Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Be a People Builder

"Therefore encourage one another and build each other up ..."

~ 1 Thessalonians 5:11

Summer is nearly over ... the new school year will be starting soon ... the kids' backpacks are ready ... but the grass is still green and flowers are still blooming in brilliant shades of red, yellow and purple ... we look around and see that things are still growing. Relationships can be looked at with the same perspective. They are something that needs nurturing. There needs to be support just the same as a plant needs to be watered or the grass needs to be cut in order for them to not only look their best, but be the best they can be.

God designed us to be in relationships with other people and I think He would want us to help each other grow. Not one of us can reach our highest potential by ourselves. We all need people in our lives that can encourage us, just as we have a responsibility to encourage others and help them to reach their potential. The word “encourage” translates to “give courage, hope, or confidence to; embolden; hearten; to give support to; inspirit”.

I’ve heard it said many times that we see in other people what they can’t see in themselves. We are able to be objective and see their strengths and their talents, as well as their weaknesses and barriers. We often see that God has a very definite plan for them using the gifts and specific talents He gave them. Yet sometimes because of difficult situations and lack of support, some people don’t see that same picture. Never assume that they see or believe the same things about themselves that you do. Take a moment and encourage someone today. It could be with a nice word on the phone, a hand-written note, or even a pat on the back the next time you see them. It might be something as simple as cutting out an article from a magazine and passing it along, but it might be just the thing that reminds them of a hope or a dream they had lost sight of.

It’s way too easy for any of us to give up on a goal. An important part of achieving one’s goals, hopes and dreams is attitude. I once received the following quote in a card from an acquaintance I have in South Carolina. I believe it’s worth sharing. “The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude to me is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than success, than what other people think, say or do. It is more important than appearance, gift or skill. … The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past … The only thing we can do is play on the string we have, and that is our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with you … we are in charge of our attitudes.” ~ Charles Swindoll

Take the time today to encourage the people in your life to not give up, to know the importance of a healthy and positive attitude and to keep moving forward. Let them know that the faith you have in them is unlimited and unconditional. Be a people builder and support them in their hopes and dreams, perhaps enabling them to reach their potential and be who God intended for them to be.

While you're at it think about the goals and dreams you have (or had) for yourself. Give yourself permission to try doing something again that you always loved doing, but maybe forgot about or gave up on. What do you still dream about doing with your life? Because you'll wake up tomorrow means that there is still time to try again. Think about it.

Monday, August 17, 2009

My View On The 'Julie-Julia' Project

I took a break this weekend from my chaotic schedule and went to a movie with my nieces … it’s was a ‘girls only’ kind of thing. Not something I do very often … not just the ‘girls only’ part, but also the ‘going to a movie’ part. Going to a movie seems to be something I do once - maybe twice a year. I sure hope I haven’t met this year’s quota already.

We went to see ‘Julie-Julia’ starring Meryl Streep and Amy Adams. The movie is a true story about a Julia Child (played by Meryl Streep) and a writer (Amy Adams) who decides to cook every recipe in Julia Child’s cookbook within the course of a year. It was something like 524 recipes in 365 days (but don’t quote me). Quite a challenge … she decides to not only cook every recipe, but also to write a daily blog about the experience. I got the gist that she felt like she’d never really been able to complete a project and was perhaps in a rut. Her husband kindly reminded her that she had previously written half of a novel, to which she replied “Until you’re actually published, you’re not really a writer.” That’s a real sad way to look at it, isn’t it? Kind of a ‘is the glass is half empty?’ approach, don’t you think? Her husband explained that that was the beauty of a blog. You can write whatever you want, whenever you want, and lots of different people can read your stuff and comment. It doesn’t really matter if you’re published or not (although I’m sure it’s nice).

Perhaps because I love watching the Food Network Channel or because I recently started my ‘Insights are Blooming’ blog – but I felt a very REAL connection to Amy Adams’ character in this movie. Someone asked her at one point why she even wanted to write the blog, especially for complete strangers. To which she replied ‘because it’s like a regiment … something you have to commit yourself to.’ Maybe strangers wouldn’t know or even care if she didn’t finish it, but she would … and that’s what really mattered.

So in spite of the fact that this is only my second blog entry to date I’m going to stay focused and keep plugging away. I guess, at least in my mind that will make me a WRITER. So stay tuned … I have LOTS to share.