Devotional, Perspective, Creativity, Learning, Solutions to Problems

A New Perspective

I recently heard an interesting story about a department store in the Brazilian town where we live. I’ve been buying household items such as towels in this store for many years and had often wondered about the name.

A realtor who’s lived in this town since childhood told us the background to the store’s name. It struck a chord with me, having It has to do with words, which piques my interest. The curious thing is that the name didn’t seem tied to or significant anything concrete in relation to the business or the town. As the story goes, this store had been open for several years when another store by the same name moved into town. The new store was a bigger, more established chain store. According to our friend, the owner of the local store which was originally called Modelar (lar means home in Portuguese), reversed the letters of the store name. He created a new name by spelling the old name backwards: Modelar was changed to Raledom. Voilà, problem solved! Maybe you or I have been reading something in our lives backwards! Maybe things aren’t as bad as they seem, but just need to be reordered. I think the owner found an original and creative solution to his problem.
In college (many years ago) I learned about Bloom’s Taxonomy. In Bloom’s hierarchy of learning, creativity tops the pyramid as the highest level of learning. With this in mind, consider in which areas you might find more creative solutions to those “unsolvable” problems. Working with students through the years, I learned that often my idea of the solution to a problem was far inferior to the ways my students would solve the same problem. Writer’s often work and rework the same plot from different angles until they get it just right. Let’s strive to get it right!

“We are all faced with a series of great opportunities brilliantly disguised as impossible situations.” –Chuck Swindoll

Solutions often come to those who readjust their perspective. My daughter had been working on the perspective of a window juxtaposed to a door and a table in one of her recent paintings. The whole family inspected it and considered whether she had the right perspective, or not. Sometimes we need to take that second look or find another opinion to help us. Many times in my life, I’ve gotten a better perspective by talking to someone more experienced than myself. What was most interesting about the history of Raledom’s name was not in the arrangement of the letters. My interest lie in how a challenging predicament was successfully resolved by using creativity and allowing freedom to change, which resulted in a new name for a popular store that withstood the test of time. Instead of throwing in the towel, (on his store that sold towels) the owner renamed the store. Turning the letters around gave this business owner a fresh start!

One thing I look forward to in Heaven is learning what my new name will be! Wouldn’t it be ironic if it was just my old name spelled backwards! God can take the backward, crooked, and twisted things in life and make them straight. He gives sense to the confusion. In our tech savvy world today, we can load a reverse text generator to our devices that can reverse text, spell backwards, and even flip words. According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, reverse can mean : opposite or contrary to a previous or normal condition. Don’t be so stuck in forward moving rut on a wrong path that you can’t reverse course when you need new solutions to your challenges or when you need a fresh start! Be creative. Be willing to make the necessary changes if a better solution arises. It may feel like your world is turning upside down, but the Bible says,

“While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:18 King James Version (KJV)

Aligning our vision with God’s perspective helps us to flourish.

If you turn things around and view them in the right perspective, the solutions make more sense. Remember the history of this store owner and the decision he made. When you are faced with life altering decisions, choose the right way instead of living in defeat or quitting. You’ll be successful, even if it looks backwards to the ones on the outside looking in. If you are in need of change, there’s nothing that God cannot turn around! Like the store owner, God can take your life and change it to fit His purposes. No situation is beyond His control.

happy life, special needs, cerebral microcephaly, inspiration, mother's love, Zika, encouragement, physical therapy, surfing, overcomer

Fabulous Friday Friends: Noah Kai

I would like to set aside every other Friday for a special feature called Fabulous Friday Friends. Each Friday I would like to highlight people who are an inspiration to me.
In today’s feature I’d like to introduce you to a little Brazilian guy who has a big smile and is an even bigger inspiration! His name is Noah Kai. In his short life of three and a half years, Noah has been a blessing to many. His attitude encourages the hearts of those all around him. Kelly (Noah Kai’s mom) says, “Life can be more colorful. It depends on your attitude. Be happy.” Noah’s life is an example of that winning attitude!

Noah teaches me to take it one step at a time! To trust God’s timing is best even when it is not the same as our timing! Love is all my son needs.” -Kelly, Noah’s mother

Noah’s parents had dreams of becoming professional surfers but have retired from the surfing life. However, it seems that their son has inherited their passion for the sport! He doesn’t let obstacles hold him back whether it be a painful therapy session, learning to ride a horse, or just giving his grandparents a hug. What obstacles are you facing today? When I look at the determination of this little boy, my own obstacles don’t seem as big or impossible to overcome.

Kelly and Noah show gratitude both for the blessings that God has provided them with and for everyone involved in his therapy and medical treatment. Recently, a change in government funding forced them to stop part of his therapy and his mom has noticed some regression. Even so, Kelly is strong in her faith and says that she knows that God is in control. Being a mom of a child with medical needs is challenging, but Kelly trusts in scripture verses like Hebrews 11:1 “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” and Job 42:2 “I know that thou canst do every thing, and that no thought can be withholden from thee”.

Kids with enthusiasm like Noah’s reignite my own passion for teaching and for living joyfully. It’s easy to focus on the negatives instead of having the gratitude that helps bring us back to a positive perspective on life when we encounter hardships. Gratitude, like that of our Fabulous Friday Friends, takes us out of ourselves and lets the bigger picture shine through. Gratitude transforms lives. When you feel like quitting, think of little Noah and how resilient he is. Remember that the strength he has inside of him is possible for you to have too! What are five things for which you are grateful? It might help realign your attitude to make a list or record them in a journal. Be positive and happy, like Noah, because every day is a gift from God!

*During pregnancy Kelly was infected with the Zika Virus, and Noah was born with Congenital Zika Virus Syndrome which causes Microcephaly & Chronic Epilepsy.

If you want more information about Noah Kai, desire to help him on his journey, or just wish to follow his adventures-you can find him on Instagram at #todospornoah or his mom @mae_do_noah_kai. The hashtag and Kelly’s posts are written in Portuguese, so if you need help making contact feel free to message me and I’ll be happy to translate or direct you to the appropriate channels.

Here is a link to a YouTube conversation Kelly recorded on Canal Da Tia Lu: