Christianity · God · My Walk · New Start

Happy New Year!

The words Happy New Year on a plain background with images portraying fireworks at the top and bottom of picture.

Happy New Year!

Today is the beginning of a new day, a new month, a new year, a new decade, and it’s a great time to refocus on goals and dreams.

I Don’t Like New Year’s Resolutions

Many people create new year’s resolutions. I don’t like to do that.  I have never been successful with them in the past and I have always ended up feeling terrible about myself and feeling like a failure because I didn’t accomplish what I wanted in a particular year.

Sure, I have lots of things I want to do, places to go, things to accomplish. I think it’s safe to say we all do.

But I’m trying to do things differently now that I’m, ahem, older (and hopefully wiser).

And, as a Christian, my ways of doing things is different as well.  I look to God for my guidance, seek Him in what I do. I want to work toward fulfilling what His plan for my life is.

Does that mean I am perfect as a person, or perfect in all I do?

Of course not!

I’m A Christian; That Doesn’t Make Me Perfect

I still fail. I still look to my own desires and dreams. And I can be quite stubborn! Just ask my husband.

Just because I am a Christian doesn’t mean that everything is perfect and that I won’t fail.  I am far from perfect; believe me!  I can’t count the number of times I have started something new, taken up a new hobby or tried to turn over a new leaf and ended up falling on my face.

Failure is a part of life.  It’s what you do with that failure that counts. Do you stay down, or do you get back up and keep trying?

Life Is About Picking Yourself Up and Continuing Along the Journey

I am learning that just because I fail at something doesn’t mean that I’m a failure.  What I need to do is pick myself up, dust myself off, and either start again or continue along the same path not letting the previous stumble determine my course of action.

As I look back on 2019 and see that the year started off very positive and filled with lots of hope and ambition, I also see that along the way things began to peter off.  I either let procrastination (another issue I deal with) or fear stop me from doing what I had set out to do.  I let myself stay stuck in the fact that I didn’t know which direction to take at times or didn’t bother to learn how to do certain things required to help move me along the path.  I let that one hold me back as I used that excuse to deter myself in my dreams.

I don’t want to be like that this year.  Yes, I’m sure there will be stumbling blocks along the way in 2020, but I want to face them and keep pushing forward.  This time next year, I want to be able to look back and be happy with the things I did, the steps I took, and the successes I achieved.

What Do I Want?

I want God to be in the center of what I do. I want God to be the first one I go to when seeking direction. I want God to be the one to give me the courage to change the things I can.

I am going into the new year with a renewed hope and desire to achieve success in my accomplishments. And I am going into the new year with a desire to keep God at the center.

Your turn:

Are you someone who makes new year’s resolutions? Are you successful?  What are your dreams and goals and ambitions for 2020? I’d love for you to leave me a comment and let me know!

Christianity

At My Age?!

I am almost 50 years old.  It seems like only yesterday that I was half the age I am now.

woman leaning on glass window

Sometimes I feel like I’m now too old to take on new roles, new adventures, follow new paths. I often think, “If only I had started this in my 20s or 30s….” and then I feel depressed for a little while, thinking of all the time I have lost and all the things I failed to try through the various decades I’ve been alive.

There is no one God can’t use for His kingdom-work

Thankfully, God can use anybody – it doesn’t matter if we are men or women, how young or old we are, what careers we have, if we are stay-at-home moms or dads, if we have kids or not. None of that matters to Him.

Take a look in the Bible. There were men and women of all ages and backgrounds. Jesus ran with fishermen and tax collectors and associated with women of ill repute. He didn’t care where they came from, what their careers were, or even how old they were. None of that mattered. God can, and does, use anyone – even today!

What really matters?

man and woman talking

The main thing, though, is that we are actively seeking the Lord, that we are taking part in the great commission to go and make disciples, that we are getting involved in various ministries to help further His kingdom. Anyone can do this, and that’s definitely a good thing!

Age is just a number. I need to remember that. Paul said to Timothy, “Let no one look down on your youthfulness…” (1 Timothy 4:12), and I believe it also works with those who are not so youthful as well. No one should look down on anyone who is older, nor should we do that to ourselves either.  No one should hinder another from doing the Lord’s work.

I often use my age as a reason that I shouldn’t do something. I feel that I could accomplish more if I were younger. Truthfully, I need to let go of that.  I need to summon up the courage, take the plunge, and just do “it”. I don’t want to look back 20 years from now and wonder why I didn’t do it, or wonder what I could have accomplished, if only…

What Can We do?

The only way to do this is by relying on the Lord. He’s the only one who can give me the strength, determination, and wisdom to do what it is I want to accomplish in my ministry now (or at any point, really). But, I need to take the necessary steps. If I don’t do anything, then how can I expect God to help or bless it?

I think of Proverbs 3:5-6:

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.

I want God to be at the center of my ministry. I want Him to be at the center of whatever I do. I need to allow Him to use me for His work, to lead me, to guide me, to accomplish what it is He has for me to do. I need to stop using my age as an excuse to not do something, and just do it.

Do you ever feel you are too old or too young to accomplish something? What has your experience been with your age and ministry?

couple elderly man old

Christianity

Being Vulnerable

woman looking at sea while sitting on beach

I want to be vulnerable in this post. I want to bare my soul. I want to help other people to see and know that it’s OK to be transparent with others. We all struggle, we all go through hardships, we all make poor decisions. We all hurt, we all cry.

I’m human, and I do all of these things. And I know you do too. I want you to know it’s OK to feel the feelings. It’s OK to cry the tears.

Caught

I’m really struggling this morning. I’m caught between two focused thoughts.

I know that there are always going to people who don’t like us, people who say mean things to us or about us, people who are hurt and lash out at us, etc.

It’s a part of life. It’s inevitable that it will happen.

I’m struggling because I know that I shouldn’t let words or people upset me. I shouldn’t give the power to them. I know it’s like drinking the poison myself and expecting the other person to die.

I know I should be focusing on those who love me, those who encourage me, those who build me up, who care about me. I should be focusing on the positive things.

Change My Focus

I know all that. I do. So why can’t I stop focusing on that one “bad apple” that is spoiling the rest? Why am I letting that garbage affect me, taint my thoughts, cause me to doubt, lose hope, or questions my future?

man planting plant

I am working at changing my outlook, my focus. I’m working at not letting the seeds of doubt be planted and grow roots. It’s not an easy task. But with God on my side, and by trusting Him, listening to the Holy Spirit, praying, and rebuking the enemy, I can overcome this. And you can too.

It’s not easy, but it can be done.

Be Vulnerable. It’s OK

Friends, I want to encourage you to be vulnerable, raw, and transparent with your feelings. Feel the feelings, but don’t dwell on them forever. Don’t give the enemy a foothold. Change the stinkin’ thinkin’, and move on to bigger and better things. Things that God has planned for you.

You can do it. And, so can I.

New Start

Something I have Lacked Most of My Life

Confidence.

The ability to believe in yourself.

It’s something I have lacked most of my life.  It’s something I have struggled with for so long.

I have watched and listed to many confident men and women, from all walks of life, and have always wished I could be as confident as they were/are.  The desire was, and is, real.  It’s something I have worked at, and something that I have felt at times that I failed at miserably.

boots-cardigan-denim-6710

Now, I’m taking steps to help build up my confidence.  One of these steps is to pray for it.  The other is to do things – speak in front of others, particularly – to help build this characteristic in myself.  In the last month or so, my self-confidence has grown.  And it’s somewhat surprising, because I haven’t really noticed. Others have. Others have commented on it – some good, some not so good.

I’ve had someone say that they thought there was something different about me, and they felt I wasn’t approachable any more.  That hurt. I didn’t know what to think. I mentioned this to someone else, and they said they saw that I had changed as well, that I was more confident – and that was a good thing!

Personally, I hadn’t noticed any change in myself, but looking back over the last three weeks, I can see it a little. I don’t think it’s a lot, but it’s enough to see.  I’m not cocky, and I’m not arrogant. There’s a difference.

After receiving that negative comment, I admit that it bothered me – a lot.  I ruminated over it. And, I almost let it beat me.

But, I didn’t.

I prayed and have decided that if someone can’t accept me as being more confident in myself, then that is their problem.

As they say, a change will do you good. And I’m making changes – good ones, positive ones, and I don’t think I should stop that for anyone.

 

Uncategorized

It Hasn’t Happened…Yet

For years I have dabbled in writing – mostly short stories and attempts at novels. I’ve dreamed of being an author, having my name on the front of a book.  I’m almost 50 years old and it hasn’t happened yet.

 

 

Why? Because I doubted myself, I didn’t feel confident in pexels-photo-834897.jpegmy writing capabilities, and I let fear overtake me – fear that I wouldn’t be able to do it, fear that people wouldn’t like what I write, and fear that I just wouldn’t be good at it.

I’ve decided, with encouragement from a few people (particularly my husband), that I’m going to attempt writing again.  My hours at work have been cut back and it’s a great time to seriously get back into it.

 

I think I need to develop my style, find my voice, and figure out just what I want to work on.  I want to write a novel, but I also thought of maybe writing some Christian articles, devotions or short stories as well. I suppose I could write here, on this blog, to help with my writing. It’s as good as any place to start.  It’s all going to take time, naturally, but I just need to make myself sit down and write.  If I don’t start, it won’t get done.

So, I would appreciate prayers for guidance and direction…and of course to fight against procrastination and writer’s block.

 

Uncategorized

It’s Time For A Change

Welcome!

My name is Shelley, and I have decided it’s time to start blogging again.  I have had a few blogs in the past that were created for various things – hobbies (typically knitting and crafts, writing, and a general “every day” sort of blog that was more like a journal.  I have been feeling for a while that I want to get back to blogging and decided to start afresh with a new blog on a new site.

Right now I am in the development stages of this blog and will be playing around with it over the next little while to customise its look.  Like me, it’s a work in progress!

I plan to have my first “real” post (I’m not counting this one) up soon, and hope you’ll stick around and come back to visit often. I’ll attempt to write on various topics – things I am dealing with, my faith, what makes me smile, and whatever else I decide upon.

See you soon!