Saturday, December 31, 2011

"If I had a nickel for every time I said..."

It's New Year's Eve. I'm sitting on the couch of my apartment watching Predators with foil in my hair! I've had red streaks all through the month of December for Christmas. Time to put a new color in for the New year! Speaking of new..there has been a lot of that lately. I am sitting in a new city this time this year. I have a new job. I am making new friends. I helped move my sister and her family into a new house the last couple of days. Every day is an opportunity for something new. But we especially focus on it this time of year! We make resolutions to somehow come up with the ability to do what we couldn't do before! Eat less, exercise more! Spend less, save more! Complain less, pray more! We are sincere in our vows to do it different this next year. But then a funny thing happens to us...life. The calendar may turn over, but we are still who we are :) We mean well, but meaning well and doing well are two different things. The things that we lacked in the former year, we still lack in the new. If we are undisciplined, January 1st doesn't automatically make us more disciplined!

I don't know about you, but I am tired of the same old, same old! I am tired of getting excited about the possibility of change, only to be let down because I fail to do what it takes to change. If I had a nickel for every time I said that I would change or do something different, I would have a fortune! I am reminded of an old SNL skit with Chris Farley, David Spade and Adam Sandler. The one where they are the Mall girls in the food court. Chris Farley asks for a french fry and David Spade says I thought you were on a diet? Chris Farley replies Lay off me! I'm Starving!! Then sweetly adds..Diet starts Monday!! So funny! And so true!! I can't tell you how many "resolutions" I have made in my lifetime!! Everything from losing weight, daily devotions, saving money, becoming famous! hahahaha I start off with the best of intentions only to let my resolve die for one reason or another! Then comes the guilt and the depression and the thoughts of why try? We feel defeated and brought down. We settle back into our complacency because hey at least it's comfortable there!

I don't know about you but the day for being comfortable is over. I don't want to settle with where I am or what I am. I don't want a temporary fix! I want a permanent change! I want to know that I am doing all that I can to be all that I can be. God gives us one life! It's over so quickly. So I am determined to not care whether it's January, March, July or September. I want to reach out and grab all that He has prepared for me. I'm not setting time limitations or deadlines for my self! I am just determining that in 2012, I will wake up each day and endeavor to be who God wants me to be. To see the opportunities that He has placed in front of me and to be go to sleep happy each night that I have tried :) Take the pressure off yourself this year! He loves you! He believes in you. Let that be your motivation. Let this next year be your best yet!! Not because you kept some temporary resolution, met some deadline or achieved a goal, but because you truly discovered who you were in Him!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Confidence Comes Through Caring

Have you ever known what it feels like to be loved unconditionally?  I have.    There is no greater feeling in the world.  It's like you feel like you can try anything, do anything, be anyone and you are going to be loved no matter what.  Fail or succeed, that love is there for you!   I remember when I was younger and I played sports...according to my mom...I was the greatest player on the floor!!  Was that true?  Not by a long shot! :)  But was I one of the most motivated players on the floor?  Absolutely.  I knew that whether I scored 2 pts or 20 pts. when the game was done my mom would tell me how good I did.    That confidence in the love around me motivated me to play my best!   I wanted people to be proud of me.   There was of course an underlying knowledge that they would be no matter what!!   This confidence translated to many ventures through my life!  Whether it be standing in front of a crowd of people to sing or getting  up in front of a class of young people to speak,  I knew that I had people who loved me and believed in me.  That gave me the courage to try new things.  To go against the flow!  To sell what I had at 26 and become an "urban missionary".  To challenge what was the norm and to find MY place.  I never fully realized how supported I was or how great of a feeling that was.  It became a way of life for me.

Have you ever known what it feels like to have love taken from you or to have conditions placed on the love that has been given to you?  I have.   There is no worse feeling in the world!  It's as if all of the sudden your value dropped off the page.   You begin to doubt everything and I mean everything!   Things that you took for granted are no longer an option.   Your confidence to try something new is gone.   Your mentality shifts to tell you..you did not succeed at that.   You couldn't even make one person love you.  How do you expect anyone else to?   It becomes a daily struggle not to doubt yourself.    Thoughts of wasted time and a wasted life fill your head.   How could I have missed it so??  How did I become so unworthy, unlovable?  What changed?    You don't dream of trying something new, because that is just another opportunity for you to fail.

How cunning is the devil?   He is a  deceiver.  He sits around waiting for these moments to happen in a person's life.  He looks for the points of vulnerability.  He looks for your "down time".  He is aware that it is hard to catch us when we are wrapped in that shield of love.    He is a smart tactical fighter.  It starts with a crack.  Just one crack!  But left unnoticed, it starts to grow!  And grow, and grow, and grow.    Normally we would be smarter than to fall for his mess.  But when he gets us at just the right moment, we believe him.

Well I started this blog today to serve notice on him.  That I am waking up from the fog that he has tried to surround me in the last few years!  I am not going to let one person's lack of love and belief in me destroy my confidence and "drain the tank" that so many other people have poured into over the years!  Am I down?  Sure.  But temporarily!    I am determined to learn in the "down time".  There is something to be said about seeing from a different vantage point.   I won't be here forever, so I am determined to learn while I am here.   I don't know where this journey is taking me.  I certainly won't be so arrogant again as to say I know the way that it is taking me.   But I can tell you that my destination hasn't changed.  God has something for me to do!  He has a plan for my life just like He has for yours.   I am not defined by people, I am defined by Him.  He knows the plans that He has for me!   Now...if I could just get Him to share just a little with me!...hahaha! :)