How to Deal with Change

Some people love change & others hate change. But no matter what is your preference, we all have to deal with change because that’s the nature of life. So here are a few helpful thoughts:
*mindset – consider what your thoughts are about change because bad thinking automatically creates bad results
*flexible – it’s been my experience that when I’m rigid & inflexible that it’s usually more difficult to manage change
*pray a lot – when I try to deal with change without asking for God’s help, it often turns out awful
Feel free to leave a brief comment on anything I can pray about for you & feel free to share this blog with all of your friends who are struggling with change :)

good, better, best!

We are on the cusp of entering the annual holiday season with Thanksgiving & Christmas just around the corner.  While this season is filled with festivities, fun and frolicking, it can also be frenzied and full of fatigue (wasn’t that FUN?!??).  I want to be more intentional with this holiday season.  In many previous years, I’ve felt driven and drained by all of the demands that seem to accompany these weeks so if I’m not careful, I just kind of mentally and emotionally switch off and go into “automatic mode”:  get ready, show up, socialize, leave, repeat.  While the “automatic mode” can be good, it’s not always the better choice and more often, it’s not the best.

So here are a few thoughts about making this holiday season the best:

  • be on purpose – make attentive decisions about what you agree to attend:  some invitations are a command performance & some are optional, don’t try to do everything
  • pay attention to time – it seems to me that time can totally evaporate in the holidays, so I want to be careful and selective with my time during these busy weeks
  • homemade, store bought or hybrid – many of the season’s festivities require us to bring something tasty, so let’s try to plan ahead to be ready
  • breath – with all of the hustle, bustle, excitement and buzz, it helps me to pause, be still and exhale

reality check

My family had a really wonderful Christmas break full of fun, snuggling, coziness, time, laughing, great food and a well needed exhale.  I’m extremely happy that God gives us exactly what we need, when we need it!  As an interesting side note, one of my kids had to do some extra school work for catching up in class.  This child seemed to think that putting in 20% effort would be enough to squeeze by.  Needless to say after checking this homework, I helped this child to have an education revelation related to effort, quality and general work ethic :)

I’m learning a lot from my kids that I probably should have learned much earlier in my life – but alas, better late than never!  So here’s a great lesson from the education revelation over Christmas break:

I’d rather deal with the pain that can come from truth than the destruction than can come from deception.

after Christmas

I wanted to write up a quick post yesterday but I had more work than time – sorry!

I’m particularly fond of the few days immediately following Christmas because they feel like an exhale to me.  The days leading up to Christmas can sometimes be a frenzied collection of meal preparation, last minute wrapping, gifts, holiday bustle and manic hustle.  But the days after Christmas seem to be more peaceful to me.  Everything seems to get more calm, peaceful and manageable.  Let me encourage you to take some time in these days to pause, reflect and rejuvenate.  Drink deeply of God’s presence and nestle into God’s unlimited love for you.  Jesus was born for us out of no other motivation than genuine love :)

On a quickie side note, please remember to pray for South Sudan – they’ve had close to 2 weeks of intense conflict and thousands have been killed there in the last 10 days.

gifts

During Christmas, it seems like we are frequently aware of the whole gift thing & sometimes that can be kind of tricky.  Here are some ideas for gifts that could be really useful:

  • encouragement:  Christmas is a great time to put into words (even on a card) how important someone is to you, to let someone know how wonderful they are or what you admire / respect about them
  • hugs:  some people really appreciate a genuine hug during Christmas without getting sketchy :)
  • time:  I took one of my kids skiing yesterday & we totally enjoyed lots of time together, without phones, email, FB, etc – just being together
  • extra effort:  doing something nice for someone (bring them a cup of coffee, offer to clean their garage, run errands, etc) can be super meaningful – even creating coupons for work can be a nice gift
  • gift:  gifts don’t have to be expensive to be meaningful

The ideas listed above are from Gary Chapman’s 5 Love Languages book – a super helpful way to express love in ways that are meaningful to the person receiving the gift & not just the person giving the gift :)

once upon a time

Once upon a time, there was a master painter whose works were without equal.  Whenever he had a canvas and paint available, he would create masterpieces of such magnificence that no words could be found to describe the beauty, extravagance, grace and splendor of his work.  He lived to paint and anyone who had the privilege of seeing his work was immediately captivated by his craft and talent.  One day, he found himself thoroughly engrossed in one of his paintings, so much that he found himself walking around inside the painting, limited to the world that he had painted!  As he strolled through his painting, he met the people that he had painted.  They were dressed with nice clothes and had bright smiles, but as he talked with them, he came to see that they were broken and lacked the vibrant life to which he was accustomed outside of the painting.  As he thought about this dilemma, he decided to go the extra mile and give them some of his life.  As he breathed his life on them, the individuals who received his breath became whole and well, even three dimensional!

The painter was well pleased that he could enjoy the company of his creation :)

be weird in a good way

I was reading this morning about how Jesus hung out with tax collectors, sinners, prostitutes and disreputable people. In their best moments, the religious leaders of Jesus’ day thought that His choices for social interactions was weird.  More often, the religious leaders were “unhappy” with Jesus’ social choices.  Clearly, Jesus didn’t fit in with the religious leaders & was weird by their estimation.

On the flip side, it seems to me that Jesus was more accepted & fit in better with the people who were more obviously broken (sinners, tax collectors, prostitutes, etc).  Maybe these disreputable people liked Jesus because He was weird.  He was different from them, offering them genuine love that they had possibly never experienced.

When Jesus lived on earth, He modeled for us how to be good in a weird way – loving people genuinely.  In my thinking, the work we do with Saving Moses and nightcare is wonderfully different & even weird because it’s an overtly tangible expression of genuine love :)