Thursday, November 22, 2007

Choose Gratitude

Happy Thanksgiving day!

As I write this, the turkey is in the oven, the kids are running around with their cousins making what I call a "good noise", the wind is blowing through the branches of the pine tree outside my window, a duck and a pumpkin are bobbing around in the pond (yes, I said a pumpkin...someone from the Harvest fest chucked a pumpkin into the pond, and there it bobs until it sinks...). I am sitting here thinking about all that I have to be grateful for.

I guess we do that this time of year, but in the last couple of months I have been finding myself doing it a lot. And what an energizing and hopeful habit to get into! And it is a choice! A choice that we all can make that will have eternal impact on ourselves and on those we love...especially our little ones who learn so much by what they observe in our lives. Do we really believe that God is good and worthy of our praise and thanksgiving even in the trials and struggles of our lives? That He has a purpose for allowing these circumstances in our lives? Can we be grateful for that?

The Bible says that we are to be grateful, to choose a different path than we probably would if left up to ourselves. Choosing to place our focus on what we have to be grateful for EVERY day of the year can have an enormous impact on our attitude and wellbeing. Making the choice to live out what we say we believe in God's Word is revolutionary! Being transformed by the renewing of our minds (Romans 12:2) starts with making a choice to be in the Word getting to know our Heavenly Father, communing with Him in prayer, placing our trust in who He is and what He says He can and will do....believing! And then acting on that trust, that belief.

In 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (don't stop there, however, read the whole chapter...it is amazing!), God gives a recipe for gratitude. He does in a lot of places, but he makes some startling commands that fly in the face of what we would do conventionally when in the struggles of life. "Be joyful always; pray continuously; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." Did you notice the form in which Paul speaks? It is in command form. It is stating that we are to make a choice in the face of our troubles and in our good times. That this is a state in which we are to live! And if he said to do it, it must mean that it is possible to do these things....even when our feelings tell us otherwise. Do we trust that God can work in the midst of our trials....is working even now? A good question to ask ourselves. I have had to too.

So, with kids yelling they are hungry, I must wrap this up for today! But, I leave you with this question. Today....just for today, can you make a choice to obey, really obey, the commands in this scripture? Can you pay attention to what God does in you as a result? Can you look for God's goodness and see how BIG He is even in your worst heartbreak? He wants you to see how GOD He really is! Look for him today.....Choose to obey...be joyful always TODAY, pray continuously TODAY, give thanks in all circumstances TODAY....and acknowledge that your present circumstance is all involved in working out God's plan for you, that He can make good to come about for you even through the valleys of your lives. He is good, even when things seem impossible. He is the GOD of the impossible.

Trust Him to work out the HIS Word in you today as you choose to obey.

I am grateful for you today! If you want to discuss this more...contact me! It is a great topic to discuss!

Be Thankful!
Beth

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Beginnings and Challenges

Just as the last blog post stated....the new website is up and running laying out what I've been up to lately. Hence the long silence! So, this has been a time of learning, growing, questioning, stretching, and challenging myself to move forward into what I believe that God has purposed for me. And, of course, always one step at a time...and as He is never one to be forced into our neat little boxes of preconceived notions of how our lives are supposed to look like....it is always amazing how it never looks like you think it will. And just when I think I am okay with that....He changes things up again! So, again...learning to let this journey we are all on be a journey of trust and to relax into it....even when it doesn't feel okay all the time!....that is the challenge.

But, a good one. I never want Him to stay in my box. I want Him to be all that He is .....He is God. (So, that means, I am not! ah-ha!). So, I am excited about what is ahead and want to live in the moments I have now with fullness and joy....and trust. Free to Be...isn't that part of what it means to live in freedom. Free to live, to be the people that God designed us to be, free to be what the deceiver would try to steal, kill and destroy from us....oh lots and lots of things! I know you could fill in the blanks of all that Christ sets us free to be if we will just let go of control and grab on to what He has for our lives. Things that you are discovering for yourselves, or are longing to discover. That's a journey.

So, today feels like a beginning, within a series of beginnings! Everyday is a new beginning...a fresh start. Choose to live in it ever mindful and grateful of His love, His plan, His care for you.

Take that journey with me! I'd love to hear from you. Tell me about your challenges and beginnings. I would love for you to also take advantage of the gift of a sample coaching session with me! It would truly be a blessing to walk your journey with you...full of challenges and beginnings....blessings too. I hope to hear from you!

Be blessed,
Beth
www.bethash.net

Monday, November 5, 2007

Welcome To the New Website

Welcome to the new website at www.bethash.net!!

I hope that you enjoy the new site and information!

Beth's webteam! (Dave)

Monday, June 18, 2007

welcome to June

This is my second attempt at writing a blog for today. I removed the last one.

I don't have much time, but needed to write something since I told you that I had written. Please check back in a day or two for a better attempt.

Hope you are having a blessed month. Summer is here ..in temp., if not by the calendar! Hope it is a good one.

Beth

Thursday, May 10, 2007

What a week!

Hey Everyone,

Sorry for the delay. Before I got to write anything more, family issues hit, and then I had to go out of town for a bit. Now I feel like I have tons to catch up on...and I felt that way before I went out of town! Yikes!

I do want to finish what I started....and maybe it is a good thing that I am reviewing and writing this. I think I needed to hear it again...how about you?!

Just to review:
1. Plan a respite

2. Give yourself time to catch up
(yep, I did need to hear these two again!)

3. Alter your deadlines. Drop the nonessentials.
In order to catch up, you may need to drop some activities and postpone others. Consider your upcoming deadlines. What could you change? You often have more leeway than you think. Notice when your deadlines are self-imposed and give yourself permission to change them. Lastly, give yourself permission to drop some activities and projects. You don’t have to do everything. In fact, you can’t. So why stress yourself out trying?

4. CLEAR THE CLUTTER.
Clutter in your environment can cause you to feel you have more to do than you really do. Take some time to clear the clutter and re-organize. This will give you a feeling of control that empowers you to get unstuck and be more productive.

5. REMEMBER YOUR VISION.
When you are feeling overwhelmed with choices, projects and responsibilities, it is important to put things into perspective. Ask yourself, “If I don’t get this done today, what difference will this make a month from now or a year from now?” If it makes a difference, you know it’s an urgent priority. If it doesn’t, give yourself some breathing room. Consider for a moment your vision for your life. Then make sure the little actions you are taking each day are the steps that are aligned with that vision.

Good stuff! I needed to hear that. I have been having to take time to revisit my vision REPEATEDLY lately, because it is so hard not to get off track! ReFocus, ReCharge, ReBoot. That is my plan lately...and I think I am sticking to it until the focus becomes sharper, and the rhythm of walking in this way is a part of who I am.

What do you think?
Beth

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Catching my breath

I woke up in the middle of the night with much on my mind. I didn't go to bed that way. The time with the Lord before bed was enough to rest my hurricane brain and allow sleep very quickly. Yet, by midway through the night....wide awake!

I have been doing that a lot lately. It is usually a symptom of a racing mind and an overwhelmed heart. It comes often with an overextended schedule, brain, and body and little time to attend to those needs adequately. Hence, a blog that isn't attended to, too many loose ends, and a lesson that I needed to be gently reminded of.

Maybe you know what I mean? Are you needing this gentle reminder too? Are you too packing way too much into an already overcrowded month, week, DAY?! Have you too forgotten to give yourself permission to say "no", to evaluate your schedule and realistically ask yourself what you would tell a loved one if it were their schedule...and then allow yourself to speak the same words to your reflection in the mirror? Do you need to catch your breath as well?

In my insomnia, I sat down at my desk to drink a glass of water and decided to read a couple of those newsletters that had dropped into my already bulging inbox. In one of those frequent "Godincidences" that we often get, but don't always heed, one really caught my eye. It was from another Life Coach named Valorie Burton, and she seemed to be dealing with the very same issue as I find myself in. She had some good thoughts to share, thoughts probably familiar to all of us, but good to revisit (she actually shared that this was why HER newsletter was late and so, a good time to also revisit old lessons...right on, Valorie!). I thought I would pass on her notes to you...maybe you need to hear this as much as I did. I think I will touch on them a little at a time...or this might be an overwhelming blog, and didn't we say that we were catching our breath!? So, one breath at a time....here we go!

1. Plan a respite. This was a good one to hear. I did this just on Monday, and it was just the ticket. When you go through a period of overdrive, it is good to plan downtime into your schedule to refresh, regroup, adjust (this could be your time, your heart, your mind...), and slow down and breathe! Sometimes, we go through periods that we have to kick it into overdrive. But, to stay in overdrive for an extended period of time leads to burn out, frustration, and a rut that is not healthy and is never what the Lord meant for anyone. We cannot sustain such activity for long and not pay a price. Look at your calendar and plan some downtime. This gives you a goal to move towards as you catch up and take control of your schedule.

2. Give yourself time to catch up. Identify what’s overdue and what’s coming up. The feeling of being overwhelmed often comes from feeling that you are behind schedule. Catching up relieves anxiety and leaves you feeling like you can breathe calmly again. That is what I am giving myself a little time to do by stopping all the hurricane brain and sitting down and choosing to do something that needed to be done that had a definite beginning and an ending...writing in my overdue blog. Yesterday, I called a halt to the flurry of activity and took a much needed nap, then did some laundry, ran errands, and filled the echo in my refrigerator with much needed groceries. It was a refreshing change in schedule, yet allowed me a sense of accomplishment and a rest from the "thinking" activities that I do so much of. I was rewarded with more peace of mind than I have had in weeks.

I'll stop here. I'll return with the rest of those reminders and an update on my own progress. Yes, the Life Coach could use a little accountability too! If you read this, share your own steps and goals to "take a breather" and recharge and refocus. I'd love to hear about them!

Blessings to you!
Beth

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Random Thoughts on a Beautiful Day!

So last night, I am meeting with the most wonderful young ladies in the world, and one of them says, "I've been checking your blog, that you haven't been writing in much!!". Ha ha!! I laughed...because she is right!!

Even though I am sitting here with out a clue as to where to head from here, I will plunge forward nonetheless!

It has been a good day thus far. It really has. And I don't say that out of total surprise, I say that out of gratitude. On Monday, I was stressing myself out over way too much and making mountains out of molehills. But, as perspective comes (i.e., getting over myself), so does a change in outlook. Funny how that happens, huh?

Today, I have been studying for the most part. I met with a wonderful mentor in Jackie, who is the fitness coordinator at the gym that I take classes, and now work at. Jackie took time out to go over the study guide for my upcoming fitness instructor's exam and begin to work with me in creating a cardio workout to do for the exam. She and two other instructors, Tracy and Jewell, have been wonderful in sharing what they know and taking time to encourage, instruct and critique me through this process. I am eternally grateful!

Then I went over to my favorite coffee shop (Spices of Life...isn't that a great name!), and got my favorite, the Du'Orleans (if you are ever in the Athens area, you gotta get one, your life will never be the same!), and a cup of soup and worked on my Revelation study. Now I wish I had had that study with me last night when we ended up talking about this topic and not the one we planned on! Today's material was perfect for what we were talking about. So, maybe we'll revisit it next week....might be good for the topic of peace! Ay? Ay. We'll see.

My sister just called (she said "hi everyone!") and it occurred to me what I was supposed to be doing instead of writing in this blog. I was supposed to call in to the Life Coaching teleclass/support monthy meeting at 1pm. Oops. Nothing life altering, as I got a lot of coaching homework done today, but it still would have been helpful. But, berating myself will not accomplish a thing. Especially in light of all the good things done today already. Nope, it's a bit disappointing that I missed it, but certainly no disaster.

Well, I must get back to the studying that needs to be done. I have an hour before the kiddos come home and I am going to use it. Hope you are all having a productive day ....whatever that might mean in your neck of the woods. But, even more, I hope you are ENJOYING the gift of this day. We are not promised tomorrow, but we have this moment, don't waste it (like I did with my worrying mess on Monday...but, even that is redeemed as a lesson learned!) with with the "what if's" and worries that deflate us. Take a deep breath, glimpse the beauty that is around you, whisper a prayer of gratitude to God for what He has given you, and live in that moment.

Enjoy the day!