How to Have the Family You’ve Always Wanted – Part 7

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The Number One Key to Peace in Your Home

Be quick to forgive. Easier said than done until you realize the incredibly high price of a grudge.  Failure to forgive has destroyed more marriages, families, interpersonal relationships, and lives than any other single poor life-choice. Unforgiveness is a personal prison you sentence yourself to, and the good news is you are the only one who has the key to let yourself out.

For our family, holding a grudge against anyone for anything was not an option. This policy was one of the biggest keys to harmony and peace in our family. We called it keeping “short accounts.”

Forgiveness has nothing to do with how we feel, it is a choice we make. It’s not an emotional decision, it’s a heart choice.  Sometimes we have to make it, and make it, and make it, as many times as it takes until it sticks. Your choice will bring you the life-changing freedom that only true forgiveness can bring, if you stay consistent in making good choices in the thoughts you keep and the ones you discard.  Then you train your kids by your example.

We taught our kids that when they realized they did something unkind to one another, they needed to immediately go to the person involved and ask their forgiveness.  We taught them to say, “I was wrong for ________, will you forgive me?”  And hopefully the response would come back, “I forgive you.”   Remember, there is creative power in our words.  Important: once we forgave, we never brought it up again.  Just like Jesus.

We all lived by, when you blow it, man up and own it.  Ask forgiveness quickly so bitterness and unforgiveness never have the chance to take root.  “I was wrong, but you . . . “ just didn’t get it.  That was blaming – not owning in our household.  Any time you put a “but” in a sentence, you can forget anything that came before it.

Are you in a self-imposed prison of unforgiveness?  Now you have the key, use it and set yourself free.  Your example also holds the key to keeping your family free of this plague as well.

How to Have the Family You’ve Always Wanted – Part 6

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For some of us, it’s easy to focus on the 10% others do wrong instead of focusing on the 90% that they do right.

Unfortunately, what you focus on tends to get bigger. I believe a common reason people fall into the trap of focusing on the 10% deficiency is because that person is making them look bad.

This is especially common in the parent child relationship. The parent feels their child’s actions are a direct reflection on them. Basically, “You make me look bad.”

This was one I struggled with for a long time as a parent.  It boiled down to I was more concerned about what others thought of me.  I felt like my kids actions short of perfection reflected negatively on me.  It was not only selfish, I cheated my kids out of some valuable growth experiences.  If the truth be told, I probably added some scars to their souls as well.

The Bible flat out warns us not to go there.

Ephesians 6:4 “Fathers, don’t exasperate your children by coming down hard on them. Take them by the hand and lead them in the way of the Master.” msg

What helped me to get over this, was when it happened to me.  It’s probably happened to you too.  I’m sure you can think of examples of when someone, a parent, a spouse, a boss, tended to focus on what you did wrong and never or rarely praised for what you did right.  What happened? I bet you felt defeated, or maybe it made you angry? Or, worst of all, did it make you want to give up?

Now, a little heart check, do you do to others what you hate having done to you?

I’m not advocating overlooking positive correction, but I’m recommending in all your relationships you focus far more of your energy on encouraging others in what they do right.

Proverbs 12:25 tells us, “Anxious hearts are very heavy, but a word of encouragement does wonders!” TLB

We all have enough sources telling us everything we do wrong. The really great thing is when we focus on the 90% right, the 10% usually self corrects. So make a choice to affirm what others do right daily and tell them.

How To Have The Family You’ve Always Dreamed Of – Part 5

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Our Words Have Creative Power

When God created Adam, the Creator taught the created how to create.  He said, “Adam, name the animals.”  And, whatever Adam named them, that’s what they were called.  Today, our words hold the same power, what we name things is what they become.

Here’s an example: a young man, we’ll call him Fred, is offered an opportunity.  What does Fred call it? “That’s impossible, it is way too hard.  I could never do that!”  Another young man, we’ll call him Bob, is offered the exact same opportunity.  What does Bob call it? “This is the opportunity I’ve been looking for all my entire life.  I must be the luckiest guy on the planet!  I can do this!”

Now let’s take this “Name It Principle” into our personal lives, what are you naming your relationships?

Are your kids, “Can’t you ever do anything right?” “How many times do I have to tell you?”  “Do you have anything between those ears?” “You’ll never amount to anything.”   Or do you name them, “You have amazing potential.”  “I can’t believe how bright you are!”   “There’s an amazing plan for your life that’s better than anything you can imagine or dream.”

Our words are etching themselves onto the very souls of our kids.  Their subconscious minds are gathering up every word and storing it as an impression to filter future information through.  The old saying, “sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me” could not be further from the truth. I don’t know about you, but I can quote verbatim hurtful words that were spoken to me 20 and 30 years ago.  It’s not that I sit around and think about them all the time, but I can pull them back up like a stored computer file if I decide to do so.  If that’s so, how much more is my subconscious effected?  Did you know that 80% of the decisions we make come out of our subconscious mind?  Make a conscious decision to think before you speak.  Take time to consider the future impact your words may have on your child’s life today, tomorrow, and 20 years from now.

This principle holds true for all our relationships, not just in our parenting.  How about your marriage, your job, your finances, what are you naming them? Here’s one to ponder, what do you name yourself?  Be careful what you say, you can rest assured you are creating something.  Make sure it is what you want.  #parenting  #leadership

How To Have The Family You’ve Always Dreamed Of – Part 4

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I’ve decided that life is not that complicated. It can be boiled down to some simple principles, that when applied, optimize your chances for joy, peace, and health in every relationship in your life.

The next key is so simple it is almost laughable, but it is so simple that it is often completely overlooked or disregarded.  The problem is, what we think about shows up in our words and actions. The ripple effect is what started as a thought in our head ends up effecting the lives of others, especially those closest to us.

4.  Everything Starts with a Thought

Every great and noble thing and every lowly evil thing started with just one thought.  When that thought was held for more than a moment, it led to another, and another, until it became an attitude that expressed itself in words and actions. The good news is, we really do have the power to choose our thoughts.  So how do we choose our thoughts on a practical level?  Again, this is going to sound ridiculously simple.

Simple Keys to Change Your Thinking

  1. Use your own words, attitudes, and feelings as a red flag that it’s time to check your thoughts.
  2. Stop and think about what you’re thinking about.
  3. Ask, “How do my thoughts line up with the Word?” Then, if needed . . .
  4. Chose to think thoughts that line up with the Word.
  5. Do it again, and again, and again . . .

When we apply these simple principles we will see remarkable changes both in ourselves and those around us.  I heard an amazing story the other day that illustrates the negative power of our thoughts as it relates to parenting.

There was a father who for no apparent reason did not trust his teenage son.  When his son asked to borrow the car, the father thought he’d make it hard on the boy by giving him an early curfew thinking he’d get out of lending him the car.  He said “Okay, you can use the car, but you have to have it home by 10:30 p.m.”   To the father’s surprise, the boy agreed.  All that evening the father thought about how he was sure the boy would be late and what he was going to say to him.  The closer it got to the curfew the angrier the father got imaging his son out there doing all sorts of evil things.  By 10:15 p.m. he was fuming. At 10:29 p.m., the boy came rushing through the door announcing proudly that he had made it.  Instead of being happy that his son was obedient.  He mumbled, ” You cut it pretty close didn’t you?”  Then, went on to ask if he put gas in the car.  In all this, the boy had done nothing wrong, Yet the father by his thoughts had decided his son was disobedient at best.  The boy was sent the message that he didn’t measure up.  The father missed an opportunity to encourage and build confidence in his son, all because he didn’t control his own thoughts.

“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” Romans 12:2 msg

How do you choose your thoughts?

#parenting

When Bad Things Happen to Good People

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We live in a world where things happen that honestly on this side of heaven we just don’t understand. I can’t tell you the number of funerals I’ve attended where the speakers eloquently pontificates on how God took the deceased because He needed him to tend His garden.  However, this directly contradicts Scripture.  If you follow this line of logic, you’d have to reach the conclusion that God kills people.  In John 10:10, we are reminded that,  “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”  James 1:17 continues this thought when it says, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.” The truth is, we live in a fallen world and bad things do happen even to good people, but God is a good God and does not send bad things our way.

This idea that everything that happens is caused by God, is known in the church as the Sovereignty Doctrine. The word “sovereign” is not used in the King James Version of the Bible. When it is used in other translations, it is always used in association with the word “LORD” and is the equivalent of the King James Version’s “LORD God.” Not a single one of those times is the word “sovereign” used in the manner that it has come to be used in religion in our day and time.

4 Simple Steps To Lose Your Joy

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Don’t you hate it when you lose something important? If you’re like me, you’re always losing things – keys, money, notes, glasses, your Bible, umbrella, and how about the most frustrating thing we lose…the TV remote control! Then, there are other less tangible things that we lose – our temper; our patience; our memory; and possibly most importantly, our joy.

And losing things can really mess up your day. So, if joy is a fruit of the Spirit, how in the world do we lose it?

Here are 4 simple steps to losing your joy – guaranteed.

  1. Refuse to forgive.  In the words of Goob from Meet the Robinsons, “Don’t let it go!”  Hold onto the bitterness until it turns into a venom that eats away at the very core of your soul. Just keep blaming the other guy, you’re the victim here!

2. Think negative thoughts.  Forget all that Philippians 4:8 stuff, you’re a realist after all.  Just let any thought that floats through your mind rattle around and snowball into a torrent of negativism.

3. Let your circumstances dictate your feelings. Grab onto the bar of that emotional roller coaster and ride baby ride.  And maybe the best way of all . . .

4.  Allow the busyness of life to cause you to chose the good over the best.  Say yes, to every activity that comes your way and fill your calendar up every minute of every 

day. With all this busyness, who has time to read the Bible much less pray?

I promise, you will have the opportunity to fall into all these traps, and if you take the bait, you’ll find your spiritual tank empty and your joy dried up.

Remember the words of Nehemiah 8:10, “The joy of the Lord is our strength.”  May you find your joy and strength in Him.

#joy

Evernote and goal-setting

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This week is important for your 2015.

If you’re like most, the New Year marks a great time to reflect and reset.

It’s a time when we can craft a plan for making 2015 our best year ever.

The problem is, you and I both know that the average “plan” just doesn’t work.

FUN FACT #1: Did you know that the average person sets the same New Year’s resolution 10 times!

FUN FACT #2: After just one week, a full 25% of people have already given up on their New Year’s resolutions.

Crazy right?

That’s why this week (Tuesday specifically) is a significant date for you.

Michael Hyatt’s course called 5 Days To Your Best Year Ever will change the “average” outcome. It’s designed to help you get clear and actually accomplish more of what you really want.

The reason Tuesday is important is because he just announced ANOTHER extra gift for anyone who purchases before Tuesday at midnight.

It’s called the Goal Tracker System and it works seamlessly with Evernote.

In it Michael shares:

* 3 reasons why Evernote is a better goal-tracking solution than more robust, dedicated applications. (Remember: “Complexity is the enemy of execution.”)

* 2 simple tricks for using Evernote to keep your goals visible, so you don’t fall victim to out-of-sight-out-of-mind syndrome. This is the #1 reason people fail to achieve their goals.

* 4 click-by-click steps for setting up your personalized Goal Progress-tracking System (GPS). You can watch him do it on-screen, then do it yourself.

* An importable Evernote template you can use to track your key motivations, next actions, progress reports, and random notes for each goal. Simply double-click on the included file and start
tracking.

So if you’d like to have your best year ever, I recommend you go register for the course while the Evernote Goal Tracker System is still available.

http://bestyearever.me/WLE4SV/register

All the best.

Sandy

P.S. The Evernote Goal Tracking System bonus will expire on Tuesday (December 30th) at 11:59pm PST so make sure you register today and get the extra goodies :)

http://bestyearever.me/WLE4SV/register