Posts filed under ‘Growth Spurts’

30 DAYS OF BLOGGING: NaBloPoMo 2014!

BLOG - big yellow word in midst of red words

As of this post, I’ve officially completed National Blog Post Month 2014:

30 days of daily blogging

in the month of November!!!!! 

In the beginning I wasn’t sure if it was the best or worst decision I’d made in a long time. Now 30 days later, I’m definitely glad I participated. Sure, it was excruciating at times — like having to turn in 30 small term papers in a row — yet in the end, I know my writing life is richer for it.

Here are 10 benefits of NaBloPoMo I’m noticing already…

  1. Learning to write on cue vs. having to feel “inspired”

  2. Writing in small bursts vs. huge stretches

  3. Remembering how much I love to blog  

  4. Discovering unused pockets of writing time

  5. The thrill of going from idea to “published” daily

  6. Connecting with a network of fellow bloggers 

  7. Gaining new blog subscribers every day! 

  8. Interacting with readers thru blog comments

  9. “Priming the pump” for future blog post ideas

  10. Renewing blogging habits for 2015…

I’d like to extend a heartfelt thanks to all of you who read, commented, subscribed, and shared posts on Twitter or Facebook this month. Without you I’d simply be…talking to myself. I hope your life has been enriched in some way, and I thank you for joining me as we endeavor to “find the growing edge” in Christ together.

From this point on, I’ll be blogging weekly rather than daily.

Unless of course…I decide to do NaBloPoMo 2015 next year!

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November 30, 2014 at 10:51 PM Leave a comment

DAY 25: RELEASING AND RECEIVING

BOOTS walking thru leaves

For many, today’s the big day…before the big day…before the BIG DAY…

Cuz Thanksgiving is Turkey day…

The day before is cooking day…

And the day before the day before…?

For some it’s food shopping day, loose ends day, or the last day of work before the holidays. For me it’s all those combined.

Yet I’m also dubbing today “releasing and receiving” day.

I recently talked with a close friend who’s going through a tough season. She described her experience of pouring her heart out to God with tears and gut-level honesty — and how it freed up space in her heart for peace, comfort, and encouragement.

I don’t know about you, but that sounds pretty good.

Because I often get so wrapped up in responsibilities and concerns and “just one more thing” moments that I forget the simple principle of releasing and receiving.

RELEASING my frustrations, disappointments, and struggles

RELEASING my idea of how things “should’ve gone”

RELEASING my white knuckles of perfectionism and control

And making room for…

RECEIVING God’s comfort, encouragement, and provision

RECEIVING reassurance that God DIDN’T drop the ball after all

RECEIVING a fresh flow of the Spirit for TODAY’s challenges…

And I realize that my tendency to hunker down and just “get through it” may be the very thing that’s making life tougher than it needs to be.

Yes there’s still a lot on my plate today…yet a brief releasing and receiving walk just moved to the top of my list!

How about you?

Hope to see you out there…

WOMAN walking on autumn path

November 25, 2014 at 10:45 AM Leave a comment

DAY 24: GRATITUDE COUNTDOWN…

SAD GIRL IN LEAVES - thanksgiving colors (CROPPED)

Can I be really thankful…THIS year?

Just three days til Thanksgiving!

For some that’s happy news, while for others this Thanksgiving falls right in the middle of a challenging season.

  • Maybe you recently lost your job, experienced a painful break-up, or are battling serious health issues?
  • Or maybe you’re knee-deep in a season of disappointment that doesn’t fit neatly into polite Thanksgiving conversation?

If that’s how you feel this year, take heart – you’re not the only one.

In fact, I’m kind of in that boat myself…

Don’t worry, there’s no huge catastrophe going on in my life. Yet for a combo of reasons I’m just not feeling all that yippy-skippy about the holidays. Sometimes life just deals us challenging cards to play that don’t always fit neatly into our cheery “holiday calendar.” In those seasons, a day of mandatory gratitude can seem like like trying to lift a thousand pound weight up the side of a mountain.

Yet this year I’m starting to wonder…

Maybe starting our gratitude inventory EARLY could help us find some hidden treasures in the midst of our holiday blues?

I figure it’s worth a try. And I’m game if you are.

Here’s today’s gratitude countdown question…

What about your current situation is actually EASIER than your normal circumstances? 

EXAMPLE: Not near family this year  

WHAT’S EASIER: Don’t have to cook enough for an army – who knows, maybe you’ll go out?  

And what will you actually MISS when this season is over? 

EXAMPLE: Lost job / Out of work

WHAT YOU’LL MISS:  Don’t have to ask for time off for the holidays – and no grumpy boss on Monday!

(Okay, now it’s your turn…)

I look forward to hearing your answers…AND pondering mine!

KEEP CALM & GIVE THANKS (orange)

November 24, 2014 at 11:16 AM Leave a comment

DAY 20: BE INTENTIONAL


LIVE LIKE YOU MEAN IT!

LESSONS LEARNED WHILE WAITING TO LIVE…

 

DON’T: 

Let this day slip through your fingers

DO: 

Give this moment your FULL attention!

 

Have you ever noticed that some days seem to evaporate before your very eyes, while others feel weightier and more satisfying?

Yet no matter how our day goes…the clock keeps moving forward at the rate of 60 seconds a minute, 60 minutes an hour, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

As the saying goes, “Time waits for no man.”

This isn’t exactly great news. Especially when most of our days don’t turn out anywhere near perfect. Like a baseball player caught off guard by a tough pitch, we tend to think: “Hey, I wasn’t ready. I need a do-over!”

 Yet that last moment is gone forever.

TICK-tock, TICK-tock, TICK-tock…

Again, not great news.

Yet here on planet earth, that’s how it works.

Even if we get a do-over, we’ll never get that particular moment back again: NEVER. Pondering that idea for even five minutes is enough to discourage the most sanguine of optimists!

So where’s the answer? Is there any hope?

I believe there is. Because just as constant as the “tick-tick-tick” of the clock is another abiding truth.

Our very next moment is always up for grabs! 

It’s a gift just waiting for us. Unspoiled. Mistake-free. And available in fresh supply at the rate of one per second for as long as we live in this time-bound world.

Each new moment gives us a chance to…adjust an attitude, make a healthy choice, say a kind word, face that fear, pray that prayer, do the next right thing.

And amazingly, those little choices tend to snowball like seconds on a clock…one after the other, after the other. Why? Because inertia works backwards too. A dollar wasted can lead to ruin…yet a penny saved is a penny earned! So those small choices add up over time, giving us the chance to make increasingly better choices – every single day.

Time is not our friend…yet thankfully God is.  He has worked His mercy into even the dailyness of life, which we are free to grab hold of at any moment – if only we have eyes to see.

“But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called ‘Today'” HEBREWS 3:13

 

CHALLENGING TRUTH: 

Today’s 24 hours will be GONE tomorrow

HAPPY TRUTH: 

Each moment is a fresh chance to be INTENTIONAL!

 

November 20, 2014 at 10:44 AM Leave a comment

DAY 19: GRIEF vs. REGRET (oh what a difference!)

NO REGRETS yellow post-it

LESSONS LEARNED WHILE WAITING TO LIVE…

 

DON’T: 

Waste time regretting yesterday’s losses

DO: 

Embrace today so you won’t regret tomorrow

 

I don’t know about you, but I’ve spent an awful lot of time in my life obsessing over what DID happen that I wish DIDN’T…or what DIDN’T happen that I wish DID. Either way, it’s a vicious cycle.

Regret is an awful companion. It takes and takes, and never gives back. Obsession is even worse company. It blinds you to anything and everything but the one thing you don’t have. Put the two together, and they’ll eat your insides out and suck away every possibility of being present in the here and now, where life actually has a chance of happening.

Of course, grief and mourning are a necessary part of life when we experience a loss. At times grief can look strangely similar to regret, yet with one important difference: grief eventually takes you somewhere, while regret takes you nowhere but down, down, downHealthy grief helps us accept and adjust to a loss, eventually making room for new experiences and growth, while regret and obsession never give up their space in our hearts and minds – thus making new growth impossible.

A wise man once said, “If you don’t like your past, build a new one.”

 

HAPPY TRUTH: 

Living today well paves the way for a regret free tomorrow!

 

November 18, 2014 at 11:20 PM 2 comments

DAY 16: SUCCESS? “Fuhgeddaboudit!”

SUCCESS compass

KEY TO SUCCESS road sign - clouds

 

 

MAKE A DIFFERENCE man building sign (red-white)

 

I ran across this Victor Frankl quote and thought I’d share it today. I know I can certainly use the reminder. 

Sometimes it’s easy to measure ourselves by our most recent success…

 

Or our most resent failure…

 

And forget that “success” isn’t nearly as important…

 

As doing something that truly makes a DIFFERENCE…

 

Don’t get me wrong: I’m still aiming for excellence. I work at it every day. 

I have an incredible drive to be the very best I can be – and when I don’t hit the mark, believe me, it hurts. The truth is, we’re all wired to learn and grow and achieve great things – probably bigger than we even realize much of the time, and that’s one of the exhilarating things about being alive.

Yes, success does matter…

Yet as it turns out, success alone is a really terrible ULTIMATE goal. It can corrupt, harden, and brutalize our hearts,  and ultimately the very satisfaction we think it will bring can mysteriously disappear.

I’ll let Mr. Frankl take it from here…

“Don’t aim at success–the more you aim at it and make it a target, the more you are going to miss it. For success, like happiness, cannot be pursued; it must ensue, and it only does so as the unintended side-effect of one’s personal dedication to a cause greater than oneself or as the by-product of one’s surrender to a person other than oneself. Happiness must happen, and the same holds for success: you have to let it happen by not caring about it. I want you to listen to what your conscience commands you to do and go on to carry it out to the best of your knowledge. Then you will live to see that in the long run–in the long run, I say!–success will follow you precisely because you had FORGOTTEN to think of it.”

-Victor Frankl

November 16, 2014 at 9:31 AM Leave a comment

DAY 15: LIFE IN THE GAP

 

GAP in freeway (with skyline)

Life in the gap…

 

I started this poem in 2009 and finished it in 2014. Funny how some things never change: Like our utter dependence on the Author of the story…to help us live out our particular chapter.

 

IGNORANT I’m not

Though in truth wish I were

Cuz then I’d have an alibi

For why my life’s a blur

 

A waterloo of follow-through that never quite completes

A host of good intentions never ever quite set free

 

INSIGHTFUL yet unable

To apprehend the how

Of letting things I understand

Inhabit here and now

 

An undertow of “I don’t know” that dulls my aching mind

Til in the end I comprehend my clever sight’s gone blind

 

My ERRATIC GPS

has left me broken-hearted

From jumping off high cliffs

And landing where I started

 

It’s time that I surrendered and found a source of strength

Beyond myself and my own will to get me past the brink

 

IGNORANT He’s not

Of how the pieces fit

He knows just when to start

And when it’s time to quit

 

He knows which tangents slow me up and which ones spur me on

And patiently He whispers until on me it dawns

 

INSIGHTFUL of the plan

The one that’s in His heart

He focuses my flailing

So I can play my part

 

So unafraid of twists and turns is my intrepid Guide

That He can work it all for good while I enjoy the ride

 

EMPOWERED by the freedom

To pick and choose within

The path that I have chosen

In partnership with Him

 

woman leaping across cliff (blue background)

“Suddenly God, your light floods my path . . . I vault the high fences.
 What a God!” 2 Samuel 22:29

November 15, 2014 at 1:32 PM 2 comments

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KIM ALDRICH

Writer... speaker..."growing edge" seeker

ABOUT ME

Each new day offers a fresh opportunity to learn or languish, stagnate or grow. Like all sincere Christians, I face the ongoing challenge of finding THE GROWING EDGE.

FOLLOW KIM ON TWITTER!

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WORDS TO GROW BY

TEN WAYS TO LOVE

1. LISTEN without interrupting
(Proverbs 1:8)

2. SPEAK without accusing
(James 1:19)

3. GIVE without sparing
(Proverbs 21:26)

4. PRAY without ceasing
(Colossians 1:9)

5. ANSWER without arguing
(Proverbs 17:1)

6. SHARE without pretending
(Ephesians 4:15)

7. ENJOY without complaint
(Philippians 2:14)

8. TRUST without wavering
(I Corinthians 13:7)

9. FORGIVE without punishing
(Colossians 3:13)

10. PROMISE without forgetting
(Proverbs 13:12)

2014 NaBloPoMo!

NaBloPoMo November 2014