Frog Blog, Grace, Hope, Love, New Starts, Prayers, Troubled Waters

ATTENDANCE DOESN’T EQUATE ATTENTION

From my book, “FROG Blog, Learning on a Lily Pad.” Available on Amazon and Kindle.

ATTENDANCE DOESN’T ALWAYS EQUAL ATTENTION

A lady who shares my favorite walking route paused this morning to ask what I do as my profession. She promised herself that the next time she saw me walking, she’d gather the courage to stop wondering and ask me how I used my days. She explained that she was fascinated to hear my answer because she frequently sees me wearing comfortable but stylish dresses walking with a contemplative expression blended with peaceful thoughtfulness.

I thanked her for her detailed observation and caring enough to ask. When I told her I am an author, life coach, and editor, she exclaimed, “I wish I had interesting jobs like that before I retired from 45 years as a machinist.” It was my turn to be intrigued by how she interpreted her career and perceived mine. She said when she was in school, math was her least favorite subject, so she was surprised when she spent her life working in a precision-driven math-related field. She loves to read but all research jobs she wanted required post-high school education and she didn’t want to pursue continuing education.

I anticipated her reasons for not pursuing future certifications could be age or finance related. She explained that she had twelve years of perfect attendance but collectively probably less than a full year of perfect attentiveness. Schools physically housed this lady but mentally she created a homeless shelter for her attention status. She didn’t make excuses or hold regret for her lack of attention in formal classrooms. She simply appreciated how she was able to faithfully work as a machinist while being able to turn her detailed attention toward hands-on learning.

Attendance and attention. How often do I show up for morning quiet time physically attentive but spiritually and mentally absent? My Teacher is present, but His student daughter is lost in thought about what happened yesterday and what may happen today. He is my Lead Machinist and I’m tooling around talking shop in my own mind!

This lady was sensitive to pay attention to her walking route surroundings. Her alertness created accessibility between us that wasn’t originally detected. A familiar faced “stranger” left as a new acquaintance named Janice (and her dog Zoe) because we both paid attention to our surroundings. I was awakened by her inspirational lesson to pay attention to my Professor who is in continual attendance. I need His ongoing education no matter what profession I hold.

Teacher, please unite my attendance to my attention. Align my responsiveness with Your presence. Like Janice’s alertness, give me the courage to act upon my observations.

With heightened awareness, Christina

Frog Blog, Grace, Hope, Lighthearted Humor, Love, New Starts, Prayers, Troubled Waters

Update from A Frozen FROG

Last month, I got to meet with part of the team who join me on our next adventure in the FROG Blog series. FROG Blog: Living on a Frozen Lily Pad is preparing to leap into publication early 2020.

The FROG Blog: Learning on a Lily Pad (book #1) is available in print or download through Amazon and Kindle.

If you want a frugal way of reading the first FROG Blog book, please check with your local library. Libraries have been generously willing to order copies if they don’t have it yet.

 

 

Frog Blog, Grace, Hope, Love, New Starts, Prayers, Troubled Waters

FOUR WORD TRUTH

I sat by a retired Air Force pilot on a return flight from my grandma’s funeral. (I wasn’t his co-pilot. We were both passengers on someone else’s plane). After our initial small talk to determine interaction and space boundaries, the former pilot asked the purpose of my trip. When I said it was related to a funeral, he opened a discussion about faith amid death.

He candidly stated that since he’s never died, he doesn’t have a clue about the after-earth life. He shared that he doesn’t claim a formal religious belief, but he practices a four-word faith: Thank you. I’m sorry. We used those four words to elevate to a higher altitude of conversation as we flew toward our earthly destination.

After our lofty interchange, I got my head out of the clouds to question if my faith leads more when I’m thankful or I’m sorry. I think there is a regular shift between leader and follower. Sometimes I’ve made harsh judgments or poor decisions and my Creator awakens me to see the error. In that case, thank you follows I’m sorry. It’s humbling to apologize first but later, that leads to gratefulness for clarity to prevent, or at least decrease, future missteps.

Other times I quickly recognize my stumbling block (s) and sigh with relief, “Thank you Lord for keeping me from downward spiraling. I’m sorry for missing the mark.” In those cases, my thank you precedes my apology.

Whether I lead with I’m sorry or I’m thankful, that pilot’s four-word faith reminded me of another simple but powerful excerpt: A sin is a mistake, but a mistake isn’t necessarily a sin. These short reminders offer long-term inner growth.

Eph. 3:12 teaches that we can approach God with freedom and confidence so, with gratitude or sorrow, I lead with Him as my Pilot Light. Creator of faith and action, remind me to perpetually look for ways to thank You. Make me quick and eager to say I’m sorry when I have made a wrong turn. Keep my eyes lifted to You with appreciation and plant my feet firmly in Your peace.

Elevating my thoughts and grounding my actions in my Creator’s truth, Christina

Frog Blog, Grace, Hope, Love, New Starts, Prayers, Troubled Waters

LUMP OR LAMP?

This is an excerpt from the first book in the FROG Blog series (available on Kindle and Amazon). I am working with a team of 12 authors for the second book in the series, “The FROG Blog from a Frozen Lily Pad.” 

I learned about inspecting feelings when they need “tempering” (aka attitude adjustment). The speaker who taught about evaluating emotions said that when there is a weight of depression, a person has reverted to thinking about the prior experience. When there is restless anxiety, a person is attempting to live in the future. This gauge offers me a quick way to reel me into the present moment. A side note, just how long is a moment?

I write this reflection from a phase of life where much moving and much holding is simultaneously taking place. I don’t feel ready for the movements yet feel irritated by a holding pattern, according to my timetable. To keep myself from warring between frustration and panic, I frequently use my journals as reference books. I peruse 2-3 months of journal entries and see, in writing, that circumstantial changes have occurred.

Sometimes I simply forgot about key movements. I can either concentrate on the lump (setback) or choose to concentrate on the lamp of a lesson in front of me.

I picture the scene from The Lion King when Rafiki hits Simba on the head with his revelation stick. Simba knows he needs to return his Pride Rock home to complete his leadership mission yet is stuck in the chasm between hesitation and restless yearning.

Rafiki notices that the winds are changing and while Simba ponders the air shifts, Rafiki hits Simba in the head. When Simba questions why, Rafiki said the thump doesn’t matter, it’s in the past. He teaches Simba that sometimes one must go back to face the past but no matter what happened in the past, you can either run from it or learn from it. Rafiki swings at Simba again, but this time Simba takes the lamp (lesson) to his heart instead of another lump to his head.

What benefits do I receive by carrying the lumps of life instead of the lamps of lessons? Rubbing past lumps only distract me from the lamps lighting my future path. A genie will probably not appear when I rub the lamp, but the Lamp Lighter can fill me with hope and an invitation to look harder for His lesson. Rub the lump or rub the lamp?

Lord, help me use any lumps of my life only when they will teach me to move toward a future lamp lesson. Increase my desire to glance at the past as a land marker, but not a land mine. Guide me to be more aware of encouraging lamps and less focused on discouraging lumps.

Using my glasses for foresight and not hindsight, Christina

Frog Blog, Grace, Hope, Love, New Starts, Prayers, Troubled Waters

Frogs and Tadpoles

Readers, I’m testing a future book in the FROG Blog series on you.

The original FROG Blog, Learning on a Lily Pad was published in May and I’m currently working on the second book in that series. As 12 authors and I wrap up that adventurous project, I’m considering a third FROG book.

I’ve been using a 500-word or less style to write light into a sometimes dark world. I want to create a children’s version of  the FROG Blog and invite young people to share their stories.

Some of my ideas include using 300 words or less to encourage ageless wisdom through childlike examples. One of the children I talked to about this book suggested we call it FROG Blog from the Tadpoles.

This is a sample of where I’m at in the process. If you have comments or suggestions, please send me an email through this website or gueststarcoach@gmail.com.

LOOK UP!

Children, because of their shorter stature, looked up to Jesus while He taught when He was on earth. Unlike the people who were trying to silence the children, Jesus didn’t look down on those wee ones. Thankfully, He doesn’t look down on me as an adult child in training.

In Matthew 19:14, Jesus used an unexpected solution to a growing problem among the crowd. Instead of leaving the children in the background, He told the adults to bring those curious babes to the front of His class. He wanted to teach all children, regardless of age or education level.

People perceived children as distractive. Jesus viewed them as attractive. He delivered adult lessons through children blessin’s. Jesus holds more value in how we’ve increased our spiritual frame than how our physical stature has evolved.

In any area of my life, regardless of how low I sink, Jesus invites me to look up to Him. Whatever worldly heights I seek, Jesus invites me to look up to Him. As a daughter of God, Jesus wants me to always look up to Him.

Small in physical stature, yet growing in FROG leaps and bounds on this lily pad of life,
Christina

but Jesus said, “Let the children come to me, and do not prevent them; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these” (Matthew 19:14).

Frog Blog, Grace, Hope, Love, New Starts, Prayers, Troubled Waters

A SHOT IN THE DARK

In the beginning, when God created the heavens and the earth, the earth was a formless wasteland, and darkness covered the abyss, while a mighty wind swept over the waters (Gen. 1:1-2).

As an author, I identify with God’s creation story. In the beginning of each writing project, I sometimes see blank paper as a formless wasteland. The sun may be shining outside, but inside I’m waiting for inspiration to fill the abyss between start and finish. I anticipate Holy Spirit wind to sweep over the FROG blog to stir 500 uplifting words for a lily pad lesson.

My latest creation, “Life’s Too Short for Dull Razors, Cheap Pens, and Worn-Out Underwear” was written to satisfy a double-dare to write a book about what I thought during distance runs. That literary birthing process took eleven years to meet an undetermined finish line. Every strand of my DNA was created to write so that book’s deadline became a resurrection to fulfill a mission. I had allowed years of excuses to waylay God’s purpose for me to write publicly.

If God completed projects with the timing and reasoning as I sometimes do, heavens and earth may still be a formless wasteland. Instead, God took His “someday” thoughts and crafted them into “this day’s” action.

This is the day the Lord has made (Ps. 118:24). God knew He had eternity (and still does) to create, yet He moved when the notion to make heavens and earth stirred Him. If God responded to His Creator role with elapsed time, scripture may read, “There may come a day that the Lord might make. Let’s imagine rejoicing and practice being glad.”

Unlike God, my time on earth is limited. When He created in the beginning, He drew me into His plans. I want to use every day to draw nearer to Him. I do that through writing about His creative process working in my life.

Jesus, thank You for teaching me how to create light openings for dark coverings. Where I am unfocused, shape me into the form You desire. When I allow fear to excuse me from accomplishing Your assignments, nudge me toward completion according to Your time table. Thank You for writing my life into Your creative plans.

Inviting surrender and trust to sweep me across the waters of the lily pad,
Christina

Frog Blog, Grace, Hope, Love, New Starts, Prayers, Troubled Waters

MY NEXT BOOK JUST RELEASED!

The FROG Blog: Learning on a Lily Pad was released this week on Amazon and Kindle. This short collection includes me joining twenty-three authors who uniquely but briefly describe our delicate slice-of-life experiences.

Thank you to all those who have supported me in fulfilling a dare to write what I think about when I run. Until my book, “Life’s Too Short for Dull Razors, Cheap Pens, and Worn Out Underwear,” I never understood the value of writing reviews and Amazon stars until now!

With appreciation from the lily pad of life,

Christina