Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Making Yourself Aware

Triumphant Victorious Reminders
Inspired by the Holy Spirit
Written by: Teresa Criswell

"Don't worry about anything; instead pray about everything. Tell God what you need and thank Him for all He has done. If you do this, you will experience God's peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus."
~ Philippians 4:6-7 ~

Upon my focus during the walk to my planned destination, I ignored my surroundings. Yet a question came to mind, "Have you considered making yourself aware to God's creation?" As soon as that question came to mind, I 'snapped' out of the mundane and into the extraordinary as I made myself aware to my surroundings compelling me to the point of awe.

Maybe you are unintentionally ignoring your surroundings?
Perhaps you are planning for the future but ignoring your present moment with those you love?

If it is possible, for a moment, pause the necessary 'job' that must be done and pick up the phone and call that' special someone'; let them know you were thinking of them. Maybe send an email, a text or even write an 'old-fashioned' letter. Maybe consider going outside and making yourself aware to what surrounds you. Whether it be making yourself aware to the vast skies, or the branches stretched out and extending it's arms to the sun. You could even intentionally listen to the birds sing. Whatever you choose to do, marvel, take it in slowly and exhale with intention.

Are you praying for God's presence? Instead of praying for His presence, make yourself aware to His presence that is already surrounding you.

I am reminded to make myself aware to God's presence.

I am also reminded to make myself aware to my daughter's voice as she speaks. She has something to say, it is my mandate to validate her voice and make myself aware to the treasure that is before me.

Be aware and in that awareness you will see the treasures unfold right before your eyes!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Subtle reminders

Triumphant Victorious Reminders
Inspired by the Holy Spirit
Written by: Teresa Criswell

Photograph taken by Teresa Criswell

"So I tell you, don't worry about everyday life ~ whether you have enough food, drink, and clothes. Doesn't life consist of more than food and clothing? Look at the birds. They don't need to plant or harvest or put food in barns because your heavenly Father feeds them. And you are far more valuable to Him than they are. Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? Of course not. And why worry about your clothes? Look at the lilies and how they grow. They don't work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. And if God cares so wonderfully for flowers that are here today and gone tomorrow, won't He more surely care for you? You have so little first the kingdom of God and all His righteousness and all these things (mentioned) will be added unto you."
~ Jesus Christ, quote recorded in Matthew 6:25-30, 33 NLT & NKJV ~

A penny, a coin; scooping down low to pick them up, stranded and alone.
Flowers; taking a moment to breathe in such detailed beauty so often ignored.
Kind words; hearing the sound of the vibrations of life spoken forth from another spirit that God so beautifully created.
Hugs; experiencing an embrace from another soul.

Opening the door for someone; an expression revealing that you are noticed and important.

I am reminded to intentionally pause and smell the flowers in the midst of the rush of life; to take notice and be more intentional as I look into the eyes of the people I surround myself with, especially my husband and children; to intentionally be thankful to my Amazing God who allows me to live and freely declare Who He is by being who He has called me to be, a woman of great faith in God.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Challenged to Live in the NOW!

Triumphant Victorious Reminders
Inspired by the Holy Spirit
Written by: Teresa Criswell

"Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow for tomorrow will worry about itself."
~ Matthew 6:34 ~

Have you been challenged to live in the time of 'now' and in the space of 'here'?

On Saturday, many of us were as we were able to attend a LIVE taping of with Terry Pruett and Steve Koening.

Let me share a glimpse of the 'now':

The door opens and closes revealing the sound of the hustle and bustle of the outside world.
Feet shuffling.
Zippers zipping.
Computers chiming.

My 'now' moment brings me to the attention of a little boy talking, enamored by what is before him.

An older woman speaking kindly to the little ones.

The sound of an object falling on the ground.

Voices fill the room.

More feet shuffle coming in and going out.

Now I can hear the undertones of someone reading to themselves.

In this moment, I notice a woman looking for a place to sit as we exchange smiles, she finally sits down. My attention is taken to my water bottle which has just fallen on the ground, as I glance down I take notice of a fire extinguisher directly to the left of me, and a little further down the wall I notice a phone jack and electrical plug outlets. I now notice a fan, and a circular table with magazines.

Suddenly I hear a little boy's voice as he says with pride, "She's my favorite sister in the whole wide world."

Then, a little girl, so helpful says something profound to the receptionist, "A girl who was bullying me found out that I had a birthday. She started to be nice and I asked her if she wanted to be my friend, you know what she said? She said, "Yes". I learned that sometimes a bully can become your friend." Enamored by her willing to forgive, I can now hear fingers dancing upon the keyboard.

I now notice a man playing Words with Friends on his iphone and a woman on her ipad. I look all around me and seven people our of the sixteen in the room are preoccupied with an electronic device from ages 5 to adult.

I am awakened to my surroundings. The smells of the outside attached to people coming into the building are coupled with the smells of what seems to be maple syrup and a hint of orange.

Suddenly, the atmosphere changes as I see a man, a dad, coming in with impatience all over him. Then, my attention is interrupted by someone coughing, leading to hear a little girl tell her parents a story as she is interrupted by a phone ringing.

To behold the interaction of these beautiful people who are before me leaves me in awe of our Amazing God. Every person, so unique, incredibly different.

My senses are interrupted yet again as I can now hear an intuitive and animated little boy talking and elated by the 'now'.
I giggle to myself as I can hear him ask in his sweet yet demanding voice,
"Do you have a dad?"
"Do you have a mom?"
"Do you have a sister?"
"Do you have an aunt?" I discreetly giggle as I hear him say, "I don't have an aunt."
The young man that he is asking all these questions to is attempting to ignore him, but the little boy demands his attention.

Suddenly, another phone rings. Then, I change seats with a man who needs to plug in his computer. As I move, I see with new perspective as I can now see outside, the trees, the parked cars, people walking along the sidewalks.

What is everyone's 'now' that is passing them by?

I am greatly convicted as I realize that 'intention' is rarely utilized in this gift called life. As I ponder, sudden quietness fills the room. Slowly, the quietness is interrupted as I notice a woman across from me with her leg crossed as her foot quickly bounces up and down with great speed.

I can now hear buttons being pressed on a phone, and now the receptionist makes a phone call as her voice carries throughout the room, notifying a parent that their child forgot their bag.

Now my attention is interrupted with a snapping sound as a lady walks out of the building wearing flip flops.

I look around as I can hear the subtle sound of someone listening to country music. A phone rings, a woman answers, then another phone rings.

I intentionally take in the colors of a beautiful tropical plant that has been sitting on the receptionist's desk the whole time, however, I have not made myself aware to it until now. I notice the hot pink colors with lush, long, slim bright green leaves.

Deciding to change scenery, I step outside and hear the sound of a parked car as it runs idle.

The subtle wind softly makes itself known as the pages of my journal softly turn. The sound of another car starting, then another one.

Walking over to my car, I open the car door, sit down and shut the door.

As I look up I see the most beautiful little girl, my daughter who is now finished with class, she opens the door to our car, she sits down and shuts the door and putting her seat belt on. I embrace her as I take her beautiful face into my hands as I intentionally inhale her sweet, familiar fragrance enthralled by the 'now' of being reminded that she is a gift from my God 'now'.

With all this said, with all the taking in of just a few 'now' moments, there was not one moment where I even thought about yesterday or tomorrow...I was simply living in the 'now'.

I am reminded to embrace the 'now', for that is all that is promised to us...the right now. I must remember that I have been given the gift of now the moment I was born.

We get to be thankful to our God in the time called, 'now' and in the space called, 'here'.

Friday, March 2, 2012

The Legacy We Are Called To Leave Behind

Triumphant Victorious Reminders
Inspired by the Holy Spirit
Written by: Teresa Criswell

"Love will last forever...There are three things that will endure - faith, hope, and love - and the greatest of these is love...For God is love."
~ I Corinthians 13:8a, 13, I John 4:8b NLT ~

The word 'legacy' has been surfacing around me as though I were wading in the waters of life. This profound word which leads to a common human definition as a gift by will, especially of money or personal property, an inheritance or something acquired without compensation or payment is not the legacy that I have been provoked to think upon. Instead, I have been asking, "What legacy or imprint will I leave behind upon this earth?"

Realizing the answer to this question is not just about leaving behind a part of me but the One who rescued me, leaving an imprint of God's love through me which lasts forever. I am continually learning that living out in this legacy of love is revealed by unselfishness and gratefulness which pulls out God's compassion and seeing through grateful perspective versus perspective of lack or offense.

Truly, the legacy of what is to be revealed after we have come and gone is to leave that which was left for us and that is the revealing 'legacy' which is truly the person, Jesus Christ!

What will they remember me by? I desire to be remembered by Who rescued and loved me, my Jesus.

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