My happiest moments in life

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I’ve done some reflecting the past couple weeks. As I’m about to turn 32, I began to reminisce, if you will, on my life. Have I lived the life I’ve wanted so far? Are there things I’m proud of? Other things I’m not so proud of? All leading to what I really want to know most- am I walking down the path I believe God has laid out for me?

As I began to write my list of things in my life that have made me happiest, I had to face the reality that some of the decisions I’m making now are not leading to moments like these at all:

  1. I remember when I was younger and in 4-H. I was at a summer camp and I was wearing a Christian t-shirt. One of the other kids asked me about it and I remember being surprised by their lack of knowledge of Jesus. I think at that age I had assumed everyone knew about Him. I begin, somewhat nervously, sharing about my faith. It ended with me asking that other kid if they wanted to pray the sinner’s prayer with me. They did. That was the first time I’d ever done that. To this day, it is one of my greatest memories.
  2. I remember someone suicidal coming and talking to me. I just sat there and listened. Praying to myself for God to show me what to do. I just listened and then I prayed with him. It wasn’t until a couple years later that he returned. He thanked me for saving his life. I’ll never forget that moment.
  3. When I know I gave someone hope. To watch their face light up like they’ve been given a second chance. I have a positivity board in my office at work where people can take a post it note with some positive word they may need at the moment; they can also make one to put back on the board. I remember someone taking one that specifically spoke to her. She came back a week later solely to write another word to put back on the board because it encouraged her so much.
  4. I put a lot of time and effort into my Instagram posts. Praying and hoping I can inspire and help others. Anytime someone comments that it was exactly what they needed, it makes me feel like I am in some way making the world a better place. That God is using my life to make a difference. Nothing could make me happier.
  5. I love to watch and see people smile. Especially when they are doing something for someone else. A good deed. A nice gift. Watching them light up because they are blessing someone else gives me hope and inspires me.
  6. Answered prayers. Every single time. When I know God heard me. When I feel His presence. When I’m reminded of his grace, mercy, love, and goodness.
  7. Peaceful moments. Nothing in particular. Just moments when I know I’m fulfilling God’s purpose for my life.

Not one these moments had to do with money. Not one of them had to do with fame. Status. Not one about a guy I thought I liked or liked me. Nothing to do with what the world may define as success. It was never about me getting something I thought I wanted. My happiest moments in life have nothing to do with chasing happiness. Rather, my happiest moments in life have had everything to do with becoming the person God created me to be and showing that love to others. It has nothing to do with me and everything to do with Him.

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photo credit: Corine Bliek Pink tulips via photopin (license)

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New Year, New You? My 2015 New Year’s Resolutions & Great Ideas for YOU!

2015

Common phrase isn’t it? What attracts us to this catchy phrase so much is the fact that we don’t like ourselves. At least we don’t when that phrase sounds appealing. And what better time to make changes than with the new year? I’ve had many New Year resolutions in the past- things I didn’t like, areas I wanted to improve in my life:

  • Read the Bible in a year
  • Only listen to Christian music while diving
  • Journal everyday
  • Go to the gym at least three times a week

The thing I like most about this time is the self- reflection component. I always look at myself and try to pick things that will improve my weak areas. Last year I was feeling pretty ambitious and came up with this list:

  • Write down one thing I’m thankful for each day
  • Write a prayer for someone I know each day
  • Write a short entry about my day each day
  • Reach out to a total of 52 people
  • Pay it forward to people at random times
  • Read the entire Bible again

The only thing I fully completed was writing at least a sentence each day about what happened. Can I have my pat on the back now? Haha. I got overwhelmed to say the least. I like lists- they keep me focused and I can track my accomplishments. The problem I was having however, was the fact that each of these things were designed to better me but they were actually having a negative effect. I prayed, I read, I wrote, and I thanked- just to check it off my list. Real noble, right? And because of this I started to lose heart. Was I really making a difference? What was I really accomplishing?

I want this year to be different. If everything you are doing is mandated, where is there room to hear the Holy Spirit? Where is your flexibility? I believe in structure but not too much. It was with this in mind that I settled on what I want to do this year and what I hope to accomplish:

  • Christian Accountability– I started up a Facebook group again for sharing and accountability utilizing uplifting thoughts, quotes, songs, whatever. This is a place for people to share ideas and receive encouragement to grow closer to God in their own ways whether it’s through music, reading, praying, etc. I hope to not only help others but continue to grow in my walk with the Lord.
  • Passion Planner– I stumbled across this awesome planner that allows each unique person to focus on what is important to them. It takes planning to a whole new level. I can’t wait to start! I’m such a nerd:p
  • Rememberlutions– I love this! Basically you write down good things that happen throughout the year and place them in a jar or some other container. At the end of the year, you get to read them and remember all the good things that happened over the previous year. This is great for me because I always seem to forget everything I did lol.
  • Who I am– Oftentimes I get focused on what I am doing rather than who I am. I want to focus on who I am rather than what I do. Here is where my flexibility comes in. Rather than a checklist of items, I want to be more aware of myself and my surroundings to be able to hear the Holy Spirit so I can grow and improve myself and the relationships around me.

That’s all. Pretty simple, huh? I’m so excited for the new year and seeing all God has planned for me! In case you are interested, here are some other cool resources and articles I found regarding resolutions:

1) Getting organized– This is a great article on getting organized in the new year. ( I needed this:p)

2) Excellent Bible reading plans for 2015– pick the one that’s best for you!

3) 10 toxic people you shouldn’t bring into the new year– Enough said.

4) Cool ideas for things to do this coming year– minus the cussing in some parts, these are some pretty good ideas.

5) Lifestyle resolutions– this were some great ideas for improving your life!

6) Rememberlutions– what I was talking about earlier and what I’ll be doing this year!

I thought I had more on eating and exercising but apparently not. The truth is, you can start fresh any day but why not take this opportunity now to make some positive life changes? We can always learn, grow, and improve. God gave you this precious life for a reason- find your passion and get out there and start doing it.

Happy New Year! xoxo

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