On this, my 53rd birthday, I share the daily scripture lesson from Joel Osteen. It basically says it all. Let go of saying “If only...” and be thankful for what you have now. Work what you’ve got. “Bloom where you are planted.”
Letting go of the cares of the world... at least for a day!
I had a blast at the beach in Michigan City yesterday. Do you know how awesome it was not to have to worry about what time I had to be somewhere? Not a care in the world that day. Let go of cares! At least for a day! Nice!
A New Series.. Let It Go!!!
On August 26, 2018, I had the privilege of delivering a sermon at my church titled “Let it Go!”. Now, before some wise guy makes a comment, no, I am NOT a pastor, reverend, preacher or any other member of the clergy. I am a Lay Leader at my United Methodist Church. It is common for lay members of the UMC to speak on occasion. This was one such occasion.
Anyway, I spoke about letting go of things, looking at Paul from speaking in Philippians 3:13 -14. Paul says “forgetting what is behind me and looking forward to what is ahead, I press toward to prize of the high calling of Christ Jesus”. You can’t move forward until you let go or forget what is behind you. And there are consequences of leaving things behind. You hinder your focus, growth and faith, among other things. I didn’t realize when I write that sermon just how impactful it was going to be on my own life. I was probably preaching more to myself than to anyone else. I was thinking more of letting go of physical things but it’s not just that. I have to let go of other things, too. Mental, emotional, etc. Thus, the idea for this series for September, Let it Go! I’m inviting you to join me in my journey of letting go of things. Feel free to share with me and others what you are letting go and why? My hope is that we will all learn and grow from sharing. And I hope that we will enjoy the feeling of being light and free once we do let go of whatever we need to omit.
With that, let’s begin!
On September 1, 2018, I went to a Labor Day party with a dear sister friend and my Sands. I had just been telling one of them how I enjoyed jazz but didn’t listen to the blues often. I don’t dislike the blues but, given the choice of options while sitting in a concert, that would not be my first, or even second or third choice. So, we arrive to the party and, what do they have? A band playing the blues. Now, most of them were older guys probably from Chicago or Gary so I just shrugged it off when I saw them. I figured that they would be entertaining but nothing over the top.
As time went went on during the party, though, the selections became more diverse. They had an amazing singer join them and she sang everything, including Chaka Khan (Ain’t Nobody). We were getting ready to leave when the band played the song in the video. I was blown away! Prince? Purple Rain? That guitar, though! Play on, Playa, play on!!!
i thoroughly enjoyed the part and, especially, that band. What did I let go? Preconceived notions. I assumed that they would only play the blues because that’s all we heard when we came in. But they could play so much more. Don’t judge a book by its cover. There’s probably more much more to meet the eye!
"If you fail to plan, then you plan to fail. "
I'm sure you've heard that saying before. It holds true in many ways. Those who fail to create a plan and to follow it may find themselves adrift when trying to meet goals, thus, they don't meet them or they "fail". I'm seeing how "plans" have been working in my life lately. From March 14 through June 16, 2018, I took a prep course for the Senior Professional in HR (SPHR) certification exam. We received our syllabus (or plan) that outlined what we were going to cover each week and on what we would be tested. When we received the online testing material, there was a section in it that allowed us to create and record our study plans. I admit that I didn't take advantage of that section because the syllabus was enough of a "plan" for me but, when the class ended and our instructor gave us recommendations for studying for the actually certification exam itself, then I took heed to his advice and I created a study plan. Admittedly, I didn't always stick to it to the "T" (I may have missed an evening studying but I made up for it in the morning), but I was close. I recall the instructor advising that the number one reason why some people didn't pass the exam was because they didn't created and/or follow a study plan. Well, I set the plan and, by the grace of God, I passed it on June 25, 2018! Thank God! Now, realistically, there was only a 56% pass rate for the exam so I'm sure that there were those who created a plan who didn't pass it. But, if I'm a betting person, then I'd say that, of those who didn't pass, the percentage who didn't follow a study plan was greater than it was for those who did.
As you already know, I'm a runner and I'm preparing for my second marathon. I could just run and keep on running to prepare but it may not help me meet my goal of completing the marathon in 4:00 hours or less. I have a coach and I'm following a running plan that's designed to help me meet that goal. Again, there may be people who have created running plans to meet goals and they may or may not have met their goals. I would venture to say that the percentage of those who didn't meet their goals was greater for those who didn't create and follow a plan than for those who did.
So, I had the chance to hang out with friends in Michigan City this weekend. You know that I love that place . It's so relaxing to me. So peaceful. We had a great time, as usual. I wanted us to be able to see the sun set so, for those who made it there in time on Friday, the plan was to get there by 8:00 pm for the 8:26 pm sunset. Well, we hurried and got to the beach, then walked over a big sand dune only to be disappointed when we got there because the clouds had come in and blocked the sunt. Bummer! Everyone was there on Saturday but we had rained off and on all day. When it appeared that there may have been a better sunset that evening, we were at dinner away from the lake and the trees blocked the view. Bummer, again!
We were leaving to go home today and the crew left early to get there in time to relax. I stuck around and saw that it was gorgeous outside. I knew that it would be a spectacular sunset but I also knew that I needed to get home for work tomorrow. So, bummed that I would miss the sunset, I just left to go home.
But God...He had a lesson for me. The lesson was the reminder that God's plans are not my plans. Jeremiah 29:11 says "For I know the plans I have for you", declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future" (NIV). So, could it be that we don't need to plan if we have God's plan? I don't think so. I think that we need to plan (with God's guidance through prayer, of course) but understand that God may create a detour in those plans. And, if God creates the detour, trust, you will be fine with it. You see, I didn't get a chance to see the sunset at the beach in Michigan City as planned but look at what God allowed me to witness on my ride home (see pictures above). Simply beautiful! I received a different view of the sunset than what I would have gotten had I been on the beach. Stunning! And what I needed at that particular time.
So, when you set out to make plans and they are altered, don't give up. Just work with what you get. You may be surprised as what you get may be better than you had originally planned.
Have a great week!
As we count down to 2018, I know that many of you are setting goals or New Year's resolutions. If getting physically fit is among your goals, then you may find the video below to be helpful. I featured Body by Nature last year as the proprietors, Charles and Gianna Shepard, opened the new facility on the north side of Chicago. They recently celebrated the gym's one year anniversary with a great fitness party! I'll be featuring them and some others throughout the year to encourage you in your physical fitness journey. In addition, I'll be meeting with others who have gone through the journey themselves. Every day people who took charge of their lives and are making things happen! In the meantime, enjoy this re-post of Body by Nature!
I had the great pleasure of spending time with Kimberly Thomas of Kimco International recently. We talked about all things financial, including trends and what needs to be done to get your finances in order. Listen in on our conversation.
Please enjoy this interview with Charles Shepard, owner of Body By Nature Fitness as he talks about his fitness philosophy and shares his thoughts on starting your fitness journey in the new year. Charles mentions working with someone for nutritional counseling. I will try to reach out to her for pointers from a nutritional perspective, too. In the meantime, enjoy!
The Digest Diva is a wife, "bonus" mother, daughter, entrepreneur and corporate professional. who loves gathering information, learning and sharing with others.