Difficulties Produce Growth

20140220-223000.jpgare things a bit of a mess right now?

according to Von Moody, difficulties are like putting fertilizer on a garden in order to produce better growth and a more fruitful harvest.

if we can’t handle a little mess or getting our hands dirty with life’s fertilizer, Moody says we could be forfeiting some valuable benefits to our growth.

fertilizer is messy, smelly, and most unpleasant to work with; however, it will increase growth substantially.

no one enjoys life’s difficulties…they can be frustrating, maddening and irritating; however, once applied and overcome, they produce a stronger, more beautiful YOU.

go ahead…

throw a little fertilizer on it!

well, maybe don’t go looking for difficulties but use them to your advantage!

D

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How Containment Prevents Growth

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are you self-contained?

containment is a way to keep something bad from spreading.

if a child gets chicken pox, he/she won’t be allowed back in school until they’re not contagious anymore. the school’s aiming for containment of the disease.

containment is also a foreign policy strategy. if one country is stirring up trouble, other countries can join together and enact a policy of containment, to isolate the rogue country and keep it from causing chaos outside its borders.

in a nuclear reactor, the containment system is the back-up system that’s supposed to keep dangerous radiation from leaking out when there’s an accident.

the human heart will self-contain when it has experienced great pain, in an attempt to prevent the pain from spreading.

while some forms of containment are beneficial, containment in the heart is not.

heart containment will stunt your growth.

we hope for protection.

we end up busy building a comfort zone- afraid of taking risks, stepping out, trying new things or expanding our horizons.

once we are contained within the walls of this comfort zone…

we are protected from our future…

we are protected from our present…

and we are protecting our past!

-John Steele

while we are preserving our past…protecting it and it’s impact on our heart, we protect or prevent the possibilities available in our present and future.

the question is often posed, “why do bad things happen to good people?”

John Steele posed one of the best possibilities i have ever heard. his answer was this:

so that your experience will speak louder than someone else’s pain.

someone going through a similar situation will gain hope by seeing you conquer your pain, overcome your difficulty, thrive, live, grow and expand into your future better than ever.

20131017-215239.jpgwhat has you confined…

contained…

Imprisoned!

let it go!

spread out!

expand!

grow!

think big!

think bigger than your pain!

there is life to live!

and i promise, you don’t want to miss a minute of it.

do you know someone that this post would encourage? someone sitting in their comfort zone too fearful of the possibility of a wounded heart? please pass the post along…hopefully they will find inspiration to think bigger than their pain!

i’m so happy that i could share my heart with you today! thank you for stopping by!

see you soon,
D

it was something the Lorax said

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i know, you can tell i had never seen the Pixar movie, The Lorax, until yesterday.

i have a confession to make: i think that when my children were little, i loved the Disney movies every bit as much as they did. i we owned every Disney movie made up to the point the kids seemed too old for them (about the time Shrek came out). i was gutted when we would go to the store for a special treat and i was told “no” a Disney movie was not on the list. sigh!

so, yesterday, when the grand babies were fast asleep, i was enthralled in this little cartoon movie that i had not yet seen. i might be 50-something but the little girl in my heart is alive and well.

and please, no lectures on wasting time…it was a guilty pleasure, yes it was…and i am not afraid to have one…and you shouldn’t either.

plus, i’m using it tonight to help write my blog…i know how to put a guilty pleasure to work…lol 😉

so, here goes…

there are so many things that we hold that seem, feel or look small and insignificant. the temptation to compare our small beginning with someone else’s full-grown result can just deflate the heart.

it’s not so much about what it is…it’s about what it can become.

an acorn…grows into a great oak tree.

the mustard seed (the smallest of all seeds)…grows to be the largest of herbs.

the tiniest amount of faith can do the miraculous.

growth is the key. taking hold of what you do possess…planting it (so to speak) -putting it to use…applying wisdom, knowledge and understanding…so that what you have can reach it’s full potential.

to see potential like this, you have to see with more than your eyes. it takes faith.

you don’t see the great oak tree by looking at the acorn; however, everything necessary to produce the tree dwells deep within that little seed…it’s all there. plant it, feed it and give it plenty of time…and all that it is meant to be develops and manifests.

do you know what is even more amazing? everything that you have the potential to become is deep inside of you…already within your very being.

so, give yourself a break…it’s not so much about what your are now…it’s what you can become.

that is marvellous in my book!

D

Obstacles Bring Growth

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“The lotus is the most beautiful flower, whose petals open one by one. But it will only grow in the mud. In order to grow and gain wisdom, first you must have the obstacles of life and its suffering. … The mud speaks of the common ground that humans share, no matter what our stations in life. … Whether we have it all or we have nothing, we are all faced with the same obstacles: sadness, loss, illness, dying and death. If we are to strive as human beings to gain more wisdom, more kindness and more compassion, we must have the intention to grow as a lotus and open each petal one by one.”― Goldie Hawn

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why faith is important to me

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What is faith?

For me, it is a belief that I place my confidence in strongly enough to motivate me to put that belief into action.

I believe in marriage. I believe that I must be loyal and faithful to my husband. I believe that in my marriage I must give 100% of myself. I believe my husband will always put me first, think about me before himself and make my life happy and full. I place my full confidence in my marriage and I work at it with everything within me.

Great!

Except…1 out of those three beliefs has brought me pain in the past because it’s not actually a truth. True! I do believe in marriage (wholeheartedly). I believe that I have responsibility in my marriage to be loyal, not quit, be faithful, and give everything I have to give (I am confident of this as truth). However, I have believed that my husband would always put me first, never disappointment me and make me laugh daily so that I would be the happiest I could dream of being. Guess what? Not true. It’s a misplaced belief. It’s probably more like fantasy. Yet, that belief has motivated many of my negative actions that I am ashamed to say…have not been very admirable.

This happens to all of us. When we believe with our whole heart…we act. Sometimes good, sometimes bad. Mistakenly, we believe that faith in something is good. It is when we believe truth. However, when we believe something that is not true, that is when we get into trouble. We all do it.

The problem with this is that once we put our faith into something and it doesn’t “work” (the way we imagined it), we have a tendency to give up and think that “faith” doesn’t work. We tell ourselves that we no longer believe…and we quit. That, my friend, is not faith.

throw some back/insight from a woman's heart

Faith is a conviction and deep assurance and confidence. We all have faith. We do. The things, people and deities we believe in may vary but some are similar.

  • I have faith that when I hit the light switch, I am going to get electricity. I don’t even have to give it much thought anymore. I am a believer.
  • I believe that when I put the key into my ignition, my car will start. I jump into it and turn the key before I realize it most of the time. I trust that my car will take me from my home to wherever I am heading.
  • I believe that gossip creates a separation between me and the person I begin to talk about.
  • I believe that one day, I or people I love will move from this life to the next. It’s sad but it will happen. My granddaughter and I talked about death this weekend. She is 5 years old. It is not something she wants to believe yet. It is frightening to her heart. Nonetheless, death is a truth that cannot be changed.
  • I believe in gravity.
  • I believe in spiritual laws like sowing and reaping. My actions, words and thoughts will produce a result, every time! Period. Therefore, I believe my best chance for good results is to apply wisdom. I rely on the truths I find in the proverbs and the Bible. I also believe that I can learn from the wisdom that others might share with me…my parents have given me wisdom, my friends have shared wisdom, and I have mentors who have spoken wisdom that I can practice.
  • I also believe that there is a God. I haven’t always acted like I did. I haven’t always allowed my motivation to cause me to practice this belief…but I do know in the depths of my heart…that He is. Over the years, I have discovered that some of the things I believed about God are actually not true. Some of those motivations moved me to do some embarrassing actions. Some of those beliefs caused me to act like a spoiled little brat much like a child who has expectations of a parent that are unrealistic and then when he/she does not get their way they throw a tantrum.

I have had to examine, test, and try my faith (beliefs) weighing them for truth and work with what was inaccurate. Believe me there have been many. God has also tried my faith. Interesting. I have a totally new concept of what this means now. He is not trying me to see if I am faithful…He is trying what I call faith to see if it holds water….if it is true or not…if my belief works or is a figment of my imagination.

Why?

how you make people feel/insight from a woman's heart

Because otherwise, I walk around with such a strong conviction that my actions and motivations are so right when all the while…I am believing something that is not actually based on truth and doesn’t work. So, my “faith” gets tried. When it doesn’t work…I want to quit. When what I should be doing is finding out where I am missing it as far as what I believe.

An example: if I put the key in my car and it doesn’t start, do I just get out of the car and say, “forget it, that thing doesn’t work. I can’t depend on it. This is just garbage. Why did I put my trust in this thing to take me to town?” No, I don’t. I actually begin to think, “What’s wrong? What have I done that might have caused my car not to start?” I then look to see if I can find an answer: did I put enough gas in it (or did I believe that I could go 5 more kms/miles)? Did I leave my lights on and run the battery down (did I believe that I didn’t have to do all the checks before exiting the car)? Did I misuse it causing a problem that I now need to fix (was I ignoring the safety rules and wreck the car)? Usually, unless the car is so old that it has completely stopped, there is something that I need to change so that I can get it going properly again. More times than not, I have practiced a wrong belief-I am notorious for believing I can get one more mile when the fuel gauge tells me it needs gas!

Faith is the same.

This is where I believe, just like the natural laws, spiritual laws are in place. They work every time. Without fail. (I know, pretty bold…but true). God would not be so meticulous about natural laws and not be meticulous about spiritual ones (the laws responsible for a healthy soul and spirit). Therefore, if I attempt to act outside of the spiritual laws IT IS NOT GOING TO WORK FOR ME. So, my bratty little soul will then throw a tantrum and say, “This faith stuff does not work. I didn’t get my way. I don’t believe this rubbish anymore.”

Let’s take strife for example. Here are a few bits of wisdom about strife:

  1. Have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies; you know that they breed quarrels. And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone,…(quote from Paul to Timothy)
  2. Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all offenses. (quote from Proverbs)
  3. A dishonest man spreads strife, and a whisperer separates close friends. (quote from Proverbs)
  4. If you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast … For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. (quote from James).

learn/insight from a woman's heart

Whether you believe in spiritual laws or not; whether you believe in God or not, can you think of any times in your life that those quotes have been true?

I can.

I have believed (not consciously, but in actions), that I could get by with strife in my life. I have. I know I believed that because I have talked behind my bosses back (I was a whisperer). Come on. You have, too. I have also paid the consequences for it. I felt the pain when I was not trusted like I wanted to be by my boss(es). I have acted on jealous motivations and believe me…there was disorder and vile practices (I do not…I repeat, I do NOT like my jealous self)…I did not like the things I did because I was jealous about something. It was a misplaced belief that needed to be tried so that I could fix it. That is how faith gets tested and tired. Guess what, I no longer believe that acting out of jealousy is an acceptable behaviour for my life. I did not like what I “reaped” when I did. I have been through that test and I have a sure, secure, strong, stable belief that jealousy is not good, does not produce well and I want to stay far, far, far away from it. No one will convince me otherwise, I have had my faith in jealousy tested. The test proved to me that it did not bring the results to my life that make me happy, safe, peaceful and healthy. My faith in jealousy had to change.

The conclusion is not that faith did not work. The conclusion is what I believed did not work. If I wanted differing results…I needed to change what I believed in.

I have learned to believe that I do not have to get involved in every controversy…it leads to quarrels.

Sometimes, I offer advice. Sometimes, I join a conversation where I do not agree and I share my wisdom. I have learned; however, that, just like me, everyone on earth has the RIGHT to work their journey out to the best of their ability and gain wisdom as they go. Therefore, I can respect a person’s position, not judging them as right or wrong, and not feel like I have to be the authority in their life to make sure a change happens. Maybe, just maybe, I need to try my position in the conversation and see if it holds truth or not. I might be totally right (for my life…I don’t have to take their position as right for me) but I don’t have to cause a quarrel thus putting my relationship with that person at risk. I have found this to be wisdom. If I am quarrelling, something is wrong.

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So, all that being said, I have had a very faith-trying 5 months. I would like to share my experience. Hopefully, you might find some of the things I learned inspiring. Join me by reading the next post if you are interested in hearing my “faith” story.

For today, I will leave you with the first thing I learned in these trying months:

“Not everything that I believe is truth for my life. I don’t know everything. I had a few beliefs that were not true.”

BTW, I thought I had learned this lesson…but…I learned I still have a lot to learn (you are so right, Maya Angelo).

The fun part, amongst the difficult parts I have gone through, is that I have had so much wisdom coming at me that does work and I am having a great time seeing the changes as valuable.

Let me ask you a question, do you have some things that you believe and practice that are not bringing you the kind of results you have dreamed of for your life? Here’s some Wisdom: Have an objective look (test/try them) before you reach the point of needing to have those beliefs tried for you…it’s much easier if you do the testing.

I hope you have a great week…it’s Monday for me…for those of you still living your Sunday…Monday is looking pretty good. Whew!

I hope to have you stop by again soon,

D

don’t stop reaching or stretching

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i have had a big week, how about you? some good news, some not so much. i suppose that is how life goes. sometimes it can feel like a roller coaster.

getting on a roller coaster at an amusement park can stretch you…push you…cause you to dig deep.

should i? shouldn’t i?

eventually…you go for it…heart pounding.

are you the type of person who reaches for the sky, goes with the turns & ups and downs, squealing with delight?

at the end of the ride, emerging with a shout, “that was awesome!” proud that you set fear aside and lived through the thrill – braver than when you got on?

you did it!

you stretched beyond your limit of fear!

do it with life as well…

reach for the sky…

go with it…turns and all…

squeal in delight…

emerge…happier, braver, accomplished!

you did it…again!

yes, you did!

do something surprising everyday. stretch your limits…

stretch…reach…grow

D

maturity is like a harness

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Maturity is many things. It is the ability to base a judgment on the big picture, the long haul.

It means being able to resist the urge for immediate gratification and opt for the course of action that will pay off later.

One of the characteristics of the young is “I want it now.”

Grown-up people can wait.

Maturity is perseverance–the ability to sweat out a project or a situation, in spite of heavy opposition and discouraging setbacks, and stick with it until it is finished.

The adult who is constantly changing friends and changing mates is immature. He/she cannot stick it out because he/she has not grown up.

Maturity is the ability to control anger and settle differences without violence or destruction. The mature person can face unpleasantness, frustration, discomfort and defeat without collapsing or complaining. He/she knows he cannot have everything his/her own way every time. He/she is able to defer to circumstances, to other people-and to time. He/she knows when to compromise and is not too proud to do so.

Maturity is humility. It is being big enough to say, “I was wrong.” And, when he/she is right, the mature person need not experience the satisfaction of saying, “I told you so.”

Maturity is the ability to live up to your responsibilities, and this means being dependable. It means keeping your word. Dependability is the hallmark of integrity. Do you mean what you say-and do you say what you mean? Unfortunately, the world is filled with people who cannot be counted on. When you need them most, they are among the missing. They never seem to come through in the clutches. They break promises and substitute alibis for performance. They show up late or not at all. They are confused and disorganized. Their lives are a chaotic maze of broken promises, former friends, unfinished business and good intentions that somehow never materialize. They are always a day late and a dollar short.

Maturity is the ability to make a decision and stand by it. Immature people spend their lives exploring endless possibilities and then doing nothing. Action requires courage. Without courage, little is accomplished.

Maturity is the ability to harness your abilities and your energies and do more than is expected. The mature person refuses to settle for mediocrity. He/she would rather aim high and miss the mark than low-and make it.

Maturity is the art of living in peace with that which cannot be changed, the courage to change that which should be changed, no matter what it takes, and the wisdom to know the difference.
-Ann Landers, columnist

The 7 exercises we discussed yesterday will help develop this type of maturity.

Happy exercising,
D

7 step exercise program for developing strong life qualities

Life Qualities/insight from a woman's heart

mind, body and soul – women are complex beings.

there is a lot of emphasis on taking good care of the body. excellent advice can be found nearly everywhere you turn. i have a lot of fun researching yummy/healthy foods to eat. i love the DYI health resolutions with natural products i have at home. then there are fashion and beauty tips. i like gathering as much information i can so that i can be as effective as possible in my pursuit. some of this advice makes taking care of the body quite fun. we understand how important exercise is to maintaining a healthy body. although not always fun, there are some great ways to get the body moving and have a fun doing it.

our intellectual and emotional health is equally as important. as you know, i do a lot of talking about wisdom. gathering, learning and searching out wisdom to help to keep our minds and emotional well-being as healthy as possible. many of these principles require that we apply discipline and practice them to receive maximum impact.

understanding the logic of being diligent with the mind and body is sometimes easier than the exercise and practice; however, we understand the importance.

therefore, Peter’s proposed 7 step exercise program for the soul/spirit, should not be a foreign idea. we have a responsibility in the our well-being; mind, body and soul.

you must first know what you believe and why. what standard do you live your life by? what do you put your faith in? you also need to know if there is a real basis for what you believe. if you don’t, you don’t have a foundation to build on. when life’s difficulties come and you feel you have been wronged – how do you know? if you have no standard to live by, then how can you have healthy boundaries for yourself or others. you live life as it comes…and frankly, it can be quite cruel.

Peter then tells us it’s not enough to just say you have a belief in something. you must add diligence to your faith. that means again…no magic wand. you add diligence to faith and then exercise the following qualities; activating one which develops the next. it’s like climbing stairs…one step at a time, as you learn and develop one quality, you then activate the next one. you can’t skip steps without missing the foundation to build the next one on.

  1. exercising your faith will develop good character. this stage is where you exercise doing what you do with excellence, not perfection. preform your job for your boss with excellence. hosting a get together, apply excellence. this stage is a great place to exercise “The Law of the Garbage Truck” .
  2. exercising good character will develop spiritual understanding and knowledge. the benefits of good character becomes clear. you begin to understand why you do what you do. we are motivated to take action when we see value in what we are doing.
  3. exercising spiritual understanding develops alert discipline. discipline is required for anything great that we want to achieve. Athletes apply discipline to their sport. professionals apply discipline to their careers. students apply discipline to learning. it is easy to see in other areas of life where discipline is a key factor; therefore, we should not be surprised that in order to develop strong life qualities discipline will play a major part in the process.
  4. exercising discipline develop firm direction, patience and steadfastness. have you ever wished you had more patience? did you know that patience can be developed but you first must have developed discipline? once discipline is developed fully…you can then use that discipline to develop your patience, endurance and steadfastness.
  5. exercising patience develop reverent wonder-godliness. reverence and honor are such important skills. when i came to NZ, many people asked me about America and the honor we show to our servicemen, our president and our country. reverence and honor for God, country and others, promotes a real community type responsibility. i personally will guard reverence and honor, as i feel they are vital qualities for life success. my hope is that you would all see the value of this quality and exercise it. what a different world it would be with a little more respect.
  6. exercising reverence, honor and respect develop warm friendliness. brotherhood, friendships and other relationships are built on a good foundation of honor and respect. we can’t argue with that, aye?
  7. exercising warm friendliness develops generous love. not selfishness. generous love. isn’t that a desire we all have? to be loved genuinely? love is more than just a word. no wonder our hearts get broken so often. reaching this level of love requires a lot of exercise. it must be developed and it is built on a foundation of strong life qualities.

i think you and i could change the world…with a little exercise!

have a great day.

please drop by again soon.

D