Travel Advice


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

Enjoy some travel this summer!

Lessons from Airport Meltdowns

I’ve had my share of airport meltdowns. I still feel sorry for the poor flight agent who got an earful from me about my luggage being small enough to fit in the overhead bin. Then there was the recent dude who wanted to weigh my carry on luggage – no need to give much animation to that exchange. And yesterday, I was hostile with the guy who made my salad because he gave me the wrong salad dressing. As much as I’d like to explain & justify my behavior, it is neither excusable not justified, full stop. 
So here are my lessons that you might find helpful sometime:

  • With the Holy Spirits help, there’s always more patience than pressure.
  • Check your attitude – it’s too expense nowadays to bring extra luggage
  • Keep grace & poise in good form: practice, practice, practice 
  • Watch the monitors: keep alert to your thoughts & anxieties, sometimes they can seep out
  • Get in the right line: bypass those cranky conversations & opt to bring peace & abundant forgiveness. 

Traveling these days affords me ample opportunities to walk the talk 🙂

Get some Heavenly Help no matter where you are in your journey!

when facing a challenge

We all have challenges in our lives of varying sizes and strengths.  Some challenges are relatively short & minor:  getting the chicken unthawed in time to bake it for tonight’s dinner.  Some challenges are massive:  nightcare with Saving Moses.  Regardless of your age, responsibilities, gender, season in life, etc, we all have challenges & it’s what we do with these challenges that’s important (not necessarily the challenges themselves).

So here are some helpful tips for dealing with challenges:

  • can do:  keep in mind that God in you is bigger than any challenge;
  • try:  don’t quit, give up or get discouraged;  a baby step is better than no step & a misstep is better than a regress ,)
  • selective nutrition:  feed the positive & starve the negative
  • timely inventory:  it can be super helpful, from time to time, to take an inventory of your overall progress rather than focusing on the lack of slowness of progress
  • encouragement:  encourage someone else in their dreams, goals & challenges – it’s good for you! 😀

Advice & Involvement

When I was in Cambodia, I had an interesting conversation with my husband. He expressed to me that he didn’t just want to merely give me advice but he wanted to be more involved with the things on which I’m working. This kind of clued me in that I’m doing my independent thing again – a strength & also one of my greatest weaknesses.
My conversation with Reece started me to thinking about how this problem might also be an issue in my walk with God. Perhaps I just want God’s advice in certain areas but not God’s involvement. Here’s the challenge I’m presently thinking about: God wants to not only give me wisdom & advice, moreso God wants to help me apply & integrate divine wisdom & advice 😉

a secret for making high quality decisions :)

When I was younger, I used to make decisions really fast and sometimes this worked out well for me.  Quick decisions are helpful when you’re low on fuel for your car or when you’re dehydrated and need to drink more water.  Quick decisions, however, are not as helpful when the stakes are higher – as I’ve recently learned.

Last month, I had a situation come up that was really important & I needed to make a very high quality decision on this issue.  Thankfully, I didn’t just do a quickie snap decision but rather took a few days to think, pray & evaluate.  After taking a little bit of time and getting some high quality input & advice from other people who were well qualified to give input on this type of situation, I made a really excellent decision and the outcome has been extremely wonderful.

I’ve come to the conclusion that when I need to make a high quality decision, it helps to give it some high quality time ,)

Stay calm

My dad had all kinds of insightful one-liners. He used to say, “Sarah, you have to pick your nervous breakdowns” meaning that I needed to be selective about what I would get upset about. I’ve found this to be super helpful. Just now, I ordered a whopper with extra pickles & the cashier thought I said no pickles – easy fix that doesn’t need a level 10 melt down. Another area is when I’m running late for an appt, I find myself getting stressed out. So I talk to myself & ask if getting upset is going to add value to the problem of being late – usually not. Lets get upset about things that are important 🙂
Like my dad says, “you gotta pick your nervous breakdowns” ,)

how to handle bad news

 Seems like you can always find bad news & sometimes, it seems like bad news is determined to you.  Whether you look on a nat’l or int’l scale or down to our individual lives, there can always be bad news.  But the real issue isn’t always what the bad news is, but maybe moreso how we handle bad news.

When I was growing up, my dad could have a major melt down with a small piece of bad news, but if there was a MAJOR piece of bad news, he was a rock – stable, solid & steady.  So here are some ideas & thoughts on handling bad news:

  • pause & take a deep breath – take some moments to assess the bad news & evaluate it with some perspective:  is this momentary bad news? does this have a permanent effect? in light of the big picture & eternity what does this news mean?  what is my responsibility in this news?
  • don’t let your mouth loose without some “paused” reflection – this helps us to avoid the foot in mouth syndrome
  • find a safe place to let your hair down / vent – in your car, with some exercise, taking a walk, riding a bike, etc
  • pray – when you vent, don’t leave God out of the picture.  If you’re mad at Him, don’t shut Him out.  The main person this hurts is you.
  • be mindful of any destructive escapes or habits you might turn to – these would include:  addictions, co-dependencies, food (dysfunctional behaviors), entertainment escapes (sports, movies, gaming, etc) & others
  • if you’ve received some MAJOR bad news, try not to make any MAJOR life decisions in crisis times
  • consider what Paul said in Rom 8:28-29, all things work together for good to those who love God & are called according to His purposes – our main responsibility is to stay in love with God & in His purpose for our life.  From there, He will work it all out
Always remember that God is in the business of converting bad news to good news – hence the term “redemption” 🙂

some advice for job interviews :)

 For various reasons, I get to be part of job interviews from time to time.  I was expressing some of my advice to my kids last night at dinner about some important things to do & not do, when interviewing for a job so I thought I’d pass along a few of these ideas.  You are, of course, welcome to disagree, comment & make adjustments with these ideas, but I thought I’d throw out a few thoughts:

  • you only get one opportunity to make a 1st impression, so be intentional about what impression you want to make on people (clothing, resume, intelligent, professional, helpful, etc)
  • be confident but not cocky – present yourself as a person who wants to add value & solve problems
  • if you interview by skype, look at the person on the screen as if you’re having a conversation because you are 🙂  If you fidget, look away, take phone calls, etc this makes the person doing the interview feel like you’re not interested
  • don’t be on time, be early, only if you want to seriously be considered for the job
  • research the company for whom you’re applying – this tells them that you want to work there;  find out what is important to the company
  • if possible, be prepared with samples of your work related to the job interview or with a plan of how you have thought about doing the job for which you’re interviewing
  • pray – everyone needs some divine help 🙂
Just a few ideas 🙂

fasting – mistakes & suggestions

The picture below is my Ethiopian friend, Menelik, trying to teach me about Ethiopian culture & protocol before I met the Mayor of Gondar.  He did a GREAT job & I didn’t mess things up too much.  Because of Menelik’s help, I had a good experience w the Mayor & I am less intimidated because of this good experience. 

With fasting, all too often we may have a bad experience, or it didn’t go like we wanted it to, so its easy to quit & not fast again.  Ever had this experience?  Instead of quitting, could I suggest that you consider learning from the mistakes to grow & try again w God’s leading?  Also, I recently spoke in our church about fasting & thought you might find some practical advice below to be useful.  Pls be sure to leave a comment above to help others w things you’ve learned as well!  🙂

menelik_coachingMistakes & Suggestions:

Physical

Be mentally prepared for possible caffeine / sugar withdrawals

don’t neglect your appearance, Brush your teeth more often

Be mindful of your physical activity level while fasting

Consider pre-fasting:  get body ready for fasting (half decaf, cut back on soda)

Be ready to increase your fluid intake

Personal Mistakes: trying to workout, lift heavy, while fasting, trying to snowboard A LOT during a long fast, eating wrong food going into / coming out of a fast

 

Mental

Attitude check:  Is 58 says that fasting can be a bright time – even though its uncomfortable to your flesh

do not put on a gloomy face as the hypocrites do,

Motive check:  why are you fasting?

        Various reasons:  to be noticed by people, to lose weight, to manipulate God

Don’t Try to fast more than what your body can handle

Relationships – schedule socializing around coffee / tea & not meals

Ask God to help you!

Plan – look at your calendar & work on a plan

Personal Mistakes:  Being sharp & impatient w my kids & husband, trying to fast for dual reasons – lose weight / slim down & sense God, trying to go longer than the grace God had given me, trying to fast when God hadn’t directed me to

 

Spiritual

It’s really helpful to increase your prayer & Word time during a fast

Keep a journal – questions, thoughts, the things God speaks to you

Personal Mistakes:  Not letting God direct me, Not asking God for help during a fast

 

Fasting Rewards:   your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you (Matt 6:18)

Greater clarity w God:  Hear Him more clearly, Greater sensitivity / awareness of God’s presence, Decreased self-reliance, Help in coming through tough situations