I’m back from my 6 WEEK FLORIDA TRIP! I traveled there & back by myself, by car & what I first off have to say is I DID IT!! I did it with God!! It happened!! What I said repeated times to others happened & even better than I planned!
How to Navigate Change is one point from my traveling experience!
Florida is FILLED with majorly TALL & long bridges! My experience with them began while traveling to Florida & a friend suggested driving through & enjoying Savannah, Georgia rather than the crazy traffic of Atlanta! I said, “Sounds great!” as I envisioned Scarlett O’Hara in her fanciful gown with Rhett Butler in his fine, formal stud suit from Gone with The Wind strolling about the grounds of columned homes. I pictured people of Southern hospitality serving me home-made peach pie with ice tea on platters. Everything was going well in route there until the approach to downtown Savannah where my eyes enlarged like saucers & my heart skipped beats!! Ahead of me on the road stood a HUGE…HUGE bridge to get to Savannah! Suddenly, peaches didn’t matter…I only cared about my LIFE!
In those very moments, I was forced to decide. Was I going to turn around & forfeit seeing Savannah? What route would I take after backing out of this situation? Or would I SOMEHOW go over it & survive? I was tired from driving a full day & my eyes were desperately searching for a spot to pull off & turn around. But at a certain point, I passed the chance to do so & headed up that bridge!
I drove up & over that bridge whispering, “Look at Jesus. Look at Jesus” all the way up & over. I thought how are they gonna’ get me outta’ this place afterward, cuz’ I am NOT gonna’ wanna’ come back over THIS! They’ll have to helicopter me out! Of course, that wouldn’t happen. No one would care; I’d just be stuck there while everyone else’s life proceeded on. Thankfully the way out Ft. Lauderdale afterward had a different route. Thank you, Jesus…I escaped.
Then, there were southeast Florida’s freeway transitions & big bridges. I saw Freeways up ahead that looked like they were driving up into the sky. Sometimes I didn’t have to go on them. Sometimes I looked ahead & thought Thank Heaven GPS isn’t taking me that way! And then GPS certainly did direct me onto that curving ramp up into the sky! The freeway transitions had inclines so steep & were so curved like a chocolate curl on top of a cake! I had anxiety of driving off the outer edge! I had to PUSH on my gas pedal the road was so angled! I felt like I was on a roller coaster slowly creeping up to the top of the first hill where all you see is empty sky ahead, ready to plummet down the other side at 90 mph!
I had to decide, was I going to avoid these bridges & highways or take them on & have victory over them. What would I be willing to miss out on if I allowed them to be superior to the strength God is within me? I planned to do this trip for a year, was I going to miss seeing cities because of fear? Was it real fear? Would I feel shameful for avoiding them?
People were telling me there was a bridge I’d have to go over if I wanted to get to Tampa called the Sunshine Skyway Bridge. Nothin’ sunny about this bridge in my opinion. Sadly, it is the #4 bridge in the country that people give up their life from. I didn’t understand where it was going to come up in my travels, but it did. I went out with friend one night from the area & thankfully she fearlessly drove us over it like a pro…in the rain!
But there came the day when I had to conquer this 4.14-mile-long monster myself. I took it on…I said, “If Jodie can do it, I can too! And I hauled my car over that bridge declaring “Fear not for I am with you” & some other techniques too.
So, how do we navigate change in life…getting over the tall bridges or mountains to where we have to go for better & fulfillment? For one thing, there can be illusions. You’re not going to drive off the edge during your travels or in your problems. There is pavement coming down the other side of that hill or tall problem. Sometimes we have the option to take the change slowly, but not always.
I found these things helpful to overcome:
Maybe you need a sister who has already crossed over the bridges you’re facing right now. Maybe you need someone to drive over those bridges with you the first time while you build your confidence to do it again next time. Maybe you need a Coach on this journey with you?
Part of my Life & Relationship coaching is for people who are in places feeling afraid, tired or uncertain of what to do next. They can’t see to the other side of the bridge that will land them safely onto land again. They face such a high road ahead & don’t know how or can’t go up it.
That’s where I can come in. I am here to coach you over & through situations. I am a helper & a hope helper to help you get to the other side of problems…go over the bridges. Navigate the bridges…navigate change to good land.
I’m so glad I went over all the bridges, conquered them & ENJOYED MY FULL VACATION & DID ALL GOD WANTED ME TO DO IN FLORIDA!
“But encourage one another daily” (Hebrews 3:13).
Suicide Prevention Hotline: 800-273-8255
I LOVE a good coffee mug even more than the flavorful coffee in it—a mug that says something so cool on it or one that a special friend has given me. My son gave me a purple (favorite color) mug a few Mother’s days ago that says “Believe” on one side and “With God all things are possible” on the other. I LOVE this mug, and I especially grab and use it when I’m up against something and I’ve really gotta’ press in for the change either in myself, the situation or both.
To my disappointment, I recently noticed that the “Believe” word is rubbing off of the mug (apparently from the dishwasher)!
I’m heart-struck! I realized though that this is also a visual to what I’ve been battling inside of me. Not enough books sold; an incredible offer falling though; seemingly perfect opportunities not coming to pass. But I’m fighting and still moving forward in taking my ground, not despising the day of small beginnings and establishment in how ever many ways God knows I need.
Is your belief wearing off? Don’t let it. Don’t entertain people who may brush up against you and wear off the word “Believe” or dreams or promises on your heart. It’s good for you to positively wear off on others, but do not let the unseeing others wear your belief off.
Usually devotions or blogs have one scripture verse accompanying them, but under this condition, I bolster you with several. Keep your faith; keep your hope in God. He shall not disappoint. He may maneuver you differently than anticipated.
The road may be longer than the distance you thought your shoes would have to travel to arrive at the destiny. Appreciate and enjoy the journey as well. For in these cases, the end result is still the same…greatness. For no lesser purpose has He made you. Don’t let your belief wear off. I hand wash my mug now.
“The apostles said to the Lord, ‘Increase our faith!’” Luke 17:5
“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us”
“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” Hebrews 11:1
“Fight the good fight of the faith” 1 Timothy 6:12
“Restore our fortunes, Lord, like streams in the Negev. Those who sow with tears will reap with songs of joy. Those who go out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with them.” Psalm 126:4-6
“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9
My first bike I can recall in the early 70’s was a magenta (hot pink) girls bike called a Dragster. It had a white with black pinstripe long, banana seat and high, upright handlebars that seem to be as high as a mountain now days. After years of childhood fun and running the green lights and stopping at the stop signs I drew with chalk in front of my home in St. Clair Shores, it was retired to the family garage. This was the bike I even rode in the funeral procession of the deceased butterfly.
That magenta bike from my loving parents birthed in me my favorite color of magenta, otherwise known as fuchsia. Years later, I did not have a little girl to give it to. My son would in no way ride a
magenta bike. The feminine Dragster gathered rust.
My father recently cleaned his garage and said, “Hey Dee! You’ve got a bike in here. It’s red.” (Many men don’t know color). “Maybe Cameron would like it.” My father had been so busy through the
years; he didn’t realize it was in there (with all that other stuff). But I knew. My heart knew. My first bike, my magenta bike, from my parents was in that garage. I was waiting for something to do with it,
though I didn’t know what. What did I ever have the time to do with it? Was it really redeemable by anyone? Would this be considered a gift to anyone? Would anyone even be seen on a banana seat bike? Could I really hoist it up on my upper living room walls like they do at Applebee’s?
So I brought the bike home to free up my father’s garage. While taking it out of my vehicle, my neighbor who restores things said someone would really go for something like that antique. So off to Craigslist I sent my son to list it (he would receive 10% of the selling price).
‘Ryan’ contacted me with interest. He regularly buys old bikes. For several months we could not connect, but I was persistent. At last, we met today. Ryan pulled up in his gold, 1969 Mercury Monterey, which he restored. He was the perfect person. Then out came the dignified, pretty Dragster. Pleasantly in his checkered shirt Ryan said, “I restore bikes like this all the time. Ninety?” “I’ll take it” I said. “You’ll have to take a photo with me on it first.” My heart really didn’t want to let that beautiful bike go. But I consoled myself that I could let that part of me go and use the money to pay for the editor to work with me on my book. “There is a time for everything” (Ecclesiastes 3:1).
Whatever you are holding onto, let it go. God can give you something else in return. What was, was for then. Enjoy it for what it offered then. Now allow another the blessing of having it. Pass
it on. Leave a heritage of any sort. Make room for something else good God has for your life. He is not done with you.
I just got an email four hours past the time of the ‘changing of the bike’. Ryan said the bike will probably be finished tomorrow, and I get pictures! And my son gets $9! How cool.
The banana seat bike…Can’t wait to call and tell my father.
What's your zone? What's your friendliness zone? 3 feet? 5 feet? 10 feet? 200 feet?
If you're walking in a store, a park, the workplace or church parking lot or bike riding, when & how often & to whom do you say hello to? You have a sphere of influence. Where can you make a difference in others' lives? Wherever you're at, that is your sphere. But it's how you actually extend yourself within that sphere that makes a difference. That's your friendliness zone. What is yours?
I'm sitting on a park bench reading & a man walked by while talking on his cellphone & broke his conversation to say hello to me at 3 feet of distance. How nice! How friendly & warm!
Get your "friendly" out. Say hello & smile to people. Spread some care & sunshine. Open up & get to know people. I sat in Panera's one day firing up my laptop & noticed the man next to me working on his. I just popped out & said, "What are you working on?" He pleasantly opened up & shared about his project & that he was a wardrobe salesman at a large department store for many years. We talked about people's personalities, temperaments & communicating with others & about the technology he was trying to keep up with. It was a pleasant & perky conversation & I got to bless & encourage him in who he is & in what he does.
Change today's culture. I challenge you to increase how you extend yourself in friendliness within your sphere of influence. It takes nothing to come up with a random comment or question to someone & a conversation may be opened. In those few comments or conversation, you can bless with seeds of love or the full gospel of Jesus.
Everyone in the places you shop are lives God has put you in contact with. Get to know those people, their names and their lives. Interface with them in concern. How are we to change the world with the love of God if we're not close enough with them to share it with in life's interactions? You are the message of Christ, so speak up, relate & be relatable. You can also ask God to increase your territory (your sphere of influence). Then shorten up your friendliness zone within that.
I call you "Mr. Friendly" & "Mrs. Friendly!"
"Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, "Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain." And God granted his request (1 Chronicles 4:10).
If you would believe in yourself like God believes in you, you will prosper and cause others to prosper. Believe that He has chosen you for good works because He entrusted you to carry something this world needs so that they may also increase. Believe that He has blessed you with skills, talents, wisdom and spiritual gifts to increase others. He believes in you because He believes in Himself in you. It is impossible that He did not chose you for something! God doesn’t create for nothing nor does He save and make us new creations for nothing! Discover your identity in Christ, know who you are and do what He has given you plans, authority and trust to do. This is where greater fulfillment is.
#discoverwhoyouareinHim #believe #castoutdoubt #sabotagefearnotyourself #carryitout
"For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do" (Ephesians 2:10).
I used to be in Sales and Advertising Sales. Actually, we are all in Sales. We are selling ourselves to others all throughout life. We sell ourselves at an interview, to our children when we are promoting chores instead of Xbox, to a friend to see one movie over another, or to a significant other in a marriage proposal. (Actually, I was bought and returned on that one once, but it’s all okay now.) The list goes on.
There is a common sales and advertising slogan. “You’ll be so glad you did.” You’ll be so glad you bought my product. You’ll be so glad you’ve invested in my service. This saying has always stuck with me and I now apply it to more situations than selling or making money.
“You’ll be so glad you did.” My friends may even hear me say or write it. I wonder if they know I
am trying to persuade them when I do.
This is where the saying really fits well. You will be so glad you did not sin. You will be so glad you did not eat those extra snacks. You’ll be so glad you did not spend the extra money. You will be so glad you put in the extra time into that project. You will be so glad you did not say those extra words positioned to leap off your tongue. You’ll be so glad you gave more than you originally wanted to.
You’ll be so glad you went the extra mile. You’ll be so glad you did not withhold. You’ll be so glad you did not disappoint God. You will be so glad you did not grieve the Lord. You will be so glad you did not take advantage of His blood that He shed for you. You will be satisfied. God will be pleased and you will be with peace.
Satisfied. The word resonates sweetness. Generally, we are satisfied when we have no or few regrets. Isn’t that worth so much.
So considering “You’ll be so glad you did” the next time you really want to do something and you know you shouldn’t is a good thing. Consider it too when you really don’t want to do something and know you should. Sell yourself on it. You’ll be so glad you did.
You may have to refuse the urge several times of that thing you want to participate in. You may have to ask God several times for the grace and strength to withstand. You may have to say “Lord, make me willing.” And He will.
Life cannot always or even frequently be about the immediate pleasure, but in long term prospering. Many times we cannot easily go back to change things. It may take a long
time and much pain and prayer. I’ve been saying “NO” to a bag of chips all evening, and come tomorrow, I’ll not be wishing I had done differently. (And I’ll be so glad when my son eats
them before me.)
And this is where discipline and strength from the Lord comes in. Seek Him and it will be provided.
“I will sing of your strength, in the morning I will sing of your love; for you are my fortress, my refuge in times of trouble.” Psalm 59:16, 17
“All your commands are trustworthy;” Psalm 119:86
So consider all deeply…You’ll be so glad you did.
Choosing Dates & Mates
Have the types of dates & mates you've chosen through the years changed? If not, you may not have grown spiritually, emotionally or relationally.
A hope is that over the years as we come closer in relationship with Christ, we would become more like him in nature…in our character, transferring over to our actions & treatment of others. A hope is that we would fall more in love with God, Jesus & the Holy Spirit. A hope is that we also would have sought wholeness, healing & deliverance for ourselves. The first does not automatically take care of the last. Sometimes people hold back from further healing due to lack or knowledge of what they’re really carrying or where to receive such help from or having pride not to disclose hurts or hangons to others. We choose better dates & mates much like when we decide to put healthier food into our own bodies, we become a better grocery shopper.
The hope is that after being transformed in those ways ourselves first, we would desire another that has the fruit of Christ & has resolved and received healing from inner wounds, great doubts & behaviors that don’t model Christ. I spoke with a person who was asked “What did your former spouse & people you dated all have in common?” The common denominator lead the person asked to a realization of what trait(s) to avoid upon becoming involved again & to take responsibility to not move forward in that case. The common denominator lead the person to committing to changing themselves to make a better future selection.
If one hasn’t courted/dated in a while, what is the reason? Is it because a male/female hasn’t been found with those qualities? We really do have to be praying for the walk & growth of our brothers & sisters, don’t we? Has one found themselves keeping better company in friendships? Has one’s inner circle become filled with love & strength rather than unnecessary drama, people acting out of the will of God or hurtful people? Those are good signs that a person has reached a deeper maturity in Christ. Is it that one has fallen so much in love with Christ that they feel content with Him alone? That’s great too! So many would love to be able to say that, but haven’t come to that place yet. Contentment is beautiful.
So our goal for ourselves should be to chase God & seek wholeness & healing first & if lead, to pursue or wait to be pursued by another with the same heart & spiritual, emotional & relational health in terms of romantic relationships. Choosing the right relationships saves us hurt & increases our joy.
Wisdom & encouragement to share with others!
Denise Flynn writes about Singleness, Relationships, Goal Obtainment & the Christian walk. Order