This is one of my favorite family pictures. It is a picture of my mother with our youngest son before he graduated high school. We made a visit to her home in Texas like we usually did about twice a year. This was one of the last visits our son could make with us to see her.
So what is this Blog about?
I wanted to honor my mother and to share an ideal that my mother instilled in me as well as lived her life by. "When there is a will there is a way."
Those who knew my mother knew she was a strong woman. She was a determined woman. She was a resourceful woman. She was a loyal, faithful, and compassionate woman. And in some ways, you would say she was a fighter. When a problem came her way, she was not easily discouraged to find a solution. She was not afraid of hard work, and she was diligent to find ways either around, over, or through the situation. Her strong will caused her to not give up. And her strength was anchored in a power that was stronger than her power. She knew that and relied on the Greater Power that was on her side!
In our travels and in the present pandemic situation, we have been impressed with the differences we have seen in Americans and in other nationalities we are familiar with. In the American culture our sense of independence and that sense of being a "fighter" is still strong and evident. I am thankful for that. I am thankful for a people, a nation, that stands strong and stalwart in the face of howling winds of adversity and blazes a trail of right, truth, and justice.Some people feel powerless and without a voice. These can find themselves following the path of least resistance feeling there is no other way (versus blazing a trail of right or truth). Now, in no way is this advocating lawlessness or chaos. This is about finding your strength to stand and continue forward even in the midst of adversity, problems and oppositions.
Maybe the first path is blocked. So what is another path forward? Another saying my mother (and many other mother's have said) is "don't cry over spilt milk". To be able to find another "way", we have to be willing to not stand at the "old" way and keep mourning over what won't or can't be. We must recognize, there is another way...let's find it. Instead of seeing the WALL...start looking for the DOOR that is in the wall.
Where there is a will, there is a way. Be strong. Be Compassionate. Be Faithful to the vision or dream you carry.
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!
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.