I went on a nature walk with some of my friends that quickly turned from just a walk into a lost in the woods adventure. It was very interesting because we moved off the trail very quickly and did so without hesitation. As we started to walk we ran into some really random things in the woods that we would not have seen otherwise. My friend said if we would have stayed on the path we would see things we would not have expected. When she said that to me, it really struck me. God used her to give a message to me and I don’t even think she realized it.
How often do we want to follow the the path of least resistance? How often do we think we have to go the same way everyone else went to accomplish a goal? Getting to your dream might not be linear. It probably won’t be. There will be hills to climb and creeks to jump over. You may even get lost. How often when you are in pursuit of your passion do you lose sight of the vision? How often do you go back and check on the goal to insure your moving in the right direction?
I often get caught up in the how to accomplish the goal that I miss the actually accomplishing of the goal. I get bogged down in the research and laying out the plan. How often do we get caught up in the work that we lose sight of where we’re going?
We need to embrace the times when we go off course. I get so focused on things have to be done in this order or in this fashion, that I miss the inspiration. This post wouldn’t even exist if I had not have stopped working on another post to start it. I didn’t use to do that. If I sat down to write I had to finish that piece before I started working on another. I would never stop in the middle of something to write an idea down.
I’m beginning to shift my thinking and I am excited about where the road will take me. Don’t put yourself in a box as you are pursuing your passions. Remember that there is no one path to success. Someone told me that we should celebrate the steps, not just the destination. Its hard to do that when we are so focused on the goal. Being willing to go off course, could open you up to a world of possibilities.
I know that 2020 has kind of had a dumpster fire of a year especially after having such a promising start. So much is happening in the world, it is easy to lose your faith or struggle with God right now. There is a lot happening with Covid-19. We are spending time in our homes much more than we ever intended, people are reading more, watching more, learning more, trying to make good use of this time. These are great ideas! I am trying to do more of these things myself. I would hope that you would take some of that energy and apply it to your spiritual life as well.
The first three months of the year have already gone by. Have you thought about any spiritual goals you may have set at the beginning of the year? Are you trying to read your bible more? Extend your quiet time? Pray for not only yourself but your, friends, family and neighbors. These are challenging times and it is very easy to do too much of the wrong thing while trying to cope. There are some great resources on the internet right now. Churches are livestreaming, bible studies are online, Sunday school. I haven’t been to Sunday school in almost a year but since it has been meeting via Zoom, it has been a lot easier to go to. Don’t just use this as an opportunity to binge Tiger King or Love is Blind but take in some good things as well.
I know I was pretty casual about announcing my pregnancy. I have been that way the entire time. People always think its really funny. I am not trying to downplay anything. I don’t I have been this happy and overwhelmed at the same time in my life. The only other time I can think of is when I was planning my wedding.
One of my bfs said that I am acting way differently then she thought I would about this pregnancy. I am not sure at all what that means. I’m going to ask her before I post this so I can have an answer for all of us. UPDATE: Still don’t have an answer to this. It will be in the part 2.
When I first found out I was pregnant it literally came out of nowhere. I went to the doctor in August to get some testing done, because I wanted to start trying again. The news I received was not encouraging. The doctor told me that there was no change from last year and that I probably would not be able to get pregnant without the help of fertility drugs. This was two days before my birthday, September 11. I left the doctor feeling pretty bummed but I was going to Toronto for my birthday that weekend so I rescinded to not be bitter. I told the doctor I didn’t want to go the fertility drug route, so even though she wrote me a prescription for Clomid, I never got it filled. A direct quote from my journal….
We got back from our trip (which was sooo much fun) and life moved on. Fast forward its the first week of October and my period is late. I didn’t think that much of it because I have had false alarms before. Took at test after about a week that was inconclusive. I continued to party and have a good time. Hence my I extended my summer vacation post. Still nothing after another week, so I take another test. Its positive!!
I didn’t think it was real. I thought I had a false positive. I think I walked around the entire first trimester in a state of disbelief. I was sick and felt awful but that was the only evidence I was pregnant. I lost 7lbs, it was not good. I believed God gave me this blessing but I just was so worried that I definitely didn’t enjoy the experience.
I wrote all that to say, its an odd place to be to be pregnant when it took so long to get there. For it to happen out of nowhere still blows my mind. I never doubted it would happen, I just thought it would take a few months, maybe at the end of the year or something.
UPDATE: There will definitely be a Part Two. I have a lot more to say about this subject it ended up getting posted before I was finished. Stay tuned.
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?!
The godly people in the land are my true heroes! I take pleasure in them!
Psalms 16:3 NLT
I came across this the other day and it was a great reminder. Who are the godly people you look up to? I’m not talking about just surrounding yourself with godly friends but actually having people around that help you grow. Do you have a Christian mentor? Do you go to Sunday school or attend a bible study? Who is helping you in your spiritual growth? Do you read books or listen to podcasts that help in your growth?
No person is an island and we all need help. The small group I am in, has changed my life for the better. These women have challenged me, inspired, informed me. They have made me a strong prayer warrior and Christian women. They have encouraged me when I didn’t think I could go forward.
If you are the smartest person you know, then you need a new circle. If you are the only person praying over your life, then you may want to get some new friends.
I am reading this book right now called The Gifts of Imperfections, by Brene’ Brown. In the book she has 10 guideposts to life. Her whole approach is not how to but why you make the decisions you make. They were so many nuggets in her book. It has been a long time since I connected with a book in the way I connected with hers. I saw myself in those chapters. I was really surprised.
One of the many things she said that stood out to me was when she said there is no fast way to do the work. She couldn’t give people a how to because it was a quick list of steps is not going to help you with long lasting change. A blogger that I follow, Aqua, brought up this same topic in her post. She talked about why blogs with headlines like 10 Ways to Happiness got more likes than Christian blog posts that basically said the same thing.
I get it. Putting in the work is hard. I talked about in a previous post as well. I would much rather get a top ten things to do, or avoid instead of doing soul searching work that is difficult and takes a long time to show results. Most people don’t run marathons for a reason. We want Microwave Growth. I know at times I do. Brene’ talks about in her book, how that just doesn’t work, even when we want it to. I will be talking more about her book because it was so life changing to me. I think its great that other people are starting to get this concept as well. The more of us that talk about it, maybe more people will be willing to put in the work to change themselves and not go for the quick fix.
Do you believe in generational curses? They are rampant in the old testament. God tells the Hebrews over and over again I will punish your children for your bad behavior. That seems a little bogus and contradictory to the character of God that we know. He also says that no one is responsible for anyone else’s debt. So this seems confusing.
‘The Lord is slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, forgiving iniquity and transgression, but he will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, to the third and the fourth generation.’
The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not suffer for the iniquity of the father, nor the father suffer for the iniquity of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself.
I have always been interested in generational curses because I couldn’t figure out why the things happening to me where happening. Was I being punished for the sins of my parents or grandparents or great grandparents?
In my research I discovered that wasn’t really the case.
Each person is responsible for his or her actions. It may be harder to not do something if everyone in your family does it but not impossible. You can break the cycle. God says if we repent and come to him we are forgiven and we can start new. It doesn’t matter what my parents did or didn’t do. I don’t have to be like them.
Isn’t that refreshing? You may seem like you are stuck in a endless cycle but it doesn’t have to be that way. You can decide today, right now to do something different. After you decide you then have to be intentional about making those changes. Fight everyday and speak positivity over yourself and your situation. Once you start changing and breaking the cycle you may influence others in your family to change too.
Father help me do the best I can not to pass down bad habits to my future children. Help me be open to changing through you and not my own willpower. Help me a blessing to someone else and stop this curse from impacting anyone else. Break these strongholds the past has on me and my family and show me something different can be done. In Jesus name. Amen.
Research used and further reading:
I’m an enigma. I can’t be put in a box. I know at some point I may need to make a choice but right now I’m just living the best way I can. I may listen to a Joyce Meyer podcast on the way to work, gospel on my Pandora during work and ride home to Cardi B. I am going on vacation with my girls next weekend. I will be probably go to a few night clubs and have a few adult beverages. Some would say that isn’t appropriate. I disagree. I won’t be scantily clad, grinding on strangers, or overly intoxicated. I like going to parties every now and again. I also think you can relate to other people when you understand the things they like. My bible study group went to see Jumanji and were able to point out the way God moved in the movie. I didn’t notice any of that when I was watching but I don’t think they were reaching. When your mind is always on God you see him in everything.
I can identify with people because I have been where they been. Jesus ate with tax collectors, and all kind of non conventional people. I know you we are supposed to be separated from the world but it’s just not something I can do 100%. Not right now anyway. If I can tell a college kid I went to the club on Saturday night and then went to church and Sunday school the next day they will know they can too.
“I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but I will not be mastered by anything.
1 Corinthians 6:12 NIV
I wrote the words above Before I went on vacation. Now that I’m back I’m not sure how I feel. I know I will probably go to the club again and drink alcohol. I think I’m at the end of an era. I was at a women’s retreat this weekend and I asked should Christians go out and most of the women there said yes that it was perfectly ok. They said be cautious because you don’t want to be a stumbling block but the souls you could be saving are more important. I don’t disagree. One woman said she has lost the taste to go out. I think I’m losing my taste for it as well. I don’t know. Part of me feels like it’s a cop out because I’m over 30, I should be partying less. Another part of me doesn’t want to leave my old life behind. The entire basis of spiritual growth is being transformed. I’m more like slowly weaning myself off. I have to ask the question am I still holding on because of other people or is it because of me? I don’t want to shut the door completely, more like cut back some more. Like birthdays and special occasions only. Maybe it’s just this season in my life. It’s about to be summer so party season will soon be upon us.
I am going to take it one event at a time. The other ladies felt pretty casual about the entire thing. I didn’t feel convicted, so this isn’t a strong pull but maybe like I didn’t belong there. I don’t know. I will probably go to a few more parties just to be sure I didn’t misunderstand my feelings.
This weekend was the annual women’s retreat at my church. Even though I have been a member for over 10 years, this is the first one I have attended. I didn’t know what to expect and I was nervous about going. I went for a lot of reason but I didn’t really have any expectations. The theme for the weekend is Brave Vessel based on Proverbs 28:1.
As I sit here and try to explain all the things going through my head, I can’t. I may still be too close to it since we just ended this afternoon and we still have the sermon to go tomorrow. I know I am tired from the lock-in the night before. I am just in awe of how God spoke to me that I need some time to unpack everything that I experienced.
Talk to yourself how you talk to other people
I heard a sermon today where the preacher said watch your self talk. It really struck me. You would never talk to other people how you talk to yourself. We beat ourselves down with self doubt, self pity, and a host of other terrible things to keep us from living our best lives. If a friend came to you and said they had a great idea about something, even it is seemed a little outlandish, you would still encourage them right? I encourage people all the time. I typically am a glass half full person, but not when it comes to my own hopes and dreams. Its very easy to talk myself out of things.
Why don’t we talk to ourselves like that? Why are we are own worst critic? Remember that we are made in Gods image. He knit you together before you were born. Is that a hard concept to understand? Sounds good in practice but hard to do in real life. I used to do that, still do, build other people up but tear myself down with worry, doubt and insecurity. Then I decided to start telling myself all the things I say to other people. I’m the bomb.com, I can do anything I put my mind too, people want to hear what I have to say. I also went back and read who God is. I reminded myself that I was his child, made in His image, He certainly had enough power to help me if I tapped into it. How often do we rely on our own power and not on God’s and then wonder why our plans don’t succeed? Its not because we suck or it was never going to happen, but because we forged ahead without Him. So if you are reading this and want to stop downing yourself remember that you are a child of God and He wants nothing but for you to be happy, successful, content. You don’t have to beat yourself up there are enough people in the world to do that, the media, the president, don’t do it to yourself. Every time a negative thought pops in your head, replace it with a negative one. Put positive affirmations on your bathroom mirror, your screen saver on your phone, your desk at work, anyplace that you will see it. Only play music that builds you up, same thing with the tv shows and movies you watch. Change your thought life, change your real life. Joyce Meyer wrote a book Battlefield of the Mind. It helps deal with negative self talk. Joyce can be a bit wordy but she makes some excellent points. Some of my favorites are “The mind is the leader or forerunner of all actions.” “If our thoughts are going to affect what we become, then it should certainly be a priority that we think right thoughts.
Try to make sure you always build yourself up, you are the only one who truly has to deal with you. The only person you need to impress is yourself. God made you so He already knows how great you are, and nobody else really matters.