WINDOWS OF OPPORTUNITY

Have you ever tried opening a window that would no budge no matter how hard you tried to open it. I did that this morning as I was trying to open my kitchen window. I tugged, I pulled, and it’s still not open. Not to mention that I had to climb up on the ledge behind my sink to do it. I was not so much afraid of falling into the sink as I was afraid of my robing opening up for the world to see. So I climbed down, got dressed and forgot about the window. I sat in the kitchen drinking my coffee and realizing that the window represented my life. I am always trying to open windows of opportunity that are not ready to be opened to me and that I’m not ready for them either.

Instead of getting dressed early this morning, I stayed in my robe. I wasn’t ready for the day, and from past experience I should know better than to attempt something when I wasn’t ready for it. Each time I try something that I’m not ready for, it turns out badly. My life is like that too. I’m always willing to jump into something new, always ready to take that new risk but never really ready for what might happen in the mean time. Not at all ready for the consequences that will prevail from my simple decisions.

Sometimes my windows of opportunity open easily, with the slightest movement they open wide and I get to experience what is waiting for me through the window. But why is it that I always want to open the windows that won’t budge? What makes me think that just by my strength alone I can make all the windows open? Besides I can only jump through one window at a time. I guess I need to pick and choose which window to open and when to open it.

Which window will open?

Which window will open?

I also need to be ready for the window to be open, not dressed in a robe, or not prepared mentally, spiritually, emotionally, financially, or physically. So how should I go about being in the state of preparedness all the time so I can open my windows of opportunity?

First, I pray about what windows God is going to help me unlock and open up so that I can have a breath of fresh air and so I can learn what I need to learn so I may help others and to get to the next level in my relationship with Him.

Second I keep a list of all my talents and skills and each day I glance through it remembering how I learned how to use them for good. Then I try to pinpoint one skill each day that I need to work on that will help me to help other people better.

Third I put myself out in the public. You can’t help people when you’re not around them. You can’t connect with people if you lead a secluded life. Most of the time opening windows of opportunity requires a group effort. You can’t do it on your own, no matter how you try. You need someone to lean on, who will help you see how and where you need to change in order to grow.

Be prepared because you never know when your window of opportunity will open and you’ll be given the chance to see your life differently. You’ll be able to grow beyond what you thought you ever could. Your talents and skills will be put to the test but the outcome is so well worth it.

Be ready for window opening opportunity that can change your life.

KEEP IT GOING

In honor of Throwback Thursday. I thought I would repost one of my favorite blog posts. Keep it Going!

Keep moving   Keep smiling   Keep shining   Keep dreaming    Keep Imagining   Keep planning   Keep laughing   Keep deciding where I want to go   Keep giving myself a chance   Keep paying it forward   Keep singing   Keep dancing   Keep running   Keep reading   Keep asking God   Keep doing   Keep sharing   Keep saving   Keep encouraging   Keep inspiring   Keep writing   Keep blogging   Keep helping   Keep praying  Keep serving   Keep listening   Keep searching   Keep my eyes open   Keep finding   Keep learning   Keep playing   Keep loving   Keep speaking   Keep hearing   Keep watching   Keep bringing   Keep painting   Keep creating   Keep it real   Keep telling the truth   Keep living the word of God   Keep natural   Keep organic

Keep on Doing

Keep breathing   Keep living in the present   Keep changing   Keep growing   Keep putting one step in front of the other   Keep improving   Keep showing up   Keep forgiving   Keep calling   Keep compassion in your life  Keep empathy a part of your life   Keep thinking   Keep camping   Keep hiking   Keep climbing   Keep walking   Keep swimming   Keep hugging   Keep your lamp burning   Keep spinning   Keep digging   Keep eating healthy   Keep taking your supplements   Keep cooking  Keep sowing   Keep harvesting   Keep pruning    Keep mentoring   Keep building bridges   Keep tearing down walls   Keep recommitting   Keep appreciating   Keep standing  Keep feeling   Keep talking   Keep making peace   Keep staying positive   Keep praising   Keep journaling    Keep journeying into reality   Keep promising   Keep coaching  Keep it going. 

These are the areas that I want to keep going at since I want to make a consistent effort to be the best me possible I need to keep doing the things above. If you have some more positive, uplifting things you do every day, let me know. We all could use as much help as we can get.

Keep it going! 

TIP 14: MY TAKE ON BULK BUYING

Sorry this is a day late, I received some devastating news yesterday and needed  the day to absorb it.

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When the first Sam’s Club opened up near our home back in the early 1990’s, they had such good deals. Five pounds of peanut butter goes a long way when you have four little boys and a hungry husband. I tailored my shopping every month to include one trip to the Club and little trips to our neighborhood grocery store. Granted, this was only because back then buying a month’s supply of oatmeal, peanut butter, jelly, bread, and frozen veggies did save us money. But my take on bulk buying has changed dramatically.

When we first moved to the Pacific Northwest 5 years ago, we were told that everyone has a membership to their nearest Costco. So after a month of settling in we got a membership. We used it mainly for their gas, which was always 10 cents cheaper than other stations. We also bought ground turkey, frozen chicken breasts, and all sorts of things we really shouldn’t have been eating. After the newness wore off, we stopped going there, and realized that we saved more money shopping around our home.

Now that we shop closer to home (Costco is 5.8 miles away) we are saving more money. We walk to the store now, and purchase only what two people can and will eat in a month. Plus the stores in our area offer a 10 cents saving on each gallon of gas when we earn 100 points. One local store has it’s own gas station and has gas at better prices than the Costco. Another benefit from shopping closer is we have relationships with different store employees, like the butcher and produce manager. We also have a great relationship with the owners of our gourmet grocery store, where if I think they should carry an item they will put it on their list to order so I can purchase it through them instead of the internet.

Shopping is about feeling comfortable with your purchases and the people doing the selling. My mom used to go to stores because of the relationships she had. She went to the butcher once a week to buy our meat for the week but to also catch up on the gossip about our town. The bulk stores have taken the relationships out of our purchases and turned the act of buying into a sterile part of many lives. These empty spots where relationships stood are now filled with two gallons of olive oil, or five pounds of candy.

Relationship shopping saves money and allows us to realize our part in that relationship,; it helps us connect and belong to our community.

EXTRA TIME

EXTRA TIME

Every day people always want to add minutes to their day, or simply looking for quicker ways of doing some mundane thing so they can get on with the rest of their lives. I once asked my group of friends several questions regarding how they handle extra time for an assignment I had in one of my classes. The class was a time management class that was geared to how the handling of the time we have is also related to our many levels of health. There is no right or wrong answers to these questions, but all need to be asked as a precursor of how we handle our own time crunches and extra time, if we have any.

1. If you have an extra 5 minutes would you read your bible or say a prayer?

(SIDE NOTE: If I have 5 extra minutes, I usually have enough time to read my bible which I have on my phone, or in my kindle. It’s good to read something from our Creator on how to live life, then I say a little prayer to help me digest what I read and apply it to my life.)

2. If you arrived 10 minutes early to pick up your child from school, practice, etc would you play a game on your cell phone or get out of the car and do some stretches?

(SIDE NOTE: Any extra time I can spend working out is a step in the right direction in my book. Playing games on cells phones or computers is just another time waster, when you think of it in the time/value scenarios.)

3. When you have to wait in line at the grocery store, doctor’s office, restaurant, etc do you sit quietly and read the magazines or do you engage in conversations with the other waiters in line with you?

(SIDE NOTE: Engaging in conversations is the only way to make a connection to the world. If we would just stopped being so connected to our electronic devices and connect in real time we wouldn’t have so many lonely people in the world.)

4. You arrive 15 minutes early to an appointment, do you help people you seed in need or do you just sit in your vehicle waiting for the right time to make your appearance?

(SIDE NOTE: I arrived 20 minutes early to an interview one time, and saw a person trying to carry too many things for only two hands. So I offered my assistance and helped this lady to her office. It was one of the best things I could have done because this lady was the person I was interviewing with that day. You never know if the connection you make will take you to the next level.)

5. Would you rather spend an extra two hours a week learning something new or teaching what you know to someone else?

(SIDE NOTE: From personal experience I learn more from teaching other people because of the questions that my students will ask of me. It is interesting at how much I need to know about the subject that I am teaching about to answer any questions that people might have while we are in the learning environment. )

6. Envy, jealousy, gossiping, hating, holding grudges, negativity, etc are time wasters. How have these time wasters crept into your life?

(SIDE NOTE: Forgiving other people of what they do to me whether in haste or deliberately puts me in a better place both spiritually, physically, and emotionally. People do not wake up in the morning thinking about who they can cut off in traffic. Again people do not think about what comes out of their mouths, if they did half the things they say would never be said.)

7. For each purchase you make, whether it is the new electronic gadget you lust after or that candy bar that jumped into your shopping cart, do you calculate the time/money/value factor for your purchases? Do you realize that these purchases influence not only your expended time but also how you value your family time, and your life?

(SIDE NOTE: Every time my husband and I think we need an upgrade of electronic gadgets, we look at how much extra work we will have to do to afford it and we also look at how much we actually need it in how much value it will bring to our lives. Giving into a craving of a candy bar does not give much value to our lives in the long run, but calculating what the will power to say “No” to the craving has on our lives is greater than giving in to the craving.)

Answer these questions truthfully and you will begin to see what is important to you and what you might want to work for.