Creating Quality Time with Friends

Time? Who has time? Let alone “quality time”?

Recently I was back in small town Iowa for my high school class reunion. The committee planned a scavenger hunt with cryptic clues to various places in town. We divided into teams and set off to take selfies at each spot, climbing in and out of our car or minivan at each stop. It was so much fun! It was a great start to a wonderful weekend of renewing friendships and creating new memories. Bonds and rekindled friendships took place.

I treasure the times with friends in deep conversation, sharing my heart while learning something new, a bible study, or discussion at a book club. I love learning how another person thinks, feels, and their perspective.
What is the common denominator in all of this?

Time spent together in a relationship that is focused, intentional, and without distraction, and sharing our hearts—what resides deep within. Good conversation can happen when running an errand or walking the dog. At bunco. After seeing a movie together. And many other times.

What is your favorite way of spending quality time?
It’s important as busy women to pay attention to what feeds our sense of healthy contentment and make time to do it. To have quality time it all starts with TIME.

And how do we find time? We all have the same 168 hours each week.

To get time we must: 1. Prioritize. 2.Schedule it. 3.Then Do It.

Prioritize. Is it important to you? Then put it near the top of your list of things to do.

Schedule it. Put in on your calendar in your schedule. Weekly or monthly or quarterly. If it’s important, it needs to be planned for. Yes, spontaneous times can occur but you can’t rely on if and when that will happen. If you really want it, schedule it.

Then Do It. Keep your agreements. If you’ve scheduled a time with friends, but you don’t “feel” like it, do it anyway because you said you will and your friends are counting on you.

Quiet time with Jesus Christ is quality time well spent. He is always waiting for you. He wants to hear your heart, even though he already knows what is hidden inside. He wants us to know him too, his character and how he wants to help us become our best selves. Be kind and loving, generous, and accepting of others, even if we don’t agree on politics, lifestyles, or philosophies. He is the most important relationship in my life. I hope my life gives evidence of this.

I need my girlfriends too. Dr Laura Schlesinger says don’t expect your husband to be your girlfriend. This has been so true for me in my life. I need my girlfriends for those long walks and talks, long lunches, and bible studies, or book discussions.

So what will you do with this information? It’s all up to you.

Prioritize creating quality time with your friends. Schedule it. Get it on your calendar. And Do It. Let the good times begin. It can soothe your soul and enhance your relationships.

Now, recall a favorite memory of sharing quality time with someone. Call or text her, or better yet, send her a note in the mail and thank her for the memories shared.

And then plan the next time you will get together.

Leave a comment (button above) and tell me what your next step is.

Advertisements

Shoes? Sandals? Boots?

img_6137What is your favorite kind of footwear?  Mine is my flip flops.  I live in Southern California and I can wear them almost all year around.

My bible study group has been studying the armor of God from Ephesians 6.  This is what I’m learning about the part of Armor called the Shoes of the Gospel of Peace.

Shoes– feet need footwear for protection
Gospel — the Good News of eternal life in Jesus Christ
Peace– calmness in the midst of chaos
Shalom–eirene– a spiritual force that overcomes chaos — health, harmony, wholeness in chaos swirling around you ( me)

Have you noticed? Anywhere that peace is lacking, the enemy is at work.  If you have No peace?? Then the Enemy is at work. It’s very predictable, a given.

As shoes protect the feet, we need the peace “of God” and peace “in God ” to protect the heart.  Peace is my anchor that will hold, even when the waves get wild.

Is 26:3 “You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You. Trust in the LORD forever, For in YAH, the LORD, is everlasting strength.”
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭26:3-4‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

Col 3:15. “And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful.”
‭‭Colossians‬ ‭3:15‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

Phil 4:6-7. “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”  Philippians‬ ‭4:6-7‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

Trust in the Lord. Trust activates thankfulness. Thankfulness activates peace.  Give thanks with a grateful heart.  Be grateful. Be gracious.

Be a person who brings good news– the gospel of Jesus Christ– to others. Go tell them. Go. Wherever you are. Go. Speak up. Tell them.

If peace is missing, look at your thoughts. What’s ruminating in there? Is it true? Is it noble, just, pure, lovely, of good report?

“Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.”
‭‭Philippians‬ ‭4:8‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

This is what should be in your mind. If not, transform your mind. And however do I do that?
“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”
‭‭Romans‬ ‭12:2‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

Like soldiers in battle, we must stand firm and hold the line. Sturdy shoes with spikes help us stand our ground. Stand firm with the whole armor of God.

Beach volleyball. No shoes needed. Almost everything else needs the appropriate footwear. Put your shoes on. The shoes of Peace.
Together we are as as strong as the weakest link. We need to support each other and stand firm together. We are not meant to fight the battle alone.

Mary Poppins and Saving Mr Banks

My husband and I love to watch movies. This Christmas holiday we saw ” Saving Mr Banks” which is a delightful story of Mr Disney’s struggle to get the movie rights to “Mary Poppins.”

20140102-192256.jpg

The author, P.L. Travers is very proper in the British style. She has become very attached to her created character of Mary Poppins. Reluctant to relinquish her rights, Mr Disney sets his mind to win her over. It’s a challenge, to be sure. Walt must be most persuasive. As the story unfolds, we learn more about the author and her life as a child growing up. A life filled with a series of disappointments has colored how she sees the world. Holding on to Mary Poppins is one of her ways of coping with those disappointments. Ultimately, Disney persuades her that by sharing Mary Poppins, she can share her hope with children and adults everywhere. I’m so glad he was so persistent in courting her for the movie rights. What a blessing the Mary Poppins movie has been to the world… And to me.

I loved watching this story unfold. The scenes of the team creating the songs and trying to win Mrs Travers over were enchanting. Seeing her as a child and the way she loved her father, and her father loved her warmed my heart. Her father failed her many times; that part was really sad. Yet Disney had a way of making the most of it, turning it into hope and encouragement for all.

I grew up with The Wonderful World of Disney on Sunday night tv. Disney captivated me with adventures and imagination. I was encouraged to dream big and reach for the stars to be whatever I wished to be. When you wish upon a star Your dreams come true.

What are you wishing for? What is your dream? What action do you need to take to put feet to your dreams?

Writing this post today is the beginning (yet again) of one of my dreams of writing. Maybe, I really can be a writer yet.

I

Finding My Strong Tower

Have you ever hit a huge bump in the road? What did you do that helped you get your life back in order? This is MY personal story and how I dealt with it. May it encourage and bless you.

Finding My Strong Tower

The day I learned my 67-­year-­old mother had colon cancer and needed surgery, I took it in stride. My logical brain side took over. I am a pharmacist. I knew the medical community was making strides in cancer treatment and longevity of life. I had much hope…

Where’s My Fairytale?

I grew up in a wonderful Christian family; my parents loved my siblings and me very much. Even though we moved often, I remember my childhood with fondness. When I was ten years old, I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior, but now I realize that I had no clue what that really meant.

20120930-184412.jpg

As I got older, I desired a life similar to the one my parents provided for me. I had a plan: I would attend college, marry my Prince Charming, and then begin my family.

I wanted the fairytale—not a broken engagement… not a marriage that fell apart… not a divorce… not a miscarriage and infertility that cast a shadow over my new marriage…

Where was Jesus?

My world seemed secure because my mom was my best friend. I didn’t develop a close relationship with Jesus because she was my rock. As a good preacher’s kid, I saw Mom walk the walk and she provided me with guidance and the truth I needed to hear even when I was making bad choices.

When I got pregnant, I immediately shared the news with Mom. When I miscarried, I called Mom. I shared almost everything with her.

Whenever I had a question, I could call Mom. She lived 1000 miles away, but she was as close as a phone call. Even in in the midst of her surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy, she was my comforter.

Shortly after my baby was born, the reality of it all hit me. My mother was not going to be alive for my baby’s first Christmas. In one room I had my baby trying to go to sleep, and in the other room, my mom was dying.

Who Will Be There for Me Now?

How could I ever replace the relationship I had with my mom? Who could I turn to now? As a new mother, I longed to talk to her—to absorb her advice and wisdom regarding motherhood.

I had always sought my way of putting my broken life back together instead of asking God how He could use a circumstance to draw me to Himself. And when I couldn’t do it alone, I relied on Mom.
But in the midst of overwhelming grief, I began to learn how to fully rely on God in a way I never had before… and to experience the comfort and peace of Jesus.

God began to show me how He had been drawing me to himself even during the final days with my mother. His provisions were numerous and astounding! Because my daughter was an infant, she would sleep soundly in my arms while I stayed at my mother’s side. And because I was on maternity leave, I was able to travel to be with Mom. God himself had been with me during the most painful loss of my life.

Learning to Trust God

Slowly, I learned to depend on the strength of the Lord rather than relying on any temporary earthly comfort. I learned to lean on and talk to God instead of my mom.

Sometimes, driving in the car, I would imagine Jesus sitting next to me. When I longed to talk to my mom, I began talking to God instead. When I wanted to write Mom a letter, I would pickup my journal and begin writing to Jesus.

It was a gradual transition.

Then one day, I found a tape of a sermon my mom had preached as an American Baptist preacher. It was about “facing the storms in your life.” She related a story about a time when she was learning how to swim and had to stop fighting the lifeguard so he could save her… just like Jesus saved the apostles in the boat from the storm on the Sea of Galilee.

God used that sermon—in my mother’s voice—to carry me through my hard times! He was with me each step of every day!

Growing Strong

The more I read my Bible, the more Jesus’ words began to reside in my mind and my heart. I remembered lyrics from hymns I sang as a child, and my faith grew stronger as I witnessed God’s promised truths become reality.

I learned that frequently my plans are not God’s plans and that life is not a Disney fairytale with a perfect ending. Our lives resemble the stories in the Bible: God prepares us, just as He prepared Ruth for a new husband and a great inheritance.

He uses devastation and pain to draw us to Himself so that we might seek His face and glorify Him through our sorrow.

He is the Solid Rock and the Strong Tower.
With Jesus, we can journey through trials with a peace that passes all understanding.

He’s Waiting for You

Sometimes we feel our life is safe and secure because a particular person is in it—a child… a husband… a parent… a friend. When that person is no longer there, for whatever reason, we ache until we realize we have to find the true source of security and wholeness.

If you are hurting, Jesus wants to be your comforter. Will you trust Him to faithfully care for you? He is the only One we can depend on, and He is the only One worthy of our trust.

Today, you can choose to follow Jesus with these words:

Dear God, forgive me for living a sinful and selfish life. Help me to listen to Your voice, and help me to see Your hand upon my life. Thank You for sending Jesus to pay the debt of my sin. Guide me. I want to be whole again.
In Jesus name, Amen.

The name of the LORD is a Strong Tower; The righteous run into it and are safe. Proverbs 18:10
-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐
Sarah Tipton has been married for thirty plus years and is enjoying God’s blessings as a wife and mother—even in an imperfect world. She lives in San Diego, California.

If you like this story, you can find more at: http://storiesfromthevine.com

In This World You Will Have Trouble

The enemy prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.

20120724-074837.jpg

Take heart, in this world you will have trouble. But I have overcome the world.

In Frank Peretti’s book, This Present Darkness, he illustrates the invisible world of demons that roam the earth, seeking to stir up trouble. Doubt. Disparity. Darkness. And many many more. They are real. Their purpose is to take us out, to keep us from living the life we were created by God to live. If they keep us stuck, they have succeeded.

These demons — doubt, despair, discouragement, fear, are not from The Lord. They are from the enemy. If we walk through life with our eyes closed or oblivious to their existence, we are just asking for disaster to happen. So what can we do? Remember, the game belongs to The Lord and in the end, HE WINS. Hallelujah. So, Never surrender to the enemy. Surrender only to The Lord. Surrender now. Surrender daily. Seek to know His will and do it! And do it now!

What can I do? you ask. Whatever you do, do it all for the glory of the Lord. Whatever. That means every little thing. The way you drive your car on the road to work. The way you wait patiently at the check out line at the store. Every little kindness you show to another. Compassion. Patience. Kindness. Be kind to one another, tender hearted, forgiving others as Jesus has forgiven you. Do all this for the glory of The Lord. Our hope is in the Lord.

Encourage One Another! Rejoice !

20120707-233727.jpg

Celebrate life’s victories.

Big Sisters– encourage your little Sisters in the Faith. Beth Moore says so. We all have experiences with lessons learned that we can share to encourage others.

You could call it mentoring. You could just call it being a sister, a friend. I look to those who have walked these paths before me. What’s college like? How hard do you really have to study? Or, how do you plan a wedding? Can I do it my way? Or, what do you do when a baby keeps crying and won’t go to sleep at night? Or, how long does it hurt after your mother dies? I’ve asked all of those questions and more. And I have lots of life experiences that I could share with someone what I have learned. Moving. Marriage. Divorce. Infertility. Blended families. Remarriage. Transitions. Changes. I’ve heard that the best teacher is someone else’s experience. ( I do not want to reinvent the wheel. Just show me how to use it better.)

I have lots of experiences . I bet you do too. My life has had some twists and turns. It didn’t look like I thought it was supposed to look like. It still doesn’t. And it’s a good life; I am blessed.

What I really like is when I learn a life principle that I can apply to more situations and circumstances that continue to show up in my life. The life principles I proclaim are that: The Lord God is faithful. He’s got it — whatever it is– covered. Relax. Trust in Him. Listen to his voice. Read his word, his love letter in permanent ink written to You. Take heart. TRUST and OBEY. Wait on the Lord while you move forward in faith doing what He says. Step by step. Great is His Faithfulness. God is not finished yet, with me or my loved ones. It’s all part of the process to make me more like Jesus. All of it.

What is one life principle that you have learned? What was the circumstance that taught you this?

http://blog.lproof.org/2012/07/big-sisters-and-little-sisters.html

Trust in The Lord

Lord, I’m trusting you

20120602-120317.jpg

Lord you are all knowing. You are all powerful. You are Good! You are wise. You know the plans you have for us, plans to prosper us. Plans for a future and give us hope.

Lord, you go before us preparing the way. You go with us, side by side. All we need to do it to open our eyes and be aware of your presence, be sensitive to your spirit that lives within us. You go behind us, like our rear guard. You’ve got my six.

In this world we will have trouble. The prince of darkness is the ruler of this world. “But take heart, I have overcome the world,” you say to us. Trials and tribulations are a method of building faith, perseverance, patience, and trust. I am trusting you, My Lord.

I have seen you do miracles recently. Baby Kira’s miraculous recovery. Tate’s life spared in a rollover wreck. And many others. And I have seen times when you have chosen not to save a life. A young wife and mother who died in her sleep. An older wife and mother who died skiing. A baby who died of cancer. Lord, it doesn’t make sense to me, to us. Their family and friends are missing the void created by their passing. And still we rejoice for we know that they are with you in heaven right now. In your presence. It still doesn’t make sense, but I trust that your wisdom is greater than mine. You know things I don’t. I will trust you.

Day by day, step by step, I’ll walk with you and cling to You. You are the only thing that does does not change. You are the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

Please take my hand to lead me through the changes in my life. You will work it all for good. Let your name be glorified over all the earth. Someday, every knee shall bow, everyone proclaim that Jesus Christ is Lord.

Yet, will I praise you!

<a