Category Archives: Satisfied Saturday

Sunday Surprises

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I sit here in shock, in sadness and in prayer.  The last few weeks, it has been my goal to start blogging again.   I thought that I’d start with a post on a Monday so I could begin, again, a pattern of praising God for what He’s done.  I began thinking of things that I could share-things that God has done recently but today I realized I couldn’t wait until a Monday.

Today I’m mourning the sudden death of a friend’s son. It came as such a surprise.  There have been conversations about why this happened.  Our church has had many surprise deaths in the last few years.   What is God doing?  How come He took someone so young?  How will this family and the body of Christ get through this again?

There’s hope in knowing  that this world is not all there is but it doesn’t make the pain go away now.  It did, however, remind me that today matters.  We don’t know what tomorrow will look like or whether we’ll still be here.  We don’t know what God has in store for us, but we do know that He is present with us today and that He holds the future.

How will I make today matter?

I don’t always understand why things happen but I know that I have a God who cares about me and desires to be in relationship with me.  I can go to Him with my fears and my questions and my anger and my shock. He’s big enough to hear all of those emotions, and He promises to never leave me.   He promises to walk alongside me in the good times and the most difficult times.

These things may have surprised me but they haven’t surprised Him.    I don’t understand His ways but I can look back and see how He has been faithful in other hard times.

Today I’m thankful for His presence and that I can run to Him when I don’t understand this life.  I’m thankful that He invites my questions.   I’m thankful that even when I don’t know how to express my feelings, He is there listening to my tears and walking beside me.

What are you questioning today?  Run to Him and talk to Him about those things.

Nature’s Beauty

 

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Tonight I’m satisfied after spending some time in God’s creation.  After several long, busy weeks, I had a few hours to slow down and enjoy some downtime.  My friend found this great little park by the water.  I read and prayed and enjoyed the beauty.

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As the sun went down, music floated across the water and the sky was painted with beautiful colors.  I’m thankful for the time I sensed God’s presence in His creation.  Although it was only a few hours, it felt like many more.

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I’m thankful for the time to take a few moments and just enjoy being still.  Where did you see God’s presence today?  Let’s remember to slow down and take those few moments to enjoy His beauty this week.

A Positive Outlook for a Satisfied Saturday

So Satisfied Saturdays are back (or at least that’s the plan:).  Yesterday I was reminded of the importance of being satisfied with where we are and with who we are.

At the last minute, I decided to go to a Temple Grandin conference.  Her mother, who is in her 80s also spoke.  What an amazing treat to hear both of these women live!

The other speaker is someone I had not heard yet but had definitely heard a lot about! Jennifer O’Toole, with Asperkids, spoke twice.   Check out http://asperkids.com  -an amazing place for encouragement and resources!  In her first talk she encouraged us to find the positive in each person-thus her phrase “relentless positivity.”

As I thought about teaching, I realized that many times, we (or at least I) get sucked into the negatives…I think we truly care about kids and want what’s best for them, but it’s so easy to see all the needs and not to focus on the positives.  Yes, we want kids to make progress so we have to know their needs, but what if we made a point to focus on their strengths and what they do well and then use those strengths to help them grow where they have needs.  Isn’t that what we want people to do with us?

I also had the unexpected joy of spending time with some good friends throughout the conference.  We started talking about the term “relentless positivity.”   I think it might be my new mantra:).  Am I being relentlessly positive?  Am I looking for ways to be encouraging with those around me?  (not just my students, but my neighbors, my family, my friends, the cashier at the grocery store, etc)  Are my eyes open to see the good?  Am I enthusiastically searching for strengths?   Am I determined to find the beautiful things in those around me?  Am I uncompromising when I share positives with others or do I get caught up in the gossip or in the negativity?  Am I unstoppable when I start looking for the constructive instead of the destructive things in life?  Am I unrelenting when I look to affirm others instead of tearing them down?

Do you remember my last post-how I tend to stress when August is upon us?  Well, yesterday was just what I needed.  I walked away from the conference encouraged and excited about starting the school year again:).  I was once again reminded why I do this job.  Thanks to Jennifer, Temple and Eustacia for encouraging us to think positively!

 

 

Satisfied Saturday-sadness and joy

Here we are-it’s Saturday again!  Let’s put on those “thankful hats!”  That’s what Satisfied Saturdays are all about.  What can you praise God for today?

This is hard, though because as I write this, I’m thinking about some joyful moments that happened at school this week, but I’m also sitting here saddened as I listen to the news about another shooting at a mall.  It just seems so wrong-to keep hearing over and over again about people being hurt by acts of violence in our world.

I don’t know if you’ve seen that e-card floating around Facebook today-it makes a joke about how we don’t worry senselessly-we worry because we know all the bad things that can really happen.

It seems to resonate with me today and other days as I hear, over and over again, about all the bad things in our world. How do we keep living and moving in the wake of more bad news?

It’s so easy to worry when my mind is filled with the brokenness all around me.  So, I step back and I pray for those involved.  I don’t really know what to pray except for comfort and healing and for God to make His presence known.  I’m thankful that God tells us that He’s sent the Holy Spirit to be our intercessor.  So, even when I don’t know what to pray, He hears my groans and my wordless prayers.

I’m thankful that He knows me inside and out. I’m thankful that He knows those families that are now unexpectedly mourning.   I’m thankful that He has the world in His hands.  I don’t always get it.

I don’t understand why bad things happen.  I can somehow trust, though, that He is bigger than all this.  He has a plan that is much greater than anything I can imagine.  (At least that’s what a friend told me the day before he died of a heart related incident).  I had a hard time believing it at that time.  I sometimes still have a hard time believing it, but looking back over my life I’ve seen it to be true.

This world is full of brokenness because of our sin.  It’s messy and yucky and confusing and sad, but God has conquered that brokenness.  He sent His Son to die for me, for my sins.  It’s still broken right now (full of violence and mourning and tears), but He is making us new.  He is redeeming His creation.

Today I’m sad as we’ve come face to face with that brokenness once again today.   I’m sad for those involved in the tragedy today.  I look forward to the day when Christ comes back and when the new heaven and the new earth are revealed.  I long for that day. My hope comes from looking towards that eternal day-from having that eternal perspective-from knowing in my heart of hearts that God is bigger.

Where are you finding hope today?