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Photo of the Day

Photo of the Day

Guess what I did today? I took a yoga class.

Okay, okay…I know that doesn’t sound like too much fun to everyone, but I run a fitness facility and I rarely get to participate in the classes and exercise opportunities that I would like to.

So, again, I would like to say again…I took a yoga class! I’m very excited about it and I’m still sore.
A good sore, but sore never-the-less!

Gratitude

Not to long ago, a friend of mine said she is taking a picture a day. I got to thinking about this daily photo and I realized that there are so many things that pass me by on a daily basis. What am I doing to celebrate all of the little things? Because you know, the little things make a difference in the big things. 

Don’t you think that we need to focus a little less on the big things, and a little bit more on the small things? I mean, think about it, do big things happen every day? Nope. So, when you think about it, it is the small things that make a difference. 

So, I have decided I’m going to join her in taking a daily photograph, no matter how simple, normal, or seemingly little that moment is. It is all about the moment. The here and now.

These photos are going to show the things that I’m grateful for that are in my daily life.

Today, I’m grateful for my dog, Gibbs who is on the left, and his “cousin,” Murphy as they cuddle with me on the couch.

Image

Now, what are you grateful for?

Sadness

Today, children of elementary school age experienced a tragedy. Some lived, some died. I’m not going to say much because there isn’t much to say beyond, pray.

Pray for the children whose school no longer feels safe to them.

Pray for the children who have lost fellow students.

Pray for the teachers who have lost colleagues.

Pray for teachers who lost a principal, leader, encouraged, and who was a positive light for the school.

Pray for a community which has been devastated by death, horror, confusion, anger, and sadness.

Pray for a country who needs to support each other.

Pray for our President who has the power to make decisions which can change the future of this nation. May he not use the sorrow, pain, and furry of this outrage to pass laws.

Pray for peace.

Most of all, pray for the families who have lost children, and may all of those souls be gather around their eternal Father. The One who has given us life and The One who can take it away.

Finally, pray for the family of Adam Lanza. While I know that he is not a popular person and one that I absolutely despise. One who I do not respect, do not care for, and do not understand. Pray for his family, as I’m sure that they are just as confused, stunned, and heartbroken as the rest of the families who have lost a loved one.

Unacceptable

I’m not a particularly political person. I have a college degree, but I don’t feel highly educated in the world of politics. I don’t believe in throwing my opinions about the government in the faces of others. I don’t get into political discussions with mere acquaintances and very rarely do I get into discussions about politics with close friends or family. Right now, I’m just writing. You can continue reading as you choose. If you choose to reply to my opinions, please keep it clean and don’t be disrespectful to the beliefs of others.

With that being said, check out this video clip from an Atlanta broadcast: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dl89q4SHjEs

As a hardworking taxpayer of this wonderful country of ours, I do have something to say about this spending. Honestly, I don’t feel that the US is in the position to be charging our credit cards for this type of cause.

I wonder if anyone in Washington has thought about the people who pay with blood, sweat, tears, and money to the country. The country that we love. I don’t hate paying taxes or think that I shouldn’t pay taxes. That is how the country runs. I get it.

BUT, what I do have a problem with is that the tax dollars that we pay on a daily basis is not going to our country. We are greater than $16 trillion dollars in debt. This is what that looks like in numbers:

$16,000,000,000

That’s a HUGE number. The sad thing is, is that the national debt is much, much greater that the number listed above.

So yes, I do have a problem with us sending money overseas when our country is in extreme debt. We need to take care of ourselves before we can take care of others.

It’s like when we, as a single person help others. We want to make a difference in another person’s life simply because we can, but sometimes, when you help one person, it snowballs into more people than one person can handle. The job gets too big for the one person, but he/she wants to continue helping. There is less sleep taking place, good eating habits diminish, the workouts disappear from the schedule, and the bank account is drained and credit cards are maxed out because his/her generosity was too great. Once that one person stops taking care of themselves, they aren’t able to take care of others anymore. The focus is so much on others, that

Well, the US is that one person. One who means well, but is no longer taking care of itself, or its own people. One who is forgetting that debt does not solve problems, debt creates problems and before we can be the “hero,” we have to get back on our feet and out of debt before we, the US, tries to rescue other countries.

Getting back on our feet is the only way to continue to help others and to make a difference.

“He Said”

by Group 1 Crew, featuring Chris August

So your life feels like it don’t make sense
And you think to yourself, ‘I’m a good person’
So why do these things keep happening?
Why you gotta deal with them?

You may be knocked down now
but don’t forget what He said, He said

I won’t give you more, more then you can take
and I might let you bend, but I won’t let you break
and No-o-o-o-o, I’ll never ever let you go-o-o-o-o
Don’t you forget what He said

Who you are ain’t what your going through
So don’t let it get the best of you
Cause God knows everything you need,
so you ain’t gotta worry

You may be knocked down now
but just believe what He said, He said

I won’t give you more, more then you can take
and I might let you bend, but I won’t let you break
and No-o-o-o-o, I’ll never ever let you go-o-o-o-o
Don’t you forget what He said

Don’t fear when you go through the fire
Hang on when it’s down to the wire
Stand tall and remember what He said

I won’t give you more, more then you can take
and I might let you bend, but I won’t let you break…

I won’t give you more, more then you can take
and I might let you bend, but I won’t let you break
and No-o-o-o-o, I’ll never ever let you go-o-o-o-o
Don’t you forget what He said

One of my favorite Christian songs, please go, listen to it. It is a beautiful song and it reminds me that I’m not alone. Though I may be sitting in my apartment alone or if my true thoughts are floating inside of my head or I feel like I’m fighting odds that are most certainly against me, it reminds me that God is by my side.

My favorite line of this song is, “…I won’t give you more, no more than you can take, and I might let you bend, but I won’t let you break.”

God will not give anything to you without being there to carry the burden right alongside you. You are not alone. I am not alone. God has a plan. He has a path carved out for each one of us, even if the path cuts through the thickest of forests or beside the treacherous of  cliffs. He will carry us along the path of our lives and will never leave our side, it is us who wanders from the side of God.

When we feel like we are going to fall off of the cliff, it is because we have wandered from the side of God. He is trying to save us and He will, if only we let him.

Never forget that.

Whispering

Do you ever feel like time is just passing you by? Like your life is on the big screen at a movie theater and you are sitting in the audience watching your daily interactions. Do you ever think, “Wow, that was a good move!,” or maybe, “Eww, that was not cool. Better try harder next time.” Sometimes I stop and take a look back at my life and say, “Man, I got really pissed over nothing. I wish that I hadn’t said that.”

Some days, I feel like I have more control than others.

Control over my emotions. Control over my tongue. Control over my destiny.

Or do I?

After much encouragement by my father, I have begun to try to do a daily devotional. Well, ultimately it is supposed to be a daily devotional, but at this point, it is really more of an every two to three day devotional. I have gotten so out of the practice of sitting down and spending time with God.

I’m trying to get better Dad, really.

Maybe once I get better at doing a regular devotional (preferably daily), I will have more clarity on what comes “next.”

Anyway, back to the topic at hand.

I was reading a daily devotional today. I usually just go online and search “daily devotional” and whatever pops up and looks interesting, I click on it, read it, think about it, compare the scripture to my Bible, and then write something. Anything, really.

Ironically, today’s devotional hit the nail on the proverbial head. The passage comes from James 1:19-21 and it reads, “19 My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, 20 because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. 21 Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.”

Yep. So, this takes me back to my previous statement of wanting to be able to rewind the day, tap myself on the shoulder and say, “uh, uh, uh…Do you really want to say that?” and if I still choose not to listen, a punch might suffice.

I need daily reminding of biting my tongue and being a listener first. I think this an excellent reminder for me because it I can quiet all of the noise, chatter, and distractions going on in my brain and shut up to listen sometimes, I might be able to hear God’s whispers. You know, sometimes He whispers, and sometimes He roars. This passage was a ROAR to me. I needed to shut up and listen to the whispers He is breathing into my ears and the hopes, dreams, and sacrifices he is laying on my heart.

When was the last time you let go of the control and listened to the whispers from God?

SERVE

Today was my first day in the Servant Leadership Academy at the Y.

This is a program that helps develop leaders in out Y community. It helps us develop our skills of being a leader and allows us to reflect upon our experiences to make us who we are as employees so that we can learn how to structure our leadership style around what we feel is important.

It was entertaining and fun. I’m learning more and more about myself each day.

One of the main ways that we assess our leadership skill is finding out what our strengths are as people using Gallup’s Strengths Finder personality inventory.

It’s quite impressive really.

I took the assessment about a year ago when I was trying to figure out what I want to do when I “grow up” to see if that would help me narrow the field. Well…it didn’t exactly do that.

However, what it did do was reaffirm what I believed to be my strengths and showed me what I look like in the work place an in my personal life as well.

There are 34 personality factors that this inventory has identified. After taking being provided the book by my place of employment…the Y…and using the code in the back of the book, the online assessment provided me with my top 5 strengths. Here they are:

1- Includer

2- Positivity

3- Empathy

4- Responsibility

5- Restorative

Quite a collections I suppose, however after reading the descriptions of these descriptors, it hit the “nail on the head,” so to speak, for me. Most of these are pretty self-explanatory, but my fifth strength is the one that I kept getting caught up on because I didn’t know right off the bat what it meant.

Restorative means that I’m good at, and I like to, solve problems. The top three are that I enjoy other people and I want to make everyone feel warm and fuzzy. Also, that I try to put myself in another person’s shoes and make it as positive as possible.

At my training today, I realized that in my leadership style, responsibility and empathy battle on a regular basis.

Awesome.

That will be something that I have to keep in check and make sure to focus on balancing because it can be destructive in the workplace.

Also, I have to remind the instructor, which by the way, happens to be the VP of our Y community. He’s hilarious. Anyway, he asked me about my interest in programing and told him that I love to execute it, but creating the ideas is NOT in my strengths.

If someone else would come up with the ideas, talk them over with me then say, “Here you go!” I would execute the programs excellently, but to ask me to come up with innovative ideas for programs, and I’m screwed. Simply put.

Tomorrow is Day 2.

We shall see how it goes!