Who wanted to get up this morning when their alarm went off? I'll admit, this was NOT me. I wanted to roll over and sleep until Noon but this isn't realistic or the "grown up" thing to do. I spent the weekend with my school peeps learning and I returned home yesterday afternoon on information overload. I found myself questioning, "Is this something I can do?", "Do I have passion for this?" and "Why did God place me in this position?". It is the latter question I kept returning to.
With Monday and the week before me, I am thankful to be one of these peeps and to be the best I can be in this role, keeping my eyes focused upward and finding the moments that instill the passion. I'm thankful for the opportunity to represent my peeps and nervous, all at the same time. Sometimes we are placed in a position or place we didn't plan on or wouldn't choose BUT God has bigger plans and opportunities for growth. He loves us. So with the week before me, I CHOOSE to be and do what He leads me to be.
I'll cherish the opportunity for growth and challenge, and let this week become all it can be. As the days, minutes, and hours transition into a new day...may I choose to represent God and my peeps. Can you do the same thing this week?
What will you choose today?
The first thing I thought of when I saw this picture
was Robert Frost's poem, "The Road Not Taken".
If you haven't read it, click here.
Otherwise, let's get busy writing.
Which direction do you take and why?
What happens along the way?
This summer as I prepared for the annual Bishop Cunningham (Catholic) High School reunion I enjoyed a visit down memory lane. The organizers asked if I could make a poster or something as a tribute for Heidi to display at the reunion, I found some treasures in her scrapbook I'd forgotten about. It brought many tears to revisit her volleyball memories yet much joy to remember the amazing young woman she was.
Happy TOP's Tuesday, Tower Of Power Tuesday, that is. In honor of Heidi and her volleyball family, a little turkey Hokey Pokey. Have a great day everyone!
Have a Hokey-Pokey of a Day!
Did you go to church? If you said yes, what was the message/sermon about?
How were you able to apply it to your life and day?
If you didn't go to church today, what was the reason? The truth is, if we don't go to church then no matter who you are, there is a reason. I'm not here to justify what is, and is not, a good reason to go to church. I didn't go to church to go. Yesterday a friend asked, "Will I see you in church tomorrow?" I explained she may, or may not because I was helping a friend. If we finished in time, I planned on heading to church for the service and to hear our guest speaker and enjoy the potluck. We accomplished the task but after church was over. I'm glad I was there to help.
Long story short, as the title of this blog states, I didn't go to church. Some might want to comment and reprimand me because the Bible is clear we are to enjoy corporate worship and go to church. I agree with this but I also believe that God knows our heart and mind, more than any person on earth.
I've thought about this in the past, if I have a friend or family member in need but I say, "Sorry I can't help you, I have to attend a church service. If you are still in need in an hour or so I'll be back." What kind of message does this send to them? Did I share a positive or negative witness of who God and Jesus are? Sometimes I think we get caught in a legalistic trap of "must do's" at church and forget how much Jesus loved people and was never too busy to help someone in need.
I'm not saying to skip church and go to the beach but when a friend is in need and asks for help, isn't it okay to thank them for asking you, then help them? The friend who needed a hand knows I go to church each Sunday and thankfully she knows if she needs me, I'm there. I don't have to wait until Sunday to pray, praise, worship, and receive a message from God - I can do this everyday from the comfort of my home or wherever I am because of the relationship I have with Jesus.
I did miss the fellowship and worshiping with other Christians but I also spent the morning and day with other Christians who sacrificed attending church in order to prepare a family friendly time of fellowship and gathering for our colleagues. I miss the church service when I'm not there but I'd rather "be" the church than a bad representation of God's love for others by closing a door God might have opened. You never know the connection, conversation, or friendship we might miss, by a "no".
Have you ever missed church to help a friend?
Meet My Host ~ Donna Gore
"Donna R. Gore’s experience in crime victim advocacy began with the 1981 murder of her father. Her personal experience through the judicial system inspires her to reach out to others in similar situations through development of support resources, and educating the public through utilization of several media outlets..."
To Read Donna's FULL BIO, CLICK HERE.
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My first interactions with Donna started when I was invited to participate with one of the "Grief Diaries" books. I was honored and shocked by this invitation. While I understand my sister, Heidi Allen, kidnapped on April 3, 1994, is presumed dead based on the evidence, I didn't think of it as "homicide".
I didn't accept right away but took some time to pray about it, talked with my Mom in depth, and talked with my good friend and author, Karen Beaudoin. After much thought, I agreed. I'm glad I did. You can purchase the book through Amazon.com - or click on the book cover or the link above for a direct link.
I don't receive proceeds from the sale of this book. Lynda and Donna are compassionate and diligent women using the "Grief Diaries" as a platform to raise awareness and funds. The funds are used to further their mission and assist others and organizations helping the victims of so many things.
A portion of the proceeds from this particular book, "Surviving Loss by Homicide" goes to support CUE and missing person initiatives. A mission so close to my heart and one of the next diaries soon to release, stay tuned.
Donna's heart is pure and dedicated to helping the victims and others effected. Something many don't realize is that it isn't only the immediate family effected by a tragedy or loss. In truth, all family, friends, and the community have life changing thoughts and behaviors. I'm thankful for Lady Justice's efforts, she does a job (mission) I don't have the strength or call to do.
If you do happen to miss it, the interview should be available to listen to in the archives. I'll keep you posted. Thank you again for your prayers, support, and remembering Heidi!
I hope you'll listen in tomorrow and I pray God speaks through me...
Thank you in advance for your prayers and support.
If this road could take you ANYWHERE, where does it lead?
What can you smell? Hear? See?
Are you going alone or is someone joining you?
Why is it so important for you to reach this destination?
5:30 a.m., a few hours later, my husband and I both received texts and phone calls from the college's emergency response. There was a stabbing on campus earlier in the morning. My heart sank, my stomach lunged, and I thanked God for nudging me to pray. I prayed mostly for Mary but I always pray for the other kiddos at the college, all our kids need prayer. God knew what was going to, or was happening at the college in the wee hours of the morning.
I'm thankful to say our daughter was in the dorm and didn't know of the stabbing incident until she received the emergency notification herself, but one thing she knows and we know...I prayed when God nudged and gave me this feeling in the pit of my stomach. I'm glad I did, prayer was needed at the college while most of us were slumbering. I continue to pray for all the students at the college, for them to not live and fear and unite after this tragic and violent event.
Do you experience "gut feelings"?
What do you do when you feel this?
Setting out to learn all she could about the publishing industry she got involved with the San Francisco Writer’s Conference and started the Write Nonfiction in November Challenge (now known as National Nonfiction Writing Month). In April 2012, her first book How to Blog a Book was published, became an Amazon bestseller almost immediately, and has remained one ever since. The Author Training Manual was published by Writer’s Digest Books just two years later and was a bestseller before any books passed through the register on Amazon. In addition she’s self-published several more ebooks, all of which have made it onto the Amazon Top 100 right away. In fact, she’s had as many as four books on one Amazon Top 100 list at the same time!
Find out more about Creative visualization for Writers by visiting online:
Read More Reviews and/or Interviews with Nina by clicking at the other blogs participating on this tour:
September 19(today!) @ The Muffin
September 21 @ Pen & Pro$per
September 23 @ Create Write Now
September 27 @ Building Bookshelves
September 29 @ Santa Fe Books
September 30 @ Choices
October 17 @ Lisa M. Buske
Other Books by Nina Amir
October 19 @ Beads and Books
October 20 @ Writers Pay It Forward
October 21 @ Android After Forty
October 26 @ Beverley A. Baird
October 27 @ Dorit Sasson
October 31 @ Memoir Writer’s Journey
If you are looking for a book to boost your mood and trigger your inner writer, this is a book to add to your library. I'm calling this a "must have" if you are serious about writing. Thank you Nina!
Leave Nina a message and welcome her to the blog if you can...
"Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds..." James 1:2
"Seek the Lord and his strength; seek his presence continually!" 1 Chronicles 16:11
I'm thankful to have a heart looking for the positive and instances of God's blessing and provision in all situations, regardless of how difficult it might be. I'm not perfect, there are instances when I am the nay-sayer instantly, then ask for forgiveness and get my "Polyanna" on (as my daughter calls it). Other times, times that are more common than the latter though, I find a positive.
Here is an example, my husband and I got up early and went to a Pop Warner flag football game yesterday so I could surprise one of my students by attending a game. Guess what, the surprise was on me, he didn't go to his game. I was C-R-A-N-K-Y. I was tired, hungry, and now annoyed because the day was not going as I planned. Do you get that, "I"? My husband said we could leave and come back for the 11 O'clock game but if I left, I wasn't returning.
I'm so glad we stayed! Ed bought me a slice of breakfast pizza and a drink from the concession stand and I took out my school bag and got some work done. We enjoyed conversation and talked about the week ahead. Since we didn't need to be engaged in the game, some bonding took place. I could have missed this positive if I remained cranky. It was a reminder, surprises can often surprise the giver more than the one receiving. Today I need to apologize to anyone I was grumbly with because this isn't the persona I want to share. I'm very thankful for my hubby, as he kept laughing at me. He is a roll-with-it kind of guy, unlike his goal oriented and pre-planned wife. LOL
With this said, WHERE do you need to find JOY in the storm today?
"Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect." Romans 12:2 ESV
I'm thankful for this realization. I could dwell on "how long" it's taken me to not only recognize this but to also do something about it. I have a renewed Peace within me. I have a renewed outlook and drive to move forward in faith to "be" the best Lisa I can be. I will continue to strive to be the best wife, mom, daughter, sister, niece, educator, author, and speaker I can be BUT only by allowing myself to "be Lisa" too.
I, you, can't be the best all around person God designed us to be if we aren't taking time to be this person - a time of reflection, renewal, and regeneration.
do you take time to just be?
Is today the day you start?
Leave a comment and let us know...
It makes sense though, think about it...for eighteen plus years, unless you are amazing and established a plan while the child was still "in utero", you can most likely relate to this new found time and communication barrier. This is the opposite of what I thought. I'm so naive, or is it that I just didn't have a lot of "empty nester" friends prior to this year.
Another challenge I face is to establish a healthy life style routine I can manage and continue with on a VERY routine basis. As I sat wallowing in my own pity one evening it came to me. Ed and I could join the gym. Not only would this help our physical health, it will renew our communication and dedicate time each week together. I'll admit, the first day, Ed put in both his ear buds and listened to the sports channel he selected as his entertainment. Meanwhile, I only had one ear bud in, the opposite ear of the side Ed was walking on his treadmill. I figured I could have the background of Channel 9's news in one ear and a conversation with Ed at the same time. Not so much.
I was annoyed at first UNTIL I realized something. Ed is a man! He doesn't know this exercise time is a date and a means to reconnect and communicate. He thinks, or should I say, thought, it was just about the physical activity. Duh, he's a man. How do I expect him to realize my intent and heart's desire, if I don't tell him? Guess what, the next workout date, he still used both ear buds but talked with me more than the first time. We are work in progress. I need to be more understanding of my husband (man brain)'s need for sports in the morning while he gives a little time for his wife (female brain)'s desire to "bond" and "reconnect". We are synergy in motion...literally! LOL
This is a work in process and I'm a needy wife, wanting his attention and thoughtful conversation at 5 a.m., before we even drink our coffee. I choose to be thankful he joined the gym with me and even more thankful that each time we go, the conversations get longer and a little more interesting. Who knows, we might even lose weight and establish healthy exercise routines. A win-win if you ask me!
Any other "Empty Nesters" out there that can relate?
Share how you and your spouse reconnect when the nest emptied.
how is your writing coming along?
Do you enjoy these 5, 10, or 15 minutes
of creating a story from a prompt?
and I'm feeling great
It must be fate
You're not late
Your writing fits in a crate
Wednesdays are a writing date!
Guess what we are writing this week? A poem!
Just have fun, make a rhyming poem -
it doesn't have to make sense. Try something new!
Who will be brave and share their poem first?
This week for T.O.P.'s Tuesday I want to take a moment to remind everyone to "seize the day". Originally I was going to share a scene from Dead Poet's Society but found this beautiful song and think it's message is more powerful. What does the phrase or mantra, "seize the day", have to do with remembering my sister, Heidi Allen? It's a gentle reminder that our tomorrow or even five minutes from now aren't a guarantee. This is a fact so why do so many people say and do things they regret? Why do some carry unforgiveness and hate in their hearts? Why do some people not let their loved ones know how much they mean to them and are loved?
I don't have the answers to these questions and I'm guilty at times of saying or doing things I regret. Although this is something I, we, struggle with, don't dismay. It simply means we are human BUT we have a choice. Instead of carrying on or dwelling on the negative we can focus on the positive and live with a "seize the day" mindset. God is the only one who knows when we, or our loved ones, will breath the last breath here on earth.
Today, I encourage you to seize the day and keep a positive focus. Our womens' Bible study this past month focused on some of these aspects and after our study last night, I know there is a group of women more determined to live this mindset. What about you?
What will you seize today?
I don't really stand up to praise you with songs
Or prayers or actions
or with anything
I am full of all the right moves
I am full of all the right words
I am full of all the right religion
But it is all just illusion
I am really
and well...really just too lazy
to worship you anymore
I have lost my first love
I have lost the joy of your presence
But most of all I have lost the fear of your glory
Father I need to see you again
Like Isaiah I want to stand in awe of your glory
To fall down at your feet
To come face to face with your
I want to stand before you and see you for who you are
and me for who I am
I want to be undone
I want to know me for who I really am
I want to see the depths of my heart
And know that you are the only way
You are the only truth
You are the only life
I want to see me and understand
What it really must have taken for you to
Care for me
Speak to me
Communicate with me
Die for me
Die for me
Die for me
Lord, I want to stand in that place where all I can see is your glory
And my sin
Because in that place I can't help but worship you.
Lord let me come undone
Undo my heart
Lord, undo my heart
break down these walls that I love so much
No, wait don't!
I'm scared I don't know if I can handle this
But I can't live this way anymore
I can't stand here in this half-life
this going through the motions life
this not really alive life
Father, I need you... so come in and do what you must
Cut out the tumor on my heart
Break down the walls that I love
Lord let me come undone
Undo my heart
let me worship you again"
If you feel led, leave a comment below of how it touched you.
Yes, it's the same picture as last week but your prompt is different.
This week you arrive at your child's/grandchild's
preschool or elementary school to pick them up
and see a row of these pans lining the sidewalk.
What is the first thing you think?
What is the first thing you do?
Do you take a picture and send it to someone?
Do you writing in the sand?
Is this the conversation starter in the office/car ride home?
How did the same photo but
with a different writing prompt change your story?
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