walking in God’s will

When I’ve taken tests to evaluate how I operate, time and time again, I’ve been termed a “doer,” or “action-oriented.” The results haven’t surprised me, but have given me a label I can use for myself. These labels are very true. More often than not, my desires and plans come into fruition. For example, when I said I was going to study abroad in Australia, I made it happen. Saved enough money, enrolled in productive courses, bought my own airfare, and was on my way. When I’m thinking of buying a specific product, I will do it. I’ll do my research, shop around, and make the purchase. Or, if I want to be part of a Christians mom group, I will find one to be a part of. What Daniel and I have in common is that we don’t just talk fluffy about our grand plans in life, or in general, make a desirable statement or commitment we don’t follow through on. We are doers and we do well. ;-) We did well when we weren’t walking intimately with Christ, but now we doing even better as Christians. How’s that possible though?!
image

Let me explain to my best of abilities. Before I truly knew Jesus, I worked hard. I mapped out my goals, wrote down accomplishments that would get me there, had a timeline, etc. I was an extreme doer who felt I needed to take control of my life in order for it to be successful and to become the life I dreamt for myself. All this controlling and working from my own strength (and I’m a strong gal!!) exhausted me, left me empty, lonely, unhappy, purposeless, and the like. Yes, I had all the accolades and experiences to assign to my name, but had I grown from life lessons? Had I truly loved and served others? Had I enjoyed my life journey and been present? No, no, no. Putting my faith in God and seeking His will has been a life changing process. It’s no longer about me and my selfish desires. (I still forget this sometimes). I pray to try to discover what God wants me to do in each situation, person, and the future. Yes, Daniel and I make our plans, but they are drenched in prayer before, during, and afterwards in thanksgiving. I also don’t “work” as hard being a doer. God guides me with prompts regarding new challenges for personal growth, knowledge about Him and His word, and how to serve others. And don’t get me wrong, walking in His will has many down moments. But regardless, I’m a lot more peaceful, content, and rested as a result. And furthermore, I’m very happy. I know it’s not on me to make this life of mine worthwhile; I’ve got a Heavenly Father who is leading the way. I just have to believe and obey. His ways are better than my ways.

Encourage someone and share!
  • email
Posted in Life, Personal Growth | Leave a comment

i think a lot

I am fully aware I think a lot. For the good, and for the bad. Interestingly, when I was a young girl/ teenager, I didn’t know what to make of this typical behavior I partook in a lot. It did me good when I’d counsel adults and peers with their life dilemmas, but it did me bad when sometimes people didn’t know how to respond to my depth and reflections. I’d be told I was a “deep thinker,” but was left just with that description. What was an unguided gal to think of herself? Is it OK to have depth, to ask meaningful questions, to want to know the rationale behind actions and words? And why couldn’t people answer my questions or engage in deep conversation?! No one actually helped me to understand who I was through the lens of being a person who “thinks a lot.” Therefore, as I got older, I thought the best way to self-protect myself was by just keeping my thoughts to myself. Thus, I wrote poetry, wrote in my diary, and stored them in my head. Could you imagine how suppressing that was over the years?
image

It was not until my early 20s did I have opportunities to unveil some of my thoughts (bravely). The first was through online journaling during my Masters program in school counseling. Weekly I’d have to journal and I didn’t think twice about what I wrote. My professor who read my entries apparently saw a “human” side to me he had never known. I had depth that he didn’t see from interacting with me frequently. That was a big eye opener for me because I realized my suppression of that side of me hindered others from getting to know the real me. Instead, all they knew was the business, “let’s get things done,” part of me in a school or work setting. That day forward, I had to make an intentional effort to share more of me and my thoughts with others. The second opportunity, which has been a significant and brave move for me, was when I started this blog. For many years I felt called to create it, but postponed it because I was fearful of judgment, felt insecure, and in general, thought, “who cares what I think!!” Thankfully I did moved forward. It’s been nearly three years! This opportunity has released me to grow more into who I am, my calling, and best of all, influence others. Finally, I see good in my tendency to “think a lot.” People write me to say they can relate, that my transparency spoke to them, is used as a devotional, etc. How humble and blessed it makes me feel! So, yes, sometimes I need to tone down my excessive thinking (especially if it isn’t productive), but overall, I need to remind myself that God created me this way and if utilized effectively, it can bless others.

If you think a lot too, I encourage you to find the most fitting avenues to express all your thoughts. Don’t suppress them. Be thankful for this characteristic about yourself. Others do want to hear your thoughts. :-)

Encourage someone and share!
  • email
Posted in Communication, Personal Growth | 1 Comment

finding contentment in living frugally

Daniel and I by no means ever rolled in dough, but I must say when we lived in San Diego, we didn’t have to live as frugally as we do now. (We’ve always lived on a budget, but this season is different.) Before Zane, we lived on two incomes for two years post my graduate studies and since Zane, we’ve mostly lived on Daniel’s income with a few random income from my previous per diem work. Yes, we had to tighten our budget once I became a stay-at-home mom, but nothing like what we are doing these days. Now, with Daniel building his property management business, let’s just say we are living on a very slim budget. One that I struggle with sometimes when I want our family consuming organic or hormone-free meats, fresh produce, and healthier snacks and drinks. Then add having to rebuild our supply here of miscellaneous items for the house and ourselves and that complicates everything. As I describe our situation in which we placed ourselves in, I must add that we are fully aware of the sacrifices that need to happen to set us up for future success. This is temporary living. Of course I dream of the day to give even more generously, buy healthier groceries, go clothes shopping for kicks, and most of all, not think twice about spending (within reason)! But in the interim, this new season of life is helping to discipline me, have more faith, and be more creative! There’s always an upside to life’s challenges.

image

>>Discipline: I have to prioritize my spending and desires. What groceries take precedent this week? What can I buy organically grown or conventionally grown? Which store has good prices for quality items? How do I stop my temptation from wanting to grab take-out food while I’m out? I especially love treating myself to a specialty food item (anchovies stuffed olives ;) so some weeks I get it, while other weeks I have to hold off. No such thing as instant gratification these days! ;)

>>Faith: God always provides. And this is the best time to witness His work and to show others how at peace we are about it. We have received at various times money either for holidays, birthdays, etc. which really help with buying items for Zane, our home, and self-care for ourselves. And free babysitting! That’s always a blessing for date nights and doctor visits. He always provides enough.

>>Creativity: Now that I can’t buy every food item or thing I want, I go about exploring how to make it myself. For example, I finally made sushi! So now I don’t desire to have it out and about as much. This is the same with making fruit and veggie smoothies. Also, I’m excited to learn more about essential oils and how to use it to remedy our ailments, build our immunities, and clean our house. I’ll try making my own sanitizers and cleaners soon! This saves us money and is healthier! Zane and I visit the library more for borrowed books and DVDs, and attend a lot of free reading and arts sessions. We even got selected for five free swim lessons I heard about from a friend. So it’s all about being creative and resourceful with what access I have and growing in the area of do-it-yourself.

So I, and others, can look at our situation, and see the downsides of it, but I’m thankful we are going through it because we are growing heaps while experiencing it.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Encourage someone and share!
  • email
Posted in Life, Personal Growth | 1 Comment