How to get out of your own way

For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline. 2 Timothy 1:7 NLT https://bible.com/verse-of-the-day/2ti.1.7/17250

@marcinevin Twitter

When I look at this list I see a lot of things that I have done in the past or still continue to do. Do you see anything that you do?

Do you want to be better disciplined? Ask God to help. He gave self discipline to us as a gift when he gave us the Holy Spirit. Its inside of us waiting to be used, we just have to ask. Everything you need to be great is already within you.

I think all the things on this list boil down to Fear. Fear gets me every time. I’ll have an idea that I like but I will scared that it will fail, that people won’t like it, that its not good enough. God didn’t give us a spirit of fear. He tells us all the time to that he will be with us. If he is with us what do we have to be scared about? I’m sure you see all the time, do it afraid. My girl (in my head) Joyce Meyer, just wrote a book called Do it Afraid. I haven’t read it, but I’m sure its good. lol

That’s how you get out of your own way. Do it anyway. Stop trying to be in control of every moment. Stop thinking of the worst possible outcomes. Start thinking of all the things that could go right. Reward yourself along the way. Don’t stop just because it gets hard. If you get off track, get back on. Its never to late to start over, change your mind, switch it up. Be kind to yourself.

These are the things we have to do if we really want to tap into our greatness. We can’t do it on our own. You can’t stop years of wrong thinking by deciding to just start thinking more positively. We have to ask God to help us. To walk beside us. We need to tell him I’m ready. I’m ready for the challenge, I’m ready for the pain. I’m ready for whatever you want to give me, however you want to stretch me until I’m operating at my best capacity. Until I am doing what you called me to do.

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Prayer

Lord, You died for me to live life to the full. Your children shouldn’t have imposter syndrome we are daughters/sons of a king. Everything I need to be great you equipped me to do. Because you love me. You decided what you wanted me to do before I was born and then put together the entire thing while I was still in my mothers womb. Help me get out of my own way. Help me water the seeds of greatness you already planted inside me. Help me stay steadfast and rely on you, not on me. In Jesus name. Amen


Resources

https://thriveglobal.com/stories/tired-of-self-sabotage-how-to-get-out-of-your-own-way/ https://www.lifehack.org/articles/productivity/10-ways-get-out-your-own-way-and-get-things-done.html https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/living-finesse/202006/how-recognize-and-defuse-self-sabotage

Unlearning

One thing I’ve picked up during this odd year of 2020 is unlearning.

What have you had to unlearn? For me it’s been a lot. I used some of these thought processes for protection to make sure I wouldn’t get hurt. Im learning to be more vulnerable, to trust more, and I realize I don’t need to think this way anymore.

1. Everything is not what it seems. Sometimes our perceptions are wrong. We are making decisions based on limited knowledge, our bias, our feelings. All those things could potentially not be right. Keeping this in the back of my mind has helped me look at things from all angles before making a decision.

2. Everything is not black or white or even gray. I was very much a person who thought things were one way or not. No shade but, it is what it is. In the this world of COVID-19 I’ve learned things are not always one way or another. There could be a third option that I never even considered.

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3. Everyone doesn’t have to move at the same pace. I used to think I was behind everybody in spiritual knowledge, in having kids, fancy careers. However I have to remind myself that I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be. God put me in this place. It’s not a race. I’m not competing with anyone, not even myself. There are no timelines or schedules because God’s timing is always perfect.

4. What works for you, may not work for me. This is another small thing but changing my thinking has been huge. The first thing that made me think of this is the natural hair movement. You can watch tons of tutorials and it still not turn out right. Follow someone’s regimen to the letter and still not get the changes you were expecting. What worked for them may not work for me. That can be applied to just about anything in life.

5. People aren’t judging me. People aren’t looking at me. Or even thinking about me. Folks are more concerned about themselves than they are with what I’m doing, wearing etc. Letting this go allows me to live more free.

6. Its never too late. For anything. Ever. The older you get the more people start to tell you your too old for this or that. Not true. It’s never too late. If your good, it’s going to come through in what you do. You want to make a career switch? Do it! You want to move out of state? Do it! Nothing is holding you back but you.

These lessons have been huge. They may seem like simple changes but they represent gigantic changes in mindset. As we get to the last quarter of the year think about how you might need to change your mindset. Its never too late.

Do you feel like God left you on read? 10 reasons he might not be answering…

Do you feel like you have been praying and not getting an answer? Do you feel like your prayers are hitting the ceiling?

There may be a few reasons why God isn’t answering.

1. Did he already answer and you just don’t like what he said? I’ve done that. So I just kept asking waiting. I felt like he was ignoring me but really he had already told me the answer. I just didn’t like it.

2. Do you have unrepentant sin? Have you been doing things you know God doesn’t want you to do? If you are ignoring the Holy Spirit about your actions that can be a problem. God wants you to clean that up. Remember God sees all sin the same, no matter what you are doing, or how you rationalize it.

3. Are you being disobedient? Is God telling you to do something and you aren’t doing it? Are you ignoring what he is asking you to do?  Do you think you have a better plan than God? He might be waiting on you to take the first step to show yourself faithful. Then he will give you more instruction.

4. Are you holding any grudges? God doesn’t hold grudges against us, so he doesn’t want us to hold grudges against others. Let it go. 

5. Are you giving him time to answer? Just because it feels like a long time, unfortunately in God time it isn’t. 2 Peter 3:8-9

6. Are you spending time with him? Is it quality time? Or are you just asking your questions and leaving? You are giving God your prayer requests but don’t actually wait to hear what he he has to say. Sometimes he doesn’t answer because he wants to get your attention.

7. Are your motives wrong? James 4:3. What you might be asking for may not be in Gods will. He could be waiting for you to check your motives before he answers you. You always want to make sure your desires match up to his.

8. You aren’t ready for the answer. There is a season for everything. God’s timing is always perfect. You may need to do some healing or growing or waiting before he answers you.

9. Are you asking God then asking a bunch of other people? If you ask God then ask other people you could be honoring other peoples opinions more than God’s. He of course won’t like that. He wants you to trust that he knows what is best for you.

10. Do you really believe he is going to do it? Are you asking but still have a lot of doubt? God doesn’t mind you having doubts but he wants you to ask him for help. He wants you to say, Lord I just don’t know if this will actually happen. Help me in my unbelief. Mark 9:24. I prayed that prayer a lot when I was trying to get pregnant. Its one of my favorite scriptures.

I hope this helps you get the answers you need from God. He is not ignoring you, he wants to help, he wants you to feel good on this side of heaven. Remember as you wait for him to respond that everything he does is for your good, even not responding, because he has great plans for you. Romans 8:28

 May the Lord answer all your prayers. Psalms 20:5 


Resources

https://www.crosswalk.com/faith/women/5-reasons-why-god-isn-t-answering-your-prayers.html

7 Bible Verses About God’s Perfect Timing

Is it Okay to Hold Grudges?

Now that quarantine is over

I am in an interesting space as we come out of strict quarantine and summer is upon us. Summer definitely looks different with COVID-19 and protesting happening all across the country. I saw tons of memes on my social media about if you didn’t come out quarantine having accomplished something then you were just lazy. I just don’t believe that to be true. Thankfully someone agreed because they changed it. This one makes a lot more sense.

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If I am being honest. I have not completed a ton of projects in the 2 months that we were forced to stay. Posting again was one of the things I wanted to accomplish, so Yay me! for getting that done.

I just felt really stuck with not working in the traditional sense, and my baby and husband being here and the days rolling together.

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I had been feeling really off spiritually for a while, and that’s another thing that quarantine helped me get on track. I have attended more Sunday school and bible study than I ever would have if we were not in quarantine.

I felt bad though. I was spending too much time on Hulu, social media and reading books. I was having a mini vacation from the world and seeing other people have something tangible to show for their quarantine efforts really bothered me.

In my noon day bible study that I go to, she told us to go back and read your old journals to see where God has brought you from. It wasn’t really a pleasant experience, like I see God answering prayers but I also see a lot of heartache. I also decided to go back and read some of my old blog posts. There are over a 100 so it was more a skim, but I came across this one. Its one of the first posts I did and it talks about the name I picked for the blog. That was three years ago and I am still having this same problem. I talk about being stuck in research mode instead of just taking the leap and doing the thing you said you were going to do.

I sat down about 6 weeks ago and laid out my plan of my hearts desires. I asked God to be with me in those plans because there a lot of things my heart desires. After I wrote them down and prayed some more I put dates that I wanted to accomplish them. I continued to pray about those things in my quiet time until my Pastor preached a sermon on fear. Click the link. It’s really good you should watch it. It had a lot of great points but the one that stuck with me is we need to quit praying and move! I felt like God had slapped me, like, Hey, I’m talking to you! All this research and worrying, you are not going to get anything done. Just do it!

Then I had a conversation with my friends one Sunday after a nature walk (more on that in a later post) about pursing your passions and how much people pay for content, how to get things done and my mind was blown. I left so inspired! So ready to hit the ground running.

My next few posts will be about pursuing your passions and how to ensure you accomplish the goals you set. Stay tuned!

p.s-COVID-19 is still a thing, wear a mask.

 

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This may have been in March but its still relevant. 

Its my birthday!

33 years I have been rotating around the sun. I don’t feel 33 years old. I am not sure what that is supposed to feel like. I don’t feel as old as the people I knew were this age when I was younger.

I am excited for 33. I pray that this year is truly my best year yet. I say that every year and then the end of that year comes and I don’t necessarily feel that way. I told someone the other day that even year birthdays have not be great for me, so I hope this year is better. My 30th birthday was not great. I didn’t do anything to celebrate and tried to through something together last minute that wasn’t representative of my awesome party throwing skills. I don’t have an issue getting older. I still look like I am in college and I know this to be true because I work with high school students and there isn’t a day that doesn’t go by that someone is mistaking me for a student.

My biggest issue with birthdays is that they are a reminder of all the things that I still need to get done. I don’t feel that way so much this year. I finally have been obdienet to all the things God wanted me to do. That right there just takes a weight off my shoulders. I still don’t have a baby but for the most part I am ok with that. I am working on TRUST. That is what God wants me to do.

I have a great trip planned for my birthday this year which I am excited about. A girls trip and trip with my husband. Right now I am currently in Toronto living it up.

32 is was not as bad as I initially thought it was. I made a list in April of all things I wanted before the summer was over I had those things. I would have never imagined that it would happen so quickly and with little intervention from me. God set those things in motion. I grew a lot last year, not necessarily because I wanted to, but because I had too. It has made me better though. My blog has grown. My writing has gotten better and I have taken additional steps to grow in my craft. I am a creative. Who would have thought?!

 

Doing the work (23)

This summer is going by fast. I don’t feel like I have done as much partying as I did last summer. I had quite a breakthrough last summer in focusing on my self care and really doing the work to be a better person. I came out of that experience refreshed. I just start writing for my blog. I had good the goals or things I wanted to accomplish. God did all of them but one. You could probably guess which one that was. I was very pleased. I must admit though that list was pretty surfacey, superficial. It was mostly about partying and hanging out, having fun with my husband and my friends. I knew this year I would do the same thing. Make this list to God and ask him to help me do things that I wanted to accomplish. It was much harder for me to write it this time though.

I started this list in April, but every time I would sit down to write it, I just couldn’t do it. I would stumble and stutter and end up talking to God about random stuff, not what I really what I wanted to do. I couldn’t understand what was taking me so long why i just couldn’t spit it out. Part of that was because if I really asked God for something and worked on it and he didn’t do it I would be faced with disappointment yet again.

I just didn’t think that I could do that again. God’s track record is proven. So I decided to go for it. Knowing that I need to put the work in. I always thought that if I put the work in that I would be trying to help God.

That just isn’t true. He doesn’t need my help, he needs effort. Effort can be difficult when you aren’t seeing results, but that is where true perseverance comes in.

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I gave God my list and I started putting the work in. It has certainly been harder but also more rewarding. I am making long lasting changes. Changes that aren’t just a change in action but a change in thought process, with action to back it up. Its been a challenge but I feel good. I have definitely grown this summer and taken some steps back. Change is not a linear process. I couldn’t always say that.  Growth is also recognizing that things take time.

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Lessons from 100 posts (21)

  1. Blogging is more than writing. I have read this a few times from various places. Its not that I forget but writing is already so much that I don’t take as much time out for the other stuff. I’m not writing for money or anything like that. I do want people to read what I write though. I want a website that is pretty to the eye as well as the words being good. People certainly judge a book by its cover.
  2. You also need to consistently read other people’s work and comment on their posts. I have had so much going on that I haven’t been reading much on WordPress. I haven’t been engaging in my blog as much as I was earlier this year. I noticed the visible difference. I noticed that when I read other people posts it drives them to my blog. This sounds like common sense but until I did it myself, I didn’t take it seriously.
  3. Sometimes its better to start something and do research later. This sounds weird as I write it because it goes against the very person I am. I am a classic researcher. I love gathering information. I read a lot of posts about the top ten things to do to get your blog to grow. Lately I have been reading books on how to write, how to start, etc. That research was helpful but it also delayed me. It was a stall tactic and  I didn’t really “get it” though. It is much more clear now that I am in the midst actually engaging in what I am trying to do. I can see the actual real time happenings of this advice.

 

Bored with your prayer life? (2)

If you pray a couple times a day then you may feel like you are using the same prayers over and over. I know I do and I feel bad. I don’t want God to get annoyed because my prayers are routine and flat. I read online a few years ago that one way to add some variety to your prayer time was to use worship songs. It is much easier for me to remember the words to worship songs sometimes than it is to remember scripture. Lots of worship songs have scripture in them anyway. I went back and started copying the lyrics of my favorite worship songs and it has vastly improved my prayer life. I am not as bored doing it and I feel better giving God a little more as well. Sometimes when I am stressed and can’t recall a scripture I think back to those songs and those lyrics help calm me down.

I listen to a lot of worship music so there isn’t any one song or artist that I go too but I do try to find songs that describe how God is and talking about his character. I want God to know I recognize how awesome he is, even though I can’t always find the words to convey that.

These are just some examples if you click on the link the lyrics are scrolling across the screen.

 How Great is our God -Jonathan Nelson
Because of who you are-Vicki Yohe
Nobody Greater-Vashawn Mitchell
Holy is our God- James Fortune

Total Praise-Richard Smallwood

Oh Lord, How Excellent-New Jersey Mass Choir

 

 

Keep that same energy

I just got back from vacation and it was amazing. My husband knows how to show me a good time. It was exactly what we needed after having a rough winter. I love to travel, going places doing things, just being out of my house and doing something new. Research shows that it’s easier to get through your days if you are planning a vacation or have something to look forward to. Why is that? Shouldn’t we have joy in our day to day?

Keep that same energy is Teyana Taylor new album title. I haven’t listened to it but the title really got me thinking. How do you do that? Once you get back from vacation why is there such a plateau, such a crash? It literally has a name…post vacation blues. When you are on vacation there is such a high and when you get back home its like, uh, let me get back to the grind. I want to break that cycle.

When I got home I didn’t get all sad, like man my vacation is over. Instead I’m making the best of my time here. I’m taking that just go with the flow vacation vibe and carrying that into my work week. I dont want to be down and just waiting to leave again. I want to enjoy my time in my home and in my city, just like I do on vacation.

I want to keep that same energy. I want to be carefree and let the stress roll of my back.

How am I am going to do that?

1. Be here now- when I am vacation I’m not on my phone. I am just enjoying each moment. I will continue that philosophy when I am home, limiting my time on social media and group chats. This way I am in control of what I take in.

2. Quiet time- when I am on vacation I dont have to rush through my devotional. I really get good one on one time with God. It is harder to not rush my devotional at home but it can be done, I just have to be more intentional with my time.

3. Be active- if you can believe it, even though I did a lot of laying around on vacation I actually exercised every day too. Definitely not something I do at home nor will I necessarily be able to duplicate but I can get close. Being active puts me in a better mood than laying around. Instead of getting off work and trying to catch up on shows or social media and I am going to try to do some physical activity.

4. Try new things- best thing about vacation is trying stuff you wouldn’t normally do at home. That can be anything, new food, drinks or experiences. Why can’t we do that at home? I am lucky that I live in a city that I can find all kinds of new things. So once a month I am going to try and find something or someplace I have never been before.

I know none of these things are super hard but it is the small things that make vacation great. If I bring all the small things I like about vacation into my every day life then I can bring a little bit of vacation back with me.

Broken

 

Broken-
having been fractured or damaged and no longer in one piece or in working order 

(of a person) having given up all hope; despairing.

I used to think I was broken using both definitions. That I was living a lie, that I was going out in the world and acting like everything was ok when it wasn’t. I felt like something inside of me was broken and could not be fixed. I had a hole in my heart that was irreparable. I tried a lot of this but nothing could fill it, not partying, not work, not my friends, not my husband, everything I was trying to do wasn’t working.

So in my last resort I turned to God. I’m glad I did. I learned I’m not broken. God made me this way. He has plans for me that are good. I didn’t always believe that or understand but I stayed in the word. It made a huge difference on my outlook in life. There is beauty in my brokenness. I wouldn’t have grown in my relationship with God if I wasn’t broken. Everyday is practice in reminding myself that I have to meet no one expectations but my own.

If you feel broken just know you don’t have to stay that way. There is a way out. You won’t be able to do it on your own, not long lasting. Getting out of your head and closer to God is the only long term solution and potentially seeing a therapist.

Updated: since I wrote the above words Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain have both committed suicide. This has sparked debate about what role does prayer and God specifically play in mental health. I think that God is our first resource in working on our mental health. Getting into your bible, prayer, fasting, meditating, it’s all an important part of the healing process. We can’t do it on our own and believing you can may be a fatal mistake. You need tools to overcome things you have been through. Seek help if you need it.