Sunday, January 27, 2008

Exciting Changes!

Check back on February 18th for big changes here on my blog!

Friday, January 11, 2008

Ever feel like a failure?

Yes I have. I can't count how many times I've felt that I've failed. It's one of those things that is common to man. We all know, we've all been there.

I recently had an experience that made me feel like I'd shipwrecked. I let myself and others down. It's been on my mind--eating at me and washing away memories of successes. I ask myself, "Why does this happen? I'm mature in age and in my Christian walk, yet I allow these "negative" life experiences to get me down. I ought to know better than to wallow in guilt and self-doubt. They benefit no one."

In truth failing's not all bad--in fact we should desire it. What!? Did I really say that? Yep. Goofing up provides opportunity to learn. We need to allow the fertile soil of failure to grow us. Some of my best lessons have come from my greatest disappointments. Course there are those failures I continue to battle and probably will until I step into eternity. If I let them rule my life, they may destroy the good work God has in mind for me. So, I try not to dwell.

The enemy can have a hayday with our missteps. That is if we allow him to reign in our lives. We can get focused on whatever it is that we did wrong or whatever didn't measure up to our expectations. We get stuck and sometimes become too afraid to do anything and end up parking ourselves in a comfort zone that produces no fruit.

What might we do differently? How about if we ask God what he wants us to gain from the experience? Look at Him instead of the stumble we've taken. He has so much to teach; all He needs is for us to be teachable.

The world of writing is all about mistakes. Writing is rewriting. My days are filled with repairing my work and hoping I can brng it to a place where it shines. I can look at each rewrite as if its a failure or I can see it as one step closer to success. I'll take success, thank you.

I don't mean to belittle our blunders--some of them are biggies with lasting consequences. But allowing failure to derail us could mean a life wasted. That's a tragedy.

It's not easy to get back on that "horse" that dumped us, but what is our alternative? The "I'm stupid, no good at anything" junk we tell ourselves gangs up on us and brings a smile to the lips of our enemy.

So . . . what I want you to know is that failure is momentary and human. Even the worst of our failures need not stop us. Let's encourage each other to move forward--afraid yet courageous. God wants us to trust Him. And He offers us the gift of His love, which never falls short of expectations and covers all our blunders.

We're not alone. God sees it all--the mother who didn't do it right every time, the doctor who missed a diagnosis, or the attorney who couldn't see the pitfalls of a case. No matter what it is we think we've done that can't be repaired, God sees it and His grace covers it all.

We're more than our performances--we're God's creation. And His plans are bigger than our failures.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy New Year!

If the truth be told, most of us consider (just consider mind you) making New Year's resolutions. Face it, we all need improvement. So, we resolve to change, but how many of us truly make lasting changes? My track record is pretty poor.

I have a list of much needed improvements, but without a miracle they're not going to happen. I know myself too well. Afterall, I've lived with me for fifty-five years. Even when I make positive steps forward I almost always fall back into old habits. So just thinking about New Years Resolutions makes me feel defeated. Yuck. I hate that part of myself, the no self-discipline part.

So I'm not even going there. Instead I'm just going to keep walking with my Lord and trust in the process. After all, God promises He will complete the work He began in me. And I can rely on Him. He never goes back on His promises. With that knowledge in my heart, each morning should be met with expectation because I know He has something for me that will work toward the promise He's made about my personal growth. The only stickler is that sometimes growing involves pain. Don't like that much but the outcome--me refined--is worth the polishing process.

So, I'll keep hanging out with my Father, my Friend, my Redeemer, my Protector, my Creator, my Lord, my . . . everything and change will come. I know it because He and I have a history together. He's brought me a long way and I trust Him. He will never leave me nor forsake me. I am His, the good and bad parts of me. He loves it all.

So New Years resolutions aren't part of my life. All that really matters is spending time with the Creator of the Universe, the One who knows me best and knows what's best for me. I plan to rest in His presence and soak in all the good He can give me. Like the warmth of a sunny day in spring I am imbued with faith, hope and love, which is given by Him.

So, this year I look forward to intimate moments with my Lord and the new insights He will give me, lessons he will teach, and His continued presence and protection. I trust that He will guide my steps and show me the way He wants me to go. Peace comes to me only when I contemplate on these things. I pray you also will find the peace that God gives--peace that passes all understanding.

Happy New Year!

And the winner is . . . !

We have a winner! I just need a name. :-)

Would the person who left a comment and signed in as Ausjenny please contact me? You've won a copy of my book To Love Anew. Congratulations!

Thanks to all who left comments or contacted me privately and shared your family Christmas traditions. I love the ideas and diversity!