Tag Archives: stress

How and Why Make a Difference

A Meeting on a Busy Day

Why and How Make the Difference

This morning I woke feeling good, ready do a little more. I thought, maybe today I can be like my friend Marilyn. She does so much. She volunteers for the school making muffins for the children’s breakfast, for the church on two committees, for the foodbank. She plays badminton, pickleball, and does yoga, loves her family and friends and so much more. I’m tired just thinking about her daily list.

I know that comparing myself to others is a “lost cause.” I am not someone else. I can only be me. I also know that God has a sense of humour. I opened “The Daily Bread” devotional book read Colossians 3:12-17. Here it is slightly shortened from The Message.

12-14 So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment… Never be without it…Let every detail in your lives—words, actions, whatever—be done in the name of the Master, Jesus, thanking God the Father every step of the way. (Colossians 3:12-14 and 17) (The Message)

What better advice can we find as Valentine’s Day approaches. Live with love. Know God is with you. What can I give someone I love for Valentine’s day – compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, forgiveness.

To that advice I add, “Do something for a loved one, something that is right for you. Remember that God is with you. Live your life so others will know what God’s love is like. For sure, you can’t be someone else. Look at what you are doing. You’ll be surprised at how much you do for others both family, friends, church and more. As today’s Bible reading from Colossians says, whatever you do, do for God’s glory, do knowing God is with you. Why and How do make a difference.

Yesterday, I received a comment on my blog, “Difficult Love”. The person thanked me for the prayer template. Today I offer another prayer that I believe will start my day and yours on a good footing. Blessings on your Day. Janet

Dear God, This morning I’m grateful to be me, grateful for                                               Help me put on your clothing of compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, forgiveness. Thank you, God for your patience with me, for continuing to love me just as I am.  Amen

Me Compete? Really?

Me Compete? Really?

Today I am competing in a slam. I’m not a competitor at least not in a formal way. I love to play games and enjoy winning. Still I enjoy losing as well. I play for the fun of it. I’m not interested in prizes. Games are more fun without them. There’s no stress or pressure. I seldom send my manuscripts into a publisher because I don’t like rejection. For me there is no thrill in the competition. Yet for some unknown reason I voluntarily entered this slam. No one suggested I enter, or coerced me.

Last month I went to my writer’s group meeting in Whitby and heard, for about the third time, about this slam competition. Tell a story from memory in no more than three minutes. The thought entered my mind,  maybe I could do that. That thought took up residence, surfacing now and then, every day. Finally, two weeks ago, I filled out the registration form and sent the email. Why not? What do I have to lose?

When thoughts like that persist in my mind, I tend to listen to them. Usually I blame God for them. This time I just doggedly prepared and practiced my three minute story. As the days have passed my stress level has risen. I’ve spent the last few days wondering why am I doing this, especially now as I am preparing for the Easter services at Lakefield United Church? What kind of a masochist am I? I hate this kind of thing.

This morning I rose earlier than I needed. Good I thought. I’ll do my morning devotions. I opened “Our Daily Bread”. Today’s reading affirmed the assurance of God’s presence in all we do.

I chuckled and said thank you. Of course, you’re with me in this foolishness God. Of course, you will support me. I truly believe in your presence always. Yes, I was foolish to enter. Yet, I am as ready as possible. Yes, stress my turn me into a stuttering idiot. Does it matter? No God is with me. God will use this, is already using this experience to teach me and others. The teaching is not my job. My job is the doing.

So I ask you my followers. pray for me this morning. I’m going to need your support.

Have a blessed day. Remember you will be a blessing to others whether you know it or not.

We Are Not Alone!

 “We Are Not Alone”

by Rev. Janet Stobie

God's sign of love.
God’s sign of love.

Beginning with my fall last January, stress dogged our footsteps through 2013. Over the last twelve months I have yelled at God, pleaded with God, even doubted God’s existence.  For sure, I lost patience with God’s time schedule. Healing my back is taking away too long. The closing date on our house sale loomed and still we had found nothing affordable to buy. We were one week from moving in with friends (couch surfing in today’s terms) before we had both a house sitting job and a house to buy with a long closing date. For me that was much too close to comfort.

We have begun a New Year. We’ve settled into our housesitting job. At first, I felt displaced, like a refugee, but after spending Christmas here, this beautiful place has become our home. Living beside the river brings a special gift. I never tire of watching its different moods. My back is healing. I’m almost back to “my normal life”. We’ve bought a wonderful house, and come April, we’ll move to it.

The silver lining to 2013 is that my relationship with God has deepened. Instead of making New Year’s Resolutions, this week I listed the areas of my life in which I need God’s help. First and foremost are the boxes of books that line the walk-in closet upstairs. “Fireweed” has sold tremendously well, but there are lots left. I need God’s help in planning speaking engagements, workshops, selling on the internet. That’s only one aspect of my busy life. I even need God’s help in resting.

What do you need from God for 2014? Think about your goals. Ask God for strength and leadership. We don’t have to be in trouble or sick or broken to take time for God. Line your year with prayer rather than resolutions. Remind yourself every day of Jesus’ words, “I will be with you always, even unto the end of the age.” (Matthew 28: 20)

“In life, in death, in life beyond death, we are not alone, thanks be to God.” (United Church, New Creed)