When It’s HARD to Give Thanks – Part 3

In my last blog we looked at the focus Jesus had in Hard Times, when He was facing rejection, injustice and unimaginable suffering.. .
 
Hebrews 12:2  tells us :

” … for the joy that was set before Him, He endured the cross, despising the shame …”  
 

 But that JOY must have been based on some very solid truths …



1. Jesus knew that God was SOVEREIGN

  • God, His Father,  was totally in control of EVERYTHING that was happening and would happen.
  • God knew the beginning from the end, and had planned and purposed this, ‘from the beginning’
  • The Pharisees,  Pontius Pilate, the Romans, the people – Yes they had free will, BUT God was ultimately Sovereign and IN CONTROL.

All that would happen would be according to God’s Will, nothing more, nothing less.


2. Jesus  knew that God was GOOD

  • He was not being cruel or vindictive, a hard task-master, an impossible god to appease
  • God is GOOD, and in His Divine purposes, EVERYTHING that was happening was going to be used and purposed for GOOD
  • That every purpose and plan in God’s heart was motivated by His LOVE and GOODNESS.

3. Jesus knew that God would use EVERYTHING together for Good

  • There would be no random acts of evil and cruelty that God would not use – the crown of cruel thorns, the purple robe, the beating, the casting lots for His clothing, the sword wound to His side instead of breaking His bones… 
  • That everything, EVERY  act of evil and pain, would be used to accomplish God’s plan for Good
  • There was a purpose and specific plan in everything that was allowed to happen, that His loving Father would use for Good, for Glory.

I think that’s how…

“ on the night He was betrayed, He took bread, 24 and when he had GIVEN THANKS, he broke it and said,
“This is my body, which is for you … “ 1 Corinthians 11:23-29


Jesus GAVE THANKS,  not just for the bread, but for His Body which was about to be given, broken cruelly,  for us. 

How could He GIVE THANKS???     He knew these solid truths.



I am learning to believe and  trust these truths too: 



1. That God is SOVEREIGN

  • God,  my Father,  is totally in control of EVERYTHING that  is happening and will happen.
  • God knows the beginning from the end, and has planned and purposed this, ‘from the beginning’
  • The people – Yes they have free will, BUT God is ultimately Sovereign and IN CONTROL.

All that will happen to me will be according to God’s Will – nothing more –  nothing less!



2. That God is GOOD

  • He is not a cruel, vindictive, a hard task-master, an impossible god to appease
  • But He is ONLY, ALWAYS GOOD!
  • His Divine purposes in EVERYTHING that  is happening is going to be used and purposed for GOOD,  not for harm or meaningless suffering.
  • That every purpose and plan in God’s heart for me is motivated by His LOVE and GOODNESS.

3. That God will use EVERYTHING together for Good

For we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[a] have been called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28)

  • There will be no random acts of evil and cruelty that God will not use
  • That everything, EVERY  act of evil, pain or discomfit will be used to accomplish God’s plan for Good
  • There is a purpose and a specific plan in everything that is allowed to happen to me, that my loving Father will use for Good, for Glory.

In my last blog I shared Jean –Pierre de Caussade quote. The part that struck me the most was this …

“Nothing happens to you except by the will of God, and yet God’s beloved children curse it
because they do not know it for what it is”  


And so, I believe, this is How and WHY we can

Give THANKS in ALL circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. (1 Thessalonians 5:18:) 

When it’s so HARD to give thanks …

  • Thanksgiving is a reaffirming these solid truths that I choose to stand on: –  His is Sovereign, He is only Good, and He will work and use ALL things together for Good.
  • Thanks giving is a declaration of my Trust in my Loving Father
  • It is a declaration of my Yieldedness to His will
  • It is keeping my focus on  the truth that
  •  …  our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. (2 Corinthians 4:17)

Are you in a hard or painful place? Or in any situation where things are not going the way you would want them to be?

Can you join me in giving thanks  FOR this circumstance and IN this circumstance
 – because you know that our Loving, Sovereign,  Good Father is using them, and working them all, together for  good?

Abundant Blessings – and Thanks – Always!

Laurie



Have you felt like this?   No Motivation. No Energy.
Your ‘get up and go’ has ‘got up and gone’?

That new project, new business, new plan – even a new habit…   You started out all excited and highly motivated. It was happening!!!   You were intentional, directed, disciplined and seriously going for it . At last!  This was the time to get going!!!

But then … a few weeks/ months down the line,  you started to waver. The going was getting harder. The discipline was fading and your motivation was waning.  It was all just a bit too much effort. 

How do you get back up and going again? 
How do you regain your motivation? 

Here are a few steps to help you. You CAN do this!!   

Grab a Pen and Paper and set some time aside to reflect…

1)  Look at your WHY?  

  • WHY did you start this new habit/ business/ project etc?  
  • What would you gain from accomplishing this?
  • What would it give you?
  • How would you benefit?
  • How would it impact others that you care about?
  • What would your end result look like?
  • How important is it to accomplish this goal


2)  What are 10 consequences of NOT accomplishing this goal?

  • What would happen, or not happen?
  • How would you feel
  • How would this impact others around you
  • Where will you be in 2 years/ 5 years/ 10 years if you do nothing about this? 

3)  What are 10 reasons why you MUST accomplished this goal?  

  • How would you benefit
  • How would you feel
  • How would this impact others around you
  • Where will you be in 2 years/ 5 years/ 10 years having accomplished this goal? 

4)  Then write down ..  What will YOU be like when you have accomplished this goal? 

  • What will you look like?
  • What would you be feeling about yourself? 
  • What would you say to myself?
  • How would you celebrate

5) Then ask yourself …

Are you really serious about wanting to achieve this goal? 

If you are really serious, I can guarantee that I can get your motivation back!! 

Here’s how ..

Ask yourself  – how serious am I out of 10? 
(1 being not serious and 10 being very serious but just needing some support?)    If you are serious enough to do something about it, then …

Work out exactly how this goal will benefit you in monetary terms. – be specific!!  Put a monetary value on it.  Work out what would accomplishing this goal would be worth to you financially in the next 6 months, 1 year, 5 years? 

Then, send me a Cheque, an IOU, or a legally binding document to the value you have worked out – and a date by which this cheque can be paid.  I will hold onto this financial IOU until the date specified. 

If, by the given date, you have accomplished this goal, then I will return the cheque or promissory note to you.

But, if, at the specified time, you have NOT accomplished your goal
– then I will cash the cheque, or claim the money promised,
and pay it to a charity of your choice!

Do you think this will give you the motivation that you need?  Absolutely!!!

Yet I wonder how many of you reading this would be willing to commit yourself to achieving this goal/ project/ new habit/ new lifestyle, seriously enough to do whatever it takes?

Do you seriously want to accomplish your goal? 
Then get your motivation back up and keep going – with or without me. 

With love and laughter,

Laurie

New Habits in just 2 minutes – Seriously??

That’s ‘small beginnings’ of note!    

When we decide to create NEW GOOD habits its usually because: – 

a) Its a New Year or a new season, and so we set huge goals and decide to revolutionise our whole life in one big step.  Or
b) We are so utterly FED UP being unfit, overweight, in a family crisis, broke with no financial plan. Or
c) We hear or see someone,  or attend an event, that hugely inspires us to get going

So we decide we are going to take hold of our life, and sort this out. We decide to make some radical changes. :

          – Start exercising for at least 1 hour a day
          – Start that new strict diet – Cut out everything bad or fattening
          – Read or study for at least 2 hours per day
          – Get up 1 hour earlier
          – Save $150 a month
           – ………..    You fill in the rest

You’re going with that old  adage “Go BIG or go home!”

The trouble is, we try to leap from where we are now – to where we want to be, in one or two quick steps. We want to leap the canyon to get to the other side, or run that marathon, lose that 10kg, have $10’000 in the bank now, have studied the whole course … Now!

But it all proves a bit too much!  That is why so many of our good intentions don’t last long, and we lose motivation quickly.  Our new actions do not become new habits and we soon go back to the same old bad habits or ways of life.

You’ve heard the saying : “The journey of a 1000 miles starts with just one step” 
But we tend to focus on the thousand miles instead of looking at the ONE step to get us going.

What if, instead of focusing on the 1000 miles, you focus on the ONE step   –  just 2 minutes a day?

What if, instead of biting off more than you can chew, you try taking a ‘tiny termite-sized bite’  (see blog “Are You Habits Helping or Healing you” Part 1)  

   –  Instead of 1 hour of exercise – you started with just 2 minutes? 
   –  Instead of that crazy strict diet – you started with replacing just 2 bad foodstuffs with good ones
   – Instead of getting up 1 hour earlier you got up just 2 minutes earlier, with a plan?
   – Instead of $100/ month – just start with $2 – (or $20 )

The key is start with small bite-size habits, and slowly build on them.

Do not despise these small beginnings,
for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin.
Zach 4:10 (NLT) 

And then …. 

Grow it!

Each time, take it up a tiny notch. Add a little bite each day or even only each week. Grow it gradually until you reach your desired plan.

       – Exercise for an extra 2 minutes the next day, and an extra 2 minutes
         the next day, and so on. 
       – Cut out one more bad foodstuff the next week, and replace it with a
          good one
       – Get up 2 minutes earlier each day
       – Save $2 this month, $5 the next month, $10  the next and so forth

and ..

Make it Fun! 

Challenge yourself a little bit more each time. Ask yourself, “How can I improve and try something new?”  How can I be a ‘termite- size’ better?”  Make it all a fun, light-hearted experiment.

and then …

Be Consistent! 

You have to do it every day/ week/ month. No excuses, no justifying yourself or letting yourself off the hook, and no days off. Commit to doing these incremental small steps for the next 90 days at least.

Good Habits are built over time – replacing bad habits with good habits. 

Our habits are choices!  You have the freedom to choose. Choose Good habits that will lead you towards the Goals and Dreams you really want. 

So, what GOOD habits do you want to start doing
– just 2 minutes, or 2 tiny actions?  

Next Blog – 7 Easy steps to building your new habits.

Blessings for your success!
Laurie

You don’t!  Unless… 

You have a clearly defined goal or dream.

So, what is your goal or dream?  What do you really want? 

In my last Blog I talked about taking time out to prayerfully consider the 7 areas of our lives, and discerning where our BAD habits were, and what GOOD habits we could replace them with.    Did you do this? 

Another way to assess our habits is to ask ourselves…

“What do I really want?” 

You could look at the 7 areas of your life: 
          Mental
          Spiritual
          Physical
          Family
          Financial
          Personal
          Work/Ministry
… and ask yourself, “What do I really want?”


Or –  just think of what is lacking in your life that you would really love?

     – Greater Financial Freedom?
     – To be healthier, more fit, exercising more regularly, losing weight?
     – To be disciplined to get up early to spend quality time with the Lord?
     – To read a book a month, or do course, or some training?
     – Greater work/ life balance?
    – Quality time with your loved ones doing something fun?
and the list could go on….

Then you have to ask yourself ….

Is this habit HELPING me or HINDERING me
from reaching my Goal or desire? 

You have to test every habit by this question and assess … Is this habit taking me closer to,  or further from,  the goal or life I desire? 

eg: If your goal is to have lung cancer then smoking cigarettes is a habit that will achieve your goal.
If it’s to be healthy and fit – then smoking is a bad habit that will hinder you from reaching your goal. It’s time to ditch the bad habit!!

So – time to take action …

  1. Clarify the Goal that you want
  2. Write it down in black and white (this concretes it in your subconscious)
  3. Decide the right action steps that will lead you there – and what bad habits to avoid.
  4. Create an action plan.
  5. Take action now – today, this week!  Don’t put it off to start in a few days, next week, next month. 

Start moving towards the goal or dream that you want – and the good habits that will take you there. 

Next Blog – we will look at how the smallest steps count! It’s not that hard to get moving.

Chat soon
Laurie

Old Habits – New habits

It’s really helpful to take an intentional look at the different areas of our lives to identify those BAD habits that are keeping us from becoming the fullness of who God created us to be? 
Then we need to change them for GOOD Habits that will empower us. 

What would that look like:

  1. Set time aside to be quiet and focused and prayerfully consider your habits
  2. Consider each area of your life one by one.
  3. Ask yourself: “What BAD habits do I have in this area of my life?” 
  4. Clearly articulate it by writing it down in black and white. Be specific!
  5. Decide what GOOD habit you need to replace it with, or an intentional step you are going to take to replace this bad habit.  
  6. Write it down clearly and specifically
  7. Decide how you will  keep yourself accountable to continue with this GOOD habit.
  8. Choose a consequence if you go back to your BAD habit.(Giving up something you enjoy or doing something you do not enjoy!) 
  9. Commit to a date you will begin
  10. Start building GOOD Habits!

You could consider each of these different areas of your life: 

So…
WHEN will you take time out to sit and do this?    That’s the first GOOD habit you need decide on!

Chat again soon
Laurie

” What’s the FASTEST way to Success?”

I love listening to “Professional Christian Coaching Today” podcasts.  In the episode I listened to today, they were interviewing Tom Ziglar – son of the famous Christian Motivator, Zig Ziglar. 

While training at a huge seminar Tom was asked – “Whats the FASTEST way to Success?” He blurted out –

“It is to replace BAD Habits with GOOD Habits”

Wow!  What’s a  BAD habit you currently have that is keeping you from becoming the fullness of who God created you to be? 

What would happen if you identified that – and replaced it with a GOOD habit? 

A termite sized bite?

You know the destruction that hurricanes, or tsunami’s can do  when it comes to damaging homes – yet these awful catastrophes are hopefully rare.
But the damage that termites/ white ants do to our homes and structures goes on day after day like a ceaseless tide on a much wider scale – and so much irreparable damage is done.  

Yet a termite has such a tiny bite!

The damage that a tiny termite bite can do is likened to our Bad Habits.

They gnaw away, day after day, hindering and hampering us from our best life.

They are usually small, unconscious habits that we’ve picked up, that have now become a way of life for us.  But these bad habits are silently eating away and doing huge damage. 

The damage may not be visible now.  It may only been seen later.

Yet the damage is happening now!!!

What Bad habits are gnawing away at your life?  

I want to explore this deeper in the next few letters.  If you haven’t already, sign up now to be on my mailing list:      

Meanwhile – ask yourself …

What BAD habit do I currently have?  How can I it with a GOOD Habit?

Abundant blessings! 
Laurie

We’ve lately been looking at Working to Your Strengths. 

One of the Strengths we need to understand is our preferred Communication and Processing Style. (Also known as Learning Style)  In my last blog/ newsletter I mentioned the three identified  styles …

 Visual, Auditory and Kinaesthetic.

Most people have a strongly preferred  first style,  a second preference and then a least favoured modality, whereas in others the degree of preference is less pronounced.

So how do you find out what your preferred style is?

Firstly – there are many free online tests you could take.  Just type in Free VAK test – and do the assessment.

But, then you have to become more aware and observe your behavior and that of others to really learn the difference in communication styles.   Knowledge without implementation is useless.

But here are some brief characteristics to help you get started…

VISUAL  –  Approx 65% of People

  • Visual people understand what is happening around them, or what you are saying, by what they see
  • They turn words into images
  • Visuals are better at remembering faces than names & they  care about establishing eye-contact
  • A visual person is interested in how things look. Appearances are important to them.
  • Visuals need to see you to hear you. They prefer to send a written text than talk on the phone.
  • They pay more attention to colour, dress, appearance, and irregularities in appearance. A hair out of place or a smudge on someone’s face may distract them.
  • They paint pictures with their words and their hands
  • They tend to be well organized, orderly, neat, well-groomed.
  • Often have trouble remembering verbal instructions or directions because their minds tend to wander

Common Expressions:  “I see what you mean, “Can you imagine….”   “That’s not clear to me”,  Give me the Big picture ..

Gifts for Visuals:  Beautifully wrapped gifts, pay attention to the colours you use.  Books, Journals, Videos,  flowers, photographs, firework displays etc.

Communicating with Visuals:  Visuals use ‘visual-type’ language. They love diagrams, graphs and pictures.

AUDITORY – Approx 30% of People

  • Auditory people are sound based
  • Enjoy listening but can’t wait to talk. They love talking on the phone. Don’t need to see you
  • Talk to themselves a lot. Move their lips while reading as well as read out loud.
  • Struggle with reading and writing tasks.
  • They get more information from how you say things rather than by what you say or show them
  • Interpret the underlying meanings of speech through listening to tone of voice, pitch, speed and other nuances. A raised voice might be an argument to them, but just ‘a discussion’ to those with a different style.
  • How you say what you say is more important than the content
  • Their mind works like a tape recorder. It plays back recordings to get an idea of what you are talking about, or what is really happening around them
  • Remember things by setting information to a tune or rhyme.
  • They constantly listen to music or talking

Common Expressions: “I hear you loud and clear”,  “I hear what you are trying to say, Are we on the same wave length?

Gifts for the Auditory:  Music CD’s, wind chimes,  musical instruments, water fountains, headphones.

Communicating with an Auditory: Be careful with the tone and pitch you use when talking with them. They interpret what they hear – and they remember word for word what you said. Give them time to really listen to them. Send loving voice notes and words of affirmation.

KINAESTHETIC people 5% of  people

  • Kinaesthetic people make their decisions based on how they feel rather than by what they see or hear
  • Their hunches come predominantly from touch, feelings, emotions, gut instincts and attitudes, rather than what you say.
  • They get an instant feeling – a like or dislike about something or someone.
  • Kinaesthetic’s are often athletes. They love the feel of games and competitions
  • When comfortable they can listen and understand you easily.
  • They are very sensate people. They respond well to physical touch and to rewards.
  • They tend to stand closer to you than other people. And like to touch you when they are making a point.
  • They tend to dress comfortably rather than for fashionable looks
  • They learn by doing, not by listening or watching
  • Kinaesthetic people talk about their feelings more
  • They memorise by physically practicing things. They want to know how things feel physically and emotionally.

Common Expressions:  “I get the point”,  That doesn’t grab me,  I’m going through a rough patch,  “It just doesn’t feel right”

Gifts for the Kinaesthetic:  Gift certificate for a Massage or beauty treatment, high quality cigar, perfume, great pillows, pure cotton sheets, expensive scotch, cashmere or silk clothing, bath gels

Communicating with a Kinaesthetic:   Ask them how they feel about things. Use feeling language like, “Why do you feel it is not going well?”  Make them feel good about being a host. Accept their hospitality and then make them feel great about it.

SO – become aware! See it, Hear it and Feel it. Use your own Style to communicate effectively – but also use other people’s Styles to communicate and show love, respect and consideration to them in a way they can truly hear and receive it!

Blessings till next time. Have Fun!

Laurie

 

What’s your Communicating and Hearing Style?

 

Are people talking your style of language so that you can easily hear what they are communicating?  Are  you talking a language they can easily hear and understand?

Knowing your style, and that of others, can enhance relationships, communication and deeper understanding – and it’s loads of fun!

Join our next Coaching Cafe, Saturday 14th July to discover your Communication Style and those of your loved ones.  Invite your friends to come and discover their style too!

Don’t forget to book your places, and your notes! Whatsapp me now.

What are the Signs you are working with your Strengths?

 Before the Task:

  • Preparation is enjoyable and engaging
  • You are Energised and Enthusiastic.
  • The Work is Easy: even difficult tasks are often a fun challenge that inspires you.
  • You are Interested, Excited and Motivated.
  • Before you do the activity, you look forward to doing it. You can’t wait to do it.
  • You wake up looking forward to the day

During the Task:

  • It Strengthens You – A Strength is an activity that strengthens You
  • It Gives Life: It gives you and others around you Life,  You are Blessed using your strength, and others are blessed  on the receiving end.  Its a Win-Win
  • Excellence: You usually use your strengths to a high standard of excellence.
  • You feel Engaged, Focused & Alive
  • Time Passes.  You don’t notice the time. You may lose track of time and two hours feel like only five minutes have passed.
  • Feel Confident and Capable: While you are using your strength you feel effective and in control. You feel capable and confident – and you usually are!

After the Task

  • Fulfillment:  After you’ve done the activity, even if you’re tired, you feel fulfilled and alive
  • Profitable: Your strengths are the areas where you will often be affirmed, recommended and   This is where you will make the money – because you do it well

And signs you are working in the area of  a Weakness – almost the opposite for each of the above points.

What to do? Recognize where you are working in the areas of your Weakness. Delegate, delete, or minimize these tasks as much as you possible can.

Then recognize your Strengths – and maximize those. Do more in these areas. But you can only do that if you do less in the area of your weakness.

So today, make a decision to move further into the Life of satisfaction and fulfillment you desire – which lies in the greater use of your strengths

Blessings

Laurie

 

Becoming WHO you are is an exciting journey  into understanding the Heart of The Father,  and His absolute, incredible love for You!

Before we start – An Exercise!

 I want to ask you to write down what you think is your answer to two questions. And I mean REALLY!  Stop reading NOW, get a pen and paper and write down your answers!  It will hugely help you as we go on!! DO IT!!

Question 1 =  We all have an image of the ideal, perfect person we would like to  be…  in personality,  gifts,  abilities,  talents, looks, nature. .. whatever. The sort of person we most want to be like. If you could ask God to make you into your ideal, what  sort of a person would you be like or look like? Write down what you think that is.

 Did you actually do it? Its not too difficult to answer, hey?

 Question 2 =   Now, look  at yourself… who  you really  are. Write down who you actually are in comparison. Not so easy this time – hey?

How do you match up to your ideal image?

The realization of the beautiful Uniqueness of You can only begin as you learn to ACCEPT who you really are, now, in truth!

And this realization can only start once you realize, and admit, the sadly unrealistic, impossible fantasies you hold of who you would really like to be, and the gap between your reality and unreality! That’s why those questions are so important to answer!

My Personal story:

I only began to develop a more positive acceptance of myself when I started to realize the unrealistic, totally unreachable image of what I thought ‘the perfect woman’ was like, and so, what I wanted to be. You’ll laugh…. but all I wanted to be was everything I’m not!

I longed to be small, petite, dainty, gentle and submissive, shy, feminine.., and utterly adorable!  The sort of woman that makes men just go weak at the knees and want to protect them and look after them.

Well. Imagine the awful reality I faced the day I asked those questions of myself, and realized the truth! I really was not, and could never be this image I so badly wanted to be!

Instead, the horrible truth …. I am a tall, big girl, a strong-willed, decisive, determined, outgoing extrovert. The sort guys look at and think… she’s so capable, she can look after herself – and me!

The funny thing is…You might look at me and wish you could be like me. Meanwhile I was looking at others, and wishing I could be like them .

Sadly, don’t we all do this??

But if we continue to reject and despise WHO we actually are, how will we ever find our Life Purpose?

If you would like to follow my journey – to learn how I discovererd my uniqueness, and scame to love who God had made me, please sign up for my blogs.

Please also  SHARE THIS journey with someone who you know needs to find love and acceptance for who God has lovingly made them!

More next time ….!

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