and where we find it. It's likely different for everyone. Maybe there are those of you confident enough that you don't need it. But likely, most of us will benefit from a little inspiration in our lives.
I know I certainly do.
Where do you find your inspiration? Do you read books? Do you pray? Do you seek guidance from a counselor, or a dear friend? Yoga, a hike in nature? Maybe you call your mom...ask Dad! There are so many places we can seek, and find inspiration to enhance our daily walk.
For me, there are many places where I draw inspiration for my life.
But without a doubt, the first place I'll look is in God's Holy Word. For I believe that every single thing we could ever need to know about life is in there. There are so many beautiful, inspiring, loving words for us if we would only take the time to look. We're told that we would live enriched, more fulfilled lives if we would spend some time, daily with God, reading His Word. I believe that with all my heart. And if we commit to doing just that, we're placing His words into our hearts, into our minds, which directly influences our actions. It's God's way of controlling the life in our bodies, through the heart, into the mind. Just what Ray Hunt used to tell us about working with horses..."we control the life in their body, through their minds and to their feet". That's how we direct an animal that's bigger, quicker and much more powerful than we are, and let's not forget - a mind of their own. Life and horsemanship. It's all the same. Specifically, good horsemanship that is. :)
"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to His purpose". Romans 8:28
"When you pass through deep waters, I will be with you". Isaiah 43:2
"We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure". Hebrews 6:19
"But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it". 1 Timothy 6:6-7
"No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him". 1 Corinthians 2:9
"Do everything in love". 1 Corinthians 16:14
"My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness". Amen?
2 Corinthians 12:9
"Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace". Ephesians 4:2-3
(one I've always struggled with - the patience and bearing with one another part)
"Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things". Philippians 4:8
"Pay attention to what I say; listen closely to my words. Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart; for they are life to those who find them and health to a man's body. Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life". Prov.4:20-23
And so many more...
Another great source of inspiration for me is found in nature. Getting away from life's obligations, stresses, phones, tv's and all the rest; and finding peace and solitude in the beauty of our world. A walk in the woods is like salve to my soul. I always feel refreshed and so much more at peace than before I'd gone. And again, I believe that everything in our world was created by our loving God. God's artistry is unmatched and is there for our enjoyment. How can we not feel loved and joyous spending time in nature? These are gifts for all of us! Chicken soup for the soul, our life. Inspiration is found in the mountains, near the ocean, a mountain stream, watching wildlife...it's all good and beautiful, and it's there for our pleasure.
And of course, for me inspiration and true peace and bone-deep contentment is found in time spent with my horses. Without a doubt, they are the best therapist ever, for me. I can have a truly terrible day, be stressed out or depressed and at my wit's end - and within a few minutes in their presence, I am lifted up out of myself, my troubles put into perspective and I feel like everything will be okay. I love to bury my nose deep into their necks, and breathe deeply that wonderful horse smell. There just isn't anything like it! They are like giant sponges that suck out anything negative or bad, and replace those feelings with a profoundly deep sense of well-being, contentment, peace, joy and balance. For me, these magnificent animals are our greatest gift ever! If I am to be completely honest here, being the true animal lover that I am - I experience these feelings to some degree in the presence of pretty much all animals. I don't know how to explain it, but animals just put me at such ease. And we all know that life is just better with a dog!! Right? Or two...
"Once you have loved a wonderful dog, a life without one, is a life diminished." Truth.
Inspiration comes from spending time with loved ones and good friends who love you and have your best interests at heart. For me, these kinds of friends are few and far between. But they are so very dear and loved and appreciated. Good friends will tell you the truth, even though at times, it may hurt. People have all sorts of perspectives, opinions, unique thoughts and ideas. When they share these things from their heart, you just never know what might come of it. In so many cases, if we would only listen more than we would speak, oh what treasures we might glean! Being the "chatty cathy" that I am - this is another challenge.
"Never ignore someone who cares for you because someday you'll realize you've lost a diamond while you were busy collecting stones". Sound familiar anyone?
And finally, this little gem...
"At the end of the day you can either focus on what's tearing you apart or what's holding you together". Once again, it's all about our perspective.
I'd like to wish everyone a wonderful "Good Friday" and a lovely Easter. I hope each and everyone of you will ponder within your own hearts, just what we celebrate on this holiday. The Greatest Gift of all time...