Future Hoping

We, as a generation, or maybe even a society, spend a lot of time looking to the future. I believe that a lot of that is beyond our control. From a very young age, children are asked what they want to be when they grow up.

Children are always playing house, classroom and other games that they act as adults. As children get older, they begin taking personality tests and career tests in 7th and 8th grade, to start preparing their minds. Then in high school, students are bombarded with this constant question of what they’re doing with the rest of their life. They take classes about careers, they take tests to show them what career would be best for them, they have meetings with school counselors about their future, they plan their classes around what they want to do after high school. Then they move on to their university or college of choice, and within two years of basic courses have to have an absolute decision on their major by their 3rd year.

It seems crazy to me!

How can a twenty-something, or younger, know what they want to do for “the rest of their life?” They can’t! We can’t know what tomorrow will bring, let alone 20 or 30 years. You could have a gaggle of children, and a stay at home parent. You could be the bread-winner for your family. You could still be single. You and your spouse could both work full time. You could be diagnosed with a fatal disease. You could have a child with a disability. The list goes on and on, of things that we can’t plan for. Sometimes life takes you on an adventure that you least expected, and we miss all of the adventure. We miss the lessons we could have learned, and the sights we could have seen.

Not only are we constantly looking and planning for years in the future, but we are constantly living in the future. Wishing for this, hoping for that and planning for all things in between. I know, it’s a difficult habit to end, and often times I don’t think we realize what we’re doing.

This trip has helped me to realize how much time I spend planning for the future, and completely miss present moments. I’m so focused on an end-goal that I lose track of what’s really important, right now.

Teaching children really helps to realize this. As an example, one week in Honduras, I was teaching about jobs, and when I asked the meaning of “chef” in Spanish, one of my students raised his hand and said “Mami”. I was so focused on getting them to the end-goal of understanding what these jobs are, that I almost didn’t stop to enjoy the moment.

Moments come and go so quickly. I’m not sure what the solution to the problem is, or if there even is a solution. Is it possible to fully live in the present, while still having a grasp of the future? I believe we need to have a rough idea of our future, and having goals is important. I also believe that we miss too much of what is happening around us because of our own plans.

What moments have you been missing, and how can you truly live in them?

Have a blessed day!



Post 100


Post 100!?

I actually posted something completely different, but then realized the significance of this post!

I want to just discuss some of what God has done through this blog and my dreams for it.

What this is:

I started this blog a year and a few months ago. It was started as a way of staying connected with another friend who was away at university. It was my third or fourth blog. All me previous attempts at blogging failed. I would be so excited about it for a month or two, but then I’d move on to bigger and better things (or so I thought).

This blog eventually turned into a spiritual and creative outlet. It’s a place for me to share my heart, thoughts and learning experiences.

God has used this blog as an outreach to others as well. Every so often, I receive an “Amen!” from a friend or a stranger. My blog used to be read by a friend or two, my mom and her friends (my awesome cheerleaders). Now I watch as God takes it to reach a greater crowd. It has literally provided me with two of my current jobs.

God has used this small corner of the web to foster my gift for writing. I have always doubted my abilities, and still do at times, but every time I write something new, I receive positive feedback.

I continue to pray over this blog and the words I write. My prayer is that God would direct it in the way He sees fit, and that I would attempt to glorify His name in the process. Because of this prayer, I have had to make decisions on the directions I wish to take it.

A couple examples of this are when I posted about growing out my pixie cut and about how to make hassleback potatoes. The audience I reached from those were incredible. I actually got a “like” from Chef Nedra who was on Season 11 of Hell’s Kitchen (what?!). I realized pretty quickly that I could have continued with similar posts, and gotten the publicity. As soon as that thought appeared, I knew that wasn’t what I wanted. My heart is to reach people for Christ; to encourage and connect with others. I may occasionally write posts about recipes or beauty, but that will never be my focus.

I want to do this because God is calling me to. I will continue to write and post here as long as I feel God directing my thoughts and words.

My dreams for this:

I’m almost afraid to write these out. Not out of fear that I can’t or won’t accomplish them, but because I understand how important it is for our dreams to fall under what God may have for us. That dreams like this would pull us closer to Him and our purpose, and not pull us away or allow us lose focus.

More of me is excited to share this so that I may look back on it in the future and see what God has done!

I have had a dream of writing a book for a while. It’s been an extremely slow development, and I’ve decided to leave it on hold until I undoubtedly know what that is supposed to be. For now, I’m going to write here. My dream is for this to become a place that cultivates greatness.

I do not mean cultivates me as great, but rather God. A place that followers of Christ can come for a moment of rejuvenation and encouragement. This is an outlet for me, in many ways it is a blessing. For other people, writing is more of a stress than a freedom from stress. Faithful followers are giving their energy, preferences and time up in service of others, but you can’t give without being filled up first. I want this to be a spiritual gas station. A place that people can come to receive that little bit of fuel to continue accelerating. My hope is for this to become a place for devotions. Where each post acts as a devotional, but they aren’t specific to any theme and aren’t dated.

My dreams and passion for this blog are forever evolving. I’m slowly learning what works and what doesn’t, but my prayer is that God would continue to use it in whatever way He sees fit. That I would simple be the vessel to spread his mercy and powerful grace!

If you think to, I would love any prayers you’re willing to send up for me. For my blog and that God would do His work in it, and for me that I would continue to pursue these things without skipping ahead of Christ first!

I can’t thank everyone enough for stopping by and reading and for all the amazing input and feedback. I feel so incredibly blessed to have this place to process life and share real-life craziness with you!

Have a blessed day!


One Step At A Time

I accidentally read today’s devotion yesterday, and yet I didn’t pick up on this until the second time around. I’m reading through Jesus Calling and the the very last line today is, “I will open up the way before you, one step at a time.

If you read my previous post, you will understand that my heart and dreams for my life are changing. Rather, I’m realizing I stepped ahead of God and made plans, and realized I hadn’t been stopping and checking with Him along the way. So here I am, back at square one.

Last night, I was reminded that I am just like my father. I don’t do well without a plan, of some kind. I’m always very open to spontaneity or changes, but I like to have a rough idea planned. Since my dreams for Honduras have been changing, and I’m really working on following what God has, I’ve had to drop everything I have planned. I have goals, things that I someday wish to accomplish, but I have no plan.

Except, of course, to return to Ohio and take things one step at a time.

This trip has shown me how much I love to teach. It has shown me how difficult discipline is with a language barrier. So other than finishing my Elementary Education degree, and eventually doing a year for my license, I have no plan.

Exodus 14:14 says, “The Lord will fight for you, you need only to be still” (NIV). I like the NCV even more, which states, “You only need to remain calm; the Lord will fight for you.” Remain calm, be still!

How often do we walk ahead of God, and find ourselves in a rough patch? We walk ahead in the small stuff and the big stuff. Here I had my entire future planned out, and had walked ahead of Him. This is the God who created me, who knows how many hairs are on my head, and yet I can’t trust him with my future? Of course He has it all planned out, and He will show it to me in His perfect timing. I need to be still, to sit in His presence, and to take life step by step. Not all in one giant leap, but each small step.

I may be at square one, once again, but I have this incredible God leading me. This time, I’m going to make sure He’s leading and I’m following. My prayer is that God would make it extremely obvious to me, which step He wants me to take and when.

My prayer is also that anyone that reads this may realize they need to take life step by step, walk with patience and be still!

Have a blessed day,