When You Lose Sight of Your Calling

I wanted to purchase a pair of wide legged linen pants, so why was I trying on not one but two pairs of skinny jeans? It was the colors that caught my eye; a cool shade of aqua and a happy red to be precise. The jeans felt comfortable, but looking in the mirror I could see they were not a good fit at all.

I continued my search. I found a pretty summer dress in green and navy with a tad of white and oh, a cute floral blouse. Back to the dressing room I went, decided I didn’t like the blouse after all, but I did say yes to the dress and a pair of leggings.

I can get distracted by pretty things especially anything with small Polkadots and, yes I did pull a few items of clothing with Polkadots off the rack.

Stay focused! I told myself. Linen pants, linen pants I repeated to bring my mission back into view.

It took me three hours to buy one pair of linen pants. Plus another hour to visit a new children’s store in town where I purchased some clothes for my three grandchildren…going to that store was not part of the day’s plan. Can you say DISTRACTIONS.

Losing focus when shopping can lead to impulse buying i.e. dress, leggings and kids clothes. Losing focus on God’s plan for our lives can cause us to run impulsively in many directions other than the path we are called to walk.

Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you. Proverbs 4:25 NIV

Stay Focused!

Focused on Jesus and focused on what He has placed in our hands to do. It’s so easy to be distracted, to lose sight of a goal especially when it is seems far off.

We get involved in too many things and neglect the one thing the Lord has asked us to do. Whatever it is stay focused. Spend time in His word and in prayer. Listen and be alert to His direction. If you get distracted, refocus! We don’t always realize the significance of what the Lord has placed in our heart’s to do and, we may never know until we are home with Him.

Proverbs 4:27 tells us “Do not look to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil.”

 

What distracts you and what helps you to refocus? Share your thoughts in the comment box.

Until next week

Helena

Looking to Jesus. Living in His Radiance

 

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When the Greet and Meet Time at Church Freaks you Out

“Turn and greet your neighbor.” A simple request heard in churches every weekend.

For some this request is greeted with dread.

Not everyone in a church meeting wants to acknowledge, let alone shake hands with the stranger next to them. The very thought can send them running to hide in the restroom.

Most times I am happy to greet those around me with a simple hand shake, just don’t ask me to high-five or fist-bump…not happening!

Then there’s hugging. Did you just squirm in your seat? Did the very thought of hugging someone you hardly know cause you discomfort? Me too.

Last Sunday I sat in a different seat to my norm finding myself next to a lady I have never met. I said hello and gave a friendly smile when she first sat next to me. Then came the time in the service when we were encouraged to turn to our neighbor and greet them. I extended my hand in friendship and she graciously responded.

Then it happened!

Holy embraces all around! Romans 16:16 msg

She pulled me a little closer wrapping her arms around me as she informed me ” I’m a hugger.” Honestly I didn’t have time to pull away. There I was, embraced in a hug with a total stranger…are you cringing?

If that had taken place a few years ago I would have stiffened like cardboard, held my breath as I endured the torture and made sure I avoided her in the future. I no longer respond to that degree, though I still have a little hesitancy, a little awkwardness, a little embarrassment but a lot more grace.

It is only as I have responded to God’s love for me, accepting His warm welcoming embrace have I slowly become more comfortable with accepting and showing affection to others.

Whatever church gathering you attend I’m sure the leadership would want you to feel safe. It’s okay not to shake hands, high-five, fist-bump or hug. It would be sad to stop attending church all because you dread the “greet and meet” time.

How priceless is your unfailing love, O God! People take refuge in the shadow of your wings. Psalm 36:7

Set your own boundaries, you know what you are comfortable with. In the meantime allow the One who loves you unconditionally to draw you into His warm embrace. Let the Lord melt away your fears and break down your walls. Let Him fill you with His presence and grow you in His grace.

Maybe you will never be a hugger, and that’s okay. A warm friendly smile and a welcoming hand-shake can say “I’m glad to have met you today.”

I was glad to have met the lady next to me even if she was a hugger. We spoke after the meeting (not about hugging). I found out she was visiting from out of state and this was her first time at my church. She had shed a tear during the service and told me how she wished she had a church like this one in her home state. I’m glad I didn’t push her away.

To those who are comfortable with the “greet and meet” time. Let us be mindful of the people around us, may we respect their boundaries…you can usual tell from their body language. One last thing, I do not allow men (other than my husband) to hug me full on no matter how long I have know them and definitely not a male stranger.

Are you a hand shaker, high-fiver, fist-bumper, hugger or a hide in the restroom woman? Share in the comments, you may be surprised to find you are not alone.

Until next week

Helena

Looking to Jesus. Living in His Radiance

 

 

She Desired to be a Great-Grandmother

Photo Credit: Helena Davies

I live 4,269 miles away from my mother (I googled it). A large pond A.K.A the North Atlantic Ocean separates us, so jumping in the car and popping over to Mam’s house on a whimsy is out of the question. Trips to see mam and dad take planning, airplane tickets and time off work.

It has been 26 years since I last celebrated Mother’s Day in the flesh so to speak, with my mother. I’m not saying it has been 26 years since I last saw her, just that we have not shared that day in person for a long time. We talk on the telephone every Friday with extra calls on birthdays, Christmas and Mother’s Day. I know the day will come when I will miss those calls…assuming she passes on before I do.

Late August 2016 I had the pleasure of spending eight days on vacation with my mother, who was then 86 years old, on Jersey, a British island just off the coast of Normandy, France. We had a wonderful time sightseeing the island and learning its history. This was the first vacation we had gone on together in 39 years and one I will always cherish.

Time flies so quickly and is gone before we know it. My mother turns 88 in November (my father 91 in September). Her hair use to be golden, now it is a shimmering white. Her walk use to be fast, steady and sure, now she walks slow and careful with the aid of a walking stick. This woman, my mother is made of grit, she may have slowed down but it has not stopped her sense of adventure.

At age 83 she made the long and tiring journey on her own from Wales to Arkansas to see her two month old first great-grandchild. While here I remember her sharing with my Pastor’s wife her desire to see her first great-grandchild before she died and, now that was accomplished she was ready to go.

Summer Williams   Photography

Since then she has seen him at 15 months and 4 years. Not only did she see her great-grandson this April she also met his sister, her great-granddaughter for the first time when my daughter and family visited Wales.

Wherever we come in the order of family, great-grandmother, grandmother, mother or child it is good for us to take time for each other. To cultivate relationships, something my daughter is very intentional and good at. Family is a priority to her even though she has a full time job and other interests she still reaches out to all the generations in the family.

Honor your father and mother so that you’ll live a long time in the land that God, your God, is giving you”.       Exodus 20:12

Maybe physical distance separates you from your mother, maybe it is emotional distance. Find a way to reach out and bridge the gap this Mother’s Day. We are all getting older flying second by flying second, that is not only true for your mother but true for you also. Bridge the gap today.

Until next week

Helena

Looking to Jesus. Living in His Radiance.

What is the one thing that stands out to you about your mother? Share in the comments, look forward to reading about your mother.

 

 

 

 

Nurses: A Peculiar Breed/Celebrating Nurses Week

Hey everyone just incase you are not aware May 8-12th is a special week in the health care industry. It’s Nurses Week!So I write this post in honor of nurses here in the US and worldwide

Nurses are a peculiar breed, we eat and sleep at odd times of the day and night (depending on the shift). We talk about body parts and things excreted from the body while we eat our lunch, the grosser the better. Our sense of humor is a little different to most people and friends and family shouldn’t expect sympathy from us when they complain about aches and pains (we have seen far worse)….like the doctor said, ” Take two Tylenol and call me in the morning.”

We get excited over a juicy vein; I was at a July 4th celebration a few years back, a band that my neighbor knew from her younger days was playing and she wanted to get closer to see her old idol. We moved right in front of the stage, I don’t know the name of the band but I do know the lead guitarist played exceptional well. While my neighbor swooned over her idol, I couldn’t help but notice the awesome veins in his arms as he skillfully played. You would have to have poor eye sight not to stick those veins in one go.

Nurses learn to hide their emotions. When a patient is suffering they don’t need a nurse falling apart sobbing over them. They need a nurse who is level headed and takes action. I use to think I lacked compassion until I learned that compassion is not a feeling (empathy). Compassion is seeing a need and taking action to help that need.

That is exactly what nurses do. They see a need related to their patient, whether it be a physical, mental, emotional or spiritual and they find a way to help them. They are the patient’s advocate, they speak up for the patient and help connect them with the appropriate team member.

The Good Samaritan (read Luke 10:30-35) was compassionate, he saw a need and did what was in his power to help. He gave first aid to the victim on the side of the road, then took him to the Inn where he paid the Innkeeper to take care of the man until his return. My guess is the Innkeeper was too busy looking after his customers to tend to a sick person, so I wonder who he would of hired to nurse the gentleman back to health? Someone with nursing skills?

If you know a nurse (other than me), please take a moment out of your busy schedule to send them a note expressing your appreciation of their service.

Do you have a LPN or RN as a family member or friend? Perhaps you have been a patient and a particular nurse stood out to you? Would love to hear from you in the comments.

We can all be compassionate, see a need and go into action.

Helena

Looking to Jesus. Living in His Radiance