A few different images might spring to mind when you hear the word "grace". For some of us it can be the grace of a ballerina as she moves with elegance and precision. For others, you may envision a family gathered before a meal saying a prayer of gratitude. Today we are using 'grace' as a verb. To give grace is to extend consideration, patience, and goodwill to someone who may not have earned it.
Life moves fast these days and I, like many of us, find patience to be a challenge at times. I struggle with the impulse to give criticism, to quietly judge, and find others' timelines not suitable to my own. I am impatient in situations where a better version of me might find patience. I write people off in situations where I would want another chance.
I am working hard to practice giving grace more often. I have found that if I stop and take the time to put myself in other people's shoes and attempt to understand what others may be going through, it becomes easier to...
I have to be honest, I love the new year. A blank slate and a fresh start to set goals and make plans is invigorating to me, but I know that it isn't the same for everyone. Some may consider them trite, but even if resolutions aren't for you, how about finding a way to challenge yourself in 2018? Here are some ideas to get you started!
1. Get moving. There is never a bad time to add some physical activity to your routine! Whether that's getting up 20 minutes early for a jog, or starting a new sport with your kids.
2. Journaling. Whether it's a couple sentences about your day or daily gratitude, this is one habit that can help you feel more focused and centered. A prayer journal or a family journal are also great ways to get started.
3. Strengthen relationships. Life gets busy. The older that we get, the easier it becomes to slip from spending time with people we cherish. Commit to a date night or visiting...
Now that Thanksgiving dinner has been eaten and 'Black Friday' has passed, I wanted to take the opportunity to remind you to buy local as much as possible this holiday season.
Sure, Amazon is easy and Wal-Mart is cheap - but at what cost is cheap and easy worth it? The reality is that if we want to have locally-owned restaurants and stores - the traditional "mom and pop" businesses - they need our support now more than ever.
Why does it matter? Because small local businesses are the heartbeat of our community. They create local jobs, they re-invest the money back into our town, and they offer personalized customer service you don't find at the big-box chains. They're run by your family members, neighbors, and friends from church.
I can't say I don't ever use Amazon or go to a big box store, but I can say I try, and I'm going to try even harder this holiday season....but not because it's cheap or easy - because it's worth it. Our community is worth it.
So often I think to myself that I wish I had time for this event, or that activity. I wish I had more time to spend on hobbies, or on projects that I've been meaning to get to. Time is a tricky thing. It's the one thing we all seem to have the least of, despite having schedules that are busier than ever. As a new father, I am feeling the time crunch particularly. My son is already 3 months old, and there doesn't seem to be enough time to do all of the things that we want to do.
My way of trying to combat the shortage of time is to remind myself that it isn't really about having time at all. We all have the exact same 24 hours every day. The key is MAKING time. Making time for what's important, honoring my time commitments, being focused and diligent with how I spend my time. I can spend the next 30 minutes working, or relaxing and watching tv, or trying to get my son to laugh one more time. On different days I'll make different choices, but I will continue to strive to make...
As Americans, we get to experience something that few others enjoy - the freedom of choice. We get the to choose our employer, our spouse, and even how to spend our resources.
Reading through headlines from around the world can sometimes make me feel a little discouraged. There are so many places where I wish I had the resources and power to affect change, but I am left with the humbling awareness that I am just one person. I can, however, use this awareness to focus on the areas in my life where I can make an impact - my family, our community, and our local charities. I believe that if we all do our part to contribute and improve our own little corner of the world, then eventually, the world will take care of itself. I would much rather focus on where I can contribute and help improve the world, than to let pessimism on where I can't stop me.
My challenge to you today is to look around our community and find those places where you can make an impact, and go do it. To steal the famous quote, I encourage you to "be the change you wish to see in the world."
Other Recent Posts:
Margin can be defined as the space between our loads, and our limits. There are many ways we can create margin in our lives, and it’s something that we have to work to create. We can build margin through a savings account, padding that will help carry us through life’s emergencies. You can also build margin by learning to say no, something that is difficult for many of us! Respect that your time is limited, and be intentional with how you use that time by setting healthy boundaries. Just like the margins on a piece of paper, build the extra space in your life so things don’t get too full and make sure that what you fill the page with, is what matters most to you.
An attitude of gratitude can turn whatever we have into enough. I was reading an article recently and was impressed to learn some health benefits that come from adopting a grateful spirit including reduced aggression, improved sleep quality, and increased resiliency. All from something as simple as choosing to live life with a sense of gratitude! It's easy to focus on the things that we want and the things that we need instead of what we have but if we approach our lives from a position of deeply felt gratitude, even if our circumstances stay the same, our lives change.