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Archive for January, 2010

In her book, The Friendship of Women, Dee Brestin states that most women have a “gift for intimacy.” Dee goes on to talk about how this gift can be wonderfully positive but it can also hold a dark side as well. How can something be so positive and so negative? Just ask the ladies at the gym. Listen to the break room conversation at work. Or simply observe the dynamics of your own life history.

For many years I dreaded being alone. Relationships were for me a safety net against loneliness and I became good at always being with others. What I didn’t realize then was that interaction with others does not automatically equal great relationships. Surrounded by people, I still could be lonely. My fears prevented me from learning good conflict resolution or healthy people skills. This became glaringly obvious in my early adult years with personal friendships, and bled over into my work related relationships and friendships. I had the desire for great relationships. I was motivated to be around people to avoid loneliness. But desire and motivation wasn’t enough to avoid hurt, pain, and negative experiences in my relationships.

As women, our “gift” and our natural desire towards intimacy does not guarantee that we enjoy great and meaningful relationships. If this is an area in which you struggle, you are not the only one. There is nothing “wrong” with you. And be assured, you do not have to settle for mediocre relationships the rest of your life. There is hope!

From personal life to work interactions, we can improve our relationships as we put in to action some practical advice.  Join us for Daily Devotionals at  www.gttdaily.wordpress.com  , and for this topic look under Categories and then click on What I Really Want…Great Relationships.

And if you have not yet had the chance to read Lydia’s story, please read it now. Lydia’s story highlights the key that allowed me to finally find healing and hope in my own relationships. The key? Great relationships with others flow out from a personal relationship with God.

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Take a look at these sobering health related statisitics:

7 million – the number of women suffering from eating disorders.

42% – adults experiencing chronic pain, many women with migraines or arthritis

35% – of all female deaths in America occur from cardio-vascular disease

45% – Americans resolved this past New Year to exercise and eat right

32% – American adults actually engage in regular physical activity

There are two general categories for these statistics. Some of us find ourselves in a “statistic” through no fault of our own. And there are also those of us who are a “statistic” because we know deep down there are certain things we should and shouldn’t do…and we simply don’t follow through. Regardless, we find ourselves faced with a health issue and we need to address it in a way that is balanced and appropriate.

I personally fall in both categories and I have found several good helps in my quest for the health that I really want. Please understand, I have not arrived by any stretch of the imagination, but I am seeing progress and you can too!

The most important help for me is keeping my personal priorities right. As I set time aside for my spiritual life daily, I am much more likely to follow through with the other important priorities on my list like exercise and eating the right things.

Listen to what I Timothy 4:8 says:
“For physical training has some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.”

Our relationship with Jesus Christ must come first. It’s value is forever and it enables us to do the right thing in other areas of our life…like health. If a personal relationship with God is something you would like to know more about, click on Lydia’s story from the above menu. More questions? Call toll free 1-888-NeedHim.

Join us for Daily Devotionals at  www.gttdaily.wordpress.com  , and for this specific topic look under Categories and then click on What I Really Want…A Healthy Body

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Sometimes I wonder about my life. I lead a small life – well, valuable, but small – and sometimes I wonder, do I do it because I like it, or because I haven’t been brave? So much of what I see reminds me of something I read in a book, when shouldn’t it be the other way around?”

In this quote from the classic chic-flick You’ve Got Mail, and continuing throughout the movie, Kathleen Kelly voices her desire to be counted.  To be significant.  To experience her own life to the fullest, not a life resembling some character in a favorite novel.

I think most of us can relate to that desire.  We all want to know “what we bring to the table”  is important and valued.  I don’t think there is anything wrong with that desire.  The question is, how do we find that significance? For Kathleen Kelly in the movie, she assumed her significance was found in owning and operating a children’s bookstore which in the end she was forced to close.  Crisis forced her to look elsewhere for her significance.

That’s a movie.  How about real life?  I read an article recently in a working mom’s magazine that touched on a similar issue.  The wife lost her job in the down economy and in the process suffered a real personal crisis of significance.  It affected her so deeply that she “bled out” on to her family in a negative way.  Her conclusion was that she had to find a job quick to raise her level of significance back up to what she deemed an acceptable level.

Careers aren’t the only place women pin their significance hopes.  How about romantic relationships…if you aren’t in one do you feel “less then”?  Or the whole comparison game we play, checking our life/kids/house/shoes up against our neighbor’s or our sister’s or our best friend’s?  And we pursue things so noble as doing good deeds, methodically signing up for charities and donating to good causes, so that we can feel we bring something great to the table of life.

The problem is, life doesn’t always play fair with us.  What we tend to define as significance (and our method for achieving it) can change in a second as we interact with those around us each day or according to the stock market.  In addition, our personal feelings of significance can swing back and forth depending on our mood and emotions. 

There has to be something more tangible on which we can rely.  And there is.  If you haven’t already checked out Lydia’s Story about a lady finding true significance,  please do. Just click on the page link above. 

Join us for Daily Devotionals on this topic under the category What I Really Want…Significance at  www.gttdaily.wordpress.com  .

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How to get what I really want out of today?
This Month?
This Year?
This LIFE!

Each morning when I wake my mission is the same. And I say mission because I go about achieving it with military intensity and precision. That’s right – I’m a bit extreme. I hustle to get the family off and on their way. I perform rapid fire clean-up to minimize distraction from my goal. What is it I long for? The incredible sense of peace and serenity that I believe resides inside my first, hot steaming cup of coffee.

Preliminary tasks completed, the anticipation of getting what I really want… really need… begins to rise. I wrap my hands around the warm mug, sitting in my favorite chair with blanket just right. That first sip – the warmth, the joy – YES I have found it – PEACE – It’s all mine! I feel good, I have a positive outlook, I’m even considering exercise…

and then “It” happens.

Life creeps in and robs my peace: the dog needs to go out, the baby wakes too early, the phone rings – someone needs something fast. I set my cup down in defeat. It didn’t last.

How many times during the day do I try to reclaim that feeling, that prize of peace, like stale coffee reheated…and then reheated again… in the microwave? And we all know reheated coffee just isn’t the same. And why do I continue to believe blissful peace can only be found in that first, hot cup of steamy goodness?!

Perhaps like me, you also begin the day with good intentions and great expectations, but end up looking for peace, or whatever it is we really want, in all the wrong places. I have found that there is only One way to have lasting peace…and no it’s not found in the Starbucks drive-thru… it’s a close, personal relationship with the person named Jesus Christ. (You can check out Lydia’s story above for more about this.)

What does a personal relationship with Jesus Christ look like in reality? My life doesn’t stop whirling around me. The day can still escape me as my coffee grows cold in the cup. But I have continual access to the peace I desire because He is always with me. And I find that if I take the time to just sit quietly with Jesus Christ each day, even for just a moment, He can and will speak peace into my heart regardless of the chaos that may surround me.

Do you know Him? I do – and tomorrow I think I’ll ask Him to sit awhile with me, and replenish me while I enjoy my coffee. Feel free to join me for Daily Devotionals at  www.gttdaily.wordpress.com  , and for this topic on peace look under Categories and then click on What I Really Want…Peace.

“And the peace of God which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:7

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