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The Chances You Don’t Take

Good afternoon, friends!

So, as I’m wandering around feeling rather uninspired, or maybe just overwhelmed by the week’s events, either way, the words aren’t flowing, and I wonder what I can do about it. I can sit and pout and be down. I can fake it till I make it (been known to do that). I can workout, take a nap, eat, wait…so many options. And then as I’m sitting in the sunshine, drinking coffee and eating bacon, I drop a little bacon grease on my foot and am now the dogs’ best friend. Listen, sometimes you just gotta make the best of a situation….you know, find that silver lining.

We’ve all be hurt, we all have stresses and struggles. That’s life. But the problem with that is when we allow those things to keep us from joy.

I think so many times we get comfortable in our misery. We feel it gives us some sort of control or power over our lives. And at least if we’re already unhappy no one can take away our happiness. It’s a strange dichotomy. One I know I have been guilty of.

But it wears on a person and eventually I got tired of it. I realized living that way wasn’t helping and was simply causing me to miss out on life. A good life. Pretty soon you wake up and realize that being jaded isn’t brave or powerful. It doesn’t get you anywhere. You’re not tougher because of your cynicism.

People search for all kinds of ways to be happy and usually end up taking the path of least resistance. Sex, alcohol, material things.

You want to be tough, strong, brave? Try overcoming your doubts. Try stepping out on faith. Look the possibility of failure in the face and try anyway! You want real happiness, try loving someone! Make your body healthy! Invest in what really matters; each other…

Philippians 4:6-7  Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

 

Twinkle Twinkle

Hello! What’s good today, friends???

So once again I’ve been asked how I stay so positive with everything that life hands me. I’ll be 100% honest, I don’t always. I break down too. I get angry, frustrated, and I cry (and drive too fast…but ya know. We all have our things). But the difference is, I allow it to happen and then put it away. I don’t dwell there. But I figured people are asking so I’ll delve a little deeper this time. I know for some people this will fall on deaf ears as they are not ready to hear it and others are comfortable in their unhappiness as it gives them some sense of control. But both misery and joy are choices. And the choice is yours.

A lot of people talk about it but I don’t think they truly grasp how short our time here really is. We need to take advantage of our time and make the most of it. It’s a lesson hard learned by some. Even me.

Although I tend to have a joyful spirit, everything I’m going to say is something I’ve had to place into practice in my life. None of it came easily or naturally. Like I said…hard learned lessons.

Something that I practice that helps me is I surround myself with positivity. I feed myself well. I eat real food (and yes I DO treat myself too!) and take care of the physical body that my Creator gave me. I’m not a runner but I enjoy running. When people find out that I run they ask the typical question, “How far do you run?”. They get perplexed when I tell them I do it for pleasure and that I don’t measure my distance or time. I go to a place that I enjoy being and I just run. It’s that simple. And when I’m out of breath I walk, and then run some more. And when I’m done running I go home. It’s that simple. Some days I go a mile, other days it might be three. But the point is I do it because I want to and it makes me feel good. Not everything that’s good for you needs to be full of drudgery and hard work.  Find a physical activity you enjoy, or at least can handle, and make it your own. Have fun with it!! Healthy eating doesn’t have to be tasteless and boring. I LOVE food. I eat…all.the.time. Try something new, branch out. You might be surprised that prepared differently, brussels sprouts are tasty!

Something else that I have taught myself to do is I look for the best in people and find the silver lining in situations. I control the tv shows I watch, the movies I see, the music I listen to. I allow it to uplift me. And I dance. I dance a lot! I dance when I’m cleaning, I dance when I get ready for work. I dance with Nordy. I know a lot of you think that sounds silly but I encourage you…even dare you to try it. You don’t have to be a good dancer. Just dance. Allow yourself to be a little lighthearted, even silly now and again. Allow yourself to laugh and realize it’s ok to be happy! You’ll be amazed at what it can do for you.

But most importantly…and I can’t stress this enough…I know to whom I belong. I am the daughter of The King. I know that God is there through it all. Through the work frustrations, through the family and personal crisis, through the heartbreak and heartache of life. He is there now and He will be with me in the future. So I don’t fear. I don’t worry about what might happen because no matter what, He’s there. Life won’t be and certainly hasn’t always been pleasant or easy for me but, at the end of that day I am loved and complete and no weapon formed against me shall prosper.

I know what I want in my life and I am going to be patient and continue working towards that. And through it all I am going to shine like a diamond even in the dark and I will smile every chance I get because I know my worth.

Psalm 100

1Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.

2Worship the Lord with gladness;

come before Him with joyful songs.

3Know that the Lord is God.

It is He who made us, and we are Hisa ;

we are His people, the sheep of His pasture.

4Enter His gates with thanksgiving

and His courts with praise;

give thanks to Him and praise His name.

5For the Lord is good and His love endures forever;

His faithfulness continues through all generations.

Timing Is Everything

People let us down all the time.

But God never makes a promise that He won’t keep.

The problem is us, not Him. We doubt. We question. We act like He is our genie and when things don’t happen when we expect them to we think HE isn’t being faithful.

We complain, whine and wonder why He isn’t answering us the way or at the time WE demand or think He should.

Let me ask you something. How would you feel if someone you loved didn’t speak to you very often and when they did, the main reason was to ask you for something? Wouldn’t feel very good would it?

Too often we allow the enemy to get the better of us. We allow worry about the future to cause us unneeded stress. We allow the lies the enemy tells us, to control us and keep us from our blessings. The enemy will cause confusion where there should be none. We ask where God is at these times. Why isn’t God listening or answering. What am I doing wrong!?
Let me ask something else. How can you say God is silent when your bible has been closed?

Patience Episode 592/A.K.A. My Great Struggle

What’s good today, friends?  I hope your list is long!

I’ve had a great deal of things on my mind lately but the one that stuck out to me today…as it has in the past, is patience. It could have to do with a conversation I had earlier about it and if I feel I’m wasting my time on certain things. I don’t. It could have to do with wanting to be further along on projects I’ve been working on (me being the biggest project yet!). It could have to do with a lot of things but most likely it has to do with the fact that it’s something that seems to be a constant battle for me.

But I believe some things are worth waiting for and working for. It has often been said that patience is a virtue. You see I would rather be patient and receive the best than to settle for mediocrity.

But in a world seemingly made for instant gratification, I do sometimes struggle with it.

There are ways of making things happen RIGHT NOW!

Want to lose weight? There’s a pill for that.

Want a mate? There’s an app for that.

Want a lot of money? There’s a casino or lottery ticket for that.

Want a job you may not be fully qualified for? There’s a resume builder for that.

I do fight myself in regards to being patient vs. pushing for what I want. And I guess that’s not always a bad thing so long as you know which things to push for and which things to practice patience with. Therein you can see where my struggle is…I’m not always great at knowing which is which! And so I have fallen prey to quick fixes. And I have also paid the price.

But in every one of those quick fixes is a risk. One I’m no longer willing to chance. I know my hard work will pay off and that having patience will give me the long-lasting, worthwhile results that I desire. Maybe it comes from experience…both good and bad. But one thing I know is that I’m worth it. And the life I want is worth both working for and waiting for.

I know I make it sound easy but it’s not. I get frustrated and sometimes angry when things don’t go my way or happen on my schedule. And at those times the thing I need to be most patient with is myself.

I believe that God has a plan and I don’t need to try and control it. He wants what’s best for me in work, love, and life and I have to be patient with the Potter and allow myself to be His clay. I have to have faith and patience knowing He, in His great wisdom and grace, has placed me where I am in life and once I truly realize that, patience will be easier and I will be more grateful even for what I see as delays.

I’m sure I haven’t bestowed any great pearls of wisdom here but maybe just gave a little food for thought. I hope the rest of your week is joyous and that you all can find your silver linings. And I’m also hoping to emerge soon from this time of quiet contemplation that I seem to be stuck in with more to share.

Be kind to one another and do what you can to make someone else smile…sometimes it’s as easy as sharing yours with them.

Where Is Your Heart?

Good afternoon Friends! I hope you forgive me for my hiatus. I had to take one….from writing and social media in general. It was draining me.

But I’m back and hoping to pick up where we left of and be better than ever!

So with that being said, what’s good today friends??

Lately I’ve had several friends going through some really tough times. I’ve done my best to be there for them but as drained as I’ve been with my own “stuff” I feel like I’ve been very little help to anyone…mostly myself.

I know I’ve heard the saying time and time again that you can’t pour from an empty cup but that’s exactly what I’ve been doing. My cup has not only been empty but it’s been bone dry.

I’m still not sure how to fill it up again. I’ve been wrestling with a few ideas but they all feel so selfish. I’m not used to doing things for myself.

What do you pray for? When we go to God do we come with a laundry list of “wants”? Or do we come to Him humbly and grateful? I’ve been both…sometimes at the same time.

So here’s a thought…If you were to write the screenplay for your life how would it go? What would you pray for?

Would everything be smooth all the time or would you allow yourself to write the hard, real, gritty parts of life that we go through?

How different would your life be if everything was always smooth? I am of the opinion that doing that wouldn’t be as great as we want to think.

How can you appreciate the good when there is no bad? How would you even know what good was if there was nothing to compare it to?

No one likes to struggle but there is a purpose behind it and we can learn and grow from it if we allow. When times are hard we want to get through them as fast as we can and get frustrated and often angry when the cloud seems to keep hanging on.

When that happens ask yourself what the reason is. Is there something you need to do? Is there something you need to learn from it?

Maybe it’s as simple…and oh how I use that term lightly…as changing our attitude. That is one of the hardest things I think I’ve had to learn to do. But ultimately, it’s the only thing we can control.

Getting control of your own thoughts is like trying to herd cats. You might get a lot of them in a group but there are always the wild ones that refuse to comply.

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by our thoughts. And when we are overwhelmed by our negative thoughts it can flow over into so many other areas of our lives and eventually start to taint the good things we have in our lives.

I know so many of us are stressed about work. It seems to be the theme of America. A lot of people are out of work while so many others are doing what they have to simply to survive. We carry the weight of that stress with us wherever we go and pretty soon we don’t know how to be happy in anything anymore.

I know a job is important as we all need money to survive but our problems come in when we make stuff, or jobs, or other “things” more important that the people in our lives who love us. We are focused on the wrong things. Jobs will go away, stuff will break or rot, so invest in the love of people…they can love you back your stuff can’t.

We often get so busy that we don’t take or make time for what’s truly important and I often think we use it as a distraction. You need to ask yourself if you’d be more upset if you lost your car/job/apt, or the people you love. There is where your heart is.

I’m writing this today because I’ve let the burdens of the world ride on my shoulders and I figure I’m not alone in that. I need to remember to trust that God will always provide and take care of us. But that doesn’t mean we will be millionaires. We just need to have faith and stop putting our self-worth in what we do and what we have instead of who we are.

As always friends, be good to one another.

Our True Nature

Hello, friends!!  I apologize for missing last week but I was more than a little under the weather.

I was asked this past week what my purpose in life was. I now know what it is but it took me a while to figure it out. My purpose is to encourage.

If I look back in my life it all makes sense now. The choices I’ve made and the role I’ve played in people’s lives.

I have always been that person that people talk to and tell me they feel comfortable telling anything to. My mom recalled a time when I was rather young and I was sitting on my bed and was upset. She inquired what was wrong and I told her that everyone talks to me about their problems and I help them out but no one ever is there for me. It was a heavy burden to carry as a child but now I know I was simply living the life I was meant to live.

I once had a person tell me that when they pictured me they always thought of me standing in the middle of a field of sunflowers. Other people have told me similar things and I never knew why I had that effect on people…until this week when I was asked to know my purpose…and it all became clear.

I have since been asked WHY I’m an encourager and I will tell you friends it’s because I know the dark and hard side of life (more of that to come in future posts) and I want to ease anyone else’s hard times whenever I can.

Does this mean I have it all figured out? Not even close. I am a work in progress. But I want to help as much as I can along the way.

My message is simple this week. I want to know…what is your purpose? And once you know, what are you going to do about it?

As always, along the way be kind and gentle to one another. Help and love each other. Make the world a better place and leave people better than you found them.

Keep On Keeping On

How is your new year coming along, friends?

Only a few weeks in and mine has had its ups and downs. But it is life so it should be expected.

You all know I set goals that I want to accomplish this year and now I’m facing several new challenges that I didn’t foresee. But with God, family, and friends rooting me on, my goals may take a little longer but I will rise…and be better because of them.

Friends, often times in the middle of our peace life gets complicated and chaotic. We play dodge ball with life’s unexpected arrows for as long as we can. But it gets tiring. And there comes a time when we no longer can duck and end up getting smacked right in the face. It’s then that we have to decide how to handle things. The important thing is that we handle them. And there is no one set right way. Sometimes we have to step away from things for awhile, heal, and renew ourselves. Other times we will need to wrestle it to the ground with a choke hold. That is for you to decide.

And if you are the reason things are difficult for someone else, apologize and do what you can to make things right and leave it in their hands. They will either forgive you or they won’t but that is on them. But don’t leave knowing there is something you could do to heal things.

When you feel yourself flailing, and barely treading water, reach out for help. (Note to self) there is nothing wrong with needing help. It does not mean you are weak. It means you are human.

God did not make man to be alone. We need each other.

We all have difficulties in our lives and it’s hard when you feel alone. So, no matter how many people show up to the party, choose to keep the ones that stay and help clean up the mess.

As always friends, be good to one another. Make this life a little easier for each other. Love, be kind, be gentle. And if you feel that there is nothing you can do to help, at least don’t hurt. Leave your space a better place.

If you think anyone you know might like to hear my thoughts and be encouraged, please share my page. Thank you!

The Lights Are On But Nobody’s Home

Good afternoon, Friends! What’s good today?

In the past, I have found it difficult to write when things were going smoothly. Like most (dare I call myself) artistic people we tend to be motivated when things are more “bumpy” in our lives. I guess the emotional aspect plays a part in it all. So I don’t understand why I am incredibly lacking in creativity lately. It’s not that things are particularly good in my life right now, although I do have some very good things going on. No, quite the contrary. I have some rather difficult things happening right now which is often the well that I draw from. Yet my muse is silent. I’ve tried all the typical things I do when I write to get my mojo flowing; drinking coffee in the morning sunlight, sipping wine by candlelight, playing music, taking a shower (you’d be surprised to know how many good ideas come to a person when they are least able to record them!), daydreaming, worked out, and so on. Yet nothing.

I have spent so much time in prayer because of what is happening in my life and maybe because of the peace I have asked God for, He has quieted my spirit so He can do His work in me.

I guess maybe you could say I’m going through my own personal renaissance.

It’s just difficult for the inspirer to be uninspired.

So I apologize for my failure to uplift the past few weeks but I promise to keep working on my game and hopefully, prayerfully I will have something new for you soon.

But no matter what I post or don’t post here, always remember friends, to be good to one another. You never, ever know what someone else is going through. Be kind and give love.

New Year Same Me

So here we are at the precipice of a yet another new year.

We are inundated with “new year, new me” posts all over social media, tv ads, and well pretty much anywhere you look.

I’m not going to be recreating myself. I’m simply going to continue on my path but as an enhanced version of me.

I’ve been on my self-improvement path for a while now and I’m happy with how it’s going so I see no need to reinvent my wheel.

Like many people, there are parts of 2016 I’m ready to leave behind but I’m also keeping in mind that without the difficulties and hard times the good times wouldn’t be as good.

My suggestion to you, friend; be you. If you aren’t happy with your life make changes but don’t change you. There is only one you and the world needs you to be yourself.

HO HO Oh….

Merry Christmas eve! What’s good today, friends??

That’s a loaded question for many. The world is full of joy and good cheer, right?

But the holiday season can be a hard time for many. Some are alone, others are lonely and some are neither but going through hard times.

I know most of us try to “fake it till we make it” at this time of year, as brought to my attention by a good friend recently. And I know she’s right. I’m guilty of it.

I can attest that I’m alone, and at times, lonely. And I am going through my own struggles that can make it harder to fully enjoy the season. Now I know not everyone has my belief system but I feel I know the reason for my difficulty right now. I’m not patient. I am needing to rely on and trust God’s timing better. I need to realize that if I trust Him, everything will happen at the best time and keep smiling through the trial knowing He is preparing me.

I guess what I’m getting at is my most common theme…be good to one another. We don’t know other people’s pain. Be kind. Don’t add to other people’s troubles. Try to lift others up and help, not hurt.

Let us do what we can to close out 2016 on a positive note. Let’s leave the mess behind and work to allow 2017 to be a new start.

If you’re a believer, allow God to lead you. Don’t be so distracted by the noise of life that you miss His voice and guidance. We so often think He isn’t answering when it’s us who isn’t listening.

The coming year has some new things happening at Nordy’s Garage and I look forward to sharing it all with you!

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