January 29, 2013

A Friend in Need

We are not meant to navigate this lifetime journey alone. Our spirits yearn for the satisfaction of sharing our lives with others.

For someone like me, who craves ‘alone’ time, this can be a conundrum. 

While I find solace in peace and quiet, and I know a solitary walk in the woods will recharge my spirit, there are times when my heart aches to share a burden with a friend.

God has placed special people, prayerful people, in my life, in whom I can confide. I honestly believe the prayers of these friends have been life-changing for me. But before I could receive their love, I had to reach out and share my heart.

Being a friend is as important as having a friend. Listening is the best skill we can develop. It’s hard sometimes, to bite my tongue and let the other person finish talking. I want to interject an idea or suggestion. It takes practice, but being a good listener is sometimes the only comfort a friend needs in times of trouble.

Photo courtesy Best Light Photography

I’ve grown to cherish my friendships, and the uplifted feeling I get when I share time with a good friend. When I am having a day when the world seems against me, I remind myself of my friendships, and it soothes my spirit to know that I am loved.

And the truth is, we are never alone. There is One who walks beside us in every step of this lifetime journey. The comfort of knowing that God is near me always blesses my spirit with peace in troubling times.

Even when a friend is not available to talk, I can speak to God and His Spirit sends me comfort. His Presence in my life is a soothing balm. No matter what happens, I am never alone.

I believe we are meant to share our lives with close friends, intimately sharing the joys and concerns of our hearts. But I know God wants to share all of this with us, too. Every problem we share with Him is an opportunity to know His Peace. And the peace that God provides surpasses our ability to understand it. Just savor it, and let it seep deeply into your awareness.

And in turn, when joyful feelings lift our spirits, we should come to God in gratitude for the blessings He provides. Sharing happy times and cherishing our blessings gives us the balance we need in our lives.

In truth, the gift of His Peace in times of difficulty can move us to feel joy, and thus to share our gratitude. This brings us into an endless cycle of connectedness to God. And truthfully, that is what He desires with us, a relationship.

Just as with our friendships here on earth, we give and receive in our relationship with God.

A friend in need is a friend indeed. This saying is so true. Don’t be afraid to share your heart with others. I spent far too much time holding all my troubles inside and trying to weather them alone. As my sweet sister says, “A problem shared is a problem cut in half”, and it’s true! Our burdens are lifted when we share them with a trusted friend.

And remember, God is only a thought away. If we cultivate our friendship with Him daily, just by talking to Him every day, it will be natural for us to turn to Him to share our joys and our sorrows. God is near, and He wants to be the best friend we ever have.  

January 27, 2013

The Power of Your Name

Photo courtesy Best Light Photography

Sunday Scripture

and a


"He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
    And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
    and to walk humbly with your God."
Micah 6:8 NIV

Lincoln Brewster wrote this powerful song about social justice
which should inspire us to serve the Lord's people all over the world.
The Power of Your Name

Subscribers please click on Hope to find to view this video on my blog

January 7, 2013

A New Way of Thinking

Does the New Year greet you with trepidation or elation? Are you happily making out new to-do lists and setting goals?

I have not made any resolutions. “I resolve to….” Is such a power struggle, deep within my psyche. I’m done with the disappointment of not living up to my own expectations.

So I’ve decided to work from the inside out, and design my year from a spiritual perspective. I have this feeling that if I align my inner self with God and His purpose for me, then everything else will fall into place.

Sound too simple? Ah, yes, but it is the simplicity that makes it work! I am empowered by forces that are much more powerful than my own free will. You know how it feels when everything just falls into place, when you are purposefully following the path that was meant for you? It’s effortless, right? And we wonder, how can this be so easy?

Well, that’s how I feel about this change in my thinking. My drive is not to be focused on losing that next pound or logging how much I exercised today. Instead, I am taking a spiritual approach, and checking in with my inner self to set my focus.

Does this make you wonder what I"m talking about, or question how this will be accomplished?  Let’s back this story up just a bit to shed some light on what I mean.

I’ve spent my whole life allowing my thoughts to be controlled by my emotions. Believing fully in my feelings, but not trusting my inner guidance. In other words, listening to my head instead of my heart. But it goes deeper than that. 

I believe in the power of our inner spirit. It’s really who we are anyway. This covering of flesh and bone serves us well to navigate our earthly lives, but our spirit is strong inside of us, whether our bodies are working the way they should or not.

It takes effort to slow down our whirlwind lives and shift our focus to our inner selves, but it is time well spent. This calm can be achieved through the practice of various breathing techniques, as well as through meditation and yoga.

Anytime we can block out the busyness of the world around us, and send our focus inward, we begin to connect with our inner spirit. Breath work is an easy and pleasant way to calm our bodies and our thoughts, and starts us on the path of our inner journey.

Once we find what soothes us, whether it is calm music, a yoga practice, or a walk in nature, we can use this time to connect with our inner being. It should feel relaxed, and not forced.  There is no fear in facing your true inner self.

When you have created calmness away from the outside world, you may begin to focus on whatever may be your most prevalent emotion or thought. By the guidance of your inner spirit, you may solve your problem, or not. But you will certainly gain some insight.

Hopefully, you will come away with the realization that what matters most is seeking your own inner peace. We have so little control over what the rest of the world is doing. We only have control over how we respond to the myriad stimuli around us.

As we learn to trust our inner guidance, our thoughts and actions will reflect our beliefs as we honor our inmost selves. 

By regularly practicing this focus on our inner journey, we begin to more quickly connect with our inner power. We become familiar with the inclinations of our true self, and respond to the tugging of our spirit when we need to make a decision. In short, we learn to trust ourselves.

I’ve spent the last couple of years meeting my inner self for long walks in the woods, and learning to shift my focus inward when I need to evaluate my outward situation. By learning to trust myself, I find I feel more confident and self-assured. 

Even though I’ve made the switch from allowing my circumstances to control the outcome of any given situation, it was a revelation for me to realize a new outlook for my new year. An epiphany, if you like.

No longer will I rely on my strong self-will - which crumbles at the sight of chocolate! I will use the strength of my inner being as my compass, to guide me to make right choices, and to steer me into the wellness I’ve dreamed about for years.

By nourishing my inner spirit, and giving my body the rest it needs along with the healthy foods I already eat, I know my goals will be obtained. Yes, goals. This is a new word for me. I’m more of a “let’s see what happens” kind of girl. But this year, I am setting goals, milestones that will further my cause of wellness. Perhaps this starts with de-cluttering, and in fact I have already begun to purge what is unnecessary.

But even more than what I achieve in my physical world, my emphasis and focus will be to keep in constant connection with my inner world. After all, I am the only person I am going to spend my whole life with.


For those of you who waited to see our Christmas tree decorated for the holidays, here is a photo. I’ve made all our holiday visitors make a guess as to how many ornaments they think are on the tree. Now I have to take them all down and count them!

 Happy Holidays!