It was one year ago that that I stood at the threshold of a whole, new way of life. A total change in all I had known, done, hoped for, and trusted in. It was not without tears, questions, and uncertainties that I decided to declare, “Time to refire” (not retire); it had become my theme and it surged from the deepest part of my soul.
We gathered together with family and friends and celebrated the past, all the while looking forward to an exciting, unknown and new future. It was such a wonderful time, surrounded by so many who had walked with me through seasons and times in my life. I was and am so blessed to be influenced by people of such quality and character.
Be careful what you declare. Be careful what you wish for. Your words are powerful and creative! Oh boy, have I been reminded of that truth through this past year.
Little did I know or understand what was to unfold as far as His plan for my “refirement”. All I knew was it was time to refire and not lay down and become a retired couch potato.
Within a week of that festive celebration, I was hired to work part-time in my favorite boutique AT THE HARBOR, which is my favorite place in Orange County. The whole story is remarkable and I still shake my head at how it worked out so perfectly – me.
Then, around the first of the year, prompted by a desire to write and encourage people, I began my website and blog underdebrasplam.com. It has been such a rewarding opportunity for sharing and teaching and I am so absolutely grateful to you for your following and support.
A few months into my new job, it was time for a new church too. Through a series of events and a miracle with my husband we eventually felt directed to a church in San Juan Capistrano.
After a few weeks attending there together, we knew it was the place for us to become involved. We loved what was happening there and wanted to be a part of it.
Dennis and the Pastor began a beautiful relationship of mutual respect and together we have had the joy of conversations, meetings, prayer and planning in church matters and ministry. We have been so happy and fulfilled to help and serve where needed.
In fact, I never dreamed of becoming involved again in music, praise and worship; but Someone higher than I had other plans. All those years of training and experience were not to be lost, or stored away, because it was TIME TO REFIRE!
As you know, last month we moved, only 8 miles from where we were, but again, it was a move towards refirement. We know it is all about refirement and doing what we are s’pose to be doing, sharing it here in this place.
We meet weekly with different groups and are in some ways more busy now than we have been in a long time.
I have certainly refired!
One year ago, I faced a very uncertain and unclear future.
Today, I celebrate the hundreds of open doors, untold opportunities, joyous encounters, new possibilities, fresh energy and insight that has been mine this past year.
It is with pregnant expectancy that I peer into the next year as well, because I am convinced it is still TIME TO REFIRE.
Oh, and I am proud to say that the report on retirement is A+.
Cheers to you.
Years ago there was a show our family loved to watch – Fear Factor. Joe Rogan, now famous podcaster was the host and he had individuals do the scariest and most fearful things. It was creepy, scary, and fun to watch.
I wish I could say the same about the fear factor in each of our lives. Watching how we handle fear in our life, what we do with it, how we manage it is not nearly as much fun as watching Joe Rogan. But regardless, we are faced with our own fears and how we handle them is vital.
We all have fears. Fears of one kind or another. And even though we were born with just two fears, there are six basic fears we all must deal with.
- The two fears we are born with
- fear of falling
- fear of loud noises
- Six basic fears
- ill health
- loss of love from someone
- old age
Most of us deal with multiple fears. Hey, welcome to humanity. So check out the list, identify yours.
Here’s the deal though, each of those 6 fears have multiple symptoms that demonstrate in our life. And that is where it becomes very complicated and tangled.
Let me list symptoms and you associate each with the fear you think it is a symptom of:
- lack of ambition
- keeping up with the Jones’
- fault finding
- lack of exercise or over exercise
- fear of failure
I actually have a book with lists beside me with dozens of symptoms for each of those fears, not just these listed. So, if we are living and breathing, there’s quite a pile of tangled strings for us to undo.
But that is the key – we each have to manage that ball of twisted symptoms and fears. Denial doesn’t work, it just pushes fear below the surface. But denial also makes personal growth and progress impossible. When the symptoms aren’t heeded and dealt with our life becomes stressed, overwhelmed, depressed, out of balance, and eventually we are being managed by the fear, rather than us managing the fear.
We make excuses, procrastinate, have diversions, avoid, find fault, etc., etc., etc. when fear is ruling our life. I know, I do it.
So what’s the answer?
Anthony Robins, in Awaken the Giant Within, has a 6 step plan that I have whittled down to 3 steps: (sorry Anthony, it works better for me.)
ONE – Identify your fear
TWO – Redirect your fear
THREE – Act on your fear
Identify your fear – call it out, unmask it. Don’t deny it. My personal fear project for nearly a year has been the fear of failure. That belongs to the fear of criticism from the list above.
Redirect your fear – Science tells us you get what you focus on. So if I want failure, I should focus on it. But I don’t want failure, so I must redirect my focus. I choose to focus on success, God’s ability to help me through, and placing my trust in Him and His ability. I redirect my focus on trusting God who is with me, and not on my debilitating fear.
Act on it – it’s pretty easy to say I trust Him, but I must act on it. Faith without works is dead, empty, void, a lie. Taking action on my fear is fearful! No lie. But each time I do, and by repeated practice, my strength becomes greater, my trust in Him becomes greater and that fear diminishes. Without action, nothing would change. I must be brave and step into action.
Just a note here. Most of my blogs are intentionally not overtly or overwhelmingly biblical. That is by design. However, with this particular theme today, I must say, that the only way to overcome your fears that will last is by learning to trust Jesus as your focus, rather than your fears. Practice redirecting your focus on Him. Take your eyes off of your fear and step toward Him. You will never be disappointed.
“You have nothing to fear but fear itself.”FDR
The most frequent command in the Bible is DO NOT BE AFRAID.
There’s a reason for that.
We humans are so fearful. But our God cares and will unravel our sorted mess of fears and symptoms if we focus on Him and place our trust in Him, thereby conquering The Fear Factor.
.Cheers to you.
Been thinking a lot about our national motto – In God We Trust. Frankly, I think I forgot it was more than a phrase on our money and that it had been selected as our national motto. Oops…
It first appeared on US coins in 1864, when it appeared on the 2 cent coin. It was after the Secretary of Tresury Salmon Chase received requests for the US to recognize the Diety on coins. That first letter came to him in 1861 and it was not long after that he directed the US Mint in Philadelphia to prepare a motto. In his letter to them, he said,
“No nation can be strong except in the strength of God…the trust of our people in God should be declared on our national coins. You will cause a device to be prepared without unnecessary delyay with a motto expressing in the fewest and tersest words possible this national recognition.”Solomon Chase, Director of Treasury 1861
After legal issues were settled, on April 22, 1864, In God We Trust first appeared on the 2 cent coin. In 1873 The Coinage Act stated that it may be inscribed on other coins. By 1938 all US coins bore the motto.
Then on July 30, 1956, the 84th Congress approved IN GOD WE TRUST as the national motto and President Eisenhower signed the bill. In 1957 the national motto was first used on US paper money.
Fast forward and look at the tremendous change in American thinking:
- 1984 – the courts use the phrase “ceremonial deism” to say that the motto “through constant use has lost it’s religious content and is no longer religious in nature.”
- 1994 – The Freedom From Religion sued the federal government to have In God We Trust removed from currency.
- 2006 – CA Court of appeals – “the national motto… has no theological or ritualistic impact and is purely secular, patriotic and ceremonial in character.”
- 2019 – The American Athiests condemned the North Dakota bill allowing the display of the national motto in public schools.
There’s so much more, but I don’t want to loose you in the History.
It has become apparent that not everyone agrees that In God We Trust. So I ask, what do YOU trust in? Money, friends, family, self, God…
Trust is the basis of all human systems of morality. Upon what do you build that trust? I don’t care if it’s “Affective trust” – trusting with your heart, or “Cognitive trust” – trusting with your head. Psychologists say those are the 2 kinds of trust, so pick one or the other, or both.
At the bedrock of your life, my life, what’s there to attach trust to? In the stresses and storms of life, what holds me secure? When loss and pain overcome me, who/what do I take it to? When the Coronavirus scares me and threatens my loved ones, who or what strengthens and comforts me? What do you trust in for confidence, strength, hope, comfort, support?
I think that Secretary Chase, President Eisenhower and millions of others through the ages actually got it right. But that’s my opinion, my belief. It is also my purpose for writing this and my hope – that you, too, will trust in God.
In God We Trust.
Cheers to you.