Midweek Question: September 28

To what do you need to say goodbye, bid farewell, or put away?

 

Some things I do are not productive. They start a spiral of inattentiveness, avoidance, inactivity, then guilt-shaming because I have not managed my time.

“Time is our most precious resource. It’s far more important than money. You can get more money, but you can’t get more time. You only have a certain amount allotted to you in this life. You can’t make time, you can’t borrow time, you can’t save time, you can’t extend time. You can only use it. We all have the same amount of time every week: 168 hours. If you don’t learn to manage your time well, you cannot manage anything else in your life, because your time is your life.” ~Rick Warren

Here are some things as I begin to compose my “Goodbye Girl List”:

I’m saying goodbye to: whining (my own and others). I’m saying goodbye to waiting for a parking place up close. I’m just going to park out in the back-40 and walk it- saves time and adds steps.

It is time for a farewell to: absent-minded email checking, absent-minded snacking, and absent-minding NewsFeed scrolling.

I’m putting away “childish things” such as: catalogs, online sale emails, requests to join clubs, crusades, and games.

That’s the start of my list. What is/are on your Goodbye Girl or Goodbye Guy list?

 

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Previous Questions

Midweek Question ~ Opening Our Eyes to Grace

DaisyGrace

What if we used color and photography, images, and art to open our eyes to grace?

Might you consider leaving a comment that recommends the best sites for color, photography, images, and art?

 

 

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Midweek Question of the Week ~ December 16

This week’s question reflects the season: Can you make peace with yourself?

CanYouMakePeaceWithYourself

Make peace with yourself, dear friend. Always choose the words that bring more peace. Always choose the action that brings more peace. Always choose the relationships that bring more peace. The opposite of war is peace. We may not be able to bring peace to all of the world, but we can start by refusing to be at war with ourselves. ~Brave Girls Club

 

I think this might be the key to a “Holly Jolly Christmas” with all the trimmings.

I am increasing my prayers and mindfulness for peace with myself free of regrets, what-ifs, and if-onlys.

 

 

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Mid-week Question of the Week ~ August 12

A Reflective Question of Hindsight this week:

What Happened Instead?

WhatHappenedInstead

What blessings came your way instead of the things you thought were blessings that did not?

What people, places, situations, and things came instead of what you thought was necessary?

When the answer to your prayers was “No” or “Not Now,” what came instead?

What Happened Instead?

 

It is amazing, when we look back on what we thought we knew for absolutely sure that we wanted — even things we grieved over because they never happened. It is amazing how blessed we are that those things never happened or because we never ‘got’ the things we thought for sure that we wanted. ~Brave Girls Club

 

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Previous questions

Midweek Question ~ August 5 ~ Comparison

Can you arrest the Comparison Thief that robs you of joy in your life?

 

comparison is the thief of joy

 

 

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Additional Questions

Midweek Question ~ July 29 ~ What to Pack

What do you pack when you’re going to change your life?

 

packing

Take special care to pack everything well… ~Numbers 4:18

She must have been listening all these years. When I would tell her she was chosen, born from love, and Beloved of God. When I attempted to explain that Because of Grace she could do anything, she must have quietly agreed. When I whispered over her sleeping head every night, “you will do great things for Jesus” she must have registered it in REM sleep. She’s studied, graduated, apprenticed, and taught middle school for the passed four years. She encouraged, traveled with, and showed love to over 320 kids.

She has more energy than I do.

She rises early this summer. She chooses and folds and packs. She wraps and tapes and positions her things. She calls and makes appointments. We fight over the necessity of medical visits and last trips to the dentist before the school district insurance expires. She assents to my motherly advice and prevention wins.

In the posts of this blog, I’ve wondered how to mark the milestones in her life. I’ve wondered what to say and why I never look like the Eileen Fisher models in a Hallmark movie set when I dispense my cornbread nuggets of slapstick wisdom.

My parents were wise. I merely echo the parts of conversation I can remember from them. My friend, T.B. reminds me that when I was my daughter’s age I thought I would live forever and the forever was a long, long time. When I was my daughter’s age, I was married and just getting to know a one-year-old her.

Take special care to pack everything well … Aaron and his sons can direct each person’s role and their transportation of the items. ~Numbers 4:18

My role is different now. I pause. I ask questions. I marvel at her checklist and her confirmation calls to movers and landlords and utility companies. It must be summer allergies, I tell her of my watering eyes. I hold a little too long perhaps during a hug. Our road trip to her new home begins tomorrow.

I am not sure what to pack for this part of the journey. I have more questions than answers.

 

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Previous questions

Midweek Question~ June 10

In what ways has God been generous with you?

generous grace

Rick Warren writes, “Choose generosity. It will transform your relationships with other people and your relationship with God. It will change you from the inside out as you learn to be generous like God is generous with you.”

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Question of the Week: June 3

Does fear feel safer than trusting God?

DoesFearFeelSafer Than Trusting God

 

The weird thing about being afraid for a long time is that you get comfortable with it.

And before long you start to believe fear itself keeps you safe and keeps bad things from happening. I felt like fear protected me. As long as I stayed vigilant, cautious, and wary, nothing bad would happen.

Instead of depending on God for protection, I held tight to something destructive.

The problem is, we let the bigness of grief and pain overwhelm the obvious: God loves.~Susie Davis, author of the book Unafraid

 

 

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Photo by Anne McCrary, concept design by HTeague, inspired by this post from A Holy Experience

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Mid-Week Question: December 17

After a short hiatus, due to my sojourn in the land of statistics which gave me too many questions to ponder and resolve, my “mid-week question” returns!

Today’s question:

How good are you at asking for help?

Out of 20 questions describe in a post on emotional intelligence interview questions, this question (interestingly labeled #13) stood out to me.

whatifWhy is it difficult to ask for help? Perhaps it is fear of rejection from those we ask. Perhaps, it is the rise of the “What If” gremlin:

  • What if they say “no” to me?
  • What if they ignore me?
  • What if they see me as a waste of time?**

Asking questions, questions of help, is a venue to invite people into your moment. Into your present moment. Of course, timing and courtesy are paramount (I would not ask a librarian during story hour to stop reading and point me to the Tolstoy section.)

But rising past my ego and self-involvement points the awareness on the collective process of help. (hint, hint: my ego often tells me that I have to do everything myself, or if I want it done correctly, I need to do it myself….bad juju from my ego in these statements to myself.)

Of course some answers are “no” but as my wise friend, V., says “if you don’t ask, the answer already is ‘no’.”

 “We’re all imperfect and we all have needs. The weak usually do not ask for help, so they stay weak. If we recognize that we are imperfect, we will ask for help and we will pray for the guidance necessary to bring positive results to whatever we are doing.” ~John Wooden

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Previous weekly questions

I learned from these sources:

* Emotional Intelligence Interview Questions

**How to Ask For Help From People You Respect

Mid-week Question~November 26~Might you change your name

What is it like to take on an angry group? What is it like when that angry group is a nation?

“But because My servant Caleb has a different spirit and follows Me wholeheartedly, I will bring him into the land he went to, and his descendants will inherit it,” Numbers 14:24.

Numbers 14:24Caleb was one of the 12 spies sent into the Promised Land to observe and see if it could be won in battle, as God had promised. The other ten spies gave bad and fear-inducing news to the Israelites, who chose to believe these ten men rather that Caleb and Joshua.  That fear and disbelief of God’s promise, resulted in an entire generation dying in the desert.

Joshua and Caleb were the only two who were led by the Spirit of God, versus the spirit of fear. They were the only ones to enter the Promised Land from their generation.

Today’s question: Would you (symbolically) change your name to Caleb? Or Joshua? Would you signify your intent to swat fear away and life by God’s promises?

What does this have to do with Thanksgiving tomorrow? Well, sometimes holidays don’t fit our expectations. They do not have the Waltons’ family soundtrack and the Hallmark set design. It can be fear-inducing to attend family events, or welcome family to our home. But perhaps, if I remember my symbolic name of Caleb or Joshua, perhaps, just perhaps, this could be the year where I stand on God’s promises and reflections of me and swat aside any other points of view.

 

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Additional Questions

Mid-week Question of the Week~June 11

This week’s question is rather direct and to-the-point since I am away at school this week.

Quite simply,

What is the middle letter of the word “pride”?

Humble Pie Because of Grace

 

Lots to ponder in this simple sentence…

Until next time…

 

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Midweek Question of the Week~June 4~ Grace and Marshmallows Video

What does Grace have to do with marshmallows and videos? (that is not THE question, but A question).

In the video clip, several children are placed in a room with a marshmallow and told to wait and not eat the marshmallow. They are told that if they wait, then, as a reward for waiting, they will then receive two marshmallows. They will double their investment if they wait.

As a test for the merits of delayed gratification, perhaps this is a great test.

But, I am thinking of grace this morning. And I am wondering about grace and how we view it. How do we embrace grace?

Do I treat Grace as a marshmallow? I read that grace is a free gift. But does my sense of right and wrong mix together and come up with a non-compute? Do I decide it is safer to wait for grace? earn grace?

Spoiler Alert: the red-haired girl can’t wait. She immediately eats her marshmallow, picks up her plate and walks out of the room.

I love the red-haired girl. In the lens of grace, she has the right focus.

Must I wait for Grace? Or will I embrace grace?

 

For it’s by God’s grace that you have been saved. You receive it through faith. It was not our plan or our effort. It is God’s gift, pure and simple. You didn’t earn it, not one of us did…Ephesians 2:8-9

 

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Previous Questions

Midweek Question~May 28~Who Irritates you?

Who Irritates you?

Quick, whose face popped into your mind? Whose face did you see?

This is your Sandpaper Person. The person who goes against your grain and leave abrasions behind.

And the person who needs your prayer.

My friend Carl reminds me to pray for the Sandpaper people in my life. Not the “Lord, help ______ not to be such a pain.”

No, not that kind of prayer.

Instead, a genuinely authentic prayer for their health, safety, and journey to know Him more. Because of Grace.

God’s Word Always Trumps Our Excuses

and

Positive Prayer Makes Strong Relationships

Because, sometimes, the Sandpaper Person is…me!

sandpaper people

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Additional questions

Midweek question~May 21~Population Growth

My Own Little World by Matthew West – OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO from Matthew West on Vimeo.

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Additional questions

Midweek Question of the Week~April 10~100 Days

How are the first 100 days going?

Today marks the 100th day of 2014. Traditionally, a President’s success in office is predicted by their first one hundred days.

How are your first 100 days going?

Pat yourself on the back for the successes of the first 100 days. Take a look at areas to improve (but just a look not a stare) and pray for His grace during the next 100 days. Perhaps pick one small thing to notice, tweak, or embrace.

Happy 100 Days

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Previous Questions

Midweek Question~April 2

What small things catch your eye?

(petals, fog, foam on top of the coffee, empty cans, hugs, heads nodding while listening, drops of water on the airplane window, someone humming while sweeping, a man playing “The Old Rugged Cross” at Union Square….)

What small things catch your eye?

 What small things catch your eye?

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Picture Source

mid-week question~January 15~Boxes

boxes

How many miracles have I missed between the thin lines of all those neatly penciled boxes? ~Jennifer Dukes Lee in this post

Geometrically speaking, when everything is ready and boxes intersect, they transform into elegantly,  interconnected designs.

At the time of the banquet he sent his servant to tell those who had been invited, ‘Come, for everything is now ready.’ ~Luke 14:17
Immediately he got up before them, and picked up what he had been lying on, and went home glorifying God. ~Luke 5:25

Midweek Question~ Where are your accusers?

Who are your accusers?

Jody Neufeld,  talks about accusers in her devotional referencing John 8On My Knees Receiving God’s Grace

Jesus asked the woman in John 8, “Where are your accusers?”

As I read, pictures of faces of those who have accused me flashed, mug-shot-style through my mind.

I settled in with the message of Jesus’ question, “Where are your accusers?” and stopped short with Jody’s insight:

The relentless accusing like the woman experienced also happens in my life. It is the job of Satan to keep the words rolling relentlessly in my head to chip away at my worth. But I have an Advocate and His name is Jesus Christ. He is right there in God’s Throne Room speaking on my behalf. Jesus came down to my level, lived a full life here on earth. He stood tall on that Sunday morning. Death was defeated; the Accuser was silenced. I have His voice in my spirit now. ~Jody Neufeld

Might the most insidious accusers be the one from below and the one from within?

So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.   Romans 8:1 (NLT)

And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns. ~ Philippians 1:6, NLT

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An additional Romans 8:1 post

Other Questions from Other Weeks

Midweek Question~Silver Linings~November 20

What if Grace is the Silver Lining?

what if Grace is the Silver Lining?

“You have to do everything you can, you have to work your hardest and if you stay positive you have a shot at a silver lining.” ~Silver Linings Playbook

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this not from yourselves, it is the {free} gift of God. ~Ephesians 2:8

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Other Questions

Midweek Question~November 13~Did You Remember?

Did You Remember?

You Are Loved

Additional Questions

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