Archive | October 2015

Scatter Kindness 

“I have always found that mercy bears richer fruits than strict justice.” Abraham Lincoln

“When I was young, I admired clever people. Now that I am old, I admire kind people.” Abraham Joshua Heschel

“Tenderness and kindness are not signs of weakness and despair, but manifestations of strength and resolution.”  Kahlil Gibran

Right??? The older I get, the more I value kindness. In my classroom, it’s incredibly important that we are all kind to one another. Nothing works well if even one of us is unkind. In my marriage, Hubby and I operate in kindness. Please and thank you are heard daily. Small acts of kindness abound and our marriage is a good one. In my relationships, I like to scatter kindness like confetti. Kindness can change your world. It can! It’s changed mine. Here are a few ideas to get you started on your journey. 

  1. Give a compliment. 
  2. Hear something nice? Tell the person! Better yet, tell their boss, their spouse, their child.  
  3. Take coffee or tea to your coworker. 
  4. Send a sweet email or text. 
  5. Thank your custodial staff, cafeteria staff, team, bosses, spouse, children parents …. Genuine gratitude and appreciation are pretty irresistible.
  6. Run an errand for someone.  
  7. Forget your mile long to-do list and technology and be in the moment with your people! (This one is for me!) 
  8. Put a card and candy bar on a coworker’s desk. Sign it or remain anonymous. Either way, you’re spreading kindness. 
  9. Let someone cut in line. 
  10. Shake off offense. Quickly
  11. Pray for someone. 
  12. Don’t play games or keep score. 
  13. Extend mercy and grace instead of judgment. 
  14. Forgive and forgive quickly. 
  15. Give a hug. 
  16. Give someone your full attention. 
  17. Swallow the complaint or criticism you want to voice. Resist the temptation. I know, I know. 
  18. Tell someone that Jesus loves them and they have a reason to go on.  
  19. Write your honey a love letter. 
  20. Put a sweet, silly note in your child’s lunch or backpack. 
  21. Send a care package to a soldier or an elderly relative or your adult child. 
  22. Rise above. 
  23. Love with everything in you. 
  24. Don’t worry about winning. Worry about improving. 
  25. Call out the brilliance, kindness, creativity you know is buried in someone. People believe what we tell them. Tell that difficult person how smart and kind they are. Eventually, they’ll believe it and you’ll see it. 

No, I cannot solve the world’s myriad problems. Can I do something? Of course I can! I can change MY corner of the world.  God’s girls can spread kindness and hope and encouragement. And we must. Our world needs us. 

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I Can’t


“I can’t do this anymore.”

” I hate my life.”

“I just want to quit!” 

“Life shouldn’t be this way.” 

I’m hearing this from so many (too many!) sweet souls. You wouldn’t believe the numbers of prayer requests I’ve received lately. They’re coming from sweet women seeking God. These women are exhausted and empty. They need help.  I get it. Boy, do I get it. 

I have felt hopeless and empty. The world makes too many demands. I’ve had days where every step, every word was an effort. And I’ve had days where I spent every moment in bed. 

I can’t. 

I can’t handle my life. I cannot meet the myriad needs of my husband, family, friends, students, students’ families, coworkers, and bosses. I can’t. I can’t be a great wife. I can’t love my students and teach them, leading them to amazing levels. I can’t keep up with grading, reteaching, tutoring, extending lessons, conferencing with parents, teaming, and attending meetings. I can’t love and extend grace to family, friends, coworkers, and strangers. I can’t even keep a lovely home or keep up with birthdays, events, laundry, grocery shopping, and healthy, delicious (sly wink) meal planning. I can’t even quiet myself enough to listen to God. 

Y’all, I can’t…and neither can you. 

Life is too much. It’s too busy, too demanding, too overwhelming, but does it have to be that way? I don’t think so. Deep down you agree. If you’re anything like me (and many of you are), you’re wondering HOW to get a “better” life. Is winning the lottery the answer? Quitting your job? Leaving your marriage? Escaping into cyberspace, food, alcohol, etc? 

Nope. 

The truth is we were never supposed to live this way. . . The truth is simple, but difficult. (Or it’s difficult for me.) This is something I’m praying about regularly, but here are my “today” tactics. I know I’ll post more about this. In fact I posted not too long ago and you can read it here.

  1. Accept this truth: God’s girls are overcomers. I know we don’t always feel like it, but we are. Emotions lie. Our enemy lies. God reigns and we are His. Be encouraged! 
  2. You must put God first if you want victory. You must commit time daily to thank Him, praise Him, read His Word, pray (talk and listen). This is nonnegotiable. 
  3. Believe. You must believe better days are coming. You must believe your Father loves you and will protect you, give you help, give you answers, lead you. 
  4. Stop complaining. You must realize your words are incredibly powerful. Stop complaining. Stop gossiping. Stop muttering. And get away from others who complain and gossip. It’s poison. 
  5. God is good. Period. Accept this truth. It’s encouraging and liberating. 
  6. Understand who you are and who you aren’t. This one is powerful and deserves a separate post. You are not supposed to be THE SOURCE for anyone. You have a role and responsibility in every relationship, but you must also point to the TRUE SOURCE. If anyone or anything requires more and more and more you need to ask God for wisdom and help. You can’t be everything to another person. You can’t work 24/7. You can’t and you mustn’t.
  7. Grasp that His a Yoke is easy and His burden is light. If this is inconceivable you are doing something wrong. Ask Him to show you and to help you. 

Y’all, I don’t have this down either. I’m still struggling, but I’m seeking Him. My Daddy knows me and has a unique battle plan for my battles. And He has one for yours, too. 

“Come to me, all of you who are tired from carrying heavy loads, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28

“I prayed to the Lord, and he answered me;he freed me from all my fears. The oppressed look to him and are glad; they will never be disappointed.” Psalm 34:4-5

“Why am I so sad? Why am I so troubled? I will put my hope in God,and once again I will praise him,my savior and my God.” Psalm 43:5

“But those who trust in the Lord for help will find their strength renewed. They will rise on wings like eagles;they will run and not get weary; they will walk and not grow weak.” Isaiah 40:31

“Let your hope keep you joyful, be patient in your troubles, and pray at all times.” Romans 12:12

“Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:5 (emphasis/bold print all mine)

“When the cares of my heart are many, your consolations cheer my soul.” Psalm 94:19

I’m committed to victory. I’d love your prayers and welcome your tips. As always, I wish you MUCH joy! 

Prayer: Father, I’ve tried to do it all and I can’t. You know my heart, my dreams, my to-do lists, and my plans. I lay them all at Your feet. Help me. Help me to seek You first. Help me to focus on YOUR plans for my life, my day, my week. Lord, I can’t, but You can. With you, all things are possible. Teach me Your ways. 

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My Terrible, Wretched, Really Dumb Scale

 It seems I’m forever punching in some numeric code and I can rattle off PIN, employee ID, and SSN as readily as my anniversary. Numbers–in the form of debit cards, addresses, phone numbers, birthdays, and more–not only surround us…they define us.         

On a regular basis I’m asked to cough up digits and I never refuse . . .or even hesitate.   There’s really just one number . . . one miserable three-digit number I won’t share. I’ve tried to reason with it, ignore it, and even lie about it.           

My weight.                              

Recently my husband decided our cheap little scale wasn’t cutting it anymore. He was preparing for a hike in Colorado-weighing his backpack, tent, and supplies. He couldn’t believe his backpack was so heavy. “Our scale must be off,” he reasoned. I quickly agreed with his assessment for reasons of my own–I had weighed earlier that morning and couldn’t believe I was that heavy.                                        

Well, Hubby went to climb his mountain and I headed to Wal-Mart. The selection was fair. I deliberated for quite some time before finally making my selection.

 My new scale was everything I aspired to be–sleek, slim, and tiny. I quickly tossed the product booklet aside and tore open the plastic wrap surrounding my new purchase.      

 The numbers were clear, crisp, and measured to the tenth of a degree~very important.                                                     

Uh oh. It seems my old cheap scale was accurate after all. Maybe if I just step off and on several times . . .

 “Person 1?” I cried. “What? No, no . . . wait!”

 Where were those instructions? I grabbed for them, reading and rereading.           

 My beautiful, wretched scale had betrayed me! “Can track the weight gains and losses of up to two people,” the booklet boasted. Muttering under my breath, I kept searching for some way to delete Person 1, that is, me.                    

 “Good news!” the booklet said, “Your data will never be lost even when you remove our long-lasting lithium battery.”            

 Wanting to cry, I finally called my sister to come and render aid. We read the guide repeatedly, poking and prodding my new scale like the apes did the monolith in 2001: A Space Odyssey. I know, I know… most of you reading right now are too young to know this iconic scene.  

 Sigh. I wish I could tell you we found a loophole. In the end there were really just two choices. I could take a deep breath, act like an adult, and hope Hubby never stumbled upon the Person 1 mode . . . or . . . throw the traitorous thing out and buy a new one.                                       

                                                                        

I’m very pleased with my second new scale and it has kept mum on my digits so far. And I have a couple more numbers for you. 5: the number of pounds I lost since the incident. And 44: the age I was when I finally, finally realized that I am actually NOT defined by any of my numbers. 

 As always, I wish you MUCH joy! 

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