God laid it on my heart to share some of the lessons that I have learned this year. Some of them are things I feel I have mastered and some are still a work in progress.
1. Do not put all of your happiness and satisfaction on a future occasion or special event.
As much as I look forward to future events and milestones, I am learning to not put my all happiness on these dates. Of course, MAJOR events in our lives should be celebrated, but do not think that once you have completed your milestone (ie. graduation, new job, wedding, giving birth, etc. ) that your whole life will do a sudden 180 degree turn and all of your problems will magically be solved. I have made the mistake of putting my happiness on a future day by saying “I just can’t wait until I do/become/reach _______, then my life will be so much better!” Some of those major events have come and gone, but did those events just dramatically change everything to where I am now completely satisfied with every aspect of my life?…. NOPE! The only person who can complete you and make you whole is Jesus Christ. Our happiness and satisfaction comes from choosing to be happy and satisfied with what God has given you, NOT a future event in your life. Our happiness and satisfaction should come from accomplishing goals, living in our purpose, and ultimately becoming the person God created us to be.
Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. – Matthew 6:34 (NIV)
2. Invest in Yourself
I am a firm believer in investing in myself, but I could aways do better at it. There is no greater joy then becoming a better person or improving myself in areas that I was not always atrong in. If you have to spend a few extra dollars in order to do so then don’t sell your self short! Do not let funds hold you back from experiencing what God has for you. Most importantly, you must believe you are worth every penny you earn and spend to become a better woman. If you want to go back to school to be in the career of your dreams – save and do it! If you want to open your own business but have to spend money to make money – save and do it! If your dream is to travel the world – save and do it! Even if you have been eyeing a certain material object (but you know that it is an investment, meaning you probably won’t have to buy a new one in a LONG time because the quality is so top-notch) – save and do it! If you desire to WORK on yourself, then God will meet your needs.
Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans. – Proverbs 16:3 (NIV)
3. Guard Your Energy
This is a good one that I am still working on, but glad I have recognized it. It is easy enough for us to be negative on our own without anyone’s help, but I definitely don’t want other people transferring their negative energy onto me. Have you ever noticed that some people love to dump their negativity on you by constantly complaining, gossiping, or just venting (but never doing anything to change the situation?). If your co-worker is constantly complaining about how much she hates her job, eventually you will find things you do not like either, or people you do not like. If your friend is always gossiping, you my dear, will eventually begin to gossip too.. #truth. So do everything you can to distance yourself from people who are negative.
Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. – Proverbs 4:23 (NIV)
4. Beware of the “Social Media Joneses”
I feel sorry for people who have the last name Jones, because the saying “Keeping Up With the Joneses” does not refer to any of the Joneses I know. However, I do know for a fact, that social media can be a huge seed for discontentment and/or jealousy, and we have to be very cautious of not allowing that seed to grow within us. As hard as it may be to put down our phones and stop checking IG, TWITTER, and FB every 10 minutes, it may actually do you some good to detach from those apps for a little while. Some people are finding themselves competing to see who can post the most fabulous pictures to have the best “highlight reel” of photos to show that they are living such a FAB life. Instead of enjoying these “moments”, we spend more time taking picture after picture to get likes on apps, instead of actually enjoying the moment God has given us with one another.
You must not covet your neighbor’s house. You must not covet your neighbor’s wife/husband, … or anything else that belongs to your neighbor. – Exodus 20:17 (NLT)
5. Everyone is battling something, so be kind to everyone
As we get older, I am becoming more and more aware that no matter how great people are portraying their lives to be, everyone is battling something. We are all going through things that we may not share with everyone or that no one else really knows about. We wear smiles as masks to disguise the hurt and unrestful spirit we battle each day, but deep down we may be battling depression or praying for a breakthrough in a certain area of our lives. So try to be kind to everyone you know or may meet. Connect with people to simply see how they are doing, and not ask for anything from them.
Instead, be kind to each other, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you. – Ephesians 4:32 (NLT)
Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God. – 1 John 4:7 (NLT)
2013 was definitely an interesting year for me. I accomplished some life goals such as receiving my master’s and traveling internationally. I also had some curve balls thrown my way as far as relationships and other personal struggles. But most importantly, I recently launched this blog and I am so very thankful for your support thus far. Please continue to lift me and this site up as I push forward in my purpose. Happy New Year!