Wednesday, May 20, 2015

God Will Give You The Faith You Need

Life can be joyous, stressful, overwhelming, exciting, exhilarating, sad, whimsical ... and the list of adjectives can go on and on. That's A LOT to deal with on any day. Such a wide range of emotions and responsibilities. So how do you grasp the courage and the patience to accomplish the things you think you're not strong enough or big enough for? You have faith.

Don't get me wrong, it's not always easy to have faith. Sometimes we need to dig really deep to boost our confidence. We may need to hear other people reinforce us; telling us 'we have what it takes' and that 'we can do it' (whatever IT is). We're human. We all have doubts.

For a teenager you might be trying to convince yourself that it's worth trying one more time to go to school; that maybe today will be the day the bullies leave you alone.

For a young mother you might be thinking that you'll never get any sleep or be the size 8 you used to be before you had your baby.

For the person with an addiction you may be wondering 'what is your rock bottom'? How low will you have to go before you realize you need to change your choices and your life? And will there be anybody left in your corner to help you once you finally make that choice?
We all have daily hurdles; time restraints, traffic, parenting, our jobs, etc. We all have life hurdles; will we find the one special person to spend the rest of our lives with, will we ever lose the 10-15 pounds that will undoubtedly make us healthier, will we ever achieve basic financial security, or will we ever accomplish our hopes and dreams?
I don't pretend to have all the answers or claim that I have my life completely figured out and exactly the way I want it, but I do have faith. Faith that I fought cancer and can live another day. Faith that my husband is loyal and loves me. Faith that while I may not be a perfect parent, I am the best parent that I know how to be right now. And I have faith that God knows my needs better than I do and He will give me the strength, courage, and patience I need to get through whatever life throws at me.
How about you? Could you use an extra dose of faith today? What hurdle are you currently trying to get over?

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

The Value of Sweat Equity

When we talk about equity we're often referring to something we have an investment in; our home, our car, or our finances. Those are things. We also have sweat equity invested in other areas of our lives; our relationships, projects we're working on, or maybe programs we're involved in.

Here's an example. Youth today have plenty of ways to fill their time. Your kids could be part of a dance or cheer team, a school band, an athletic team, a boy or girl scout troop, or even a youth group at their church.

When I was young I never received anything I didn't work hard for. I earned a small allowance when I was younger, I took babysitting jobs, and I got my first real after school job when I was 15. I paid for my first car. I bought my own clothes in high school. I paid for myself to go to the movies. I invested sweat equity into everything I did. Guess what? It felt good to work for and earn what I had. It also made me more aware of how I spent my time and my money.

Many youth today (and sadly some adults too) seem to want everything handed to them. Of course, I'm not trying to lump everyone into one category; that wouldn't be fair. But many have an attitude that comes across as 'I deserve it. I want the best and I want it now.' There's a sense of pride and accomplishment that comes from working for something and earning it.

I met a young girl at church last year who came in to help me with a project in order to earn 'volunteer' hours. I asked her if it was for school, perhaps the National Honor Society. She replied, 'No, it's for my dance troop. My teacher does a lot for us so we can go to competitions. She requires us to perform service hours in our community to give back.' How awesome it that? And what a great lesson to be taught. 

It bothers me when I see groups of people (youth or adults) asking for support so 'they' can do something, but then not being willing to give back to the same people who have so generously supported them. I suppose it would be a more perfect world if those people would offer to give back all on their own without having to be asked, or coaxed, or begged. It seems like they should be willing, appreciative and eager to give back, but so often that just isn't the case. It makes me wonder when everything changed and more importantly ... can we, as a society, change it back?

What do you think?

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

The Next Big Idea

Have you ever thought of a great idea and not done anything about it? I'll bet you the guy who invented Post-It notes thought of many ideas before he finally made that one stick (lol)! We all have our moments of brilliance, but then we keep them to ourselves. Why do you suppose that is? Because we think nobody will think the idea is any good? Because we don't know exactly what to do with it? Because we don't have a degree in marketing and aren't sure how to sell the idea?

If you had a simple, yet logical, great idea what would you do with it? How would you go about getting people on board? I'm not talking about inventions; I would imagine that those could get pretty complicated with patents and all. But what if you came up with an innovative idea for a service or a concept; how would you bring it to light? Would you throw the idea out there on Facebook to get an initial reaction or would you fear that someone who knew how to market your great idea would steal it? Surprisingly there are unscrupulous people out there. They may know marketing and advertising and PR, but can't come up with any original ideas themselves. There are singers who can't write their own songs. Everyone looks for inspiration in different places.
Why am I asking about this? Because occasionally I have a brilliant idea that I'm not quite sure what to do with and I'm nervous that if I actually say it out loud someone smarter than me will grab it and run with it. This is where I invite you to share your wisdom with me. Do I come up with a detailed plan and proposal and then present it to a company that I think could would benefit from it? How do I protect myself and my idea while it's still in the planning stages?
Have you ever had a great idea that you've managed to bring to life?