With the arrival of spring, I always start to think about my garden, what worked last year and what didn’t, what needs to be changed and, perhaps most fun of all, what new things I’m going to plant. Those new plants often come from seeds.
Have you ever stopped to think about the seeds that come from plants? Cut open a bell pepper in your kitchen and there are seeds. Take a bite of watermelon in the middle of summer and what are you likely to spit out? Seeds. Seeds are all around us, yet I suspect most of us don’t pay them much thought.
I often see the sidewalks littered with seeds that have fallen from trees. Maple trees can drop hundreds if not thousands of seeds. A single columbine plant no doubt produces thousands of tiny black seeds. And I would venture to guess that a hundred foot tall pine tree could have seeds in the tens of thousands each year.
In recent years as Easter has approached, my thoughts have gone back about 15 years to when a boss who may not have been completely in touch with her employees decided to host an Easter egg hunt. The eggs were hidden around our small building and the employees searched for them. I was filled with dread as this sort of activity is not in my comfort zone. I managed to get the job of hiding the eggs, so I wouldn’t have to go searching for them later.
When the day arrived, I hid the eggs and then watched and waited as my coworkers went searching. When all the eggs were found and the hunt was done, we spent a few minutes together opening the eggs to find lottery tickets.
Several weeks later my boss commented that no one had thanked her for the activity or chance to win the lottery. I could understand why they had not thanked her. I think my coworkers were as unexcited about the Easter egg hunt as I was. (more…)
When was the last time you went on an Internet rabbit trail? I hate to think how often I have. Generally I realize I’m far off my intended topic and have spent far more time than I would like to admit on this little trail. About a month ago, though, the trail led somewhere productive.
I can’t tell you how, but I ended up on the Center for Adaptive Schools posting of Norms for Collaboration. This one-page paper provides tips for improving team environments. The last point applies far more broadly than working in team environments and has had a great impact on my interactions with those around me.
Presume Positive Intentions
Norms of Collaboration suggests that when we assume other people’s intentions are good, we will engage in more meaningful discussion and avoid unintentional put-downs. By nature, I think I’m a fairly positive person. Yet I have all-too-frequent moments when I allow an attitude that “the world is out to get me” to motivate my interactions with others. I assume the worst instead of the best about others.
When we assume the worst about another person, we very often don’t stop with just our thoughts. Our words and actions will follow (more…)
Hi, I’m Trina Bresser Matous and I’ve been writing for Ask God Today for almost a year. I grew up in a Christian home. Though it seems like I’ve always known God, I also had a sense that there was more to a relationship with Him than what I was experiencing. In my mid 20’s I discovered that what I had been yearning for was an intimate relationship with Jesus. Since then God has taken me on an amazing journey as He has shaped and molded me for His purposes.
Hey, it’s Brenda here! Although it is hard to believe, we have begun a new month again. It’s August and life seems to take a turn and a twist as the kids head back to school. It’s almost like the beginning of a new year, except instead of it being January, it is August. We begin a new series today and we hope you enjoy, laugh and cry with us this month as we share some of the lessons we have learned the hard way. It is called:
“You Got Schooled. Lessons Learned the Hard Way.”
So let’s jump right on in and hear our first lesson
learned by our very own amazing writer and
lover of God’s Word, Trina!
As I sat taking my pre-calculus mid-term exam, I suddenly was aware of the instructor looking over my shoulder. I wasn’t cheating, so had no idea why he chose my shoulder to peer over. I didn’t have to wait long to find out. He pointed to the problem I was working on and said, “That graph is wrong.” The graph for this particular problem could only be drawn one of two ways. If I had it wrong, there was only one option to make it right. I quickly erased my work and redrew the graph correctly.
Two more times during the course of this exam the instruction stopped by my desk and made comments about my work. I had never before experienced an instructor offering help during a test. Sitting at the front of the room and far too nervous to look around, I couldn’t tell if the instructor was helping anyone else.
As I walked to my car after the exam was over, I marveled. Was this God’s way of answering prayer? For weeks I’d been praying about passing this class. I’d been talked into taking pre-calculus instead of a lower math class that would have filled the requirement for my business major. High school math made sense to me and I’d done fairly well in it. Calculus seemed beyond my scope of what made sense and I (more…)