My parents live out in the country where it is beautiful, quiet, and serene. At night, it’s really dark outside because there aren’t tons of street lights, fluorescent fast food restaurant signs, etc. Nighttime in the country is awesome because you can see the stars shining so bright!
“You may not always know the details of your Journey or clearly see where the trail is leading, but God will always give you enough light to take the next step”
Let me pose the question…when do the starts shine? Most people will answer that the stars shine at night. However, the correct answer is that the stars actually shine all the time! However, in order to see the brilliance and beauty of the stars it has to be dark outside. Sometimes, we have to go through seasons of darkness in order to see God’s light shine through in our lives. Those dark times are usually very uncomfortable and can cause us to fumble haphazardly because we can’t clearly see what is going on around us. We can often feel alone and nervous. Sometimes, it’s downright scary because we can’t see what’s in front of us. However, focusing on that little glimmer of light that comes from those stars is enough illumination to light our path. What I have found to be true out in the country at night is that if you stand still long enough to let the pupils of your eyes dilate (become larger to let in more light), you can actually start to identify shadows and objects and can see the stars more clear.
A plaque my mom gave me in college states the following:
You may not always know the details of your journey or clearly see where the trail is leading, but God will always give you enough light to take the next step.”
Glory!! How awesome is it that God will always give you enough light to take the next step as long as you have the faith to keep moving! Just Keep Moving!
Everything We Own, Owns Us
In the Book Margin, the author Dr. Richard Swenson states “We all consume significant amounts of time in the buying and maintaining of things. A life of voluntary simplicity and contentment, on the other hand, is opposed to the unnecessary proliferation of material possessions. It is free of the clutter most of society must sort through on a daily basis. With fewer possessions, we do not have as many things to take care of. With a simpler wardrobe, our choice of what to wear each morning becomes less time consuming. With a smaller estate, there will be less debt bondage in our work schedule.
Everything we own, owns us. We must maintain it, paint it, play with it. Build space in our house to put it and then work to pay it off. Perhaps if we had fewer things, we would have more time…..
Recognize unnecessary possessions for what they are, stealers of divine time. At the beginning of every day we are given assignments that have eternal significance – to serve, to love, to obey, to pray. Instead, we squander much of this time on things that will soon leave us forever”
Wow……..Was that as much of a gut check for you as it was for me the first time I read it?!? We have become so busy with “stuff” that we don’t have time to “stop and smell the roses”. I’ve certainly been in this place before and even though it was exciting for a while, I quickly burned myself out. I longed for “free” time, for time I could spend doing the things God wants me to do to fulfill His Purpose for my life.
Guess what? I didn’t just talk about making changes, it did it! I stopped accepting “let’s grab coffee” meetings to be pitched services and products that I had no interest in or letting people “pick my brain” about how I run my business or my blog. My time is valuable and time is money. There are people who make a living by providing the same information I was giving away for free! I created more behind the scenes structure for my Dinner With Nerds Blog and mapped out a year long editorial calendar……Boy did that feel great! I purposefully spent more time reading the Bible and being in communication with God through prayer. I even wrote an article titled “The Art of Saying ‘No’ In Business” that was published in YFS Magazine with the premise being that saying ‘no’ to some things is essentially saying ‘yes’ to time better spent.
What are some things you know you need to say “no” to in order to allow room for more meaningful time in your life?
Don’t Compare Your Beginning to Someone Else’s Middle
The death of contentment is comparison. Let me say that again….The death of contentment is comparison! Comparison can make us bitter, angry, and ungrateful for what we have. The people we tend to compare ourselves to have “arrived” to some degree either in their career, family life, etc and that is what makes the things they have so desirable to others. However, if you really knew what a person has had to endure to get to where they are today, you may end up not wanting what they have!
Have you ever heard the phrase, “You may see my glory, but you don’t know my story”? We are all equipped with particular gifts, exposed to certain surroundings, and go through circumstances that shape our life experience. Yours is not the same as mine. Understanding that, we should not expect the same results with different ingredients. Everyone has to start somewhere. Don’t loose focus on your goals by comparing your beginning to someone else’s middle.