STOP

At the non-profit (Cross International) where I work, we do daily devotions to start off each work day.  I thought I would share my most recent devotion given at work.  It is entitled “STOP”.  I showed the wonderful Overwhelmed video by Jennie Allen and then spoke from my heart about what God has been doing in my life.  There are so many of us spinning our wheels in the business of life so I hope this can touch your life in some way.  Enjoy!

How much is enough? How much is too much? Society tells us that in order to be deemed successful, the more you have on your plate the better.  We see depictions online or in other media of (in my case) the “superwoman”. You know what I’m referring to. That woman who is the perfect mother, has the perfect children, a clean home, holds down a high level job, volunteers at their kids’ school and does charity work.

These views are very deceiving.  You are only seeing the highlights of their life.  You’re not seeing the down and dirty mess behind the scenes.

About a year ago, God told me to simply STOP. Yes, just stop. Stop seeking additional responsibility, volunteering, leading groups, etc. Stop. That simple four letter word can be a terribly difficult thing to put into action. But, I did it. Don’t get me wrong, there was a good bit of twitching and anxiousness involved, but I did it. So, I stopped.  Guess what happened as a result?  I was a much happier, level and content person.

It’s ok to build margin in your life.  Every minute does not have to be planned. If every minute of your life is planned, you leave no room for God to speak; you leave no room for God to work in your life. But, if you do in fact build margin then, you build room to hear God’s still small voice.

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New Year Resolutions Goals

2014 Goals
I’m not one to make any New Year resolutions. One of two things typically happen; I either do not keep them at all or I go the opposite direction completely defeating the purpose of the resolution in the first place. However, I do believe in goals for a new year. There is a difference. To me, a resolution is a set acheivement that you reach and then you’re done. A goal is something that is an ongoing acheivement that you want to continue to meet over and over in order to better yourself and/or your life.

The reflection on 2013 involved me not only looking at all the great things that happened in the past year, it involved really digging deep to understand what my biggest hardships and challenges were as well. One thing I learned through all of this pondering was that many times your biggest challenges can also be your biggest wins. Typically God uses your biggest challenges to mold you into the person that He wants you to be and many times will make your biggest challenge a blessing.

Only recently, did I come to a conclusion on what my goals for 2014 should be after all of this reflection. Here they are.

  1. Be intentional about growing spiritually. This means setting aside the time to spend with God as well as continually reading and learning. I have already finished one book and have several more already on order.
  2. How happy you are in your life is all dependent upon your perspective. My goal is to focus on the positive, be joyful, pray throughout each day and give thanks in all circumstances. God has me where I am for a reason and fighting Him will only bring me distress. “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)
  3. I have a type A personality. I am also a strong big picture, planner. This means that I am wired to look toward the future. This is a good quality to have but it often keeps me in the future and doesn’t allow me to enjoy the present. My goal is to simply enjoy the day that I’m in; to live each day that I’m given to the very fullest.
  4. In the past 10 years I have considered myself to be a workout freak almost to the point of my own detriment. 2013 really changed things for me. I’m pretty sure that it’s due to the fact that I’m getting older but I simply just don’t want to do workouts that I don’t enjoy. I regularly lifted weights, but I quit doing cardio consistently this past summer. My goal this new year is to find cardio that I really enjoy doing and do it regularly. So far, this has been running on the beach. We’ll see how that goes and what other fitness items I may find along the way.