Archive of ‘The Journey’ category

Tired of giving up on goals?

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This week I went to lunch with one of my best friends from high school. I absolutely love this girl and love spending time with her. She doesn’t realize it, but she always teaches me lessons about myself and God. During our lunch together, we were very vulnerable and both shared our current struggles. What struck both of us, was that most of our current struggles were the same as our past struggles.

She said, “This year is going to be different. I’m going to work on these issues. It is going to be a better year.”
Déjà vu. I’ve heard this before.

I told her that she said the same thing last summer, she said, “Wow, that is depressing.”

After lunch, I couldn’t get those words out of my mind. Like my friend, I am bad at following through on goals. At the start of new semesters I always have new goals. Here are some examples:

  • I’m going to stick to a healthy diet and work out regularly.
  • This semester will be different, because I will pray more!
  • Finally, maybe this semester I’ll actually understand how Jesus can satisfy my desire to be married.

Sadly, I never last longer than a week or two at attempting to reach these goals. I give up or just simply forget about the goals. The end of the semester comes, and I say to myself, “Wow, that is depressing.” I don’t want to continue this cycle. I don’t want to spend my whole life making goals only to never check off the boxes. I want to see growth in my life. My dad always told me that when we make goals they have to be specific and have multiple sub-goals to reach each one. Here are my main goals and sub-goals to reach them:

1. Grow closer to God

  • Spend time with God
  • Read my daily chapters of the Bible on my Bible app plan
  • Pray for 10 minutes

2. Live a more healthy life

  • Exercise at least 30 minutes
  • Healthy snacks
  • Don’t eat past 10

3. Be content in this stage of singleness

  • No more romantic comedies

For June, I am trying something new. I am putting my goals into a excel document and checking them off daily to help me remember them. I am sick of being depressed that my goals are not being met. Below is a screen shot so you can understand what I’m talking about.

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Important to note:

  • Make spending time with God a goal for this month. It is easy to look at this as a list of rules to follow, and think if I follow these rules then I will grow. That isn’t always true, because the change begins in the heart. God is the only one who can change our heart, so we have to spend time with him. As I was writing this, the same friend texted me saying she had been thinking about our conversation as well. In the car she heard a Christian radio station say, “We have to see God’s way in all we do instead of living by the rules.” Make sure you are not just following rules you made for the month, but that you are actively trying to follow God’s plan for you and become all that he made you to be.
  • If you miss a day, do not get mad at yourself and give up. It is okay. Some of the goals you set for yourself are going to be impossible to achieve every day in our busy lives. The important thing is to not give up.
  • Find a friend to be accountable with. For example, I’m getting my parents involved. The three of us are going to put our lists on the fridge to hold each other accountable.

What are some goals that you tend to give up on? Do you repeat them over and over again?

If yes, join me on this journey. Below there is a blank pdf of the chart I made. Print it out and fill in your goals.

Together we can experience growth.

 

Click here for pdf: Blank June Goals pdf

 

I hope this post has been encouraging! Be sure to add me on social media and share my blog with your friends! Thanks!

                       

In the Middle, You Find Jesus | Charlotte Gambill Book Review

I recently went to a women’s conference called Dare To Be by Natalie Grant and Charlotte Gambill. Natalie led worship and then Charlotte led the teaching. It was very inspiring and impacting! Charlotte opened my eyes to something in scripture I had never before thought about – the middle. Charlotte also wrote a book about this called The Miracle in the Middle: Finding God’s Voice in the Void. This is a fabulous book that I would recommend with you! Because I loved the conference and book so much, I want to share her message and expand on the topic.

In Mark 6:45-52, the story is shared where Jesus walks on water towards his disciples. In these verses, the men were in the middle of the trip between the land where Jesus was and the land on the other side. The boat was in the middle of the lake, far away from Jesus. I want to focus on the word- middle. This is pulled directly from verse 47, “Later that night, the boat was in the middle of the lake, and he was alone on land.”

How would you define the middle? For the disciples, they were literally in the middle of the water, but the middle can look different for everyone. Maybe you are in the middle of waiting for something, middle of a struggle, middle of a breakup, middle of singleness, middle of a conflict, there are lots of middles in our lives. Right now I am in the middle of trying to figure out what career to work towards. I would love to be at the end and know exactly what God wants me to do, but right now I am where God wants me, in the middle.

Being in the middle may not be comfortable, but it requires trusting that God will get you to the other side.

The disciples would have felt more comfortable if they would have been on land next to Jesus, and maybe they thought about turning around and going back to where they came from. Right now I am in the life stage of singleness. I have to choose daily to trust that God knows what he is doing. Some days I may want to run back to my old lifestyle of dating who I wanted instead of waiting for a Godly man. I want to run back to what I know is comfortable, but I don’t because I am trusting that God will use this middle to glorify himself.

The middle may not be comfortable, but it does have an end.

The enemy knows when we are in the middle. Because each step we take gets us closer to the other side and closer to a break through. Every middle is equal distance both ways, so sometime it would require the same amount of work to go back to the beginning as the end.

As humans, we don’t want the journey, we want the results. We want to get to the end. We want to know what decisions to make, be married, get past the conflicts, and get out of the boat!

In the middle is when you put to practice all that you say and believe. It may be easy on the shore to say that you believe God is good and that his plans are perfect, but how you live out your life in the middle is the proof.

In the middle you see the miracle. Jesus walks on water and comes to you. When you are thinking how will I ever make it to the other side, Jesus performs a miracle.

In the middle,  you find Jesus.

The greek word used for middle, mesos, in this passage is also found in another passage in the Bible. John 19:18,  “There they crucified him, and with him two others—one on each side and Jesus in the middle.

So where was Jesus? In the middle. He was in the middle of dying a painful death for you and I. He was in the middle of saving us from the pain of our own sinful choices. He was in the middle of saving us from the hurt this world causes us. Jesus was in the middle!

When you are in the middle of your struggles, waiting for hope, or  just want to get to the other side, remember that Jesus is in the middle.

I hope this post has been encouraging! Be sure to add me on social media and share my blog with your friends! Thanks!

                       

Save

Maybe we have the wrong mindset.

What does it mean to be blessed?

The world defines blessed as having bliss, happiness, laughter, pleasure, earthly prosperity, possessions, or contentment. God defines blessed as the experience of hope and joy, independent of our outward circumstances. From this definition, a person can be blessed if they lack happiness, earthly prosperity, and pleasure. To some people – this would not be considered a blessed life.

This is what the Bible says:

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”- Matthew 5:3-10

I don’t know about you, but when I am mourning or hungry I don’t feel blessed. In these moments it is so easy to focus on the problem. Maybe we have the wrong mindset.

God’s way of living contradicts the world’s way of living. The world might tell us one thing, but God tells us another. If we want to live for God we must be ready to do and say what the world views as strange. Think about how different your life would be if you realized that being blessed does not depend on your circumstances.

Look back at the verses in Matthew. When we give up our own rights and comforts, then we can receive everything that God has in store for us. God desires for us to receive the kingdom of heaven, to be comforted, to inherit the earth, to be satisfied, to receive mercy, to see God, to be called God’s sons and daughters.

“Blessed are the people to whom such blessings fall! Blessed are the people whose God is the LORD!” -Psalm 144:15

Is Jesus Christ the LORD of your life? Have you made the decision to give your life to him? Blessed are the people who have given their lives to Jesus. You can make that decision today and receive all that God has for you!

I hope this post has been encouraging! Be sure to add me on social media and share my blog with your friends! Thanks!

                       

Get Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable

ImageJillian Michaels and yoga: two words I never thought would be paired together. Jillian, known for her role on the Biggest Loser, is one of America’s toughest trainers who always pushes people to reach their potential. While yoga is known for breathing, meditation, and relaxation. Last night I was doing a yoga video with Jillian called Yoga Meltdown, designed to sculpt muscle, burn fat, and tone the entire body.

During the workout, we were planking and Jillian said, “Get comfortable with being uncomfortable.” At that moment sweat was dripping down my forehead, my arms were shaking, and my abs were in pain. I wanted to say to Jillian, “NO, I do not want to be uncomfortable. I hate feeling this pain!” I would rather stop, curl up in my blankets, and watch Gilmore Girls. That sounds like a great night to me! But would I grow? Would I reach my fitness goals? I’m not saying to never enjoy a night of relaxing and enjoying the best TV show around, because we all know that Gilmore Girls is the best. What I am saying is that if we want to grow, we need to get comfortable with being uncomfortable.

For yoga or any other exercise, one has to push their limits in order to improve. If a person stayed comfortable and never felt pain, they would never be able to grow or reach higher possibilities. God does not want us to stay comfortable. He wants us to push our limits, go out of our comfort zone, and experience spiritual growth. One common misconception people have is that when they become a Christian, their lives will be easier and more comfortable. Paul the apostle said the exact opposite:

“Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you.But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed.” -1 Peter 4:12-13

“Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.” -2 Timothy 3:12

As a Christian, we will experience sufferings, but we need to rejoice over them and get comfortable being uncomfortable. I know this does not sound fun. No one wants to suffer or be uncomfortable, but if you want to experience spiritual growth, you will be uncomfortable. The good news is, God cares so much about us that he does not leave us to suffer. He comforts us. Always.

“The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” -Psalm 34:18

“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.” -Isaiah 43:2

We will suffer, but God will comfort. Let’s rejoice in our sufferings. Know that suffering produces endurance and endurance produces character. (Rom 5:3-4)

Let’s get comfortable being uncomfortable!

What are practical ways you can live a more uncomfortable life today?

I hope this post has been encouraging! Be sure to add me on social media and share my blog with your friends! Thanks!

                       

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