Friday, August 22, 2014

Are you in the Carpool Lane or flying solo?


Hebrews 10:24-25
“And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.”

So I was on my way to Santa Monica to meet up with my friend Annie for lunch yesterday. I wish I had factored in the traffic when I was planning on what time I should head to the Restaurant. With all the different options of lanes, does it ever feel like you choose the one that is not moving, while cars all around you are flying by? Then when I glanced over at the carpool lane, they were cruising the fastest with seemingly smooth travels. 




I notice as we navigate the lane lines of life, the people who are ‘in community’ (the carpool lane) tend to do better as they face whatever life brings.  When you are ‘doing life together’, you tend to have a smoother ride. Others are there with you if you happen to break down on the freeway…as well as if you are breaking down in your relationships. ("Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor:  If either of them falls down, one can help the other up.  But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up." Ecclesiastes 4:9-10) 


Living in isolation is more of a struggle. You tend to feel like you have to handle all of your difficulties alone.

Pull yourself up by your own bootstraps.
Be self-sufficient.
I do it myself!!

Just like it’s better for the environment to carpool together because less emissions are let into the atmosphere, the environment is better off overall when we are in community with like-minded people who can help carry our loads.  (They make room for our baggage in their trunks :)  People are healthier. Less negativity is emitted into the air around them.

I actually just stopped to look up the ‘Benefits of Carpooling’, to see if there are additional comparisons. It said when you carpool there are fewer accidents, shorter commute times, better air quality and it's a safer drive for everybody.  

In life I feel you actually have fewer accidents when you are surrounded by people who hold you accountable…when you’re going off the rails (morally speaking). They speak truth into your life when you start to fall by the wayside. They can be real enough with you to warn you of upcoming dangers you might be too blind to see. 


As far as the shorter commute time, it seems as if you get to your destinations quicker when you have people rallying around you and encouraging your goals and dreams. 

Air quality is better and you seem to breathe easier when you have people in your life who are checking in on you asking how you’re ‘really’ doing. 

And at the end of the day, you are safer with wise people in your life that can give you direction when things get a bit cloudy in your life. (“In the multitude of counselors there is wisdom.”-Proverbs 11:14) 

Evaluate your social circle, and write down the people you are ‘doing life with’. If the list is short, you may consider taking the initiative and being intentional about pursuing healthy relationships with more people.  Ones that you can be transparent with.  (And when you carpool with them, make sure their trunk is big enough for all of your baggage...cuz chances are they got plenty of their own! ;O)








Friday, August 15, 2014

What is mysteriously filling up your storage & draining your batteries?

So my cell phone has been quite sluggish lately.  It moves at a snails pace, and I almost have no storage left (to the point where I can’t even take anymore pictures unless I start deleting some to make more room.)  I assumed it was the pictures and videos taking up most of the space.  Then I went into my settings to get to the bottom of this dilemma.  And there it was…staring me right in the face!  The truth!!

  

You go into General Settings, then click on Usage and it breaks it down for you in bold print.  It lets you know what is draining your battery and filling up your phone.  It was actually my old text messages that I have held onto for several years…I just neglected to hit the delete button for some unknown reason. (Laziness? Perhaps. You caught me!  I already confessed I'm a hoarder of texts, whaddya want from me? ;)



Don’t you wish you had a pie chart for your life that broke it down for you blow by blow?  To discover what exactly was draining your life away and filling up every space of storage to the point where you can’t allow new things (like the new pictures)…because you’re still holding on to the ‘old’. 

Ask God where you can free up some space in your life.  What things are draining your emotional and spiritual battery to the point where you can’t even allow newer and possibly 'better' things, because you are clinging to old habits and old things that are not even serving you any longer.   

What about our ‘mental’ files that we just leave open?  We seem to have so many of our old files laying open in our head so we can keep ‘going back’ and reviewing our past.  Meanwhile, it’s slowing us down.  Just like on my iphone, when I have a ton of files that just remain open (which is most of the time, I’m guilty!)…it actually slows down my phones performance.  

Maybe the same is true of you.  Could it be that if you are constantly opening up your past and reviewing it as if studying for an exam…maybe that is what could be slowing down your performance?     

Could it be making you feel sluggish? 

Taking up storage in your head?

There’s an actual  app called CCleaner that allows you, at the click of a button, to clean up your memory.  It clears out inactive files so that you can allow for more free space. 
Oh if we could only download these apps into our crazy little brains!

Today, make your own personal pie chart of things that could be taking up a lot of space in your life, filling up your storage, draining your battery, slowing down your performance and preventing you from making new memories (taking pictures).  Then mentally click that ‘Clean-up Memory’ button so you can get more free space and freedom in your life.  Then just as I had to delete old texts, try deleting old ‘conversations’ you have been storing in your head for far too long!
  

P.S.  They don’t even have to be negative things that you are deleting…I just deleted texts from up to 3 years ago from my sweet mommy (and transferred all her photos and videos she sent me onto my computer)…and guess what?!  I freed up 2 gigabytes (that’s 2000 megabytes) of more available space!! (my hubby loves it when I talk techy ;)  Sorry mom, it had to be done.

Monday, August 4, 2014

A compelling reason not to let your 'Buddy' panic!


Isaiah 41:10
"Don't panic.  I'm with you.  There's no need to fear for I'm your God.  I'll give you strength.  I'll help you.  I'll hold you steady, keep a firm grip on you."

My mom's dog Buddy literally flips out during thunderstorms.

He PANICS!

They've even tried buying him a thunder shirt, which apparently wraps around him tightly to make him feel secure despite the elements.

Exhibit A


But to no avail...he's smarter than that!  Can't fool this dog!!

So this is how he behaves in the storm.

Exhibit B



Do you think God looks down at us during our 'storms' of life --
and sees us behaving the same way?

Panicking!

Stressed out.

Whimpering?

Maybe not literally spinning around in circles --
but our mind spinning, trying to escape this current storm.

Not calmly 'enduring' the pain of it --
trusting Him to carry us through.

But constantly out of breath in high alert.
911.

It shouldn't take the clear blue skies to help us rest --
like Buddy here.

Exhibit C



We should be able to sleep ON the boat (like Jesus).

Right
in
the
midst
of

the storm.

Ride the current.
Relax.
HE IS WITH YOU!

He promises to never leave or forsake you!

Plus, what do you plan to accomplish pacing around like that, chasing your proverbial tail?  The end result is sheer exhaustion! (plus, you look silly!)

And all your 'activity' hasn't solved a thing.

We tend to laugh at poor Buddy, or in my case feel so sorry for him I could barely watch.  Yet we probably look a whole lot like him...just as pitiful at times.

Then we peek out the window wondering when the next storm is coming...bless our sweet predictable souls! ;0)

Exhibit D


Remind yourself and the buddies in your life not to panic...we all need that reminder every so often when we're about to lose our mind! ;)