New Year, New Directions

“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
~Albert Einstein

This quote sums up that last few years for me.

I’ve been living on auto-pilot and finding excuses not to change aspects of my life that I know need to be changed. I’ve let the unimportant take over and squeeze out many things, including joy, that I want to be important in my life. I’m not one to make New Year’s Resolutions just because I know they won’t last past the first week of the year and I don’t want to spend the year feeling guilty about not accomplishing those resolutions.

This year, however, I want to focus on changing the things that I can and re-prioritizing my commitments to make room for the things I really want to do, such as writing and taking online courses to learn new things. This will mean that I have to let go of good things to focus on better things and cleaning the clutter out of my house as well as my schedule. These changes will make both physical and mental space for me to grow and change in new ways.

I’m hopeful for the new opportunities and new directions this year can bring to me both personally and professionally. It is my prayer that I see the doors the Lord has opened for me and that I will walk boldly through those doors.

18 “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. 19 See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. (Isa 43:18-19 NIV)

The number of my days

Each year, as my birthday rolls around, I’m reminded of how blessed I am to have had another year of life. To celebrate my birthday is to celebrate the One who gives me life and each new day. Am I always joyful? Of course not! Each year has its trials, challenges, and joys. Each year is a journey to become more like Christ. Though I may wander off the path–more often than I’d like to admit–His grace is a beacon that leads me back.

My prayer for this year to is to make each moment count and to live for the Lord, regardless of my circumstances.

““ LORD, remind me how brief my time on earth will be. Remind me that my days are numbered— how fleeting my life is. You have made my life no longer than the width of my hand. My entire lifetime is just a moment to you; at best, each of us is but a breath.” We are merely moving shadows, and all our busy rushing ends in nothing. We heap up wealth, not knowing who will spend it.” ‭‭Psalms‬ ‭39:4-6‬ ‭NLT‬‬

http://bible.com/116/psa.39.4-6.nlt

Saying Goodbye to a Dead Dream

As I prepared my old Casio keyboard for sale, I felt the agony of a dead dream that I still continue to chase, in some way or another. I will never be the musician I wanted to be and though I will still write song lyrics and poems occasionally, it’s time to stop chasing that dream. I can’t play piano well enough to get the music from my head onto the keys and I will never hear any of my songs played as I imagined them. Though it’s a painful and empty feeling I’m left with, I know I need to let go and get my head out of the clouds.

Selling the keyboard and giving away a guitar I thought I’d learn to play is, in a sense, a finalization , a closing of a disappointing chapter of my life. I know I should have some kind of a God-given dream, but I have no idea what it is. I hope that with letting go of such a frivolous dream, I’ve made room for God to reveal His plan for me.

Lord, I’m ready for a new chapter, a You chapter, in my life. Please reveal Your plans for me. Amen.

Where’s the door?

So many Christians refer to “doors” that God opens or closes in their lives as a way to lead them to opportunities suited for their talents or lead them away from the things that are not His best for them.

Maybe it’s just me, but I feel like I’m in a room where there are no doors or windows. I can’t see or move beyond the four walls around me.

Am I stuck because I can’t see the door placed before me or is it because there’s something I still need to address before I move on? Am I stuck because I’m too stubborn to follow, too busy to stop and listen, or just plain blind to what God is trying to show me?

Commit your future to the Lord ! Trust in him, and he will act on your behalf. -Psalms 37:5

I was reading today and came across this verse. Maybe I just need to slow down, be patient (easier said than done), and allow God to lead the way. If God could lead Abraham, Moses, and numerous others to the Promised Land, why do I doubt he can do the same for me?

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Lord, help me to stop doubting he plans you have for me and lead my way into the future that you planned for me long ago. Amen.

Wasted Time

Think about it this way: think about how many physical hours in a day, a week, a year, women spend worrying about how they look or don’t look. That is time wasted. That is time we could spend on writing something, or working on something that we are talented at. A role in a play. A musical instrument. Anything. That is time we could have spent being present in a friendship. That is time we could have spent thinking of how we could be of service to the people in our lives, or to strangers who need help. We could have spent that time being useful in a suffering and damaged world. An unintended consequence of this kind of obsession is self-centeredness. It is an expression of an out of control ego that needs constant praise.

How many of us women have wasted way too much time worried about our looks? I loved the viewpoint this author brought to the table regarding all the hype about our bodies and the reasons everyone is so fixated on how we look. If you can gloss over the swearing, it’s a good read.

Imagine what we could do if we stopped staring in the mirror?

Another year comes to a close

As another year comes to a close, I wanted to take some time to reflect on the past year. I feel like I let the whole year slip away without really accomplishing much in my life; like I’m just watching it pass by, rather than really living it. The things that should be most important always seem to take the back seat.

I’ve enjoyed watching both my children grow, seeing my daughter get her first pointe shoes, and watching my son’s hair grow into an uncontrollable curly mass (he says he’ll get it cut in February). I’ve assisted my husband through his usual duties of Bible study leadership and Mexico mission trips, as well as giving moral support as he works his way through college courses. I even tried oil painting!

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I’m hoping that in the new year I’ll be able to spend some time on myself to grow spiritually and physically healthier. I really want this to be the year that I get into the good habits of reading my Bible and exercising daily. I’d like to possibly start a journal. I definitely want to make this blog more of a priority and try to post more regularly.

Happy New Year to all my fellow WordPressers. May God bless you and your families this coming year.

Worn

I’m tired, I’m worn…”

With my husband taking college online and all the other family commitments, I’m finding myself tired and worn down most of the time. Most of the household chores and family responsibilities have come crashing down on me these days. Plus, we’ve taken in a preteen girl from my daughter’s school, which has only increased the stress and drama in the house.

My heart is heavy…”

When we took this girl in, we were trying to do what we thought God would want – to take care of those in need. But I have found that I am not capable of giving the help and support she needs. My heart is heavy with failure: failure to her, failure to still be able to give my own family, especially my daughter, the love and attention they need, and failure to my faith that this task of love feels more like a burden. 😦

Life just won’t let up…”

I’m so overwhelmed with everything that I can barely see past the moment. Things keep coming my way and piling on higher and higher. I’m trying to keep up, but it’s getting harder to keep going.

And I know that you can give me rest…”

But I’m so crushed, I can’t even cry out. My heart aches, but my voice can’t find the words to speak. I know that God will see me through this short season, even though it currently feels like it may never end. He always hears prayers, even weak or silent ones, and will answer in His perfect time.

An Inspiring Faith

My daughter’s faith continues to surprise and inspire me. Even though life is tough in our family right now, she still has her heart pointed in the right direction. This is a picture she drew recently and put up in her room.

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I can’t wait to see how her faith will blossom as she gets older and wiser. I know that she’ll do great things in the Kingdom and continue to inspire me through the years.

A seed becomes a sapling

My daughter, who is inherently a planner, dreamer, and organizer, was home sick from school today. After she had rested for a while and was feeling a bit better, she was reading her Bible and underlining stuff in it. She later came and told me that because she’s always trying to decide what to do about money, she decided to see what her Bible had to say about money (she’s a preteen and always trying to decide what to spend her allowance on). I loved to hear that she made the choice to go to her Bible for instruction. It shows that the small seed that’s been planted by my husband and I is become a sapling that will one day grow into a strong tree of faith.

It is my prayer that as the teen and college years come and go, she continues to seek first God’s instruction and wisdom. I know that if she can keep on that path, she can avoid many of the pitfalls and heartaches that the world’s advice will give her.

When you don’t like what you do

I’ve recently been revamping my “old” resume, mainly because I feel I may be missing out on career opportunities. One of the first things to go was the “objective” section, since “experts” now say it should be a professional headline.

I spent many hours reading about crafting the perfect headline and trying to come up with my headline, which ended up being this:

Small Business Manager with adaptable computer and office skills

Specializing in running a small office using a variety of technology.

But the more I look at my resume, and my LinkedIn profile, the more I question if I want to continue on that career path. Yes, I’m good at what I do, but I don’t know if I still like what I do.

I stay stuck in the familiar because it pays the bills, but I don’t want to get out of bed in the morning. I can’t seem to figure out what type of career change to make, if any, if I’m just feeling stuck in a rut, or if what I feel is just all in my head. I’ve read dozens of online articles and blog posts, but I feel I still have more questions than answers when it comes to figuring out just what it is I want to do for the next 15-20 working years of my life.

The sad thing is that I don’t know that I’ll ever be brave enough to change careers or go to another company.

How about you? Have you been brave enough to venture in a new direction or are you like me and just decide to stay where things are familiar and safe?