Category: How to Follow Your Dream

The Tapestry of Life

The Tapestry of Life

Here we are at the cusp of another year ending and a new one beginning.  Even though it’s a day just like any other, there is something more poignant about observing the calendar change from one year to the next.

It’s a time when many begin to reflect on the previous year and try to summarize its overall theme. If only life could be like that – where we could take certain times and seasons and leave others behind. But our lives are cumulative where each experience, every emotion and every circumstance adds to our life and our character.  Sometimes life doesn’t always imbue a celebratory reaction from us, especially when we’ve suffered loss, setbacks, depression or other difficult circumstances.

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In a way, our lives are like tapestries where everything and everyone we experience are woven into the fabric and as time passes, the colors change and the work of art expands and begins to show the intricacies of God’s hand in our lives. People are woven in that continue in the tapestry for the whole of our lives. Others are woven in only for a few seasons, and then their thread ends. Sometimes when we go through the rough patches in life, we can’t see the whole picture, we don’t fully understand how it could be of any use to us at all to lose things, to hurt, or to experience difficulties.

And really, God has given us every means of getting through this life while keeping joy, peace and love close to us, surrounding us and keeping us through all the darker hours of our life. But I will be the first to admit, this is difficult in and of itself. I have at certain times in my life clung tightly to joy so as not to drown in sorrow; but alas, I drowned anyway.

But isn’t this life? Isn’t life a choice? If so, then we need to choose life. God never said we wouldn’t have to endure suffering; but he doesn’t at anytime say depression, darkness and fear are things we have to live with. No. That is the Good News of the word of God, that we do not have to fall prey to these things. We will have to work through them, but the promise is that love, joy and peace can be had throughout our suffering. The promise is that Jesus has made the way for each of us to commune with God having paid that price for us. And with God, all things are possible, this instills hope, which in turn increases joy. And suffering won’t last. To everything there is a season, as Solomon said, so just know that your season of happiness and peace and freedom are coming.

If it’s one thing that should be remembered, it is that we should never feel guilty about our emotions and how we work through them. It is never acceptable to hurt others because we cannot control our own emotions. But don’t feel guilty if you are in a place of mourning, or sadness or regrouping and getting your life back on track and it’s taking you longer than you thought. Your true friends will always be there to encourage and help.  (But if anyone is hurting you because of their inability to take responsibility for themselves and their own emotions, then think long and hard about why you are allowing this person to stay in your life.) Sometimes moving forward and making positive changes means walking away from someone who is hurtful to you.

Trials make us stronger. They dig into the deepest part of our soul and challenge us to rise up and overcome. Don’t get down on yourself if you are unable to rise immediately to the task. We have all fought many battles that have taken multiple attempts to first understand, then overcome.  Sometimes the hardest part is first realizing our situation and circumstance, then finding the courage to take action and do the right thing.

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Life is about people – but don’t forget you are a ‘people’ as well. Don’t forget to look after you. After all, if we don’t know how to love ourselves, how can we effectively love anyone else? If we don’t know how to overcome self-doubt, fear, loneliness, hardship and  suffering, how can we help others do the same?  These are the lessons, it seems, that are the most colorful in that tapestry of life we were talking about earlier. They are the hardest to work through and overcome but the pigments are the brightest and most elaborate because they are the fabric of our existence.

Let me say that once more: The harder lessons are the pigments that shine the brightest and are most elaborate because they are the fabric of our existence – because we have that choice remember? Choose life so that others can see what you’ve overcome and take courage to do the same in their own difficult circumstances.

These are the stories that resonate most with others, pulls them up out of the pits they’re stuck in, shines the light into the world’s darkness so that others can find their way out of a tough time. Don’t ever think that the hardships that befall you are for your demise.  No, instead they are for your victory that you might rejoice in God and others also may see you and gain triumph over their circumstances as well.

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Looking into 2018, let’s not make resolutions. Instead let’s make peace.  Peace with ourselves, with others and with life’s twists and turns. Let’s decide that no hardships or troubles are going to be the end of the story for us – but instead let’s trust that God will work those times into our tapestry of life so that they shine brightest that others may follow. We have a choice, as hard as it can be to rise up over difficult circumstances, we have a choice to be joyful or let it depress us. Let’s choose to be at peace with ourselves and others, forgiving and moving forward with love in our hearts.  Let’s forgive ourselves for not living up to our own standards or others, and let’s take courage to not live blindly and comfortably but instead to branch out into the unknown, fully trusting God has us in his very capable hands.

Let’s dare to be great.

Happy New Year to you all~

 

If you have questions or need direction on how to begin to make a change, don’t hesitate to contact me. Leave a comment or email me – you can also reach out on social media like Linked In

Love will get you to where you need to be~

Get Busy While You’re Waiting on God

Get Busy While You’re Waiting on God

Be ready when God starts moving.

When God moves, things begin to happen fast; in the meantime, take advantage of the ‘wait’ and learn more about him, about yourself, gain knowledge and strength because once things start moving you will not have time at that point to figure out what to do. Either you’re ready or you will be dragging behind – and that’s no place to be!

“For the Lord will execute His word upon the earth, thoroughly and quickly” (Rom. 9:28).

I love it when God moves. It’s precise and accurate and wow does it ever make an impact! God is not messing around, playing games and doing things just for the heck of it. He is deliberate. I love that about him.

There are seasons for everything.

Solomon tells us this. Two seasons I’m very familiar with: sowing and reaping. Or, to put it another way working-waiting-working.

You have to sow a seed, an idea, a dream before you can reap the benefits of it. You have to place it in the ground and let it die – isn’t that what Jesus said?

“I assure you that unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it can only be a single seed. But if it dies, it bears much fruit.” John 12:24 CEB

That takes work. Sowing isn’t easy. You have to let some things go, make changes, work on yourself and be diligent in your pursuit even when you can’t see one scrap of evidence that God is doing anything in your life or that anything is going to change. You have to, in essence, start living the change before it occurs. People can think you’re crazy, but remember, with God, all things are possible.

Being productive during the waiting season.

Then comes the waiting season. When the seed is growing, pushing out from the dirt (oh God, is it ever going to happen!?) This can be a very frustrating season. But sitting idle while you’re waiting is not the thing to do! Never wait without also filling your time with productive work.

Waiting on God is a two-part process. You are indeed waiting on him for direction or an answer or a way forward so that you don’t hastily make the wrong decision. This is a good thing. However, you should definitely be learning and growing in all aspects of your life during the waiting season. Never just sit and grow lazy during these times. I know, because I’ve done that – and it is absolutely no fun once God starts to move and I’m totally unprepared! That’s when I encounter disappointment and heartache.

Be learning; about him about you about the aspects of your dream or vision.

Gain knowledge and be ravenous when it comes to learning about his ways and about the people out there who are living in their dream. Learn from them, study missionaries and martyrs and business men and women – anyone who is living for God – and keep growing and stretching while you are waiting for your own harvest to come. By learning, you are in essence watering your seeds that you’ve sown. Your fertilizing and tending what you sowed. This is how to do it!

Then, one day when God says the time has come, your harvest will come in and it will be time to move. And guess what? After all the hard work you put in during the ‘waiting’ season, you’ll be ready to move with him!

 

If you have questions or need direction on how to begin to make a change, don’t hesitate to contact me. Leave a comment or email me – you can also reach out on social media like Linked In or Google+. 

Love will get you to where you need to be~

Doing Things God’s Way

Doing Things God’s Way

I’m not trying to get my way in the world’s way. I’m trying to get your way your Word’s way. I’m staying on your trail; I’m putting one foot in front of the other. I’m not giving up. -Psalm 17:4-5 The Message

Aligning your way with God’s way doesn’t mean you have to give up on your dreams and aspirations. Many of us work because it’s necessary, not because we find it deeply fulfilling. Do you ever find yourself pausing at your desk or while you’re waiting at the dock for a shipment to be loaded on your truck and think surly there is something else I could be doing with my time that is more productive and gives me greater satisfaction than this. We’ve all been there. You may find yourself there right now.

But have you ever thought how you might take a step away from your current life and towards the one you always hoped for?  At this point is where we let our current reality dissuade us from making that first step. We get overwhelmed with questions of how and what to do about it. You may have family or financial strain that pops your dream like a frail soap bubble. One moment here, the next moment non-existent.

So we tend to start looking for the quickest way out because frankly, it just seems easier. And sometimes that’s addiction, sometimes it’s going numb and just doing the daily routine without thinking.

Get rich quick schemes that sound so legit, gambling and maybe even opting for crime. The world’s way is always going to seem easier and let’s face it, somebody has to win the lottery, right? But going the world’s way is never successful or fulfilling – especially when we are serving God. God’s ways are legit and so much more rewarding. Are they harder? You bet.

You have to dig down into yourself and pull up answers that you don’t want to wrestle with – the whys and hows of your current situation. It’s hard to look at our mistakes and own them. But sometimes that’s where we have to start – humbling ourselves before God and saying ‘I thought I knew the way, but I was wrong’.

God is always listening and ready to help. He never rubs mistakes in our face or makes us pay. Sin has consequences but God has answers! He will move on your behalf, he even states

Since you are precious and honored in my sight, and because I love you, I will give people in exchange for you, nations in exchange for your life. – Isaiah 43:4 NIV

This is how much He values you! It is nearly unfathomable for us to understand his love. Not even the Apostle Paul could do it:

…that you may be able to comprehend what is the width and length and depth and height—to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. -Ephesians 3:17-19 NKJV

If you are ready to begin stepping out of a life that is unfulfilling and into God’s life that is waiting for you, then He is ready to meet you at the crossroads. Pray diligently for direction, for knowledge and for the courage to begin the journey. Remember, small steps are all you need to start out.  Prayer is God’s way of moving on this earth. Don’t neglect this powerful intimate time with God to exact change in your life.

 

If you have questions or need direction on how to begin to make a change, don’t hesitate to contact me. Leave a comment or email me – you can also reach out on social media like Linked In or Google+. 

Love will get you to where you need to be~

 

The Power of Your Words

The Power of Your Words

One of the most powerful tools you have is your word.

The Bible describes the tongue as one of the smallest, yet most powerful parts of the body. Like a bit over the tongue of a horse moves its entire body in the direction you want it to go, so the tongue moves our entire lives and wellbeing in the direction of our words. Think that seems impossible? That your life is a result of your words? I’m going to show you how it is possible.

The tongue – your words – house incredible power within them. Why do you think God exalts his word over his name?  Have you ever had to have faith in yourself that you could get something done? Well so does God! It’s just that he has full authority and knowledge of himself and so the word he speaks goes forth without doubt or error to accomplish exactly what He sent it to accomplish. Have you ever caught yourself talking to yourself saying things like ‘you got this’, ‘you can do this’, ‘be strong’? God doesn’t have to do this; instead, he spoke it once and it is truth:

“so is my word that goes out from my mouth:

It will not return to me empty,

but will accomplish what I desire

and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.”

Isaiah 55:11

Done. He doesn’t have to build himself up like we do because he knows his word is good. Paul said we should build ourselves up on our holy faith. Which means we’ve got work to d0. God does not mince words and He takes them very seriously. What He speaks happens. If He were to say “Man this is a terrible day” then you can believe, it’s going to be one terrible day! But He understands himself and his power and the power of his words. And he tells us clearly that the power of the tongue holds death and life in it. He’s not joking. Let’s look at a few things we can do to start steering our lives in a more positive direction with good results.

Take a day and be cognizant of what you say.

Are your words overall positive, helpful and hopeful? Or are they negative, sarcastic and tainted with a hopeless outlook? Are the words you’re using building people (including yourself) up and encouraging? Or are they critical, dismissive and hurtful? The power of life and death are in the tongue. Proverbs 18:20

Is there a difficult situation you’re going through concerning another person? What you can start doing today is speaking positive and good words over them and the situation. Words are powerful and God hears them. Think about it; do you respond favorably to praise and encouragment? Then other people do as well. If we are biting and cutting others down then their demeanor will be overall downcast, angry and negative around us. Even if only as a self defense measure. It’s a reaction, like the instinct to stay alive, we close off to criticism. That should tell us that words are more powerful -affecting even the human body- than we perhaps thought. This goes for you as well, self talk is extremely important. Don’t put yourself down and be critical or negative of yourself. Learn how to be patient with yourself and forgive yourself. We are all growing and learning – God loves you and knows that we struggle. The Bible says his mercy endures forever. Know that.

Try to speak positive words over difficult situations.

I try to be aware of what I am saying as much as possible. We all can fall into a rut without realizing it – there’s something satisfying about speaking to someone about our trials and tribulations. There is nothing wrong in telling your story and seeking comfort from a trusted family member or friend. We have to be able to work through issues and someone else’s advice can be helpful. But just know that when you’re able to keep things positive you lead a healthier life. Talk through your problems and seek advice, but don’t degrade others or gossip about people. If you can limit this, you will feel much better, it’s a proven fact.

Stay positive – it releases positive energy.

I would also urge you not to get bogged down by this either. Saying you have a stomach ache is a whole lot different than saying I always get stomach aches. Stating what the current situation is, is not a problem. You have to communicate after all. But you can always speak peace over any situation – there is nothing false about speaking peace over your mind, your heart, your physical body or anything else. Stay positive – it releases positive energy (God knows this!) into everything around you. We are living breathing organisms and if God says you can speak life or death into something, you better believe you can. Let’s not kill the tender shoots of new beginnings or venturing into new projects you’ve never tried before. Practice patience and keep your outlook and words positive. I promise this will give you a much better, longer take-off area for changing your life.

Despise not small beginnings…

If God Gave You A Gift

If God Gave You A Gift

We can get overloaded with life’s daily duties and not realize how quickly our time here is passing. It’s as if our list of obligations dictate to us how and what our lives are going to be like every minute of the day. And we can be so tired by the end, that we flop into bed without another thought and hope to sleep through the night. (Sometimes if things are really stressful, even a good night’s sleep is difficult to achieve.)

We slumber through our days without realizing that God has a purpose for us. He has a purpose for you. We get what we focus on the most – ever heard that you veer your car in the direction your eyes are going? Same concept here. If we are only focused on getting the next thing on our list checked off, we are stifling our creative side, our own dreams and hopes. The time we spend getting to know and understand what God has called us to and just who we are in Christ is precious. It’s like spending dinner with your family around the table so everyone can talk and share about their day. It’s bonding time, learning about each other and growing together.

We also need time like this to reflect on God and on our own heart’s desire whether it is something creative like painting, or starting that business you’ve been dreaming about for years (if only you weren’t so busy) or turning your hobbies into something more profitable. How much more fulfilled would we be if we pursued and worked at what we loved to do the most?

There are many things that can set you on the path to a more happy and fulfilled life, and the foremost step to achieving this is spending the extra time to get to know God, His word, and who you are in Him. Searching His word and understanding that there’s so much more to life than just the daily grind is a great place to start. God should always be the place from which we branch out in anything – He is our firm foundation. Then we can add on His foundation with confidence.

“If God gives you something you can do, why in God’s name wouldn’t you do it?” -Stephen King

Think about this for a moment. All good things come from God. What has he given you that perhaps you have forgotten about? Something that you are good at doing but maybe you thought it was a small thing of no real significance. What small thing have you always enjoyed doing but you never have time to do it? Could it be that this is the gift God has given you? That this one small (or large) thing could be the key to changing your life and being happier for it?

So I hope you take some thought of these things and begin to think about how you can take control and not let you schedule dictate your life to you; but instead dedicate a portion of your time each day to learn and to reach out and pray God’s will in your life so you can begin to direct your focus on what He is calling you to do.  Search your heart for what truly matters to you and don’t be afraid to begin pursuing it.

 

If you have questions or need direction on how to begin to make a change, don’t hesitate to contact me. Leave a comment or email me – you can also reach out on social media like Linked In or Google+. 

Love will get you to where you need to be~

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