Blind Belief: The Only Way to Really See

blind belief-

Do you have to see to believe? This question has been on my mind lately. The world we live in only understands believing in something if there are tangible reasons to back up their beliefs. You know, like evidence or proof.

But what about those things that God has told us in the stillness? What happens when what we see in our daily lives doesn’t line up with what He has whispered to our hearts? It’s at these moments that we have to make a choice:

Am I going to believe beyond what I can see

or doubt because I can’t see? 

In John 20:29 Jesus says, “So, you believe because you’ve seen with your own eyes. Even better blessings are in store for those who believe without seeing.” 

What are you believing for that has YET to come to pass? What promise are you holding onto despite evidence to the contrary?

For your spouse to prioritize you over his favorite sport even though he just skipped going on a date with you to watch the game?

For you to be well even though your doctor said that you’re going to struggle with this disease forever?

For your children to make good choices despite the bad ones they are making right now?

It’s so easy to lose sight of the rainbow to come when we are living under a rain cloud, isn’t it?

We have to be blind believers. Faith must be our sight. This means that I let my hearing sense take precedence over my seeing sense. That I let God’s voice of truth become the guiding force in my life. EVEN WHEN MY CIRCUMSTANCES DON’T LOOK LIKE THEY’RE EVER GOING TO CHANGE. (Anyone else struggle with this like I do?)

Let’s retrain ourselves to speak what God has said instead of what our physical eyes can see. The more extravagant the promise, the more we should speak it thus reminding our hearts to believe when the circumstances of our lives become unbelievable.

I BELIEVE: that my spouse does love me more than football and He will show me because God blesses those who believe without seeing. I BELIEVE: that I walk in health and wholeness because God blesses those who believe without seeing. I BELIEVE: that My children are choosing to live wisely in an unwise world because God blesses those who believe without seeing. 

Trust me, your YET is on its way.

“Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful.”

Hebrews 10:23 

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How to Find Your Life’s Purpose

 

I made a list of twelve books that I want to read this year here. The January selection was “Chazown” by Craig Groeschel.

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Why YOU should read it:

Ever wonder what your purpose is? Do you question what you’re supposed to be doing with your life? Feel like you’re not really living up to your God-given potential? Then this book is definitely for you! “Chazown” will teach you how to discover your passion through a series of personalized activities that take you on a journey of self-discovery. Chazown literally means “vision.”

My Take:  

I couldn’t put this book down. First of all, the chapters are super short. Second of all, Craig Groeschel is a very witty writer who uses a ton of personal stories alongside humor to keep the reader interested. Lastly, the exercises that he encourages you to do really open your eyes to what you’ve overlooked about yourself or your experiences.

He breaks it down into three categories: Core Values, Spiritual Gifts, and Past Experiences. From these categories, you discover your giftings, beliefs, and personal timeline. Next, Groeschel leads you through the five spokes of your Chazown, which basically give you a plan of action. The five spokes are 1) Your relationship with God, 2) Your relationship with people, 3) Your financial health, 4) Your physical health, and 5) Your life’s work.

After you’ve completed these steps, you are guided through a process of writing your own purpose statement. Goals are outlined and resources are highlighted.

Personal Life 

Did this book help me refine my focus and get me on the track to fulfilling my dreams? YES! I have a list of things that I can clearly say I feel called to do with my life now because of this amazing book.

I couldn’t recommend this book more! It’s great for small groups and if you go to this link, there are video teachings and online tests that you can take to help you on your Chazown journey as well!

Proverbs 29:18 – ‘Where there is no vision, the people perish.”

 

 

The “Busy-ness” Trap

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It’s okay to say yes ALOT. It really is. Being busy is only bad when it’s not fulfilling or purposeful. When there is no greater purpose to the “busy-ness” it becomes draining and tedious. Doesn’t it?

But when we are busy because of a goal, vision, or shared interest, then it becomes life-giving.

Take my week. This is what is has looked like for the past 5 days:  Morning runs, home-schooling with the kids, online college classes, a lunch meeting with other women about leadership, an all day workshop with other worship leaders, dinner with girlfriends, blogging, practicing the piano, snuggle time on the couch with my husband, and a trip to the grocery store.

None of the above things are a waste of my time. They are all important.

Have I had a very exhausting week? Yes. Do I feel enriched, fulfilled, motivated and inspired despite the exhaustion? A resounding yes!

Why? Because I said yes to the important things. So, let’s keep the whole “being busy is a bad thing” in perspective, shall we?

The trick to this mindset is simple. Prioritize the exhausting stuff alongside the energizing stuff in order to maintain a sense of balance in your life. And make sure there is a reason behind what you’re doing. Doing something for someone else is fine and dandy as long as it doesn’t take the place of you taking care of you. (Obviously I don’t mean quit your job because you’d rather be at home binge-watching Netflix!)

Balance is really not as elusive as everyone makes it out to be. I promise anyone can find a personal rhythm that drives them to say the right yeses and no’s.

And when you do, your spirit, soul, and body will thank you for it!

 

 

 

Trust the Wind

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Gale-force gusts on my face.

I push through the pounding air.

Tempest blasts at my back.

I struggle with the next step.

A typhoon of contradiction all around me.

But this is how I get anywhere. 


 

Energize me, breezy Friend.

Blow away the dust in my tired eyes.

Carry me over the mountain in my way.

Your airy kindness lifts me up

and puts me right where I belong.


 

So I will trust the Wind. 

 

 

 

 

 

Keep it Up

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photo credit: A Brand New Day via photopin (license)

Consistency is hard. I really struggle with it. It’s hard because I have to make a choice between what my body tells me I need to do and what my feelings tell me I want to do.  Sometimes I have to block out my emotions all together to be able to stick with something for the long haul.

Take exercise. I have to separate myself from the dread that inevitably wells up inside of me at the thought of working out so that I can actually  do it. Don’t get me wrong, I love to run. I love zumba. I love yoga. But, the fact that my body is enduring some sort of physical resistance (a.k.a. cardio) keeps my butt on the couch more often then I would like. So, my fix for this lack of motivation? Set a goal so I HAVE to move my body.

Right now, my goal is to run the GoGirl half marathon at the end of March. I have run multiple races but have always had a running buddy with me. Last year was the first time I have ever run a half by myself. And, let me tell you, the sense of accomplishment and pride is so much better when you do it by yourself. 🙂 I had a goal and I finished it without anyone pushing me to get it done. That, my friends, was pretty satisfying.

I say all of this to get this main point across: Having a goal is a great motivator to get you out of your comfort zone and into the fast lane of life. It keeps you on track despite how you feel. And having people around you to support you and hold you accountable is definitely important, too. But, what I’ve come to realize is that believing you can do it is really 3/4 of the battle. If you can envision yourself accomplishing your task, you can do it (with or without help).

What is it that you are having a hard time sticking with today? Do you find yourself relying on your feelings instead of your reasoning? Decide WHY you need to be consistent. That is what keeps you going when you are having trouble continuing the race.

And lastly, finish. Whatever it is. Just do it until it’s all done. Don’t quit because then you will regret it. Maybe not the next day or the next month. But, one day, you’ll look back and say to yourself, “Man, I had the chance to do things different and I didn’t.”  Life is gonna happen to you whether or not you are doing anything with it. So make the choice to do something pretty darn amazing with it!

Comment below with a goal you have set for yourself this year! Thanks!

 

Personal Mission Statement

photo credit: Splash via photopin (license)

I’ve been looking at my foundation lately to make sure it’s not faulty. We all need to assess our values and principles every once in a while to check that they line up with foundational truth. The nitty-gritty of my core beliefs is found in why I’m here and what I’m doing with my time.

So I thought I’d design a personal mission statement as I finish up 2015 and start 2016. I need to start this next year right. Don’t we all?

I’ve picked a quote that sums up my focus for 2016 and then chose 5 “to do/be” statements that follow the theme of that quote. Feel free to follow my example and do this for yourself as well. It’s a great exercise in creativity and focus! Here I go:

“Be like the cliff against which the waves continually break; but it stands firm and tames the fury of the water around it.”
― Marcus Aurelius

  1. To be immovable in my commitment to my family above everything else- even if I really, really want to do it. If it takes away from my time with them (reasonably speaking), then I will choose my husband and kids instead. 
  2. To do only the things that add to my health, my happiness, my creativity, my purpose. I will say yes to the best things and have no guilt on my conscience for saying no if it is only adding “busy-ness” to my schedule. 
  3. To actively pursue relationships and opportunities that support my desire to help others who are struggling, desperate, overlooked, and hopeless. I will go looking for the weak and the wounded and purpose to love them to Jesus by helping them out of their pit. 
  4. To be consistent in my discipline, boundaries, and lessons with my children. I will be creative and thoughtful in my correction but always stay the same so that they can trust my response and be %100 sure of the rules in our household. 
  5. To live in a way that my faith is evident to all. I will choose to pray in the good and the bad times, speak the truth even if it’s hard, and give of myself to others at inconvenient moments if necessary.