Virtual Coffee Date…

One of my favorite things is to have a good cup of coffee and visit with friends & family. It’s wonderful to take the time to slow down (you can’t drink hot coffee quickly) and be present, in the moment, sharing all the good in our lives.

I’d love to have a virtual cup of coffee with you! Venti pumpkin spice latte’s (with an extra shot) are my favorite fall splurge. The cost of one pumpkin spice latte (approx $4.86) will provide 18 MEALS for AT-RISK CHILDREN! Just 27 cents will provide a nutritious meal for a hungry child.

Our church – Highland Park Church is sponsoring a Feed the Hunger Pack-a-Thon on October 17th and 18th. Our goal is to pack 60,000 meals; half of the meals packed are being designated for FREM orphanage in Haiti…8 members of our church visited them last spring and discovered that they currently receive ZERO outside support and they were praying for food. HPC Haiti Relief was born.

Here’s where you come in…we NEED donations to meet our goal of 60,000 meals!

We need donations IMMEDIATELY! 

Will you please meet me for a virtual coffee date and buy me my favorite fall splurge – or two – or even three?! My life, and  most importantly, the lives of the children at FREM, will be enriched and blessed by YOUR generosity!

Donations are easy peasy: go to https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/fthdonate and donate with credit card or pay pal. Scroll down and select “Nashville Pack-a-Thon” as the special purpose to designate the funds.

I’ve already bought YOUR cup of coffee…will you please buy me one?

Haiti Relief Bucket Cover

Blessings to you!

Yolo!

Jan

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How are you spending your marbles?

So…I start this blog post a bit frustrated because while our sermon this morning by Dale Robble at Highland Park Church was in one word…AWESOME…my attempt at taking notes electronically was a major FAIL since I apparently forgot to hit the “save” button.  Now I have to depend on my memory…and wait for the podcast to come out this week so I can listen to it again! That’s what I get for trying to lighten my load instead of carrying in my Bible and journal. Ok…I digress…back to the topic.

Dale and his family just returned from a trip to visit their family’s homeland in Newfoundland. He was quite generous with pictures on facebook and I enjoyed visually “traveling” with them. One of their adventures involved visiting a very overgrown family cemetery. Today, Dale shared pictures with us and his feelings as they uncovered headstones long forgotten and neglected on the now uninhabited island.

Interestingly, the inscriptions on the headstones are different than what we typically see today. Instead of “date of birth” and “date of death”, they listed the “date of death” and then the age of the deceased….in years, months and even days.  See an example below (this is not from Dale’s trip):

headstone for blog

I believe this headstone says “Aged 38 yrs, 4 mo, 15 ds”. Think about that.  Think about your life in terms of the number of days you will have lived at your death. What are you doing with your remaining days? What am I doing with MY remaining days?

Meditating on this today, I remembered the story of the 1000 marbles. You’ve probably heard it…if you have, here’s a reminder…if you haven’t ever heard it, here’s the lesson:

I’m seriously thinking of buying some marbles…I need to get to calculating how many Saturday’s I have left. That’s a scary thing to think about. I feel like I’ve wasted so much time…which creates even more MOTIVATION to live life to it’s fullest. We aren’t promised ANY more Saturday’s. You only have to turn on the news to realize that.

This weekend, we spent time with our children, including our favorite son-in-law…as they are “all grown up”, I especially cherish any time I get to spend with them. We went to a Nashville Sounds baseball game Friday night, on Saturday I spent the day with a friend who is recovering from surgery and just lost her mother unexpectedly, Rich and I went to church today, had brunch at his favorite “after church” brunch spot and then we shopped for groceries for our family dinner. The whole family was together for a fabulous meal jointly prepared by my daughter and I. Good times. No…correct that…GREAT times!!

So again, I ask…what are you doing with YOUR marbles?

Remember…YOLO!

-Jan

Chili day…

Today started with an awesome day at church, hugs from friends (a favorite perk), wonderful music and the Christmas message was unlike any I’ve heard before. It really touched my soul…has made me think all day…bottom line…all was NOT peaceful, silent and right with the world when Jesus was born. Yet he brought hope to this world. I need to listen to the podcast to absorb more of that message – I’ll see if I can post a link here when it’s available.

The Last Minute Toy Store began today; Rich and I have volunteered for several years. I won’t be able to spend time working there this year; however, I’m cooking chili today to send to help feed the volunteers on Tuesday. I’ve loved putting the chili together and stirring it with love every 15 minutes for 3 hours now. I hope it’s very yummy and warms and nourishes some hardworking volunteers who are serving so that thousands of Nashville children will have Christmas gifts. It’s an incredible experience to serve at this annual event. I encourage you to learn more about this wonderful ministry!

While my Last Minute Toy Store pot of chili (required recipe) simmers on the stove, I’m making another pot of chili for my family. Since we been focusing on eating more organic foods, I’m making my “traditional” black bean, beef chili with a few modifications. I’ll post the recipe separately if you’re interested.

I hope you’re enjoying this week leading up to Christmas. Take some time for yourself. Reflect on the year past. Reflect on the true meaning of Christmas. Enjoy time with your family. Love and be loved.

Blessings!

YOLO,

Jan

“Hug it Forward”

Good Friday is all about love. Jesus died on the cross because he loved us. It’s the PERFECT time to think about spreading the love.

Tomorrow, I’ll be giving out FREE HUGS to help spread the love and change the world for Hug it Forward. I’ll be at Highland Park Church’s “Easter Eggstravanganza” from 1-3pm. 5710 Knob Road, Nashville, TN. We’ll be doing some serious hugging!

For every hug we give and YOU register online, $1 will be raised to build bottle schools. How many hugs can I give?? Can I hug 200 people???

If you are not in Nashville, you can still participate. I’ve included an image of the Hug Bucks I’ll be giving away tomorrow. Consider yourself virtually hugged by me…because after all, if you were here or I were there, I WOULD hug you!!

Hug Buck

You can use your smartphone to capture the QR code which will take you to the registration page – it’ll ask you if you were hugged by Jan Orga – enter your zip code – and click the link to register your hug – that’s it!! You MUST register the hug for the sponsors to donate the REAL MOOH-LAH!!  Next time I see you – I WILL hug you in person!!

OR simply go to http://hugitforward.com and register as hugged by “spiritofyolo” and enter your zip – fill out the register the hug area – it’s that easy!!

Please….HUG ME!!! Watch this video about how YOUR hug WILL help change the world!!

With ((((hugs)))) and the Spirit of YOLO!
Jan

My Awesome Adventure – Days 2 & 3

Well…I was so wrapped up in the events of my personal “awesome adventure” that I missed blogging yesterday. I am not focusing on that…rather I am focusing on what I was doing that caused me to miss the day of blogging.

We had another wonderous day of bible study led by the most awesome “Bible Babe” of all – Penny! She has such incredible insight and listening skills to hear and discern where she is being led. We all were in awe of how she lit the path we needed to be lit. When our needs demanded…yes, at times, we demanded…that she change her path…she did it graciously and met us where we needed to be. Lighting another path. Just an incredible gift she has.

I had planned to stay at the “noisy” cabin for the free time on Saturday evening. I ended up shaking my groove thing for hours in the game room with a wonderful group of new friends. We had an awesome DJ emerge from our group, a well stocked jukebox, pool table, air hockey table, a couple of favorite video games, card table and PLENTY of dancing space!!! There is nothing more refreshing after a couple days of intensive studying and digging into self than to let your hair down and DANCE!! Try it some time!

We also celebrated the announcement of one of our HPC sisters being cancer free at this retreat; she had announced her diagnosis last year during the retreat. It was a very special moment as she was presented with a beautiful princess cake created by another HPC sister, Nayeli of the Itty Bitty Cake Shop. What a special occasion it was!!!

This morning we wrapped up the session with Holy Communion, followed by a spontaneous session of signing each other’s journals – remember signing yearbooks in high school – well, yes, it was like that! It was beautiful to see all the women celebrating new friendships by making their loving mark in each other’s journals. It was a beautiful closing to a most incredible weekend. I definitely plan to attend next year!

Have you ever attended a spiritually focused retreat? I highly recommend the experience!

God bless!

YOLO!!

Jan

 

Cake by the Itty Bitty Cake Shop

Itty Bitty Cake Shop

Highland Park Church

The Awesome Adventure – Day 2

Today was the first full day of our Victorious Secret Retreat with 40 women from Highland Park Church. Penny is leading our bible study; she refers to opening your bible and diving in as the “awesome adventure”. I love the visual that it provides for me.

We spent 2 full hours in quiet “secret” (personal/private) study – one hour in the morning and one in the afternoon – each after an opening session with Penny and followed by a wrap-up session.

If you’ve been following my blog, you know that I’ve been in a season of searching for understanding/direction and healing since losing my job a little over year ago.

This morning I had a personal and private breakdown and breakTHROUGH during my morning session…which then was reinforced by the message Penny gave in our wrap-up session. Her words were surely meant directly for me. God was clearly speaking through her.  Suffice it to say that God is indeed good…ALL the time.

I am right where I need to be.

I’ve been promising some pictures – enjoy this slideshow!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

YOLO!

Jan

Hosea 6:1-3 Oh that we might know the Lord! Let us press on to know Him. He will respond to us as surely as the arrival of dawn…

Victorious Secret Retreat 2011

I’m late…I’m late…I’m late for a very important date!

I MISSED getting my daily blog posted for January 20th by less than an hour!

I am in Gatlinburg, TN for the 2011 Victorious Secret Retreat; this is a spiritual retreat for the women of Highland Park Church. There are about 40 women here – we are occupying two beautiful and MASSIVE cabins. The retreat started this evening and I enjoyed spending the time I “reserved” for blogging during our “free time” by instead, visiting with and getting to know 2 new friends! It’s a big part of WHY I came on the retreat. Success already! Who doesn’t love new friends?

It’s late here now…I’m past my deadline AND my bedtime. I’ll check in again tomorrow….stay tuned…I’ve got pictures to post soon!

YOLO!

Jan

Hosea 6:1-3 Oh that we might know the Lord! Let us press on to know Him. He will respond to us as surely as the arrival of dawn

 

 

Spiritual Renewal Day: Scheduling Margin

Last week I blogged about “Margin” – you can read it here. Our Pastor, Dale Robble, with Highland Park Church is doing a series inspired by the book Margin, Restoring Emotional, Physical, Financial, and Time Reserves to Overloaded Lives by Richard A. Swenson, MD.

Margin is defined as: the amount available beyond what is necessary. The difference between what you have and what you need. This could be time, money, relationships, food, meetings…you get the point.

So how do you schedule margin? How do we schedule WISELY?

We need to learn to say “NO” to many GOOD things, so we can say “YES” to the BEST things!

Read that again…absorb it. Yes! Sometimes we need to say NO to something GOOD so we can say YES to something BETTER!

“Busy”ness does NOT equal productivity. Boy…this is a lesson that’s been reinforced many times over to me. I am learning to focus my own “busy”ness with the goal of increasing my productivity by diligently using a consistent to-do list. When my children were young and very busy with extracurricular activities, in addition to driving the Mom-taxi, I was also a working mother, my husband was growing our retail business…I thought I was a great multi-tasker. In fact, I was phenomenal!

I don’t know the key to success but the key to failure is trying to please everybody. ~Bill Cosby

What I have since learned is that multi-tasking is a myth. It’s literally impossible to give your full and undivided attention to more than one task at a time. Sure, I was doing a lot. I was accomplishing much. But was I doing ANY of it to the best of my abilities? I bet NOT!

I remember in the ’70’s when personal computers were being developed and envisioned with awe by many…we were told that our lives would become so much simpler. We’d be able to accomplish MORE in LESS time.

In fact, today, I’ll argue that the reverse is our current reality. The bar of expected productivity has been raised. And raised HIGH. We now have multiple computers in our homes, we have cell phones, most people have smart phones, our jobs often expect us to be accessible 24/7 . We are yoked constantly to the electronic gadgets which were supposed to bring us REST!

I have learned through experience that I cannot be all things to all people. And if I try, I will certainly fail. Instead of being a source of support, light, energy and love…I become a drain. And that is not fun for anyone involved. Me included.

So back to Dale’s lesson…too many people are being robbed from a life of meaning NOT because they are UNCOMMITTED, but because they are OVERCOMMITTED.

Some thoughts:

  • Just because you COULD do something…does not mean you SHOULD do something.
  • “No” – IS a complete sentence…I love this!! You don’t have to say it rudely…just smile and say “No”.
  • You HAVE time for what you CHOOSE to have time for!

Finally…there are two things that are phenomenally important to your success and your relationship with God…and we are nothing without our relationship with God.

  1. We must have intimate TIME with God.
  2. We must have intentional times of REST.

Again…I amazed at how the universe (God for me) is speaking to us all the time. We have but to listen. In all of the self-development work I’ve been doing with mentors such as Anthony Robbins, Dave & Yvette Ulloa, Rich German…I’ve been learning the importance of spending time in prayer and meditation. This time of bible study, intercessory prayer, mental and physical quiet…allows me to listen and rest. It’s very centering.

Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear; and the burden I give you is light”.   ~Matthew 11:28-30

God wants us to live a life of peace and rest. Even God worked 6 days and rested on the 7th. Jesus took time for Himself when he was on this earth. He spent time in prayer. He got away from the crowds. He found rest.

Dale challenged us to spend 10 minutes a day in quiet communion with God. I have been spending time in prayer and meditation on an inconsistent basis. I will be adding this to my to-do list. I WILL be scheduling this time. I CHOOSE to find the time.

I choose to yoke myself to my God instead of all my electronic gadgets.

I encourage you to do the same. Let me know how it goes for you…

And remember,

YOLO!

Jan

Spiritual Renewal Day:A Beginning Lesson in Margins

Today, Pastor Dale Robble at Highland Park Church, spoke about “margins”.

Margin: the amount available beyond what is necessary. Some examples:

  • the difference between what you have and what you need
  • having distance between you and temptation
  • having the emotional capacity to deal with problems
  • having significant time with God
  • overload is fatigue, margin is energy
  • overload is red ink, margin is black ink
  • overload is hurry, margin is calm
  • overload is anxiety, margin is security

Most people have NO margin for the most important priorities in their lives. Pastor Dale really caught my attention when he said that for him…the best things in life happen in the margins. I’ve been thinking about this all day…it’s a concept that I will explore and apply to my life immediately! It’s TIME to increase the MARGINS!

We live in a culture that encourages us to push ourselves to the limits. Most of us are convinced that the way we are living is necessary and right. It’s NOT!!

God wants us to have healthy margins. Consider:

  • Romans 12:2 Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.
  • Matthew 11:28 Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.”
  • Psalm 46:10 Be still and know that I am God!
  • Isaiah 58:11 The Lord will guide you continually…

In doing my weekly review of my 2011 goals and priorities, I am reminded that one of my spiritual “goals” is to increase my meditation and prayer time.

I continue to find myself in awe at how the universe responds when you focus on something. What you focus on increases. I am constantly finding this reinforced in my life. The message today at HPC was totally in keeping with my goals. I am looking forward to the rest of this series and learning more about creating healthy margins.

What can YOU do to increase the margins in YOUR life?

YOLO,

Jan

PS – The HPC series is based in part, on the book: Margin, Restoring Emotional, Physical, Financial and Time Reserves to Overloaded Lives by Richard Swenson.