Sunday, September 03, 2006

NEW BLOG

This Blog has moved to

www.flourishministry.com

I have decided to register the domain name for Flourish and so I moved my blog to that name. That site is updated correctly, so change your bookmark to note the new address. Drop in, browse around and feel free to comment! See you there.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Setting Boundaries

A few weeks ago I remarked to several people in several different conversations that I had spent the entire weekend ignoring my telephone. I did this with both my cell phone and my home phone. In fact, on that Sunday I turned the ringer off of both phones so I didn't even hear them ring - I didn't even get up to check the caller I.D.

This confession was met with two responses...

1. Blank stares and total incomprehension. If I had said "Green monkeys live only in areas where the moon looks purple from a 90 degree angle," they would have had a less confused look on their face.

- or -

2. Questions, such as "What if it was important?" "What if someone wanted to talk to you?" and "Weren't you worried you might miss something you need to know?"

My answers to those questions were:

What if it was important? - If it were that important, the person calling me would know how to get hold of me. All the people who would have news that important could get to me pretty quickly. This past weekend, my sister-in-law needed me and the phone was busy. She managed to get a message to me very quickly and the emergency was solved within the hour. It can be done and in today's age of technology, turning off the phone for a day doesn't really limit you as much as you FEEL that it limits you.

What if someone wanted to talk to you? - If I wanted to talk to them, I would have left the phone on! That may sound harsh, but it's important to remember that no one can be expected to be at anyone's beck and call 24/7. We are allowed to have down time and in fact, should actively seek it. We ignore healthy boundaries in these areas at our own peril and while it's nice to feel needed, necessary or in-demand, those feelings aren't going to keep you from becoming burned out or overwhelmed.

Weren't you worried you might miss something you need to know? - No. I can't imagine not hearing the information at some point. In fact, that very weekend someone tried to call me and when I didn't answer they emailed me the information that afternoon. I checked my email later that night and found the info the very same day she sent it. And guess what?? It wasn't important! I could have found out on Monday morning and still known what I needed to know two weeks before it was critical.

After I had these conversations about my taking control of the telephones I began to wonder if there was something wrong with me? Why do so many people become antsy and panic if they aren't near a phone at all times? Why does the idea of missing a call send people into shock and cause them to doubt my sanity because it doesn't bother me? Am I the only one who thinks having some boundaries in this area is rational and necessary?

I guess I'm ready to concede I might just be in a very small minority, but today I found someone else who agrees. In today's reading from "A Minute of Margin," Dr. Swenson talks about having boundaries around certain areas. He speaks of how they never answer the phone at certain times and how he might even ignore the doorbell if he's just returned from a trip time away from home. He adds...

"No matter how important the phone call was, it could wait. As radical as this might sound, it is actually an elementary form of common sense that has eluded us far too long."


I'm surely not going to convince anyone that phone dependance (or addiction, depending on the person) is a bad thing. Many people have strong opinions on the subject and I know most of mine irritate some of the people who have to deal with me. But now I can at least state that I'm not alone in my thinking. At least Dr. Swenson agrees with me!

Quotation Inspiration - August 8, 2006

"For the happiest life, days should be rigorously planned, nights left open to chance." - Mignon McLaughlin

Friday, July 28, 2006

Back for More!

One can never have too many pirates, I say. I'm curious to see if I like it as much the second time around.

Has anyone seen any good movies lately? I was thinking about seeing "The Devil Wears Prada" but it's already gone from the theater my town.

I've been catching up on some television shows on DVD this summer. I just finished season four of Smallville. I was disappointed to realize that season five isn't out on DVD yet. I was ready to keep going! That show does some serious season-ending cliffhangers, that's for sure.

I've moved from Smallville to "The Adventures of Brisco County Jr." on DVD. Bruce Campell is so funny he could make reading my car manual hilarious!

Does anyone have a favorite television series on DVD to recommend?

Are You a Modern Girl?


I read The Modern Girl's Guide to Bible Study in one day and decided I might just be a Modern Girl. I liked her fresh approach and easy style. As far as the book itself, it was an easy read packed with humor and stories that made it seem more personal than most books about Bible study. I think women who read this will be drawn to her methods in part because she seems so likeable and down to earth.

As for her Bible study method, it is remarkably simple. I confess that I put off studying the Bible at times because it seems such an effort and so much work. But her encouragement to merely read, ask questions and journal the answers made sense to me. It is easy to get caught up with the multitude of books, commentaries and reference books and lose sight off the Bible itself. And asking questions is so basic, yet so often not done when reading God's Word.

I've decided I like her method so much that I'm going to use this book for my Sunday School class this fall. I'm excited about it. I'm going to use it in a different way than we've done other book studies, with a more personal one-on-one feel. I think it should be a very effective study.

I was starting to stress out because what I wanted to do for Sunday School just wasn't coming together and it was getting time to start advertising. I'm happy that God provided just the right book at the right time!

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Warning Signs

Today's reading in "A Minute of Margin" is about knowing when we've reach an unhealthy level of stress. I liked his approach because he talks about how it isn't any better to have too little stress in life. Now I know many wouldn't complain about that, but I've been in both places - over-stressed and under-stressed - and neither have been fun or all that healthy for different reasons.

He went on to encourage the reader to be aware of when they stress levels weren't healthy. Do you know what your warning signs are? I know mine!

I am facing too much stress when I get easily annoyed and crave snack foods. I also tend to sleep restlessly and make poor financial decisions.

I do not have enough stress in my life when I start to get bored, when I find myself eating for no reason ten minutes after I finish dinner and when I start to let old sins and bad habits back into my life.

I think his question is important so that we can be aware of problems with stress BEFORE they turn into a crisis. So.... do you know your warning signs?

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Fast Talker

I read a quote from "A Minute of Margin" by Richard A. Swenson, M.D. that I thought was interesting.

"The brain is capable of thinking at a rate of eight hundred words per minute..."

I think anyone who's listened to me in Sunday School would say that my mouth does an admirable job of keeping up with the eight hundred words my brain can think each minute! (I'm a fast talker, it seems!)

Monday, July 24, 2006

Cute Sign

I was writing a bit today at my favorite coffee, The Pour House, and I noticed a new sign on the wall that read...

"Unattended children will be given an espresso and a free puppy!"

That is a very clever way of being firm with humor. I loved it!

Friday, July 21, 2006

Service Suggestions DAY FIVE

Here's the last day of our Service Suggestions and I hope they have helped you think beyond the obvious. We can all be better at finding creative ways to serve others.

Todays Topic: Your Local Church

For Those with Limited Time: First of all, start encouraging. Think the music on Sunday was good? Tell the worship director? How about the coffee? Tell the coffee servers how great a job they are doing. A great number of thankless jobs are necessary each week to help the church function. Ask God to help you notice those who are at work at the Church, especially when your schedule makes it difficult for you to do the work they are carrying out. Another great way it the "killing two birds with one stone" option. You're already at church, what can you do while you are there? Did you notice the Sunday School teacher setting up chairs before church? Pop in and help her finish up the last row. Is someone in the kitchen, cutting vegetables for the snack tray after first service? Offer to help. Do what you can in small ways and ask God to show you where you can help.

For Those with Children at Home: Incorporating your children in service at church might seem more difficult, but there's many opportunities for those who want to serve. Ask another mom and her kids to meet with you and your children for a picnic lunch. Spend a few minutes before you eat asking God to bless the church. Pray for the pastor and your children's Sunday School teachers. Joining together in prayer lets children see it's value and they'll remember the lesson. How about getting involved in the "work days" held periodically at the Chapel. While the whole family makes the church look bright and clean, everybody is learning the joy of serving. Teaching your child's Sunday School or Junior Church class is also a great way for your children to see you serve. Or how about just volunteering once a month to bring in the snacks or craft activity. The teacher would probably love a break. The goal here is for your children to see you invested in the Church. Many women tell me how their children don't think church is important, now that they are adults. Most of them would tell you today that they never served in church when their children were at home. They won't know it's important to be involved unless they see it in your own life.

If You Have More Time: This is an easy one. Do something! Sing a song, teach a class, start a club, learn a lesson, run an event or hostess a party. Take over a ministry, or join something that looks interesting. Follow the steps in the purpose workbook and get your feet wet. Ask people if they enjoy what they are doing. Ask them if there's room for one more!
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