Do you ever stop and recognize the moments we are giving in this life that are opportunities to make a lifelong memory?
I hate to admit it but there have definitely been times when I have allowed the memory making moment to pass me by! I know...shame on me, right?
Recently my amazing parents reminded me how to truly take the opportunity when it presents itself to "ride the tube" of life and impact all those around you!
I pray this episode will make you smile, reminisce about memories in your own life and encourage you to be a memory maker for those you do life with!
You can listen now to "Ride the Tube" by clicking the button below.
Remember....Every step you take is progress & it matters!
Have you ever found yourself acting on something you felt was SO RIGHT, only to have it fall apart, fail or not turn out the way you thought it would?
I have been doing a deep dive of self reflection for many months and when this happens to me it comes down to one thing...I acted on Christy's time, instead of God's time!
This week, on the Progress Matters Podcast, I am opening up about the things God has revealed to me and the drastic mindset shift I have experienced.
I'm excited to share it with you and I pray my lightbulb moments will encourage you to evaluate which timeline you are operating on in your life!
You can listen now to "Before God's Time", just click the button below.
Remember....Every step you take is Progress and it Matters!
“From Him, Through Him and for Him are all things, To Him be the glory forever, Amen!”
Do you ever stop and think about why do you the things you do? You can apply this question to everything in life such as your occupation, volunteering, marriage, parenting, servicing and more.
WHY do I do the things I do?
So, I’ll go first! And I will be vulnerable with all of you. There was a time, not very long ago, when I “thought” I was doing everything for God’s glory. But honestly, I was doing it for me! I know that makes me sound like a super selfish and egocentric person. I can tell you it wasn’t that blatantly obvious to me. Again, I thought I was honoring God.
But it turned out, I was really honoring the “world”. I was chasing recognition, success, status and for my name to be known. I convinced myself that if I pushed hard enough, all my dreams and desires would come true. So I kept pushing!
I pushed to the detriment of sacrificing time with God, my husband & children, family and friends. I told myself I was “too busy” to serve at the church or volunteer because I needed to focus on “my goals”!
Sounds like a dream life, right? (insert a huge sense of sarcasm here!) Whenever I have tried to do things my way, for me, in my time, things never work out as I hoped they would. And the road is always harder and full of pot holes and bumps. It took a lot of wake up calls, soul searching and brutal honesty with myself and God to break this crazy cycle!
And now….everything is different! I am different! I am peace-filled, joyful, content and on fire inside to encourage and inspire others. I finally changed the focus of my motivation, I was changed from the inside out.
God’s way is ALWAYS best! Just like we like to tell our children that we know what is best for them. As a daughter of God’s, He knows what is best for me and for you!
This verse says it all! When we get our priorities in check and keep our eyes on Jesus, the course of our life and the quality in which we are living changes, dramatically! So drastically, in fact, we know without a shadow of a doubt, God working in us and through us is how this changed occurred. It definitely wasn’t anything I did on my own.
Every talent, skill and gift we have is FROM HIM! And THROUGH HIM we are able to develop into a person who can be used to be a light in this world by using what He gave us. This allows us to be aligned with his purpose and plan for our lives and release our plan.
Yes, release it, as in, LET IT GO!!! Why do we do all of this? FOR HIM!!! For His glory, for His name to be known and for the gospel to be shared! I know my purpose is to Know Him, Serve Him and Love Others! And God and I have been partnering together for the past two years, because I finally let go of my agenda. I surrendered my “worldly” desires and replaced them with God’s desires for me to walk out.
I no longer care if my name is known. I care if His name is known! I care about giving him all the glory, not receiving glory from others!
And you know what is amazing? When true surrender happens, God ignites His fire inside of us leading us to follow His plans, willingly and eagerly, while seeing His plans and timing are always best!
So, why do you do the things you do? Maybe my words have caused you to take pause to reflect on this question. I challenge you to ponder this and ask God to reveal your motivations. If you are like I was, in need of some redirection, ask Him to intervene. He will! And when you surrender all to Him, His plans for you will be revealed in ways you never expected! For His Glory, forever!
Know Him, Serve Him, Love Others!
Do you play the "should" game when it comes to your life?
Maybe it comes from family, friends, acquaintances or even strangers; basically others telling you what you should do or be! And if it isn't coming from them, it more than likely is coming from the voice in your own head. You know the one! The voice that tells you, "You should do this or you should be that." Unfortunately, I know this voice ALL too well! Frankly, I think she needs a name and I am honestly working on giving her one!
I have come to detest this word should. Why? Because it can lead us down a dangerous path. It has the ability to twist us up inside so much that we lose sight of who we really are. We stop paying attention to our unique gifts, talents and abilities. And all this happens because we are trying to be someone either other or the voice in our head thinks we "should" be instead of who we ACTUALLY are!
God has been revealing many things to me in the past couple of months. It has been a very eye opening experience. It is long overdue but God's patience stands the test of time. I had to get to a place where I was completely open to really hear what God was saying and actually be willing to admit some hard truths out loud. It has been heart wrenching, eye-opening, life-giving, freeing and humbling, just to name a few emotions. And every moment I spend uncovering who God says I am has been absolutely worth it. Work is being done in my heart and soul. I wake up daily desiring to open myself up to Him to see what he wants to show me each day. This season is beautiful!
I will be unpacking the lessons, truths and revelations God has been showing me over the next several weeks on my Progress Matters Podcast. To listen to the most recent episode "Overcoming Should" you can click on the link below:
I am being vulnerable in sharing this season of my life in hopes of encouraging and inspiring you to see if you have been playing the "should" game with your life. When we stop factoring in the world and all it says we "should" be, or stop listening to our own voice and start listening to God's, looking only to Him for answers: clarity comes, peace follows and we can finally feel free to be who we ARE, and escape the "should" mindset!
It's all about making progress as we walk this journey of life! Every step you take is progress and it matters! Don't give up! God's got you!
Have you ever thought about this concept:
Sometimes in order for us to make progress, we need to Stand Still!
Sounds a little crazy to say that out loud, right? I know, it did to me to the first time God laid this on my heart but I am learning how TRUE this is!
To learn how God is using this revelation to teach me and change me, check out my latest podcast "Standing Still to make Progress"! In this episode, I share the truth I am learning and the peace that accompanies being still! It is such a priceless lesson!
To listen you can click below:
One of my mottos is: "Every step we take is progress and it matters!" And while I still firmly believe in it I am also learning how progress can also take place with NO step at all!
I pray this encourages you in the season you are standing in right now!
When was the last time you were forced out of your comfort zone and into a place of perseverance?
God allowed me the privilege of watching my youngest son, walk through this recently as he went to church camp for the very first time this summer!
He has been begging to go for the past two years as we he watched his older brother experience all that camp offered. We had always told him the summer before 4th grade would be his time to begin his journey with attending church camp!
As the date grew closer, his excitement built but so did something else that I honestly wasn't expecting. He began to get nervous, unsure and a bit uncomfortable about being gone for a week. In my mind, this shouldn't be a big deal. He had been away from us many times before but as he explained, this was the first time he was with people other than family and, oh by the way, he didn't have a friend in his cabin with him. I saw this as a way for him to grow but he wasn't so sure about that!
The day to go to camp arrived, we loaded the car and off we went! On the way, excitement was in the air from both boys; although Walker also shared concerns as well! We continued to share that God would take care of him and that this would be an amazing experience! We arrived at the gate and the boys couldn't wait to get to their cabins. We came to Nathaniel's cabin first so we all got out and go him settled. Walker was itching to get going to his cabin, so off we went!
As we entered the cabin, his excitement turned to uncertainty, in the blink of an eye. There were already 10 energetic 9 year old boys in the cabin and it was crazytown. I mean, I was even a bit uncomfortable with all that was going on, so I understood his doubt and nerves. We got his bed made and helped him meet his counselors along with a few of the other boys. He told us he was nervous and we spoke words of encouragement over him and shared our belief in him! We took pictures, hugged and kissed him and we told him we would see him Saturday!
As we got up the hill and about to enter the main building of the camp grounds, Walker came sprinting towards us, eyes full of tears as he told us he couldn't do this....he couldn't stay! As his Mom, my heart broke! I hated to see him so upset and frankly, scared, of walking through this week on his own. But at the same time, I knew he needed to do this! Staying in his comfort zone, with Mom and Dad, wasn't where he was going grow! It wasn't where God would going to work the most in him! This was a road he needed to walk down. As much as it hurt my heart, I knew God was giving us the direction and strength to help calm him down and give him courage to turn around and go back to his cabin. After holding him for a little while, we helped him gain the strength, I walked him back to his counselor.
Now, I would LOVE to tell you that it ended there and he was perfectly happy, content and that his uncertainty was completely erased but it wasn't. He struggled the first 3 days of camp. He wanted to come home. He didn't want to walk through this week. He didn't want to be uncomfortable. But again, God wasn't putting an urgency in my heart to go "rescue" him. He wasn't spending all day every day crying and not participating. He was having fun with the activities, his cabin mates, his counselors and more. Yes, there were moments of sadness but he had many counselors loving on him, encouraging him and also keeping me updated as needed!
By Thursday, a shift inside of Walker happened. He decided to change his mindset! He chose to embrace this experience and have fun! And that is what he did! He walked through the uncomfortable to grow, learn and then have an absolute BLAST!!
Of course, when Saturday arrived, I couldn't wait to see his eyes and wrap my arms around him. He definitely took a big sigh of relief when he saw us and even through his uncertainty on whether or not he wants to do camp again (we are still allowing him to think and pray about this), he persevered!
This picture above is Walker reading the award his counselors gave him! He received the "Perseverance" award! He was proud! We were proud! And I know, God was proud! He learned he can do hard things, even when he doesn't want to! He found a new strength that God has equipped him with! And to me, that lesson was worth it all!
I began this blog by asking you when the last time was you were pushed out of your comfort zone and into a place of perseverance. I think this is such a power question to ponder! I challenge you to do just that!
If we are being honest, as adults, I think we often have childlike tendencies to hide from the uncomfortable situations or experiences because we like our "comfort zone"! I know I have been very guilty of this! And when we are no longer children, our parents aren't able to help push us out of those places of comfort. The decision is ours, alone!
But is it? I am starting to see it differently! In my life, God, my heavenly Father, is always pushing me to grow and get uncomfortable. Where my free will comes in is whether or not I choose to pay attention to His push or if I choose to act as if I don't feel his nudge or his call to experience perseverance by walking outside of my comfort zone!
Honestly, I never want to stop growing! And with that statement being 100% true, I also need be willing to go to the uncomfortable places, so I can experience God's goodness through the growth and perseverance waiting on the other side of my "comfort zone"!
What about you?
When was the last time you unplugged? I mean, COMPLETELY unplugged - no phone, no tv, no computer, no internet...nothing!
My family just got back from 8 days in North Carolina. My husband's parents have a farm on the Blue Ridge Parkway in the mountains. It is beautiful, peaceful, simple and apparently a place where AT&T doesn't see the need for a cell tower anywhere in the area! Each time we go, we know that our phones will only be used for picture taking because they read "No Service" the entire time we are on the mountain.
In year's passed, we have had internet connection via a "hotspot" along with TV but that wasn't the case this year. When I say we were unplugged, I mean 100%, completely, unplugged! Now, let me be honest, when I first realized that we didn't have internet or tv on top of our phones, I got the shakes just a little! I mean, y'all, I wasn't mentally prepared for the thorough technological hiatus I was thrown in the middle of! I started asking myself questions like, "But what about my business, I wasn't prepared to be completely out of touch for an entire 8 days!" and "What will it be like to not "connect" with the world for this long?"
Then, it hit me! 8 days on "do not disturb" wasn't going to cause a world crisis! It wasn't going to cause my business to tank. And it definitely wasn't going to hurt me to be a little "less connected" to the world! The truth of the matter was this was a GIFT! And I'm certain God orchestrated it for very specific reasons.
1.) Without the distractions of the "world" I was able to be completely present with the my husband and boys, the people in my world!
2.) Decluttering my mind from what everyone else is doing, allowed me to be still, rest, reflect and regain consciousness towards what I was doing in my own life.
3.) When people spoke to me, they didn't get the hand signal to "wait" while I finished texting, posting or reading about someone else's adventure that day. The distraction was eliminated.
4.) Enjoying peace and quiet, opened my ears to hear God speak in countless ways where I had allowed distractions to keep me from hearing at times.
5.) Time is precious & limited; our priorities matter and what we do to honor them is crucial!
So I ask you again, when was the last time you completely unplugged and allowed yourself to get in tune with your heart, soul, & mind, when you sat quietly with God as you listened to the birds sing or the rain fall, and when you took note of the blessings right in front of you and were ultra intentional on making memories while you can!
We can look at the world to give us satisfaction in our lives but when we do, we are missing the boat! We are actually drowning! Looking to God for our breath and being grateful for the life, love and season He has us in is the sweet spot. The seasons are fleeting but when we have our priorities straight, we can make memories that will stick with us forever!
Hey friends! How about we talk a little about passion today? Are you ready?
What are you passionate about? Seriously, stop and deeply ponder this question. What are the things that really pull at your heart strings and ignite you from the inside out?
I'll go first! I’m passionate about my faith, my husband and dating him, my kids & quality time, family, friends, health, fitness, laughing, horses, mountains, good food, encouraging and loving others BIG! Every one of these things ignites life in my soul!
I am learning why identifying these things in our lives is a MUST! It’s important to stop and really evaluate what excites you on the inside! Why? Because once you know what these things are, you can make efforts to live them out so the world can be inspired by the joy inside of you! If we aren't doing things that truly matters to us and touch us deep in our core, then we are really just going through the motions.
I don't know about you, but I sincerely believe God put each of us on this earth with specific gifts and passions to make a difference. To encourage, inspire, teach, love, grow and live FULLY! When we hone in on our passions, we come alive and we can all carry a magnetic presence to build others up, love others, serve others and bring ALL the glory to God!
So tell me...what are some things YOU are passionate about? I really want to know!
To my fellow Moms,
How many of you struggle with yelling at your children? You know, those times when your patience is tested, your frustration level is high and your nerves are shot! I, unfortunately, have reached this point many more times then I want to admit to you. But, in hopes of providing encouragement and a healthier way to deal with these times, I am putting all my cards on the table.
It wasn’t very long ago, when I was facing a situation with my youngest son that truly had my blood boiling. I was angry and so disappointed. I remember asking Jesus to help calm me down before he walked in from school that day, since I had learned about this situation after he had already left for the day. Y’all, there was a lot of praying going on! A LOT!!!
When he got home, I worked really hard to stay calm, listen, digest his words and learn the reasons why he made certain choices. And then I asked him this question, “Why didn’t you just come to me and tell me what happened?” His answer is what stopped me in my tracks and literally took my breath out of my lungs, and not in a good way!
He said, “Mommy, I don’t have the courage to come and tell you these things because I know you are going to yell at me and I don’t want to be yelled at!”
His words literally punched me right in the gut! But, frankly, it was a gut punch I DESPERATELY needed!
I’m have a fiery personality and can me more reactive than responsive at time. This truth hurt me in my core! I had created this fear in my child! I was guilty of yelling too much and too often. My actions caused my son to think lying would be easier than telling me the truth! OH MY!!
And right then in the middle of this conversation, Jesus provided an idea that has changed EVERYTHING!
The words, “SAFE ZONE” is what Jesus spoke over me.
Since that day, when either of my boys need to talk to me and share something they know won’t make me happy, they say, “Mom, I need a “safe zone” conversation.” And when the say this, I enter the conversation calmly, with an open heart, mind and ear! My promise to them is that I won’t do any yelling at all. They know this doesn’t mean there won’t be consequences for what they share but they can rest easy knowing Mom isn’t going to yell at them.
I don’t want to be a yeller! And I definitely don’t want to be remembered as one when they are grown and gone. This new practice has allowed us to create stronger bonds, repair damage that has been done by my yelling and made me more mindful of the way I speak to my children. I use this with both of my boys to provide a safe, calm and secure environment, without the Crazy, Yelling Mom present.
Do I get it right all the time? I wish I could say, “Yes!” but the truth is, no…I still fall short on some days. But when this happens I catch it much faster than I used to and we worked through it together! Because I know, if the lines of communication between us are broken, the struggles and division we would face would be unbearable! And that is not a reality I ever want to live in!
Maybe you can relate! Maybe the “safe zone” can help you in some way with your children, if you struggle with yelling like I have! I believe in the Mom network and that when we share our best practices, we can all benefit in one way or another to be the best Mom’s we can be! My prayer is that this has encouraged you in some way today!