Tag Archives: goals

It Wouldn’t be Called a Hunt…

Ever since I woke up in the wee hours of the night with complete peace about my next career venture, it’s been nothing but putting my nose to the grindstone. I have applied for nearly 15 jobs, most of which are closer to the school I want to attend so I can earn my degree in the most minimal time period. I tell you, sometimes I wish I hadn’t woken up that night. I think I would call the state I’m in “self-destruction for a cause.” I have woken up early almost every morning to work at least half an hour on future goals, and then when I return home from the job that is supposed to support those goals, I work on them some more, making very little headway.

I guess if getting on the right path were easy people wouldn’t talk about “hunting” for a job or “searching” for direction, etc. If it were easy then everyone would constantly be moving up the ladder. If it were easy it might mean that God doesn’t see me as resilient, a fighter, someone who can meet a challenge head-on. If meeting a goal were simple, there would be no need for a goal.

The one thing I have learned in the last two weeks of being absolutely stressed and spiritually miserable is that I can’t do this alone. I can’t! If I try to achieve my wildest God-given dreams on my own, I am, first of all, going to fail, and secondly, declining the assistance of the very giver, the very author of these dreams. This evening I took a walk down to a local church, something I like doing. The whole way there I prayed out loud, in a whisper, but still out loud. When I arrived there I photographed the outside of the church. Then I walked down to the corner and crossed the street. When I got to the gate where I hoped I could take a shortcut through the college campus, it was locked. I turned back around to head back in the same direction I came only to find that the church I had photographed was now open. I looked at the open door and passed by without stopping, but something in me told me to stop. You see, I had never been in this church or even heard of the denomination, but God wanted me to be in His house in my discouraged and worn out state.

Inside I met two gentleman preparing to have Bible Study. I explained that I have a hobby of photographing churches and asked if I could take a few photos before they started. As I took photos we chatted, and I left encouraged. Yes, God has given me a direction for my future, but He didn’t give me a ticking time bomb to fret over every waking (and sleeping) hour. I am meant to enjoy and connect with others, even when I am chasing after my dream.

Thank God that He is so gracious to wrap me in the arms of his creation and the warmth of my fellow believers to give me the comfort I need for the journey.

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A Peaceful Path

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For months, even years I have prayed for direction in my career. My current job was just something I stumbled upon when I was in fashion design school nine years ago. Since then I have been blessed with wonderful coworkers, wise mentors, and meaningful life experiences. I have had days when I was perfectly content with my job, and days, like all of us, when I have wanted to walk out and not come back. Thankfully God has always given me strength and opened my eyes to His purpose for me right where I was at.

While at home sick this last week I spent time in prayer, persistently asking for guidance about my next career steps. I have felt for some time now that God would be leading me into a new field or something much different than my current position. Then one morning I woke up at 4:00 a.m. Wide awake, I opened my eyes and had what one might call an “ah-ha!” moment. Suddenly I knew I exactly what God wanted for my life as far as my career, and I knew it was from God because this new step makes total sense for me, my skills, passions, and hopes for the future. I felt completely at peace, unlike past career decisions.

Many times it seems God keeps us in the uncomfortable waiting room of life, squirming in our seats, watching the second hand while He has already paved the path for us. Or maybe it is that our eyes are not open to His plan even though we are desperately asking for his guidance. Perhaps we’d rather snuggle into the comfort of the metaphoric couch of routine than have to face the changes of tomorrow. Whatever the case may be, when we find that well-plan path He’s built for each of us, we are guaranteed peace in our spirits even if it stirs up discomfort in our routine.

As I think back on the last nine years, I know that I have not always taken the peaceful path, and I can guarantee there will be days when I wander off the path again, but God reminds me daily that I could not be His beautiful mosaic had I not been broken first.

Published on Oct 21, 2013. Music video by Steven Curtis Chapman performing Something Beautiful (Official Pseudo Video). (C) 2013 Provident Label Group LLC, a unit of Sony Music Entertainment. Music “Something Beautiful” by Steven Curtis Chapman

In future posts you will hear more about my next steps. I am working toward them little by little each day, and I look forward to sharing more very soon.

Realistic Goals

First, I would like to say that any goal is realistic if it is God’s will and you humble yourself to depend on Him even when things don’t seem to be going right. Lately there has been a lot of talk about goals, especially in my career and blog and other more personal areas of my life. Over the years I have learned one of the major keys to setting goals is a willingness to keep trying even after you have not met one of your stepping stone goals.

In 2014 I successfully became debt-free. I’m ecstatic about that! But I haven’t been so successful at other financial goals after becoming debt-free. Despite the little hiccups along the way I have still kept trying, and become a little more successful every month. Here are a few little reminders that have helped me along in goal setting.

  1. Avoid piling on too many goals. People have a tendency to pile them on during the New Year or around their birthday. Make one goal, and when you start to find success in that goal start considering implementing new goals.
  2. Find an accountability partner, someone that will check in with you on your goal. For me, my mom made a good accountability partner, but for others it could be a mentor, pastor, or close friend.
  3. Pray constantly. When I was working on my goal to be debt-free, I continually thanked God for His gifts and prayed that God was in control of my finances, that I would use His gifts wisely and be mindful of my spending.
  4. Make stepping stone, shorter term goals that will ultimately lead to your big goal. Becoming debt-free is a big goal for most people. Setting smaller goals really helped me achieve my big goal. I set timeframes for when I wanted each debt paid off.
  5. Do your research. Read up on how other people have achieved their goals. Make sure that your goal is the right goal for you. Perhaps you are aiming for a degree in a field you are really not that interested in or isn’t a best fit for you. It’s okay to adjust your goal even after you have made it.
  6. Don’t give up. Keep at it even when you stumble, and look for the opportunities to learn from those stumbling blocks.
  7. Thank God and your accountability partner every step of the way. Giving gratitude encourages, not only the person you are thanking, but also the thanker.

Remember even the best fail, but it is the transformation that happens with the failure that really pushes you to succeed.

Happy New Year!

What’s in a Year?

Do you dread the end of the year knowing that you have only accomplished so much? Perhaps it seems you’ve taken a huge step backward and the end of the year is simply a reminder of that. In my current position I mentor and supervise about twenty UC students in volunteer positions at the hospital. Recently a student told me that she hates for the year to end when she has accomplished so little. I was shocked. How could a pre-med student feel this way?

To console her, I explained that being a student automatically sets you up to accomplish so much in a semester, not to mention a year. I asked her to reflect on all her academic achievements, and then try to remember small personal goals she’s met. She just giggled, so I told her some of the things I was counting as even small feats for the year. I paid off my student loans. That was a big one, but there were also small ones, like waking up earlier to have quiet time in the morning. She seemed to start feeling better, so I brought another volunteer in on the conversation. Soon we were all looking forward to the coming year. If we were able to make so many strides this year, imagine what’s to come.

One of the challenges of becoming an adult, is that we are responsible for our actions or lack thereof. It is easy to become stagnant and a person of habit, but there is life outside the daily routine and even accomplishment within the routine. I challenge you to look back on your day and recognize those times you could have been defeated but you weren’t, times that you overcame, you pushed yourself a little harder. Now imagine all the other ways that strength can move you forward into the coming year.

If you still feel like you have accomplished little, think about the words of Winston Churchill, “Success is going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.” If no one else believes in you at least know that God is rooting for you, and he is your strength and your might to stand up to the things that hold you back.

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Find What Frees You

My mom refills her feeder twice a day. Shouldn't we be slurping up the Spirit?

My mom refills her feeder twice a day. Shouldn’t we be slurping up the Spirit instead of chomping on worry?

In our everyday lives we experience ups and downs, but as we experience them we often don’t consider their root cause. I have recently reached a three-year goal of becoming debt-free, and now I am embarking on a new challenge of tackling a life long struggle with stress-management. Since my financial plan worked so well, I am going to use the same ideas from that curriculum to develop my own stress-free plan.

The first step in my financial plan was taking an inventory of my spending for one or two months to find out where my money was going. In the same way, I will take an inventory of my energy. Where am I spending my energy? To do this I have begun using green and pink index cards. I record particularly relaxing moments on the green index cards and particularly stressful moments on my pink cards. At the end of this first inventory period I should have encountered many of each experience. I will collect the pink cards and match them up with scriptures that bring truth, clarity, and perspective to that stressful moment. With these recorded in such a practical manner I will be able to refer to them as they come up again during daily life. Will I encounter new stressors in my life?  Of course I will, but God’s Word can be applied to any life circumstance.

I hope that this technique will inspire me to seek God’s truth in times of tension, and to live a life of complete spiritual freedom. I will keep you informed of my progress and any tweaks I apply to my technique.

And He said to His disciples, “For this reason I say to you, do not worry about your life, as to what you will eat; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap; they have no storeroom nor barn, and yet God feeds them; how much more valuable you are than the birds! And which of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life’s span? If then you cannot do even a very little thing, why do you worry about other matters? Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; but I tell you, not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass in the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, how much more will He clothe you? You men of little faith! And do not seek what you will eat and what you will drink, and do not keep worrying. For all these things the nations of the world eagerly seek; but your Father knows that you need these things. But seek His kingdom, and these things will be added to you. Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has chosen gladly to give you the kingdom.”

Luke 12:22-32

In all circumstances I will not be afraid, I will not worry, but seek His kingdom, and all these things will be added to me. Join me on my journey to becoming stress-free.

“More Heart, Less Attack”
Needtobreathe

Be the light in the crack
Be the one that’s been there on a camel’s back
Slow to anger quick to laugh
Be more heart and less attackBe the wheels not the track
Be the wanderer that’s coming back
Leave the past right where it’s at
Be more heart and less attackThe more you take the less you have
Cuz it’s you in the mirror staring back
Quick to let go slow to react
Be more heart and less attackEver growing steadfast
And if need be the one that’s in the gap
Be the never turning back
Twice the heart any man could haveBe the wheels not the track
Be the wanderer that’s coming back
Leave the past right where it’s at
Be more heart and less attack
Be more heart and less attack
Be more heart and less attackI stuck my hat out I caught the rain drops
I drank the water I felt my veins block
I’m nearly sanctified I’m nearly broken
I’m down the river I’m near the openI stuck my hat out I caught the rain drops
I drank the water I felt my veins block
I’m near the sanctified I’m near broken
I’m down the river I’m near the open

I’m down the river to where I’m going