Fashioned for this moment

(Previously posted at http://www.createdwoman.net)

For many of us life has become quite busy, making it less and less likely to live in and enjoy the present.  We rush to get to work and back home, take the kids to school or soccer, coach the team, plan meetings, attend meetings, pick up the kids, shop, cook and clean (take a breath).  We get to bed, only to start the same routine over again in the morning.

Each of us is fashioned for the moment. However, with so many ‘must-do’s’ on the list, it requires some effort to take the time to S-T-O-P and smell the roses that have been strategically positioned along life’s journey.

Here are a few reminders to help you slow your pace, take a break and engage in the now moment you were fashioned for:

1.     Enjoy the beauty of your journey.  Life is a gift.  One that is to be cherished, respected and shared.  Each adventure is littered with ups and downs, good times and difficult times, moments of feasting and periods of scarcity.  The interesting fact about this is everyone is affected. There is, however, a power found in working through the difficult times, understanding they are temporary and can be used as fuel for the future.  Another noteworthy truth is we can learn from every single experience.

2.     Walk slowly through the crowd.  This nugget can easily get lost in the daily grind.  In the midst of busy-ness, we sometimes forget to look up and take in the expression of beauty found in the moment.  God placed the people around us – family and friends – along with nature and our environment in our presence, for our pleasure.

3.     Let go of the past.  If you are not careful, yesterday’s experiences could have a negative impact on today’s perceptions.  It is important to understand that the past does not have to dictate your presence, the present or your future.  Take advantage of the many resources that are available to help navigate through the challenges you may have experienced, so you can fully engage in the present.

While it is important to look back and thank God for bringing us through the past and it is necessary to know that our future is in His hand.  There is nothing like the present.  I challenge you to own it, engage in it and share it with those around you.

What are some of the things you do to engage in the ‘present’?

Truth

Truth

To know it
Walk Confidently in its undeniable legitimacy
Yet undone by life’s historic circumstances
To speak to it
Although broken
To have experienced it
Acquainted with its unmistakable taste and smell
However, I can’t see it clearly at the moment
I’m clouded by this fateful life encounter
Crowded by an onslaught of life’s happenstances
Broken
Can’t feel it, right now
Oh, but I know it
It’s
not within my grasp
Or is it?
It’s there
Just can’t reach it
Nevertheless gotta keep moving
Forward
Broken
Why?
History, His Story, Truth, comes knocking on my life’s door
Commanding me . . .
Forward!
Broken. Tired. Disgusted
Truth is calling me
Knows my name
That familiar expression
Arrests my attention
Freedom is in the gap
Hope is in the distance
It’s
in my future
It
IS my future
I can smell it
I can feel my gait strengthening
Bent posture straightening
Life becoming clearer
Restored

The Positive on Positivitity

Recently, I began sharing my personal affirmations online and the feedback I have received has been overwhelmingly optimistic.  The encouraging comments have set me on a path of thinking through the impact of living a positive life.

I live and work in a culture that embraces the power of the positive – thoughts, action and speech.  Yet, the longer I’m on this life-journey, the more I realize that I can never, in my own strength, attain a life that is entirely positive.  My thoughts, which are usually altered, have a tendency to lead to improper or insincere behavior.  However,  as I become aware, make conscious shifts in my thinking and accept God’s love, my behavior and emotions change for the better.

Here are a few ways that have helped me live on the positive side:

1.     Relationship with God. This is the most important aspect of my life.  With out God’s loving influence on my life, I would have little or no good to offer those around me.

2.     Relationship with others. Having others in my life is very important to my well-being.  I have a circle of close friends that I share my life with.  We literally do life together.  And, they have my permission to hold me accountable in every aspect of my life.

3.     Positive role models. There is a group of individuals that I watch, study and learn from. Although they live all over the world, and I don’t know most of them personally, I glean from their influence via facebook, twitter, podcast, blogging, books, etc.

4.     Giving back. One of the ways I receive fulfillment is giving to others.  Being involved in another person’s life or participating in providing a better way for someone has wrecked my soul for the positive.

5.     Consistent reminders. Affirmations are key elements in my life.  There are times when negative thoughts consistently bombard my mind space.  I have come to realize that I have the ability to intentionally change my mind.  When I become aware of negativity, I immediately think about something good.  This changes my perspective.  The result may not be immediate, but when persistent, I feel better and am much more effective.

It pays to have affirmations written out and there are days when saying them aloud does my soul a world of good. Here is my affirmation for today: I strive, daily, to be a positive, loving influence on everyone I meet.

What actions do you take in order to maintain a positive perspective?

Engaged . . .

Several people in my life have become engaged over the last year.  It has been a beautiful experience watching each relationship advance.  Acquaintance moved to friendship, friendship blossomed to love and love motivated these couples to live out the sum of their days together.

The engagement phase, in most cases, brings the couple even closer, as they busy themselves working through the details of the wedding, and are faced with the reality of being ‘together’ – forever.

One of the definitions of the word engage is to occupy ones self or to become busy or involved.  While this is an appropriate word for a soon to be married pair, there is a vast number of singles who are engaged – in other ways.  Engagement encompasses a great deal of our lives.

Today, most singles have the freedom to pursue personal interests and careers or spend time investing in friends, family and other life-opportunities.

Here are three important areas of engagement that lead to a healthy single life:

  • Friends – Friends and family make life much more colorful.  Surrounding yourself with those who have common interests and beliefs and can relate to you is important.  Identify your need for friendships and relationships, and then embark on developing and maintaining healthy, lasting connections.
  • Fortune – I’m not referring to your bank account, exclusively. Time, talent and resources, combined, make up your fortune. It’s important that you continually develop and resource yourself so that you can give what you can to help others.  We were not created to keep all that we have to ourselves. You have a very significant and important part to play in this phase of life.
  • Future – A question for you – How will you be remembered?  When you cross over from this life to the next, what will you leave behind?  What will people say about you when you are gone?  You are building your legacy, daily.  With every choice you make, legacy is being created.  Ensure you are living your very best life, not just for yourself, but for those coming after you.  Remember the part you decide to play in life is important

Are you engaged, yet??

S.L.A.V.E.R.Y.

Lying in bed on a late February evening in 2007, I picked up a magazine that I’d begun reading a few days before. On what I remember being close to the last page, I learned something that has altered my life — Human trafficking is a global problem. I could not wrap my head around what I was reading; human trafficking is modern-day slavery; slavery has been abolished — so I thought. We are living in the 21st century — how have we allowed this to happen?

Trafficking is the 2nd largest crime worldwide!

Unfortunately, thousands of individuals are trapped in various forms of enslavement, right here in our country and in our backyard (our cities and neighborhoods). Oftentimes young women are caught up in prostitution and children are forced in both sex and labor against their will.

Culturally, we ought to identify with every individual’s humanity and appreciate that we all are created for a very distinct purpose. Slavery is not tied to any man, woman or child’s purpose, in any way.

The good news: we can make a difference. There are several ways we can link arms and take action against this atrocity.

Here are some things you can do to make a difference:

  • Become an abolitionist
  • Spread the word – get to know the statistics
  • Support local and global campaigns
  • Become aware of what’s happening in your neighborhood
  • Start an awareness group

Below are a few websites that I am affiliated with:
The Central Texas Coalition Against Human Trafficking
What’s Your Response
The A21 Campaign
The Pearl Alliance
Stop Child Trafficking Now

Question:  How informed are you on the issue of human trafficking?

I’m here . . .

Thank you for visiting my blog; I will be posting at least once a week. Along with my thoughts, stories and quotes, you will have the opportunity to hear from some of the people I most admire and respect.  Very soon, I will be moving over to http://www.cherylluke.com . . . I will keep you posted.  In the mean time, please check out my ‘about me‘.

Please subscribe via RSS feed or come back to visit on a regular basis. Your comments and feedback are appreciated and welcomed.

Looking forward to sharing this space with and hearing from you.

Cheryl