01-05-2022 2:29:05 PM CST
Knock Knock, Who’sThere?: How God Answers Our Prayers
“The Lord works in mysterious ways” was always the answer of my parents when I asked them why something terrible happened. When our prayers are not answered, when someone continuously stresses us out, when somebody harasses another, we can never truly understand why our prayers continue to be ignored, and bad things happen.
Nevertheless, most of us end up praying for something we want - regardless of what we believe the outcome will be. We pray for what we want, what we hope for, our fears, doubts, worries, and trials. We pray for many things we are going through; all of the things we pray for could be too long. For now, I’ll focus on what we want or prayers where we ask for something - be it something small like Santa coming on Christmas or something big like the safety of a nation in a natural disaster.
I treated the Bible like a Magic 8 ball when I was young. I used to ask a question to the cover, randomly opened the book, and found the “answer” in whatever line my eyes landed on. I used to laugh at whatever I ended up reading because sometimes the “answer” is just too random or too far from what we sought after.
As I grew older, I realized that answers to our requests are similar to stories of a child and a father’s love; the Lord somehow mysteriously guides us to the right path in ways that we cannot fathom at first. However, most of us tend to wonder how this happens, how we know for a fact something is God’s will. The truth is - we don’t, but today I will share with you three answers that God typically responds to when I ask for something in my prayers:
A strong affirmative “Yes” doesn’t come from rain or a mysterious sign. Contrary to common belief, when you ask the Lord for “a sign” like rain on a particular day, it’s not necessarily an act of God. A “Yes” here refers to receiving the answer to something you wanted or something you were hoping for.
Getting the job you prayed fervently for, the swift recovery of a loved one and the safe journey of a traveler are some examples of prayers answered by God. In events like these, we tend to forget to say “Thank you” for answering our prayers. However, we must remind ourselves to be grateful and realize that in one way or another, we couldn’t have done it without His guidance.
“No” only comes when you ask for something unreasonable. When you ask The Lord to help you cheat in an exam, when you ask for a natural calamity to postpone an important meeting or event, when you curse other people to damnation, these are the times when the Lord usually answers, “No” to a prayer.
A complete “No” to our prayers is not very common, but if we do get this kind of answer, we should first reflect on what we are asking and what we wish may happen. Does it hurt other people? Does it offend others? Is it selfish?
More often than not, if we do get a “No” in our prayers, it is because we wanted something that may not be good for us or have some kind of negative impact on our future. Maybe it was something selfish or something that hurt ourselves or others, or it is simply different from what the Lord wants of us. It may be because we were meant for different things or could do something so much greater with our lives.
Maybe the Lord sees potential in ourselves, which is why He says “No” to some of the things that we ask for. Sometimes when we want a job so much but get rejected, we tend to blame God for not listening or saying “No” to our prayers, but sometimes, it is just His way of telling you that we are meant for more extraordinary things and that we can do and be more in another job.
3. Not yet
Most of us believe that when we don’t get what we want, it is a “No,” but similar to how the world is not black and white, usually “No” is not the answer to our prayers, but “Not yet.” Not yet implies that the Lord intends to answer our prayers and give us what we want, but he wants to wait.
Why perhaps? Well, I’m not the Lord; ask Him! Just kidding, but we’ll never really know for sure. Sometimes it’s being able to learn something in the process, giving ourselves time for growth, sometimes it’s being able to recognize the value in the journey, not the destination. There are many reasons why the Lord postpones our wishes, but somehow, we’ll just have to trust in His ways because we know that He’ll always want what’s best for us.
11-17-2021 8:46:27 PM CST
A Short Guide to Following Your Heart’s Desire
Ever since the beginning of time, there’s been one question nobody can give a correct answer to: should you follow your heart or your mind?
When you’re a novice in heart-centered matters, it seems safer to follow your mind. The sense of comfort it brings is simply an illusion. If you inspect it closely, you’ll see that following the mind may not help you create the life you truly want. On the other hand, the heart acts as an inner GPS. It guides you through the world, and nudge you towards your purpose and desire. When you listen to your heart, joy, happiness, and fulfillment increases in your life. While the rewards at the end are endless, this path is never easy. There are pitfalls along the way, which is why this post exists.
Despite the distractions that pull you in a million directions, there are ways you can carve out the path to your greatest desires. Here are some steps you can take today.
Be Open to New Possibilities
You might find it tough to be open when listening to the heart. After all, there’s a certain comfort in your course right now. However, opening to the possibilities of new opportunities, knowledge, adventure, and even relationships could bring greater fulfillment and happiness to your life. Following the heart can lead to many opportunities that may otherwise be missed if you’re following your mind. Bobbie McLaren was in this same situation, but when people close to her pushed her to write, she found she can do even the craziest things and still succeed.
Peruse the book The Sounds At River’s Edge and paintings by Bobbie McLaren, you’ll discover that these are her passion and that they are formed from love.
Throw Away Your Plans
Take a look at where you are right now. Life might be filled with logical and safe decisions and a seemingly clear destination. Which is great, but it’s leaving a lot of unexploited potentials. Wouldn’t it be nice to be free-flowing, in love with your decisions and the place you’re in right now? You seem to be close but always on the go, never feeling satisfied. So forget your plans, at least for a while, and bring the power home by listening to your heart.
Continuing the previous tip, open an entirely new stream of possibility into your life by not having a plan. This way you free yourself from the tight hold of your mind and not be limited by your current plans. Engage with the uncomfortableness of not having a plan, at least it felt right.
Listen to the Small Voice Within
Following your heart means listening to your inner voice, and not what others say or think. All of the listening to other people and their opinions of what “should” and “shouldn’t” can lead you straight into your analytical side: the mind. This hinders you from completely following your heart. So try to block out other people’s opinions and listen closely to the one within you.
The heart doesn’t have a loud booming voice that comes from heaven nor that it hang signs and banners in front of you. Take the time to stay still and listen to what the little voice is telling you. What does it say regarding the decision you want to make?
Build the Courage
After you know what your heart is saying, the difficulty lies in following it. Often following your heart takes courage to do something different or even irrational. You see, doing what you love means you listen to your intuition, you take actions driven by what you love, you follow your passions, and express yourself to the world without fear. Surely you are convinced to now have the courage to follow your heart because it will never steer you in the wrong direction. In the end, you will find your dream in that place where your mind meets your heart and your soul.
All in all, listening to your heart is a key to living a fulfilling life. Otherwise, you may go down a path to find out later that you’ve chosen the wrong one. You may live to meet other people’s expectations without ever finding what matters to you. And in the end, you simply live someone else’s life without ever living yours.
10-19-2021 6:59:39 PM CST
Everyday Habits You Can Do to Become Optimistic
Optimism and pessimism are both mindsets that affect a person's way of thinking. Pessimists expect things to turn out badly. In contrast, optimists expect things to turn out well. If you think about it, you get to have a good start with everything if you positively see things. Adjusting and rewiring our way of thinking will help us control our emotions better. In other words, our thought process impacts how we act and how we see the world. Thus, as much as possible, it is a greater pursuit to become an optimist rather than a pessimist.
Being optimistic enables you to cope better with challenging events, which lowers the negative health consequences of stress on your body. According to a couple of studies, those with a positive attitude have better cardiovascular health and a more robust immune system, generate more profit, and have more effective relationships.
Here are some ways to become an optimist:
Change Into a Positive Lens
In today's world, a resource that would be useful is our own motivation, as it keeps us going. The process of getting motivation cannot happen overnight. All the more work will be needed to stay motivated. Shifting your perspectives can be done in different manners, such as gaining standpoints from different people. Reading substantial and meaningful books would be an excellent activity for this. A heartwarming book titled The Sound at River's Edge by Bobbie J. McLaren can help with this. McLaren transports you to a time when the world was not as fast-paced and sophisticated as it is now, as seen through the eyes of a young kid. Books like McLaren's awaken our souls and give us opportunities to shift our minds to have different outlooks.
Be Cautious of Your Company
We've all met someone who is a chronic complainer or rumor-monger. When we let ourselves jump in their train of thoughts, we find ourselves slowly becoming one of them. It's obvious: negativity spreads. But as much as negativity spread, positivity is more contagious. That is why we need to make sure that we hang out with people who spread good vibes. People who bring out the best in you and do not trigger your insecurities are the ones that are ideal to be with. But if you have a chance to spread positivity to negative people, you can also always do that. Try turning the tables and be the bigger person.
Control What News You Get
The negative things that are happening in the world can aggravate your fears and anxiety. There will be days when you just really have to turn off the news. You may dramatically enhance your mood by minimizing the amount of news you absorb each day—the first step toward a far better way of life. You don't have to make the horror of bad news highlight your day. This is for the sake of your mental health—limit your exposure to news.
Write in a Journal
Many people can attest that writing in a journal can help them gain more motivation to do better. Why? Because it allows us to see our progress. Journaling will help you track everything from start to finish, especially if you are consistent with it. When you witness your growth over time, you foster an optimistic outlook in life. Journaling also helps in making you feel grateful, which is also a big part of becoming optimistic. This is because it gives you a chance to reflect on your day. It will remind us that we can still find little things to be grateful for despite all the daily stress.
Many of us spend our days rushing from one thing to another. We are overburdened with demands from many aspects of our lives. But we must take time to slow down through mindful living. This way, we can find genuine happiness and joy. The morning is an excellent time to practice mindfulness. Take the time to meditate or just practice controlled breathing. We all deserve time for ourselves. So, instead of immediately rushing to do your daily routine, sit down and take up meditation. Doing this each day will give you the right frame of mind.
09-01-2021 11:08:30 PM CST
Tips to Develop a Meaningful Theme for Your Book
One of the top reasons authors write their book is to spread a message that they feel strongly about. Books are powerful tools that can reinforce values to readers. Without a message, the story won't impact its readers as it should. Themes will serve as something that will stick through the lives of the readers forever. Thus, authors must focus on this element as it will be an overriding component of the book.
The first step to making writing smooth for you is to find a message that can radiate throughout the narrative that you are about to write. As easy as it might sound, delivering a message will require you to take a couple of measures to do it successfully. You can think about something that's worth sharing with people. It can also be a personal experience that you think can help your readers. Messages that can help readers navigate their lives can be substantial. Think of creating a message as an opportunity to be heard. Your book should have something your readers can reflect upon. You also have to make sure that your passion for writing a book also reflects in your writing. When it comes to memoirs or inspirational writing, you need to imply that the message has also helped you. As others would say, you need to write what you want to read.
Behind every literary work, there is a writer wishing to convey a message. If you are one of them and don't know where to start, this blog is for you. This offers you examples of essential themes that you can have and incorporate in your book:
Message Addressing Social Issues
Messages that address social issues will always give wisdom and knowledge to your readers. Writing something like this takes a lot of courage and grit, but it sure makes everything worth it knowing that you are imparting something big and vital. A social issue is a strong theme. However, there are a lot of things that you need to consider doing before writing for this theme, including a lot of research. You do not want to give readers invalid information. Social issues can be too technical. Taking some time to study the subject matter would be a great idea for you to know the appropriate words to use.
Messages that Bring Light
You can always impart hope to your readers, especially if you want to inspire and motivate them. Not only does hope help make a difficult situation more manageable, but it can also ultimately strengthen your life. It will inspire your readers to take actionable steps and make things happen by visualizing a better future. One of the examples of a great book that brings light to people is The Sounds At River's Edge by Bobbie McLaren.
Messages Drawn from Life Experiences
If you are planning to write your own story, one great idea is to include in the narrative more than just your story. You have to remember that the main goal is for the readers to be able to relate to your story. Writing your story does not mean that you have to narrate your experiences. The effort that you need to make is to make evident emotions through your book. Evoke emotions by drawing from your life experiences. The insights and lessons that you have encountered in your life will inspire your readers. If you think that you are not comfortable telling your story but still want to write, you can always draw from others' experiences. You need to find someone who has been through such tough times in life. Look for a unique story. This way, you will be able to give something new to your readers, making them want to get and read your book.
Overall, the theme of the book is a very important element that cannot be missing from your narrative. It is something that can make readers remember you and your book for the rest of their lives. If anything, you should always make sure that you are incorporating a substantial and meaningful theme that radiates throughout the book. Hopefully, this blog has helped you decide on what message to choose.
02-24-2021 11:40:55 AM CST