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

 

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.

The Heart of a Dreamer

To Live

We are the warriors, ready to slay the dragon.

We dream of a world with more laughter and less pain.

We see more than meets the eye.

We are the Dreamers.

As a dreamer, we believe we can accomplish anything we set our minds too. And sometimes, we don’t understand when others give up easily.

Big Dreams, Big Risks

Do they not know that the biggest dreams require the biggest risks? That seeing something come to life takes a lot of sweat and tears?

Have you given up? Maybe you dreamed, and the dream came up empty. You tried, and everything fell apart… or you were too afraid to try. Did someone, somewhere, tell you that you couldn’t do it? That you’d never be good enough, smart enough, or good-looking enough to reach your dream? Please stop believing those lies.

Take a moment to soak this in: God isn’t done with you. He still has dreams and plans for your life.

Deep down, you know it’s true.

You let the dream go, thinking it could never be. But is that hope I see? That little seed of your dream has just been dormant. Now that it is seeing light, it wants to grow. Will you water it? Some days it may seem to just sit there, not growing or changing. But don’t let it wither away. Work at it, fertilize it, and give it sunlight.

Even More Beautiful

When the time is right, God will bring about a more beautiful bloom than you imagined. Actually, it will be quite different than what you thought the seed would produce. But isn’t that what makes it even more beautiful? The fact that you can tell it was not of your own doing, but Christ at work in and through you, bringing your dream into being?

Guess what?! You are not limited to one dream. On the contrary, you shall have many dreams. Not all of them will be your job to see through from start to finish. You will need people to join you in making your dream happen, people who believe in you, and people to make you think outside the box. Then they may take on your dream as their own, and God calls you elsewhere.

Keep Dreaming!

Either way, keep dreaming, keep fighting, and keep believing. The adventure with Christ is a lifelong one… and someday I truly desire to hear “Well done, my good and faithful servant,” from the One who loved me and held my hand every day of the journey.

Are you excited for an awfully big adventure?

 

Inspiration for this blog is from:

You’re Made for a God-sized Dream, by Holley Gerth

Stopped in My Tracks

Unstoppable.

Invincible.

Determination.

We have a goal so we keep our nose to the grindstone. We persevere, knowing that our efforts will eventually pay off.

All of a sudden, things come crashing down. The deal that we planned on, the friend that wasn’t there when you needed them most, plans that held hope come up dry, and your own health seems to be against you.

You tried so hard. If the goal could have been attained by sheer determination, you wouldn’t be facing this failure.

But I think that’s the point.

I was pressing on toward the goal of being in the best shape of my life. I love the outdoors, and poured that passion into cycling to work. On my way back one day, I took a drink of water, and before I knew it I was flying…over my handlebars. Face meets concrete. Shock sets in. Pain and confusion are foremost on my mind. I unpin myself from my bike, and retrieve my beat up water bottle. I hobble off the path, and sit on a rock. I called in my awesome hero of a dad.

People stopped to help me, and I waved them on, explaining my help was coming. I was so grateful they cared.

I did a self assessment, and was amazed and grateful that nothing was broken. My knee swelled, as did my face. I knew this would set me back on my workout routine, and I was frustrated. I tried so hard! Why do crazy things always happen to me?

That’s Life

It is crazy, unpredictable, and unique to each person. Through my crash, God taught me that I am stoppable, quite human, and that being fast probably shouldn’t be my goal… 😉 He told me to slow down, and look around. Sometimes I’m so stubborn that He literally stops me in my tracks. This isn’t the first time something like this has happened. It is always an eye-opening experience, though I don’t really like the pain it causes.

You will never get to live this day again! It is a uniquely beautiful gift from God to you. Being stopped in my tracks made me return my focus to Christ, and not worry so much about my future plans… for I know they are tentative, for God is the ultimate planner and giver of dreams.

So… I’m holding on tight to His hand as He trains me to follow Him: wholeheartedly, everyday.

“I’ve always found that anything worth achieving will always have obstacles in the way and you’ve got to have that drive and determination to overcome those obstacles on route to whatever it is that you want to accomplish.”

Chuck Norris

Time to Slay a Giant

DO

We all have fear, insecurity, and doubt.

But we don’t have to let these things dictate our actions. What if these things are the giants we must slay? I don’t want to live a dull life because fear holds me captive.

Do the thing you think you cannot do. Just begin. For me, one thing was starting a blog ;). Does that mean you will have 100 followers in a month, or a year? No, but you will be writing, and may have the opportunity to encourage or inspire someone… and that is worth writing for! Not into writing? What about a fitness goal? Join a fitness class at your recreation center. Don’t make excuses, make friends and keep yourself accountable.

As many of you know, I am passionate about camp ministry. I have volunteered in many different positions, from activity director, to art director, to assistant counselor.

The most challenging position was that of a counselor. You are responsible for the lives and well-being of 6 or more kids! Their parents have put their trust in you, and in the directors.

I loved being the art director. It was so much fun to teach art and get to know kids as they created masterpieces of their own. I stayed in this role for a few years.

This year, I knew God was challenging me to step out in faith; to be a head counselor. I am preparing my mind, heart, and body for action. I want to love these kids with all that I have, but more than that, I want them to see Jesus. To know Him, and love Him. To see that He is their Savior, Father, and King.

Please pray for the staff, campers, and myself as we serve Christ at Upon the Rock camp! He is going to do great things, I just know it :).