Focus and Be Mindful

IMG_5840I’ve been learning something from readings I’m doing. The practice of mindfulness is not a new-age or mystical belief. It’s a practice which Jesus taught. Be mindful. Watch and pray. Do not worry, for today has enough worry of it’s own. He told his disciples to pray and be aware while he prayed in Gethsemane.

One way to be mindful, is to focus on a sense, such as being very mindful of all the sounds around me as I breathe deeply from deep in my gut. I could concentrate on all the things I see around me, like the thousands of colors that God displays each day. It keeps my mind busy so that there isn’t as much room for anxious thoughts to sneak in.

 

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I always thought that the verses in Phil. 4:6-7, were a command not to be anxious. They’ve always been favorites of mine and I have memorized them and cling to them quite often. But in thinking and praying more about it, a revelation came to me about those verses.

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, with prayer and petition, and with thanksgiving, present your requests to God, and the peace of God which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

If we were instantly rid of all anxious thoughts, then why would it say, WITH petition? We wouldn’t need to petition God about anything if we didn’t need him. We need some healthy fear or we’d be robots. Don’t forget thanksgiving! He does so much in my life every day and I need to realize and be thankful for the positive things. And, would we need to present our requests to God if everything always went perfectly? And that peace…we need His peace. It transcends ALL understanding–no one could understand why we receive total peace sometimes. The peace He gives guards your HEART and your MIND to make the body, soul and mind work together the way He designed it.

Just some thoughts of mine that I’m realizing. I hope it makes some sense to you. I hope it helps you. Blessings on your day.

 

 

Posted in anxiety, fear, focus and being mindful, nature's beauty, prayer, trust in God | Tagged , , , , , | 6 Comments

A Free Unity Festival Ticket-Rules

Hi there friends!

A few days ago I announced it was coming….following are the rules/details to win a free ticket to Unity Christian Music Festival http://www.unitymusicfestival.com/schedule/main-stage-schedule/  Dozens of awesome bands!

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I have one three day pass to give to away!

It is now worth $70.

Please only enter if you will be able to come at least two of the nights. The first time you come through the gate, you receive a wrist band, then you are the only person who can enter with it-it’s no longer transferable. They don’t allow another person to use it on various nights, etc.

 

You will love the festival, it has a main stage with many bands, a teen stage, kids activities, speakers, very reasonable food booth prices, beautiful sunsets, and great family-friendly times of worship and praise enjoying the bands. Bring your lawn chair, and maybe one of those fan mister thingys to stay cool..

I am not going to go be a “policewoman” and count up your entries, so please be honest and let me know what you did. You are on the honor system. You must comment on my blog or Facebook author’s page, “Tablet of your Heart,”https://www.facebook.com/mjfolkert/?ref=aymt_homepage_panel   telling me what you did. (not on my personal page.) Those are the only two places I will be checking. When I post on my blog, it automatically goes to several social media sites, some of which I’m barely ever on, else I would spend all my time on those instead of writing.:)

Here’s the scoop:

Rules and details:

  1. You will receive points for each thing you do, whether it is likes, tweets, shares, follows, email followers (I especially LOVE!), pins, etc.
  2. Become an e-mail follower on my WordPress blog at myrnafolkert.wordpress.com and comment, or on my Facebook author’s page, called “Tablet of your Heart” to tell me your name if it’s not obvious, and what things you did. I will only check those two places for comments.
  3. You will receive one point for any social media plug, and FIVE points for becoming a NEW e-mail follower and commenting on this post on my blog! I love to have followers on the WordPress blog! https://myrnafolkert.wordpress.com  That gives you a lot more chance of winning, but also gives my current followers many chances.
  4. Tuesday night, August 10, at 7 p.m., I will announce the winner– keep watching.
  5. Everyone–BE NICE and FAIR!🙂
  6. I’ll make arrangements with the winner– most likely meet you at Unity Fest on the free night, Wednesday night, August 10, to hand you the paper ticket. It is good for one person, for all three nights.(August 11-13)
  7. HAVE FUN!!

    GO!!

It’s all in fun! Hope you enjoy Unity Christian Music Festival in Muskegon, Michigan August 10-13–see you there!

*Disclaimer: I’ve not received any kick-back from Unity Festival. It is a ticket that I purchased, and it’s given away completely free and clear to one person. I do this to bless a family or person, and to create more networking.

 

 

 

 

Posted in Christian concerts, Give-Aways!, music, Unity Christian Music Festival, Worship | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Unity Fest is coming! Are you ready?

Hi there friends!

Are you planning to go to the Unity Christian Music Festival next week in Muskegon, MI?! Do you have an afternoon or some evenings off from work Wednesday August 10 through Saturday August 13?

Do you have your lawn chair, a friend or family member to go with you, your schedule cleared? Most importantly, do you have your tickets? Check it out! Here’s the link.

http://www.unitymusicfestival.com/schedule/main-stage-schedule/Summer of 2013 picture from my phone 363Last year it was such fun, I’m doing it again! Get ready and keep watching. I’m giving one ticket away. It’s good for all three days of the festival plus of course, the free day on Wednesday. Four days of over 25 bands!

Every year the line-up astounds me. Check it out! On FREE night we get to hear Chris Brooks(speaker), Josh Wilson and Francesca Battistelli. Other nights are Building 429, Sidewalk Prophets, Meredith Andrews, Red, Hawk Nelson, Newsboys… lots of others.

If you haven’t attended before, there are two stages. One main stage, and one for teens with up and coming young bands, plus a huge area for kids to play, a tent with speakers and programs, and lots of reasonably priced food booths. Something for everyone!

Friday night blows me away with my new favorite band, For King and Country! This is one of my favorite songs with the video:

It’s amazing to worship out on the beautiful lake shore. I’ve gone to this incredible festival for most of the 16 years it’s been there.

Here’s the scoop: I’ll be posting in the next five days about the ticket giveaway, which if purchased now would be worth $70!!  So keep your eyes open!

No entries yet please! I’ll detail all the rules very soon. Get ready!


 

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Take a First Step-Follow Your Call

The pink petunias in front of me emit an earthy smell. I don’t often write in this spot, but it’s quiet and inspirational. From just inside the clubhouse balcony, I see the lake slightly rippling; sailboat masts stand still. The American flag lazily flaps and occasionally hangs limp. It’s a Saturday afternoon in late July, cloudy, very humid, sometimes cool.

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My husband and I spend much time on our boat, or at our marina pool near Lake Michigan’s shore. We have the empty nest; our “kids” are on their own, and we’re pre-grandchildren. My hectic world of teaching long past. My husband still has a “real” job.

Sometimes I guilt myself about not “doing” more, like church and community volunteering. But I realize this is a sacred, privileged time which won’t last. That inner “should” voice wants to torment, but I remembered an important turning point this spring.IMG_6078

My spiritual and writing life took a right turn, as a friend challenged, and spoke words of wisdom to me. Our paths crossed through a unique series of events. She’s my unofficial writing mentor, by the Lord’s design.

As cold rain pelted the windows in April, she said, “Myrna, if you feel God calling, you need to shrink your world, especially while writing this first book.”

She raised her hands, lowering them between us, as if holding a baseball.

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“It must be God, your closest family and friends, and your writing.”

Placing both hands over mine, her blue eyes pierced through me like I was transparent. This beloved woman said, “Myrna, you need to follow the call. Take a first step.”

I squirmed because she kept using my name. She asked a very pointed question, “Myrna, what does your devotional time look like?” Cupping my brow, I confessed wasted time on my phone, sleeping in, errands, and scatter-brained rabbit trails. She got dead serious.

This dear experienced author friend was sent to speak the truth in love. She felt led to sacrifice another activity, to allow the Holy Spirit’s still small voice to work into me.

I intentionally took a first step the very next morning. Unless there are extenuating circumstances, my phone is off in the morning until after I have meaningful time with God. The length varies greatly. No matter how long our session is, He redeems the time, allowing me to accomplish necessary activities the rest of the day.

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I’ve had “quiet times” most of my adult life-sometimes just another “should.” Because I’m human, I will fail, but God will not. The desire and accountability is stronger. Now I hunger without this food for my soul.

The next step is finding that perfect writing time, being an inspirational writer, who is a late night person.

I love my Lord, my life, my mentor friend, my very supportive husband who believes in me and my writing, best friends, and church friends who encourage. The Holy Spirit will lead in His timing; I just have to trust and obey.

Posted in beauty of nature, boating, follow your call, God's faithfulness, Holy Spirit, nature's beauty, new beginnings, saying yes or no, taking a step, time organization, trust, writing, writing mentor | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Hearts Knitted Together

It’s the instant bond we have from the moment we know we’re pregnant.

Knitting:

Our heart is no longer our own. It is instantly and forever shared. It’s a heart tie that is very strong, a cord no one can sever. We as mothers have “carried” you in our bodies and in our hearts from conception. With earnest and tearful prayers we have made a distinct attachment. It’s like the teeth of zippers holding two parts together, the opposite sides of velcro as they cling together. They say that mothers of adult children should “cut the apron strings.” But do we ever completely do that? Not completely. Stay with me here.

Yes, sons are supposed to “leave and cleave” to their new wives and daughters are meant to be loyal and true to their husbands. That’s healthy and biblical-the beautiful way God designs new families. I will strive with God’s help, to be a loving mother who is not intrusive but available.

The mother of a son or a daughter will always be their mother even if she is called home to heaven first. A mother who is a believer will never pull the zipper apart, or tear the velcro pieces. She isn’t even able. She is forever a part of her child. This world is messed up and sinful and so are we. Therefore some situations prevent the way God wanted it to be. Abusive or messy relationships between mothers and daughters still have a certain tie…sometimes it’s not healthy, but it’s still there. I’m also not looking to discredit or underestimate the power of love and bonding in an adoptive relationship. Those can become just as full as the biological.

I wanted to share with you an interesting biological phenomenon about mothers, cells, children, which I fell upon amidst my studies of mothers and daughters. I find it intriguing.

Think of it…a biological mother’s body gave blood, oxygen and food supply to her child for almost ten months as she carried the child inside her womb. I always thought of it as a one-way street, from the mother to the baby. Science is proving that it goes both ways.

Much of it goes over my head, not being a scientist or in the medical field. Some of you are way ahead of me on this kind of thing. I’ve found a source from the National Center for Biotechnology Information (sounds important doesn’t it?) There’s an article here, if you are technically or medically a genius:

 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2633676/  which explains in detail what some of these blogs and stories are basing their information from. I wanted to know if this stuff was true and this journal article supports a theory that’s been around for a very long time. This was another neat article about how the cells from a baby can help to heal a mama’s heart! The heart is special to me for many reasons. https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn21185-fetus-donates-stem-cells-to-heal-mothers-heart

To oversimplify it, the cells of a baby can actually cross the placenta during pregnancy and continue to live inside the mother, helping her too. So, it’s like a legacy in reverse! Thank you my sons! Some of your healthy characteristics could actually be enabling me to combat diseases and some cancers. It’s amazing.

This is a u-tube video by Dr. Alan Greene, that is a heartfelt, simple explanation of this:

I don’t understand all the ins and outs of it, or the bioethics, nor am I an evolutionist. But it is a scientifically proven fact that a mother always carries her child in her heart physically as well as emotionally. Which intuitively, all of us moms have always known.

God is the author of life. He created science and is omniscient. Science and the bible do not have to contradict each other. He intricately knit us together in the womb of our mothers. As it says in Psalm 139, our frame was not hidden from Him, His eyes saw our forming body and He knew every day of our lives. https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm+139

It’s a comfort to me that I am forever connected to my mom in many ways.

Posted in ancestors, Ancestry, beauty of nature, Family, God's omniscience, God's protection, healing, Mom, mother-child connections, Mothers and daughters, nature's beauty, Science and the bible | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Glass Half Full-when you’re wondering whether to give up

 

This year is half gone today, or if you want to look at it with the “glass half full” attitude, half the year is left! Six whole months to do great things, adventures, fill it with joy. Make a new start. Making a new start doesn’t always have to happen at the beginning of a year. How about today?

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We are only guaranteed this very moment. We don’t know if we will have a half of a year, a day, or many years ahead of us on this earthly journey. We’re just passing through. It’s a few moments on our continuum. It’s such a minute slice of our existence.

Some of you may have had a painful year. Sicknesses, death, pain, abandonment, shame…you fill in the blank. You would like to erase the first half of this year, or maybe many years for that matter.

Others may feel hopeless thinking there’s no way to take one more step. Maybe the mountains you face seem so steep that you are ready to sit down. Let yourself be depressed, get bitter, give up.

There may be a person so far down in a valley, they’re beyond that point-defeated. You’ve already thrown in the towel, are letting the waves of depression wash over, wanting to end it all.

Possibly, you have regrets, feel too old, too young, unqualified, uneducated, inadequate. You’re being held captive by your own self-defeating thoughts and fears, or allowing someone else to feed those kind of thoughts to your mind and soul.

Some have absolutely no choice but to be where they are-a prisoner in a real sense. It may be helpless child, or young woman in the sex-trade, a battered wife.

Most people have a choice. It’s a new beginning today, or it’s stay exactly where you are. What do you want? If you have a choice, then take the next step!

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While kayaking today, I was praying for many things. A main topic was for the Holy Spirit to infuse into all areas of my life, my inferiority, my fears, my writing, my mind, my soul.

I’ve been praying so much about what and how to write. I have no formal training in writing, I didn’t major in English in college, and often think I’m just fooling myself thinking that I will write a book, more devotionals, and maintain a blog. And to top it off, I’m certainly not getting any younger! But I do occasionally get greatly blessed by someone I interview. They say something along the lines, “You know, these were healing tears when talking about my mom; I haven’t had someone listen to me talk about her for a couple hours straight-ever!” Or someone mentions that they were blessed by a blog piece or a devotional that I wrote. It is terrifying and thrilling at the same time.

So…I can decide to use the second half of 2016 to write for God’s glory with the help of the Holy Spirit. I can choose to learn at conferences, and listen to advice of experienced writers. I can keep praying against the spirit of distraction and procrastination. I can pray for the nasty claws of minor illnesses to release me. I can keep giving my anxieties and fears to my God and keep plugging away.

I’m thankful for the choice. It sure helps to know I have an army of believers who will pray with me and for me. Message me, and I’d be honored to pray for you too.

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Sometimes it seems too good to be true, I really love it as the words flow so easily, and other times it seems incredibly difficult to write something I think people would want to read.

So, off we go! Tomorrow is July 1! How will you begin?

Posted in faith, fear, God's faithfulness, Holy Spirit, Hope, prayer, writing | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments

What If?

Do you ever think “what if?”

What if the unthinkable happens to me? What if I get overly anxious and I embarrass myself completely? What if I do all this work and the book never materializes and I waste many women’s time interviewing them? What if something happens to my family? What if, what if, what if….

What if this, what if that? It’s endless. It can be totally overwhelming.

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Tonight as I was taking a walk, I was praying about some”what ifs” in my life. I have been asked from quite a few people lately, “When will we hear another great story on your blog?” Or they say, “I really enjoyed your devotions in Words of Hope, will you be doing more soon?” Another one is, “How is your book coming along, I can’t wait to read it!”

All of these questions and comments are encouraging and polite. I greatly appreciate the interest people show, and I believe many prayers are behind most of those questions.

They also scare me to death! The thing is, I get totally stuck sometimes.

I praise God, because four months ago I never thought I would be outside on a cool summer night taking a fast walk and feeling top notch.

At the end of February, my life came to a screeching halt and my life was turned upside down. It was very traumatic for me as I ended up in the hospital for three days. It seems I was in a total fog for weeks. I’ll talk more in-depth about that someday when I’m ready.

Sometimes I think, “What if?”

I enjoyed the favor of God during the time before and during the publication of the devotionals in Words of Hope in May this year. If you missed them, or want to read them here is the link. https://woh.org/word/devotional-date-results/2016/5 It was fun to pass them out to family, friends, and strangers. Many people celebrated with me on my first work in actual print. It was an exciting time for me. I realized how the Holy Spirit really had to work in and through me in order to write those.

On the left, you'll see the introduction of all the contributing authors in this booklet. On the right, you'll see my mini "bio."

On the left, you’ll see the introduction of all the contributing authors in this booklet. On the right, you’ll see my mini “bio.”

Now, I’m interviewing women again and feeling well most of the time. I praise God that I’m able to do almost everything I was doing before. Even “if” the unthinkable things happen, I pray that my faith will remain strong.

It reminds me of the verses in the book of Daniel when God’s servants, Shadrach, Meschach and Abednego speak to the king Nebuchadnezzar and declare that they will follow their God.

Daniel 3:16-18 says, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God whom we serve is able to save us. He will rescue us from your power, Your Majesty. But even if he doesn’t, we want to make it clear to you, Your Majesty, that we will never serve your gods or worship the gold statue you have set up.” (NLT)

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I pray that I will have the faith to continue to trust God no matter what he allows in my life. The Christian walk is not assurance that nothing negative will happen to me. But I do know that the Holy Spirit will be at my side and will never leave me.

So, worry is sometimes a “gold statue” in my life. What are your “gold statues?”

Posted in faith, first published work, God's protection, Holy Spirit, P.R.M.I., sickness, trust, trust in God, writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment