Tag Archive | Mondays with Mimi

New Beginnings: 6 important things to remember.

The opening sentence in any story is often the most important sentence of all. It sets up the story and gives the reader an expectation of what is to come. It is so important, that authors may spend untold amounts of time crafting that one sentence. For if they don’t capture the reader’s attention at the very beginning, they may not stick around to read the rest of the story.

Thank goodness this doesn’t hold true in life.

Thank you, God, that our beginning, good or bad, does not have to dictate our outcome. Our story in fact will be rewritten many times. Our Author is also our Finisher. He is the Director and while He calls the shots, it’s up to us to follow His ways.

But great news. When we don’t follow His commands or directions, we can rest assured that once we return to Him, acknowledging His authority in our lives, He gives us a do-over…He will in fact rewrite our story to allow us to return to the life plot He had in place for each of us before the beginning of time.

Important to Remember

  1. Your first day in Christ means you have a brand-new life. “This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” (2 Corinthians 5:17)
  2. Each day is a fresh opportunity to follow God. “Let me hear of your unfailing love each morning, for I am trusting you. Show me where to walk, for I give myself to you.” (Psalm 143:8)
  3. God’s mercies are new each day. “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” (Lamentations 3:22-23)
  4. God is all about doing something new in you. “For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.” (Isaiah 43:18-19)
  5. Repentance brings about restoration and forgiveness. “But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.” (1 John 1:9)
  6. God has a good plan in place for your life. “The Lord will work out his plans for my life—for your faithful love, O Lord, endures forever.” (Psalm 138:8a)

These are just a few of the many Scriptures that show us God’s amazing love. They remind us that He has a good plan for our lives, and that He is ready with forgiveness when we approach Him with repentant hearts.

God welcomes you back.

If you’re a parent of a young child, you have expectations for their future. And they are always wonderful plans with happy endings. But often, that child takes a detour, trying to find their own way. They may disregard your advice or fail to realize your hopes for them. Yet, you stand ready with open arms welcoming them back, ready to help them return to the best path. And it’s the same with our Heavenly Father.

When we find ourselves struggling with needing a do-over, when we feel we’ve disappointed God and desperately need His forgiveness, when we think there’s no hope left, that’s the time to turn to the One who has already written our life story, to the One who is also more than willing to rewrite it when necessary.

His arms are open, His heart is big, and He’s waiting for you.

Love you much,

Mimi

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What’s in your cup?

 

Happy Monday to all.

From time to time I share quotes or stories I’ve discovered or that someone has sent me. Today, I want to share a little wisdom in the form of an analogy.

I would gladly credit the author but I don’t remember where I found this. Though simple, it’s quite profound. After reading it, I hope you’ll agree.

Note: While most of you will easily be able to read this short analogy in the graphic, I’m going to print the text so a friend, who is blind due to a retinal disease, and can read what the graphic contains.

The Analogy

You are holding a cup of coffee when someone comes along and bumps into you, making you spill your coffee everywhere.

Why did you spill the coffee? You spilled the coffee because there was coffee in your cup. Had there been tea in the cup, you would have spilled tea.

The point is, whatever is inside the cup, is what will spill out.

Therefore, when life comes along and shakes you (which WILL happen), whatever is inside you will come out. It’s easy to fake it until you get rattled.

So, we have to ask ourselves… “What’s in my cup?”

When life gets tough, what spills out? Joy, gratefulness, peace, and humility?

Or does anger, bitterness, harsh words, and reactions come out?

You choose! Today let’s work towards filling our cups with gratitude, forgiveness, joy, words of affirmation, kindness, gentleness, and love for others.

Sounds a lot like the fruit of the Spirit to me.

Galatians 5:22-23 reminds us that this “fruit” is the evidence of the Spirit of Christ living in you. It finishes with this admonition: “There is no law against such things.”

Of course, there isn’t. Because exhibiting this fruit shows others your life is in Christ and He lives in and through you.

Beloved, the encouragement today is that God’s fruit is evident in our lives. And if it isn’t? Then we need to draw close to Him and repent of things that are standing in the way. The world needs Jesus. And they are watching…you! His fruit in our lives is on display and may be just the thing that testifies of God’s love for someone else.

Mimi

How a small cup of yogurt reminds us that God is in control.

Today, in Florida, we’re dealing with the uncertainty of Hurricane Dorian. For a week, we’ve been tracking the storm, watching it build, turn this way and that, wondering when and where it will strike our state.

Days ago, the Governor declared a state of emergency for every county in Florida. We are surely to be impacted and possibly devastated by what could be the biggest storm in 30 years.

So, with fair warning, we top off the gas tanks in our cars, remove all the outside decorations, furniture, etc. Ensure we have water and ice, fill up our bathtubs with water, help the neighbors do the same…then wait. And wait.

Dorian’s path continues to change.

From faster moving to slower. From a direct hit near Daytona Beach with a sharp west turn, to hitting down by West Palm Beach, then further up the coast.

As with all hurricanes, they are completely unpredictable. So, we prepare as best we can, pay attention to the updates, then wait.

Oh, and one more thing…we trust God. For He is in control. He is ALWAYS in control.

The yogurt cup that reinforced a great lesson in trust.

I hope you will use this LINK to read a story from my friend Janet about her family’s experience with Hurricane Frances that hit Orlando in September 2004. Her recount of the event is thrilling, frightening, and faith-filled.

Whether you are facing a physical hurricane like Florida is, or a hurricane of job loss, illness, etc., God is in control. And He’s got you. Read on HERE and see if you agree. All it took for this family was a plastic cup of yogurt and the faith of a tiny woman to remind everyone of this important lesson.

Love you,

Mimi

Let me get this straight. It’s August but I can’t buy shorts. In Florida.

Hubby and I took a trip today to his favorite store the other day, Steinmart. He needed some new shorts. The weather forecast called for a high in the 90s with crazy humidity, and a super high heat index. Seems to me, it was the perfect day to buy shorts.

But no…

Upon arriving in the store, we split up, Greg to the men’s section and me to the ladies. I thought getting some new shorts was a great idea, too, so off I went. But where were they?

I turned this way and that, trying aisle after aisle, display after display. No shorts. Hmmm. What I did find were heavy sweaters, tons of longs pants, long sleeved shirts and dresses. Hats and scarves and hefty jackets galore, not to mention boots and closed-toe shoes as well.

I finally found a salesperson to ask and was quite surprised when she said, perhaps with just a bit of a head shake and attitude, “No shorts because we have the fall and winter clothing out now.” What? I simply couldn’t resist my follow-up comment “Because we need all of that clothing for our two weeks of fall, don’t we!” (Yup, I really did say that before walking away.)

What was I expecting?

Hard to believe, but this November marks our 20-year anniversary of moving to Florida. I really should have known better. If Hobby Lobby can put out their Halloween and Christmas items in July (oh yes, they did!), then of course Steinmart is allowed to think we have more than two seasons, put their shorts away, and load up on the bulky, cold weather items.

I also have to admit I really dislike clothes shopping so I rarely go. My clothes have to become really ragged before I’ll venture into the clothing department to try to spruce up my wardrobe. So, in my defense, I really didn’t know how much fall/winter clothing was and that it shows up in the stores in early August! And that explains why I truly was surprised that day when there were no shorts in the ladies’ department and very few in the men’s.

What happens when our expectations aren’t realized?

Thinking back on that recent shopping trip reminded me yet again about expectations. They can be so tantalizing: when you’re anticipating a special gift for Christmas, when you’re awaiting the birth of your first child, when going to your favorite restaurant and you’ve already planned what you’re eating weeks before you arrive. All carry an exhilarating expectation of what is to come and that makes the wait, however long, so thrilling.

But very often, our expectations aren’t realized. Something happens to change the outcome of what we were looking forward to. A sour stomach of dread now replaces the thrill of anticipation. Our hopes are dashed. Our disappointment intense.

Is there an answer to dealing with unrealized expectations?

Of course, there are answers and they have to do with trusting God with our lives. They have to do with believing His has good plans for us. And that God has everything under control.

The more mature we become in Christ, the more we’re able to deal with the disappointments in life. To understand that while those situations may catch us by surprise, God is never caught off guard by what happens or fails to happen.

Do we experience disappointment? Yes. Do we get hurt? Also…yes.

But what about hope? Can that remain? You betcha!

God is Trustworthy

God’s Word is full of reminders about keeping our eyes on God, trusting in His ways, and in waiting for Him to bring the right answer or resolution.

Surely there is a future, and your hope will not be cut off. (Proverbs 23:18)

The hope of the righteous brings joy, but the expectation of the wicked will perish. (Proverbs 10:28)

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. (Proverbs 3:5)

No matter our present circumstances. Whether we’re relishing in anticipation of an upcoming event or if we’re experiencing disappointment in an unexpected outcome, hold on to the One who holds all your tomorrows in His very capable hands.

Easy? Sometimes…but many times NOT. Rest knowing this: God is faithful to His beloved. He’s got your present and your future. No matter what you see or what you feel, He is completely trustworthy and He completely and fully loves you.

Love to all,

Mimi

A Thrilling Announcement

I am thrilled to share with you the publication of my aunt’s amazing memoir I Was More Than One. It is now available in print and eBook through Amazon and other booksellers. This memoir depicts her lifetime battle with mental illness and how it offered her the protection and safe haven needed to cope with unimaginably tragic and difficult circumstances she encountered throughout her life.

That mental illness, Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID), is known to most of us as Multiple Personality Disorder.

The idea of multiple personalities at work in someone’s life is so tough to understand, but in Irene’s life, it actually provided a way for her to survive. When my aunt was unable to cope with the despair of sexual abuse by family members and other people in her life who should have been trustworthy, her mind created 16 different personalities, each providing very specific tools to help her survive her tragic circumstances.

Irene Chose to Overcome

At any time, Irene could have played the victim card; instead she chose to be an overcomer.

Her book reads like fiction but is an accurate accounting of her life and her struggle. The reader will experience a whirlwind of emotions as they learn of Irene’s hopelessness when sexually abused as a young girl, her ruined dreams of a successful marriage, and of her despair that caused her to attempt suicide, despite having a young daughter to care for.

But I Was More Than One will not leave you in anguish. Instead your spirit will soar as Irene begins her journey to health and well-being. And when you realize that instead of giving up, she chooses to fight for wellness, you will share her victory as she overcomes her circumstances and is able to integrate those 16 personalities into one whole person.

Done and Done.

For the past year, I’ve counted it a privilege to work with Irene as she did final edits and worked with a publisher to make her dream, this book, come true. As if her battle with mental illness and understanding DID wasn’t enough, it became her goal to capture her journey through a memoir and to have that memoir published. Done and done.

I Was More Than One may not be offered in your local library, so please consider purchasing either the print version or eBook through this LINK. No doubt, you will find as I did, that my aunt’s journey and book offers hope and encouragement in two ways. First, it offers hope for triumph to the many others battling severe mental health disorders. And secondly, it offers encouragement to the rest of us who when struggling with our own issues may need a good dose of it to hang in, not give up, and look for victory at the end of the fight.

Mimi

I did what?

This past week I did something I’ve never done. It’s something many others have done, especially during the holidays when family and in-laws live relatively close by.

 

Intrigued?

Here’s what happened: I ended up eating dinner twice in one evening at two different restaurants. Sure did.

One appointment for dinner with a friend was already on the calendar when I received a second invitation to dinner with a different friend for that same night. At the same time! This was going to be impossible.

Yet, the solution seemed simple: meet up with the first friend at 4:45 as planned and the second friend at 6. And it worked out beautifully.

Thinking about it made me smile…and brought understanding.

Over the years, several others I know have done the very same thing, either at Thanksgiving or Christmas. When the families of both the husband and wife lived near each other, instead of choosing just one home for the big meal, they would often simply attend two dinners.

To me it was always silly to think of consuming two large holiday meals and to have to do all that running around. It made me grateful that our families were several states away. In my mind, eating two dinners in one evening was unnecessary but as I learned last week, sometimes you’ve just gotta do what you’ve gotta do!

That going with the flow stuff really works.

You might recall that last week’s post talked about how I’ve been learning to be more spontaneous as I go with the flow more and more. This week’s two dinners in one evening was a great illustration of just that. Had I not been learning this valuable lesson, I probably would have chosen to just attend one dinner and would have missed out on the sweet fellowship with my other friends. And readers…if dinner with one friend is great, imagine two dinners with two sets of friends in one night!

Let me leave you with a quote from Charles Spurgeon.

No way I wanted to miss out on enjoying on the sweetest joys of life. And I’m glad I didn’t have to. But just wondering…anyone have any similar experiences of eating two meals in one night?

Mimi

Going with the flow.

Going with the flow…a phrase you don’t often hear me say. And until 20 or so years ago, it was a totally foreign concept to me.

Going with the flow evokes a kind of spontaneity I’m totally unfamiliar with because I’m more of an orderly, scheduled person. The idea of flying by the seat of my pants, without a plan is both mystifying and at times uncomfortable to me.

But a few decades ago, it was lovingly brought to my attention that though being orderly and scheduled can be very good qualities, they can also be confining. They can stop the creative flow. And they can definitely get in the way of a spontaneous adventure.

Change has come.

I haven’t changed overnight, but I certainly have changed over the years and have come to embrace a bit of spur-of-the-moment fun. It doesn’t always come naturally or easily, but I find myself more and more willing to go with the flow of whatever is happening and enjoy the moment.

And just to prove how much I’ve transformed, I’m going to share something with you. Take a look at the two pics below. I’m not sure if you can figure out what’s going on but here’s the back story.

Last week, Greg and I spent the day with Kate. Greg’s plan was to paint Callan’s bedroom and mine was just to hang with our daughter. Knowing we would arrive at her house before she did, I came prepared to take a walk by bringing my exercise clothes: shorts, lightweight tee shirt, sports bra, and unders.

There was just one problem.

While changing into those exercise clothes, I discovered I had brought two unders and no sports bra. What a predicament. I really wanted to get my walk in and no matter how many times I looked through my bag, the sports bra was not to be found.

But since I’m much more able to go with the flow at this point in my life, I got inventive. And if you look again at the two pics, you’ll notice what I did: I turned one of the unders into a makeshift bra!

Once I felt fully covered and prepared, off I went, not at all self-conscious at all and actually feeling pretty good about myself and my great invention.

There’s nothing to worry about.

Really, don’t worry. I’m not going to let this become a regular thing or part of my walking routine. And it’s definitely not a new fashion trend I will be embracing. It was simply me being quick-minded and carefree enough to be able to take my walk.

And to that end, I’m claiming this verse from Exodus 35:35:

The Lord has given them (me) special skills as engravers, designers, embroiderers in blue, purple, and scarlet thread on fine linen cloth, and weavers. They excel as craftsmen and as designers.

I think the verse really fits, too. After all…my unders were blue, somewhat woven, and I designed a new use for them!

I’m just having fun with all this.

It was just a silly situation that I made the best of. I was actually proud of myself for not giving up. I easily could have stayed inside Kate’s nice, cool house playing games on my iPad. But I was willing to think outside of the box, perhaps look a little unusual, and go with the flow to accomplish my goal.

How about you? Do you have any go with the flow stories you want to share?

Love you all, Mimi