The school bell has rung, class is in now in session.
Someone very dear to me shared this video earlier and of course I had to share it on my page. It was created by the AoC network. This video was filled with aha moments, and reminded me how God can orchestrate the varying parts of our lives even when we do not see it occurring. He is the potter and we are the clay. Remember that when you fill like things are spinning out of control.
Check this video out whenever you have a few minutes. You will witness another example of how God’s Providence is at work for His people.
The school bell has rung, class is now in session!
Have you ever heard the adage, “Can’t see the forest for the trees?” If not, here is an example of what is means, “The congressman became so involved in the wording of his bill that he couldn’t see the forest for the trees; he did not realize that the bill could never pass.”
This is an interesting proverb and is applicable in different areas of our lives. Being unable to see the overall picture can be harmful because it can cause people to spend a lot of time and energy going in the wrong direction. Three areas will be covered on how we can get lost in the details: workplace, people and quality of life.
At work, task are given in order to promote the overall vision and mission of the organization. There is not anything wrong with paying attention to details, as a matter of fact, that is a positive trait to have. The issue is when one gets caught up in details so much that they do not complete the overall task. For example, take a teacher who has grades due for Report Cards in a week. The wise thing to do is to prioritize time, and make sure grades are put into the Gradebook in order to meet the deadline for Report Cards. A person not seeing the forest for the trees would get hung up on irrelevant details that do not have anything to do, with meeting the overall goal which is to have grades in the Gradebook ready for Report Cards.
Procrastination occurs in everyones’ life at some point, but should not be the case all the time. In order to avoid stressful situations, plan backwards! Focus on the larger picture upfront, then map out the detail steps on how to achieve the overall goal in a timely manner. This is just one way to not get hung up on gazing at the trees, while ignoring the forest.
From a relationship standpoint, this happens often. How often does one focus on the details of the person they love or care about but does not notice that person is extremely selfish or mean? For example, I recently watched a Joan Crawford movie titled Sudden Fear and in the movie she did just that! In the movie Joan Crawford was a famous Playwright named Myra Hudson, and she ends up having a man named Lester Blaine audition for a part in her play. She rejects him because she said he wasn’t at all romantic enough to play the part. He tells her off, and somehow this made her more interested in him. She follows him to San Francisco and they begin a romance. Needless to say, she should have trusted her first instinct about him because her ended up really abusing her trust and hurting her. Had she saw the forest instead of focusing on the details (trees) of him, and how “great” he was being towards her, she may not have fallen for him in the first place. This can also be applied to friends as well.
Quality of Life
It is everyones wish, to have a good quality of life. This can happen easily as long as you are setting goals for yourself and living with purpose. We are on this earth for a reason and have something to contribute to the society we live in. If everyday has become Groundhog’s Day it is high time to wake up from that merry-go-round and get to writing down a vision for your life.
Habakkuk 2: 2-3
2 And the Lord answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it.
3 For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.
Habakkuk was a minor prophet in the late 7th century, around 612 bc.
This is one of the most well-known verses in the bible about vision. How many people has actually written down the vision for their lives? As a believer, I believe that doing this should be covered in prayer because there is a such thing as what you would like to do, and what God has planned for you. Sometimes what you want, may not be what He has planned. Do not let this worry you because He said,
11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.
12 Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. (Jeremiah 29: 11, 12)
If you are praying, He may allow doors to close, people to walk away, and rejections to occur; in order to give you the opportunity to change your direction and desires to match His for your life. As you decide on what to do, write it down. (this is seeing the trees) Be sensitive and open to the fact that your direction may change. (this is seeing the forest) By allowing this, the quality of life will be good and purposeful because there will be planning involved, and a willingness to view things objectively.
Those who focus on negativity or tiny details of their lives all the time, are like ostriches with their heads in the sand. If the focus remains on negativity, improvement cannot occur.
I pray going forward that things will improve for each and every person reading this post. There is certainly a place for being “detail-oriented”, but in the context of what I am writing about, it is equally as important to be aware of the larger picture.
The school bell has rung, class is in now session,
I came across a YouTube video that was thought provoking. It was titled Being ConservativeDoesn’t = Christian. When I saw it, I was kind of puzzled but after listening to it objectively; I understood where the minister was coming from. If you have tough skin and enjoy information that makes you think, check it out. It was interesting!
As we go through the years, people come and go, hobbies change, and preferences differ. This is fine because that is what life is about.
People come and go
In a perfect world, you meet a best friend and/or other friends in childhood, and declare to be friends for ever! We all know that rarely occurs. I do have a best friend from when I was five and another dear friend from when I was fifteen that I am still in contact with, and many others I have connected with in adulthood through church, work and civic organizations.
Friendship often dissolves when individuals no longer agree on fundamental principles. This is a natural occurrence because people change. Not to say people cannot be friends or be in relationships without thinking differently, but when it comes to certain aspects like morality, religion, and even politics; this could cause a friendship to deteriorate. Imagine there is a friendship where none of these issues pose as a problem; there is yet another way the friendship could drift apart. It could drift apart when one of the parties involved, begin to consistently trivialize the relationship.
This can happen occasionally and the friendship will survive, but when it becomes a routine, your friendship will take a one way trip to Distanceville.
One may began to notice the “Trivialize Monster” in small doses.
It can be as small as when you talk to your friend on the phone and notice that the conversation is extremely one-sided. This can occur at times, but when it becomes a routine, that is when there is cause for concern.
It could be after listening to a political speech, and/or discussing your views on corporal punishment, abortion or gay rights, that you began to notice how different you and your friend truly think, and how much you both do not see eye-to-eye.
It could be after a friend shares with you how someone has been repeatedly mistreating them, and how you know they deserve to be treated better. Sooner or later, your pleas will fall on death ears, and you will be seen as the problem.
It could be after hearing from multiple sources that your friend has said unkind things about you, and/or failed to stick up for you when they had the opportunity to have your back. A true fried knows your character and knows when they are hearing untrue things said about you. A situation like this, will usually prompt them to stick up for you. When this does not occur, it is safe to assume the friendship has ran its course.
It could be simply that you hardly hear from them anymore, and whenever you attempt to schedule a time to meet, they either ignore the question, or put you off.
When these situations start occurring, a simple conversation could possibly iron out the differences; otherwise, you may have to bid the friendship farewell. Comfort yourself by knowing, this is a natural part of life and remember the old adage,
We all have experienced having to part ways with a friend, but just know as long as there is no unforgiveness or ill-will, and you have a clear conscious, you are in a healthy place. I sum it up with this verses from the Bible,
The Little Black Dress Initiative (LBDI) is a fundraising campaign created by The Junior League to raise awareness around poverty and the restrictions poverty places on choices, opportunities, and access to resources. Traditionally, league members wear one black dress for five consecutive days, in an effort to spark conversations and awareness about poverty and related issues. In 2019, the Junior League of Moore County (JLMC) put our own spin on the LBDI by turning the event into a fun run. This year, and in the time of COVID, LBDI has become a virtual MOVEment…in a little black dress!
JLMC challenges you to join our Little Black Dress MOVEment and move every day for the month of September! Log your minutes of MOVEment on the digital calendar provided when you register, and challenge your friends and family to move with you.
JLMC is dedicated to improving the lives of youth in our community who are experiencing the negative effects of poverty. Proceeds from the event will support ongoing projects with our community partners that have a shared vision of supporting children and teens facing food insecurity, delinquency, are in the foster care system and/or potential targets of human trafficking. Explore what we’ve been doing at https://jlmcnc.org/community.
With sincere thanks, Junior League of Moore County
PROCEEDS BENEFIT MOORE COUNTY YOUTH PROGRAMS! WHAT: Run, Walk, Swim, Lift, Ride… whatever brings you joy and gets you moving! WHEN: Throughout September 2020 TIME: Whenever fits into your schedule! WHERE: Anywhere you can safely social distance!
The school bell has rung, class is now in session,
Have you ever felt as though there were something sinister working against every plan and goal you have set for your life? Does it ever feel like you have gained a step, only to fall two steps backwards?
These circumstances remind me of an article I’ve read that spoke about the spirit of anti- progress. The article discussed how anti-progress could make a person feel as though their past happenings were better than their present. It is for this (deceptive) reason one must carefully monitor their thoughts, especially when the “past” attempts to make a cameo appearance in their present. Examples of “glorying” in the past. Anti-progress example 1 – Attempting to rekindle a past relationship or friendship that have had a negative impact on your life; your mind usually continues to replay all of the “good times” and “good traits” of that person, while ignoring the bad. If these thoughts are permitted, sooner or later you will begin to search out the person, which is quite an easy feat in our digital world. This is an example of anti-progress and will usually cause a serious setback in your life because if the relationship/friendship ended, do your best to remember WHY because surely it was for a reason.
It is best to leave things in the past and look forward. So please ignore those “Good Times” and remind yourself of the “Real Times.”
Anti-progress example 2 – Wasted efforts are a huge setback It consists of wanting something and continuing to do all you can to achieve it, even though it keeps falling apart or not coming into fruition. Eventually this will result in delayed accomplishments, and perpetual stagnation. This is a difficult example to digest because it usually includes our personal goals and can be hurtful when we do not see them come to pass. I am a believer in Christ and in the providence of God, so I know in the bible when someone did not receive something they desired or could not go in a direction they wanted to go, it was because God had another plan for their life. This brings me comfort because I can have faith to wait on His plan for my path instead of trying to forge my own.
Anti-progress example 3 – Chronic Procrastination Another example of anti-progress is procrastination. This one may show up in different areas of life: making appointments, turning in schoolwork, meeting major/minor deadlines in a professional setting, signing up to volunteer or making it to church. Whenever there is something that needs to be completed but you keep putting it off to do something else, procrastination is at work!
Although we are all guilty of putting things off from time to time; the concern arises when procrastination becomes a chronic habit and things start piling up. So, when this enemy of progress rears its ugly head, deal with it straight away by conditioning yourself to push forward to complete things on time.
Anti-progress example 4 – Participating in mindless activities
There is not much to say here except that it is quite easy to participate in our fair share of mindless activities especially in this day and age. We live in a digital world, and with that comes a price. We have distractions at our fingertips, and distraction is an enemy of progress. I have known people to lose their jobs and marriages over their addictions to video games, television and the internet.
Heaven help us when we talk about cellular devices! Phones have not only ruined relationships, they have also been known to have a negative effect on the health of our eyes from the blue light.
Take inventory of all of the mindless activities you participate in, and if it ends up being more than the task you need to complete, start reorganizing your priorities.
Anti-progress example 5 – Continual exposure to toxicity Toxic music, movies, games, peoples and books all create an unpleasant climate. Start being mindful of what you are filling your eye, ears, mouth and heart with, they are the gates to your soul.
Toxic People – If you are occasionally around a person and they are being negative because they had a bad day or just went through a tough situation, that is not so bad. If you are around a person and they consistently exude a negative spirit, knowingly or unknowingly, they will begin to drag you down. (Refer to my story about Emotional Vampires)
Toxic Movies/Games/Music/Reading Material – It is NOT just entertainment, these items are essentially feeding your ideas, molding your way of thinking and shaping your world view. After working with people professionally and personally, I have seen a lot of toxic behavioral responses from both children and adults. I cannot tell you how often the poor decisions made, stemmed from the ingenious lyrics of a song, the shocking scene from a movie/book, or a gory video game. This why people must recognize the powerful influence of these tools and filter them.
There is a wonderful website that allows you to check your books, movies, and games. It is called Plugged In. It shares the ratings. https://www.pluggedin.com
If you have been feeling like you have not been able to move forward, take out
a notebook or digital notepad, and write down if you have been plagued with any of the examples above, and make conscious decision to start dealing with it!
Sometimes we are our own worst enemies when it comes to the spirit of anti-progress.
Wellness Tip:Fresh Air. Getting fresh air affects the levels of serotonin that make us feel good about ourselves.
“Every student can learn, just not on the same day, or the same way.” ~George Evans
The school bell has rung and class is now in session,
Although Vaping is considered a recent trend, it definitely is not new. Vaping began in Ancient Egypt when they used hot stones to vape herbs, and later evolved into the first “shisha” when introduced in India, also known as Hookah. These practices led to the invention of vaping as we know it today. In 1927, Joseph Robinson came up with the idea of e-cigarettes but later in 1963, Herbert Gilbert made vaping popular with his “non-tobacco smokeless” cigarette.
The Chinese Firm, Hon Lik, created the first e-cigarette in the mid-2000s. While this may have sounded like a great alternative to smoking regular tobacco products, it was not. And as the ole adage says, when something seems too good to be true, it usually is.
I would like to share Seven Truths about vaping that I learned from HopkinsMedicine.org as well as from my experience as a high school educator.
TRUTH #1 There are Vape Products that look like Flash-drives
Parents, Teachers and Guardians, please be aware that there are vape devices that
go undetected because they look like flash-drives, lighters, and other regular items. These vapes can be charged in a computer and can appear as a flash-drive. If unsure of what to look for, do a quick search on vape devices like Juul and other vape alternatives. https://truthinitiative.org/research-resources/emerging-tobacco-products/what-juul
TRUTH #2 Vaping exposes you to fewer toxins than regular cigarettes.
Now, this does not mean to run out and start “vaping-it-up” it simply means there are “less” toxins, but is not toxin-free. It’s like deciding between 1 cup of strychnine or a pinch of strychnine, neither one is a good idea.
TRUTH #3 Vaping is not good for your health
Nicotine is the primary agent in both regular cigarettes and e-cigarettes and is highly addictive. It causes users to crave smoking and suffer withdrawals if they do not smoke. Nicotine also spikes adrenaline and raises blood pressure, increasing the likelihood of having a heart attack.
TRUTH #4 The Chemicals that make up the Vapes are Unknown
There are many unknowns when it comes to vaping. Most importantly, it is unknown how it will affect physical health over a long-term period of time. It is still modern so those utilizing it currently are the guinea pigs.
TRUTH #5 E-cigarettes are just as Addictive as Traditional Cigarettes
E-cigarettes still contain Nicotine just like the regular cigarettes and has been described as addictive as heroin or cocaine. Also, smokers have the option to purchase extra-strength cartridges, which contain a high concentration of nicotine. The voltage on the e-cigarette can also increase the amount of substance smoked as well.
Truth #6 Electronic Cigarettes are not the best tool to use to quit Smoking
While e-cigarettes have been marketed as a way to quit smoking, it has not yet received the Food and Drug Administration approval as a smoking cessation device. A study by Smokefree.gov has found that e-cigarettes lead to continuing to smoke both electronic and regular cigarettes. Does not this defeat the original purpose?
TRUTH #7 A new Generation is Getting Hooked on Nicotine
Among the youth, e-cigarettes are more popular than traditional tobacco products. Back in 2015, the U.S. Surgeon General reported that e-cigarettes had increased by 900 percent and 40 percent of the young users had never tried traditional tobacco products. Imagine how much that has increased since then.
As an educator in the high school setting, I can verify this claim is true.
Back in 2015, most students were curious about vaping because it was marketed as tobacco free and “safe” to use. Since that time, high schoolers have started carrying vapes around that look like flash-drives and other regular items. I posted a picture of these in TRUTH #1.
For this reason, parents and guardians must be proactive by not being afraid to check your child’s book bags, dressers and so on; there is no such thing as “privacy” when it comes to your child’s well-being.
Since this smoking phenomenal, I have seen a lot of high school athletes experiencing heart attacks and strokes related to smoking (vapes, cigarettes, weed etc…) and it is disheartening because they were so young. There is a strong link between smoking and cardiovascular health, and smoking and cancer. The sooner it is discovered that a child has a habit, the sooner they can receive the help they need. Do not let this happen, be a snoop.
Wellness Tip: Research. Find out where your food is coming from.
“A teacher affects eternity; he or she can never tell where his influence stops.” ~Henry B. Adams
I’ve been nominated for The Penable Award 2020! I feel honored to be nominated for this award. Thank you so much Nita of aspooniesmakeupbag for nominating me!
1. Tag your post with the #penableaward
2. Display the Penable award logo (above) on your post and follow Penable if you haven’t already
3. Thank the person that nominated you
4. Tell us what your writing talent is
5. Answer three questions that you have been asked
6. Nominate three inspiring people for this award
7. Let them know of their nomination
8. Give them three new questions to answer!
My nominator is Nita of aspooniesmakeupbag She has a great blog that I love to visit. She does makeup tutorials and share insights on coping with different challenges, she is strong and inspiring!
My Writing Talent: I believe my writing talent is being able to pull from past experiences, and share life lessons from them. It makes me feel like I did not go through anything in vain.
Questions from the person that Nominated me:
1. How long does it take you to write a blog post? It can take me up to 7 hours if I am adding images and proofreading, but on a shorter blog, maybe an hour.
2. Have you ever gotten writer’s block and if so, what do you do to break the block? Yes I have! When that happens I take a step away and try to reflect on what I have been going through or have gone through, to find inspiration.
3. What do you draw inspiration from for your blog posts? It varies! I draw from my faith in God, experiences working in Education and my encounters with different people.
Caralyn of BeautyBeyondBones Caralyn has shared some wonderful recipes, laughs and serious content all wrapped up in a pretty bow! I enjoy reading her post, and appreciate her sharing her testimony.
Rachana Dhaka of Rachana Dhaka Rachana’s blog has been a fun and educational read for me! I have enjoyed all of the vibrant photos, poems and news clippings she has shared. I have also been able to gain a glimpse of events and notable people I had not heard about.
Wintery Knight of WinteryKnight has written some really thought-provoking material that ranges from Personal Finance and Christianity, to Marriage and Politics. Some of the post has allowed me to look at things through another lens.
My Questions for the Nominees:
Who is one of your favorite authors and why?
What is something that makes you feel extremely happy?
What is your favorite time of year and why?
I would like to once again thank Nita for this nomination, I hope you enjoy the rest of your day or night be safe!