Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Obstacles vs wrong directions

I had a professor tell me that once you've figured out the direction God has for you, your purpose if you will, become narrow minded with that target. Obstacles will cross your path that will try and distract you from your goal. He then went on to tell me to seek the difference between those obstacles and signs from God that you need to change directions.

I must admit I'm fairly clear on the direction I'm heading, on my purpose. It's the rest that still gets me sometimes. Thoughts start to creep in at the first sign of trouble, "what if I was wrong", "will God really get me through this", "maybe I'm not to do it right now", "maybe I'm suppose to be doing something else"...I could go on and on. But then I go back to the word remember...God uses that word often throughout the Bible. Remember I am the Lord your God. Remember I led you out of captivaty. Remember. Many times when I'm praying, having my chat with God, I hear that word over and over in my mind. Remember. Don't forget.

So when obstacles come and I start to wonder am I going in the wrong direction or is this just another shiny object trying to distract me I pause and remember....what is the vision God gave for my life, what was the direction He gave me, what does my spirit say? I pause and ask for continued guidance, for out loud direction that will overshadow this shiny object so I can see clearly. I pause and remember just how very big God is.

I have an obstacle on my path right now. It seems to be trying to grow in brightness so I can't see Truth. It's come in the name of worry, fear, doubt. And those my friends are NOT Truth. So to this obstacle I say...nice try, but I'm walking right on by ya. I know how God shuts doors (asks me to change directions) and it's not in the name of worry, fear, or doubt.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Lists and Goals

I've never been good at writing a list of things to do or writing down goals. For someone who is a writer at heart you'd think I'd be obsessed with those two things, but I'm not. I guess it's the pressure I feel after seeing my list in black and white, all the stuff I have to do and all the stuff I'm striving for. What if I don't get it all done? What if I don't get any of it done? The old Carla would rather not try than try and fail.

Slowly I've began to cave to creating a list of things to get done. Actually, it's starting to work...the problem now is I have lists everywhere! So, that system still needs some work. Yesterday in a meeting at work we were given a sheet to help us get started setting goals for the year for our individual areas at church. Apparently I'm going to set goals regardless of how I feel about it.

Then I read this "So I run straight to the goal with purpose in every step. I am not like a boxer who misses his punches. I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should" 1 Corinthians 9:26-27. Paul had a goal and sought it out with purpose in every step. God had a goal when He created the Earth...and us. He also did things in a certain order; He didn't create man first. God had a list of things to do and did it with purpose in every breath.

I have declared 2011 to be a year of clarity for me and it seems that one way I'm going to gain that is by lists and goals. So today I shall embrace the list because I see it as a tool to help me, not a way of reminding me that I have too much to do. Today I shall embrace goals because I see it as a road map to help make sense of the vision God has given me and the direction I know He's leading us, not as a way of reminding me I'll never be able to achieve that. Lists and goals help us go STRAIGHT and with PURPOSE....isn't that what we all want?

Friday, January 7, 2011


This morning the bus didn't come at the usual time, so we began to think they'd missed it. Just as I entered the bedroom to change clothes so I can take them to school (didn't think they'd appreciate me doing it in my robe) I heard them yell BUS! So I said ok bye only to hear Kaity say with disappointment in her voice "We have to ride it?" Not 1 minute after they left I got a text from Tyler expressing the same disappointment.

I got a call last night from a good friend who feels betrayed by another friend. I could hear the disappointment in this person's voice as the story unfolded. I read an email this morning that showed signs of old age, signs of death coming soon and I became overwhelmed at the disappointment of knowing the world won't know her much longer. I heard on the news this morning 8 million people lost their jobs due to the economy crash and only 1 million has regained employment; though that's promising news, it's still disappointment for the 7 million still wondering how they are going to buy food this week.

I could, as I'm sure you could, continue the list of ways we are disappointed. If we are in any relationship at all we will experience moments of disappointment. But what do we do with that feeling? How do we move from disappointment to satisfaction? Paul says in Philipians that he has learned to be content in all things....he learned to be satisfied regardless of his circumstance, regardless of others, regardless of how he "felt". Paul was a normal human being just like you and me and that should give us great excitement in knowing if he learned that we can too! Stop believing the lie that you can't reach that level of faith. Stop believing the lie that you must react to every single thing that happens. Stop believing your feelings control your actions.

Disappointment is going to happen my friends. Choose to say "ouch that hurt" and then let it go, trusting God to do what He does best....turn it into good. Strive to live in contentment regardless of circumstances, regardless of feelings, regardless of what you THINK should happen. Be grateful for your life, not disappointed in someone else's.