Category Archives: Purpose

One Moment For Another

Do you ever feel like a moment, maybe even this moment, is meant for someone else?  It’s an odd feeling really, like you’re living that very second for another person — be it a tiny human being, a friend, spouse, or even a total stranger.  You may not know at the time or you may never know for certain but something right where you are needs to be shared with someone else…spared for someone else.

Ephesians 3:17-19 says,

I pray that you...grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ...that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

What if our offering in such moments was to give unto others, do unto others, be unto others — just as we’d want for ourselves?  You can give a little or you can give a lot, be it your time, money, or most importantly…yourself.

Why not get creative in times that need not be reserved for you and you alone.  Think of a way you can spare that moment so you can share it.

That leaf hanging in mid-air, blowing in the breeze.

That flower with the sun shining so perfectly on its blossom.

The timing of your arrival upon a situation where you can be of assistance.

The situation that you knew nothing about that seemingly called your name.

You can take a picture, lend a hand, offer yourself.  But no matter what the moment, what the situation, if you were called to be there for someone else, recognize it…do something about it.

 

Right On Time

I’m not the most punctual person.  I get it from my dad’s side of the family.  Most of them will admit it because, well, there’s no denying it when you’re always late.  My dad, on the other hand, would take it to the extremes some days.  Whether it was because he lost his keys, ran out of gas, or because he just got side-tracked, he always made it…eventually.

I vowed to myself that I would not run out of gas EVER and my plan is to stick to that.  Running out of gas more times that I can count as a kid and having to walk in not-so-good neighborhoods at night weren’t always the best memories.  However, I learned a thing or two in those times that I couldn’t have learned anywhere else.

I learned how to trust my dad that everything was going to be okay.

I learned how to believe we would get there, even if it wasn’t “on time”.

I learned that the most important thing isn’t necessarily that you arrive at a specific time.

However, we’re led to believe that timing is everything.    I might agree with that if I understand whose timing we were talking about.  There’s always our timingyour timing, and everyone else who thinks they have a handle on the right time.

There are birthday parties, dinner dates, flights, movies and other activities that you can’t argue…have a specific time.  But what about the rest of the things that seem timely?  We’re given the idea that it doesn’t matter what it is but if we want it, we can get it now.  We see messages like:

“No money down!”

“0% Financing!”

“Buy now, pay later!”

The thought instantly comes to mind, if I want it I can have it.

It’s not always about things that cost us in paper money either.  There are things that can cost us in other ways if we choose to go for them when it isn’t the right time or in the right way.  There’s a time, a place, a purpose for each and every single thing we do.  We’ve come so used to getting what we want when we want it that we don’t have the patience to wait for anything anymore.

What does that say about our future?  Are we handling things in our own time to suit our desires verses waiting until a time that might just be best for us?  What if we took a step back from the situation, wrote down pros and cons, wants vs. needs and truly assessed if whatever it is, needs to happen now or is just something our minds are trying to convince us is a necessity when in all actuality, it’s a want that can wait until a better time?

Often, if we wait patiently, opportunities will present themselves in such a way that we can see our movement would have been detrimental to the overall outcome.  It doesn’t give us the best result when we push to have something that could have been so much better had we waited.

What about that house…
That car…
The job…
The perfect man/woman…

It can be about the little things just as much as it’s about the big things.  It all adds us to be a sort of timing that will never be our own.  This doesn’t mean we sit complacent, never making a move.  But it does mean listening to that still, small voice and the urging inside that tells you to wait when everything in your head is telling you to GO! GO! GO!

That yearning inside makes us feel like we won’t be able to handle waiting any longer, but I promise you friends, our heart can handle the wait if we get control of our mind.  We have to step out of certain situations or away from what keeps our mind thinking thoughts of want vs need.  But in some cases, we are to learn patience by remaining right where we are until the opportunity presents itself.  You don’t have to jump.  You don’t have to be the first.  And I promise you’ll never be the last.

There’s something out there for you.  It’s pulling you in a direction that may seem wonderful but not quite right.  There’s a timing that’s better.  It’s a timing that has withstood all the tests.  It’s proof that things happen for a reason, at a time, in a season.  It’s why you’re here reading this and why I was led to write it.

You see, this purpose, this plan, it’s something that has been laid out for you.  The good, the bad, the confusing, the sad.  Each and every experience is leading to something greater, something stronger, and something longer-lasting than anything you could muster up yourself.

Trust in this timing.  It’s God’s timing.  Have you truly given it to Him and asked Him to lead you?  Have you asked for His guidance or walked in His confidence?  It doesn’t have to be a life-changing event but I promise, even the small things can be if done at the wrong time.  Before you take that medicine, before you buy that couch, before you reach out…look up!  Ask God what He thinks.  Give it to God and watch Him work.  He’ll guide you if you allow Him too.

I don’t know who this was for.  I don’t even know where it came from, but you know what? God does.  And it was in His timing that you were able to see it! Now believe it!

Love you all!

Happy Wife, Happy Life

A wife is something special.  If she weren’t, what would be the point of marriage?  I mean, if two people love each other, what is the point in standing in front of a few (or many) people we know, exchanging rings, and saying vows to one another?  Simply put, marriage has meaning.  Therefore, your role in marriage has a significant purpose.

The cool part about it is that every, single person brings something special into their marriage.  There isn’t a gender role description out there that says, one must do this and another that.  In fact, things can be shaken up a bit with one person better at cooking and another a master at household maintenance, especially if the so-called traditional roles are reversed.

I would venture to say that many people like to put their own ideas out there based off of scripture but that’s a topic I’m not going to touch today.  But it is on my list of discussion topics — stay tuned!

Anyway, I was thinking about one phrase the other day that has taken such a negative tone over the years.  I don’t even know where it originated but I have read blogs by Christians who think that by saying, “Happy wife = Happy life” we mean that husbands should put their wife’s desires above their relationship with God.

NOT TRUE!

Of course you can interpret things as you wish, but here’s how I see it…

Everyone may bring something physically different to the marriage but there is one thing that a wife has that her husband just can never “get”.  I put get in quotations because I don’t mean it’s something he won’t acquire (even though it isn’t) but it’s something he simply won’t understand.  Guess what?

No one does!

There’s a tone in your house.  It’s either positive or negative…sometimes neutral.  One day it’s hot, another it’s cold.  Some days it’s full of passion and others it’s cool as a cucumber.  It can be playful, crabby, full of tension, energetic, clean, dirty, picky, helpful, constructive and critical all in the same day.  But there’s something to say about all of those emotions.  Yes, they are all emotions.

We can safely say that when the wife is happy, there’s something in the house that smells good and it’s not necessarily because she has cookies baking in the oven!

You see, we women have this innate ability to insert a tone into a situation that doesn’t already have one.  Without us, life can be drab, mundane, colorless.  Then again, some days with us can be just the same!

I truly believe that there is some power women have that controls the mood temperature in our homes.  When we’re up, everyone’s up.  When we’re down, everyone’s down.  When we’re cranky, everyone’s cranky or they just leave.  When we’re mad, they tend to be scarce.  See the cycle?

Of course all homes are different and if this doesn’t apply to yours, your free to stop reading.  HOWEVER, over the years of friendships, love and learning about life, this is one thing that I believe with my whole heart to be true…at least in my case.  It wasn’t something I just woke up one day knowing though.  It just happened to be something my husband AND my daughter brought to my attention.

There we were, in the kitchen having perhaps the most influential conversations the three of us have ever had.  It was serious.  I was crying.  They were both looking at me with what seemed to be amazement.  They saw something that I didn’t.

I know I won’t get the words exactly right, but it went something like this…

"When you're not right, this whole house isn't right."

I didn’t know whether to take that as a compliment or an insult.  I was already crying, so why not take it as the latter?  How could they tell me I’m not right.  And why in the world were they letting their moods be dependent on mine?

That’s when they both began to explain.  What was said came with so much love.  The feelings in the house weren’t constructed because it was a nice house with all the right furnishings.  It wasn’t because we had food in the fridge and dinner on the table.  It wasn’t even because of the furry, four-legged children we brought into our home.

It was because of the people in it and my role was perhaps the most significant.  I hadn’t thought about it before but they were right.  Unintentionally, I set the tone in the house day in and day out.  When I wasn’t feeling quite myself, I often wondered what was wrong with everyone else.  Were they mad at me?  Did something happen? Was someone hiding something?  When I was tired, I often had those same thoughts.  When I was sad, the whole world was sad with me.  Happy, just the same.  And the list goes on and on.  They didn’t choose to adopt my attitude, it just happened.

I instantly flashed back — time and time again, I can remember that their reactions were a reflection of my attitude.  How can I blame them in times when I’m tender or frustrated that they too have a complimentary emotion, lending to either a favorable or unfavorable reaction.

So I probably should say that the conversation was about work and whether or not I should quit my job.  Not because I had something better lined up, but because I was overwhelmed and felt a sense of “I need to be home” but felt guilty without having a reason why.  They both agreed wholeheartedly and I instantly felt a weight lift off of my shoulders.

I contemplated what I would say to people or how I would explain being a stay-at-home-mom with a teenage daughter.   I do want to write a book. I do want to keep up with my blog.  But most importantly, I wanted to feel less overwhelmed so that I could put my all into the important role I played in my home.

Many people don’t have the option of staying home, I get that.  Believe me, I know how blessed I really am.  I have a whole list of things I could say right now to justify deserving  this opportunity but it isn’t about that at all.  Those things don’t even matter.  What does matter is that I know the significance of my role in this home.  I know what I bring and on many days, what I don’t.  One thing is for sure, I love my husband and daughter more than life itself.  They deserve to have me, the real, honest-to-goodness me, that is happy, hardworking, creative and at peace.  That’s all they want.

So you can say it however you want…

When momma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy!
Happy wife = Happy life

But no matter how you put it, it all comes down to knowing how significant you are.  Your influence is so much greater than you could ever imagine!

User Error

Do you realize that typically, we are the ones who set our own limitations? I say typically because there are certain physical limitations we cannot change and rules we must abide by but otherwise, we set our expectations high but often lower our limitations.
 
Why do you think that is? Low self-esteem? Lack of confidence? Situational setbacks? Those may all be true but for the most part, we have a tendency to be so proud of others for their accomplishments while verbalizing that we could never do that.
 
My question is, why not? If the opportunity is there, other than time and hard work, what is holding you back from going after whatever it is? If we are given a chance just by being who we are then who are we to hold ourselves back?
 
I understand stepping out of your comfort zone might be a little scary and setting the bar high for yourself often demanding, but if you can expect more out of others why not do the same for yourself?
 
Imagine you’re sitting there, wishing you could do something that you’ve never done — run a mile, do 20 push-ups, write a book, lead a group, meet new people, go for a promotion — and the list goes on and on. So you’re sitting there, thinking, wishing but never really believing in yourself enough to take that chance and do what you want to do.
 
I’m calling this your “User Error”.
 
Typically, you have a few tries before being locked out in situations like this, but fortunately and unfortunately for you, your opportunities are endless. You can want and wish for things for a long time and just never try. You are given chances time and time again, doors opening and closing before your eyes, little reminders of the dream you have, little nudges of movement but no actual push of the forward motion.
 
Philippians 4:13 says, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."
 
If I adopt that scripture into my mind and believe it to be true, I know I have enough to at least try with all my might to get to where I want to go. I may not be there tomorrow. I may find out that what was at the end of the tunnel wasn’t for me. It may take a little longer than I would have wanted. But if I’m believing that God has given me all I need to be successful at all I’m called to be then I truly am the only thing holding myself back.
 
I don’t know who this message is for today, but I felt these words very strongly on my heart. I’m believing that soon, you will feel empowered. You will start to align yourself with the right people, the right sights and sounds, to just make that next step…then another…and another…until that limitation no longer exists. If you’ve used up all your “User Errors” simply because you’re afraid, now’s the time to try again.
 
Photo Credit: Aubrey Marie, Mexico 2016

Guacamole

I won’t apologize for making guacamole. I don’t need to justify that I’ve spent my time mashing avocados, squeezing limes and adding a dash of sugar. Those delicate little leaves of cilantro, so perfectly chosen will add the final touches.
 
Still reading? Good! Because Guacamole is Part II of Cilantro. For those of you thoroughly confused, I suggest you stop reading right now and go to yesterday’s post. It will all make sense then!
 
I felt I had to follow-up Cilantro with Guacamole because of one, very important reason. Those leaves are a part of something bigger. Each has their own flavor that they bring to the bigger project — Guac!
 
All metaphors aside, what is it that you and those you’ve chosen to be in your circle have done or are doing? As with you and your greater purpose, those you are aligned with will also serve one another as well as some outside of your carefully chosen few. When everyone comes together, adding their own distinct flare [your talents], with it comes a taste like no other. A few additional ingredients, such as your time/dedication, wisdom, and a dash of the sweetest gift from above and you have something to share!
 
Ah…but not everyone likes guacamole, maybe even some of you reading this post…but stay with me here! Even though you may come across those who don’t like what you’re throwing out, aren’t picking up what your dropping, or who just have a problem with what you’re saying, that doesn’t mean you need to stop.
 
HEAR ME ON THIS ONE…
 
You were NOT put on this earth to please everyone therefore, your mark on this world should not be dictated by those around you who are not part of your immediate circle. Even still, those within your bunch might disagree a time or two, but remember that you CHOSE them for a reason. Their gifting on your life might just be wisdom a time or two to bring you back to that walk with HUMBLE CONFIDENCE.
 
You see, we have an inner circle of carefully chosen individuals who will grow with us and make a difference by simply being together with us. There are other circles that are equally as important such as those who are a part of your church family, work family, and so on. Something has to be said about these groups as well because just as we have to purposefully choose who to allow into our immediate circle, we must do the same with the rest.
 
Face it, you are not going to go to every Bible study, be a part of every small group or go to lunch with everyone after church on Sundays. You may not even know what’s going on in each other’s lives until the very last minute. Same goes for work — you may not get invited to the after work gathering, you might not be on Joe Schmo’s wedding invite list and you just might not be on the attendee list for a meeting with the big shots. Want to know something cool?
 
IT’S OKAY!!
 
We shouldn’t put people into our circles because we’re afraid to miss out. That’s important so I’m going to say it again…
 
WE SHOULDN’T PUT PEOPLE INTO OUR INNER CIRCLES BECAUSE WE’RE AFRAID TO MISS OUT.
 
Why are we letting people into the inner workings of our lives simply because we need to add one more notch to our friends’ list? Or is it because we’re afraid something might happen and we wouldn’t have been a part of it?
 
We have to learn to say — WHO CARES!!
 
It’s not that we don’t care or that we’d rather stay in a bubble, but if we try to be everyone’s friend, to be everywhere, do everything, the only thing we’ll be missing out on is what COULD be happening in our own lives! Think of all the time you wasted just wondering why you weren’t on the guest list. What else are you missing out on because you’re somewhere else in your mind when you’re body is right here?
 
It’s time to work on that end result — that Guacamole — those other circles and see that, they too, matter to the greater purpose of your life. Not every ingredient will be added. Not everyone will like it. But one thing’s for sure, the right people will get what they need at the right time when YOU ARE ALIGNED THE WAY YOU SHOULD BE.
 
I can’t answer for you what changes it is that you need to make, but I can tell you this…some decisions will be hard. You will miss out on a few things. But as I said the other day, you can CHOOSE the thoughts you allow to stay in your mind. When the doubt, sadness or loneliness creeps in on you, as it will when you feel you’re “missing out”, get your head back in the game. Call on God and ask Him to take those thoughts out of your head and then — CHANGE THE SUBJECT! Busy yourself with works within YOUR CIRCLE and stop worrying about others.
 
Hope this reaches someone today. Love you all!

Humble Confidence

I’m fat. I’m ugly. No one really listens when I talk. I have no purpose. I have no direction. I’m boring. No one really likes me. I wish I were more like her. I wish I were stronger like him. I don’t matter.

Now that I have your attention, I want to ask you a question. Have you ever said any of those things? Have you ever wondered if you’re ever going to amount to something?

I’m talking to people of all ages here, from the teenagers to the adults. And it’s important so you’re going to want to park it for a few…

This has been on my mind for quite some time. I hear students and grown adults alike, who don’t understand their value here on earth. Too often we look to someone else’s talents, achievements, direction and assume that if we don’t have the same ambition, we just aren’t worth it. SO NOT TRUE!

There are days when we are down and quite frankly, those days SUCK! But you know what? You can CHOOSE the thoughts you allow to stay in your mind. I’ve shared that with my daughter a time or two but definitely have to remind myself often. We have an enemy out there who wants to take our joy and replace it with all those negative comments up there ^^^. And you know what? YOU HAVE TO TELL HIM NO!

Each and every one of us here on earth brings a certain unmatched charm wherever we go. We are all smart in different ways with the chance to make a difference in each other’s lives just the same. Here’s the kicker though —

1. We have to believe and know in our hearts that we’re worth it.
2. We have to CHOOSE to say NO to those thoughts that try to creep in and tell us otherwise.
3. We have to stop comparing ourselves to others because our journey is different than their’s.
4. We have to remember that we can have one of the greatest qualities a human can possess.

#4 is special. These two words were put on my heart yesterday out of no where. Many of you know how I work and so you’re not surprised to hear me say, it has to be from God. My faith has gotten me a long way, but it’s my process of being who He’s called me to be that has kept me strong.

Those two words — perhaps the greatest quality we can possess — HUMBLE CONFIDENCE. Having confidence is one thing because you can be confident but arrogant. You can be strong but ignorant. And you can be smart but not compassionate. Humble confidence describes a quality that allows us to see our strengths, to pursue using them, nurturing them, and using them for their intended purpose. Each purpose will be different, but it will be for the greater good. You may not touch thousands of lives, or you just might, but I guarantee it will be more than just about you. It’s never just about us. It’s never just about us and our chosen few. It’s about those that God puts in our path to learn from, you love on and to share with. He brings us people to help us through our ups and downs but when it comes down to it, we have to know how to reach out in our own strength and know that we DO MATTER.

Your uniqueness is what sets you apart from everyone else — from your boyfriend, girlfriend, spouse, siblings, parents, friends, etc. Of course you’ll have similarities and qualities that you’ll get from someone else you’re close to, but your skills, your desires, your direction is uniquely yours.

Don’t worry so much about 20 years from now — concentrate on what’s in front of you. Make the most of today and what’s next will come naturally. Realize that your strengths are there for a reason, even if you don’t know exactly what that is yet, and learn to walk with HUMBLE CONFIDENCE.

I, for one, am so glad to know you. I am so thankful that God put you in my life. Whether I see you every day or never at all, you did make some sort of an impact on my life or you wouldn’t be here. Know how important you are. Even if we don’t have everything in common or follow the same path, our paths did cross for a reason. We may travel together for awhile then wave goodbye at the fork, or we may be on a journey together that will take us through to what’s next — who knows. But I do know this…

You are smart. You are strong. You have purpose. Your life has meaning. It doesn’t matter who or how many like you. You are uniquely you and that is the best news! You will make a difference.

I want you to know how special you are. I’m praying today that this verse empowers you in your walk with humble confidence. Love you!

The 21 Day Fast: THE END

It’s never really THE END but I think next week it’ll be time to focus my blog on something else.  Time to just get Beyond the Fast and on to what lies ahead.

We tend to stay where we are [mentally] for as long as we can until pressured enough to make a move.  Why do we wait often for something significant to happen before we choose where we’ll go next?

God’s timing is everything but so is our follow-through.  In order to stay in a certain state of mind, we must keep moving forward or we’ll start to get behind.

Those changes you’ve made, however big or small, they did make an impact on your outlook.  You are now seeing things through a clearer set of eyes and in a way that gives you an opportunity to look beyond your current situation.

You can’t beat yourself up for taking a step back or over indulge in whatever your weakness is just because you made a mistake.  Pat yourself on the back (because you certainly can’t wait for someone else to do it!) and say, “It’s going to be alright.”

Then just start where you left off and don’t turn back.

In James 1:2, we see that our perfection isn’t and expectation.  We are going to have trials, tribulations and temptations along the way.  It’s what we do when in those situations that tells God where your heart is.  And where your heart is makes all the difference in the world.

I don’t know who this is for today, but I sure hope whoever you are, you’re reading this with an open mind.  I’m praying for you today because something inside is telling me that you’re hurting and all you need is a hug to take that next step.  So consider this prayer your hug from me!

Dear Heavenly Father, your child is hurting.  Their choices haven’t always shown your best work in them and they recognize it.  Their path has been curved for way too long and they are ready to surrender to whatever it is that You have prepared for them.  Show them the direction they should go.  Give them the wisdom to know when they have arrived and lead them continuously so that they may grow to be the son/daughter you’ve called them to be.  When the moments are difficult, I pray that they remember you’re there.  When the temptations come, and I know they will, I pray they remember you’re there.  When the path seems to curve more than they’d expected, I pray they remember you’re there.  Today is a day that they will make a choice to follow Your voice; Your voice that You so eloquently chose just for them.  Thank you for helping me to hug my friend.  In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

The 21 Day Fast: Part III

If you haven’t read Part I & II, that’s okay, but I would encourage you to go back just to see what it’s all about.  Starting here is a good point though, because I’m getting ready to share some of the things I accomplished while fasting from social media.

First, I want to share a very important truth that I read this morning.  This morning’s devotion was titled Knowing but Not Applying.  As soon as I heard those words, I cringed.  Sometimes it’s as if the author, Lysa Terkeurst, is talking to me specifically.  Today, she was talking to the person I was and am trying so hard not to be any longer.

Without spoiling what could be a good devotion for each of you, I will share the most important part…

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY:

There is a big difference between ingesting and digesting.

Hmmmm…now read this…

Too many times, I’ve been one to ingest without digesting: reading truth, but not applying it; liking a message I hear at church, but not living it; knowing what I must do to experience life change, but never putting it into action; taking in knowledge, but never letting it make a difference in my life.

After I read this, I wondered if she had been with me during the first part of my 21 day journey, when I was learning but not applying; trying to find my “want to” but not really knowing how to.

At some point in those 21 days, I started listening to the still, small voice that was quietly urging me to do more, to be better, to find myself again amidst the cloud of fog I’d buried myself in.  I didn’t know how I got there but God was offering me a way out by focusing on the things I could change and praying for the things only Hecould.

When I started doing that, I found the things I struggled with to be a little easier.  And I no longer dwelled on things I couldn’t change, only allowing myself to think about them for a few moments before moving on.  God was speaking to me more when I applied His truths than when I simply heard them.  I was recognizing in the little things, all of the BIG things He was trying to show me.

Now to the cool part!

In those 21 days, I accomplished more than I ever would have thought.  Instead of sharing on social media the things I was proud to have done, witnessed or been a part of, I started writing them down.

In the 3 weeks since I left social media I…

  • lost 7lbs.
  • Worked out on the elliptical for 300 minutes, traveling nearly 32 miles
  • Walked for 170 minutes outside, bringing my puppy along with most of the 7.8 miles I managed to travel
  • Went on three “Wellness Dates” with one of my best friends, hiking 8.5 miles in the 198 minutes we met up
  • finished reading one book and started another
  • found scriptures that I plan to study and memorize
  • planted flowers
  • made crafts that I never thought I’d be good at making and found out that I could easily become addicted to Michael’s craft store!
  • went on two dates with my husband
  • continued to write in my “Reasons I love you” journal, highlighting all of the things he is and does that make me love him even more (I started this the day we met and am now nearing 2,500 entries!)
  • prayed with my husband
  • prayed for my husband
  • watched my daughter get inducted into the National Honor Society, to later be chosen as the Junior Rep for her entire class!
  • in the same day, I was able to celebrate her also being chosen to attend the Missouri Scholars Academy where she’ll choose a major and two minors to study while on campus at Mizzou for three weeks this summer
  • listened and watched as my daughter sang her very first solo at church in front of all her peers.  WOW!
  • encouraged my daughter as she drove on Hwy 44 and 270 for the first time ever…and she did fantastic!
  • Went on 2 mother-daughter dates shopping and out to eat and also to the Cardinals game
  • Went on a school field trip with my daughter, which I never thought I’d do again since she’s in high school
  • Gave blood with my daughter on what was her very first time
  • Watched three 80’s movies (incidentally, I told my daughter that she could not go off to college in 2 1/2 years unless she got her fill of 80’s movies.  So far, she loves Big, Sleepless in Seattle and Mystic Pizza.)
  • was able to be there when my little cousin receive a life-saving award in what was only her first year of being a police officer!
  • hung out with some awesome ladies at a comedy show in Farmington
  • hosted a weekly small group study with three women I’ve been blessed to get to know better
  • attended 7 church services
  • sang at 3 church services (Easter)
  • packed lunch for my family every day of the week
  • drank at least 20 healthy smoothies
  • pinned 50+ new recipes
  • meal planned for the month
  • made several, new healthy recipes
  • swept my house 5x
  • learned that podcasts and sermons by some of my favorite evangelists are great to exercise to
  • prayed A LOT!
  • came up with 1/2 dozen titles to blogs I plan on writing, one of which is called Cilantro 😉
  • cried, laughed, yelled, apologized
  • learned that sometimes God wants you to be right where you’re at for a little while
  • determined that distractions can come in all forms because if the devil can’t get you one way, he’ll come after you another
  • had countless conversations with myself and with God
  • decided to just “do me” for a bit

As much as we think we’re doing certain things for ourselves, most often, if we do them with a glad heart, they’ll end up being for someone else.

I left my job at the end of February for two reasons — to pursue my passion in writing and to be the best woman, wife and mother that God’s called me to be.

Over the past three weeks, without certain distractions, I’ve been able to learn more about enjoying right where God has me than ever before.

And ironically enough, this topic I wrote on several days ago to share came up in several sermons I’ve heard in only the past two days, reminding me that God is here listening, watching, waiting to see if we’ll be obedient to His calling for our lives.

You see, doing ordinary things doesn’t mean you can’t be impactful.  Learning to listen, let go of control, and trust in the abilities of others is hard.  We may see it one way but wish it were another.  Or focus too much on one thing and not enough on another.  Our direction isn’t always in the way of our heart by means of a straight path.  Sometimes the curves, bumps and parts that are under construction on the road take us to the same place, just the long way around.

Believe in the journey.

Know that nothing happens overnight.

Recognize your areas for improvement.

Apologize as often as you need to.

Communicate.

Appreciate.

Smell the fresh air for goodness sake!

We must learn to not take even the slightest things for granted or become distracted by the things others are doing that we are not.

Take pictures.

Smell the flowers.

Keep certain areas in your house clean always so you have somewhere to go when you need to feel “put together”

and finally…

Love A LOT.

 

 

The 21 Day Fast: Part II

You may not have figured out your calling overnight or between reading Part I and Part II in this series, but you’re well on your way.  Want to know how I know that? Because I’m praying for YOU!

You see, sometimes we don’t know what to ask or how to go about it at all.  Those are times that two things can and will happen:

  1.  The Holy Spirit intercedes on our behalf.  The cool thing about it is, we don’t have to do anything other than sit quietly with God.
  2.   Others can pray for us.  This does require that we reach out to someone we trust in order that they may also include us in prayer.

Before I set out on this [what turned out to be] 21-day journey, I had written down some things that I wanted to work on — pray over for myself.  The list included things like let go of controlstop planning everythingtrust in othersrespond not reactto not be so easily distracted, and the list went on down the page.  You see, these are things that I wanted God to change in me but in order to see that change, I needed to make some changes.

I am happy to say that I have made improvements in some of the areas I prayed about but not all.  I’m a work in progress and SO ARE YOU!  We can’t think that just because we are feeling motivated to make changes that every, single thing we dislike about ourselves is going to disappear overnight.

So during those 21 days, I prayed the most at the end.  In the beginning, I am honestly not sure what I was waiting for…maybe for someone else to change me?  Or like I said yesterday, for something miraculous to happen.

One of the main things I had hoped to come out with was a better sense of direction in terms of my health.  And I am so incredibly proud to say that I have.  I’ve been doing a study with some friends from church, learning more about the things that I CAN do to create lasting changes in my health. I’ve been exercising regularly – both inside and outside – making healthier food choices and even incorporating supplements that have great health benefits.

In those 21 days, I lost 7lbs and gained so much insight into the how’s and why’s.  One of the most important things I got out of it all is my WHY.  I kept thinking of all these reasons I needed to lose weight, exercise and put the right foods in my body but none truly made an impact like reading this scripture did:

Ever since that verse discovered me (yes, I said that right) I have had a renewed focus.  I even put it on the wall where I can see it when I’m on the elliptical.  Every time I pray, that is one of the first things that I thank God for reminding me.

Remember when I said I didn’t pray as much until the end of the 21 days?  Well, I’m now on Day 24 because God’s not done with my journey yet.  I may be back on social media because I feel it’s time to start writing again, but God isn’t done with me yet.  And He’s not done with you either!

You see, I was reading every morning, doing my devotions just not praying like I felt I should be.  Then when that scripture went up on my wall, it was as if God was speaking to me every time I exercised.  I wanted that feeling more.  So, I decided that instead of doing the same old thing on the elliptical, which was listening to music, I would watch sermons that spoke into my life and then pray when I was nearing the end of my workout. I would be in this “cool down” stage until my prayers were done and you know what?  My workout ended up being at least 10 sometimes 15 minutes longer than I had anticipated but it never felt like it.

God wants to meet us right where we’re at.  Whether it’s on the elliptical, in the shower, while driving to work or laying in bed.  He wants to catch us where He has our greatest attention; where He can do His greatest work.  The hard part is…we have to remember to meet Him there.

I encourage you today to find that place where the presence of God is most prevalent and go there — often!  Let Him speak to you.  Go to Him with gratitude for all of the things He has done, is doing or will do in your life.  Speak those things that you’ve been praying for as if they’ve already been received and I guarantee, you’ll begin to have a different outlook on so many of those situations.

I still haven’t gotten to the meat and potatoes of my 21 Day Fast so I hope you’ll come back to hear more soon!

The 21 Day Fast: Part I

I had no idea how long it would last, but it ended up being 21 days.  I went in with no plan other than just being me and focusing on whatever was going on for however long it would take.  How long it would take for what, I don’t know.

I’m not sure if I was looking for some magical thing to occur or a profound realization but something good did come of it…

I figured out that as personal as social media makes us, it can also break us.  There are so many days that, unknowingly, we are having an “off” day and turn to our favorite site(s) just to see what everyone else is up to.  On a good day, it can make us smile.  On a bad day, it can make us envious.

Whether you want to admit it or not, this happens to EVERYONE! We see some people enjoying the bright sunshine while others play in the rain and we sit, with no plans in particular that day.

Someone receives a promotion or goes after something they’ve been called to do and we have mixed emotions.  Are we enough?  In our mundane lives, are we living purposefully enough?

I watched a sermon the other day that my daughter shared with me called Through the Eyes of a Lion.  

Click HERE to watch

In this sermon, Pastor Levi Lusko shares so many great words of wisdom but none that stuck out as much as these two.  And when it came to this 21 day (social media) fast, they couldn’t have been more true!

CALLING ENVY

Most of us have never thought of that before but it’s the truth.  Even if we don’t verbalize it, we are often subconsciously so envious of other’s callings that we fail to recognize the very one in our own lives.  The significance we can make here, right where we are is often greater than we could make wherever anyone else will go.

Someone is going on a mission trip. Why can’t I?

He/she received a promotion. Why didn’t I?

They have started a new ministry. Maybe I should?

And the list goes on and on.  Often times we don’t realize that we are getting tangled up in feelings that won’t last.  The very presence that we can and should be experiencing right where we’re at is so far away because we’ve managed to pull someone else’s calling into our own lives.

Maybe, just maybe, God’s calling on your life is right inside your own home. Why do so many feel the need to reach beyond their immediate grasp for something that is right there in front of them.

I’m not saying that those who are called into certain ministries, to a new position or on a mission trip aren’t supposed to be doing those things, but what I am saying is that maybe you’re not.  Is it such a bad thing that we may need to focus on what’s around us before moving to what’s beyond us?

I’m going to continue to share more about this 21 Day Fast with you but first, I want you to take some time to think about the calling on your life.  If it’s not profound, I want you to make it profound in your own way…in God’s way.