Four places where I'm finding hope this week...
1. Role models are one of the best ways to be inspired and motivated. This week I've loved coming across video's like the two below where children are setting an example far better than some.
2. Setting a goal and a deadline is one of the things that encourages me the most, because once I set those, I know I will make myself reach it. This may not work for everyone, but I discovered this about myself when trying to clean up my house. It had been a long day and I was exhausted, but the house was a wreck and I just needed everything to be picked up. Knowing that I could sit down and enjoy my evening afterward, I set a timer and declared that the room would be clutter free in 5 minutes. And it worked! So I did the same thing in the next room: 5 minutes to clear out the mess. Then I started challenging myself to work in less time and eventually I had gone through the entire house in under 30 minutes. While not everything in life can be that way, I discovered that I was best motivated by a goal. The competitive side of me wanted to finish under the clock. Guys, I didn't even KNOW I had a competitive side. Now, I'm applying a time clock to a lot of things in my life, to drive myself towards checking off the list. I feel good about myself when I complete tasks, and when I feel good about myself, my spirit is lifted and I see the good a lot better than before.
3. Take a cue from those videos up there, and do something kind for someone. Whether it's someone you know or a stranger on the street, everyone could use a little extra love. Maybe it's selfish, but doing something for someone else will allow you to feel good too. It doesn't have to be a grand gesture, a simple note of gratitude could be just the thing to make someone smile. Put your own needs aside briefly and take care of someone else.
4. Open the Good Book that the Lord gave us and remember that He is in control. While spending time in His word this week, I came across a verse that I've read many times. "Don't worry about anything, but in all your prayers ask God for what you need, always asking him with a thankful heart." Philippians 4:6. It stuck out to me like a billboard. The first time I read it, I read it incorrectly thinking that it said, "ask God what you need," and that concept was so intriguing that I couldn't read it the way that it is written. Perhaps I should try that, I thought to myself. Perhaps I should ask God what I really need, and see what He says. I should hand over my worries, and give God both things: my prayer requests and asking Him to direct me to what I need.