We can only keep on going, after all, by the power of God, who first saved us and then called us to this holy work. We had nothing to do with it. It was all his idea, a gift prepared for us in Jesus long before we knew anything about it. But we know it now. — 2 Timothy 1:8–9 MSG
Sharing my faith makes me nervous sometimes. I’m not sure why. Maybe it’s because I’m afraid of offending people who aren’t believers or have a different religion than me. I’m not sure how to bring my faith up in conversation and feel comfortable about it.
When Day 2 of the book, 100 Days to Brave, by Annie F. Downs gave me the task to tell someone how God has been working on my behalf, I figured, go big or go home.
So here I am.
Lately, my focus has been on God working in my heart and recognizing Him being at work in my life. I’ve been so much more observant. While before I would think it was coincidence, now I slowly shake my head realizing God’s hand is at work.
Sometimes I’m not sure of God’s timing or understand it.
He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority.” — Acts 1:7
I’m trying to do a better job of questioning God less and know He has a reason. He puts me where I am supposed to be at any given moment.
As a result, I’ve also been less reactive and more responsive. When I hear people say things so contrary to facts or have tunnel vision rather than an objective point of view, I’ve been quiet and listening. I have been unusually calm.
And this is new for me. Many times I’ve been the one who has given my opinion without knowing all the facts involved, or I’ve looked at it through the tunnel vision of my own perception.
God is teaching me to take deep breaths, to take a wider view, and to not respond in such a way that would cause me to regret.
Whoever is slow to anger has great understanding, but he who has a hasty temper exalts folly. Proverbs 14:29
In other words, I’m one who would normally allow my emotions to take over by becoming angry. Instead, I have chosen not to engage and by not engaging, I have still made a choice.
Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person. — Colossians 4:5–6
This is definitely new territory for me, and I feel like I’m learning more about myself as a Christian. I’m trying to be genuine in sharing my faith, humble in my actions, and am choosing my words carefully.
I’m a work in progress. I am flawed.
But I’m trying…to be brave.
This photo by Eric Muhr from Unsplash.com is such a lovely example of autumn. The changing colors, the cozy path, and the orange leaves laying gently on both sides. It makes me want to meander on my way to warm apple cider.
The simple things are what I feel like I enjoy most about autumn. There's so much to experience. Pumpkin patches, caramel apples, apple pie, and hot apple cider. Have I mentioned hot apple cider yet? ;)
You have to pay attention to the leaves, because they seem to change overnight. It's a spectacle to behold.
There are fall craft fairs, car shows, and Halloween.
Engage your senses, because autumn is here in full force. Get out and enjoy it!
I never realized how many useless digital pictures I had on my phone until I started deleting them.
Lots of motivational sayings. Food, lots of food. More than one picture of the same thing.
Over 1,600 pictures.
Until now. Two days ago I started getting rid of them. So far 500 are gone. My goal is to get rid of another 500.
Besides getting rid of the random ones that I have no attachment to, there has been another benefit.
It's fun to scroll through and look through the pictures of family gatherings, concerts, our pets, and places we've gone.
I just don't need so many of them.
How about you?
I have been super frustrated with my new job.
While I've been there only a little over a month, I hate the extreme highs and lows I've been feeling. And even though I try to laugh when I say this, "What fresh new hell will greet me today?", I'm actually fairly serious and this makes me sad.
Because that's not who I am.
And it's not about the work environment. I work in a great environment with incredibly helpful and kind colleagues. There's more stress than I realized there would be and more learning curves than I expected.
But as with a lot of things in life, when one thing after another seemingly happens, the snowball effect comes into play and suddenly the ills spill over into other facets of one's life. At least that's what it has happened to me.
I don't remember the last time I worked out or even went for a walk after work. It has been close to two weeks since I cooked a meal. I've worn my hair in a ponytail more times than I care to admit. Although I'm writing, it has been sporadic.
I've laughed a lot less.
And I realized that today, because for the first time in awhile I laughed at work. Not just a polite giggle, but an actual laugh.
It's exactly what I needed.
It opened the flood gates of what I've been missing in my work environment. I love to laugh and have a good time, because that's what alleviates the stress of the job, and today I got it.
I left work in a good mood.
And you know the best part?
I'm looking forward to going back tomorrow.
This has been a good writing week for me. I put one new post on here and on Medium about what living an uncluttered life means to me. It seems to have gained some traction, because I feel like many of us are looking for simpler ways to live our lives. We want to make them more about experiences and less about the stuff.
I have also posted two more pieces on Medium. Why I'm Trying Not to Worry about Tomorrow, is about focusing more on present moments rather than worry about what is to come tomorrow or what has happened in the past. While we are shaped by our past, it doesn't define us, and tomorrow hasn't happened yet. So, why do we keep worrying about it? However, living in the moment is definitely a process in which we need to make sure we give ourselves grace and patiences in its pursuit.
The second piece was scary for me to write. Fight or Flight Happens When Least Expected might be one of the most transparent pieces I've written. It's about my new job and how I feel completely vulnerable and unsure of myself for one of the first times ever. There are always learning curves in a new job, but this is beyond anything I've ever felt. It was therapeutic in one way but hard to admit when I might have made a mistake. It was also different for me to write, because I'm such a positive twist on everyday experiences kind of gal. This was more just me being completely real and raw. Cue the butterflies in my stomach.
As always, I'm grateful and humbled by everyone who reads my posts. While I write for you in the hope that the content strikes a cord in some way, I'm discovering more and more that writing for an audience of one (myself) is also vitally important. Thank you for being on this journey with me!
I'm a lover of life, an eternal optimist, and I have an intense desire to add value through simple living and positive vibes.