Do you like to be surprised?
A definition of surprise is "an unexpected or astonishing event, fact, or thing."
I must say that I haven't liked every surprise that has come my way. And at the same time, there are some unexpected or sudden things that have happened that have caused great delight! One of those surprises came in May to John and I. For about 6 years we had slept on extremely firm mattresses in Asia (coconut husk filled). And in May, we came across a couple moving back to the States who had a mattress topper we had been desiring! Here is John with the pad. It is now in our home and we started enjoying sweeter sleep!! What a great surprise this find was for us!!
As I think about life in this current season, I think about surprises. I think the world has been caught by surprise by events that have unfolded in unexpected ways. I then think of how we can tend to react to surprises. In the moment we will react more than respond. As we settle into the "surprise", we are able to stop and think and make more of a calculated choice versus the automatic reactions. Responding puts the sense of control back in our hands. Stop -- Think -- Choose -- Respond
So some thoughts...Embrace the moments of life. Let life surprise you at times. What does that mean? Look for things that are new or awe inspiring for you. Like what? Enjoy a starry sky at night. Enjoy watching a thunderstorm roll in. Take time to step beyond this technology driven world to see and be awe struck with the creation.Capture the joy of a moment. Put the worry on hold. Worry and dread will rob us of the joys that can be hidden in the most unlikely places and moments. Enjoy the surprises. And the moments that have sourness mixed in...remember to mix in some sweetness. How? Cultivate a thankful heart. Look for the good that still surrounds you.
Believe. Life is good. Look for the good. Expect the good.
Enjoy the moments when good surprises you, and take a deep breath when the surprises want to take your breath away through fear, etc. Weeping lasts for the night AND JOY comes in the morning! Be ready to be surprised by times of GREAT JOY!
What do you think of when you hear that word?
For me, I think of the old TV series, Mission Impossible, that I loved to watch as a kid! It was full of excitement and action. The secret agents were always presented with a mission that was extremely difficult and had that sense of being impossible to accomplish. But, on TV, no matter how hard the task, the mission always got accomplished!
The word impossible means: not able to be done, out of the question, a no-win situation, and the idea of something being demanding/unbearable/exasperating. Have you faced one of these types of “missions” or situations in life? I think we all have. What was your response? And my question for us to consider is, can the impossible truly become possible? Or is that thinking just a way to avoid the inevitable?
I like some quotes that are out there. They make me stop and think.
What catches my attention?
1. Looking at the word impossible through the lens of “I’m Possible”. (Re-framing my thinking)
2. Realizing I can judge something impossible without even giving it a good honest effort. (light bulb moment!!)
Then I ask myself some questions:
1. How do I really judge my abilities? Do I judge them correctly? Do I sell myself short?
2. Am I so quick to say, “I can’t” before I can see how “I could”?
3. Have I hemmed myself into a corner because I have failed to look beyond what I have known?
4. Do I want comfort more than accomplishment and the work or change that accomplishment will require?
5. Is something truly impossible or have I just not found my “whys” to make me go for it?
To go to a new level. It could be a new level of finances. It could be a new level of family relationships. It could be a new level in your career. The list can continue…. To go to this new level, we must think new thoughts. The old thoughts will limit us, and we will stay with what we have known. To be able to move out of the impossible into the possible, we must decide not to stay where we have been. When we WANT to move forward into new territory, THEN we are ready for the challenge of the impossible. We are ready for Mission Impossible.
There are five elements to facing the Impossible that I want to share with you:
1. Shake off the Comfortable.
We must become convinced of our “whys” to move into something new. This motivates us for the journey. The change has to be worth it. Change always means leaving something behind. Change always means facing the uncomfortable and moving through it.
2. Charge up your Courage.
What helps you believe in yourself? Where does your courage come from? Identify that and capture that! Find the quotes. Find the words. Remember the dreams. Remember those who have believed in you. And on the other side, what hinders your belief in yourself? Capture those thoughts and cast them away. Replace those thoughts with the thoughts that charge up your courage and faith!
3. Imagine the New.
We have to see it. What will the impossible look like and feel like once we have brought it into the possible? Imagine the goal. Stop seeing what is right now. Start seeing what can be. Start imagining the goal reached!
4. Change your Conversation.
We can find ourselves apologizing to people for our huge dreams. We may say, “Oh I know this is impossible for me…”. We can feel the unbelief and cynicism of others when we share our impossible dream or goal. We can pull back because of this and apologize or throw cold water on the desire that we have. Start talking what you believe…not what you feel, see, or think others want you to say. You see the future, help others see it too.
5. Gather your Team.
One of the elements I remember about Mission Impossible was that it took a team to accomplish these very difficult missions. Each agent had their part to play in the strategy. One may have been the out-front person while another may have been behind the scenes operating other details of the mission. Challenging the impossible is not for us to do alone. Who is for you? Who will support you? Who can help you? Find your team and engage them in making the impossible possible. For me, this is where I would say, turn "Impossible" into “We’re Possible”.
ENJOY YOUR MISSION IMPOSSIBLE...IF YOU CHOOSE TO ACCEPT IT!
Recently this word and concept, TOGETHER, has captured my attention.
I thought I would share some thoughts from my ponderings (Is that a word?? LOL).
There are some parts of the definition of the word "together" that I would like to focus on.
1. Not separated
2. Indicates a union of various parts, members.
3. Various elements or members joined in a cooperation.
4. Individual pieces being unified into a structure or arrangement.
5. Free of agitation and upset. Calmness. Unshaken.
One of the pictures that come to my mind is the picture of sheep being scattered in a field grazing. Then when the shepherd calls them, they begin to move toward that sound and come together being joined by the sound of their shepherd's call. (Follow this link to a shepherd in Vietnam calling his sheep.)
I think in life we can become scattered or less connected with one another. It could be with our spouse, our children, our friends, etc. What causes this? Probably a myriad of things. I think busyness is one of the main things. Allowing ourselves to be distracted from the things that are important by things that are urgent (but not important). I think of a recent example of this. A friend and I were working on a project together. I had received news of some immediate changes and reached out to discuss this with her. In the midst of this, she explained that she had set priority to her morning hours being for her father. I honored that and found another way to communicate that allowed more flexibility in her schedule and did not interrupt her scheduled time with her father. She had kept the important thing priority while allowing the urgent thing to be put in its proper order to be addressed.
When we become scattered or separated in our relationships, in our priorities, in our assignments, we can stop and recognize what is happening. It is important to stay united or joined to our relationships, our assignments, our visions, our priorities. When I think about the definition of "together", I also think of the idea of being free of agitation; being calm; being unshaken. It gives me more understanding of the importance of having "togetherness" in my life.
Another thought. Does being "together" mean that everything I do is in direct connection with my husband or another friend? Being in their company all the time to be together. Having no projects or adventures they are not involved in?
No, not exactly. Just think...if it meant that, then every husband and wife who work separate jobs would be in a state of "separation." I think the concept of being "Together" has more dimensions to it than the one dimension of being in the physical presence of someone. How important it is that we stay joined in our love, our concern, our communication with each other. Each one being committed to the health and value of the relationship. Physical contact with people is important, and at the same time, we can be physically together but miles apart in our love, our concern, our commitment, and our communication.
Our "togetherness" creates something. It creates a structure or an entity. It can create a family. It can create a friendship. It can create a business. It can create the reality of a vision or dream. Let us strive to be "together". We maybe separated by physical barriers, and at the same time, we can be joined together in our love and care for one another.
Take the time to communicate. Take the time to ask, "How can I care? How can I show love?"...even to those miles apart. Find the bridge that brings you together.
Cindy writes about her adventures, observations, and other nuggets from living in another nation. She and John live in SE Asia. She will also share nuggets from her 58 plus years of life.