Capable

Last Christmas I was gifted a Cricut Explore Air 2 .  With three kids ages five and under, I was terrified to even open it.  I needed the perfect space, the best ground rules for my kids to follow in reference to it, and time.  Time to create.

So, there it sat for seven months.  Seven months.  I was working up all these dreams, things I’d make and create with it.  Things I would save money and time by making myself.  But they were just thoughts.  Because my Cricut still sat in the box in my closet starring at me each day.  Wooing me to try it.

So I set it up.  It didn’t fit on the shelf I wanted so on my desk it went.  Open for my kiddos to rub their greasy sticky fingers on.  As I’m writing my two year old is open and closing the Cricut.  Its nerve racking.  I keep hollering things at my kiddos.

“This is expensive.”

“Don’t touch it.”  (which brews all sorts of excitement!)

But I went for it anyways, trying all sorts of things.  Putting together a mat and just printing.  Messing it up and trying it again.

It’s not as stressful a week later.  I’ve made a phone case sticker, prints, cut outs.  It’s fun.

I love to create.

So what’s something new you’ve wanted to try, but just can’t find the time?

I know these two things: desire and time are never just available.  You have to be intentional.  Even with the fun stuff, especially with the fun stuff.

Create something new today.  Go for it.

Just a new route

So my goal this year is to read two books a month.  That’s not an outlandish goal by any means.  But with three kids, it felt like a good goal to me.   So far this year this has looked like a chapter or two a night, or I’ll read some in the afternoon.  Pretty casual.  I’ve been hitting my mark each month, but some months I have to be more intentional about that goal.  Like in June.

Sweet June rolled around.  And we went on vacation, (ooooh a flight, I’ll read then, as I’m chasing my two year old down the aisle), I got to spend time with my best friend (totally worth not reading!!!) and so vacation was kind of a bust on reading.    No big deal, I’ll read when we get home I thought.  Needless to say, my books I picked were hard to mull through chapters, which I do not like to do anyways.  A parenting book that is going to take me six months or more to read, because it’s heady.  Therefore, I only finished one book in June.  Everybody Always, by Bob Goff.  (As I look back now, if that is the only book I read this year it was worth it, great read!)

Now this is where my downfall normally happens when I set a goal.

I failed.

Goal: two books a month, read: 1 book in June.  Those numbers aren’t matching sister!  There’s still one left over which equals fail.  (I’m math minded so I see a lot of life this way.)  

For some reason, I channeled this thinking towards another route.  My books were too tough to thumb through quickly.  So in July, I picked up a few young readers novels at the library about the Holocaust.  Tough topic, but I was confident I’d finish them in a week.  Boosting my self-esteem on not finishing my goal for June.  July pasted and I had read four books!  Boom.

And I read four books without feeling like I was just reading to finish, I was able to absorb.

I love this.  It was simple.  I need simple.  Sometimes our course just needs a little boost or readjustment, not a whole overhaul.

Shift your perspective, give yourself a boost, and continue on those goals you set in January.  You are worth it.  And I bet if you wrote them down, the goals you set are worth it too.

What’s your never?

These are the areas I’ve struggled the most: the areas I told God “never.”  Never would I share, never would I do that, never would I say that, never would I treat someone like that.  Never, never, never.

My heart was so intentional about saying never.

For example, my two year old just cried himself down for nap.  I said I would never.  I know not realistic, but my heart just aches when my kiddos are crying.  However, my two year old needs a nap, and he won’t go with others in the room.  So I shut the door, and he cried for less than a minute.  And I hear a gentle whisper say “see he is okay.”  And maybe more importantly “you are okay.”

Lots and lots of parenting things I said I’d never do (pre kids of course because you are always judgmental until you walk through it-am I right?).

When I have claimed “never” over an area of my life those are the times I’ve struggled the deepest in my faith.  When I’m actually faced with the reality that “never” is now a possible option or just the reality of life at the moment.  I hurt, I resist even more because I’ve promised myself never.

Maybe for you it is medication to help you stay sober, or the keep you calm.  Maybe you said never to counseling because you had a bad experience.  Maybe you said no to taking care of yourself, because we are supposed to serve right?  I won’t be like them…on and on we go.

Our mind keeps track of that inner voice, and when we say no I’d never, our mind has a hard time letting us do it when it actually is good for us.  Or a good option for the time.  Allow yourself freedom, because others around you need that same freedom to move and live and make decisions.

What are some of your never-s?  Maybe some are funny, and maybe some need an evaluation.  Let God search you.  It is for freedom.

Rewriting Your Story

Two songs that are speaking to my heart right now are Phil Wickham “Till I Found You” and Steffany Gretzinger “Letting Go.”  Go Listen!

A line in Phil Wickham’s song is “You are rewriting my story.”  Man, it’s is singing to my heart right now.  Maybe you planned life differently.  Maybe you hadn’t really planned at all and are taking life as it comes.  Even so, I’m sure you had an amount of expectation on what life would look like even if generally.  Those expectations can be great if life goes as planned, if it all turns out great.  But what about those hard pieces that inevitably come?

John 16:33 “I have told you these things so that in Me you may have peace.  In this world you will have trouble.  But take heart!  I have overcome the world.

(The red felt appropriate, words from Jesus.)

So maybe we can let go of the expectation that life with Jesus will be easy.  That we shouldn’t have to endure hardships.  That’s why we came running right?  To him for salvation.  But I think it is when our faith endures these hard times that we are refined, our true selves brought forth.

Now the second song “Letting Go” has a line “I’m letting go, and falling into you.”

Letting go of what others think.

Letting go of fear.

Letting go of lies.

Letting go of who we think we are.

Letting go of self doubt.

Letting go of shame.

Don’t worry we aren’t letting go into an abyss, if we have Jesus.  We are letting go and clinging to him in the tough and in the good.  We are stepping with one eye peeking open praying “Oh please have me Lord.”  And I think we can let go, because His plan will be infinitely better.  Do we believe it is better?  Letting go requires trusting our God is really good.  And that He will be good to us, even still.

Another lyric, “You unwind me until I’m totally undone.”  Oh, let that sink in.  How many of you need Him to unwind you?  Yeah, me too.  Me too.

So let Him write a new story.  Start by letting go, so you can become the person who celebrates others, who is brave, who steps out, who has confidence in themselves, who looks up instead of down at their feet, one who stands tall proud of who you are and the God you serve.

I’m still figuring this all out.