Challenge of the Challenge – New beginnings, again

 

New-Year-New-Me

With the ringing in of the New Year, I, like many other people, claim that I am going to start over. Refresh, renew: New me. Right?

Wrong!

Well, partially wrong. The New Year is a great time to start a new schedule or plan. For me, I declared that I would not consider my plan as ‘resolutions’ but as ‘goals’. I read somewhere that playing the semantics game can help trick your mind into thinking positively about making changes.  Hmmm… Ok, I can try that!

We can try a thousand different things, but will they stick?  That is the true challenge of the challenge!

Making changes are not as simple as turning the page on a calendar or joining a 21-day program.  I think as of right now, I am enrolled in 4 different challenges, addressing different aspects of my life.  After going through my ‘challenge emails’, including ones I missed due to ridiculous family obligations, I felt so completely overwhelmed.

Just because it sounds good or smells good, doesn’t mean it’s good for you.

The whole point of joining these different challenges was to make progress in my life, not to burden myself down with more obligations and responsibilities.  Realizing that I was almost a week behind on one of the plans, (the Biblical plan at that! That’s the one that should have more priority!), left such a heavy load of guilt on my chest.

I tried to shrug it off.  I mean, who is going to know I am behind but me?  And God?  It’s all good.  Right?

Not really.

There’s the old adage that God will not give you more than you can bear.  Now, I have yet to find an exact verse that says this, but the Bible does talk about this in relation to temptation.  In 1 Corinthians 10:13 of the New International Version (NIV) it states:

1Cor 10:13  “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.”

God didn’t sign me up for these challenges.  But in my head, I felt like God presented each one of these opportunities for me to build upon things that I feel need to be changed in my life.  It was not only tempting, but easy to fall into this trap of ‘busy’.   For one, I love to learn.  I could be a life-long student and enjoy every minute of it.  Second, I thrive in pressure situations.  There’s something about the thrill of trying to beat the clock!

The enemy knows us also, and how to play on our weaknesses and desires.  “Oh, yes! She loves learning and she likes being busy… I can use that against her!”

One thing I have to continually remind myself is that God is not the author of confusion.  1 Corinthians 14:33 in the King James Version (KJV) states :

1Cor 14:33  “For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace…”

I don’t have to participate in everything just because it was placed before me.  Especially if it disturbs the peace that God wants for my life.

So my goals for 2016 have changed somewhat. #1 – Don’t overburden yourself. #2 – Don’t feel guilty if you don’t reach every goal by the deadline.

I’m realizing the key is to not give up.  Scrolling through my Twitter feed this morning, I see so much is happening across the world, big and small.  I felt this surge of excitement and energy, because I want to be a part of that. That buzz.  That excitement.  That movement and progress.  And results.

Be open to whatever the end result is of your work.  See that last word there?  Work.

It’s mandatory and there is no way around it.  Anything God designed for your life will take hard work and much patience.  But that is what makes the results so rewarding!

That is what I want this blog to be.

I am in the process of revamping the blog so that it’s more personal.  I want to be transparent about the process, almost as a journal format, to help me stay in touch with the readers, share my personal thoughts and be able to see my own progress, all in one site.

So, here we go again!  I hope that each of you will take this journey with me!

Welcome aboard!

 

Interview: Vela Magazine Founder Sarah Menkedick on Women Writers and Sustainable Publishing

Great interview!! Let’s continue to champion, sponsor and encourage our fellow female writers!

Longreads Blog

Cheri Lucas Rowlands | Longreads | Oct. 2 2014 | 10 minutes (2,399 words)

Three years ago, Sarah Menkedick launched Vela Magazine in response to the byline gender gap in the publishing industry, and to create a space that highlights excellent nonfiction written by women. Last week, Menkedick and her team of editors launched a Kickstarter campaign to grow Vela as a sustainable publication for high-quality, long-form nonfiction, to pay their contributors a competitive rate, and to continue to ensure that women writers are as recognized and read as their male counterparts. Menkedick chatted with Longreads about her own path as a writer, the writer’s decision to work for free, building a sustainable online publication, and the importance of featuring diverse voices in women’s nonfiction.

* * *

Let’s talk about Vela’s origins. You created Vela in 2011 as a space for women writers in response to the byline gender gap — yet it’s…

View original post 2,454 more words

Just Hold On

image
Photo reposted from Joel Osteen Ministries via Facebook

                                                                                                          Photo courtesy of Joel Osteen Ministries via Facebook

Making the choice to devote your life to God is one of the best and easiest choices you will ever make.  Following through with that decision is the hard part. 

Follow through has always been difficult for me.  I like to think of an idea, pass it on, then move on.  Or…I’ll start the project, then start another one, and then another one.  Weeks later, I’m swimming in deadlines and guilt.

In the past few weeks, I’ve learned that it all requires one step at a time.  No matter what you do, you can’t rush God’s plan; so you might as well take your time, enjoy the lesson and the test.  The key is truly knowing that every test can turn into a testimony if you grind you heels in and be determined to not give up or give in.

In all reality, my electric should be cut off right now; I barely have food in the fridge to get through the weekend.  But I refuse to worry about my needs… God already told me He would supply all my needs (Phil 4:19), and He has.  My electric is still on; my neighbor, who happens to be a chef, came by yesterday to see if we needed anything, because we were on his heart…

I can promise you, that if you make the committment to God, He will reward you with an enjoyable life, even in the midst of the trials.  Since I’ve committed – truly committed myself, opportunites are opening for me left and right!!  I have been invited to seminars and trainings that I normally would not have access to.  I’ve put down bad habits that used to feel like my lifeline and I no longer even have a remote yearning to indulge in that lifestyle anymore.  God took all that away, to provide me a better way.  Life has been challenging, but it is now far from dull and boring. 

I continue to “press toward the mark” (Phil 3:14), because I have no doubt that the best is yet to come.  Not just for me, but for all that choose to believe and recieve!

Stay blessed friends! ;)

A mission to serve

image

Alicia Keys is always at the hem of social issues that continue to plague our youth; issues that stifle the fight of the dreamer; issues that are destroying our education and political system.

As one of her biggest fans, I enjoy following her causes and finding any way that I can help. So last week when she released her latest song, “We are here”, I was immediately captured again.

I’ll be posting more details tomorrow about the campaign, but I saw the quote above and just had to share it.  This quote made me think of Alicia’s question to the world…”Why are you here?” 

My posting question to you tonight friends, is…Why are you here? My initial, knee-jerk response is – to serve God.

Leave a quick comment as to why you think you are here.  I’d love to see what you are thinking and feeling! And I’ll add some of your comments on my next post…and somehow I’m sure we can get the comments to Alicia Keys to let her know that, We are here too!!

Doing good for others never gets old; and it’s an amazing feeling!

i-n-d-e-p-e-n-d-e-n-t…do you know what that means?

image

Irony can be such a fickle beast, or your eccentric best friend.  I was talking to my daughter and her bff last night about being an independent woman, and having no shame in that.  About never putting yourself in a position to have to ask a man for anything.

Then today, I find this awesome blog called The Fickle Heartbeat, http://wp.me/p4sXoP-65, and this post http://suitsandglutes.wordpress.com/2014/06/05/miss-independent/.  The first quote of the article almost slapped me in my face with my grandmother’s spirit.  If I didn’t know better, I would’ve thought my grandmother was ghostwriting that post!

Independence is truly the most profound lesson that my grandmother taught me.  I remember when I turned 16, she shared some candid stories and advice about protecting myself and falling in love.  It was pressing on my heart to share these stories with my daughter and her friends, who affectionately call me Mom too.

I plan on writing a ‘listicle’ for The Fickle Heartbeat about lessons to impart to our daughters.  But I want to address a different vein of the same arm here.  And maybe this vein will generate another opportunity for a ‘listicle’.  My biggest concern is that all this talk is for naught, if your daughter does not truly understand what it means to be an independent person. 

I was honestly annoyed at my own daughter in speaking to her and her friend last night.  It wasn’t so much that she did anything disrespectful, just typical teen behavior, like, here goes my mom…again.  I could see I had her attention for the first few minutes but she soon became distracted and the intensity of the conversation totally took a turn.  Despite that fact that her best friend was listening intently, I was completely distracted by my own daughter’s lack of interest, and I could see it was eeking over into her friend’s ability to focus.

She’s probably heard these conversations a thousand times, so I can borderline understand her lack of interest, but still.  It came to me in reading the post I referenced, that maybe the issue isn’t the topic, but her lack of understanding of the topic. 

We can wonk at our kids all day like the teacher from Charlie Brown, but do they really hear us?  I can teach her all about being an independent young lady and making progress for herself, on her own.  But will any of those seeds take root if the foundation is not strong enough to feed the seed?  Foundation being an understanding of what independence truly is and why its so important…not just teaching about how to be independent. 

As much as I sometimes tire of hearing myself speak, lol, I think another conversation is due.  Success, in my opinion, is truly rooted in a person’s ability to take on a task and master it for themselves.  ‘Each one teach one’ is difficult if you don’t pay attention to the initial lesson yourself.  You’ll mess around and teach the wrong things…and you are accountable for everything, I mean everything, that you teach or pass on to others.  Set an appropriate foundation and watch the fruit blossom.

~ Proverbs 28:10 Whoever misleads the upright into an evil way will fall into his own pit, but the blameless will have a goodly inheritance.

Your turn ~ What advice would you give about teaching the meaning of independence?  Or, what have you been taught about independence that you found invaluable? 

Recognizing God's love in every facet of our lives.

ultimatemindsettoday

A great WordPress.com site

PROJECT JOURNAL

Project Innovation . Industry Opinion . Expert Analysis

Don Charisma

because anything is possible with Charisma

Beautiful Life with Cancer

Discovering the Gift

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 805 other followers