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oneword2012

I can’t believe we are halfway through this year! It seems like time has flown by.

I started out this year out of breath and crawling forward. I was scraping at the bottom of the barrel for joy and hope. I felt like for every step forward one of those huge hammers from Wipe Out would slam me nine steps back. Ouch.

I chose healing as my Oneword365.

Healing takes time.

Healing takes a process of really doing the hard work. I have been learning the truth that I have to choose the hard to get to the healing. Nothing changes if I don’t change up some patterns and habits.

I still don’t feel far enough into the process to say I have had these huge breakthroughs, but I guess that is the point of a midway mile marker. I am definitely not in the same low place I was in six months ago. I also have a little more hope and courage.

Healing is the process of renewing strength.

Fighting takes an insane amount of energy – both emotionally and physically. Fighters train for months to be able to last one match. I am gaining strength to fight through my fears and retrain the lies I’ve been living on. Strength has been a huge victory. Without it, I was running on empty and had no stand left to fight for myself. This just created a cycle of unhealthy living.

Slowly but surely I am rediscovering the puzzle pieces of my heart. He is making all things new in me. Although I still feel like the wind gets knocked of me, but instead of being thrown 9 steps back it’s only 5. Hoping six months from now those steps will continue to decrease.

The process of healing is the process of relearning.

When I broke my collar bone it took me so long to regain normal movement and rotation. Everything hurt and needed compensation. After a while I regained strength and relearned how to use my shoulder. Similarly, I am learning how to see myself, set healthy boundaries, and fight for my own voice and dreams. This process has opened up new words I want to speak, and new visions for my life.

Imagine that…

Hoping for more healing these next six months.

How is your halfway point going?

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Awareness is a bittersweet thing.

Sometimes, I would love to just be blissfully unaware of the “good” things around me, as well as what other people have.

As kids, we learn so quickly what want feels like. This only happens when we experience someone else having, or doing something, we want to do. There is an unfairness that rises up in our hearts. With eyes wide open awareness sets in and the fruit of want takes root.

I am one who struggles with jealousy. It is the thorn in my side. I actually find this struggle to be real with leaders. I would consider myself a strong leader and one who leans into that role predominately.

Jealousy raises its ugly head in me when I start to compare myself to others. Jealousy is conceived in me when I start to compare myself to what others have. This could be monetary things or just influence.

Andy Stanley talks a lot about the losing battle of comparison in a great sermon series he does. In that series he talks about how the Pharisees are jealous of Jesus because He has the crowd. There jealousy eventually leads them to crucifying Jesus.

I get that. If jealousy is left unattended, pain and even death is inevitable.

Andy states that “there is no win, satisfaction, or finish line when it comes to comparison.”

We are not meant to compare ourselves with the successions, failures, gifts, talents, influences, and even life stories of others. When we place our eyes on the lives of others, we miss out on the life we are meant to live.

I suck at the comparison battle.

My eyes wander and my awareness of want grows. Jealousy is my weakness.

We live in a culture of comparison.

Honestly, there are times I just need to step back from platforms like Twitter that can be a breeding ground for comparison. Everyday I can see one who is five steps ahead of me in my dream life. It’s just plain hard.

This past week, I was blessed to attend Story Conference in Chicago. I loved it. However, I also learned that conferences are filled with temptations to compare. So many awesome people doing awesome things and it always makes me wonder if I’m good enough. This week as I head down to the ATL for Catalyst, my awareness for comparison is heightened.

Jealousy is a battle.

There is no freedom in comparison.

As far as I can remember our culture has lived by the mantra of “keep up with Jones.”

As long as we are running life’s race to keep up with our “Jones” there is no room for the life we are meant to live. It is impossible to celebrate anyone else in the state of comparison.

I feel like I have wasted too much time comparing myself to others. I want to be a person who celebrates the gifts and victories of others. I want to mourn with those who feel the pain of failure. More importantly, I just want to be ok with where I am and what I have.

Are you?

“What or who are you using as a reference point to determine whether or not you’re okay?”

“Are you exhausted from trying to keep up with ______?”

“Are you allowing what others have to keep you from enjoying what you have?”

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We are all stories being written. Each chapter crafted with new and old characters. Each story has plots of life being worked through.

Our stories also have eb’s and flows, twists and turns.

What do you do when you’ve got the title page picked out, the table of contents seems to be flowing well, but you want to change the whole story?

I am in that season of change. I feel like I have followed a certain path for so long. I went to college, and got my Masters in Counseling. For the past ten years I have been working in the counseling field. It seems like it “should’ve” been the right track for me – the most logical.

What do you do when you want to start over?

It is such a hard decision to make. But I have made it. A year ago I moved down to Nashville to pursue new: new chapters with friends, community, church, and job.

It has been nothing but the hardest year of my life – on every front. Struggle seems like an understatement.

Starting over is so hard. It literally is a battle. For me, it has been the hardest risk to choose. Nothing makes sense and nothing has worked yet.

If I’m being most honest, doubt plagues me. This year has rocked my fears, insecurities, and self-worth. I still battle with feeling unseen and overlooked. I am trying so hard to celebrate the victories and successes of others. Even as I type that my eyes fill with tears.

Starting over takes time. I knew that going into my year of change. Transition is hard. It means everything takes effort and trying. I am exhausted from all the trying.

Ever feel that way?

People tell me all the time that “our purpose is to glorify Him.” I am trying hard to do that. I feel like I have taken the steps in that direction – to start in a place where my gifts and passions come together. However, the waiting is killer. Daily humility is my soup de jour. I feel like Joseph in prison waiting for someone to “remember me.

It is hard to feel far from myself. Exhaustion takes its toll. I cannot wait to be on the other side of some day.

What do you do when you desire so much to be further down the road of life then you are?

Have you ever started over?

How are you handling your season of waiting right now?

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I can’t believe almost an entire year has flown by!

Is it already time to for a new oneword2012!?

This time last year, I was so ready to kick 2010 to the curb! I was ready for all things new and different. The restlessness and in me was igniting some serious motivation in my heart.

What was I ready for?

All the roads of my heart were leading me to a place of needing to really learn how to follow. I didn’t know what this word had in store for me this past year. I honestly had no idea where intentionally choosing to follow would lead me.

My life mantra is to really learn how believe intimately in who God says he is, which in turn teaches me to live life differently.

He extends and invitation for all to do life with him through following. This invitation has wrecked me, in a good way, all year.

What has following required?

Following requires faith

Following after him this year has challenged my concepts and practices of faith. Following has challenged me to redefine what faith really is. I have learned that faith is a choice. Faith is choosing to believe in God who is illogical, beyond my understanding, and sometimes unrecognizable. Following in faith is walking down a road that resembles nothing like I think it should look. Following has required my faith to keep choosing to praise him when what I consider failures, God says you are actually walking the right way.

Following requires surrender

I am self-sufficient to the core. I have spent too much of my life walking in self-dependence. This way of life will always be in conflict with God, and anyone else, being a part of my life. Learning to follow requires the surrender of my own logic and understanding of what is best. I have had to surrender my survival skills of dealing with my own pain. The caverns of my heart are deeper than I anticipated. It’s not pretty. Committing to following after him means choosing to deal with my issues. Grief has been my fore front emotion, but the healing has been met in his depth as well. I’m so grateful.

I know hope I’m not alone in discovering my OneWord has worked me over this year. I am still learning daily; I am still determined to rock this word into 2012!

I am still learning the depths of what follow means for me everyday.

How has your OneWord been working you?

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There is this game I love to watch and participate in. I have been to various events where this game has been played. The game is called Bungee Run. Bungee Run is an inflatable game that requires two people to play. Each person is harnessed to a bungee cord. The bungee is attached to a wall behind each person. The object is to try and run as fast as you can, conquering the tension of the cord, and grabbing the tag that is velcoed at the end of the lane. This game is so funny to watch people play. It seems easy enough until the tension of the bungee kicks in.

The Bungee Run is a perfect illustration for me while reading the book Isaiah. The nation of Israel experienced this bungee cord relationship with God. They were constantly snapping back and forth between choosing God and doing their own thing.

Everytime God loosened the tension of their relationship with grace, he reminded them that he was the only God. There are countless verses in the 40’s of Isaiah where God states that he is the only God – there is no other God beside him. God is the only one who saves and redeems.

I am realizing the my relationship with God resembles that same tension that the nation of Israel had with God. I run after so many different things that I think is better than God. I place tension on the cord of my relationship with Christ when I think that my timing is better, or that I can make things happen better than God. It always fails.

God has been rocking my world as I commit to following after him. As I commited to the word follow this year, God has immediately started out being God. In the past two weeks, God has redefined in me what following really means. I think we all have preconceived notions of what some words might be defined as.  I am learning that I thought I knew what following after him really meant, but learning I was far off.

God has since redefined my truth with his.

I thought we would be working on one thing, but he has since been chiseling away at my false truth with his infinite truth. For the past month or so, God has been showing me just how enough he really is. It is no coincidence that I have been marinating on thoughts such as “matchless” and “for me.

The theme in any book of the bible is that God is God and there is no one to match him – there is no one like God. Nothing we fabricate or craft compares to him. All things and people will fail outside of God being God in our lives.

Read the 40’s in Isaiah. I gaurentee you will walk away with a new sober truth that God is God. There is no one like God.

This is the first truth to know and understand before following on.

God is God. There is none like him. Find out for yourself whether his truth is better than yours. I have learned that it is.

 

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