God watches while sleep

Transitional Friday: Psalms 121:3-4–God Will Watch Over Us

I have often wanted to do things my way, instead of seeking God’s will.  Last week, we looked at where God reminded us to look unto the hills for His help.   I’m a rebel that has been redeemed.  Today’s verse is a reminder of why we need to trust in God.

He will not let your foot slip—foot slip

If we put our trust in Him and allow God to guide, He will not allow us to fall.
he who watches over you will not slumber;

I need sleep.  There are times when I go on a shortage of sleep, but eventually it catches up with me.  However, we’re reminded that God never sleeps.  He’s always awake and aware of what is occurring, even when we are sleeping.
indeed, he who watches over Israel

He watches over us while we sleep. God never sleeps.
He watches over us while we sleep. God never sleeps.

Israel was God’s promised people.  Even when they were disobedient and God had to reprimand them, he continued to watch over them.  He did not want to see His people become slaves to their enemies or wander in the desert for 40 years, but He knew this was the only way to get their attention.
will neither slumber nor sleep.

Once again, we are reminded that God never slumbers or sleep.  Even when we wonder why He’s not answered our prayers, if He is listening and if He cares, God is still there listening to our cries and prayers.

Join the Conversation:  How has God protected you?

practice

Creativity Thursday: 9 Reasons Why Natural Talent Is Not Enough

Practice makes a big difference
Practice makes a big difference

 

 

“I’ve got natural talent, that should be enough,” we’ve all heard someone say this.  However, there are times when it is not enough.

There is the story of the classical pianist who practiced fifteen hours a day and traveled the country performing.  However, when he stopped practicing on a daily basis, he began to play the same pieces all the time and felt mundane in his work.  When he noticed this he began to practice again and saw a difference in the bookings he received and his audience.

So why isn’t natural talent enough?

 

  1. There is always someone better than you and someone worse than you
  2. We live in a critical society

    Practice Brings Progress...will you be just okay or the best? What does your practice say about you?
    Practice Brings Progress…will you be just okay or the best? What does your practice say about you?
  3. To be the best you have to stay at the top of your game.  How many times have we heard of a performer that allowed success to go to his/her head and spiraled out of control?
  4. Regardless of our specialty, we need to continue to learn new methods, ideas and styles in the industry.
  5. Practice, Practice, Practice makes the best.   Unfortunately at times this isn’t even enough!
  6. We have to work hard to get to the point of success with our talent
  7. Often in order to achieve a goal or the point of success something else has to be sacrificed.  Only the individual can decide what that sacrifice is and if they are willing to make it.
  8. We need to be pushed out of our comfort zones.  This is usually best done with a coach.  We often think of a sport coach or fitness coach pushing us, but there are other types of coaches.  This can be a critique group, a creativity coach or a coach specialized in the field of study {vocal coach, art coach, writing coach, etc}.
  9. Perseverance—often reaching goals and being successful takes persistence.  Imagine if Benjamin Franklin gave up the first time he tried his theory of electricity or Alexander Graham Bell gave up when he was working on the telephone?

It is human nature to think that we are the best and only one that will succeed.  Cities such as New York, Los Angeles and Nashville are full of talented individuals striving to make their mark in the industry and craft of their choosing.  However, only a small handful find success.

Often it’s not the most talented, but the most persistent that eventually succeed.

 

Leave a reply:  How Do You Improve Your Talent?

string beads

Caregiving Monday: 10 Simple Activities for Advancing Alzheimer’s

Are you looking for simple activities for your loved one?  Is your loved one in the middle to advanced stages of Alzheimer’s?

String items on a string...you may want to use edible items if you are concerned with being put in the mouth
String items on a string…you may want to use edible items if you are concerned with being put in the mouth

 

These are a fun ideas you may want to try:

  1. Folding—while you are doing laundry, ask to help you fold washcloths and socks.  If they are able to do more advanced folding, that’s also great.   Even if you have to redo these tasks, thank them and praise them.
  2. Stringing—take a handful of cheerios, fruit loops, etc. and ask your loved one to slide these on the screen.   Then you can either save them for Christmas {if it’s near} or put out for the birds to feed on.
  3. Sorting—gather a collection of buttons, rocks, spoons and forks, bottle caps, etc. and ask to sort these items.  One reminder is to make sure they do not place these smaller items in the mouth.
  4. Coloring—working with dementia patients, I discovered they love to color
  5. Play Dough—allow them to make something out of play dough or even clay.  This is a great activity for their hands.
  6. Name that….—whether you have a stack of pictures of Presidents, family members, friends or celebrities, you can play
    Cut out coupons, pictures, or scriptures. You may want to considerable child's scissors.
    Cut out coupons, pictures, or scriptures. You may want to considerable child’s scissors.

    “Name that Person” and ask to name.  If the loved one doesn’t know, give them gentle hints and prompts.

  7. Dolls—you can cut out and color paper dolls, or find a doll or stuffed animal your loved one can hold and cuddle.  We did this with one lady and just holding a doll helped her anxiety.
  8. Play Cards or Games—pick activities and games your loved one will enjoy playing and be able to follow and understand
  9. Roll a Ball of Yarn—take a ball of yarn and let your loved one roll it up into a ball
  10. Cut out pictures—give a magazine and ask your loved one to cut out pictures for you

Bonus Idea: What in the bag?—put a collection of various items in a bag and pull one out at a time.  Allow your loved one to touch and feel and tell you what the item is.

 

Join the Conversation: What other activities have you tried?

 

I will Lift

Transitional Friday: Psalms 121:1-2–I Will Lift My Eyes to the Hills

My life has felt like one long transition at times.   This has been particularly true for the last few years, as I deal with changes and seek God’s will in various situations.

This month I would like to take an in-depth look at one of my favorite Psalm.  I often turn to this verse for both guidance and comfort.

I lift up my eyes to the mountains—I will Lift

The Bible takes place in the modern day Middle East.  During the Bible times mountains dotted the region and landscape.

Mountains often are a reference to authority or a rule. The author is most likely referring to God’s throne.

where does my help come from?

I know I often wonder where help will come from.  When my prayers will be answered or how I will get through a situation.
My help comes from the Lord,

The speaker speaks of the greatness, power and glory of the Lord.  Lifting up of the eyes is a gesture of prayer.
the Maker of heaven and earth.

God is the maker of both heaven and earth.  He is the ruler over both the heavens and the earth.

Leave an answer:  Where do you look for help?

Creativity Requires Silence

Creativity Thursday: 7 Ways Being Quiet Can increase Creativity

I am a natural introvert and enjoy my silence at times.  I often notice that it is in these quiet moments when I can just get still and listen I become the most creative.

We live in a society with numerous distractions but there are times when we just need to turn them off and take a break.

What I’ve discovered about the silence:Creativity Requires Silence

 

  1. I can begin to hear myself think
  2. My sanity is restored
  3. I am able to re-focus my mind
  4. I am a better listener when I’ve been silent
  5. I become more productive
  6. I become more thoughtful
  7. I become more observant

Leave a reply:  How Does Being Quiet help your Creativity?

elderly and balloons

Caregiving Monday: 10 Activities with Music for Senior Adults

Do you wish you could find activities with music for your loved one?

When I go into nursing homes we often do various activities with music.  Many of these you can also do at home.

Balloons and balls are a great way to encourage movement
Balloons and balls are a great way to encourage movement

Here are a few ideas:

  1. Toss a balloon { or beach ball} back and forth during a song
  2. Purchase a set of rhythm sticks and keep the beat {could also clap hands}
  3. Use Scarves and make different movements to the music
  4. Egg Shakers—shake to the beat of the music  {or make your own using rice and beans}
  5. Assortment of Instruments—play different instruments during a song.  You could also use different containers and pots and pans for various tones.
  6. Dance—if your loved one cannot physically get up and dance, hold hands and slightly sway to the music {this is always a huge hit}
  7. Sing Simple Songs—remind your parents of when they taught you or your children songs.  Many love songs such as The Wheels on the Bus, Three Blind Mice, Incy Wincy Spider, etc.  You can also use the movements.
  8. Make Up Your Own Song—find a subject and make up a song about it, even if it is a song about items you see in the room

    scarves
    Scarves is another great idea that has a number of uses
  9. Sing A Long—sing along to some of your loved ones favorite songs, whether it is hymns, Jazz, or oldies.  Sometimes I even use visual prompts for shorter songs where there is a picture for each word.
  10. Sing To Patient—sometimes just singing to your loved one or putting on a calming CD is the best medicine.  If your loved one easily becomes agitated, this might be a great way to calm the patient down.
  11. Bonus Item: Name that Tune—use familiar tunes and ask to name that tune.  It’s amazing what memories certain songs may prompt.

 

Join the Conversation:  What other activities can you think of with music?