Another Year Gone!

It’s December 31st…the last day of another year, and I couldn’t be happier!  2014 has been a great year for me…I certainly made some mistakes along the way, but I also got some things right!!!  I experienced a great deal of personal growth, I found my happy place at work, I allowed myself to develop authentic and vulnerable relationships with people in my life, I took a leap of faith and ventured into the world of seminary, and perhaps most importantly, I had some important AHA moments that freed me from some unspoken burdens that I’d been carrying on my shoulders.  All of these thingSandy Cove Sunset2s together led to an amazing year in my life and after recently being reminded of the brevity of this life, I’m even more excited about what 2015 holds!

I believe 2014 freed good ol’ conservative me to live…I traditionally find comfort in playing it safe and knowing how things look ahead of me, but I’m learning that life is really lived when we let go of our preconceived notions of what our best life looks like and just allow it to unfold before us.  I struggle with this notion even as I type it, but I also realize that one never knows or reaches his/her full potential when the brakes are never fully released in our lives.  I think that’s what I’m most looking forward to in 2015.  Now that I’ve found comfort in letting life unfold organically, I’m excited about the possibilities that are ahead…it’s a faith walk!

So, what’s in store in 2015…I certainly don’t know it all just yet, I can only hope for some things.  But I’m looking forward to starting my second semester of seminary in January, going on a missions trip with my church to Jamaica in June, settling into a new job in July and maybe somewhere in the mix love will find me or perhaps I’ll become a homeowner or perhaps I’ll finally get started on writing that book of devotions, and if none of these things happen, maybe some amazing life opportunity will drop into my path!  Whatever the case may be, I know it will be another amazing year because we serve an awesome God who orchestrates our lives perfectly…He makes no mistakes and He makes all things well!

And so, 2014 was great, but I believe 2015 will be even greater!  Until next time…celebrate life!

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Ready or Not?

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I’ve come to appreciate that some life lessons must be learned the hard way.  Yes, our parents try to teach us about the tough things in life starting at an early age, but they can’t teach us everything.  Some lessons are learned through failure, some lessons are taught through books, some lessons comes through experience, and then sometimes, God plants some people in our lives who can teach us in ways in which our parents never could.  I can honestly say I’ve learned life lessons in every way imaginable, but I’m fully convinced that it’s only been in the recent years that the core messages of the lessons being taught have taken root in my heart and my mind.  One of the most recent lessons that I’ve finally come to understand is simply that all of these years when I thought I was ready to move on to the next stage in my life, I wasn’t as ready for life as I thought was.  I still had some growing up and maturing to do, but I think I’ve got it now…

For me, this is one of those lessons that others had to teach me, and really it’s the sum of some smaller lessons…it couldn’t come from my parents because they love me too much to be brutally honest with me, but God sent some people in my path who lovingly opened my eyes to some of my flaws and shortcomings.  What did they teach me?

  1. You have to cut the cord.  We all know that before birth, babies are connected to their mother through the umbilical cord.  It’s the source of nourishment and life.  Without it, the baby won’t survive.  Just as their is the literal umbilical cord, there’s also a figurative umbilical cord that keeps us connected to our families and friends even after we’re older.  We rely on them for support and encouragement, but there comes a time when one has to cut the cord.  It doesn’t mean walking away from family, it simply means family cannot come first all the time…we have to step out of the shadows or our parents and loved ones, we have to step out of the opinions of friends and live the life that we were created for.  We have to be comfortable in our own opinions and decisions, and we can’t live our lives seeking the affirmation of others first.  We have to walk our own journey and let life unfold before us as God sees fit.
  2. You have to live as if your future is your present.  We can’t expect God to bless us with the future we desire if we don’t act like we’re preparing for it.  The specific advice I was given went something like this…if you want to be married, start living as if you’re married…prepare your meals and eat them at the dinner table, eat your meals on your china now, don’t wait until your married do it now, don’t just wear anything to bed, wear nice pajama sets, act like your husband is already a part of your life now…show God that you’re preparing and are ready for His blessings!  I laughed when this lesson was first shared with me.  My view was, it’s my home and I can do what I want…if the clothes aren’t folded and put away immediately, it’s my space…if I want to eat dinner in front of the TV, it’s my choice, if I choose to sleep in shorts and a t-shirt, what’s the big deal.  And then in an instant, it hit me that this advice was right.  We don’t change overnight and become the person we want to be in our future, we prepare ourselves…we live as if our future is our present.

These have been simple and practical, yet life-altering lessons for me that I didn’t necessarily get right away.  Truthfully, I wanted to resist what was being taught (because that’s the kind of person I am), but now I’m so grateful to have received these lessons.  They showed me how much I wasn’t ready for the life I thought I wanted a few years ago, but more importantly, they’ve motivated me to live a more controlled and disciplined life, and I’m better for it!

Until next time…