November 21, 2017

REACHING HIGHER HEIGHTS – What do you want to be? How will others define you? Most importantly, how will you define yourself in 2014?

In my personal life, I stay connected by keeping in touch with many friends and family, especially since I moved to Corpus Christi, Texas. Relationships, both new and old, become all the more paramount in my life as I lean into new challenges and environments unfamiliar to me. Moving across the country for a new job takes its toll on just about anyone, unless accustomed to these types of locational changes, like an “army brat” would (a popular idiom used to describe someone who grew up moving all the time due to a parents’ occupation in the military).

For those who know me well, they know that I juggle many interests and talents with a strong-willed personality to grow up to “higher heights,” as I mention in many of my previous blog entries. We attain “higher heights” by reaching for goals that we ourselves, sometimes think, looking in the mirror, we cannot achieve alone….hence a need for the dependence on a Savior through Christ.

I do not want to be average. I want to be incredible on many levels. And I would hope that any believer of Jesus desires the same.

For 2014, some of my major responsibilities include but certainly are not limited to: maintaining a strong relationship with God that begins and ends each day with Him as a first thought, building a new faith-based community, meeting performance standards with my new development job, teaching online classes as an adjunct faculty, managing a small business, pursuing part time a second Master’s degree, and Lord blessed and willing, dating a significant other I actually have things in common with.

I encountered a telephone conversation with someone who questioned my ability to balance priorities with so “many irons in the fire” (another idiom that means that one might be too busy to maintain a healthy lifestyle consumed with so many commitments). Maybe I will first struggle to find my balancing act in my ambitions to reach for higher heights; however I will find satisfaction in knowing that I no longer settled for anything mediocre. I pushed myself to levels I never thought possible. I challenged myself in new ways, where all I could do was lean into God’s strength to achieve more than I ever imagined.

Just because others cannot reach for higher heights in their own self doubts does not mean that you are not capable. It is not what others think that determines your own abilities and success. It only matters what you think of yourself, and in addition to your own self-image, it most ultimately only matters what God thinks. Let the naysayers and discouragers drop by your side in their own disbelief of God’s gifts instilled in you. And reach for the greatness God planned for your journey all along. I am not sure about you. But 2014 is not just another year’s resolution for me. It is a year to build myself up and truly discover my innermost calling.

I challenge you to dig deep and discover yours as well.

TAKE TIME TO CLEAR THOUGHTS! A Kingdom mindset….

Recently I find myself thinking way too much about life and circumstances with the many things  I cannot control. We, me included, spend so much petty energy focused on the “way things should be.” I am here to confess now – you are at this present moment where you should be! God has you, no matter where you are, to make the most of what is right now.

Even with my full-of-jokes personality, I take life very seriously, especially when I think of achievement in terms of where America thinks I should be as a thirty year old. I look at what makes others happy to then measure what would make me happy.

I continually ask people for advice. There is no wrong in seeking counsel of those with years of experience, only if it further educates you on an important decision. But you cannot allow others to make your decision.

There will always be someone who never understands you, why you do what you do, and why you choose the decisions you make. Truly your life is not about what the crowd thinks. It is about what you think of yourself.

I analyze and analyze and critique and critique until I turn blue in my mood, face, and heart. I honestly believe logic blinds faith. You must do what you want to do, without worry of the details, knowing that God works out the details. That is faith essentially-doing what you believe you are supposed to do without knowledge of how you will do it.

If you logically consider every option, logically you will talk yourself out of perhaps the best one.

TAKE TIME to think clearly! You may not have a day to take off from work. You may not have several months to go on sabbatical. But even 15 or 30 minutes of full breaths can make the difference in understanding that distinct difference with where your logic and faith intersect.

If you spend your life thinking what the best course of direction is, you might be miserable, because you used logic over faith for what you really wanted to do. Most do not pursue the arts or adventure travel or dreams in general because the population mentions in our heads: “You cannot earn a living doing that.”

If you step into God’s Grace with faith, you will earn a living with your God-given calling. You may not be rich, but you can still be happy. I will leave you with a key thought. If you die tomorrow, will you say to God, “If only I had done this….that dream I always wanted….” or perhaps rather, “I was in the middle of something important. Can I go back now to living in the moment where I was?”

Once you entered the Kingdom of God, it was a familiar place because you were already living there in faith, living the call of your heart, despite what the world said you should be doing.

Now watch a few short clips that further twist your thoughts on taking a moment and realizing faith matters more than logic, in many capacities.