His Plans Are Perfect Plans

The last few days I have been reminded just how imperfect I am. Now, I don’t mean this in a beat-myself-up kind of way, but more in a should-have-opened-my-eyes-earlier sort of way. As I mentioned in my last post, I know God has a plan for me, it’s just difficult to not want to know what it is right now. Same goes with the plans I make; I think they will be perfect and well thought out, but nope. Instead, the plans are imperfect, and have a tendency to either fail awkwardly, or just don’t go through at all.

 

But not God’s plans. God’s plans do not fail, and this I have to remember. My plan didn’t fail because God is angry at me and wants to see me hurt; my plan failed because as an imperfect being my plan too will be imperfect. As God works through the plan that He has created for me, and I walk along His perfect path, I forget. I forget and then I decide to forge my own path because hey! I know what I want to do, and where I want to go.

 

Then, when it becomes clear that the path I chose is not so perfect, I turn around. Well, sometimes I turn around; sometimes I forge on even more, thinking that there will be light at the end and I will get to the place that is wonderful, and beautiful, and perfect. Except, then I don’t, and then I turn around, back through the path that I created to where He is still waiting, patient, as I step back onto that perfect path he paved.

 

Sometimes, it feels like a never ending cycle. Or, I feel like I am going along on the paved path only to find myself wading through the weeds. It’s not fun, but it reminds me that I also need to be patient. With myself and with God. Which is not easy; living in world where there are alerts everywhere it’s easy for me to fall into the idea that if I don’t know what’s going on right now, well, what’s the point?

 

Slow down? But why?! I love going fast, why would I want to slow down?! Except, when I don’t slow down, I forget to listen to and for Him. I’m too engaged in the wants that I’ve created, that I miss out on the needs that He is providing.

 

My plans will be imperfect because I am imperfect. God’s plans are perfect because He is perfect. I just need to remember this mantra, no matter how long it is!

Living a Life Unsure

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. ­­Jeremiah 29:11 (ESV)

I absolutely love this passage; God knows where we are going. He has already planned out a future for us, long before we knew we had one. And yet, my thoughts, words and even my actions will say differently. Each day I hope for something new to come along. I put my resume out there and hope (mind you, I didn’t say pray) that something will come of it.

And then it doesn’t, and I feel defeated. Why me? Why am I having all this bad luck? And I go to God, and I bemoan a loss that may actually be beneficial. In all of this, I have not gone to God beforehand, prayed on anything with Him and to Him. No, I’m basing this all on luck and wishing. Fly away little resume, and hopefully you’ll come back with good news.

All because I don’t want to live a life unsure. We look both ways before we cross the street, so why wouldn’t I want to know what my future may hold for me? I feel the compelling need to know what will be coming around the corner so I may brace myself for impact. But that’s not what God tells us to do. Or Paul. As he writes in 2 Corinthians 5:7 “….we walk by faith not by sight.” I have been relying solely on the physical and not enough on God until after the fact.

It’s time for me to live a life unsure. I will continue to post my resumes to positions, but now I will also be praying on it beforehand. God is next to me, He is there for me and with me. He has placed family and friends in my life to help me through and recognize this and not to keep fighting this on my own. The future is in the dark, and that is scary but His light shines the way, and I just need to follow.

You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:13 (ESV)

 

Life Needs Action

A few days ago I was listening to one of the talk radio shows I enjoy. The commentator had mentioned that he had gone to the doctor earlier that day and had seen a poster with the word “Hope” on it, and spoke about the meaning of the poster for his listeners. And then a young man called in regarding the poster. He made mention that hope is the opposite of action, and this struck a chord with me.

By definition, hope is a verb meaning: to want something to happen or be true and think that it could happen or be true. In order for a word to be a verb, it needs to have action; in this case, it’s not physical but mental. I cannot hope something to happen, as that’s too close to wishing. It reminds me of the old saying, “If wishes were fishes we’d all be casting nets.” It’s good to hope, but in order for it to happen, there needs to be a physical exertion.

I can hope to lose weight, but unless I to do so I need to eat better and exercise.

I can hope to find a new job, but in order to do that I need to work at it, sending out my resume and making sure I’m visible to future employers.

I can hope to visit Europe again, but I best save money and make sure I pay off my bills first.

There are so many things I hope for; there are so many things I can tell you that I hope to happen. Hope begins as a seed; we plant it in our minds and from there we can cultivate our thoughts. Instead of burrowing it too far down, let the seed grow roots. Water it, feed it, and allow your hopes to become action.

It’s always easier said than done, but with determination and elbow grease and the help of God, anything can happen.

I’m Not Setting Resolutions, Just Goals

At the beginning of the new year, or even in the month leading up to it, the idea of resolutions is heavy. Will you use the new year to lose weight? Get out of debt? Get a new job?

But what happens when you break away from your resolution? January is all hot and heavy; getting out there and busting open any doors that may have been put in your way. Then, February comes along and the motivation starts to dwindle. No longer is there time to get in the morning jog; or an unexpected bill comes along that needs your monetary attention; or you received another auto-reject letter in your inbox, and well, what’s the point?

Except there’s always a point. There’s a reason you went out of your way to resolve to do something different. And while I didn’t make any resolutions this year, I have made goals. Goals that I am making sure I stick to because I promised myself I would do so. In order to stay on track, and in my case for the beginning of the year it is to find a new (and satisfying) job, I signed up for the blogger Jon Acuff’s 30 Day Hustle challenge and I love it! Every day there is a new “challenge”, a new post on Facebook for people to write to others: either, in my case, strangers or even friends, on what they are doing, how they are doing, and why they are completing the Hustle challenge.

Now, I’m going to be a realist; after the 30 days are up I will need to continue on my own. And it’s scary. I can be a defeatist; my anxiety will kick in and that one auto-reject email may send me over the edge. I know because I’ve been here before. In this instance, I can’t let my old habits rear up. I’m out of a job in April (my position is being outsourced) so I can’t let my defeatist attitude get in my way.

I’m thankful that I found this group right now; I am thankful that I am able to put my insecurities aside and open up to complete strangers on Facebook. There is a reason for it all; God has brought me to and through different parts of my life and I am so ever thankful to Him. He knows where I need to go, I just need to get on the path!

 

Throwback Thursday: Misrepresenation of the Mouth

Awhile back I had another blog, on another site, and I had written this blog post. And I liked it, I liked it a lot! So here you are! Please enjoy a blast from my past.

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I struggled a little bit with what I was going to write this week. And then it hit me; something like this has been on my mind for awhile now. A few days ago I “Liked” a photo on Facebook and as soon as I did so, I kept thinking that the reverse is true as well, though there are times I don’t like to think about it. Here’s the photo:

 

 

It’s such a simple saying and so true at times. When we’re crabby, when we’re talking in text or chat and even when we are happy our words can misrepresent our moods. There have been so many times when I have wished I could take back my words; say to friends or family “Just because they came out that way doesn’t mean I mean’t them that way!”

 

But what about when you’re on the other side of the conversation. When I read the above picture, I can see the defensiveness in the statement. Just reading the caption makes you take a stand; it’s in the personal pronoun after all! When it’s read, we get to take ownership of the statement and we’re happy with; it’s ours, we agree with it, and we can feel almost justified for our words.

 

Then, we take a moment and we think about the “you” in the statement. I’ve been that “you” possibly the same amount of time I’ve been that “I”. How many times have I received a phone call or a text or a chat and gone, “What are they trying to say to me?” and instead of thinking that there might be an underlying issue, I assume I have done something wrong. Maybe not recently, but what if I’ve done something in the past any maybe they’re now just letting it out? Not, maybe something happened to them and I’m the first person they’ve spoken with in the last 12 hours so they need an anger outlet and I just happen to be that person.

 

And yes, I get that’s a run on, but sometimes that’s how my thoughts go.

 

Unfortunately, we like to take the possessive. Days later, we will speak with the person we may have taken our bad mood out on and if they’re good enough friends, they’ll bring it up. They’ll tell us that they were upset with something we may have said or how we may have sounded. Sometimes, we own up to our emotions and we apologize, letting our friends or family know that it was said in anger or haste. And other times, we’re like the poster above. It’s not our fault the closest people in our lives did not know or understand how we were feeling at the time!

 

I’m not saying that we need to fold; to keep our anger inside. It’s not going to work. If you don’t let it out in one way, it’ll happen in another. Or you’ll keep it bottled up inside and that’s not healthy either. There are many ways our moods, words and actions can be misrepresented to others. We handle stress, anger, and happiness differently. Just, sometimes we have to learn to let go of the possessive.