Tag Archive | encouragement

Keep moving …

helping-handThere are so many days and so many ways that I need reminded that I’m on the right path. I know what I believe, what I feel, and what I desire. And yet those things seem to find ways of falling short of what others expect or want from me. And sometimes, they fall short of what I believe God calls me to do and be.

And so, I stand humbly reaching out my hand in love, in friendship, and in faith. I seek to balance the spiritual life I live with the physical life I’m leading. What I know for sure is that is not an easy task. It stretches me to places I don’t expect.  I sometimes need to choose something that is greater than the things I want. I must choose the things that align with a greater purpose.

To those I disappoint or hurt, I apologize.

To those I inspire, I pray it is enough to encourage you to keep moving on your positive path.

And for me, I will pray more, listen harder, and continue to seek to move in the “right” direction.

Pray for me, pray with me, and be blessed!

Doubts, Guilt, and Distractions

I was speaking with a friend at work yesterday about our journeys along the path of spiritual growth and our “calling.” Specifically we were talking about the work we are doing as writers. I am a published author working on my second book and she is a budding writer on the way to being published for the first time. Neither of us ever planned on this path but find ourselves drawn to it.

And, as with anyone on the path to their calling, we noticed that the closer we get to achieving our goals the more we have  doubts, guilt, and distractions. First, we have doubt about the worthiness of our stories. Afterall, we’re just ordinary women with ordinary stories. Well, that’s what we tell ourselves but in reality, everything in life that changes your heart, mind, or soul really is a big thing. Isn’t it? Second, we feel guilty for sometimes spending our precious family time on writing, or conversely spending too much time working or playing or whatever instead of concentrating on our writing. And third, there are the distractions. These are the things that creep up in every day life, such as illness, homework, cooking, TV, that next good book, grocery shopping, Facebook, yep, even blogging.

Why is it so hard for us to make progress just when we’ve found the thing we love or feel drawn to accomplish? Some people call that the devil. You know, the closer we get to God and his work, the harder the devil will attack to keep us from it. Others call that our own inner insecurities. All the stories of how we are not enough coming to the foreground of our consciousness to trip us up on the path. I don’t think the label is the important thing. The true important thing is how to get on the other side of doubts, guilt, and distractions in order to keep moving. Are they all really bricks creating a wall or are they just a curtain of illusion?

First things first, we have to recognize all of this as our “story” and not as the “truth” at all. Life is, after all, about living. No one thing gets top billing all the time and that is okay. Letting go instead of clinging to our stories of inferiority and unworthiness is not always easy but it is critical. If we judged ourselves with the same leniency and grace we give to others we might not tell these stories at all.

It was a good conversation in the end. We found ourselves encouraging each other and giving ourselves the much-needed break that is called for. We will continue with our living and writing on a better track for having examined our “problems.”

How about you – what do you do when you find yourself tripped up with doubts, guilt, and distractions?

What’s holding you back?

“It’s not who you are that holds you back, it’s who you think you’re not.” ~ Denis Waitley

I had an interesting conversation with a colleague today. We were talking about barriers and things that we do that get in our way of moving forward. We all have them. And more likely than not, those around us can see ours most clearly. That’s not because they are right and you are wrong. And it’s definitely not that they are better than you. It’s just that we each are in the proverbial state of being too close to the trees to see the forest.

One of the barriers we talked about is the fear of making the wrong move. For my friend it was not wanting to get ahead of her husband in leading the family in the direction she feels God is showing her. She doesn’t want to drag him along when it’s a collective journey. And for me, sometimes I question myself (ability, knowledge, strength, courage ….) which causes me not to move at all. When I talk to friends they look at me and easily see that it isn’t my inability to do the thing, it’s my own fear that gets in my way. Yeah, I know this about me but I still get hooked by it.

It was an enlightening conversation and I left feeling very empowered and blessed by the exchange. I believe that’s why we are here on this journey together. We all have a different vantage point and can see things from a unique point of view. And we have different skills, abilities and strengths. When we use our full self and all that we have to offer in service of each other then we all get a little further along the path.

For me, I know this means I need to re-examine those things that I whisper to myself. When I’m afraid of something, I need simply to ask a trusted friend to get a sense as to whether it’s a valid fear. If it is, I know those around me will help me through it. And if it’s not – well I have to stop clinging to the fear.

What’s holding you back? Do you know what to do to get past it? I bet somewhere in your life God has placed a special someone who will help you move forward too. Reach out and be blessed!