I’m an affirmation junkie, almost to making it snare, so I have to be careful about this. As long as I’m careful, compliments can be really energizing & very helpful. I saw this yesterday when my daughter made her first car drive with me. I knew that I needed to keep my own jitters to myself & I also told my boys to keep quiet, as they rode in the backseat. So I looked for everything positive that she was doing & then applauded her for those specific things. She kept her speed down, stayed in the middle of the lane, used her turn signal well & became more comfortable with the break. Of course she was nervous, but she did well – a sigh of relief 🙂
Seems to me that when we find ourselves needing some affirmation, it’s a good indicator that we need to start giving more affirmation! We reap what we sow 🙂
I’m noticing today that my intimacy with God hasn’t been as deep in the last few weeks & of course I want this to change. So I’m thinking back about what’s been going on in my life that could be contributing to this malaise. I certainly acknowledge that there’s the normal ebb & flow that happens in any relationship. In my walk with God, however, I want to pay attention really well so I don’t settle for shallow when I can have deep, intimate & flourishing. The recent things in my life that I’m observing include some of the ongoing challenges with the concussion recovery – sleep challenges, energy & focus struggles. I’ve also noticed that there have been some insecurity flare ups that have definitely sidetracked me some. There’s also the challenges of schedule changes with my kids being out of school.
None of these things can break my relationship with God, but they can certainly distract my focus & reliance so that I don’t live in the deeps with God. So I’m leaning into God & asking for more Heavenly Help. I’m also endeavoring to listen & pay attention better. I’m also keen to be less independent & more reliant on the Holy Spirit. Anyone want to join me?
One of the things my parents invested in me that I deeply appreciate is the importance of growing. My parents always affirmed my efforts to grow in a plethora of ways – intellectually, athletically, socially, spiritually, etc.
Consequently, I’m a firm advocate of personal growth & one of the ways that helps me grow is by reading. So here’s a list of books I’ve read lately that have helped me learn & grow:
*Warrior Ethos by Steven Pressfield
*Resilience by Eric Greitens
*RA Torrey’s book on the Holy Spirit
CS Lewis’ Space Trilogy
*Mans Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl
*Purity of Heart by Kierkegaard
*Essentialism by McKeow
Consider, as well, pre-ordering my new book Heavenly Help – it’s a must read to help us grow closer to God 🙂
In the last year, I’ve “enjoyed” two kinds of robust, daily therapy. Last year I did a few months of physical therapy to recover from some shoulder surgery. This year, I get to try brain therapy, which is helping me recover from a concussion a few months back. All of this has made me think about the whole concept of therapy (a word that comes from a Greek word for “heal”).
Some of the things I’ve learned about therapy are super relevant for our spiritual growth & not just physical / brain therapy. Consider the following:
Consistent – doing exercises everyday is essential to getting better / well (growing in our spiritual life happens best when we are most consistent & daily)
Small victories – don’t belittle nor shame incremental progress; recovery is often a journey & not just a sprint (sometimes spiritual growth isn’t blatant & obvious)
Accountability – my wonderful family has been super encouraging to help me stay the course & not quit (church family & small groups come to mind in relation to spiritual therapy)
Constant improvement – seems to me that we either grow or we regress and the idea of treading water isn’t helpful
Let’s keep growing & doing our exercises, physically, mentally & spiritually!
Our spiritual exercises include daily prayer & Bible time, along w consistent community / fellowship 🙂
Having my kids home for summer break is wonderful & challenging. I certainly enjoy their company & they have super fun personalities. As their mom, I’m also responsible to help them grow into healthy, responsible & productive adults – or at least encourage their decisions to move in those directions.
Funny thing about this parenting gig: seems like heaps of what I tell them needs to flourish in my life as well. I find that my parental coaching has lots of application in my life & maybe this whole parenting thing is God’s parental efficiency plan. I most certainly don’t want to parent from a place of hypocrisy so I’m pushing myself to do well & live up to the stuff that I want to see my kids exhibit 🙂
As much as I’d like to avoid or prevent setbacks, they happen. Sometimes we have setbacks with our kids, in relationships, health challenges, work or school stuff & many other areas. The setbacks can be big, medium or minor, but no setback is something we relish, usually. So what to do?
Here are some thoughts that can help:
Opposition can create resilience – there’s lots to be said in favor of persistence, determination & tenacity.
Course correction – sometimes a setback can help us reevaluate our path & we sometimes see a shortcut or a more efficient route
Building faith – some setbacks put us in a place of utter dependence on God & that isn’t bad, even though this can make us feel uncomfortable.
Nothing is impossible – God specializes in impossible so let’s always keep our confidence & focus on the Holy Spirit who can do supernatural & amazing things!
This summer, it seems like people are traveling more than usual – by airplane, car, train, bike, etc. While I wouldn’t say that I’m an expert traveler, I’ve had enough mistakes & mishaps to give advice from what a person shouldn’t do 🙂
Consider a few helpful tips:
Know where you’re going, or at least get the general direction clear – this relates to setting goals & achieving things as well
Patience & flexibility – enjoy the journey rather than bite your nails, you could likely have some fun experiences & meet some awesome peeps
Rest – Jesus napped on the boats when He traveled, so it seems wise to grab some winks along the way
Pay attention – listen & watch for the Holy Spirit because traveling can be an incredible opportunity to get closer to Heavenly Help