2015: Year of Confidence

I think confidence is contagious.

Think about it; whenever you are around a person that exudes confidence (not arrogance), you gain some of their strength. When they leave, you wonder what they have that you don’t. What makes them so free, so sure of who they are?

They know everything happens for a reason. They aren’t always striving for control, because they realize they have none. It can be scary to look out into the future, and not know what’s around the bend. But I serve God and believe He has great plans for my life, and I trust Him to work through all the trials to bring about something beautiful and more creative than I could’ve done on my own.

When I start to see all the obstacles and problems piling up around me, I get overwhelmed. How can I handle all these things? Why do I need to face this? It’s then that I stop myself. It’s not about the how and why. It’s about WHO. Who is with me? Who gives grace abundantly? Who has never left my side?

The same God that tells me I belong to Him. That His perfect love casts out my fear. The God that showed me exactly who I was, at a critical time in my life.

He continues to show me who I am; the Christian woman He has designed me to be. I just shake my head in disbelief at how far I still need to go. But then I smile when I look back, and see how far God has already brought me! It makes me excited for 2015-because God is going to do great things!

Be bold in prayer. Ask God to instill deep confidence and joy in you. Listen to His guidance and follow, because He knows the way. Keep your eyes open. Then be amazed at the work He does in and through you! I will be praying that God makes 2015 your year of growing in confidence, and embracing the person He designed you to be.

Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV)

“5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding;
6    in all your ways submit to him,
    and he will make your paths straight.

Bible reference: http://www.biblegateway.com

 

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The Art of Authenticity

au·then·tic

adjective

: real or genuine : not copied or false

: true and accurate

: made to be or look just like an original

The world is full of people trying to be someone they are not. Trying to force themselves into a mold that people around them have designed for them. Caving to what the media says is true.

But who are you, really? What makes you, you? Are you the outgoing, social, upbeat one in the group? Or are you quiet and reflective? I’m a mixture of both; I love being outgoing, but I’m still an introvert because I need alone time regularly.

A friend told me the other day that I’m very genuine. I’m not worried about what others think of me, for the most part. I like being myself, and I have nothing to hide. I love Jesus, and am not afraid to live it out. I don’t apologize for being me, though I am quick to apologize when I’ve hurt someone.

Authenticity is an art form; completely unique to you. There is only one of you, you are God’s original masterpiece. When you have a child, he or she may look just like you, but you quickly realize they have a mind all their own. Their own personality and qualities shape their outlook.

We change over time. We become more knowledgeable, more experienced, and more unique. Our experiences and upbringing shape how we see the world around us.

Don’t try to shove yourself into a mold made for someone else. Ask God what qualities He wants to grow in you, and try not to be surprised when He sends challenges your way. When you seek God in and through the challenges, He will develop your character… and your authentic self will become one that pleases God, loves others, and is filled with the Holy Spirit.

Be real. Be genuine. Be you.

Definition from:

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/authentic

Are You Caught in the Middle?

Season of life

Will it Never End?

When restlessness creeps in, it unnerves you. You’re sitting still, but all you want to do is move. Sometimes you are sitting somewhere, like class, a meeting, or church. You have to tap your foot just to stay awake.

Is it the monotone speaker, the lack of caffeine, or your own thoughts that cause your eyelids to grow heavy?

This is what I call the middle.

These are the times when things seems so mundane or routine that you’d rather just sleep through them. Does anyone else feel this way?

When you’re in the middle, you feel stuck. You’re left wondering if things will ever change.

If they do change, will you be ready? You may even have some changes, like a move, job change, or family situation that is on the horizon. You may never be 100% ready for what comes, but you can take this time in the middle to prepare yourself.

I’m not one to be idle. I’d rather be learning, discovering, and trying new things. So if you are a doer too, let me offer some tips.

Write lists.

What kind of traits will you need to be successful in the coming season? Have you struggled with keeping your word, no matter how small the promise is? Start making less promises and start keeping the ones you’ve already made. Are you spreading yourself too thin? Who are the people that need and deserve to be a priority in your life?

Make attainable goals.

We all have some dream deep down, that we hope happens someday. Travelling the world, achieving the career you’ve been striving for, and having a family are big dreams. But those are long term and are less measurable on a day-to-day level. How about writing a letter/email to a friend or family member this week? Or make a goal to call a friend, and take them to lunch. How about making a goal to read a book of the Bible over the next 3 weeks? We need smaller goals to achieve while we continue on the path to reaching the big ones.

Be open to opportunities.

Things won’t always go according to plan… but don’t let it ruin your day! See that long wait at the coffee shop as a chance to make the barista smile. That traffic jam can turn into a music jam session in your car! Be willing to encourage others, even when things seem pretty dismal. Whenever you share sunshine with someone else, the light shines on you also :).

Don’t get stuck in the middle, waiting, tapping your foot. Let it be your opportunity to learn, make goals, and spread some cheer.