When Doors Don’t Open

I love to share awesome things with our Cafe’ so here is an article I read this month that really seemed to be a great one to share with everyone. The timing may be perfect with summer rapidly approaching us and with the heat rising tempers seem to do the same. We find ourselves on a shorter fuse sometimes and we need that little reminder to stop and think just how what we say, do or how we act will impact those in our lives.

I truly pray you enjoy today’s post, be sure to share below if it resonated with you!

 

Two young female friends laugh and eat chocolate outdoors

 

Today’s Truth: I will never leave you nor forsake you. Joshua 1:5

Friend to Friend

The morning had been hectic and they were running late because the baby needed a last minute diaper change. Tara needed to get all three kiddos loaded up and to the car pool location quickly, but for some strange reason the back doors of her van would not open. She tried her clicker. She tried the key. She tried jiggling the lock.

Anxiousness started to well up in her heart.

“You’ve got to be kidding me!” She grumbled loudly while trying to open the back doors of her minivan. “This is NOT what I need right now!”

The kids began to sense the tension and take on the stress for their own.

“What’s wrong, mommy?”

“The back doors aren’t opening and we’re gonna be late! That’s what’s wrong!”

Pressed for time and strongly annoyed, Tara told the kids to get in through the front door and had them crawl back to settle into their car seats. As she started the car she was aware of her agitation and didn’t like it.

Taking a deep breath, Tara began to recognize the stress for what it was. She remembered the Bible verse that is written on the chalkboard in their kitchen. Spoken from the lips of Jesus Himself, the words flooded her heart…

2Peter-Jude-Dec18In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. (John 16:33)

Yes. They were having trouble getting a few doors open, but it was nothing that Jesus couldn’t help her handle. Calmed and cooled by the red-lettered love, Tara made an empowered decision … and a very cool minivan ministry moment followed that went something like this:

“Okay, guys! Here we go!” Tara began. “That was a bit stressful and I’m sorry for raising my voice. I’m not sure why the doors didn’t open, but we aren’t going to let it mess up our day. We can choose to let this situation get the best of us, or we can get the best of the situation by asking God to bring peace to our anxiousness. Remember the verse on the kitchen chalkboard? Jesus said that in this world we’re going to have trouble. Sometimes doors don’t open, but He’ll help us! Jesus told us to “take heart” because He has overcome the world.”

Then, from the back of the van her eight-year-old theologian son piped up and joined the sacred conversation.

“Yeah! And Jesus said that He’ll never leave us or forsake us. God is always with us, mom!”

From. The. Lips. Of. A. Child.

God is always with us.

What began as a chaotic and stressful drive to school became a celebration of the presence of God. It was a devotion-on-wheels that began with a door that wouldn’t open. A beautiful memory that started with stress but was changed by the grace of Jesus, our Overcomer.

Sometimes doors don’t open for us. We don’t always get the position we want, the response we want, the admiration we want, or the health we want. But with every closed door comes an opportunity of response. When Tara invited God into her frustration and opened her heart to His presence the tension transitioned to peace.

A few minutes after the “stuck door debacle” they arrived at the carpool line to pick up the other children. Tara figured she’d try again. She pressed the button to unlock the back doors, and this time they opened with no resistance.

A smile spread across her face as this thought danced in Tara’s mind. If the back doors had opened a few moments earlier, we would’ve lost the opportunity to celebrate God’s peace and our time of sacred conversation would never have happened.

With that in mind she thanked God for the doors that didn’t open as she drove the kids to school.

I don’t always respond perfectly in stressful situations. And Tara readily admits that she doesn’t either. But when we choose to turn our frustrations and disappointments over to God He gives us the grace we need to experience His peace in the midst of pressure.

Let’s Pray

Lord, Thank You for reminding me that You are dependable, available, and willing to help at all times. Please guide me toward Your grace when I grumble. Teach me to turn to You when I’m stressed so that others would see Your joy and peace in me.

In Jesus’ Name,

Amen.

Now It’s Your Turn

Read Psalm 37. What verses in the chapter resonate with your heart today? What doors are not opening in your life that have you frustrated? Grab your journal and a pen and write a prayer of response. Not a journal girl? No worries. Swing over to my blog or Facebook page and write it there!

Thank you for this great message from our friends at Girlfriends In God:

More from the Girlfriends

I Want It ALL is now available! This new book by Gwen Smith will help narrow the gap between average ordinary living and the not-so-ordinary promises of God found in His Word. We are meant to be women of impact who expect great things and move in the power and grace of Jesus. That’s the message of I Want It ALL. Order yours today from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, ChristianBook.com or your favorite retailer.

Breathe!

Breathe!

A simple thing we far to often neglect to do with all the stress and things we feel we have to do.

Stop with me now and take a deep breath…breathe in and exhale out…

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As busy women entrepreneurs, parents, wives we often have a to-do-list that never ends.

God is loves us so much He wants us to take care of ourselves, get rest and BREATHE!

If we look at Proverbs, in two separate verses God tells us to REST:

 

A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest.
Proverbs 6:10 NIV and Proverbs 24:33 NIV

girl lying in a meadow enjoying the sun. More pictures like this in my portfolio.

 

Take that time today and BREATHE in the refreshing breath that Christ gives us as His daughters.

If we can do this, we will be of better service to those we are called to serve and our families. You will begin to THRIVE in your business and you will find true JOY in your heart.

Ready, set….BREATHE!

Take a quick listen to this song…

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Cleaning Day…

We are in the spirit of Spring Cleaning this month. Cleaning out the closets, drawers, the dust bunnies and more. So this post I am sharing with you is perfect timing to encourage you to see cleaning day in a new perspective.

This post comes from Women’s Ministry Leader with Group, which is a wonderful resource for study materials to grow your faith. You can find them here.

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“Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me.” Psalm 51:10

I cleaned today—not because I expect company or because I had nothing better to do but because the weekend is nearly here, which means more people will be home for extended hours. To me, a clean house is a comfortable home.

As I was cleaning, I realized it’s not the act of cleaning that thrills me. I only enjoy the process of cleaning because I anticipate the end result: a pleasant house in which I can relax because the dust bunnies aren’t peering at me from under furniture. I’m refreshed in a house full of clean smells.

It’s the same with spiritual growth. I’m not thrilled with the process. It’s messy, inconvenient, and sometimes painful. However, the result is a maturing relationship with Jesus. I won’t enjoy the comfort of a close relationship without letting him cleanse my life. He gets rid of the accumulating dust bunnies. He sanitizes the toxic surfaces. He washes away the filth to refresh me.

Look around your house or office. What needs to be done to clean it?

Cleaning will take time and effort.

Look at your heart. What needs to be done to clean it?

Cleaning will take time and effort, but Jesus will take care of it—if you let him.

Action Step: Choose one cleaning project to complete in the next 3 minutes. It’s easy to get overwhelmed with what needs to get done, but it only takes one small step at a time. Set yourself up for a sense of accomplishment.

Susan Lawrence is a women’s ministry consultant, who regularly speaks at conferences and training’s.

5 Things to Get YOU Ready for an AMAZING New Year

I love to share great posts with you along with recipes and my own posts. Today I happened to read one of my favorite blogs and found this article so valid for right now as we close out 2015 and ring in 2016.

I hope you enjoy this article from my friend Kelly Thorne Gore from iBloom.

 

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This is my FAVORITE week of the year. When I was a Children’s Minister, I worked at an amazing church that always gave us the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day off. They even cancelled services on the Sunday after Christmas to give the staff and volunteers time to rest and recuperate. That week off was just what I needed to gear up for the new year. When I started iBloom, that was definitely one of the habits I wanted to continue. The last two weeks of the year are quite relaxed around iBloom. It’s a time for our team to reflect on the past year, do things that recharge us, and get ready for the upcoming year. Here are the things I do to get ready for the new year:

#1: Reflect

The first thing I do is spend time reflecting over the past year. One of my favorite parts of the iBloom Planner is the “My 2016 Plan” section. One of the exercises in that section is a Reality Check. It’s during this time of reflection that I do an honest assessment of my personal life and business. I ask myself these questions:

  • What is going well? {These are usually the things I want to continue into the new year!}
  • What is not going well? {This could be physical spaces or systems that aren’t working, things that are causing me stress, or just things that aren’t allowing me to live my best life.}
  • What needs to change? {This is based on my priorities, as well as the things that aren’t going well.}

This time of reflection gives me direction for the new year.

#2: Get Organized

I don’t know about you, but it seems like every  year there are spaces or things that need to be reorganized. This year I had a variety of home projects including my kitchen {cabinets, fridge, and pantry}, laundry room, hall closet, bedroom closet, and my home office that needed work. I also had a few systems for my business that needed to be organized- projects I’m working on, how I’m organizing receipts for taxes, cleaning-up my email inbox and folders, updating my log-ins and passwords, and organizing my computer files.

I know this seems like a LOT to tackle in a week, but it’s absolutely possible. In fact, I’m almost done. Here’s what I did:

  1. Make a list of the spaces and systems that aren’t allowing you to function at your best.
  2. Estimate how long it will take to organize that space or system.
  3. Decide what day I’ll complete each project.
  4. Then, do it! I like to play a game with myself. I set a timer {for the time I estimated} and I try to beat the clock.
  5. Reward myself.

It’s amazing how spending this time getting organized sets me up for success in the new year. If you have lots of spaces and systems that aren’t working, it may take you longer than a week and that’s ok! The point is to get organized, so you can function at your best. If it takes you a month, that’s fine. Just do it!

#3: Finalize my Success Strategy

In order to have successful new year, we must plan for it. My success strategy includes my priorities {those things that matter most and that I want to be intentional about living into}, life goals,  business vision, income goals, business projects, and an action plan for making all of those things a reality.

The Success Strategy that I use is in the “My 2016 Plan” section of the iBloom Planner. Plus, there is space to track the books I want to read, events/training I want to participate in, and space for creating my vision board. Everything is in one place, so I can remind myself daily of the plan I’m working toward.

Recommended Resource: iBloom Virtual Retreat: Create Your 2016 Success Strategy {it’s my gift to you!}

#4: Visualize My Success

Once I have my Success Strategy, I LOVE to spend time visualizing it as a reality. I set aside a few hours {ideally a full day} to imagine that it’s December 31st and I’m reflecting on the past year. I act as if all of my goals have been accomplished. I smile and celebrate how my life is different because I spent the year working my Success Strategy.

This is such a powerful time because it helps me realize the significance of my success plan and what can happen when I diligently work it. Does everything happen exactly the way I envision it? No! However, once I started doing this step, I’ve seen far more goals accomplished. I know it may sound a little silly, but give it a try! It’s actually a lot of fun and quite a powerful time of dedicating my plan back to God.

I’m a really visual person. I need to see what the success will look like, so each year I create a vision board. I used to put my vision board on a white poster board that hung in my office, but I only saw it when I was in my office. Now, I put it in my iBloom Planner so it’s with me wherever I go. Each morning as I review my Success Strategy I look over my vision board to remind me of the end result.

Recommended Resource: How to Create a Vision Board

#5: Me Time

A big part of this week is doing things that recharge me. For me, that means taking naps, getting my hair done, having a girls day with my Mom, enjoying a massage, reading a book or two, watching a Hallmark movie, and spending quality time with my family making memories. What are the things that recharge you? Be intentional about doing a few of those things this week.

 

These are the 5 things I do each year to get ready for an AMAZING upcoming year. How do you get ready for the new year?

 


 

 

About Kelly Thorne Gore

9d1284b7422714c6268847a096778d4dKelly Thorne Gore is the Founder & President of iBloom. Kelly and her iBloom team are on a mission to inspire and empower every woman on the planet to live a life she LOVES (and ultimately a life that honors God)! Kelly is passionate about living life intentionally and making each day count. In her spare time, Kelly enjoys spending quality time with her husband Jon & their daughter Sophie, family, and friends. She’s a girly girl, loves bright cheery colors, gerbera daisies, University of Kentucky Basketball, and Tyler Perry Movies!