Bring On the Sparkle!

pondI love anything glittery or sparkly, as most of you know. I was heading to work last week and a pond on the side of the highway caught my eye. I drive past it every day; but that morning, it was sparkling like diamonds, unlike most days.

I love to be in nature and enjoy a pond here and there. However, if you ever took the time to really look at pond water, most of the time it’s not real attractive. It’s brown or green and often has a layer of scum on top. However, that particular day with the sun shining on it, it was stunning!

As I continued to look at it as I drove past, the sparkle eventually disappeared. Apparently, as my angle changed, the sun’s reflection on the water also changed, causing it to become just like any other pond.

God hasn’t let me get that picture out of my mind ever since I drove past. It reminded me of the days when I allow God to guide and direct my thoughts versus the days I don’t. You know how it is. We all get busy from time to time and forget to pray or read our Bibles. Not focused on Him, we then get in the way of God speaking to us because we’re too caught up in our drama…you know…the scum in our life… that we don’t listen. Life is so much more beautiful when we allow God’s direction to shine on us each and every day.

I met someone a while back that I instantly connected with before even knowing anything about her. It was as though I could see Jesus in her presence. We immediately hit it off and were talking a mile a minute…as if she were a long lost sister. I walked away from the encounter asking myself, “Do people see Jesus in you like that, Lori?”  This whole scenario made me stop and evaluate myself. Am I allowing God to affect all areas of my life? Are there things I withhold from Him or refuse to listen to Him about that cause me to lose my sparkle from some angles?

This life is temporary.

As I pass through,

I want my existence to have made a difference.

I pray that no matter where someone is standing,

Jesus in my life shines brightly,

like diamonds on a scummy pond.

I pray that God will speak to you, as He has me, to help you to see those areas in your life that still need some attention. As Christians, we need to stand out from the crowd…we don’t want to be ordinary…we want others to recognize there is something different…something beautiful that perhaps they’re missing.  Salt sparkles, you know?

May God’s light shine on you brightly this week and bring beauty to your life, as He is reflected in you!

Luke 11:33-36 (NKJV) “No one, when he has lit a lamp, puts it in a secret place or under a basket, but on a lampstand, that those who come in may see the light.  The lamp of the body is the eye. Therefore, when your eye is good, your whole body also is full of light. But when your eye is bad, your body also is full of darkness.  Therefore take heed that the light which is in you is not darkness.  If then your whole body is full of light, having no part dark, the whole body will be full of light, as when the bright shining of a lamp gives you light.”

Matthew 5:13-16  “You are the salt of the earth; …You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.  Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.  Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.


Stand Out, Be Different, Take the Challenge!

It is hard to believe that another year has come and gone already.  By the next time I write a blog, we will be done with our Christmas celebrations and moving onto the new year—2012.  I remember the day when the 2000’s sounded so space age and here we are, twelve years into it already!  I apologize that my writing is late today but I had some early morning errands that needed to happen and by the time I had chased all of my squirrels along the way (as those of us with A.D.D. might say), here it is 4:00 and I’m just getting started!  Have you ever had a day like that?  You start out with good intentions and distractions along the way pull you in various directions until you find yourself on the couch, out of energy and no more time to do what you originally set out to do?

Sometimes I look at the years gone by, not just days, and think, “Wow, where did time go?  What do I have to show for my life at this point?”  I think this year I was a little more motivated than others because I had certain things I wanted checked off my bucket list before I hit the big 5-0.  Some years I have looked back and thought, “I didn’t get a thing done that I had on my goal list.  As a matter of fact, what did I do?”

This year I have had a lot of time for reflection because of some health issues I’ve been having so I am looking at things a bit differently.  I am praising God that I was able to accomplish my first book, which hit online today as a matter of fact!  I am also praising Him that I have been able to do anything that I did as the beginning of the year was looking pretty bleak for accomplishing anything on the list.  A lot of the things I had on my original goal list for 2011 didn’t happen though.  Either because I re-prioritized and realized it just wasn’t as important as I thought or circumstances just simply prevented it from happening for reasons unbeknownst to me.

Although we spend a lot of time in our lives that is just simply wasted, I think the Christmas season helps us to get our priorities back in line.  I like the fact that it happens at the end of the year so that we can take time to reflect on the things that matter and hopefully align our priorities for the following year accordingly.   You see, the Christmas season brings our thoughts back to our Savior, Jesus Christ, as it is His birthday we celebrate.   It also helps us focus on our loved ones and seems to be a time where more grace is extended to those we may not always see eye to eye with at other times of the year. It’s kind of a magical time…and I’m not talking about Santa Claus!

When I recall my thoughts last December, I am sure that my list for 2011 had things on it like lose weight, be a million dollar real estate sales person, and get moved into my new home before the new year.  Well, none of those things happened—not one.  However, I’m OK with that.  I don’t think God really put me here on this earth to be skinny, rich and have an easy life.  Rather, I think He had much bigger plans for me.  He knew that in order for me to stay on the path and do what I need to do in this life, He would have to give me a challenge.  If life came easy for me, I would let it and probably wouldn’t try any harder.  But it doesn’t, so I am a driven woman.

I am not driven so much for the things that don’t matter anymore as I have only so much energy to expend right now.  God showed me though that His purpose for me in this life was not to accomplish skinniness, wealth, or other great accomplishments of unimportance.  Rather, He has asked me to speak for Him and tell others about His love for them.  He has stripped me of the energy for the frivolous and only given me the strength for what matters.   He has shown me what’s important in life and it’s not my weekly appointment at Jenny Craig!

My goals for 2012 are going to be a little different than most years in the past.  I am going to actually spend time in prayer this year and ask God what it is He wants me to accomplish in the year ahead.  Then I’m going to make my list of things to do.  However, I’m challenging myself to instead of having various columns on my list, I’m only having one—my spiritual goals.  For the Bible specifically says in Matthew 6:33 (NKJV), But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.  I’m really here for one reason—to do what God needs me to do.  For when I am God focused, all of the other things in the world minimize.  It only took me 50 years to figure out that this world really isn’t about me.  It’s about God and what I can do for Him during my time here on earth.

Time flies and none of us are guaranteed tomorrow.  If we’re not careful, we will be in December again in a flash and stand wondering what just hit us!  Will you take the challenge with me for 2012 to not waste another minute on things that are fleeting and of this world?  What is it that God is calling you to do for Him?  Perhaps you’ve got it all together and are right on target for His plan.  However, if not, take the time to pray and ask Him to guide your thoughts to God-centered goals for 2012.  Just think of how different life might be if we were living for Him and using our time to further His goals for us instead of our own.  This life is fleeting…what we do for God is eternal.

Psalm 39

Merry Christmas!