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.

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Steps to refuel when you are running on empty

Read this post to see what led me to running on empty.

  1. Pray-I know this seems like an obvious solution but I really took some time to pour out my heart to God concerning how I felt. It wasn’t a quick 15 minute devotional. I wanted him to know exactly how I felt and even though he already knew, writing it down and getting it out, I did feel better.
  2. Listened to different sermons-I listened to different sermons about what to do when your cup is empty or you feel like you are running on E. John Gray, TD Jakes, and Rick Warren to name a few.
  3. I did things that I like to do-I read books, hung out with my friends.
  4. I changed my thought process-I read a lot about how God loves me and has a plan for me. I know these things to be true, but when you feel like God is withholding something from you, you don’t always see that love. Reading those verses really renewed my spirit.
  5. I got myself off my mind-I have been volunteering in the food pantry and at the day care at church.

I feel much better. I am so thankful that I had time to really unplug from everyone and plug into God. I decided to run towards him. He is truly a God of comfort. I appreciate that. I hope that I won;t get back in this spot again. I am also debating about a therapist. I have even called a few but none seem to be working out. I don’t really want to see a therapist but I don’t know if I have tools to take myself to the next level. I’m working on it. Only time will truly tell.

Confession: I didn’t take my own advice

Backsliding can be more subtle than I thought. I originally wrote about backsliding a while back and talked about not getting down on yourself when you do it. The post also mentioned recognizing your triggers so you will be less tempted. It all makes sense. However what if you are moving so slowly back you don’t even notice at first? I foolishly equated backsliding to a one time act, things that are easy to recognize and fix. Unfortunately this is not always the case, other types of backsliding are more subtle.

This article talks about four different types of backsliding.

I knew that something was wrong but I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. That’s what made me research condemnation vs. conviction. I thought maybe the devil was messing with my head. I thought maybe I was not pleasing God in some way. So I asked him what did he want me to do. God told me all I needed to do was love him with all my heart, all my soul and all my mind. I had all this information but still something wasn’t right.

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In the background of all this, work was crazy, I was not sleeping through the night and quality time with my husband was suffering.

I went back and read my journal entries to try and see what was wrong. Where did the subtle shift start happening? Way back in February. Pretty much when Lent started. This 40 day’s has definitely been rough.

I didn’t realize all these little separate events were pulling me away from God because I was still more or less doing my normal routine. My husband called it to my attention that backsliding was happening. My spirit knew something was happening but flesh just couldn’t get it together.

Why? I didn’t want to admit that I didn’t have it all together. I didn’t want to admit, I was encouraging others but couldn’t encourage myself. I thought I was over some hurts but I’m clearly not. Calling something by name makes it real and means you have to deal with it. Proverbs  30:15-16 says four things on Earth will always be unsatisfied and one of those is a barren woman.

Now I strongly believe that God will bless us with a baby of our own. I do. I don’t know when though. That is hard and all the things I chosen to distract myself with aren’t working. They work for a little while but when is always in the back of my mind.

I got tired off doing good because I didn’t see the reward. I didn’t want to admit it because I know I am not supposed to feel that way.

brink of victory

Unfortunately this is where I’m at. I don’t feel like I am on the brink of victory. I can’t stay in this space. What do I do? What do you do if this is where you are?

I wrote this a few weeks ago and thankfully I did come up with a few solutions. I will post that tomorrow. I didn’t want this post to get to long.

Explore

via Daily Prompt: Explore

Explore-travel in or through (an unfamiliar country or area) in order to learn about or familiarize oneself with it.

I was talking to a friend today. We haven’t talked in a while so of course we went through all the catching up stuff. I typically kind of freeze up at this point because I don’t have anything “new” to report. I give the typical answers of, I’m good, just living life. This time, I gave a different response. I said, I am making internal changes. Nothing that may be seen on outside but on the inside its huge.  I am exploring myself, searching out new possibilities and it feels good. I wouldn’t normally tell someone that because there is no tangible evidence for this kind of expedition. The results of my exploring only matter to me and that is ok. It is not about anyone else.

I am on spring break this week. It has been great. Nobody else I know is off this week  and the weather has been pretty icky  so it has been a great week for reflection and exploration. I have really been able to talk to God and listen to what he has to say. I was getting close to a burn out. March was a pretty rough month. God is always on time though. This break came at the perfect time. These three days were just what I needed to recharge my batteries. I will explore more this month about being intentional, what to do when you are feeling burned out and how to respond when it feels like the “wicked” are winning. National Infertility Awareness week is this month and I will talk about that a bit as well.

I am excited to move into a new month and new season. The first quarter of the year is over but there is always time to get things done that we want to accomplish. I am looking forward to what the next three months will bring.

Greater expectations

I was at leadership meeting at church and the guy leading the class asked us what God is working on in us. One person said self forgiveness. He said he felt like he was putting expectations on himself that God had not put on him. I have been thinking about that statement all week.

This week was rough. I just have a lot of things going on right now and I felt like I was doing a disservice to God but I couldn’t put my finger on why. It lead me to do a lot of research on condemnation vs conviction, which I will post about next week. I still didn’t feel like I had the answer though. I have been pretty diligent. Usually when I feel this way, I fall into a Netflix of Hulu binge but this time I didn’t. I’m still reading everyday, through the bible in a year plan on YouVerse bible app and having my quiet time. So I asked God, what do you want me to do? What do you expect of me? Just a few days ago.

He gave me the answer today. In Deuteronomy, God says all he wants you do is fear him and do what pleases him. That’s it. Sounds pretty simple. In a way yes, but in a way no. I have been doing a lot of research on what pleases God for quite sometime. There are a lot of things in the bible about what doesn’t please God but I feel like there is less emphasis on what does please him.

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I think that is because God doesn’t want us to work ourselves to death in trying to please him. Loving him with all your heart, soul and strength is not an easy task. This is why he gives us grace. Grace to mess up, grace to mistakes. He sees our hearts and our intentions.

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He just wants us to do the best we can. I lose sight of this because I have placed expectations on myself that God never did. I never noticed I did that before. I have been trying to grow so fast. I want to be as close to perfect as possible, which really isn’t humble. I want God to know I’m paying attention, that I’m not just being a reader of the word but a doer of the word. James 1:22-24.

Are you being too hard on yourself? Try not to be. Don’t run from God when you feel this way, run towards him. He will always give you answers and typically sooner than you think.

Confession: I don’t know

Not knowing things is not something I’m comfortable with. I like to have a clear plan outlined with action steps. Things don’t always happen that way in a growing season. You only can do some much planting and then you have to sit back and let it grow.

I’m in a growing season right now and growing hurts. The term growing pains is definitely real. It hurts to be stretched more than you thought you could handle. It hurts to let things go that you thought would always be there.

Growing requires more faith than planting. I believe that because you don’t know how the seeds you planted are going to develop. You can’t see on the the outside how the seed is doing or if any growth is happening. You have to trust the process.

I don’t feel like I have been in a real season of growth in my life in a long time. I have had seasons of change but nothing to this extreme. I feel like I’m going through a metamorphosis. I feel like God is working on me about a lot of things. Sometimes I feel like it’s too much. Why do I have to go through all of is?

I feel like everything in my life is in transition and I am questioning a lot of things that I thought I knew for certain. I thought I was on a solid career path but where I see myself headed is different that what I originally envisioned. I am afraid. Am I ready for where God is leading me? I don’t know. I do take comfort in knowing that he won’t leave me on this journey and will give me what I need to be successful.

God is working on me to take me someplace but I don’t know where that is. I have to just walk beside him one step at a time. I am not going to run out in front of him or move to fast. I have done that before and the results were not great. I know I sound sad or down but I’m not. I’m restless. I sense something coming but I don’t know what is. I’m going to continue to keep the junk out so I can hear Gods voice and know it’s him. I’m going to pray and I’m going to wait. I’m going to continue to do meet God half way and I know he will make up the rest. I will have to just continue to be patient and trust the process.

Be Humble.

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God does not like the proud. AT. ALL.

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I never thought I was a person that had a problem with humility. I am not a bragger, I don’t take credit for others people work, I am not obnoxious. These are the things I think about when I think of person with a humility problem. As God has been working on me, I discovered that humility is a multilayered concept and once I start peeling back the onion that I wasn’t as humble as I thought I was. I was listening to Joyce Meyer the other day and she had this list of characters traits of people who are humble. Once I heard this list I knew I had some work to do.

Humble people:

  • Ask for help, don’t insist that things go there on way-I don’t ask for help because I don’t typically do things I don’t know how to do already.
  • Quick to forgive, slow to offend glad to wait on God for vindication
  • Patient and long suffering with weakness of other people- I work in a high school. I am not always patient with people weaknesses because I hate to see wasted potential. I have students who are in the top 10% of the class not doing anything and it makes me so mad, and then I lose my patience with them. I have to remind myself they are just children.
  • Peace maker and peace lover
  • Romans 12 never overestimate yourself, adapt yourself to other people
  • Knows when to be quiet- I do not know when to be quiet. I talk entirely too much which is not always a bad thing. I am the person that used to always speak first in group settings, but now I try 3 before me. I also try to make sure that anything I have to add is necessary and beneficial to the conversation.
  • First to apologize-I am certainly not first to apologize because I don’t always feel that I am wrong. My husband is always first to apologize even when it isn’t his fault, which makes me really upset. He is one the most humble people I know though.
  • See and admit own weakness-I see them, but its much harder for me to admit them. I am working on it though. I talk about that some in this post. Is fear of failure selfish?
  • Gives credit where it’s due
  • Happily servers other people
  • Very thankful
  • Quick to repent- I am now. I think my problem before is that I didn’t realize I was doing things that didn’t please God. I am thankful for conviction.
  • Treats everyone with respect

I stumbled across this post at the Godly Chic Diaries about humility and it made a lot of sense. She brings up another layer of this humility onion. I will be talking more about as I work through these different layers.

How humble are you? After looking at this list do you see some things you need to work on?