Saturday, June 22, 2013

White Knuckles

This is something I have always ALWAYS struggled with: letting go. My entire life I've equated letting go and giving up/moving on as the same thing, but really they're not. The hardest thing for me is letting go WITHOUT giving up or just throwing out the entire situation. Letting go, yet staying in the situation, without knowing what the outcome will be - and not being able to control it - is extremely difficult. I honestly don't know if I've ever truly done it. But I hope to become proficient at it because, newsflash, Katie can't control everything in her life! And she can't run away from it either! Maddening and freeing at the same time.

To "let go" does not mean to stop caring; it means I can't do it for someone else.

To "let go" is not to cut myself off; it's a realization that I can't control another.

To "let go" is not to enable, but to allow learning from natural consequences.

To "let go" is to admit powerlessness, which means the outcome is not in my hands.

To "let go" is not to try to change or blame another, it's to make the most of myself.

To "let go" is not to fix, but to be supportive.

To "let go" is not to be in the middle arranging all the outcomes, but to allow others to affect their own destinies.

To "let go" is not to deny, but to accept.

To "let go" is not to nag, scold, or argue, but instead to search out my own shortcomings and correct them.

To "let go" is to fear less and love more.

Every one of these lines is like taking a hammer to my solid brick wall of everything I am. Or at least thought myself to be. But it's truth. And I want it in my life.

"And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free." 

Monday, May 13, 2013

Me vs God - Really?

We laugh to ourselves when we think of those Bible stories where mere human beings actually had the nerve to stand up to God. I mean, come on - there's a reason he's called GOD with a capitol G! And anyone who knows anything knows that a true God is not going to let mortals tell him what to do.

So why do I try and tell God what to do almost every day? Every time I question WHY, choose to ignore something obvious from him in my life, succumb to worry and fear about the future, and feel discontented, I am essentially telling God I don't trust him enough to work things out for my good. As he promises he will. It's me vs God - and just take a wild guess who wins every time. Oh I put up a good fight; one of my primary traits has always been stubbornness. But I mean really, this is GOD we're talking about, not just a grandfather in the sky or an apathetic old man wringing his hands over the state of the world. He is active. And he will see his will done on earth as it is in heaven.

The pastor at the church we visited yesterday preached a sermon that cut into me like a knife... His question was, what are you filled with? Is it Jesus? Or is it this job, that opportunity, this person, that event? And I was bashed between the eyes by the fact that I, Katie, care more about what I, Katie, think of myself, than what God thinks of me. My eyes actually filled with tears as I considered how I've knocked myself out pretty much my whole life to ACHIEVE something, to be someone - not for accolades from others, but so I could close my eyes every night thinking I accomplished something. I've never been much of a people pleaser, but I LOVE to please myself. What confronted me yesterday was the simple question: do you want to please GOD? Of course any true Christian would immediately answer YES to that question! But talk is cheap, and the real test will come in how you live your life, make your choices, spend your time.

The earth-shattering truth is that God is a god like none other. He loved his children before they were born (Ephesians 1) and nothing we can do will make him love us more. And by pursuing what I think is important, regardless of what God thinks is important, I am basically telling him his love is not enough. That I need something more than his love. Don't get me wrong - planning for the future and considering the talents and passions God has given you will help you decide how to spend your life. But there is a fine line that can be so easily crossed, we may look back at it, shocked how long ago we crossed it.

"Commit your way unto the Lord. Trust him and he will act."
-Psalm 37:5

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Don't let *it* define you

We all have history. We all have things in our past we wish he hadn't done. We all have those people in our lives that just seem to always be rubbing us the wrong way. We all feel the depth of certain failures in our lives...

And it's so easy to let these things come to define who we are. To let our failures rule us from their graves. To let what people think of us or how people choose to treat us define how we feel that day. What we've been through DOES make us into who we are, but I believe we have the power to choose what DEFINES us.

Define: to state the precise meaning of

What is your precise meaning? Where have you found purpose? Some people seriously do find their meaning through their failures and through basically looking at themselves through victimized eyes. Life is too short to live that way! And we serve too big a God to ever succumb to looking at ourselves with apathy, discouragement, and even self-loathing.

Don't let the negative things in life define you. Break free and decide that each day is brand new, and deserves a fresh start. Guilt will creep in, it always does. Take a good look at guilt in the face and say "I am bought with a price. I am loved by the creator of the world. I am sorry for what I've done, but it's not who I am. I am chosen by God and I am loved. I am accepted. And I will never allow you to run my life again."

"The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him."  -Psalm 28:7

Sunday, April 7, 2013

What's the GOAL Anyway?

A week ago was my birthday. I turned the wonderful age of 24! And no, this post isn't so that I will get more birthday wishes than I already got :) We celebrated together yesterday as a family, and my brother (surprisingly, haha) was thoughtful enough to ask me what my personal goals were.

He made a joke that I always have new goals (which is true), and proceeded to wait expectantly for my newest list of aspirations. And I was struck again, as I sat there with my wonderful family, how IMPORTANT it is to have goals.

Without goals you can have the sad experience of looking around yourself and wondering what in the world you've done with your life. God has given us the precious gift of EXISTENCE here on earth! And what we decide to do with the time given to us is of utmost importance. One day when you look back on your life, what sensations do you want to feel? Those of accomplishment and peace? Of a job well done? Or will you wrestle with feelings of regret and the emptiness of a wasted life.

Don't put it off. Sit down and write out a list of goals you have. Start small if you want. But write SOMETHING. Push yourself. Don't settle for just getting by. Look at all the heroes and great people in history - none of them were content with their lot in life. All of them fought against the human tendency to become apathetic and complacent. Let's not just look for heroes - let's become the heroes that our peers and younger generations can look to.

Don't be fooled by the calendar  There are only as many days in the year as you make use of. One man gets only a week's value out of a year while another man gets a full year's value out of a week."
-Charles Richards

PS: One of my goals is to actually BLOG more! No kidding :) So stay tuned!