Hope

I believe the Holy Spirit brings people to mind for a reason. Sometimes I take it as a sign that God wants me to pray for them or to reach out and see how they’ve been. Other times, it’s God’s way of telling me that we’re about to cross paths for a very specific reason. Like a few days ago when I thought about a family friend and, before I had a chance to pick up the phone, she called me to say that she was at a convenience store and one of the employees was thinking about coming to Chicago.

“A woman I know has stage four colon cancer and her local doctor told her that she has maybe six months to live,” my friend said. “She’s too young to just give up and is thinking about coming to Chicago for a second opinion.”

“Does she know who she wants to see?” I asked.

“Someone told her about the Cancer Center of America but she doesn’t know when the doctors there can get her in.”

My friend was hoping I would help the employee with transportation once she found a doctor who could see her. Imagine her surprise when I mentioned that I had the number for an amazing colon surgeon programmed into my phone.

My daughter Katie was with me a short while later when the colon surgeon’s nurse called me back with instructions to pass along to the person in Nebraska.

“After she calls the main number to register, have her call the cancer center to schedule an appointment,” the nurse said.

When I got off the phone, Katie mentioned how nice it was that I was helping a person I didn’t know.

“I’m just doing what I would want someone to do if I were in her shoes,” I said. “Everybody deserves hope.”

“Literally,” Katie said with a smile as she reminded me that the name of the person at the cancer center who was waiting for the Nebraska woman to call…was Hope.

 

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. – 1 Peter 5:7

The Difference Between a Burden and a Load

Every once in a while I come across an article that I love—or learn so much from—that I want to share it with E V E R Y B O D Y. Jennifer Slattery’s  post where she shares another author’s thoughts on the difference between easing someone’s burden and unnecessarily taking on another person’s load is one of these articles. According to Sherri Wilson Johnson, a burden is something that has been placed upon us without any wrongdoing on our part (like a birth defect or growing up in an abusive home). A load, on the other hand, is something you have picked up on the road of life and chosen to carry, even though it has made your way harder. 

We must never do for others what they should be doing for themselves, yet too often we fall victim to our own tendency to be overly helpful and understandably frustrated when loaded down people take advantage of our niceness. When I think of the countless times that I have rescued someone from their own insubordination, I am appalled by mine. Galatians 6:5 tells us that “each one should carry their own load” yet over and over I find myself ignoring this command, not just at my  peril, but also someone else’s.

“We’ve all made mistakes and can sympathize with people who are trapped in a sinful place.” Johnson commiserated. “It is tempting to swoop in and try to pluck this person out of the muck and mire. However, it is not always an easy thing to do nor is it the right thing to do. If this person is stuck or if he is like a stubborn mule, fighting your every effort, then sometimes you must leave him to his own devices. Turn him over to a reprobate mind. Take off your sandals and shake off the dust.”

I am tired of sweeping up after someone else’s stubborn choices. Aren’t you? Galatians 6:7 tells us that “God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows” so let’s stop getting in the way and take Hebrews 12:1 to heart as we throw “off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles” and run the race that was meant for us, NOT another sinner, by easing other people’s burdens without taking on unnecessary pain.

To read Sherri’s Article, click on the link below:

Carry their Burden but Not Their Load

When Times Change and People Grow

Whoever said that a mother’s job is never done wasn’t kidding: It’s never done. Long after my daughters are tucked into bed, I’m wiping off counters, folding laundry, and making sure that the doors are locked and the lights get turned off. And contrary to what my youngest told a fellow first grader years ago when she had her over for a playdate, I do not sit around and do nothing all day. There are errands to run, calls to make, rooms to pick up, spaces to organize,  trips to plan, and countless other projects.

Although the amount of work rarely changes, the type of tasks do. If you had asked me even one month ago, for example, what my focus would be this week, I never would have guessed that it would be shopping to give my eighth grader an edgier look or rearranging her schedule to find time to practice with a professional all-girl rock band.

Thinking of how much both of my children have matured over the past year reminds me of something a six-year-old  told me after I commented on how tall she had gotten since I had last seen her. “I know,” she said nonchalantly. “Times change and people grow.”

All of us were created to grow. We know this from Romans 12:2 where we are told: “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” When I test for God’s will, I ask myself the following four questions:

  1. What does the wise counsel of my husband or a Godly friend have to say about what I want to do?
  2. Do circumstances allow it?
  3. Does it go against Scripture?
  4. Am I at peace with my decision?

Three months ago, I was not at peace with Hollie’s continued requests to dye her hair; but now circumstances have changed and even Bill is encouraging me to schedule the appointment. Hollie has morphed into a disciplined bass guitar player and I have mellowed enough to see that my job as a parent is to support her—even if it means looking for dark-colored clothes that won’t look too “happy” on stage and going to church with a child who is rocking a crazy hairstyle.

We can grow with our kids, or apart from them. Achieving the former and avoiding the latter is the difference between following where God is leading and steering children elsewhere.

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Drama Proofing Your Life

Lately, I have been learning a lot about drama and what to do when it is unavoidably forced upon you. One of the more recent resources that I have stumbled across is Ray Kane’s Drama Proofing Your Life series that has been airing monthly on Moody Radio’s Midday Connection program. To give you a taste of how helpful this series is when it comes to understanding and dealing with difficult people, I copied the notes that I took while listening to Part 5 of Drama Proofing Your Life (which aired on February 19th) and pasted them into the space below.

In a drama, there’s a victim, a persecutor and a rescuer. The victim says: “I’m blameless, I’m helpless.” The persecutor says: “I’m right. I’m powerful.” The rescuer or caretaker says: “I can help. I’m special.”

The five factors that make up a drama pattern are:

  1. Intensity
  2. Defensiveness
  3. Unresolved Fear
  4. Anger
  5. Sadness

Drama’s occur when an individual chooses:

  1. not to deal with his intensity (i.e., pain of the past)
  2. to be defensive
  3. not to deal with their fear anger and sadness
Fear is at the pinnacle of the drama triangle. There are more verses on fear than on love in the bible. Whenever I’m angry, 9 times out of 10, it’s because of fear. Anger is our way of growling when we’re afraid.
The fears that create drama are fear of …
  1. failure
  2. rejection
  3. abandonment
  4. death (someone else is going to die, or I’m going to die an emotional death)
Three questions to ask yourself:
  1. How do I deal with my intensity and pain?
  2. How do I deal with my defensiveness that is my ego?
  3. How do I deal with my fear?
The intensity card is critical to being able to disarm the intensity pattern.
Another reason that people create drama (in addition to a lack of problem-solving skills) is because they are defined by the outside-in.
Some people tend to be more outside-in than inside-out in terms of the way they live their life. Generally an outside-in person will look to their environment. They’ll read for acceptance and rejection, for instance. Or they may look for some form of excitement to invigorate them and help them “come alive” by getting some kind of self-esteem (a sense of worth, competence, and belonging) from the drama they are creating; and so they might have a tendency to stir the pot or to be in a go-between type of situation.Kane encourages  us to consider: What are we trying to gain by creating drama or perpetuating drama? Is this the best way to accomplish my goal?Everyone is responsible for their own pain. When a spouse is pouting, withdrawing because he’s hoping to be rescued and playing the victim, he’s not wanting to take responsibility. If the wife disengages without being mean and allows herself to understand what’s going on with her spouse, she can apply knowledge with wisdom and discernment to really grow.More about emotional intensity:
  • Whenever there is emotionally intensity, it signifies that historical feelings and/or experiences are being triggered by current events.
  • Intensity communicates to others that our needs, concerns, or disappointments are not being validated.
  • When we are discounted, our natural reaction is to fight for our rights rather than enter into reasonable and rational conversations that balance our ability to think about our feelings as well as feel about our thinking.
Intensity is a by-product of:
  1. Un-resolved trauma (i.e., we weren’t loved well) expressed through our pain in feeling shame, insecurity, guilt, or believing that everything is wrong with me.
  2. Fear (i.e., failure to meet expectations, rejection of thoughts and feelings, abandonment by someone leaving physically or emotionally, fear unto death where someone else is going to die or I’m going to die or I feel emotional despair)  marked by thinking catastrophically, becoming anxious, or becoming controlling and angry.
  3. Self-Absorbtion is marked by being egocentric or prideful, believing nothing is wrong with me, being selfish and self-centered which ultimately causes one to walk by others who are in pain. The  more self-absorbed a person is, the more ego-centric they are, the more unresolved pain they have, the more trauma they have in their life that they haven’t addressed, and the more afraid they are (but they’re not willing to deal with it).
If you have two people who are engaging in drama, it creates an unsafe but familiar environment where, even if it’s bad, we don’t want to step out of the familiar because it’s what we know. The law of familiarity states that I’m attracted to what I’m familiar to even though it’s unhealthy. We have to choose to want to work on our issues and undergo the process of growth and change.
Drama-proofing your life requires asking these questions:
  1. Are you committed to growth and change?
  2. Do you really want to be healthy?
Although there are true victims who are robbed or forced to do something against their will, generally speaking, people are volunteers because they aren’t willing to take responsibility. The three things Ray Kane measures when he works with people is: 1) willingness, 2) heart & 3) responsibility. Are they willing to engage their heart and take responsibility. If these factors are not present, an individual is not ready to be healthy and will continue to create drama.
What if only one of you is willing to enter the path of growth? Jesus didn’t play into the drama patterns. He was always outside the drama triangle because he took responsibility for his own behavior. When we’re in a drama, we generally feel powerless. Jesus’ power (how he stayed out of the drama) is that he took truth from the father and acted with:
  1. wisdom and discernment
  2. humility
  3. a heart of love and respect (Love is a feeling, Respect is how you show it.)
Truth, communicated with wisdom,  discernment, love, respect and humility is what real power is.If you have a family or work environment where you are committed to be like Christ in being centered and healthy, then the Lord will give you wisdom and discernment with how to set boundaries and how to even stay in a relationship that’s difficult. (If it’s abusive, that’s a whole other ball game.) If it’s not abusive, you take yourself out of the drama by choosing to be healthy and desiring to be more like Christ.In healthy problem-solving:
  1. something happens
  2. skills are applied
  3. solutions are sought
  4. the outcome is evaluated
  5. the next action step is taken.
In unhealthy problem-solving (which is what dramas create):
  1. something happens
  2. the skills needed to solve the problem are missing
  3. there is no search for solutions
  4. feelings of anxiousness and insecurity lead to emotional flooding
  5. aggressive tactics like the ones below are applied in an attempt to restore emotional equilibrium and get someone else to deal with the problem
    • defensiveness
    • using shaming, blaming, critical and judgmental language
    • justifying a position
    • playing the victim
  6. the drama becomes the new issue to be handled and the original problem takes a backseat to the drama that’s been created

We all haven’t been loved well. Because our parents weren’t loved well, we weren’t loved well, and we don’t love well. That’s a given. In our life, the unresolved pain where love didn’t exist (and where love needed to be) becomes an anchor that keeps us from being able to get up to full speed.

Either we’re moving towards Christ or away from Christ. The significant process of the Christian life is learning how to deal with pain because if we don’t transform our pain, we transmit it. And so we have to be willing to engage in a process of growth and change in order to want to be a healthy person, centered in Christ. When I become that person, I then can change my environment.

Skills vs Capacity:

  • Capacity is how much energy I have in my tank to be able to use problem-solving skills to resolve an issue. Capacity will either come from my ego or from my faith. If there is a true heart’s desire to want to connect with Christ in an intimate way, Christ can help to heal the traumas of the past and, as Christ is present in the midst of those traumas, Jesus connects and attaches with the person who is hurting to increase their capacity. That is what it means to be connected with Christ in an intimate way and to experience the fullness of healing when we experience pain.
  • Healthy faith is able to take truth, communicate it with wisdom, discernment, and a heart of love and respect because I’m not preoccupied with trying to look good. Jesus’ power came with his humility, purity and ability to speak the truth.
Over-functioning and Under-functioning Relationships:The over functioning person that wants intimacy and connection more than the under-functioning individual tends to put more energy towards and into inviting the other person who is under-functioning to step up. It’s like spinning your wheels, you feel like a gerbil in a gerbil cage. You have to change-up the dynamic.In a healthy relationship, both individuals need to want intimacy at the same level. Growing towards that ideal means committing to:
  • having a more intimate relationship emotionally
  • learning how to communicate our needs, feelings and pain
  • to learn how to listen, hear and understand
If the under-functioning individual is hesitant to commit to this, then the person is more interested in having you  pursue him than he is in allowing himself to be vulnerable. We can invite people into healthy relationships but, if they are unwilling to do so, we need to be willing to move on and allow the other person to do the same.Can you allow yourself to see your character-disordered person as a gift? We like to see them as the generator of our pain, but they are not. The Lord has us in this place, otherwise we would be someplace else. It is God’s will that we be where we are at right now.Five questions to ask yourself to find out why the drama you are in is a gift:
  1. What is it that I can learn about myself?
  2. What insecurities is it raising inside of me that I need to bring to Christ?
  3. What skills might I need to acquire to be able to set appropriate boundaries?
  4. How might I need to learn how to communicate my needs, feelings and pain in more efficient ways?
  5. How might this experience enable me to develop a much deeper intimacy with Christ?
Recap:Healthy problem solving requires a particular set of skills. With unhealthy problem-solving, those skills are missing. We compensate because we want emotional equilibrium.If I’m not growing by dealing with my pain (which is caused by shame, insecurity or guilt) or dealing with my fears of failure, rejection, and abandonment, then I’m going to compensate by using my ego to be able to counterbalance the insecurity so therefore I become reactive. Reactivity means that I’m being defensive. Defensiveness means that I’m denying a problem exists, discounting and dismissing what others have to say, projecting and making the problem someone else’s as I justify my position, play the victim, and perpetuate the problem by causing the unresolved problem to be buried.If we become reactive and start pointing a finger, there are still four pointing back at us.

When I am willing to deal with my trauma, to deal with my fear, to not be driven by my ego but learn to become more humble, then I can be  reflective and take ownership of my thoughts and feelings by expressing a desire to humbly confess my wrongdoings and turn from my bad habits to pave the way for  negative patterns to be buried dead.If we’re triggered, it’s about our pain. There’s a point at which God hardens someone’s heart, but as long as we’re working on our pain, then we become a safer person to tell someone else that we would like them to work on theirs.

To listen to or download this or other episodes that Ray Kane has presented on Moody Radio’s Midday Connection program, click on one or more of the links below:

Drama-Proofing Your Life Part 1

Drama-Proofing Your Life Part 2

Drama-Proofing Your Life Part 3

Drama-Proofing Your Life Part 4

Drama-Proofing Your Life Part 5

View All Midday Connection Episodes with Guest Ray Kane

Making Proverbs 13 Your Mantra

This weekend at church, the most adorable little girl stood on the seat in front of me. She was wearing a beautiful silver dress and had a pair of velvet Mickey Mouse ears perched on top of her head. Her headband reminded me of the year that Bill and I took our daughters to Disney World on the Fourth of July. It was crowded and stressful and I told myself that we would never do that again.

No one wants to be so busy during the holidays that they have no time to enjoy them, yet so many of us pack our pre-Christmas days with an overwhelming number of To Dos. This year I resolved to not to fall into this trap, largely out of necessity. On the day before Thanksgiving, I had arthroscopic surgery to remove a bone spur and repair a tear in the labrum of my left hip.  Several people who have seen me hobbling around on crutches have commented on how awful it must feel to not be able to walk over the holidays but I don’t see it that way because knowing that I would spend all of December on crutches motivated me to get ready for Christmas early.

Proverbs 13:4 teaches us that the desires of the diligent are fully satisfied, but sometimes God works through circumstances to drive home the lesson. With presents wrapped, cards ordered, and decorations up before December 1st, I had none of those distractions to keep me from serving and spending time with friends and family.

Diligence is the earnest and persistent application to an undertaking, not a frenzied  race to December 25th, so let’s make Proverbs 13 our mantra for 2013 and lean on God’s promises every day.

The Best Person for Our Possessions

I recently received a message in my inbox from a woman who received one of the books that I had posted on paperbackswap.com. In her e-mail, she gushed about how much her daughter was enjoying it.

Knowing that the letter art book that had been tucked away in our gift closet ever since I bought it 5 years ago was now being used every day served as yet another reminder that we are not always the right person for the resources God has entrusted to our care. And sometimes, the best way to benefit from our possessions is to give them away.

Managing Others

Hollie wanted to borrow a shirt from Katie but was afraid that her sister would get mad if she came into her room.

“Send her a text,” I suggested. “That’s how I got her to bring me the towels out of your bathroom.”

“Katie has to listen to you,” Hollie replied. “She doesn’t have to answer to me.”

“Send the text from my phone,” I schemed.

My suggestion worked like a charm and the outcome got me thinking: Why does relating to other people have to be so hard?

Can’t we all just say what we mean, mean what we say and forget about managing others?

This summer, I spent a lot of time managing a difficult relationship. One where constant conflict and irrational behavior left me so emotionally drained that I was ready to give up on the person altogether—Then I read a bible study lesson that talked about how the real enemy is not the person with the maladaptive behavior, but the devil who was behind it.

Satan works through flawed characters to bring out the worst in well-intentioned ones. As soon as I realized that I was not the only one trying to gain control of the situation, I stopped trying to.

Sometimes you have to give up control to gain it. Only then can we experience the peace that the apostle Paul wrote about in Philippians 4:7.

Life shouldn’t have to be like a game a chess where we are always plotting the other person’s next move; but when it is, it helps to remember that we are all on the same team. And difficult people are not the enemy, but unwitting pawns in Satan’s plan.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation,

by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding,

will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:6-7

Proving People Wrong

While looking through the selection of DVDs available at my local library, I came across the title Flight Plan and considered checking it out for my daughters.  I love introducing Katie and Hollie to movies, especially films that I have seen several times.

I believe that the mind cannot resist answering a question;  so when I asked myself why I was drawn to a plot about a grieving widow and her missing daughter, I put on what Hollie calls my “thinking face” and waited for the answer. It came when I realized that I watched this 98-minute movie again and again for the one minute when the main character showed everyone on the plane that she was right and they were wrong.

Proving people wrong sounds like a bad thing, especially after coming off a summer where I often felt misunderstood and always made the situation worse by trying to explain myself. What was it about Jodie’s character that allowed her to look like the victor, instead of a villain?

This question motivated me to compare the movie to my own situations. When I did, I found that one key difference emerged: Not once did she say “I told you so” to anyone.

Proving people wrong is a good thing: Gloating is not. Maybe that’s why Proverbs 10:19 tells us that when words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise.

I want to be wise. To let my actions do the talking and let go of the need to explain myself to everyone. Jodie’s character held her tongue as she walked by her fellow passengers in the final scene of the movie and I have to think that my summer would have been a lot less stressful if I had resolved to do the same. The only thing worse than a sore loser is a smug winner. And in the pursuit of justice, it’s the telling—not the proving—that is wrong.

Watch Trailer

What Matters Most

On Labor Day weekend, Bill and I attended an outdoor music festival where rock bands Starship, Survivor and Boston performed in front of a crowd of 6,000 people. It was a beautiful night as a record number of concert-goers claimed their spot in front of the stage. Because one of my brothers worked for the company that was sponsoring the event, our seats were in a section reserved for employees and their families.

It was a jail cell as far as Katie and Hollie were concerned because they didn’t want to be there. Listening to music that Bill & I grew up with was not their idea of fun, but it seemed silly to let extra tickets go to waste while our girls watched television back at the hotel.

To make the experience more bearable, Katie got out her iPhone and handed one of her earbuds to Hollie. For the next hour, I watched as both girls tuned out the 80’s by infusing a continuous dose of alternative rock into their ears.

“When can we go back to the hotel?” Hollie asked after Starship had finished on stage.

“Why don’t you wait until Survivor is finished playing?” I suggested.

I wanted the girls to hear Eye of the Tiger (one of the only songs they knew), but when the band kept playing songs they didn’t know, I decided to put Katie and Hollie out of their 80’s misery and called my mom to pick them up.

I had just returned to my seat after walking the girls to the gate when I heard that one of the members of Starship had collapsed back stage. Event staff did a great job of keeping the news quiet until the concert was over, but my youngest brother’s VIP pass put him so close to the action that he heard the wife of one of the members of Boston confirm that Mark Abrahamian, the lead guitarist for Starship, had died at the age of 46.

“I don’t know how I’m going to tell my husband,” she said. “He’s been a friend of our family for years.”

“Mark wouldn’t have wanted it any other way, ” the woman continued. “He died doing what he loved.”

Her words raise the question: If today was our last day on earth, would the people who know us best be able to say the same?

In my last post, I confessed that I had gone most of the summer without writing. What I didn’t say—and would like to add—is that with every week that passed, I felt less confident about my calling.

Does God really want me to be a writer?

Isn’t there something easier that I can do?

I am notorious for getting sidetracked with projects around the house, largely because organizing comes easy to me and blogging does not. My latest accomplishment was cleaning out our pantry; and although I smile every time I walk into the clutter-free space, I also know that it came at the cost of other projects.

Missionary C.T. Studd must have felt the same way when he said: Only one life, ’twill soon be past; only what’s done for Christ will last.

For me what will last are the things that I do for other people. Bill and the girls were frustrated with not being able to find things and so I did something about it. The fact that the work came easy to me was just a bonus. It was also a reminder that I don’t always have to be outside my comfort zone to be in line with God’s; because it’s not what we do, but who we do it for, that really matters most.

[slideshow]

A Little More Jesus

It’s been said that absence makes the heart grow fonder but, sometimes, it just makes me wonder: What’s been keeping a person away for so long?

Was it something I said?

Or something I did?

As a coach, I am trained to listen for two things: The story and the truth. The story is what we say to make ourselves feel better (or worse) about a situation. The truth is rooted in, not perception, but fact. And the fact, in this instance, is that the mind can get pretty carried away without something real to keep it grounded.

I was reminded of this just yesterday when I received an e-mail from a friend who I had not talked to for most of the summer. I’d thought about reaching out to her on several occasions but, because it was her turn to call, I stubbornly decided not to. Immediately upon reading her e-mail and learning about the challenges she’s been facing since we last spoke, I realized two things:

1. I was the person in the wrong.
2. Good friends don’t keep score.

Why is it that what bothers us most about others is the very thing we are guilty of ourselves? Sometimes I think the world be much simpler if we never had to spin stories to hide our hypocritical cores.

The story I spun about my friend was that she had lost interest in our friendship. The reality is that silence does not mean indifference. I, of all people, should know this after taking time off from writing following my father’s death last June. In the six years since publishing my first newsletter, this is the longest that I’ve been away from my craft—and all of you; but with an obituary to write, a slideshow to create, and an overwhelming amount of other projects to tackle as my brothers and I started the long process of cleaning up our Dad’s farm, I knew in my heart that it was the right thing to do.

What wasn’t right was my decision to also take the summer off from God. It’s not that I didn’t want to spend time with Him: It’s just that with everything that was going on, spiritual disciplines always seemed to be the last thing on my mind. And as the dog days of summer wore on, it became clear that the longer I went without studying the bible, the farther I felt from God.

If out of sight is out of mind, then out of mind definitely leads to lack of heart. It’s the one time when absence makes the heart grow, not fonder, but fussier as we lose all compassion for others.

I often joke that I get along great with people as long as I’m the only one in the room. What I don’t say about this philosopy is that it doesn’t account for God. Although it doesn’t always feel like it, silence doesn’t mean absence−just that He has chosen not to comment on our behavior.

I definitely had moments that left God speechless as certain relationships and circumstances left me ranting and raving like an emotional toddler. To make sense of these situations, I listened to self-help audio tapes while driving to and from Nebraska. One batch that I checked out from the library included the title ‘One Month To Live: Thirty Days to a No-Regrets Life’ by Kerry & Chris Shook. Although I never got used to the narrator’s deep voice (think James Earl Jones from the Lion King), I was glad that I stuck with the guy for long enough to hear him challenge listeners—myself included—to never give up something that we can’t go a day without thinking about.

What can’t you go a day without thinking about? Do you know?

I asked myself this question in early July and already it was apparent that I can’t go a summer without Jesus. And as someone who was away from home for 47 days last summer, I speak from experience when I say that if you’re feeling far from God, it’s your actions and not your location that needs to change. It felt good to return to my pre-summer ways when life settled down enough to pick up where I left off in my bible. As soon as I did, I was welcomed back with these words from Psalm 16:

5 Lord, you alone are my portion and my cup;
you make my lot secure.
6 The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
surely I have a delightful inheritance.
7 I will praise the Lord, who counsels me;
even at night my heart instructs me.
8 I keep my eyes always on the Lord.
With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.

How comforting it is to know that, no matter how long or far we travel, our lot is secure as we keep our eyes on the Lord and our behavior in check by putting a little more Jesus in our day.