Identity · Life

Motivation

I am emotional and I tend to take things to heart.  My feelings get in the way of my potential. Knowing this should make things easier, but it doesn’t.  My main goal entering this school year as a PreK Teacher and wife was simple; Be better than the day beforeEat better, Love better, Use my time better, Lead better.  The better is hard when you don’t feel like it. It is only Labor Day and I already feel beaten by looming high expectations and no time.  My Motivation for being better seises to exist.  Three weeks into a new school year I already feel like I lost my inspiration.  I already feel like I failed.

Feel. Right there is my problem. My emotions are impacting my motivation.  Reading John C. Maxwell’s book, The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth, Helped me realize something about my personal motivation and how I keep it tied to my feelings. Motivation can’t be tied to emotions or it will never be consistent.  Motivation is a lot like love and happiness. No one can force it upon you and it won’t magically happen.  Motivation is just something you have to do, and once you start doing it you find that your more motivated to do it.  In Maxwell’s book he states that Motivation is a by-product.

Qoute Jerome Bruner

Ignore how you feel and just do what you believe will make difference.  Because it is right; and soon, when you keep doing whats right, that old feeling of inspiration will find you and push you further towards your goal.

 

God, I pray that anyone that reads this will find motivation not based on emotions but based on doing what is right.  Doing something that will make a difference.  I pray you give them strength and control over their own emotions. Help them be better than the day before. Amen. 

Book For More about Growth: Read John C. Maxwell Book

 

 

Identity · Life

Why do Bad Things Happen to Good People?

“God, Why me?”  A question we often ask ourselves.  A question I used to hate God over. “Why God? Why did I have to go through that?”  The thought that God is all powerful and all knowing yet, He won’t save a child from a terrible situation.  This turns most away from God.  However, in my case, it was the cornerstone that brought me to God.  I want to share with you my answer.

“Why Do Bad Things Happen to Good People?”

First of all, you are not a good person.  We have all fallen short from the glory of God.  We are all sinners, and we were born into sin.  We are all “bad” people.  The Kindergarten teacher in me would like to change this to say; Our flesh is weak, and we make some bad choices.  So lets change the question;

“Why do bad things happen to people?” 

I don’t know.  I  can’t give you the exact answer.  I have had this question so many times: Why did my grandma have to die so young?  Why did that boy forced himself on me?  Why did they leave me?  Why was horrible sexual acts done to me when I was a child?  I don’t know all the answers to even my questions.  I know this is not the answer you wanted to hear, but this is the only answer anyone can give thats not God.  However I do know that all of these horrible things led me to where I am now.  All of these horrible things made me who I am.  These things are the very things that have grown my faith and brought me to know the love of God.

God did not do these awful things, but yes he could have intervened.  He could have sent legions of angels down to protect me from that boy.  He could have healed my grandma on her death bed.  He could have protected me when I was child.  Yes, I know who God is and I know he could have done miraculous things to get me out of EVERY circumstance.  But as my Father, he knew I would have to overcome those battle to win my future battles.  The not knowing and thinking God did this to us is one of hardest things for many to overcome.  I have heard it before, “If your God is God then why would he do this?”  I know.  I have asked him many times myself, but what I have come to realize is that we won’t ever see the victory from the battle, if we get stuck in the battlefield.  The battlefield is this victim mentality of the “whys” and “hows”.  Stop.  Nothing can change what has happened.  I wish I could change it for you and myself, but I can’t.  Yes, this world is awful and full of sin with sinful and bad people and ultimately bad things will happen.  However,  the bad things were NOT put on you by God.  “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming from the Father,”  Pain, circumstance, problems, trouble is not from God.  God is good and perfect and only brings good gifts. We may not see or understand what he is up too but, He has a plan for your battles.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.  For as the heavens are higher than the earth,  So are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.  For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, So shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty.  But it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.”      – Isaiah 55: 8-11

“I will fulfill to you my promise and bring you back to this place. 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. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you, declares the Lord, and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you, declares the Lord, and I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you into exile.    -Jeremiah 29:11-14

Have hope in yours battles. Get up and walk off the battlefield.  God has a bigger and greater story planed for you.  You are chosen and precious child of God.  You are victorious!

Identity · Life

Be Humble

I saw a quote from Daniel Radcliffe, He was being interviewed on Larry King about the final Harry Potter movie, and his role in these epic films:  “I always knew that anyone who was given this role would have the same fame.  It was never about me.  It was about this franchise.  I was simply a part of something bigger.” 

I thought of my part in God’s story.  Our part.  I thought of the fact that my restlessness with my role in God’s story has left me complacent.  Ive put more emphasis on my role than the bigger picture.  Within my own restless heart my words often start with, “My calling” or  “My dream.”  Yes,  I believe God is the dream maker and he stirs our hearts and calls us, but I believe sometimes we get so caught up in what our role is that we forget to chase the one thing that fulfills are very dreams and calling.  A complete shift in our mindset needs to take place before we will ever be fulfilled.  It has never been about me or you.  It is about God.  God is the only one that can tame our restless hearts.  The seeking for more can only be found in the ‘bigger picture’, God.  One thing I know without a doubt is my personal fulfillment is only found when I am involved in something bigger then myself, something for the good of others.

“The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.”  – Proverbs 16:9 ESV

God, I pray for humility.  Help me humble myself to your will.  I can establish my own plan but your plans will all ways prevail.  Help me focus on the big picture and instead of trying to plan out my role.  God you are my  big plan.  Anyone that reads this I ask that you direct their paths and establish your plans in them. Help grow us into beautiful servants of your ministry.  Amen

Identity · Life

Accepting the Gospel

I find myself constantly trying to earn my own salvation.  I feel like I serve and I do,  “God see, look what I’m doing for you.”  I had to stop and check myself.  In this season the enemy has been taunting me with my past.  I find that I’m desperately serving to atone for past mistakes.  Mistakes that have already been covered with the blood of Christ.  I have already been shown mercy, grace, and love yet my humanity can’t seem to forgive myself.

I find thats the hardest part about being Christian;  Accepting the love of Christ.  God forgets but we remember.  I know what the scripture says, He has placed my sin in the sea of forgetfulness.  My sin is as far as the east is from the west.  All I have to do is let go and accept God’s Mercy.  Mercy is the compassion or forgiveness shown towards someone whom it is in one’s power to punish or harm.  You see we know that we deserved the cross yet God choose to buy us back by the sacrifice of His only Son. God has the right to punish us for our actions except he shows us mercy, A mercy we don’t deserve.  I am in awe.  This love is the hardest to understand.  I do not have to do anything. Nothing. There is nothing to earn, I just have to accept it.

your-sin-is-not-greater-than-gods-mercy-mercy-quotes

I am writing, because I see so many of us trying to stay on the Platform in front of Pilot, I find we are trying to atone for sins already paid.  Jesus already took your place, He already paid the price for your sins.  He loved you so much and there was nothing you had to do.  I see Pilot taking our chains off, while we are saying, “No I deserve this!!”  All the while Jesus looks at us, “No, this is mine.  Let me have your sin, Let me have you pain. ”

You see Our greatest Challenge is not our discipline, our devotion, it’s not the amount of things we can do.  Our greatest challenge is believing the Gospel.  Letting go and letting God take our shame and turn it into something beautiful.  You are beautiful and worthy of the this great love story.  You are His Daughter and Son.

 

God, I can’t put my mind around the love you gave.  You overwhelm me.  I am in awe.  God I pray for myself and everyone else reading this, Help us not work to deserve something already given.  Help us accept Your Love in a new way.  Help us accept and show your love in the world around us. You are a good good Father and I love you so so much. Thank you for your love that I do not deserve. Thank you for saving me and taking my place. Amen. 

Identity · Life

Restless

Not long after I became a Christian, at the age of 12,  I started having a burning desire for more of God.  I wanted to serve Him in anyway I could and by 15, at youth camp in Alvin, Texas God spoke into my life of a Destiny.  He planted a vision in my mind so BIG that I have felt restless to find it.  As luck, a.k.a God would have it I recently started reading a book that I bought years before.  Restless by Jennie Allen, is a book about finding your purpose in God.  Not far into the book I am struck by Jennie’s words,  “No unique purpose for your life will fill your soul.  The only thing that will fulfill and settle your soul is God himself.”  Here I am with this aching for purpose and I have it in my hands the whole time; God.  It was so simple, but I’ve been missing it.  My soul has been so focused on fulfilling God’s purpose for my life that I missed the fact I have already found it in God.  God is my purpose.

So I might not know how exactly my life will pan out, but I know that God is real.  God loves me and has a plan for me.  God is coming and as heaven draws near I want to take as much part in God’s epic story as I can.

“If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.” – C.S. Lewis

 

Check out Restless by Jennie Allen

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Identity · Uncategorized

Who I Am

When asked to tell you more about myself, I often give a long list of  what this world says I am.  I am a woman.  I am a wife.  I am a daughter.  I am a sister.  I am a teacher.  This list just scraps the surface, and thats where I find my dilemma.  It claims my identity.  Identity is the fact of being who or what a person or thing is.  Your identity is that smallest, deep down part of you.  What truly makes up who you are.  Who are you?  What are you holding your identity in?   I realize I have been holding on so tightly to who the world says I am, but the world does not define me!  I am not a wife, daughter, or teacher!  I am a daughter of the King!  I am God’s beautiful and fearfully made servant.  My identity is found in God, not this world.  In Isaiah 43, God says,  “Fear not for I have redeemed you.  I have called you by name. You are mine.”  Our identity in this world will change and pass away,  but who God says I am will never wither.  I’ve been getting so caught up in who I am to others that I’ve lost who God says I am.  So at 27, All the things I’ve held so tightly to seem to crumble, all the while God is saying, “You are mine.”  God is constant, still, and never changing.  God is where I choose to hold my identity.

God, I pray for anyone who is searching for who they are, or what they want to be.  I pray that they find the answer in you.  That your constant and filling presence overwhelms who they think they are and becomes who You are calling them to be.  Help us love You, Love people, and be better then we are today.  Thank you for finding me.  Amen.

Thank You for listening and stopping by,

Caitlyn