I had just left a room filled with people. Lots of whom I knew and enjoyed. We had danced, laughed, ate, and celebrated. But as I walked out this overwhelming feeling came of “I didn’t fit in there. Nobody really got me.” Nobody was rude. Nobody had been mean. They were all nice people, but I really just did not feel like I fit in.
A while back I did a very unofficial poll of some of my friends, and I asked them if they often felt like they didn’t fit in.
You wanna know what? MOST of them said that they did not feel like they fit in. A few said that sometimes they did but it was only with select groups.
And here is the funny thing, most of the friends I asked are people who I think are quite socially proficient and popular. They have lots of friends, are easy to talk to, and have a high level of competence in their field. They aren’t loners or painfully shy individuals.
Grieving is one of those things that nobody really wants to be good at. Because if you are good at grieving, it means that you’ve gone through some loss in your life. I am NOT a “grief expert.” I have, however grieved enough in my life to have learned how to do it fairly well. I have walked with friends through losses and seen grief that is effective and grief that is not.
This is NOT an article on the psychological stages of grief. This is instead, if you will, some loving advice from a heart that has grieved and healed (and is still healing) and learned. This is encouragement from my heart to yours to help you heal, grow, and draw closer to your Father’s heart in the midst of sorrow.
The other day I was having kind of a rough morning. The kid woke me up in the night for no apparent reason, so I was running low on sleep (which if you know me, you know makes a BIG difference).
Because of that my whole morning routine was messed up. I decided to sleep in and missed my morning workout, didn’t have solid quiet time before the kiddo got up for real, several of my daily goals we already shot and overall I just felt really “blah”.
If I could sit down and have a cup of coffee with all of you, chances are good that we might end up talking about your goals. It’s really one of my favorite things to learn about a person! (And not just because I’m nosey, lol!) I truly believe that we will be most fulfilled and effective in what WE are called to do in this life when we are actively pursuing our God given dreams and goals.In our love for goal setting and achieving, its something that we have read, watched, studied, and meditated on a LOT!
Here are the top 10 things we’ve found (some of which we’ve learned the hard way) that will keep you from reaching your goals:
For years I have loved this quote, and honestly, I think that making a habit of reflecting and re-evaluating has been crucial to our personal development and spiritual growth. It’s hard to grow or meet goals without reflecting and evaluating.
As we close out the year and prepare for a new year, here are some great questions to ask yourself, journal about, and even discuss with your inner circle peeps. Oftentimes, they will see an area of strength or weaknesses that we might not otherwise catch.
Remember to do this with a posture of mercy, grace and humility. God’s first response to our mistakes is mercy. If you’ve done really poorly in an area, repent, ask for God’s grace to help you do better, get up and go on. If you have done great in an area, Praise God for his help there and make sure to keep a teachable and pliable attitude. God is even more invested in your growth than you are, and He is committed to see it through to the finish. Also know that God longs to speak to you through His Holy Spirit, our counselor. He longs to give you encouragement, correction, direction, and strength.
IT’S ALMOST CHRISTMAS!!!!!! AHHHHHHH!!!! I’m SOOO excited! I LOVE Christmas. I love the expectation leading up to it! I love giving meaningful gifts to people I love. I love the lingering celebration after Christmas. I love the hope and big dreams that surround the beginning of a new year. I love spending extra time with family, yelling over card games, playing board games around the family table until my backside can’t handle the hard kitchen chairs anymore. I LOVE the holidays.
But I will be the first to admit, that there have been times when all of the doing and expectations just flat stole the joy of the season. What is meant to be a joyous celebration of the Savior coming to rescue a lost and dying world, can easy turn into a stressful even grief-filled time. Allow me to share the things that we have learned/are trying to intentionally do that have helped us to actually ENJOY the holidays.
We just finished off a VERY busy graduation season over here. In fact, this year several of “my girls” from youth group are graduated from high school.
I remember being so stressed before and after I graduated high school.
What was I going to do next????
I swear, everyone AND their Mama and their Mama’s Mama asked me “well what are you going to do now?”
I remember thinking, “I DON’T KNOWWWWWWW. But would you please stop asking me”
Of course, I couldn’t admit that very much publically.
What WAS I going to do now? Now I had a choice? No one was telling me exactly what to do. What if I made the WRONG choice? What if I went to the WRONG college? What if I hated it? What if I sucked at it? What if I couldn’t make any friends??? What if…..?
I am not talking about qualities that qualify someone to receive your kindness. As Christ followers, we should be kind to all. But we should be wise and use discretion in who we allow to be our good FRIENDS: people that we allow to know intimate or even semi-intimate details of our lives. People that we actually spend serious time with and for. We need discretion in this area for two main reasons: One, because we are called to “guard our hearts above all else, for from it flows the wellspring of life.” Prov 4:23. And two because friendships are something that should be cultivated, not just something that happens.
"A friend loves at all times and a brother is born for adversity." Proverbs 17:17
I know this verse by heart, (although I always have to look up where it is found exactly) partly because my Jesus lovin’ Mama made us read a proverb a day out loud on the way to school growing up. And partly because good friendships and close family relationships have ALWAYS been important to me.
I remember praying for godly friends even from a young age. I specifically prayed that God would “bless, create, and heal the relationships that He wanted me to have.”
Ok. Maybe not EVERY time because we are imperfect and sometimes life just happens. BUT you can be way more successful than you’ve been in the past.
Y’all. I get it. A brand spankin, shiny new year rolls around and you feel so fresh stepping into it. A fresh start is ALWAYS a nice start. All your pals are making these grandiose resolutions and you’ve often done it yourself. But when you REALLY reflect, you think “dang, I sucked at keeping my resolutions last year.” But this year does NOT have to be a repeat of last year, and the year before that, and the one before that….
But here’s the truth. MOST people, as in 90% will FAIL at their New Year’s resolutions. Why? Because habits are hard to change. It takes WORK to change bad or unproductive habits and in most cases, people are setting resolutions the wrong way. But it IS possible. You CAN change. You CAN do the things that you are called and created to do.
I love the mountains. There is something wild and glorious and wonderful in them. It sings to me, calls to me, speaks to a part of me that nothing else quite matches.
Nearly every photo I see of the mountains does something for my soul, simultaneously quenching and igniting a hunger. I miss the mountains when I am away from them. I crave their rugged and majestic beauty.
Yet even when I am surrounded by rocky mountain wilderness, absolutely immersed in their beauty, I still sense that something is missing. Something is still not quite as it should be.
A normally happy, go lucky girl, yet I was on the brink of sobbing. Out of frustration, I proceeded to tell her how much I hated having emotions and how dumb I thought emotions were. She explained to me that God created emotions and that the Jewish people in the Bible (God’s chosen people, through whom would come His rescue plan for all of humanity) were HIGHLY emotive. Today we would call them extremely emotional and maybe even slightly crazy. They would literally RIP their clothes when they were grieved, put ashes on their head when in mourning, and go around the city WAILING. Emotional much? But you wanna know the crazy part? God was not scared away by their “drama”.