Tag Archives: challenge

Prioritizing Your Priorities!

I reached up on the book shelf above my creative desk and pulled one of the leather journals down to take a glance. As I fingered through the pages, among the scriptures, gratitude lists and task, my eyes fell onto a heading labeled My Top Ten Priorities. I smiled, because I can vaguely remember making the list and also because I feel like I maybe have made a little progress over the last five years. I thought I would share the list with you, in the hopes that it might encourage and maybe even inspire you to think about your own…

“For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline.” -2 Timothy 1:7

MY TOP TEN PRIORITIES:

1.) ADVENTURE – Life is not supposed to be boring and it’s really not boring, if we are paying attention. There are amazing things happening everyday all around us. People to see, places to go, experiences to have and life to enjoy. I think one of the greatest lessons I have been learning is that everyday is an adventure, if I’m ready, willing and able…

2.) BALANCE – This is one of those lessons that we always know we need to learn, but always seem to have a hard time learning. We may get it right for a day or two and then before we know it, BAM – it’s all messed up again. This is not a “one and done”, this is a work in progress. But balance is very important if we want to keep from drowning in this life…

3.) FAITH – This has always been foundational to me, even in the times when it is not high on my priority list, because I am nothing without it. Believing in God and that He has a plan for my life is vital to everything else falling into place. Without this, nothing else works…

4.) FAMILY – The old saying is: “You can’t live with em and you can’t live without em” And most of us have discovered this to be very true. I love my family, immediate and extended. As different and crazy as some of us are, I really wouldn’t have it any other way, because our crazy is our normal and it’s really a pretty sweet blessing…

5.) FUN – All work and no play will make you boring and bored. Every now and then, we have to let our hair down and enjoy ourselves. Sometimes we need to run out and dance in the rain or maybe go jump in the lake. We need to enjoy ice cream, hot chocolate and a good joke. When was the last time you laughed so hard, your belly hurt???

6.) GROWTH – Whenever we stop growing, we begin dying and it is often a slow and agonizing thing. My greatest growth seems to have taken place over the last few years. The older I get, the more I realize and understand just how much I don’t know that I thought I did know…

7.) HEALTH – Three areas are important: Physical, mental and spiritual. If we don’t take care of all three and work to enhance all three, we will become sick and our quality of life and living will be impacted in a very big way. There are very simple, but powerful things we can do to be healthy in all three areas and we need to make sure that we are doing our part.

8.) WISDOM – You can have all kinds of education, knowledge and learning and still be a fool. Have you ever met an educated fool? Wisdom is the proper us of knowledge. We not only need the knowledge, but the common sense to use it in meaningful and productive ways…

9.) SERVICE – God gives to us so that we can give to others. When we take the gifts and talents God has given to us and share them with others, God is glorified and we all are blessed. Ministry really is what makes the world go round…

10.) PASSION – To me this is love on fire! God is love and we are made in God’s image, so we are to be love to. Love is not something we say. Love is not even something we do. Love is what we are, if we are being what we were created to be. If we are love, then the doing and the saying are taken care of…

The Only Person You Can Change Is Yourself!

We live in a world that is always trying to shape us into what someone else thinks or says we should be and the real problem with that scenario is that the shape is always changing depending on who happens to be holding to loudest bullhorn at the time.

Most of us have things we would like to change about ourselves and most everyone at some point in their lives can come up with a pretty good list of things they would like to change about others, but if you live your life long enough, you will learn pretty quickly that you cannot change others, no matter how much you think you love them and/or how much you think they love you.

There have been times in my life when I have convinced myself that I could love, encourage, inspire, educate and motivate others to change to be their best self and live their best life, only to eventually come to the realization that the only thing that can change another person is themselves.

If a person does not want to change, then they won’t, it is as simple as that. There is nothing you can do to change someone else, so stop trying to fix everyone else and work on yourself, because we all have enough of our own stuff to deal with.

If you don’t like or love someone the way they are, then that is your problem, even if they are wrong and even if they are cheating or hurting themselves, because their life is their life to decide for themselves. You do not have the right to change anyone else, just like no one else has the right to change you.

Think about it for a moment: God has the ability to change anything and anyone He wants to, but He does not do it. Instead, He gives us time and space to learn and grow through the ups, downs and sideways of life. If and when we are ready to make a change, then God is ready to empower us to do what we need to do, to live the better life we were created for.

“Put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, 23 and be renewed in the spirit of your minds, 24 and put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.” -Ephesians 4:22-24

Stop blaming others and quit getting caught up in the delusion that you can fix others. If you are honest with yourself, you have to admit what a hard time you have fixing yourself. In fact, take your eyes off of others and give your life and living a hard and honest look. Determine what you need to change, decide what you can do about it and get to work.

It is true that we can’t change anyone else, but we can change ourselves and the change in our lives can serve as motivation for others to think about changing themselves too…

Confidence – You Cannot Fail At Being Yourself!

I try to have a word for the day for most days and today my word was confidence. There are times when confidence seems to come easy for me and there are others times when confidence seems to be an illusive animal that I just can’t seem to track down. It’s kinda funny, because there are times when I am pretty confident of my confidence and other times when my lack of confidence really throws me into a state of confusion. So today, I wanted to think a little about confidence, what helps me to be confident, what gets in the way of confidence and the price I pay when I can’t figure this confidence thing out.

So one of the first things I needed to figure out and why do I want to develop my confidence, if that is even possible? And of source I think it is possible, so in order for me to figure out, I started to think about where my lack of confidence comes from and what it may be costing me, so that I could figure out if this was really even a battle worth fighting.

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. -Psalms 139:13-14

I want to develop more confidence, because I know that I don’t like the feeling of limitation that a lack of confidence produces in my life. You know that moment just before and right after you walk into a room full of people. That time and space, where you just don’t feel like you are enough. Not smart enough, good looking enough and we could fill in the blanks all night long. One of the major problems here is our getting caught up in the “comparison game”. Do not play this silly game, you will lose every time and if you don’t lose, you still lose!

I feel like I lack confidence when I am around people, because I want to be accepted and loved by everyone, but don’t always feel that I deserve that, because of past experiences. In so many ways I was loved and encouraged by my family and friends growing up, but that never seems to be what I focus on. Rather than focusing on the acceptance, encouragement and love I did have, I tend to think about what I didn’t have and it takes me straight down the road to a lack of confidence and often paralyzes me where I stand. We know this is not a right way of thinking, but it is the way that most of us do it, so now what?

One of the things I have been doing that has been a big help to me in a lot of different areas is taking time at the very beginning of my day to focus in on my day, who I want to be, what I want to accomplish, where I want to go, when and how I’m going to get there and why all this really matters. Thinking through these questions help me to put together a workable plan to get more meaningful things accomplished and this emphasis on meaningful work over busy work has contributed to me feeling more confident.

We have a choice, we can get distracted by who we are not, by what we don’t have and how we can never get there or we can find confidence in our success, build upon it and dream of growing better.

Think about just three words. Three words that help you to think about who you want to be, who you are going to be as you grow in your confidence. My three words that describe my future best self is blessed, confident and successful.

Everyday that I get to do what I was created to do is a blessing. The by product of growing is that I develop confidence that helps me to become even more effective in all that I do. Living this life and being happy is the greatest form of success that I can ask for and I have discovered that I have ll of this and more when I am fulfilling my called and created purpose…