Tick Tock

Perspective Check:

What do you think when you hear the words “My Time”? Or phrases like, “I only have this much time”, “I’m going to do XYZ with ‘my time'”, or “I don’t have any time for that.”

Is any time really ours to claim? Do I own a minute, an hour, or a week? Can I control time? Make more of it, less of it, or make it non-existent? No, not really. All I can do it utilize time.

My Time

I’ve been reminded of this recently when I’ve had my own agenda of what I plan to do with “my time”, and then someone calls and needs a last minute favor, or a friend calls and is really down about life, and talk on the phone for a long time.

Needless to say, I don’t end up accomplishing the ever-so-important agenda. But when I stop and think about these things, the truth is, time is not “mine.” All time is God’s time! He is the creator of time, the allocater,The Beginning and the End. I just have the opportunity to choose how I’m going to spend God’s time – do I choose to use it for MY purposes…or His?

Which in the long run is more eternal: to run errands that can be done tomorrow, or watch a friend’s child so that they can do something super important?
To work on paperwork, bills, and other items that can be done in the near future, or give undivided attention to a friend who is low and can use some encouragement and love at that very moment?

This perspective makes it simple! It’s not the gratitude and thanks from others that makes it simple (though it’s always nice to hear!!), it’s the fact that in the end, I used His time wisely and took advantage of the opportunities that He put in front of my path instead of wasting them. THAT my friends, is worth all the time in the world, and in the end, we will be rewarded (or not!) for how we spend His time.

 

2 Corinthians 4:18

” So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.” (NLT)

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No Matter the Weather

weather

A common conversation piece happens to be the weather.

You might ask someone on the phone, “So how is the weather where you are?” or maybe make a comment to a stranger in the grocery store line about how “it’s such a dreary day today!”  And then there’s always the talk of , “I can’t wait for: Summer (when it’s winter), Rain (when there’s drought), Snow (when it’s Christmas), Autumn (when you’re tired of the heat that you wished for months earlier) etc.”

The weather is something that everyone can relate to, a topic that anyone can contribute to, and we all have an opinion on the matter. Some of the extreme opinions I’ve heard lately are things like “I’m so sick of this winter!”, “Sure, it might be warm and sunny today, but it’s supposed to snow the rest of the week!”,  “I can’t stand this weather anymore; I wish I could move.” (By the way, you know what they say opinions are like, don’t ya? 😉

We all hold a power when we share our opinions, and that’s the power to be positive or negative. Would you rather cast a pessimistic shadow over your friend, or, share an optimistic view with them?  HOPEFULLY you’d like to be a positive addition to your friend’s day and not a draining one. In addition to the vibes that you put out when conveying your own opinion, studies show that how we talk can also influence how we feel ourselves!

You may be thinking, “Oh c’mon Renee, it’s blasted cold outside, no one even knows if the sun exists anymore, and the forecast shows another 12 inches of ice and sleet by tomorrow…and did I mention that the kids could have ANOTHER snow day? How do you expect anyone to live in a fairytale ‘la-la-land’ and pretend to be HAPPY about this weather that is dominating my life?!”

Here’s my reply: Can you change it? No…  Does it do anyone any good complaining about it? No…  

Ok, then, let’s embrace the facts of the “situation”  at hand (the weather)…but let’s change our PERSPECTIVE 🙂

How? Let’s use Columbus, OH weather as our example.

Talk about weather!  This winter we’ve gotten it all! Yesterday and today it actually jumped up to the mid 60’s, yet  I have a ‘severe weather alert’ coming across my smartphone saying that we’ll have inches of snow and a low of 7º tomorrow. That’s nearly a 60º difference within a 24 hour period. Yes, we have bipolar weather. For days in advance I was excited about the warm weather that was approaching; however, even in the midst of the sunshine and ‘warmth’, I heard several people focusing on the fact that it ‘wasn’t here to stay’ and complaining about the forecast later in the week. There were times that I just felt like saying:  SHUT UP! If you can’t find joy in the moment then please refrain from trying to steal my joy.

1) Be thankful for the good moments and allow yourself to celebrate them as they come!

We’ve had many sub-zero days this winter and a few days that dumped enough snow to keep even the bravest of us cooped up inside our homes….and some with restless, squabbling kiddos (heeeelllllp!!) Recipe for bad attitudes, disasters, and discontentment on account of a wrecked schedule (I had to miss the gym A LOT!)  So how can we celebrate and be thankful for times like these? Find a way! In this situation, I decided that I couldn’t change the facts of the matter, but I could interpret it however I wanted to. So instead of a day stuck inside that kept me from the gym, my errands, and my plans, I changed my agenda and made it a day that I was privileged enough to stay inside and get some projects done that I hadn’t given myself permission to do for a long time! Make a rainy or snowed-in day into a “Mending Monday” or a “Cleaning Day” or organize a room that is long overdue.  Embrace the project and then you can celebrate what you’ve accomplished by changing your perspective! (oh, and put the squabbling kiddos to work or play, too, but in separate rooms 😉

2) Find a way to change the ‘bad’ to something ‘good’, then act on it!

And my final tip to help you change your perspective? Realize that LIFE GOES ON! This is only one day/week/month/season/year, and there is more to come down the road. We control our perspective and attitudes about things. It’s a choice. A mindset that we choose to have. There are some pretty tough situations in life, and ‘the weather’ is just a metaphor that is used as a tangible example, but people do become ill with cancer, go through relationship problems, lose jobs, and many other crisis’. Life is not always that pretty ‘la-la fairytale land’. BUT – the more that we focus on the positive and choose joy over hopelessness, moving forward over giving up, the more that we’ll find happiness in the despair. The more sunshine we’ll see through the clouds. Reminds me of Paul and how he was wrongfully imprisoned and chained to a wall, yet he still focused on the positive and chose to have a good perspective even when most others in his situation would’ve said ‘whoa is me!’ (Philippians 1:12-23)

3) Suck it up and choose to have a good perspective, even if there doesn’t seem to be a logical reason!

Whether the weather is nice or whether the weather is, well, not so nice…let’s commit to keeping our perspectives positive & focusing on what really matters in life (like Jesus!)  Cold and snowy where you are? Well, “Rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say REJOICE!” (Philippians 4:4)