Wednesday, January 11, 2017

2017, moving right along!



2017 is officially almost two weeks in and Idaho is already breaking some old records. We have had the most snow, here in the Treasure Valley, in 30+ years! It’s brought about multiple snow days for students, cancellations and closings galore, chaos at all the local grocery stores and on the streets. It’s brought the best and the worst out of people. Neighbors helping neighbors’ clear driveways, sidewalks, and streets. Digging each other out of the snow and giving an extra push to get out of that slick spot to people scavenging the shelves at the local Wal-Mart. Then racing home to binge-watch the newest show on Netflix, while watching the snowflakes fall from our living room windows.

This has led me to many different thoughts regarding the new year and perceived chaos.
·      It’s a new year and a new beginning for you and your family. A time to put the past behind you; learn from those experiences and look forward to what God has in store for you this year and beyond!  
·      We need to be more intentional about taking the time to slow down, reflect on our experiences and dream about our futures. Then turn that reflection time into lessons that we can learn and grow from. Then use that time dreaming about your future to propel you to make the goals that are going to help you reach them!
·      Neighbors helping neighbors needs to happen more! Who is your neighbor? Open your eyes and look around you. Who do you see? That is your neighbor! Love them!
·      Intentionality, let’s take advantage of the time, space, and spheres of influence that we have been given to impact others with love, grace, and mercy! What that looks like for you, may be different than me, but it doesn’t make either less important! Get after it!

This year I am hoping to lead a life of focused intentionality toward Jesus!

I’m excited to see what God has in store for me for 2017! One of my goals for 2017 is to blog more consistently, to write and ship. I’d love to form a community of people that desire to live with a focused intentionality spurring one another in love, the love of Jesus! Please join me on the journey as I press into 2017 pursuing what God has for me and hopefully encouraging you to do the same.


.Much love to you and yours.





*This is the intro to a series of blog posts including one for each of the bullet points above. J

Monday, July 11, 2016

Confidence and Humility



            Confidence and Humility tend to be thought of as opposites, two that cannot exist together. I have believed that for many years. Thinking that folks that are overly confident are cocky, full of themselves, etc. I thought that if you were someone who had plenty of confidence, than you probably were not someone who had much humility. It was impossible, you either were someone who was humble and lacked confidence or you had confidence but you don’t have an ounce of humility in you. I’m discovering that part of the reason I thought that way was an issue with my own self-image. The fact that I would get hung up in the comparison trap over and over again. Comparing 100% of my good and bad to the 5% best of the best material that a majority of our culture shares. Especially with social media, you can scroll through and see 100’s and 100’s of people, reading the best of the best of what is happening in their lives and then if your not careful you can fall into that comparison trap too! If we are not careful that will take us into a downward spiral. Which to prevent that we need to remind ourselves of who are in Christ and the love that He has for us. We must choose to rest in that and have confidence in who He says we are! 

            The last 4-6 weeks I have been subbing for a few different indoor soccer teams and after my last game I began to feel my confidence come back. My touches were getting better, made some nice passes, had a few decent defensive plays and all around feeling better about my field game. It was at this point, when I felt my confidence coming back in my field play that doubts started to rise up. “It was a one time thing.” “You got lucky.” “Your touch will be gone next game.”  And the list goes on. These thoughts began to fill my head because I had that moment of confidence come up. The doubt begins to seep in again and then fear takes over. We need to be careful not fall into this trap and apart of this process is not being afraid to fail. It is important to allow yourself to be confidant in who you are, the things your learning, the ways your growing, etc. Moving forward in that confidence humbly knowing that you still have lots to learn, areas to grow in, and there are others that are more advanced that we can learn from. You must celebrate the victories, learn from the defeats and be confident in who God has created you to be; loving and serving others with the things that He has blessed you with!

Moving forward, don't be afraid to fail, don't compare yourself to others, celebrate your victories (big and small), and remain humble with a desire to learn and grow! 

It's not an easy thing to do, but it is an area of my life that God is working on in me. I am far from having it figured out, would love to hear how God might be teaching you in this area, things that you have experienced in the world of Confidence and Humility, and any other thoughts that you might have! Thanks for reading and please feel free to join in on the conversation! :)

Phil 4:8 A great reminder of the things we should focus our attention on, what we should spend our time and energy thinking about, and pursuing instead of falling into the comparison trap. 

.Love.

*Photo Courtesy of Abigail Keenan: https://unsplash.com/photos/8-s5QuUBtyM 


Monday, June 27, 2016

Perspective




            Perspective changes everything. Before I worked for a window cleaning company, I never thought twice about the cleanliness of a window. Now I don’t know if I could ever look at a window the same way again. I’m no longer able to be ignorant of the smudges, streaks, and spots that may exist on the windows, which then makes it difficult to not want to clean them. When it comes to our every day lives there are many smudges, streaks and spots that we are ignorant of until we get a change of perspective. If we are not looking at life through the proper lens there are many things that we miss right in front of us. When we choose to only think about ourselves, we tend to neglect those around us, which in turn prevents us from experiencing something that is truly good!
            We need to become aware of the smudges, streaks, and spots in our lives, not so we feel judged and condemned, but in order to truly understand how great God’s love is for us. Despite all of the junk in your life, God loves you for who you are. He created you to feel, experience, and know His perfect love for you and to know that you are valued. It is through this understanding that we are able to know more about how God desires for us to experience life.
            When I was learning the art of window cleaning I had to learn what to look for, how to look for it, and what to do to clean the glass. In our lives we need to be reminded of how important it is to know what to look for, how to look for it and what to do moving forward. We must shift our perspective to look for God in creation, in His people, and even within the simplest moments. We need to learn who God is and who He says we are, through studying the Bible, spending time in prayer, being with God’s people, spending time in His creation, and sharing His love with others. Remember you are valued and loved more than you could ever know! Allow that to shape your every thought and action. We are called to be His hands and feet, to serve those around us loving them with a Christ like love! If we can do these things, imagine the shift in our perspective. If we truly shifted our perspective to seeing things the way God would have us see them, loving as Jesus loved, imagine how the world would be changed.

Be the change you want to see, be overwhelmed by Christ’s love for you, and allow that to shape the way you see and experience the world around you!



.Love.
*Photo courtesy of Teddy Kelley https://unsplash.com/photos/sYZ4bIBt1o4

Friday, April 29, 2016

No Water


 

            Today, after a long run, I came back to my house looking forward to taking a shower, but sometimes things don’t always go as planned. I went to turn on the water…and NOTHING!! I was immediately infuriated, went over to the sink to make sure we had absolutely zero running water in the apartment and NOTHING there either! I called our property management company to discover that we would be without water for 1 hour due to road construction happening right outside. Then after feeling upset about not having water for one whole stinkin hour, I got convicted.

            I was reminded of how incredibly BLESSED I am, from the roof over my head, food on the table, clothes on my back and running water 24/7 except for this one measly hour. I began to think about how many people in the world don’t have access to clean water (around 1 Billion), let alone running water. Living with many luxuries that we have in the United States, we often forget how much we have in excess and what necessities truly are, me included. This can be a hard truth to hear, but it can be inspiring. It can lead us to reevaluate what we consider as essentials and challenge us to think about what can we bless others with.

            Let’s take today and truly reflect on what do I need and what could I use to bless someone in need. How can we be an instrument of God’s love and grace to those around us? Let’s take today and not get upset about the small stuff (like being without water for 1 hour!) and remember how richly God has truly blessed YOU!

.love.

Matthew 6:19-21 (NIV)
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. “

1 Timothy 6:7 (NIV)
“For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it.”