Tag Archives: living in gratitude

Always Grateful

nov20_2016

Point to Ponder:
Who or what do you need to be grateful for?

iGnite Neissa

by Neissa Brown Springmann

With family coming to visit for the Thanksgiving holiday, I hired my friend’s housekeeper to clean our home. We haven’t had our house professionally cleaned since June and it was in desperate need of a good scrubbing. Erica, my friend’s housekeeper, let me know that she was going to get a friend to help her, and to insure that the house got as clean as possible, she was going to take her time. From 7:45 a.m – 5:30 p.m., Erica and Anna cleaned! I never imagined that they would or could clean for so long, but they did. Needless to say, the house is spotless and orderly- like a model home. It looks wonderful and feels even better! However, while our houses cleanliness is a delightful thing, is it temporary. It will soon look like a jungle gym and a stuffed animal, marker, crayon and Lego bomb exploded. However, what is permanent is Anna’s impact.

Prior to yesterday, I had only met Erica once and I had never met Anna at all, so throughout the day I would strike up various conversations. I tried not to bother them, but I wanted to get to know them. By their actions alone it was clear that they were both extremely hard workers and take pride in their work, but as so often occurs when conversing with people, it doesn’t take long to be reminded that everyone has a story and the human spirit is nothing short of incredible!

As soon as Anna finished up cleaning the very last thing, we began talking and she let me know that twenty-five years ago she moved from Mexico to San Diego. She became a US citizen, got married and had three children. Her children are twenty-two, twenty and sixteen. To use her words, she is unfortunately divorced from her children’s father and while he is a part of their lives, her children live with her, she is the provider and she is their rock. Her twenty-two year old son is in the Navy, her twenty year old daughter is in college and her sixteen year old son attends a high-school academy in San Diego. And, as I continued to ask her questions, she let me know that after dropping her son off at school every morning she goes back home to prepare meals for her family, studies and then works as a custodian at a middle school, from 2:30 – 11:30 p.m. When I asked her what she is studying, she let me know that she is striving to get her GED (her high-school diploma). As I nodded my head in disbelief and amazement of the character and strength of this woman, she let me know that she is fifty-two years old and that the only thing she can attribute her strength to is God. She is faith-filled, grateful and she blew my mind!

When Erica and Anna finally finished I gave them both a hug for all of their hard work, but more than making my house look amazing, I was thankful for the opportunity to get to know them. Not only was I reminded of the blessing of being able to afford someone to clean our house (something my mom or my husband’s mom, both single-moms, never had the luxury of being able to afford), but most importantly, I was reminded that despite life’s disappointments and challenges, the blessings of each day outweighs the burdens, attitude is everything, having faith is essential and living with and in gratitude is the only way to live.


Action Item:
Whether it be verbally or in a hand-written note, thank someone you are grateful for and/or give thanks for what you are grateful for.


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Soaring Through All Seasons of Life

May15_2016

Point to Ponder:
Do you recognize your significance and the significance of your seasons?

iGnite Neissa

by Neissa Brown Springmann

Last week I attended a women’s workshop called In Sync with Significance. The organization who host the monthly events is called Lifestreams and their mission is to build relationships for Kingdom causes, by inspiring, connecting and empowering people and groups. Having lived in San Diego for nine months and feeling more comfortable, familiar, and enjoying my pace of life, my goal is to be intentional with how I spend my time and what I say “yes” to. As Martha Lynn Mangum, iGnite member and business coach often reminds me, “If it feels good, say “yes” and do it. If it doesn’t feel good, say “no” and don’t do it.” The In Sync with Significance invitation was a definite “yes!”, as will be the ongoing monthly workshops.

Like iGnite, for me there are few things more enjoyable than being amongst like-minded, loving and supportive women, and even for the most confident and resolute woman, discussing the topic of significance is never insignificant. The title alone was captivating, and the workshop was exceptional. Lauren, the founder and speaker, connected the dots between our significance in each life season and how we can find depth in every season. It was filled with big concepts that I am just now, while writing the journal, am able to fully grasp and comprehend. I have never heard our life seasons described this way, but it has allowed me to see the full purpose, significance and opportunities that each one holds. There are three life seasons, with all being of equal importance and each having an impactful role on one another and our life.

  1. Significance in Daily Identity¬†– This is our everyday life that can often feel mundane and routine, but this is where relationships are built, structure is found and absolute joy can be experienced. This is the foundation for our future and where we begin and end each day. Embracing this season and changing our mindset to realize the significance in the ordinary will fill us with peace, contentment and gratitude. The keys for feeling significance in our daily identity season are: hearing love, having vision and impacting the people who we frequently spend time and have access to (family, colleagues, school, neighbors). Avoid the mindset of “when this happens, I’ll be happy”. This prevents us from seeing our significance in the season and being fully present and grateful.
  2. Significance in Trials РThis is our season that allows us to trust in the Supernatural Power of God. We would never choose trials, yet they are necessary for building faith, relationships, patience and perseverance. Trials allow us to press into our Creator while experiencing intimate growth with Him. The trials season occurs alongside our daily identity season, and our daily identity keeps us grounded and gives us a comforting home base and foundation when the trials season occurs, as it always will. Once through the trials, we can be thankful for the opportunity we were given to soar through them and grow mentally, emotionally and spiritually.
  3. Significance in New Territory¬†– This is our season of new experiences and opportunities. It’s the season for hearing your heart’s passion and saying “yes”. It’s the season of putting yourself out there, trusting God’s calling for you and going for it! It is always simultaneous with our daily identity, but not with our trials. The trials seasons place a pause on our new territory season. The two seasons are not are designed to go through together, as both seasons require a unique set of faith, trust and focus. However, the trials season plays a significant role in preparing our heart and mind to fully see and explore new territories that we have been created to confidently claim victory over. Both the trials and daily identity seasons are consequential in allowing us to flourish during our new territory seasons.

I find it fascinating that every season is connected, which is why they are all significant and we can’t have one without the other. Just as each season is significant, you are significant, and you are in the middle of your story. Recognizing your season, your significance and living in gratitude for the fruit that each season will produce is the key to peace and contentment. All seasons take extreme courage, and standing tall and walking boldly through each season will unlock your power. You were made to soar and fly into everything God has created you for, which is greatness!

Whatever seasons you are currently living in, proclaim it with power and victory. Know that you are not alone, physically or spiritually. Millions of women are walking alongside you and even in your same shoes, while God and His angels are always walking with you–cheering on your every breath and step.


Action Item:
Recognize your season and your significance. Living in gratitude for the fruit that each season will produce is the key to experiencing peace and contentment. All seasons take extreme courage, so stand tall and walk boldly through the season, as this will unlock your power. You were made to soar and fly into everything God has created you for, which is greatness. Whatever seasons you are currently living in, proclaim it with power and victory!


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