Living With Intention in 5775: Week 41

Last week, I began to get a scratchy throat, and I am full-blown sick. I am so lacking in energy and brain power, that I am having a hard time coming up with a challenge for this week. The only thing I can think of is wanting to finish a crocheted hat and to learn to play something on the guitar, so maybe we could all do with a little creativity this week. So find an adult coloring book, or photograph your dog, or sing, or write, or make a delicious meal and plate it in a extra special way. Creating something beautiful always makes me feel better, so join me this week in finding a creative outlet to accomplish a goal and stop putting off that fun activity you’ve been meaning to get to, but haven’t made time for! And when you’re done with your project, share it with someone.

Happy week and shalom and blessings,

S~

Living With Intention in 5775: Week 40

If I were to name this week’s challenge, I would title it, “Getting to Know You(rself)”

Many of us have little awareness of who we are. We don’t know what our gifts or talents are, we don’t know who G-d designed us to be; we’ve let the world dictate and decide our identities. We often don’t know what our purpose is, and we tend to self-criticize, rarely looking at our personality and character traits in a positive light. So this week, I am going to give you some resources that have helped me on my path to self-discovery in hopes that these things might open up your eyes to who G-d has created you to be.

Firstly, I recommend you look up your Torah portion for the year of your birth. You can do this easily by going to Hebcal.com, and put in your birthdate in the “Convert from Gregorian to Hebrew date” boxes, and then click “convert to Hebrew”. It will give you the Hebrew date of your birth, and the Torah portion that was read the week you were born. You can learn a lot about who you are from reading your Torah portion.

The next thing I would recommend is knowing your Love Language and knowing the love language of those closest to you. This has helped me to express what I need to feel loved from my spouse, and has also helped me to try to love my spouse how he needs to feel loved. It just adds that element of intention and respect in our relationships.

The third resource I recommend is “Dressing Your Truth”. Yes, it is an energy profiling/personality analyzer, but I have found it quite accurate in assessing basic personality types. This information has changed the way I see myself (now in a more positive light), and also helps me relate better to my family and friends.

The last resource I can recommend at this time is self-assessing your sensitivity level. Did you know that 20% of the world population is considered “highly sensitive”? This does not mean that they are only emotionally more sensitive, but psychologically and physiologically more sensitive than the rest of the world’s population. You can learn more here: The Highly Sensitive Person

SENSITIVE TRAILER from Sensitive on Vimeo.

Other things to consider: what are your hobbies, what do you enjoy doing in a creative capacity, and what are you really gifted at in a creative capacity? Here’s a list to get you started in considering the different possibilities:

  1. Drawing – charcoal, pencil, pastels
  2. Painting – acrylic, watercolor, oil
  3. Calligraphy – typography
  4. Creative writing – short stories, poetry
  5. Cooking – canning, plate presentation, cake decoration
  6. Sewing – quilting, clothing construction, crochet, knitting, weaving, embroidery, appliqué
  7. Woodworking – carpentry, whittling, pyrography
  8. Drama – script writing and performance
  9. Dancing –choreography and performance
  10. Music – composition of music, lyrics, and performance
  11. Sculpture – mosaics, collages, welding, clay, ceramics, stained glass, basket weaving
  12. Photography – composition and various modes of presentation
  13. Computer – graphic, web design
  14. Jewelry design

There is no one way to assess who we are, and there are a lot more resources available to you in discovering your multi-faceted self. So go exploring this week. Discover all the beautiful uniqueness that is you.

Every person must realize, “I, with all my abilities, potentials and talents both physical and spiritual, am unique in the universe. Amongst all those alive today there is no other me. In past generations too there was no other me, and until the end of time there will be no other me. And if so, the Master of the Universe certainly has sent me here on a special mission that could be fulfilled by no one else but me – with all my uniqueness.” ~Rabbi Shlomo Wolbe

Shalom and Shavua Tov,

S~

Living With Intention in 5775: Week 39

This week, I want to focus on getting organized. I want to be a better manager of my time and my household, and there are many things I would like to do creatively, that I simply don’t have time for because I don’t make time. So this week, my goal is to make a chores list and/or start making menu plans. You might already have this process solidified in your own home, but perhaps there is another area where you can be a little more organized and intentional. I pray you’ll find and conquer a task this week, that will give you more time for whatever it is you’ve decided you don’t have any time for that you could be doing if you’d only plan a little better.

These are some of the tools I am hoping to get acquainted with this week.

Build A Menu: http://www.buildamenu.com/

Fly Lady: http://www.flylady.net/

If you have any other suggestions for organization, I’d love to hear about them in the comments!

“Go to the ant, O sluggard;
    consider her ways, and be wise.
Without having any chief,
    officer, or ruler,
she prepares her bread in summer
    and gathers her food in harvest.” (Proverbs 6:6-7)

[The woman of valor] looks well to the ways of her household
    and does not eat the bread of idleness.
Her children rise up and call her blessed;
    her husband also, and he praises her:
“Many women have done excellently,
    but you surpass them all.” (Proverbs 31:27-29)

Shalom and a good week!

S~

Living with Intention in 5775: Week 38

This week, I would like to challenge us all to be quiet. To find some time to sit in stillness, and listen for the voice of our Father. It is so easy to find things to do, movies to watch, music to fill our ears in order to drown out the silence. But this is so often the space in which the Father’s voice can so clearly be heard.

Let us learn from the story of Elijah:

“And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the L-RD. And, behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the L-RD; but the L-RD was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the L-RD was not in the earthquake: And after the earthquake a fire; but the L-RD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.” 1 Kings 19:11-12

Our flesh wants to be busy, pre-occupied and loud drowning out the voice of our Beloved L-rd, but we must teach that part of ourselves, to be quieted.

I leave you with the words of the Psalmist who seems to have mastered quieting his fleshly soul. It is in teaching our flesh to be quiet that we can recognize the magnificence of Hashem and His divine providence over our lives, and look forward with hope toward the restoration of all things.

Psalm 131
A Song of Ascents. Of David.
O L-RD, my heart is not lifted up;
my eyes are not raised too high;
I do not occupy myself with things
too great and too marvelous for me.
But I have calmed and quieted my soul,
like a weaned child with its mother;
like a weaned child is my soul within me.
O Israel, hope in the L-RD
from this time forth and forevermore.

Living with Intention in 5775: Week 37

“Now that we have passed the summer solstice, the days are still long but imperceptibly they are starting to get shorter, as we move inexorably closer to the end of the year and the coming New Year and Days of Awe. The Hebrew letters of the present month תמוז (Tammuz), are the initial letters of the phrase ז: (Z)’MAN ת:(T)’SHUVAH מ:(M)’MASHMESH ו: (U)VA, “the Time of Teshuvah is getting closer”. The letters of next month אב (Av), are the initial letters of א:(E)LUL ב:(B)A – “Elul (month of repentance) is on the way”. After the month of Av comes Elul itself, and soon afterwards, Rosh HaShanah, Simchat Torah and the conclusion of the annual reading of the Torah.” ~Rabbi Avraham Greenbaum

The last few weeks have seen more signs of growing anti-semitism and hatred of the absolute standard that is found within the pages of the Holy Bible. And so, as we draw closer to the time of teshuvah (repentance) that will lead us into a new year, my heart and mind have been focused on praying for Israel–both the nation, and the people, whether they are in the Land or scattered throughout the nations.

Take some time each day to intercede for our brothers and sisters around the world, those who are native born, and those grafted in by faith in Yeshua. Pray for strength to endure all the various trials and tribulations; pray for faith, hope, and love to increase in everyone’s hearts; and pray against the spirit of fear.

I pray blessings upon you all, and thank you for sticking with me thus far in embracing more intentionality into our lives and faith walks!

Shalom and blessings,

S~

 

Living With Intention in 5775: Week 36

Shalom! I am so excited about this week’s challenge. This was inspired by a radio program I heard on Voice of Israel with Ari Abramowitz and Jeremy Gimpel who were interviewing with Rebbetzin Sara Rigler. They were asking her about things one can implement in our daily lives to develop our spiritual lives. Among them, one really stuck out to me. She suggests charting and rewarding the body when the chart has been filled. I’ve attached a segment of the interview below.

So this week, we will begin charting and keeping track of our “words of water” and “words of fire”.

I’ve provided a chart for you to download, if you don’t want to make your own.

Words of Water, Words of Fire Chart

So let’s extend the courtesy of speaking words of water and refraining from words of fire to everyone in our home. Put check marks on the chart every time you control your tongue.

I hope you will all continue for a whole month and then reward your body for a job well done!

Shalom and blessings,

S~

Living with Intention in 5775: Week 35

This week, the Torah portion is on the rebellion of Korach. I have to wonder, if Korach had been considering all the blessings in his life, writing them down and looking at them daily, would he have still incited a rebellion against G-d’s anointed? So this week, we’re going to “count our blessings”. This will hopefully get us into the proper frame of mind for what I have in mind next week.

Get a notebook or journal, or a sheet of paper that you can add to every day and start with 5 things you are thankful for. If you can think of more write them down too; don’t limit yourself.

I’ll happily share my first five, to get us all inspired:

  1. I am thankful for the Torah. It has helped me flourish and grow within the safety of G-d’s boundaries.
  2. I am thankful for my husband, who is my anchor point. He helps me to remember keep the important things important, and let the rest go.
  3. I am thankful for my children, who are little mirrors of myself and my husband. These precious gifts from Hashem teach us about ourselves and our relationship with Him, and have helped so much in the refining of our souls.
  4. I am thankful for my parents and siblings, who have always shown me unconditional love and support. They’ve been there for me even when I was walking in rebellion to G-d. They loved me through those difficult times and I will forever be thankful for my family.
  5. I am thankful for friends, new and old, who have loved me as G-d made me, but have also encouraged me to be the best version of myself. I am so thankful for friends to hold me accountable to the Word and to Truth.

 

Shalom and blessings all!

S~

 

Living With Intention in 5775: Week 34

Shalom all! Well, this week’s challenge comes via our dear sister Laurie L. I pray it blesses and encourages you. I am looking forward to digging into the Word this week!


Heavy on my heart lately is my father and my Father.  This week it will be 20 years ago that my father passed away.  So I am reminded every year at this time of the longest week of my life where my father went into the hospital on a Monday, we found out that he had cancer, and by the following Monday he left this world.  After he died, I prayed to my Father and said, “Father G-d, you took my earthly father away–I don’t have him anymore and you know how much he meant to me, so I need you to take over.  You are my heavenly Father, but I need you more than ever now.”  And that was the beginning of learning to seek Him more deeply than I ever had before.
As I have been thinking and remembering and assessing my life over these past 20 years of looking to Hashem as my Father, I am getting glimpses that there are things about His character that I know and understand and share with others and know it is true, but in my mind I don’t realize that it holds true for me as well.  How does He react to me in good times and in bad times?  I am less forgiving of myself than He is, and that is something that I would like to renew with truth in my mind.  I think if I have a better understanding of who my Father is, by taking the time to read and meditate on and renew my mind in these truths it will be such a blessing to Him and to myself and also everyone I interact with.
So for week 34, the challenge is to take time as you read through Torah, and as you read through and listen to Yeshua speak about Avinu (our Father) take time to listen, meditate, and really realize and know and see WHO Avinu is.  I’ve had Exodus 34:6-7 in my mind and I am starting there:

Then the L-RD passed by in front of him and proclaimed, “The L-RD, the L-RD G-d, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness and truth; who keeps lovingkindness for thousands, who forgives iniquity, transgression and sin; yet He will by no means leave the guilty unpunished, visiting the iniquity of fathers on the children and on the grandchildren to the third and fourth generations.” (Exodus 34:6-7)

My hope is to begin to grow even deeper in my walk with Him, to renew my mind, to take on His characteristics in a fresh new way and remember them as I live my daily life in successes and in my failures.

Blessings and a good week!

Sarah and Laurie L.

Living With Intention in 5775: Week 33

Last night, my husband and I had the pleasure of visiting a congregation full of ex-Amish Mennonites. The service was beautiful with hymns and Bible study, the Torah portion and haftarah portions being read, a message and then pray time.

The message was about family, and the emphasis of the message was on enjoying our children. So I thought, since family/home life has been something on my heart for a while that it would be a good challenge for the week.

We can get so wrapped up in our “duties” as parents that we miss out on the enjoyment that comes with raising our children. The goal for this week is to include our children more in our day to day and to give them our attention (when possible) when they want to show us something they’ve accomplished. Let’s seek ways to delight in our beautiful gifts from Hashem!

If you don’t have children, but are married, then look for ways to enjoy your spouse. Single? Then search for ways to enjoy and make your parents feel honored.

Keep the old adage in mind, “Love the ones your with.”

Shalom and blessings to you all for a good and fruitful week,
S~