Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Mojo!

Mojo simply means more joy! There's always room to add more joy in life ...right?? Life hurls setbacks, disappointments, and heartaches. Making that conscious effort to increase mojo is a part of my daily regime that I've made a deal with myself to rarely neglect because when I do, I can see and feel a marked difference in the quality of my life.

My dad always referred to Murphy's Law when his day didn't go according to Hoyle. Murphy's Law states when something can go wrong, it will. When I neglect my priorities, this law stings me every time.

Here are the mojo elements that I place high on my priority list and not necessarily in any type of order (except obviously those that involve God and my family are at the very tip top):



  1. Meditating on God with a heart of thanksgiving. Where my heart is, its condition, impacts the effectiveness of meditation for me. Coming before my Lord with a thankful heart fills me with the joy of His Spirit.
  2. Seeing my family members through God's lens with love and compassion. This breeds a  boatload of grace, mercy, and forgiveness and adds to mojo like no other! 
  3. Deep breathing and yoga exercises. Yoga opens up the energetic pathways in my body, giving me the endurance, calmness, and peace to get through my day with joy in my heart. 
  4. Cardio, interval, and weight resistance. These exercises release stress and build strength to   the body and immune system. The added endorphins enhance that positive outlook on life. 
  5. Live an organic lifestyle. Committing to eating organic foods and using eco-friendly beauty and  cleaning products are essential for me. Minimizing or eliminating exposure to harmful toxins is key for me to optimal living. What I allow into my body contributes to my emotional well-being. The toxins in food and in the environment causes me sickness and depression. I avoid this wherever and whenever I can.
  6. Regular sex with my soul mate. This blankets me with love and releases undesirable tension and stress.
  7. Smile :)
  8. Look for ways I can give to others. This one is really high on the priority list for me. There isn't much that brings me mojo like making the day of someone else a little brighter. Mojo is the way God blesses a kind and giving spirit. It's a win-win situation!
  9. Girlfriends! I need other women. I believe all women need other women! My friends add so much joy to my life ...hanging out, laughing, sharing, and praying for one another bring healing and renewal to a broken and contrite heart.
  10. Sunshine and Warmth.  This is another biggie for me. The 2 of these combined bring so much joy and health to my life. In the Midwest, there are 7 months out of the year that are gloomy, rainy, snowy, and cold (this is from my perspective); therefore, I have to work doubly hard in all the other areas to compensate for the loss here. The sun is so life-giving and is a strong immunity booster. Sun screen is a no-no for me! The added toxins and screening out the sun's powerful benefits seem counterproductive to me.
My husband always says, "Anything worthwhile takes effort." Well, my life, health, and well-being are most certainly worthwhile! They are gifts from God to be handled with care. Committing daily to the things that bring me joy not only benefit me, but others around me. Let's work together to make this world a better place!

YOU bring me mojo, my friends!!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Trust Violated

I was faced with a dilemma yesterday. Someone I highly esteemed lied to me. What she had been sharing with me about another person throughout the year wasn't accurate at all. Or, at least what she shared with this person face-to-face did not match in any way with what she had shared with me. First of all, I didn't ask for this information ...it was freely offered to me. Second, I felt I was given more information than I wanted to hear because I deeply care about this other person.
Personally, I am crushed.


This person understands very little about conflict resolution. She flits from one person to another telling her poor victims what she thinks they want to hear all for the sake of avoiding confrontation. This all sounds good and well except when the truth spreads like wildfire and trust is violated ...hurt and disappointment force their way into what used to be built on trust and respect.


Quite frankly, someone I would have been proud to emulate has plummeted from her pedestal. Of course I can forgive, but that isn't really the point I want to emphasize. Rarely is it possible to ever rectify a friendship back to where it used to be when dishonesty shows its ugly head ...it is a destroyer of relationships. Every time I talk with her now I'm questioning her honesty.


The lesson learned: Problems need to be resolved with the people directly involved and not with those on the periphery. It isn't rocket science to know that the truth will eventually surface and the lies will be exposed for what they are ...lies! What could have been resolved quite easily and amiably by going to the person directly was instead covered up with lies!

Let's be grown-ups and resolve our conflicts appropriately because whatever bed we choose to make, whether it's one blanketed with truth or lies, it's one we're going to ultimately have to lay in. Let's just face it ...either one we choose will have life long effects! Why not choose the honest, happy, peaceful, friendly route??

Marisa

Monday, May 23, 2011

Accept the Invitation

My husband and I like to invite people to our home. We love the fellowship! One thing I’ve often noticed when I do extend an invitation is some people will ask, “Who’s going to be there?” My first reaction is to say, “Who cares who’s going to be there! Isn’t it enough that I invited you and I want your company?”


Why are people so concerned about who they spend time with? How are we ever going to function in Heaven at all? Are we going to say to God, “Thanks, God, for the invite to an eternity spent with you, but I’ve gotta know, who’s going to be there? Because if Harry is going to be there, I think I’ll pass.”

This is disheartening for me …I’m saddened to think that perhaps there are those who won’t come to a gathering or a party because I’m going to be there.

True, we aren’t called to be best friends with everyone, but when we exclude others for one reason or another, not only are we rejecting God’s creation, but we miss out on the blessings that come from getting to know another person. I have found my deepest friendships where I would least expect. If I decided I was going to socialize only with those in a particular social clique, I would have been the loser!

God has blessed me with the gift to see others through His lens (I’m not a master at anything, but a pursuer of many things). I love the diversity in my friendships and I wouldn’t trade my cronies for anything …I look forward to adding more to that motley crew!

The next time you’re given an invitation …take it and then await with anticipation for the many cool ways God is going to reveal Himself to you through His wonderful people! Make it a win-win for everyone!

Here’s to all of my fabulous friends!!

Marisa



Saturday, May 21, 2011

Living My Eterninty ...Here and Now

When the day comes for Christ's return, do I need to do anything differently than I'm doing right now? Do I need to plan a picnic lunch, get my hair done, don my nicest togs ...

When God says in His Word no one will know the day or the hour of His return, I take that literally. I believe when He comes, He will just "pop in" and bring His children home. I look forward to that day ...whenever it will be, but I don't think God wants me to be obsessed with knowing the exact day, to the very minute, of His return.


Many of us tend to be a people who aren't fond of deviating from a plan. We feel uncomfortable at times when people just stop by uninvited, or unannounced. We want to know how our day is going to play out. Perhaps this is part of the reason for the persistent answers to the mysteries surrounding Christ's Second Coming. 

I am at peace not knowing the day and the hour of my Savior's return because I believe I'm already living my eternity with Him. He is with me always and forever. I'm not "waiting" for Him to come to me ...He's already with me. I laugh with Him, cry with Him, we make plans together, He's my Heavenly, Abba, Father who has promised to never leave me. He's not in some far off place, impossible to reach, getting ready to just "drop by" at any moment ...He's here with me now!

Let's not waste time with trying to figure out our futures with God in some far off distant place, but rather, let's relish in the present with Him, here and now. God wants us to exert our time and energies to loving others and creating a heaven on earth for ourselves and those around us right now. 

The "being ready" part I don't believe was for His children because we're already with Him, living our eternity with Him, but rather for those who don't know Him as their savior. So, let's devote our time to loving others and sharing God's Good News to those around us!!

And, when my Lord says it's time to take me to my new home, I'll be ready ...just as I am.

Marisa

Friday, May 20, 2011

Care Enough to Confront

Okay, I’ve learned today that there are times I really struggle with the command to do all things without griping or complaining. For the most part, I’m fairly even keel. It truly takes a lot to get a rise out of me. I attribute that to a lot of prayer, healthy eating, daily yoga, and the most wonderful family and friends ☺

But, today I got bent out of shape and I believe, with good reason. I don’t want to go into what caused the ripple, but I would like to say it felt good to say, “I’m not happy about this!” My assistant referred to it as …I mentally threw up. She went on to say that sometimes we need to “throw up” in order to feel better.

I would like to emphasize that I don’t think it’s in our best interest to allow our feathers to get ruffled too often. Persistent “regurgitation” indicates we have a serious problem. However, allowing everything we’re passionate about to roll off our shoulders leads to an eventual crashing and burning at the bottom. Sooner or later it will come out and often when it does, we either devastate ourselves or others.

I liken it to a volcano. I remember my dad sharing with me as a child that volcanoes need to erupt now and then to release pressure from the core of the earth. If this pressure isn’t allowed to escape, our whole earth could explode. I found that fascinating! Something I deemed as extraordinarily dangerous is actually life-saving. God doesn’t make mistakes.

Just like volcanoes, we need to be able to vent periodically so we don’t “explode” and create irrevocable damage.

So in a nutshell, I do think it’s important to not gripe and complain about every little thing and in all things give thanks. I also believe God understands when we need to “let off some steam” to protect others and ourselves from injustices.

The next time we need to assertively confront another person, let's not put it off until we're ready to explode and let’s try to season our words with love. Yes, it felt good to say, “I'm not happy about this!” But, it truly felt better to come to a resolution with greater trust and understanding and this can only happen with an immediate, honest, open interchange orchestrated by God.

Care enough to confront!

Marisa

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Donald Trump: ‘I Will Not Be Running For President!’ | Access Hollywood - Celebrity News, Photos & Videos



Honestly, I'm happy about Donald Trump's decision to not run for the presidency. Not because I don't like Donald Trump, but because I wouldn't wish that position on anyone. I think he's much better off sticking with his Celebrity Apprentice and raising as much money for charity as he can ...good for him ...smart decision!

Marisa

Friday, May 13, 2011

Sometimes Worthy Performers Are Called Home

 I recently read a Facebook post referring to James Durbin being voted off American Idol and she couldn’t understand why worthy performers go home.

Why are “worthy performers” called home? My dad was not only a model husband and father, but he was also a gifted, chaplain, pastor, preacher, and teacher. He performed well …very well in all areas of his life and his performance was genuine. He was so admired by all who had the privilege to know him.

I don’t know why people are called home before we think they should be, but it’s beautiful the way God can turn our disappointments into greater passions.

I’ve learned from several since my father’s death that he inspired them to think more positively, eat healthier, be more loving, and so on. Living in mourning because of his death would be the very antithesis of what his life represented …joy! He would want us to live in joy in memory of him.

I can’t explain why James Durbin went home last night in 4th place any more than I can explain why Chris Daughtry went home in 4th place several years ago. I do know, however, that currently Chris is a superstar just as James will be. He will turn his disappointment into greater passion and he will take his Idol experience and soar!

I can’t explain why my dad went home either, but he is now soaring at incomprehensible heights and there will never be any turning back for him. He is at the pinnacle with God and that is where he will stay forever! I wouldn’t wish for it to be any different for him. I look forward to sharing Heaven with him some day.

Enjoy your home ...wherever that may be!

Marisa


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The Irresistible Revolution by Shane Claiborne

Of all the books that have ever been written, other that the Bible itself, Irresistible Revolution has affected my life more than any other. I've been laboring over its application ever since I've read its pages ...God, enable me to be your hands and feet to a dying world!




Sunday, May 8, 2011

Relax and Replenish

So, here I am, finally settled in. I am finally acclimated here in Las Vegas and I am waiting to start my new job next Monday. However, now that things are settled and the excitement of my new home is starting to wear off, I am finding myself alone with books and thoughts.  It is so interesting to me that the more I pray the more I find that God answers my prayers in the most bizarre ways.

Recently, I have been begging for God to reveal himself to me.  For the past few years I have been struggling in my faith and I have not quite known where to go from here. I have been reading like crazy and studying everything I can and watching clips from speakers and attending churches. Yet, now I feel as though I have spent so much time trying to study that I, more than likely, missed all of the things God was trying to tell me.  Yes, I do feel as though God has opened all of the doors for me to be here today. Yes, I also feel as though God has protected me and provided for me in times when I felt like I might fall flat on my face.  Looking back over the last few months, God has had his hands in a lot of things that I have been through and it is so very apparent.

Being unemployed, I have been reading like crazy. This time, I have been what I will call "openly reading." I have been reading and at the same time, waiting for God to point out the parts he wants me to see. It has been one of the most eye opening things I have done yet... and at this point, there is no going back to plain old reading for me. During this time, I have read a collection of books that I already have that I had not read until recently. The first of these was Riven by Jerry Jenkins. Anyone who has the opportunity to read this book should definitely take it. This book made me laugh and cry at the same time, it made me angry, it made me rejoice, and it made me really appreciate the mountains that God can move if any of us will allow him to do it.  The second of these was a memoir called Undress Me in the Temple of Heaven, by Susan Jane Gilman. This book did not prove to be religious book in any way; however, it caused me to greatly appreciate everything God has provided for me in my life and the freedoms that I am able to exercise. The third of these, which I am currently reading, is called the Irresistible Revolution by Shane Claiborne. This book has helped me to really look at the people around me and has brought about a lot of curiosity when it comes to looking at others and the longing to understand their stories and come to know them for who they are instead of passing judgment upon others. It also brought about the longing to really read every word the bible says and take it all in instead of quoting only my favorite bible verses, verses that pass along the particular message that I am trying to send at that time, and ignoring the rest of the verses as though they are not as valuable. 

I am really enjoying this free time that I have had to really spend with God reading, talking with him, and listening to everything he has had to say. I currently feel an overwhelming sense of peace, and I think this is a feeling that I would like to hold on to.

Brittany




Saturday, May 7, 2011

LOVE WINS - Rob Bell

One of the things Rob Bell suggests is that if we're going to discuss a book, it's best to read it. So, I went to Borders Bookstore today, nabbed the little black book with red lettering and sat in a comfy chair and read the pages cover-to-cover.

At this point, I'm still "chewing" on its message. Much of this book parallels with Wayne Jacobson's book, "He Loves Me," which has already been added to my "favorites" on this blog. The premise behind both books is God is a God of love and not one of harsh rules and regulations, with unrealistic expectations for His children.

Anyway, I'm going continue to "feed" on this a little bit longer before I share, but I truly have some thoughts. I will leave this post with something Rob Bell stated in his book that keeps resonating with me. It moved me to tears as I read it ...when Jesus said, "Father, forgive them for they know not what they do" while He was hanging on the cross, was He merely speaking of those who crucified Him that day, or was he referring to all of us? ...All of us who are sinners saved only by His grace? "Father, forgive (Marisa) for she knows not what (she does)." Father, forgive (the child with disabilities who can't grasp what it means to have a personal walk with you) for (he/she) knows not what (he/she does)... To be continued...

Monday, May 2, 2011

Love the Enemy??

This post is not an easy one for me. I tend to "flee" in the face of adversity, but since God has tugged at my heart strings and since this is my blog to journal my thoughts and what God places upon my heart... I'm just going to take the plunge and share.

In Luke 6:27-36, Jesus says:

"But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also. If someone takes your cloak, do not stop him from taking your tunic. Give to anyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you.


If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that. And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full. But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because He is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful."


If we take the first sentence of this scripture and insert Bin Laden's name. Here's how it would read: Love Bin Laden, do good to Bin Laden who hates you, bless Bin Laden who curse(s) you, pray for Bin Laden who mistreat(s) you.


What?? Wow!! For me, this scripture truly comes to life in this situation in a very real, tangible way. I don't like it... my own humanness wants to be glad this evil man has finally been brought to justice. 

The words above aren't my words... they are God's words and I don't think He's asking me to rip them apart to make them what I want them to be... I don't think God created the highlighter so we can highlight the parts of scripture we like and discard the rest.


There's so much I don't understand. I don't understand why I was robbed of time spent with my dad. Why did cancer have to win? Why does my son have to suffer every day and be enslaved to a disability he didn't ask for or deserve? Life is full of uncertainties and injustices. Thank God I don't have the control handles of life and I thank God He does!

He gives us His Word to use as a manual to guide us through the muck we muddle through. He tells us we are fighting against a presence far more evil than Bin Laden... Ephesians 6:10-12 says, "Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms."

So, I ask myself what is my role in all of this... how do I love such an evil person?? I can't... certainly not without God's help. Do I believe Osama Bin Laden received an appropriate consequence?? I'm not even going to go there and thank God I was not asked to make that decision... that's not the point of this writing (I think we all agree there needed to be consequences enforced). I think the point here is to listen to what the Word of God is telling me and I "hear" it telling me that all scripture hinges on love...

I don't want to argue with anyone (if you have a hard time with anything written here, you'll have to take it up with God because they are His words). If you'd like to post a comment, I'd love to hear from you, but please keep our interactions positive and seasoned with love.


So, on this day, the day after Bin Laden's death I'm saddened... not because I hated him, but because I hated the sin that consumed him. It consumed him to the very core. I hated what that sin did to others... the destruction it caused to thousands and thousands of lives... the devastation it caused families.

...I'm saddened that my first instinct when I heard the news of his passing was to go dancing in the streets...


Father forgive me and may love abound once again...


Marisa