4 Tips for Embracing Goodbyes and Fresh Starts

January is the time of fresh starts.  Many people enjoy a fresh start, I’m not sure that I am one of them. 

To me a fresh start means letting go of what has been normal or at least the known, it might not have been great, or bad, or good, maybe just somewhere in between but it was known and I like that.

Starting things new always leaves me feeling concerned.  Will I be able to do it?  Will I like it as well as the old way?  Will I miss what I have done before?  These are just a few questions that lead to my concern.

I have learned strategies to help me leave the concerns behind and embrace the new:

1. Watch my question/thinking-

The questions we ask ourselves can determine what direction our thoughts go so we need to be aware of those questions. (See Question Thinking for more

When I am feeling concerned about changes I ask myself questions that will help me to see all the possibilities in the new situation.  I also make sure that I don’t allow myself to dwell on the questions that lead down the path of what if.  Stay in the here and now so as not to get stuck in a pit of despair.

2.  Have a Thankful Heart-

We know from brain research that we see more of what we are looking for.  When our focus is on all the blessings in our lives we see even more of them.  They are there whether we are looking for them or not. 
So during a change, I try to take the time to be even more intentional in focusing on all I have to be thankful for. 

If you need some help with this one check out my Review by Rayna on The Kindness Challenge.  It is a great read.

3.  Consult Wise Counsel-

Proverbs 11:14 tells us “Without good direction, people lose their way;  the more wise counsel you follow, the better your chances.” (The Message)

I’m so thankful for friendships and mentor relationships that poor into my life!  I encourage you to take a look at the relationships in your life that pour into you.  Be sure you have a council of wise souls to walk with you through life and especially change.

4.  Prayer. 

Yep, you probably knew this would be on the list.  When I take the time to listen in prayer then I am always more ready to embrace new. 

The Lord is faithful to meet us where we are and guide us to where He has for us to go.  Seeking His counsel is most important and impactful in my life.

So change is here
A new season has dawned my childhood home is being sold. 
The place I spent 43 years calling home. 
The place I grew up. 
The place I played dolls, studied my spelling words, shot baskets and mowed the grass.
The place I spent hours with my Mom listening to music and caring for her. 
The place I enjoyed ping pong, baseball and loving my Dad well until his last breath will soon be someone else’s home. 
When I think about another family making great memories in our home it makes me smile. 

I am so thankful for all that 18605 E 28th Street South meant to me and my family and I pray it will be a blessing to them also.

As I am grieving this one more loss, I am trying to stay focused on the blessings of now!  I have wonderful memories of a great childhood, lots of hugs and kisses, and a home that has been there for a really long time.  More importantly, I have a home with Farmer, filled with love, laughter, and many memories as well. 

I will never forget the old but I am focusing forward on all the blessings yet to come. 

Goodbyes are not easy no matter what kind they are but they do open up room for Hellos! 

So I’m moving on in anticipation of what 2019 will bring- thanks to thinking right, being grateful, and consulting wise friends and of course my Lord.

 

What things have you found are helpful for you to embrace goodbyes and new beginnings?  Share your comments below. Thanks! 

3 Ways an Observer Hat Helps Me Love Better

The Think. Question. Change. Workshop just finished up.  One of the key concepts we discussed was Marilee Adam’s Question Thinking.  During a two-week time period, we exercised getting into an observer mindset to interact with our world.

As an observer, you are detached from your own thoughts and feelings.  Being able to move into an observer mindset opens up the possibility of making choices rather than reacting to the world around us.Love one another John 13:34-5

Wearing my observer hat got me thinking about how I can best live out the command to love one another. 

Give the benefit of the doubt.

When I am wearing my observer hat, I don’t judge others. I can give them the benefit of the doubt.  My nature is to judge whether I have any knowledge about the person or situation.

For example, when I see someone who is not dressed appropriately I can judge them or begin to ask questions that might lead me to love.  I have been volunteering with an organization called Dress for Success for a few years now.

The mission of Dress for Success is to empower women to achieve economic independence by providing a network of support, professional attire and the development tools to help women thrive in work and in life.  Through working with these women, I have found that there is so much more going on in their lives than I can even imagine.  Offering them support by helping them with their resume or interview skills is really an act of love which will do more for them than judgement ever would.

Now my goal is to extend others that love without having to understand their situation.

Do not withhold forgiveness.

When I have my observer hat on I can’t jump to the conclusion that someone is hurting me on purpose versus just acting in ignorance.

I don’t think I have thin skin but I can get my feelings hurt, like you can I’m sure.  When we are observing someone’s behavior and looking to respond in love then we will extend grace. Giving grace beyond the place we would have if we weren’t being intentional.

Forgiveness is not fun to ask for so don’t make someone ask.  I have found that if I can offer love and forgiveness immediately I just need to do it.

If the offense needs discussion then opening the conversation with questions about what was going on when the offense took place is helpful.  Just learning the back story can often give me the understanding I need to overlook it.

Keep my word.

The other side of the coin of offering forgiveness is behaving in a way that doesn’t require others to need to forgive you.  In this busy world, we can often overlook our commitments to others.

Jesus said let your yes be yes.  Loving others includes respecting them enough to do what you say you will do.  Take the time to consider your words and actions before speaking.  Once your word is given the decision has been made- in love follow through.

I have found being a person, someone can count on is one of the most loving things I can do for others.


What areas of your life do you see that wearing an observer hat and being intentional in your actions can be loving to those around you?

 

My Questions Helped Me Lose Weight

I need to get some of this weight off, how about you?

Gaining weight as we get older is something I think most people struggle with.  I had been letting a little creep on year after year and it had gotten rather ridiculous.  I knew I needed to pay more attention and do something about it for a couple of years now.

Some of you may know that my dad is suffering from late stages Alzheimer’s and he requested that he stay in his home as long as possible so close to 4 years ago my sister and I were faced with a new season where he could not be alone at home at all.  We had to do something.

In order to honor his request and to provide the best care for him my husband and I made the decision that I would spend half of my week with him 220 miles from our home.  This was not a small commitment but it was one that I felt had to be made.

That being said, when I thought about my weight and trying to find a way to release some of it .  Here are 2 different conversation I had with myself:

2 Years Ago~

Do I need to lose weight? YES.

Will I feel better if I lose weight?  YES What can I do to lose weight? NOTHING.  I have no extra bandwidth and I just can’t worry about every little thing I put in my mouth.  It will just have to wait.

BUT this Spring, I changed my questions.

Do I need to lose weight?  YES.

What if I tried this plan that my friend is on?  MAYBE, I could do that.

Will I like drinking shakes 2 times a day?  I don’t know, I usually only eat 2 meals a day now, I think I can do shakes.  It will be nice to not have to think about what I am eating at least.

Can I do 1 meal at 4-600 calories only?  DOUBT IT… at least I can try.  If I go over it will be better than what I am doing now.

Can I give up all the things I love? NO but I think I can give this a try and just see what happens.

Why have I been able to drop 35 pounds in the last 4 months?   I am still taking care of my dad, though it is only every other week, so I don’t have a lot more bandwidth than I did at this time last year.

The key is, I asked different questions which lead me to a new answer.

I started in the same place but I had a new option to consider.  That one new question changed the questions that followed.  I was also more open to new answers because of the new question.

How can question thinking help you find new answers?


Join me in a 2 part workshop which will help you to explore your internal questions to make changes you didn’t know were possible.

Learn More

Do You Think in Questions?

What are you wearing today?  Why?  When you got ready to get dressed this morning what caused you pick out what you have on today?

If you are anything like me most days I do a pretty good job of dressing myself considering what my day has in store for me.  I usually consider the weather, if I will be doing anything special and even what I wore last time I saw the people I will be seeing that day.

Do you think in questions?

I would have said no when I first heard that question and about Question Thinking by Marilee Adams but the more I think about it I realize I do, in a way.

When I stand before my closet a ton of questions come to mind.

What is the weather supposed to be like today?  HOT.

Do I want to wear pants or shorts?

What shorts are clean?

Will I be working in my office all day or do I have appointments? If I’m in my office the air-conditioning can cause me to be chilly at times something I don’t have to worry about if I am going to be running errands or going to an appointment.

What shoes do I want to wear?

Comfy or cute?

Will those shoes go with these shorts?

The questions go on and on.

So yes, I think in questions much more than I realized.  One reason I had not realized how often I think in questions is because I usually just hear the answers in my head not the questions.  Since I usually just hear the answers I thought was thinking in statements rather than question.  How about you?


I would love for this to be a discuss. I want to know your thoughts on Questions.  Please share below.

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