The Conga

#inspiration, life cycles,outlook, purpose“Next, we’re going to do something called the conga.” It didn’t take long before I figured out this wasn’t a fun dance the exercise instructor was referring to.

We were to do the same exercise for three minutes. It was broken into segments with the first twenty seconds being easy, the next twenty seconds being harder and the final twenty going full out. Then we would repeat the sequence.

We were to think of it as, life is good, life is not so good and yikes! It was the intervals of varying intensity that would give us the most benefit.

I can see how this cycle is repeated in everyday life. As much as I would like to stay in the life is good phase, this is a period of rest and not of personal growth.

When life is not so good, I need to work harder to keep a positive outlook. There are lessons to be learned if I take the time to look for them.

Then come the periods when I’ve been knocked down and don’t know if I’ll ever be able to get up again. Everything seems to be fighting against me. It takes every bit of energy I have just to put one foot in front of the other. It hurts to stay in this place and I have to find a way out. This is when I need to dig deep and find strength and courage to forge ahead.

Each cycle will eventually flow into the next and contribute to a higher purpose.

“The gem cannot be polished without friction, nor the man perfected without trials.” – Chinese Proverb

Snow Storms, Tail Lights & Life

#inspiration, life, light, shineLast week we had to drive through blowing snow. The line of cars was travelling at a reduced speed due to poor visibility.

A truck sped by, the snow swirling behind it creating a temporary white out. We were unable to see anything in front of us and no longer knew how close we were to the car directly in front.

To make matters worse, none of the vehicles ahead of us had their headlights on. They may have thought running lights were enough but because these don’t connect to the tail lights it made it difficult for those following to see where they were. For safety, we needed a visual of the car in front before they slammed on their brakes.

The main purpose of tail lights is to shine a light for others. I can’t see the effect mine are having but know their benefit is for more than me.

Maybe my life is like this. What if shining my light has a bigger effect than I’m aware of? I may never know who altered their course or saw their way more clearly due to my living on purpose.

When I shine the light of my talents and abilities, it is possible to make a difference in the lives of those around me. The gifts of teaching, encouragement and love may help someone find their way out of a dark situation. For this reason, it makes sense in snow storms and life to keep my light burning brightly.

“Make today amazing and let your light shine.” Stacia Pierce

The Coronation that Wasn’t

God, purpose, talents, inspirationMy son-in-law is a busy man. As well as being a husband and father of four active kids at home and one outside the home, he is a fireman / EMT. He also teaches courses in fire safety and is a volunteer on the local fire department.

On his days off he is working on home renovations. Somehow in the middle of all of this he made the time to earn a degree. This weekend is his convocation ceremony as he receives his Bachelor of Applied Business for Emergency Services.

My six year old granddaughter is especially proud of her daddy and is telling people she gets to go to his coronation this weekend! I know he wears a lot of hats, but I’m pretty sure that a crown is not one of them!

Her choice of words made me laugh. I love the way children can twist words and give the situation a whole new meaning.

As I thought about this, I realized how often I have looked at someone with admiration and elevated them to a higher position. They are smarter, wittier, better looking so I feel less than in comparison. In essence I have crowned them with authority and relegated myself to peasant status.

The truth is that God created us all equal. There is no need to feel inferior to anyone else. He has given each of us unique gifting and talents. God created us with a purpose in mind and has planted within us everything we need to fulfill that purpose. My role is to trust that he is able to accomplish his will in my life. I need only put my ego aside and let him work.

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. (Psalm 139:14 NIV)

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11 NIV )