I have always heard the verse “Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.” This verse is found in Psalm 37:4. But what does it mean when God says he will give us the desires of our heart!! Does that mean I can list all the things I want and push that list up to God in a prayer like a list children do and send off to Santa?
You might read that verse and focus on the second part of the verse as it might look more appealing!!! BUT, of course the result will be quite disappointing. The sentence is structured to read the first part of the sentence first…. “Delight thyself also in the Lord”…. to make this clearer, it means something like this…. Make God the object of our desires. I feel the verse is saying He will in turn give us our desires.
I also think that if we make God the object of our desires, follow Him, pray for His direction, our hearts will be so right with God that our desires will be what is best for us!
The question many people face almost daily is whether or not their desires are covetousness selfish wants. So how can we know our desires are from God? Again, read the first part of the verse, “delight in the Lord.” When we allow God’s word to renew our hearts and mind and we allow God to have His way in our hearts, we will find our desires are in alignment with His will and our desires are His desires for our life.
When I started my art venture several years ago, a complete opposite direction from my professional career path, I promised myself I would NOT do it alone. In other words, I did not just list all the things I wanted as an artist and expect this list to be fulfilled. I put my entire art path in God’s hands. I asked for complete direction and took my hand off the door handle and let God open all the doors for me.
In turn, I never worry about my art business because my path is already planned, each corner I turn!! Even down to the little things like the sale of that next painting or where I will show my art. Putting God as the first person I talk to each day, the one I ask for guidance for any decision, allows me the peace in knowing my path is already sanctioned by God. Does this mean I sit back and not work hard, but expect opportunities to fall into my path? Absolutely NO. Most that know me will say I am one of the hardest working people they know.
The difference is, there is this walk in such faith that I have because I have asked for guidance by God that I know the desires in my art world are in sync with God.
I think as women we are too hard on ourselves. We take care of others (I think this is a trait born into almost all women whether we chose it or not), we take care of our pets, we clean our homes, we work as hard as men on our jobs and then we take care of our husbands.
Like this morning. I did not sleep well last night and was up a lot. I have a huge training presentation to work on and I needed my sleep. So about 4am I had just fallen into a deep sleep, much needed too!! and my husband rushed into the room with his lunch box on his way out the door to ask for his lunch. Now, did I look like I was excited to jump out of a warm bed to get him a sandwich when he was perfectly able to make one himself? Well, actually, I am not sure he had even made a sandwich himself, but you know what I mean.
I wanted to throw something at the voice coming from the door, but the only thing close was a soft pillow I WAS USING, so that was not an option. I softly said, did you look on the top shelf on the lunch space for your sandwich. He said no, I thought I would ask you if you made one. I said, well, go look, I think you will find one I already made for you last night.
Now that I am actually up and ready to work after my 2 cups of coffee and green tea with honey (my promise to my new daughter Addy) I can now think. My husband can make his own lunch, he is an engineer. But he will go without lunch if I do not make him one (or go have someone else make one at a restaurant!) But, I have to remember, he likes me to make his lunch. Instead of being mad at him for broken hands on this task, I need to be humble and be happy someone does need me.
What if I did not have a husband, or a friend? What if I did not have a little fuzzy animal that needed me to take her out at night? When I needed a hug or someone to listen to my story, he would not be there. When I was working on my training slides, my fuzzy friend would not be at my feet to remind me she loves me.
I titled this blog as turn on your music and dance. Many times, we need to turn on music to remind us of our happiness. Music tends to do that to us. Ephesians 5:9 says: “Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;”
Women, first, be kind to yourself today and listen to what God has for you today. Turn on your music and dance and let your hearts heal.
Eggnog is one of my favorite drinks during the Christmas holiday season. Drinking eggnog during a cold winter evening while watching “It’s a Wonderful Life” with those I love is a family tradition that makes everything OK in my world. Of course my world might be so totally different from your world, but hopefully you will find some eggnog therapy in my blog today!!
Eggnog has lots of cream and sugar in it and drinking a glass of this wonderful therapy can make me feel a bit guilty. 😉 But I tell myself I will work off the calories with all the hustle and bustle of taking care of everything my list. But, in order to take care of everything on my list, I need to take care of myself first!!!
Now that I have you thinking about lists and shopping and all that you have to do, relax for a bit and get some eggnog and read my dear friends.
E G G N O G
Emotions: Tell yourself it is OK to cry when you are emotional, or curl up in a down blanket with some…. eggnog and watch a movie for a couple hours. Our emotions are ours to own. Many times we become so critical of ourselves when we have an emotional crisis of some sort, sound familiar? We might not always like how we react at something, but wondering what is “wrong” with us when we let our emotions get out of sorts is just not good eggnog therapy. Here is the verse I remind myself with when I am prone to be hard on myself for out of control emotions: 1 Peter 5:10: “And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.”
Good Thoughts: Be good to yourself. I am one of the biggest critics to MYSELF. I expect great things of myself and often lay in bed at night and review all the things I did NOT do that day. One thing I do is bring out my personal gratitude list. This list is where I write down all the things I love about myself (yes, it is ok to love ourselves). Reading and adding to this list gives me confidence. How can I give to others if I am not fulfilled myself? Proverbs 19:8 is so true: “He that getteth wisdom loveth his own soul: he that keepeth understanding shall fine good.” Hummmm, God tells us to love ourself!
Get moving: 5 min tasks. When I was in college one of my professors told me a trick she did to get everything done she needed to. This is a great trick for busy ladies. A list of 5 minute tasks. Ok, one of your 5 min tasks could be to go get another glass of the cold eggnog and then keep reading!!! I start my day with a list of 5 mins tasks each day. Like today. I have 16 hours of writing, editing and proofreading other’s articles but I also have many other things to do…… so on my 5 min tasks are: Wrap presents for Robs stocking. Clean inside of microwave, restock the K-Cup drawer with coffee, log in daily tasks (IRS likes this one) for my business and so forth. So when I am heating up something in the microwave and press the 7 minute button, I scurry to do one of those tasks. When I make a cup of coffee …. I fit in one of those tasks. Pretty soon, I have them all done!! I love the verse in Ecclesiastes 4:6 that fits my 5 minute task list: “Better is a handful with quiet than two handfuls with toil, and a chasing after wind.”
Notebook: One of the areas I felt I was so bad at was writing! And what do I end up doing, starting a Newspaper for Project Managers and writing. Actually each month I feel more confident about writing and I have found that through research on topics I write about, I am learning so much. I keep a notebook for each knowledge area now. It is amazing how much we forget and many times I go back and read some of notebooks and enjoy finding treasures I had forgotten about. This is true of journaling or blogging. Writing our thoughts down in a notebook or a blog is …. eggnog therapy. We write what makes us happy, or sad or laugh. I remember writing about my pain when I miscarried so many times and yet I look back and how much that helped me walk through a time when I saw God’s plan unfold. There have been so many women put in my life that have lost a child due to miscarriage and by writing down my thoughts, I was able to remember my pain and how I recovered to help with words to help others through a painful time. The exercise of writing down my thoughts seemed to cement how I was feeling at that time in my heart. Words are powerful!! Proverbs 16: 24 says: “Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.”
One High Heel: Some of you I have told about my high heels. For the past several years, I have telecommuted. I own my own business, so I am my own boss and this boss says stay home and work!!! There are many days I get up and shower and then put on com-fee clothes, fuzzy slippers and start working. BUT, when I have to talk to a client, I have a part of black high heels that I slip on while I talk. Something about donning those black heels keeps me professional and poised. No one sees me, but I feel more focused, in control and confident of the conversation. The point I am trying to make is …. it is ok to have your black high heels, your personal muse. Your heels might be your favorite lipstick you wear, or that Piel leather portfolio you take to every important meeting, or one of your kids little gifts you carry with you when you car pool the kids to school, but it is your personal strength. Perhaps someone gave you a small gift you look at often and you gain inner peace and strength when you look at it. Inner peace is incredible. Psalm 29:11 says: “The Lord give strength to his people;l the Lord blesses his people with peace.”
Giving: Give words of love or thanks to someone. Write a note to one person each week in December. More often if time allows. So often we get so busy with Facebook, tweeting, instant texting, that we forget how precious a handwritten note is. I have a note my son gave me years ago framed in a little frame to remind me of our friendship. I have a handwritten note from my future daughter in law under the plastic in my office when I visited her for some girl time last summer. A hand written note is a precious gift.
I hope my eggnog therapy makes you smile…..
- Yield: Makes 1 quart. Serves 4-6.
- 4 egg yolks
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 cups milk
- 2 whole cloves
- Pinch of cinnamon
- 1 cup cream
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- *4 egg whites (optional)
1 In a large bowl, use a whisk or an electric mixer to beat egg yolks until they become somewhat lighter in color. Slowly add the sugar, beating after each addition, whisking until fluffy.
2 Combine the milk, cloves, and cinnamon in a thick-bottomed saucepan. Slowly heat on medium heat until the milk mixture is steamy hot, but not boiling.
3 Temper the eggs by slowly adding half of the hot milk mixture into the eggs, whisking constantly while you add the hot mixture. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan.
4 Cook on medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the mixture begins to thicken slightly, and coats the back of the spoon. It helps to have a candy thermometer, but not necessary; if you have one, cook until the mixture reaches 160°F. Do not allow the mixture to boil, or it will curdle. (If the mixture does curdle you may be able to save it by running it through a blender.) Remove from heat and stir in the cream. Strain the mixture through a mesh strainer to remove the cloves. Let cool for one hour.
5 Mix in vanilla extract and nutmeg. Chill.
Drink with someone you love!!
We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully. Romans 12:6-8
One thing my mother always taught be was to look for the gifts God gave me and develop those gifts as they were going to me my strengths. God has given each of us unique abilities, talents, and gifts which we are to use to serve Him and others. If we look where our strengths are, our gifts, we can find out talents. Both grow in effective use!!
These gifts are: prophecy, serving, teaching, exhorting “encouraging”, giving, leadership, showing mercy. WOW! what a powerful list of gifts. I believe our talent is Gods gift to each of us. It is through developing out spiritual gifts that we can give a gift back to God.
“Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.” (1 Peter 4:10 NIV)
The uniqueness of each of our gifts God gave us is what makes us who we are and sets us apart from other people.
I know sometimes we wonder about our confidence and our inner being is afraid of our gifts. If we use our talents wisely without fear, God will give us more. If we use your time wisely, God will give us more time. If you use your influence wisely, God will increase your influence.
God will bless our level of faithfulness.
My dad is a musician. From the time I can remember as a little girl, my mom use to say, dad is in his “music box.” He would be mowing the lawn, or repairing a light fixture and humming a song I had never heard before. I would ask him a question and see him turn his head as if to have heard a faint voice in the distance that would pull him into my world and smile and say, “what sweetie……. I was not listening, but I am now”. I knew he was listening to me; he was just listening to notes in his head making some beautiful melody. How I wish I could go there and join him, but that world was his world alone one he felt so safe in.
I never cared because I knew when daddy was in my world, he was my daddy and I was his number one daughter for that moment. My sister Pam came along five years later which was designed by God as He knew that span of years was perfect for my dad. If I was ten, I was starting to wonder about boys and if I was pretty enough. Pam was still wearing the wheels of her skate car and cornering the curves like a miniature Mario Andretti. Daddy had a heart for both of us that made us feel we were the only little girls in the world.
I remember one time I was so sad and he came into my room and I was crying….. I told him I did not know what I was going to do with my life………. Any my daddy touched my face and sang me the song….. Perry Como, “And I Love You so.” He told me that God had a plan for me and that if I closed my eyes I could feel the magic.
Daddy still writes music. Several years ago I bought him a computer, a computer program to write music and taught him how …. well, at 85 years of age, learn the computer.
So, daddy, I am dedicating this blog to you, the first man I ever loved and unlike anyone in the world I know, your heart is so full of love and music.
Here are the words to the song:
“And I love you so, the people ask me how
How I’ve lived ’till now, I tell them I don’t know
I guess they understand, how lonely life has been
That, life began again the day you took my hand
And yes, I know how lonely life can be
The shadows follow me and the night won’t set me free
But I don’t let the evening get me down
Now that you’re around me
And you love me too, your thoughts are just for me
You set my spirit free, I’m happy that you do
The book of life is brief and once a page is read
All but life is dead that is my belief
And yes, I know how lonely life can be
The shadows follow me and the night won’t set me free
But I don’t let the evening get me down
Now that you’re around me.”
Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. Philippians 4:11. Wow, what powerful words. I have recited that verse for years and have to admit that I still work to claim ownership of that verse.
I think we all have areas in our life that we have conquered and can say, I have that one covered. We have worked hard to earn a degree, master a cooking class, or walk with a mentor to master an area of weakness. But we find we still have an area or areas we just still need work on. It is like my house. As soon as I have worked through getting each room done, painted, furnished the way I like it, I have to start back at the beginning as time has spilled coffee on the carpets, or the hardwood floors need redone!
Right now in my life, I have a personal situation that has tentacles! Daily I struggle with at least one area and finding total contentment is hard. The word content means: “satisfied with what one is or has; not wanting more or anything else.” This includes peace in our life. I want my mom to be healthy again, to remember our conversations. I want my son be be out of harms way and not worry about him. I want to know where my new job will be and …. on and on.
But, as I go back to the verse from God, “for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.” I have learned that if God gives us this verse, then He has already provided the peace that goes with our struggles. If we trust in Him with contentment, NO MATTER WHAT, then He will provide the tools to handle whatever we are going through. Even those little ones we keep to ourselves.
How powerful is our God! I love you all my friends.
As my parents age and I see their struggles and I feel sadden at the once vibrant laughter that filled our home, the games of scrabble and monopoly we stayed up late to play and the giggles we let loose each night as we mimicked “Little House on the Prairie” with our good nights. I find it is replaced by slow movements across the floor to avoid a fall; the daily thought of losing a partner that has been there for life and just that dreaded fear of being alone. Even though I see their fear, don’t we all struggle from things that make us sad and alone no matter what our age or stage of our life is?
One thing I have learned during this extended visit with parents is that God knows my fear and my heart. He knows I need His reassurance that the two people that once made me feel safe in this world now need MY reassurance. Am I strong enough? This makes me feel alone and scared. Many of you know my older brother was killed 23 years ago and I still wish he was here to be the BIG brother! We all feel this way at times, and we all know we should rely of our almighty God, but we still fret more than we should. It is easier to fret that give our fears to God, right?
So God gave us a verse that fits so well for this time. He says in Proverbs 15:15: “In the light of the king’s countenance is life, and his favor is like a cloud of the latter rain.” So that does this mean and how did this help me? First, the early rains in spring are needed to prepare the soil for the seed. Then the farmers sow the seed in the early spring. But, later in the year we see the latter rains ripen the crop for the coming harvest in the fall. God has this all planned out.
When we are going through our struggles, many times we cannot see the results of the early rains. We ask why this current struggle in our life is and if I may confide, do we really care “why” while we are going through our struggles we just know we are sad and hurting. But I as I have lived through my 50 years of life, I have to say, each time I looked to God, set my troubles on the altar of God, I saw His harvest…eventually!
I just never knew this verse was there and what it meant for me and for you. My friend, God knows what is going to happen before we even feel that first drop of rain. He actually sent the rain. But He has prepared the harvest and there with His open arms to walk with us through every down pour.
I would challenge all of us (me included) to wake up each day and give our struggles to God with the confidence HE knows the outcome. Let us be eager to see how God prepares the latter rain and what treasure His has for us….. if we will only believe in this verse.
I was looking through some of my old materials when I was coaching and found a blog I wrote to actually help myself. It was titled “Looking through a Cracked Window.” I wrote these words 4/10/2010.
“I am not sure why this particular morning I realized what I should be years prior to now, but I woke up feeling I was looking at life through a window that was flawed. I could not see what was reality in my life due to the distorted image I thought was the truth and what was my mind playing tricks on me.
I am sure we all have the same experience in that we look at the world in front of us and our experiences are filtered by the windows are are looking through. If we are unhappy, our events are unhappy. If we are scared, even going outside makes us fearful. If we are insecure, we tend to be closed to challenges.
I recently experienced a fall. That left me vulnerable and scared. It transferred into other part my daily life as I saw life through the lenses of the world of fear. I had to decide to change that pattern of thinking, but it took all I could muster to do this.” April 4, 2010
Today, I still have some limitations from that fall, but with God’s help, I was able to do a couple things. First, recognize that I could not over overcome the my fears had I not given over my fears and insecurities over to God. Secondly, recognize that I daily need to replenish myself with the affirmations that I am the woman God wants me to be and that He has given me gifts. Thirdly, these gifts of “exhortation, leadership,artistic ability, administration, and encouragement” make up who I am.
That window that was once cracked that I was looking through as a frighten woman is my reminder that I can overcome the fears I had and still have, but know I know how to filter them.
Most of your know I live daily with pain. I have FM. Fibromyalgia, a pain that is in the entire body and there is no cure. Lately I have been battling pain in my shoulder, arm, neck that is almost debilitating. Doctors have sent me to PT with no benefit. I have tried everything my friends tell me about…. even recently the “dry needle!!!” There are hours and days I am in more pain than I can deal with.
I am not complaining, I am actually rejoicing. With this disease, I have learned to really appreciate everything, everyday.
Also as most of you know I started my own business last year. I joined my company with my business partner. I was asked to be a Key Note speaker in Vienna, Austria at the 2012 Euro Risk Summit. I was fearful to take this journey…. how could I tote my luggage, handle a long flight, deal with being away from a doctor if I need one? God opened a door for me and I walked through. When God opens a door He walks through that door with you, He does not just push you inside and say, good luck!!!
God knew one of my life long dreams was to travel in Europe one last time before I was too crippled to travel. I wanted to see Italy, the Eiffel Tower, Rome, Venice, Florence and eat spaghetti!!
Here is how God worked. I introduced my business partner to the summit and he was asked to be the lead for one of the risk tracks and speak with me. So off we went to our speaking engagement and … yes, I was able to visit all those places in my dreams. I will never forget the smells of Italian cooking, the sounds of the long train trip to Venice, the feel of the Eiffel Tower to my fingers, the sight of people from all over the world in Rome and the experience of speaking at an International Summit.
If I were to ask you to take one thing away from my experience, I would want you to know that God knows our dreams, even ones we thing we will NEVER get to experience, HE knows. When I stop during my busy day to have an espresso, I go back to my summer when God showed me once again He knows.