The Choice

35,000.

That’s the average number of conscious choices an adult makes in one day.

Most of these choices are small and seemingly unimportant in the grand scheme of things. Things like: What to wear? What to eat? When to leave? What to watch? Which fork? Which route? What song? You get the picture.

Then there are bigger choices. Ones that affect us on a deeper level. You know the ones… choices that make us stop and contemplate what the outcome will be. The ones that affect ourselves or others in a way that demands our time and attention.

Are you selfish? Is your default to think of your own happiness or comfort? Is your expectation to get your own way?

Are you cautious? Do you let fear drive you? Do you worry until you finally make the decision based on the least risky thing?

Are you a people pleaser? Do you think about how your decision will make you look? Do you decide things to get the approval of others?

Are you discontent? Does your unhappiness drive you to always want more? Do you find yourself with an empty longing?

Are you angry? Do you look for ways to vent and hurt others? Do you live on crisis? Do you want revenge?

Are you critical? Do you choose what builds yourself up and puts others down?

I’m proposing something we rarely consider….

Our attitude is a choice. The way we make decisions is a choice. The way we treat people is a choice. We are responsible for these very things and we need to contemplate the immensity of the choices we make.

What if we made our choices based on something much more important than our own happiness, comfort, needs and wants…. what if we thought of others first? In place of our negative thinking and selfish motives, what if we could ask these questions:

Are you kind? Do you think about ways you can help others?

Are you encouraging? Do you look for ways to build others up with your words and actions?

Are you patient? Do you prefer others and give up your own timeline if the need arises?

Are you giving? Do you look for needs and try to meet them?

Are you content? Do you have gratefulness for all you have?

If our thoughts are based on simple kindness, patience, and good will towards others, our attitude changes, and so do our choices.

As I ponder my years on this earth, I have learned that choices are never meaningless. I can choose to live my life to benefit myself, or I can use the opportunities I have to serve, love, respect, help and encourage others. I have made many choices I wish I could take back…and I’ve made choices that have brought much joy to myself and others. It’s one choice at a time, and they are my choices to make.

So, what do your choices say about you? I would like to challenge you to reflect on these thoughts and keep them in mind as you make your many choices each day.

When you get to the end of your life…will your choices fill you with regret? Or will they fill you with peace and fulfillment from a life well-lived?

If you are looking for more thoughts on faith and choices, join me in my Deeper Truths section. (Coming soon!)

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The Story

The older gentleman in the self-check at Walmart. The toddler having a meltdown in the middle of church. The father trying to calm him down. The teenager with piercings and purple hair. The biker with tattoo sleeves. The sad woman leaving the hospital.

Do you see them? Do you wonder about their story?

Judgement comes easily. It’s second nature to most of us. How would your life change if you took the time to care about another person’s story…about their LIFE?

I propose that we could be less self-absorbed, more caring, more willing to help others if we would simply stop and think about the story.

So, what’s my story?

In my life, I have had many experiences. Hard and easy. Happy and sad. I’ve struggled and thrived, and everything in between. How can my story help you?

I was a shy child. I was a lonely teen. I was a selfish young adult. I was a blushing bride. I have been a scared mom. I have been an angry wife. I have been a bad friend.

I have had 6 different pregnancies and labors, thousands of days and nights of breastfeeding, many diapers and short-order meals and worrying about finances. Schedules and cuddles, discipline and laughter.

I have watched my children grow into young adults, watched my parents grow into their twilight years, and watched myself change in the mirror from a young woman to a seasoned wife and mom.

I have been married to a man of faith for 20 years, in full-time ministry all the while, and have said hello and goodbye to hundreds of people in and out of our lives.

I have been a stay-at-home mom, homeschooled my 6 children, had my own WAHM sewing business, and worked outside the home.

I have lived with headaches, food sensitivities and environmental illness. I have children with allergies and other struggles. I have learned to trust our bodies to tell us what’s wrong and use the things God has given us to make us as healthy as we can be.

I have struggled through my faith…learning to see and remember the GOOD in all of it. It has not been easy, but it’s MY STORY.

This journey has given me many things to say…and I hope that my story can help you appreciate yours.

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