Monthly Archives: March 2011

Take Action to Achieve Your Goals

Recently a friend recommended that I read The Principle of the Path: How to Get from Where You Are to Where
You Want to Be
, by Andy Stanley. The book’s main message really spoke to me
and I wanted to share my perspective.

I think we can all agree that we have hopes, dreams and plans for our lives. And most of us probably have pretty
good intentions when it comes to seeing those things happen. But what are we
really doing about them?

Chances are, if your plan is to live a long, healthy life, sitting on the couch and just thinking about exercising isn’t the
road that will lead you there.

In other words, if you want to end up someplace, you must take deliberate steps to get there. Good intentions are
fine, but they aren’t a substitute for action. You need to be on a path to your
destination, both literally and figuratively.

If there are disconnects in your life and discrepancies between what you desire in your heart and what you
are doing in your life, then let today be the start to changing that.

If you have a destination you are trying to reach (and I believe we all do),
remember: Your direction — not your intention — determines that destination.

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There is Worth in Our Imperfection

I’m so grateful that life is full of teachable moments and that God is constantly reaffirming to me the enormous value and worth He places on all of us as His children.

This point was reinforced before my very eyes yet again this past week.

Several months ago, a new family came to our church and we immediately hit it off. They were warm and friendly; just a great family. Not long after we met, the father shared the story of one of their daughters, whom they’d adopted. (I’ll call her Elizabeth for the purposes of sharing this story.)

He told of how she was born with a cleft palate and her biological parents abandoned her at birth. Whether it was because they felt they couldn’t financially care for an infant with health needs or some other reason, this precious baby was given up.

With no hesitation at all, our friends adopted her and welcomed her into their family. They loved her unconditionally and poured themselves into that little life. Years — and many surgeries — later, she is a lovely young woman. But more obvious than her physical attributes is her beautiful heart. She is sweet, loving, funny and kind; a woman who loves God and people. It’s a blessing to know her.

Still, there’s no doubt that she is aware of the circumstances surrounding the early days of her life. She knows the story of her birth parents’ decision. She must remember the medical procedures she underwent to have brought her to where she is today.

Flash forward to a kennel of beautiful Labrador Retriever puppies for sale by another family in our church. 

They were all adorable! Some white, some yellow, some black. All playful and energetic. Except for one. (I’ll call her Molly.) She was born without a tail and her back legs don’t work. The American Kennel Club wouldn’t grant a registration for this puppy because she wasn’t perfect. When potential buyers came to look at the litter, they overlooked the smallest, least lovely one.

And yet when Elizabeth first laid eyes on her, she fell in love. In fact, she wouldn’t even consider any of the other puppies. Nothing would do until she could make Molly her own. The least likely to be chosen was the one she chose. She realized that the value and the worth of this little pup had nothing to with her exterior. This dog was just as valuable to Elizabeth — maybe more so — because she was not… perfect.

As I watched this story unfold over the course of a few days, I couldn’t help but be reminded again of the incredible worth our loving God places on us. We don’t have to be the most pristine, or the most beautiful. We don’t have to be the most desirable pup in the litter. It doesn’t matter what the world says or doesn’t say about us. And it doesn’t matter where we come from. Our worth is based solely on the fact that the Creator of the Universe says we are worthy! There is no greater source of comfort and strength for me than to know that. And I hope the story of Elizabeth and Molly will remind you of your incredible worth too.


Cherry Blossom Reminders

As a Florida girl for most of my life, I was accustomed to beautiful beaches and outdoor scenery. But
since I moved to Georgia earlier this year I’ve been treated to all sorts of differences
in climate and nature!

One of the most gorgeous sights I’ve seen in recent days has been the blooming cherry blossoms. You
don’t see those in Florida! The trees don’t even look real; each flower is so
beautiful—only God could be the creator of them.

As we were driving my 10-year-old, Noah, to school not long ago, my husband and I were commenting on
this especially striking tree. We had passed it every day for months and never
noticed it until all of a sudden it seemed that the blossoms just burst
magically overnight.

We continued to admire it for a few days on our trips to and from school, when Noah noticed that in a
very short amount of time, many of the blossoms had already fallen to the
ground.

Now only two weeks later the branches are looking sparse. There are only a very few pretty blooms left.
In what seems like an incredibly short amount of time the once thriving
splendor of the flowers is gone. One can only imagine that in another week, it
will look completely barren and unassuming as it had all those many months we
completely ignored it.

And it happened so quickly.

I researched the average lifespan of a cherry blossom, and found out that there were several variables
that could affect it, but generally a healthy tree should bloom for 2-3 weeks.
So truly there is a very small window of opportunity to relish the beauty of
the cherry blossom trees.

It reminds me of many things in life, and brought to mind the urgency to really soak in all the many
blessings God gives us every day. When I get frustrated with the rowdy behavior
of my sons, I need only to remember that just yesterday my 10-year-old was a
toddler just learning to walk and talk. I blink my eyes and my three-year-old
isn’t a baby anymore; but now a self-professed “big boy” who is about to start
soccer practice in a month.

The only thing that is consistent in this life is change. Fortunately, the cherry blossoms are still
blooming in many places around town. And for however long they last, I intend
to soak in the sight of them and enjoy the beauty of this specific part of
God’s creation.

I also intend to let them serve as a reminder to appreciate all the blessings in my life—all the
precious relationships, experiences and opportunities that come my way each
day.