what to do with this in my life"

Instead of God changing our outward circumstances, He is changing you (if you allow Him) -  You and I through adversity are  becoming more patient, more loving, more kind,  this gives us hope and realizing that God is working in our situation

Adversity is the unwanted and uninvited "friend" in the hands of an all knowing God - not your enemy ( as we usually view it)  It is there to reveal to us our self - dependency and pride,  give us deeper intimacy with Jesus and redirect our path to insure our greatest good and His glory - we learn to trust Gods character and His Word in all this and through all things.

1 Peter 5:10
New Living Translation (NLT)
In his kindness God called you to share in his eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. So after you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation.

Next Post - How to face discouragement

Some excepts from this blog was taken from Chip Ingram - "Living on the Edge"

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Dealing with Adversity

As we begin the new year I was thinking about what would be a good topic for this blog.  My intention of this blog is to give anyone who reads it "tools" to have better relationships, to learn behavior and thinking to make every part of your being -  spirit, your soul and your body as healthy as possible.

As a counselor/life coach I see probably more problems than most people but I do believe we are in a time in our world that life is more difficult for most people than it has been in the past, at least the past that most of us can remember.

So I thought I would focus a few blogs of how to deal with "Adversity"

What is "adversity?"  Well, Websters says, adversity is:
, trouble, difficulty, hardship, distress, disaster, suffering, affliction, sorrow, misery, tribulation, woe, pain, trauma; mishap, misadventure, accident, upset, reverse, setback, crisis, catastrophe, tragedy, calamity, trial, cross, burden, blow; hard times, trials and tribulations;

Some of these things at one time or another will affect our lives.   Very few people, if any, get through this life without some trials and difficulties and most people have quite a few.

One of the biggest problems that happen when we are faced with adversity, or trials, or troubles, especially if it goes on for an extended amount of time is we can begin to give up or shut down.  Just going through the motions on the outside but inwardly quit.

One of the reasons we as Christians struggle with adversity is we have some wrong thinking about it.

Most of the time when we are struggling through adversity we avoid it, deny it, blame someone else, instead of asking God to use our situation in whatever way He feels is needed, instead of crying out to Him.  We want to be in control of the situation and actually think we are although we absolutely are not.

One of the first steps of dealing with adversity is to admit you need God to help you and you need to cry out to Him when you feel like giving up.  You need to admit your need. You need to face it.

Psalm 34:17-19 17 
The Lord hears his people when they call to him for help.
  He rescues them from all their troubles.
 The Lord is close to the brokenhearted;
  he rescues those whose spirits are crushed. 

The righteous person faces many troubles, 
but the Lord comes to the rescue each time.

What is the number one thing you are dealing with?  Are you ignoring it - staying so busy you don't have to deal with it?  Are you blaming someone else for it?

Next post we will talk about once we admit we have a problem, we admit we can't control it, we admit we feel like giving up or we "feel" like we can not take one more thing - what is the next step?

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year!!

Well, I have a couple hours to say Happy New Year.  It's 10pm an we got back a few hours ago from a great New Years Party at my niece Bev's house.  Lot's of great food, wonderful people and good conversation.  A great way to start the year.

I was going to write about setting New Years goals or resolutions but was reading a great article in the Parade section of the paper and thought I would share an idea for the New Year. 

It was from a book called, "The Simple Act of Gratitude"  What this author wrote about was his experience of making a New Years Goal of handwriting a note of thanks at least one time a day for the year.  That would be 365 handwritten notes of thanks. 

Here are the steps it takes to get started:
1. Try to not use email or any other means of technology.  Handwritten notes feels special. You can get plain note cards at the dollar store or get some with your initial on it. 

2.  Be specific.  You could start by sending notes to those who gave you presents for Christmas. "Dear...., Thank you for the (Starbucks gift card) it is one of my favorite places for coffee. 

3. Next start writing to close friends and family about how much you appreciate them, again being specific.  Then write to people who have helped you in critical moments in life, or to a server at a restaurant or coffee shop that you go to frequently.  You can send them or hand them to the people your thanking (at a shop or store)

4.  Keep it simple.  Just three or four sentences.

I'm going to start this tomorrow, my goal will be to write a note everyday but I will be flexible and at least try to at least send or give a note to someone at least 3 times a week.  I will keep you posted!