08 February 2016

When do goals become reality?

Hopelessness. What is it, what causes it, what removes it? I'm all too familiar with the feeling, and as I spoke with a friend yesterday I realized it's presence is all around me.

Hopelessness stems from the idea that life is what it is, that we are not capable of change. In my life I feel this most when I focus on the failures of the past. Weight loss goals met before rebounding back to the heights, choosing to fall for men that were not right for me, spending money when I didn't have it, you get the idea.

I found myself telling this dear friend that I had no idea when that feeling went away...but its not something I feel anymore. If I had to pinpoint it, I suppose I trace it back more than a year ago when I walked a 5K. I did something I thought was impossible, realized it wasn't, and started setting other goals to knock down. Today I find myself debt free, self-employed, at a healthy weight, active, and...

welcome to transparency

...staring down the final item on my 5 year plan: I desire a long term relationship with a man.

whew...I really just wrote that

It's easy to look back on my life and see relationships I (and others) thought were headed toward serious. As V-Day approaches it would be extremely simple to allow depression, sadness, yes hopelessness, to creep in and steal my joy. Instead, I'm choosing to praise God that I was wrong. The woman I am now? She'd be miserable with any one of those men - she's no longer me.

As I finished my run this morning, staring down the 5 mile mark, doing something I would have never thought possible even a month ago, I found myself remembering how I got there. I started off with 1 mile, then 1.5, 2, etc. I set a schedule and stuck with it. I took break days when needed and chose to enjoy the process. Similar steps were taken with financial, work, and personal growth goals. Having seen success there...I suppose a similar plan must be taken as I seek a relationship. I have to make an effort to meet people, I must invite trusted friends into the process, I must accept that failures will occur, and I must enjoy the process.

You see, I am convinced that God has prepared me for this exact moment. All the craziness of the past few years has put me in a place where I'm excited to be a good match for just the right man - and I'm betting God has been preparing the right man for me. Good-bye hopelessness - I'm ready for this adventure!

04 February 2016

Choices Matter

One of my favorite styles of book as a teenager were the "Choose Your Own Adventure" series. They put a new spin on becoming part of the story - when the main character was faced with a decision (stay on the road or check out the forest path) the reader was in control of the decision. I would check out both options then move on with the story (will this get me killed or am I going to find treasure!). 

My imagination was fired up by the notion that a seemingly small choice could have a dramatic life impact. I was responsible for the story's forward motion...just as I am in my own life.

As I've considered my options for life these past few months, one thing has become abundantly clear. I, ultimately, am responsible for the choices that I make. I can seek counsel, do research, study and seek the Lord's will...but when it gets down to the nitty-gritty I make choices. 

God does not force me into a corner and force me to choose his way. I can go against the counsel of those I trust. I can even opt to ignore all the research and do something outside the box.

I am responsible for my life. 

Who knows what my life will look like in 6 months? God. 

If I am crowing about God leading me to the choices I've made today, I cannot turn around and blame him for circumstances if/when life takes unexpected turns. God does not set us up for failure - he wants our best.

It is high time that we, the Church, accept responsibility for the choices we make and stop blaming God for our circumstances.

Anyway - that's the synopsis of my next book. Let me know what you think!

02 February 2016

Live Fearless

Why do I do the things that I do? The choices I make relate back to who I am at my core. What I find important in life dictates my decisions. Decisions aren't made lightly - in fact I'm often stifled by the "what if" factor and I consider pros/cons/ramifications of my choices.

I know how much worry, fear, consideration, hesitation, etc. goes into each choice I make. The decision to resign employment last year? That took months - but the instant I verbalized the choice I felt the relief that signifies a right choice was made. There was no fear in that moment.

In the past few weeks people have commented on this aspect of my character in various ways, but its not something I've ever given conscious consideration. "You always do what you want to do." That simple acknowledgement of how I live my life - hearing those words from family and friends - it gave me a new angle for self-reflection.

"To thine own self be true."
penned by a master of dialogue, Mr. William Shakespeare, more than 400 years ago. 

I am me. I am the only me. I am the result of DNA connections, environment, choices, and so many other things. My life can not, should not, will not, look like anyone else's. Fear can be a controlling factor - so it must be faced, dealt with, and left behind.

"Fear is the mind-killer." - from Frank Herbert's Dune

I'm alone, but never alone. What comfort it is to converse with the Lord at any time, in any place, about any thing! "Fear not, I will help thee." (Isaiah 41.13)

Living fearless doesn't mean choices are made lightly - and it certainly doesn't mean fear is non-existent.  It's about living in the confidence that I am making decisions that are right for me, in this time, in this place, at this stage of life.

The amount of joy I feel in my everyday existence? Unexpected blessing. 

28 January 2016

Life in Transition

2015 was filled with moments of assessment - I found myself accomplishing each goal I set and wondering what challenge would come next. Each goal took me one step closer to my dream life...and I faced a growing hunger for change. The only thing holding me back was fear of the future, fear of taking a huge leap and trusting God in a new way.

2016 is the chance to live life in different ways - to turn my dream life into my normal life.

I'm exploring options, learning to live fearless, trusting in God for my daily needs. 

"Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?" - Jesus, Matthew 6:25 (ESV)

I want a life that is more than a schedule that must be kept. What choices will I make when the security of a set paycheck every 2 weeks is removed? When my day is wide open and I'm free to fill it as I will...what will I do to with the time?

I want to know what it is to rely on God in a deeper way. It was a terrifying choice - but pretty exhilarating, too. I feel more alive than I have in months...and more at peace. I'm in the midst of transition and loving every unexpected minute.

28 July 2015

Paperback Edition now available

I'm excited to announce that the paperback edition of my book, Biblical Feminism, is now available!

I confess I was hesitant to develop a print edition - the environmentalist in me struggled with the notion of printing materials that might end up in a storeroom instead of being used. After constant queries about a print edition from across the demographic spectrum, I knew it was something I was being called to do.

I was thrilled to discover a company that does print to order and works in partnership with amazon.com (where I made the e-book available). With my concerns about wasted resources resolved I happily moved forward. Copies are just $7.99 each and can be ordered here. I'm pretty pleased with the final print product and I hope y'all are as well.

This has been a great project and I can't wait to see what God does next!