Category Archives: Purpose

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.

Start With Love

I want to let you in on a little secret. I really want to save the world. Shhhh! Don’t tell anyone because they’ll think I’m crazy! My heart hurts for all the things that are wrong with our society. And I don’t mean poor choices or lifestyles or anything that people deem as wrong based on their beliefs.

No, folks I’m hurting for all the people treated poorly, unfairly and just plain bad. I don’t like everyone, never will, but my time here on earth is meant to love. Living and loving is what it takes to feel fulfilled. I see people being mean because they don’t feel love. I see children acting out because they’re lacking LOVING parenting. I see companies shifting around because employees stopped loving one another and lost focus on their purpose. I’m not saying every mean person or misbehaved child is lacking love but more often than not, if you see a person of any age acting out, I guarantee the root is missing one key thing. Learn not to write people of right away.

You see, it isn’t about how strong we are, how much we can take or even how much we make. It’s about the difference, the impact, the LOVE and the things of this world we CAN change. It’s about focusing on our similarities rather than our differences and leaving our footprints in the sand, even if there’s a chance they’ll wash away. Sometimes we try and fail. We may have good intentions that are perceived as bad. Does that mean we should stop doing good? Give up on those who just don’t “get it”? Let that person sit alone time and time again because we just don’t know what to say?

You have what it takes to impact lives each and every day. If you start there, I promise you’ll end up filling a void that you didn’t even recognize.

So here’s to the opportunity to change the world. However big or small, it makes a difference to us all!

 

Changing Your Perspective

Ever have those days when you feel like you could change the world with all the thoughts and ideas in your mind?

Those days can go one of two ways…

1. They can end very badly, causing overwhelming stress and anxiety because we cannot change the entire world in one day.

2. They can go extremely well, leading to a second, third and even 20th day of wanting to “be the change”. ‪#‎motivation‬

We have a choice each day whether to go with one feeling or another. Life just doesn’t seem fair when we look at it one way when another, we realize how blessed we truly are. Things aren’t that bad in the grand scheme of things but it’s all in how you look at it.

I choose a different perspective. I want more God moments and less stress. I want to show more appreciation and less worry. I want to be humble and not afraid. I want to live and not regret.

You see, it doesn’t matter what I did yesterday, last week, last year or many years ago. I am a new person today. Does that mean that my past didn’t happen? No. But it means that I don’t have to dwell on my imperfections, that I can look past those in others and I can live the life I’m supposed to live by working through the challenges.

My perspective is changing because I’m allowing Someone much stronger to guide my life. When I do that wholeheartedly, I find peace amidst strife. Here’s to faith. Here’s to Friday. Here’s to living life!

Where Did I Go?

People wonder why I’m so happy all of the time. There’s lots of reasons actually…like the fact that I have an amazing husband, daughter, family, friends, and a church family that I love. But honestly, over the past 10 years, my reasons have been deeper, much deeper then those amazing people, things, and places in my life.

When you find out that you have a serious medical condition, your life will forever be changed. Sometimes things can get better sometimes they get worse and sometimes, well sometimes you just have no idea what will happen next…

It’s been a couple years since I’ve had any issues whatsoever until these past few weeks. I didn’t say anything to anyone, not even my family, because I wanted to wait it out. I decided not to wait any longer because it bothered me enough that I was in tears at my desk at the office one day. Of course I knew what the doctor was going to say…that he would put me on a heart monitor see how things are going. That’s what was going to happen and quite frankly  what should happen. But what happens from here, I don’t know.

It brings me back to the very reason that I wanted to share this with you today. Although I have so many reasons to be happy with my life, to be happy in my life, and to be happy each and every day, the most important reason but I’m happy is because I’m alive. I was given an opportunity to be who I am, to live through a very difficult time and to actually make it out better than I was when I first started. I don’t know about you but I’ve come to realize that life isn’t just about the things, the places, or even the people alone. It’s about the very reason that God put us here in the first place. Sometimes those reasons have to do with people sometimes they have to do with a lot of people. But know one thing folks, you’re here to serve a purpose greater than yourself, greater than the individuals around you, and far beyond anything you could have ever imagined.

Be thankful.

Be happy.

If you don’t show it on your face, people will know you don’t feel it in your heart. As the saying goes, fake it till you make it. We’ve all heard that but it’s the truth. If your heart doesn’t feel something it’s hard to make the rest of you go along with it. One day, things will catch up.

Last night I was reading James 5, something Pastor Josh had just spoken a great message on this past Sunday. I got to verse 16 and stopped cold:

“Confess to one another therefore your faults (your slips, your false steps, your offenses, your sins) and pray [also] for one another, that you may be healed and restored [to a spiritual tone of mind and heart]. The earnest (heartfelt, continued) prayer if a righteous man makes tremendous power available [dynamic in its working].”

I was reminded of a conversation I had had with my husband, my daughter, my mom, cousin and a friend. In these (all separate) conversations, I openly shared with them the disarray of my heart, my lack of and often times overabundance of emotions, and feelings of sheer emptiness.

On top of the heart issues, I was also feeling “off” with no explanation as to why. In one of my conversations, I shared something very important that I wanted you all to hear and that is, I need to practice what I preach.

So many times I’ve written what words that I believe God has laid on my heart for others, all the while wondering if in fact those words were meant for me. I can talk a good talk when it comes to giving advice and knowing how to handle difficult situations but truth of the matter is, life isn’t always easy for me either. I read the words knowing I should be following them myself, earnestly seeking God’s guidance yet hesitating to put forth the effort it will take to actually change the situation.

I’m here to tell you that my lack of perfection is what makes me the best candidate for God’s correction. My love of life and people is what makes my love of God and all things good produce fruit…when I’m on the right path that is.

Want to know how I know this?

It’s when nothing is going right, so many things are in disarray, yet I still feel the urge to make a difference. I get worn out, feel beat up and simply out of sorts.

Want to know how that happens?

It’s from losing track of myself somewhere amidst taking care of everyone else. My concern for others can sometimes stand in the way of the blessings God has for me. And trust me when I say, most of my blessings end up leading to ways I can bless others. So in closing off myself, I am standing in the way of God working through me to help others.

Do you see this circle I’m in?

Trying to do what I feel is right while losing track of the light. Instead of telling God I don’t know what’s wrong and asking for help, I try to find an explanation, try to fix it or flat out ignore it.

I’ve laid it out there for all to see and WOW, it feels good. Do I feel like a fraud? Nope, not at all. I feel like the person who tries to do it all, who sees the best in everyone, who finally realizes that not everything is peachy. Not everything has to be “right”. I don’t always have to smile every dang minute of the day!

I don’t know at what point I got off track but I’m certainly glad I finally admitted to myself, to others and to God that I just didn’t feel like myself.

Here’s to getting back to ME.ily10