*To be consistent. To keep going and practicing the healthy habits I have put in place, even when I don’t feel like it or see the results I’d hoped for fast enough. And that takes patience and discipline and that’s not always easy. Consistency is the basis for any good regime, whether it’s practicing golf or daily devotions or eating healthy. I think we are so quick to want results, and to get from A to B. But God really cares more about our whole being to be in alignment with Him and to work on our character and perseverance in the journey. In Galatians 6:9 it says “Let us not grow weary or become discouraged in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest, if we do not give in.”
*The second big area, is to leap out in faith. Not step out in faith, but to leap. I tend to step out in faith, but then shrink back in fear. I let the negative thoughts take over, and I talk myself out of so many little daily decisions. But then I never really reach my full potential. (I resonate with the turtle in that I come out of my shell, but then get scared and go back in and hide.) But what God has put on my heart to pray for and the vision for my life, that He wants to achieve through me, I can only do through Him and His works. A lot of these areas have the odds and statistics against me, but I truly believe God honors bold faith. Faith that goes against what we see and feel around us. It says in Ephesians 3:20 that “God is able to do exceedingly more than we ask or imagine, accordingly to His power that is at work within us.” And in Mark 11:24 it says “if you pray for anything and if you believe that you’ve received it, it will be yours.” So I’m really holding onto these powerful verses and I know God can do the impossible. He is the only one who can.
* Walking in a grateful spirit. To stop looking around at what I don’t have and wish I did, but
to instead, celebrate all God has already blessed me with. I have so many good things to praise God for. Beautiful beaches in San Diego, just down the street for me. I run my own business in the cutest salon in one of the most expensive zip codes. Loving and fun family and friends. And the sweetest sidekick, Baylee, my 9 year old Lhasa Apso pup who loves to just be a homebody with me or is totally up for adventures. Road trips, hikes, walks in fun neighborhoods, swim time at the bay or beaches, visits to new coffee shops, or breweries or wineries. We have done it all and she has been on probably 15 flights and several airbnbs. She is my cute, little trooper and I don’t take that for granted. I speak of her the most in this gratitude post, because she is my daily life and as I’m practicing more gratitude, it requires you to be more present and aware of all the daily positives. And I just really appreciate all the fun we have. Dogs really are man’s best friend. (Plus, everyone who knows me, knows my mom is my real BFF and I brag about her the most.)
*) Loving people that are hard to love. And difficult to deal with. (Unpopular opinion, but we can all be that person at times. So don’t we still deserve love?) So, working through those tough conversations, heated moments and tension with those close to me and always letting them know I love them. That’s most important- that people feel loved, regardless of disagreements. And sometimes that does require a level of “tough love” with boundaries and space to process, but not wanting to have a heart of hate or anger towards anyone long term. And this is hard one for so many of us, but the Bible talks a lot about this. We are so quick to cut people off, but Jesus says the opposite. “Love your enemies unselfishly, do good to those who hate you, bless and show kindness to those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If you only love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. But love your enemies, go good, lend, expecting nothing in return, for your reward will be great and you will be sons of the Most High; because He himself is kind, gracious, and good to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful like your heavenly father is merciful and do not judge or condemn or you will judged and condemned. Give and it will be given unto you.” Luke 6:27-38.
*) Not letting others’ words or lack of validation dictate who I am. I am very self-aware and observant and can sometimes reject myself in situations, based on what I think or feel other’s think about me. Or I ruminate on harsh things about myself that go beyond constructive criticism. And I can’t do that anymore or let what people say or don’t say or do or don’t do, ever influence my self-worth, confidence, or calling. I’m more grounded in who I am in Christ and I want to continue in that light.
*) It’s not my job to figure out all God is doing and the details of how He will orchestrate it all. It’s only my job to have faith and walk in obedience. I can sometimes sit and think on what God is trying to do or His next move or how he needs me to do X, Y, Z to make something happen. But newsflash, he doesn’t need me to make something happen. (It’s not like it’s on me for the sun to rise in the morning, that I have to set my alarm and tell it to go from night to day or it won’t happen.) God is supernatural and can do anything; He just wants our hearts and faith.
*) Try new things! To get out of my comfort zone and push myself to say “yes” to more, when I really want to say, “no thanks.” I get stuck in my bubble of life and need to branch out. New experiences are fun and good for us! But boy do it I get, my comfy sweats and couch are calling me....
*) Finding joy, even in the mundane. Life can feel predictable and like you are just stuck in a hamster wheel and nothing really changes that much, at times. But there are always things to be joyful about and grateful for each day! That front row parking spot, if you are doing chores, blasting and singing along to your favorite Pandora station, a good conversation, a dollar found in your jeans pocket. Look for it each day and you will find something.
So don’t give up. Keep pursuing God everyday. Keep believing and praying BIG prayers. He’s got this and He’s got you.