Mid Week Motivator-Thank You

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Thank you! Thank you for reading and following my blog. You are the reason I continue to write and I look forward to what this coming year has in store!

My website is currently under construction and I hope you will continue to follow me on there. Www.lindasharonconnelly.com

I look forward to how this blog will continue to grow and evolve. It began as a way to answer questions on becoming healthy and expanded from there.

Most of all I look forward to hearing more from you.

I pray that this coming year is full of growth, adventure and love!

The Year of Boldness

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I chose the word BOLDNESS as my word for 2014. This was my third year choosing a word to define my year. My first year it was YES, the following year it was LOVE. Each year has been full of change, surprises, and growth.

This year has been no different. I was not sure what boldness would like for me. That I would be able to live up to it. I had a lot of goals for this year, some were forgotten or left half done. Others were pursued.

I have achieved some of my goals but not all of them. My website is currently being designed and should be live by the end of January. I began to work for a growing marketing company as their in house copy writer.

But there were some writing goals I did not continue to work on. My fiction work took a hit as I focused more on my blog and my work with the company. Plus my battle with laziness and fear also came into play.

I allowed fear to hold me back from pursuing more freelance writing gigs. One of the reasons I held back was that I did not have internet at home. While I could use wifi out in public it was a cause of immense stress for me. Now I have installed internet which will allow me to do the work without added pressure of time constraints.

Slowly, I am working on my fiction. A new story is coming together. I also plan to pick up my other novel, edit it and (after a deep breath) querying it.

This past February I ran my first half marathon. Seeing what my body, in this healthy state can do is the best gift. I hope to run another one this year or next.

I am still single and it has not always been easy I must admit. However, God has really grown me in this season. Trusting Him in the plans for me instead of my plans.

God has used me to minister to the young adults in my church. I pray to continue to be used in this way for as long as God wants.

My friend ships have grown deeper. From these women I am learning how to love well. To see Jesus in every relationship and aspect of this life.

Is that living boldly? I don’t know if that is bold enough. It was however, a growing, stretching year. I have not decided whether or not I will define 2015 with a word. Whether or not I choose one, my prayer for this coming year is to continue to grow and be stretched.

What are your hopes for 2015? How do you feel about 2014?

What Is The Meaning of Gift Giving

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This is the time of year that the shopping drum beat goes on and on. Go out and buy, Buy, BUY! Shop until you drop mentality. The more, spent precludes how much you love someone.

This used to stress me out so much! Not having a lot of extra money to spend outside of Christmas was hard enough. But feeling obligated to spend for gifts was so much harder. I sitll do not have a lot of money, however these days, during this season I find I am not as stressed.

So what changed? My perspective changed. My heart changed because I growing in Christ. For years I had this idea that I could only show my love through how much I spent on them. What I realized is that gifts come in all shapes and sizes. Sometimes a gift is wrapped up in pretty paper or placed in a cute bag with tissue paper fluffed out over it.

Sometimes a gift is an act of kindness or of friendship. Perhaps it is your time or simply giving a token. The best part of gift giving is seeing the look on a person’s face. It is a look of gratefulness, of being remembered.

A few Sunday’s ago, my Pastor spoke about the three wise men who searched for Jesus. Bringing him gifts to worship him, leaving behind all they knew to bring Him gifts. Gifts that would enable this small family to escape to Egypt. This is something I have never considered before. I think of all the gifts that God has blessed me with over the years. The things or people that came into my life to enrich it.

One such gift put me on track for getting healthy,when a friend offered to be my personal trainer. leading eventually to running a half marathon. Another was a gift of a desktop computer which enabled me to pursue writing. Later it was a gift of a laptop which has furthered making my dreams become real. I could go on and on, because as I think of one gift, yet another comes to mind. Each one enabling me to become the person that God wants me to become.

Gifts which have I have easily forgotten in times of selfishness.
As we prepare for Christmas, let us rest in the greatest gift of all. The hope that Jesus’ arrival gives us all. Let us not forget this gift in the midst of this season of shopping. When we give gifts let it be from the heart. Let us not become lost in the cost of things. Let us simply rest in the hope of Christ.

The meaning of gift giving for me is to show those I love that I care for them. These days though it’s less about how much I spend and more so that I want them to feel loved.

Mid Week Motivator- Coming Soon!

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I have the pleasure to announce that my website is now under development! This has been a long time coming, last May I purchased my domain name and then did nothing else. I admit I was scared. Taking that step made things real. But this is my dream to pursue writing and I need to do the work.

I finally took a deep breath and followed up with the rest I needed to do. My dear friend Wendy is designing my site as we speak. My other dear friend Erica is kindly offering her services as a photographer to update my photos.

I do this conceding this website does not truly belong to me. It along with anything else given to me belongs to God. I look forward to this new adventure, where or what will come from this. I’m as ready as can be.

What is something that you need to do that scares you?

Mid Week Motivator- Looking Towards The New Year

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I know, it is weeks away. Trust me, those weeks will fly by! Before we know it will be News Year Eve. What do you want to do differently this coming year? What dreams, hopes or goals do you have? You don not need to have all the answers or any of the answers right now. However, you should consider these questions in the next few weeks as we prepare to say goodbye to this year.

 

Maybe you do know what it is you want from your life, want you want to change and it is scaring the crap out of you. This is normal. This is fine. Look fear in the face and pursue your dreams!

 

 

What Does Communion Mean To You

What is it about communion that can both draw us and at times force us to step back. Almost every church has their version of having communion. Some denominations have it every Sunday such as my church and others every month or even every few months. I grew up in the Catholic faith where every Mass communion is blessed and taken. As a child, when I took my first communion I did not fully comprehend what it was I was doing. All I knew was that it was part of our faith, that the wafer in my hands was in fact the body of Christ and the wine ( offered to those older than myself) was the blood of Christ. I can now confess that I never did believe in this transfiguration.

For years, this lack of belief in the aspect of being Catholic lead to a questioning of my faith in Jesus. I wanted to believe in Him, longed to in fact but often felt myself a fraud. How could I long for Jesus but not believe in transfiguration? Was I the only fraud continuing to take communion or were there other doubters? I felt obligated to stand up at service and come forward, to avoid answering uncomfortable questions from my mom as to why I had not. Taking it at the end of every service became routine. It was something that we did on the way out the door. I did not take into consideration what communion was meant to be for me. For all of us.

When I converted from Catholicism, not taking communion at the end of every service was still new to me. It had become so ingrained in that this is how services were supposed to go. For a time after my conversion I was wrestling with some heavy things. Fighting against spiritual battles and feeling all alone. Feeling as if I was not worthy to have communion with Him. Forgetting I had been MADE worthy already. That the act of communion is Him meeting us where we are at, right at that moment. It is to remember the sacrifice He made for us, for me.

Slowly, these trials began to subside. Just as they did, things began to change at my church. We were a satellite campus of a larger church and had just gotten a new pastor. He wanted to do communion differently. No more would we be using the pre-made cups of juice with a wafer on top. From now on our campus would use a loaves of bread  and a glass of juice. Tearing off a piece of bread and dipping it into the glass of juice. Later when we were launched as a church plant, it was decided to have communion every Sunday. This was an adjustment for many of us but something that we as a church family came together on.

As we came together each week to partake of this family meal, my relationship with communion changed. Part of it had to do with having the responsibility of purchasing the elements. Setting up a table to with loaves of bread and glasses of juice each week. It is rather interesting how God uses the things of our past. My grandfather was heavily involved in the Catholic church as a lay minister. He brought communion to those in nursing homes and the homebound, unable to attend mass to receive it. This thread of connection between the two of us has become evident in my own life. Each Sunday I am the one ( for the most part) to purchase loaves of bread fresh from the grocery store bakery.

At the end of service our pastor calls up those who want to partake to come forward. There are no ushers and sometimes the lines are rather bunched and unorganized looking. But I rather like this aspect of how we do communion. It is not perfect or meant to be perfect.

Those who partake come forward and take a piece of bread the server holding it whispers “His body broken for you.” Some take small pieces and others larger. As someone once said to me, they took a larger piece because they needed more of Him that day. For He is truly the bread of life. That piece of bread is then dipped into a cup of grape juice, the server whispers, “ His blood spilled for you.”

Those times when I get to serve, I make eye contact with each and every person coming forward. If I know their name I try to remember to include say it to them as they take their bread and dip it into the cup of grape juice. Another lesson I have had is that the elements are not what matters. It is our hearts, our seeking of Jesus, of this moment of remembrance. If the bread is a different type or the juice a different brand than normal, this does not matter. Communion is not about the elements, it is about our heart for Jesus as we take it. To contemplate and reflect. Perhaps to confess and seek prayer. A time too to praise Him for what he has done.

This is where I am at with communion. It is where God has met me. It no longer a routine thing to tick off the list of things to do. I no longer feel obligated to take part every Sunday. It is not that I do not need to remember what Jesus has done on the cross. When I do come forward and receive it is with a heart full of remembrance. That is what matters most.

I think of my grandfather bringing communion to those who were unable to attend Mass. Our delivery systems and faith are rather different but the same Jesus meets us there. Feeding that spiritual hunger. Filling us from the inside. He is enough. He is all we need. That is what communion means to me. That we do it in remembrance of the sacrifice made for me on the cross. It is about being cared for and feed by my Lord.

His body broken for me. His body broken for you.

His blood spilled for me. His blood spilled for you.

Luke 22: 17-20

And he took the cup, and when he had given thanks he said, “Take this, and divide it among ourselves. For I tell you that from now on I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes”. And he took the bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”. And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.C

Mid Week Motivator- I Did Not Win

This past month was Nanowrimo ( National November Writing Month) and I chose to participant once again. I have yet to win this thing and this year was no different. I went into it this year with the vaguest of ideas, and it showed. Unusal for me was the way I bagan this one. It started with an idea instead of a character. This proved to be a challenge for me. I always begin with a character, with the story forming around this person.

It was not until the end of the month that I finally had a break through. Finally figuring out who my main character is changed the whole story. This has changed the whole story but for the better. Believe me when I say that.

I went into Nanowrimo unprepared and I lost. This is alright though. Writing is a process, as we are told. Sometimes we writers get in our own way too. I broke all the rules of writing. I did not protect my writing time well enough. Not to mention that this was the busiest time at my day job plus my new writing job, my time and brain were drained.

I did get the start of my story. An idea that is rather exciting and will surely challenge me.

That at the end of the day, is what matters. Goals may have to move or change. Story may change but as long as there are words on the page ( or computer) then all is not lost. I have not truly lost.