Posts Tagged ‘Heart Reflections’

Feb 05 2020

Big Apples & Beautiful Plants

The big apple and beautiful plant on my desk!

These past couple of weeks I have been in a bit of a funk…. Some little unexpected things happened that I let pile up and bother me. Instead of letting these incidents roll off of me and turning my focus towards the many blessings in my life I let these little disappointments and inconveniences capitalize too much of my energy.

All I have to do is look around me to how truly see blessed I am and yet at times I struggle with being content.  My negative attitude is not benefiting myself nor those who are in close proximity of me (family, friends, co-workers). In reality it is probably pretty toxic to myself and those who have to be in my presence.  While my life is not even close to being “perfect” mostly because I manage to mess it up more than I care to admit, it really isn’t bad by any means either. There are a lot of people that are going through far more challenging situations.

As I was thinking about some of these recent events, situations and incidents that got me into this little funk I was reminded of big apples and beautiful plants.  I know it sounds random, but sometimes it’s silly little objects that help bring clarity and focus to my messes of life. Often times these objects remind me of the person who thoughtfully and gave or made them for me which in return makes me smile.

My husband will randomly get me something that he knows I will enjoy.  An apple is a common fruit found in my work lunch, one day he surprised me with a very large apple as my work snack. It made me laugh because the apple was so big it barely fit in my lunch bag and ended up being part of my snack and lunch.   I love all kinds of plants and flowers, however, I have a black thumb which means it is a miracle if I keep a plant alive for a year or more (yes, I have managed to even kill a cactus….). One day he brought home an adorable potted plant for me.  I took it to work and had so many files on my desk that day that it ended up finding a home next to my monitor and in front of my main work space.  He is thoughtful and knows how to make me smile. The photo above is the day I had the big apple next to my beautiful plant. While these are just two visual examples of ways I am reminded of him and the many blessings in my life there are many more if I take a moment to look around me.

Unfortunately, there are many days when I am busy with tasks that I overlook the big apples, beautiful plants, and the many other little reminders of the multitude of blessings in my life. Some days I get sucked into tackling a variety of “to do” items or choose to focus on disappointments which tend to weigh on me instead of working hard while appreciating the positive blessings all around me.   It’s time to break out of this funk and remember who really is in control of my life.  When left up to myself I get off track, my focus is not on what truly matters in life, and I am not the easiest person to hang around.  I am ready to get back on track, anybody else ready?

A few ways to encourage us to turn our focus towards positive blessings:

  • Look – What do you see around you that makes you smile or brings are certain special person to mind?  You probably have more blessings than realize you once you take a few minutes to look around and think about it.
  • Relax – The to do list is always growing, don’t set unrealistic expectations for yourself.  You can relax every once in awhile without being considered lazy, it’s actually healthy for us.
  • Breathe – Take a few deep breaths, it helps clear your minds and relaxes your body
  • Focus – Choose to focus on the good parts of your life.  The hard times and inconveniences will come, but they do not have to monopolize all your time and energy.
  • Time – Spend quality time with family, friends, and people you love. Life really is short, make a point to invest time in people.

Here’s to a life full of many blessings!  May we always remember what’s truly important and if we forget hopefully we’ll get back on track quickly.

Jun 15 2016

Relationships: Reflecting on Memories

Sunflower / Yellow Flower

  • Across the fields the summer sun
  • Is shining, and the breeze
  • Flows gently through the trees
  • Like waves upon the summer seas.
  • The wild flowers all along the fence
  • Are dancing in the sun.
  • The bees are buzzing through the fields. . .
  • I’ll bet their work is fun.
  • Look, there’s a path upon the hill;
  • Please come and walk with m.
  • For overtop the hill and down,
  • A meadow we will see.
  • For in the meadow there’s a brook
  • That I once waded through,
  • And in the meadow there are flowers
  • Of every shade and hue.
  • Come walk, with me along that brook
  • And share this day with me.
  • As carefree children once again
  • We live in memory.

– Bonnie Gaunt

Our lives are sprinkled with a variety of  memories.  Some of those memories bring a smile to our face while others bring a tear of sadness to our eyes.  Memories can come rushing back when one or more of our senses are spiked such as a familiar place, smell, or sound.

When we walk along a stream or visit a familiar area with a family member or friend we get a glance into the past.  It’s important to take the time to remember those good times.  Relax in a quiet walk with someone dear to us.  Taking the time to laugh at the good times and great memories we have shared over the years.  Life goes by quickly and no one is guaranteed another day, but we have today so let’s make the best of what we have with those we love.

Jun 08 2016

Relationships: Now & Forever

Karlie - Red Rose Flower

Forever

When I look in your eyes and see your bright smile and feel your comforting touch, when I hear all the love in those warm, caring words that encourage and cheer me so much.  There’s a feeling I have that “forever” is ours, that, no matter the season or weather,  Our hearts will be filled with the same kind of magic and love that first brought us together. – Emily Matthews

A great reminder for those of us who are married.  Our spouses know us better than anyone else.  They know how to make us laugh and push our buttons.  There will be days when life is smooth and bright while other days may have a few storm clouds brewing in the distance.

Take the time to talk with your spouse. Share your heart.  Spend time doing projects and fun activities together.  Go on a date.  Relax, snuggle, and share a hug.  It doesn’t matter if you have been married for a few days or many years investing in your partner is important.

May 18 2016

Relationships: Granting Your Spouse Permission to Help YOU Heal

Karlie - Red Rose FlowerRose picked by Jake from the Mother’s Day bush Karlie gave me last year! Beautiful!

I am blessed to have a loving husband.  He takes great care of me and the girls, loves me despite my faults, pitches in around the house, always seeking ways to teach our girls, and intentionally invests regularly time and energy into our relationship and our family.

Yet for some reason when I am tired, hurting, or discouraged he is the first person I tend to lash out at.  Is it because he is near?  Or is it that I trust he will continue loving me as he helps me get through the moments of hurt?  Is it that he is the first person who notices that I am struggling?  Is it because I allow “little stuff” to build up, get emotional, and blow the “little stuff” way out of proportion?  Or is it a complex multitude of feelings and connections of life that make me think it is acceptable to snap at someone truly trying to lovingly help me?

Life is tough.  It would be a lie to say that I have not gone through a multitude of various emotions over the past few months.  My girls are growing up so quickly and my Momma’s heart is rejoicing yet broken over it at the same time.  I have not invested the time and energy into relationships that are important to me.  It has been a struggle to balance life, schedules, and times to the point that some days I feel like I am messing up everything or falling short. It feels like there are days when I am rushing through life and trying to just get what has to be accomplished done only to crash at night and re-start the process all over again the next day.

How can I be an encouraging, positive, loving light, sharing God’s grace with those around me when I feel like the walls are falling in on me?  I have been praying specifically that God would break down the walls I have built up around my heart, revealed those areas I need to heal and repair, fill the holes that are plugged with the wrong motives, and work in my life, however, it is at times a very painful process.

When an animal is hurting they tend to find a safe place and withdraw into themselves.  If you approach a hurt animal when they are in that safe place or feel like they are backed into a corner they have a tendency to snap at anyone reaching out to help them.  Their eyes are clouded with hurt or pain, their defenses are up, and they don’t know what to do so they react in anger at anyone trying to help because it is hard for them to distinguish between someone who is trying to hurt and a person who is trying to help.  I am sure vets or people who work with animals see this all the time.  The animal wants to be alone in their pain, lick their wounds, and retreat to safety even though it it not the best action if they truly want to heal.

As humans we cannot and should not react the same way as an animal would.  We are built to value and crave relationships.  Some of our relationships may be healthy while others are pulling us down.  We cannot be everything to everybody, it’s impossible, yet we can make an impact on the lives we touch.  Starting with our relationship with Christ, spreading to our spouses, children, and reaching out to family, friends, co-workers, and others that we interact with in our lives.  It always works best when we are living our life looking for strength, encouragement, and wisdom from the top and allowing it to filter down through our lives to the people we have the privilege of loving and living life beside.

Take time this week to spend time pray.  Investigate your heart, reflect on your relationships, and start the process of breaking down the barriers we have created to falsely shield us.  Those barriers are really just holding us back and blocking those who truly love and want to help us.  Allow your spouse and others to speak truth into your life.

Jan 06 2015

Dirty Rocks + Rock Tumbler = Shiny Gems

It’s amazing how having kids can open your eyes to so many things, including learning more about yourself, life, and God.  A couple years ago my cousin got the girls a rock tumbler.  They LOVE it and are always on the look out for neat rocks (yes, my girls love rocks).  On numerous trips, hikes, or walking through the yard they can be found collecting various rocks to run through the tumbler.  It is a great activity for kids and can be a neat teaching tool as well.

The rock tumbling process goes something like this……

  • Find a variety of dirty average looking small rocks
  • Put them through the tumbler to remove all the grit and smooth out the rough edges
  • Polish them

The whole process takes days and seems forever for the kids, but the end result is something beautiful and well worth the wait.

Recently, I came across a bag of rocks while I was cleaning.  I had to smile knowing exactly why one of my ziploc bags had been used to stash a handful of ordinary, dull, and plain rocks.  The girls know that even though they look like any old dirty rock once they are tumbled and polished their true colors will shine beautifully.

As I was standing there looking at those old, dusty rocks it struck me that my heart is much like those sharp and dirty rocks.  There is a lot of junk that needs to be knocked off my heart and life before the beauty of God’s love can shine through.  Thankfully with His help and a tremendous amount of patience on His part He slowly and faithfully cleans the dirt away, smooths out the roughness, and round the sharp edges.  When His love, goodness, mercy, and kindness radiates from my brokenness it opens the doors for opportunities to make a positive eternal impact on the hearts and lives those around us.

Elenco Rock TumblerAn example of a rock tumbler you can get from Amazon if you are looking for a fun activity to do with your kids!