Go Back

We seem to be a future-driven society. I’ve talked about this before in past posts. From a young age we are asked what we want to be when we grow up. In jr. high we start taking personality tests that lead to career results. In high school all the focus seems to be on college, degrees and careers. Future, future, future.

Planning for the future isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but we lose a lot when we are only focused on the future.

BUT, I’m not writing today to talk about how we need to be focused on the present. I’m writing to take a step back, look on the past and see how far we’ve come.

Think back to this time last year. Think of how much you have grown, learned and changed in just the past year. Pull out an old journal if necessary, and read about what problems surrounded you a year ago. Walk through all of your familiar places, and find the differences in your world today.

Although I think dwelling in the past can sometimes be discouraging, I do think that reflection is valuable.

There is something to be said about progress.

A year ago, I had only been back from my three months in Honduras for a couple weeks and was still in a foggy, reverse-culture-shock state. I’m pretty sure it was around this time that I went to the grocery store to buy orange juice and was completely overwhelmed by the wall of options, as opposed to the big or small sizes available in Honduras, that I left the store without buying anything.

I hadn’t started with youth ministry yet, and now it is the highlight of my week. There is no other form of ministry that I would rather be doing right now.

I’ve learned so much academically and in my spiritual walk that it makes me giddy!

God is so good!

So, take a moment to step back, reflect on the past year and think about how far you have come. Think about all the positive changes that have happened to you or that you have made. Think about your growth in Christ. Think about the sour or unhealthy relationships that you walked through and away from.

It is far too easy to only look back and see all of the trials, and miss all the triumphs. God is more than the valleys, He is the victory on the mountaintops. 

If you look back and you’re disappointed, then this is just as valuable for you. Look back and see the things you missed, the problems you wished were different. And do something about it. Reflection is only valuable when we use it for improvement and growth.

It won’t all be good, because we are broken people living in a broken world, but pray that God would reveal to you the progress you have made!

Look back, reflect and move forward!

Have a blessed day,

-Sadie

A Year of Waste

Tonight, I threw away a year of my life…almost.

I was cleaning out my night table and found a planner I was given as a Christmas gift last year from “Santa”. The purpose of the planner is to act as a scrapbook, so that at the end of the year, you can see all the memories that happened on those days. I looked back to see when I wrote last, which was in January.

I cringed.

Not only has over 10 months passed since I last wrote, but it passed so extremely quickly.

I look back over the challenges and struggles I faced, and I see all the blessings that have surrounded me and I’m simply amazed.

It has truly been an amazing year.

I’ve knocked off several things on my bucket list, such as being an aunt, living overseas, becoming a teacher and finishing an entire tube of chapstick (it’s the simple things, right?).

As much as this year has been great, it makes me realize how quickly time passes and how easy it is to let it go by.

I’m in a place in life that I am learning to be content exactly where I am. It’s certainly not easy, and it’s an pretty slow learning process, but I’ve found it to be kind of refreshing.

It feels refreshing because it’s about living in the present and grabbing on to each moment. I’m learning to stop stressing about the little things, like my grades in my general electives, and focus on what’s really important. God has placed me in some jobs and opportunities that truly help me to be aware of my surroundings.

I’m currently working at Interlink Ministries Inc, babysitting two mornings a week and doing some video editing on the side for a friend. I’m a 6th grade girls leader at my church’s youth group and also part of an awesome small group. On top of all this, I’m working towards my bachelor’s in Elementary Education with a minor in Psychology.

As crazy as it can be sometimes, I truly love my life. Some days are more of a struggle to be present than others, but, with God’s grace, I’m figuring it out.

I’m writing about this because, probably like you, I easily get caught up in the future.

I am a planner, it was practically handed down to me genetically to plan ahead, which isn’t always a bad thing.

I’m looking back on this past year and trying to grasp what I can do to make this next year different (imagine that, planning). I don’t want another year, or day, to go by that isn’t used for God’s greater good.

I’m not exactly sure what this means for me, it’s part of the whole process.

I just hope to be an encouragement to others who may feel “stuck” with where they are right now. If you’re that person, what can YOU do to get out of that place? Yeah, I’m saying you can change it.

I’m not saying to move away, quit your job or do anything drastic, but to just look at your options. We always have options!

Even if it’s just to have a better attitude about things, it surely will make a difference!

So, what can you do to be more in the moment? To grasp today and make it memorable?

Don’t let this next year, or day, be a waste.

Have a blessed day,

-Sadie