Tag Archive | perspective

Diggin’ in

92327-Through-The-Looking-GlassLove when I write a blog post and it disappears. Well since this post is all about perspective, maybe it deleted for a reason.

SO as I am diving in to the work perspective I am sure being challenged to run the things I am experiencing through the looking-glass of God’s word.  Of HIS plan for us and the things were are dealing with in our life.

I came across a great article from Rick Warren written years ago, Develop God’s Perspective On Life 

He says “Perspective is understanding something because you see things from a larger frame of reference. It is the ability to perceive how things are interrelated and then judge their comparative importance.

In a spiritual sense, it means seeing life from God’s point of view. In the Bible, the words “understanding,” “wisdom,” and “discernment” all have to do with perspective. The opposite of perspective is “hardness of heart,” “blinded,” and “dullness.”

Psalm 103:7 says, “He [God] made known his ways to Moses, his deeds to the people of Israel” (NIV).The people of Israel got to see what God did, but Moses got to understand why God did it. This is the difference between knowledge and perspective. Knowledge is learning what God has said and done. Perspective is understanding why God said it or did it.”

He goes on to say “Perspective answers the “why” questions of life.”  That excites me.

My husband and I have talked about this a lot as of late.  The things we have been through and how amazing the hand of GOD has been to see us through.  Now that doesn’t mean for a second it has been an easy ride or that He took us around some of the consequences WE created for ourselves.  What it does mean and has meant is that we can see and understand WHY certain things have happened.

This morning things were a little stressful.  Nothing major but with a series of uncontrollable events things have been like a giant game of Catch up as of late.  Day 5 being snowed in and so forth and so on we just feel overwhelmed.  In that moment we all stopped and prayed. Asking the LORD to take control and that might just mean some big changes for 2018.  Inviting God to show me the why’s and help me to have a fresh perspective each day has been eye-opening.

In this article it Rick talks about how perspective helps us:

Perspective helps us resist temptation. When we look at a situation from God’s viewpoint, we realize the long-term consequences of sin are greater than any short-term pleasure sin might provide. Without perspective we follow our own natural inclinations. “There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death” (Proverbs 14:12 NIV).

Perspective helps us handle trials. When we have God’s perspective on life we realize that “in all things God works for the good of those who love him” (Romans 8:28) and that “the testing of your faith develops perseverance” (James 1:3). Perspective was one of the reasons Jesus was able to endure the cross (Hebrews 12:2). He looked past the pain to the joy that was set before him.

Perspective protects us from error. If there was ever a time that Christians need to be grounded in the truth, it is today. Pluralism has created a very confused culture. The problem is not that our culture believes nothing but that it believes everything. Perspective is the antidote.

When believers, new and mature, are given both knowledge and perspective, the result is rock solid: “Then we will no longer be like children, forever changing our minds about what we believe because someone has told us something different or has cleverly lied to us and made the lie sound like the truth” (Ephesians 4:14 LB).

It is like we learned in recovery, playing the tape all the way through.  Inviting God from the very beginning and every step a long the way.

Diggin’ in right where I am…

 

Jeremiah 29:11 “ For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
Read more at http://www.patheos.com/blogs/christiancrier/2015/06/29/top-7-bible-verses-to-improve-your-perspective-on-life/#HFCtsb89HH61t0ip.9

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PERSPECTIVE

perspective

 NOUN A view or prospect. A particular attitude toward or way of regarding something; a point of view. True understanding of the relative importance of things; a sense of proportion

So lets just say that as I started on this morning I had a list a short mile long of things to do.  Literally 5 things before a 10 AM meeting that I help run.  First stop was 8 AM to drop my son at school.  So it was important that everything go as planned. Sticky note on the dash-board and pencil to check things off as I go.  READY…. sure thing. 
As I pull in to stop 2, Walmart, to get my groceries I can’t seem to get my CHECK IN NOW button on the App to work. ( Should have been my first sign).  I switch over to dial the number on the sign and as I am listening to it ring and ring and ring and ringggggggg out walks a young lady… s l o w l y
Said young lady approaches my driver side window ( it feels like  8 Degrees so I need her to talk fast) and she slowly stammers over her words.  I hear something that resembles your order on the day we are supposed to get a blizzard in a place that gets NO snow and with nothing left on our shelves and 10000 people in the check out lines of which only like 4 are open HAS BEEN CANCELLED.  I blink, take a sip of my Starbucks and say excuse me.  YUP she repeats something that sounds just like what I thought I just heard.  Freezing cold birds chirp, the sun glares off the hood of my jeep that has NO SNOW on it. The sky is barely even showing signs of above mentioned storm.  I took a deep breath and responded as kindly as I can that the money had already left my bank account to pay for an order I was supposed to get 45 mins ago and now I set with no groceries and SHOPPERS Frustration at the thought of fighting some person in the isle over a loaf of bread.  I will save you the 5 minutes of conversation that followed and the manager that walked out and offered me $10 off my next order.  I will tell you I didn’t say any bad words ( I don’t think ” I am a little pissed off” counts / does it??? ) I did take the 800 number for their corporate office that was supposed to have told me at some point that my order was cancelled because of a storm that has yet to arrive.  I drove away. 
Slowly at first and then a little tensely ( not a word I know).
It was about the time I realized I had to figure a way to fit a trip to HELL into my day (AKA the grocery store on the day a blizzard is set to hit a place that gets a flake or two of snow and flips the heck out and causes people to act like they are fighting over their first-born) 
Then I remembered what I was doing before I drove into the Pick up lane to get my groceries hand placed in my nice warm Jeep.  I was praying and spending some time talking to GOD>  Asking him to speak to my heart about my One Word for 2018.  I had been praying over the things that 2017 had shown me and some of the things I was hoping that 2018 would reveal.  It had been a great conversation I had paused to pull up the Walmart Grocery Pick up App.  
Deep Breath- and a ugh.  How quickly I had gotten frustrated over something that is a luxury not a necessity and for things I needed and wanted most of which could wait if truth be told.  I had planned my day to the 15 mins marks but had lost it when it wasn’t quite as I thought it should be.  I saw no snow and just got mad that I was being inconvenienced.  It was then I asked the Lord to really speak to my heart and change my perspective.  To see all sides of something and no react.  It is something I have worked on over the years and gotten so much better at.  Really I have.  It was just in that moment today I realized perspective is needed in every single thing.

I am not sure if that will be my word yet for 2018 but what I am sure of is that GOD isn’t finished with me yet.  That sometimes, all the times, I need to look at life from a different perspective.  From someone else perspective.  

Yes I finished all my errands and appointments and yes I went into the grocery store and picked up my own $145 worth of things.  Wanna know something?  I had the best conversation with 3 different people.  I was IN the moment and in the right place at the right time to share and care and just see things I think I was meant to see. 
Hmmmm… I think I need new glasses  
32d816d82f0899ed0e12c26dc4e62960

Negative Focus

focus

He has to renew my mind because I can not.  I am flawed and lack focus.  Well correction.  I can focus on the wrong things. I can focus on the problem not the solution. I can spin in circles draining my joy trying to master the problem, make it make sense, understand it and still find no way to control it.

“A renewed mind is Presence-focused.” That comes from a daily renewing of my mind.

Not every mountain is mine to climb.  Not every problem is mine to solve.  At the last minute there may be a detour and if I am focused too far ahead I have wasted so much time and energy that I fall out of focus on the today, on the now.  He ALWAYS makes provision, I have to seek Him, renew in Him, focus on Him and stay immersed, in Him.

The result is I lose my Joy and I have days like I had yesterday where I allow outside stuff to steal my peace.  I lose my focus.  I think it was last week I read a devotion on Choosing Joy. 

“. Jesus did not come so that we can merely survive life. Pagans can survive life. Jesus came to be our joy…..Joy is not the result of outward circumstances. Joy is an inside job, a deeply rooted confidence that God is in control. Every trial or loss, every defeat or victory measured against this confidence can be counted as joy….The Apostle Paul was a man of great joy. By human terms, he had every right to be angry and even bitter. Instead, he chose joy. Persecuted, imprisoned and facing His own death, Paul says, “I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through Him who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:12-12, NIV)…..We cannot avoid pain but we can avoid joy. Our inward perspective does not have to reflect our outward circumstances. The pursuit of joy is a matter of choice…..

A little boy was overheard talking to himself as he strutted through the backyard, a baseball cap on his head, ball and bat in hand. He was muttering, “I’m the greatest hitter in the world!” Then he tossed the ball in the air, swung at it, and missed. “Strike one!” He picked up the ball, threw it into the air and said to himself, “I’m the greatest hitter ever!” He swung at the ball again. “Strike two!” He paused, examined his bat and ball and threw the ball into the air, missing a third time. He cried out, “Wow! I’m the greatest pitcher in the world!”

Yes, the pursuit of joy is a matter of choice and perspective. It is also a matter of obedience. As Christians, one of our spiritual priorities should be joy.

“One ship sails east.

One ship sails west.

Regardless of how the winds blow,

It is the set of the sail

And not the gale

That determines the way we go.”

(Author unknown)

Set your sails for joy, girlfriend! Celebrate! Revel in who God is, in what He has done, is doing and will do in your life when you choose joy.”

 

And there it is.  Perspective.  Choice. A matter of obedience.

Keeping it real….today is a new day.

 

Pause

pause

In just one pause, one deep breath, one slow down there can be peace.

….And just like that a few days slip past and I am absorbed back into the chaos and perspective and peace are in my rear view mirror.  Lesson number one for me today- relationships doesn’t take the weekend off.  Lesson number two in direct line with lesson number one- I need to stay dialed in to my pursuit of perspective and peace by staying dialed in to my relationship with God.  Lesson number three- my days are filled with me, an imperfect person, moving through an imperfect world, surrounded by other imperfect people doing less then imperfect things so why expect anything less?

I must keep my perspective on the things that matter- on GOD.  On the one perfect in my imperfect life.  Things seem great I must trust Him.  Things are falling apart I must trust Him.  Its a lazy Saturday afternoon I must trust Him.  Its a world wind Monday I must trust Him.  When my bonus is big I must trust Him. When I don’t know how we will make it through I must trust Him.

I have to build in the pause.  I have to build it in as I start my day and every hour of every day because life is going to through me crap, curve balls, distractions and sometimes even good ones.  I have to have those 10 second windows built in to remember HE is perfect.  To see things through Him.  To ask. To wait. To listen.  To hear.  It is not about my circumstances but about my reactions, about my right responses and the ONLY place I will find those is in the Pause- in the Purposeful Perspective that comes with Peace.

So as I am hurrying to do something last night that was good but not necessary, as I missed my exit and back tracked around, as I walked in to just turn around and walk out, as I grumbled the first 1o minutes of my ride back home I heard that small voice. ” Not everything that is good is worth it and did you even take a moment to pause today?”

Ps 73 21-28

21 Then I realized that my heart was bitter,
    and I was all torn up inside.
22 I was so foolish and ignorant—
    I must have seemed like a senseless animal to you.
23 Yet I still belong to you;
    you hold my right hand.
24 You guide me with your counsel,
    leading me to a glorious destiny.
25 Whom have I in heaven but you?
    I desire you more than anything on earth.
26 My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak,
    but God remains the strength of my heart;
    he is mine forever.

27 Those who desert him will perish,
    for you destroy those who abandon you.
28 But as for me, how good it is to be near God!
    I have made the Sovereign Lord my shelter,
    and I will tell everyone about the wonderful things you do.

Ok to Choose

goodbetterbest

So if you know me at all you know I love to bake and every single Christmas I bake.  A LOT!  From Frosted sugar cookies to fudge, Santa surprises to chocolate covered pretzels.  Probably about a dozen various special treats and gift them to my family, friends and neighbors (and help my husband need gift exchange because he gained another pant size.)   This past holiday season I did not bake.  Nope. Not one single treat and let me tell you, you would have thought I committed the unpardonable sin.

Let me explain.

The last quarter of 2015 I realized something I have never grasped before (or maybe held so loosely too I let it slip away).  Everything that is good is not profitable.  Everything that I like to do and want to do is not always what is best. I can’t do everything.  Not everything is meant for me to do.

I tried to go full steam ahead, do all the things I think are expected of me and all the things I need to do, all the things other people should be doing and find time for the things I love then I burn myself out.  Add to that being in a desert place spiritually, mentally, physically and emotionally and you have a recipe for a meltdown.  I was at capacity and on empty and realized very clearly that if I added one more thing I would be in trouble.

So I choose wisely.

I realized that the things I had no control over were out of control and the things I could control I needed to reevaluate for importance.  The cookies, a few parties, decorating, projects around the house, extra activities I hoped to do- all made the cut.

The cookies was the biggest thing.  I found myself apologizing. I cried. I felt like I was letting everyone down in falling to make this holiday tradition happen.  I mean as silly as it is now because everyone did survive without Christmas cookies (to hear my husband you would think he lost a limb and was starved to death).  The moment at which I came to the realization that to make the cookies meant sacrificing being able to stand up without excruciating pain in my knee, meant giving up sleep my frazzled mind and body desperately needed, meant letting down my kids and my husband and my poor neighbor who starts asking at Thanksgiving when I will start baking, I realized something.  In that moment I realized growth. Growth in that I put what was best for me before what was good and everyone made it out alive.  I put what was needed before what was wanted.

May not sound like a big deal but to me this is huge. I live in the place of making everyone else happy.  Not because they require it but because I do.  I have always been a Martha and I needed a Mary moment. I need to be still (well as still as I could be) and I needed to catch my breath, to eat someone else’s cookies, to be quiet and boring and rest and miss those parties. I needed to not second guess my saying No and rest in my right to choose.

Too often I get lost in the “must’s” and the “think I should’s”.  Simple answer as to why:  because I lost perspective and peace.  I stopped seeking the plan for my day in a quiet and still moment with my maker. I started borrowing from what could happen and what should happen instead of living in what was happening and allowing it to.  I filled my time with stuff- necessary or not.

Now in setting limits, expressing your needs and making clear boundaries, in choosing, sometimes others are offended. Sometimes they see it as your feelings are more important than theirs.  For me that is not what it was about at all. It was for me and continues to be because I have been to the bottom and I know what it feels like to not choose and loose myself, almost completely and finally.

What a freedom there is in living IN today. Taking moment by moment.  I am sure I sound like a broken record but there is peace and taking it as it comes and trusting and resting that my steps are order, when I have HIS perspective on my day.

choices

 

Mary and Martha
38-40 As they continued their travel, Jesus entered a village. A woman by the name of Martha welcomed him and made him feel quite at home. She had a sister, Mary, who sat before the Master, hanging on every word he said. But Martha was pulled away by all she had to do in the kitchen. Later, she stepped in, interrupting them. “Master, don’t you care that my sister has abandoned the kitchen to me? Tell her to lend me a hand.”
41-42 The Master said, “Martha, dear Martha, you’re fussing far too much and getting yourself worked up over nothing. One thing only is essential, and Mary has chosen it—it’s the main course, and won’t be taken from her.”

*Disclaimer:  No innocent husbands were hurt in the process. My sister saved the day and made sure his waist line didn’t miss out on cookies and that there was a plate for Santa*

 

P’s

pp

When I was little I hated peas. Seriously my mom and dad would have to give me and my little sister Danielle a $1 a spoon and then I would swallow them whole with a huge gulp of milk. While my sister Brooke would just eat the whole bowl, for FREE.  EWWWW

I’m older now and I actually will eat some types of sweet peas on occasion but still find my self struggling with other types of P’s in my life.  You know:  procrastination, problems, pressure, people, perspective, peace.

I am learning continually the art of perspective and the lessons are coming as fast as I can  focus/refocus.  I can’t always look ahead, plan out, control what is happening.  Too many variables.  In my readings this morning a light bulb moment- when the wave is headed at me it seems so treacherous.  If I focus on the circumstances and spring into control, kill or be kill, knee jerk reaction mood I surely will drown when that wave hits. I will most certainly blow it into something larger than it was ever intended to be.  Yet if I keep my focus in the moment firmly planted in and on GOD and trust Him with the circumstances, trust Him with the storm, then by the time the wave reaches me it is shrunk to proportions of HIS design.

Philippians 4:4-7The Message (MSG)

4-5 Celebrate God all day, every day. I mean, revel in him! Make it as clear as you can to all you meet that you’re on their side, working with them and not against them. Help them see that the Master is about to arrive. He could show up any minute!

6-7 Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.

Perspective is a lesson I am learning every day.  As I continue taking moment by moment, living in the here and now and looking ahead, I have to remember continually to assume nothing, to release that which is not mine to own, to seek HIM first in all my Steps and not focus on what seems to be headed my way.  I can control nothing but boy do I think I can.  When I keep my perspective in check and on him then the circumstances of my day, the events, the interaction with people ( and traffic) are manageable.  When I change my perspective then peace follows.  And these are P’s I can devour.

(Jesus Calling devo inspiration)