Live Now

#inspiration, life, death, tributesLess than a week ago, countless tributes were made to a much-loved man as he was laid to rest. He left this earth suddenly and far too early. Those who cared about him didn’t have the chance to express what he meant to them.

No one knew that the last words spoken between them were to be their final goodbye. Now it was too late to tell him of the difference he made in their lives.

His impact on the people he came in contact with was undeniable. Hearing the stories of what he had done, quietly behind the scenes made me aspire to be a better person.

A few days later, I read of a woman with a terminal illness who has been told she has mere months to live. Her friend asked how it felt to live like you were dying. The answer was a surprise. She said she was not living like she was dying; she was living like she was living.

This woman was at peace with the limited time she has left and was making the most of it. I was inspired by her outlook.

None of us know how many breaths we have left to take. It is important to live our days fully. Spend time with your friends and family. Let them know how much they mean to you. Don’t let your feelings remain unspoken.

Follow your dreams while you are able. Don’t look back with regret over things you did not do. Instead, reflect on your life and be amazed at all you accomplished.

Leave the world a better place for having been here. You have but one life to live. What are you going to do with it?

I have made a conscious decision not to waste the precious moments I’ve been given. It’s time to live like I was living. I am going to live now.

Wind Storms

#inspiration, #God, #Lord, trust
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The high winds we had been experiencing were unusual. It’s often breezy where I live, but gusts up to 100 kilometres per hour were definitely out of the ordinary.

One day a north wind blew in cold arctic air. Another, a Chinook wind blew in mild temperatures. Either way, it caused problems and was the topic of many conversations. The roar as it buffeted the house was enough to make me wonder if we’d be blown away.

The wind warnings had finally subsided when I heard someone on the radio talking about an experience from his childhood. I’m not sure where he grew up but he told of wind so powerful that it picked up the trampoline from the backyard and sent it over the top of the house where it came crashing down in the front yard. Needless to say, the trampoline was totally destroyed. From then on, his dad always made sure everything was well anchored.

Although the picture of a trampoline being tossed over a house was vivid, the term well anchored was what stuck in my mind. The storms of life have a way of tossing me around and then causing serious damage when I come crashing down. To stay safe I need to be well anchored in the Lord. Prayer and reading the Bible are the lifelines that keep me firmly connected to God.

There is no need to doubt I will be protected because I fully believe in His promise to care for me.

But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. (James 1:6 NIV)

Don’t Listen to Your Brain!

#inspiration, listen, pay attentionI knew we were in for a tough workout when the instructor said, “Don’t listen to your brain. It will tell you to stop when you feel tired. Listen o your body and don’t stop until it can’t do any more.”

My first thought was of the times I’ve reprimanded for something with the sentence, “Why can’t you just use your brain.” I guess this wasn’t one of those times!

As the class progressed fatigue set in and I realized I had automatically slowed down. The earlier words of the instructor echoed in my mind and I paid more attention to what my body was capable of. With a little conscious effort, I was able to intensify my workout.

What a revelation! I was capable of doing a lot more than I thought I could.

How could this apply to other areas of my life?

I brought to mind times I was hurt by the words or actions of someone I trusted. My brain said to keep my distance so I wouldn’t experience the pain again. My heart told me to offer forgiveness and restore the relationship.
Another example was when I tried something new and didn’t achieve the success others had. My brain told me I couldn’t do it and would just fail again.

The fear of embarrassment held me back until I decided to listen to the positive voice inside. The voice of faith told me the more I worked at this, the better I would get. It was right and again I achieved more than I thought possible.

I have learned life works best when I not only listen to my brain but also pay attention to what my body and my heart are telling me.

It’s My Choice

#inspiration, #God, #Lord, faithThe pastor started his sermon by telling us the choices we make shape our future and determine our destiny. This was something I already knew. The question remained; how often do I think about it when making my choices?

Life gives plenty of opportunity for making choices. I can face these with faith or with fear. I’ll admit, making choices is not easy for me. When it comes right down to it, I think the fear of making the wrong choice is what causes my inability to be decisive.

What I fail to remember is that the faith I need to move forward isn’t faith in my own judgment or ability. I only see the short-term and what looks like the easiest and most productive path for right now. God is the only one who sees the whole picture, beginning to end, and can guide me to make the right choice.

How strong is my trust in God? I know He can take care of me but do I fully believe that He will? Do I succumb to my fears or wholly trust in the Lord?

The answer to those questions will shape my future and determine my destiny. The decision is mine to make. God will never force himself on me. It’s my choice and I choose to trust in Him.

The Lord will work out his plans for my life— for your faithful love, O Lord, endures forever. (Psalm 138:8 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.” (Jeremiah 29:11 NLT)

The Treat Tin

#inspiration, treats, memoriesThe old coffee can received a new life in a kindergarten class back in 2005. First, it was painted white. Then a snowman face was painted on and a red felt cap added.

Our young granddaughter chose to present this wonderful gift to my husband and I. The cap had an opening in the back that was perfect for little hands to reach in, so we decided to turn the snowman into a special treat tin for our grandchildren.

They were not allowed to look inside the tin to make their choice. Instead, they would get what their hand chose. Sometimes the hands were in the tin for a long time as they attempted to feel every treat inside! This was the basis for many fond memories.

As our grandchildren grew, in size and number, the hat became unglued several times. Eventually, the snowman tin was retired and tucked out of sight in our pantry. I think we missed the game of guessing the treat more than the younger children did.

Not long before Christmas I brought out our special snowman and looked at the piece of masking tape on the bottom of the tin that still showed our granddaughter’s name.

The time had come to bring this gift back to life. My husband reattached the hat and we shopped for some special treats.

Our granddaughter has just moved out of her parent’s home and into her own apartment. When we presented her with the treat tin as a housewarming gift I could almost see the memories dancing across her mind. Her, “Oh, my gosh!” and big smile let us know the gesture was appreciated.

My hope is this tin will be a visual reminder of the sweet surprises life has in store for her and for her grandparents, who will always be there when she needs us.