The Unknown of Tomorrow

Last year felt like a year of extremes for me. The highs were really high and the lows were really low. There were wonderful surprises, but there was also sadness and loss.

The saying, “We don’t know what tomorrow will bring.” feels like an understatement. I didn’t see the highs or lows coming until they were already in motion. But in both, I knew God was at work.

The unknown—what if this happens or what if that never changes—might be one of Satan’s most used tools against us. {Tweet this}

He loves for us to be afraid to take a step in any direction because of what might or might not happen. He loves to get us worked up because we can’t see how a bad situation can get better. He wants us to not enjoy a good day out of fear that tomorrow will be a bad day.

We call it “fear of the future,” but maybe instead we should call it “the unknown of tomorrow.” There’s a difference, you see. {Tweet this}

“Fear of the future” tells us what we’re supposed to do… we’re supposed to be afraid of what the future might bring. But there’s no directive with “the unknown of tomorrow.” 

Our actions are up to us. Yes, we might very well be afraid of the unknown, but as I learned last year, some unknowns turn out to be beautiful surprises. And if we’re constantly focused on the bad possibilities, we will miss the good certainties.

No matter what unknowns we’re facing, what we can know, without a doubt, is that we are not alone.

Please join me at Candidly Christian to continue reading...The Unknown of Tomorrow. While there's so much in life we can't control, I'm sharing four actions we can control.

In Christ,

[Photo credit: Candidly Christian]

Linking up with: #TeaAndWord, #TellHisStory, Trekking Thru, GraceFull Tuesday, #RechargeWednesday, InstaEncouragements, Let's Have Coffee, #HeartEncouragement, Moments of Hope, #DestinationInspiration, #TuneInThursday, #FreshMarketFriday, Faith 'n Friends, Grace & Truth, #FaithonFire, Spiritual Sundays, Worth Beyond Rubies

God's Strength God's Plan

There are two things I've been telling myself a lot lately...

* You're stronger than you feel.

* You don't have to have everything figured out right now.

I've never really had a mantra, but maybe now I do because I can tell you these two sentences have helped me breathe a little easier.

Not because of anything I've tried to do, but because of what I know God can do. 

On those really rough days when I feel like everything might cave in on me, I remind myself that how I feel can't always be trusted. 

How I feel and what I know to be true don't always line up.

I might feel weak, but I know God is strong.

When I feel defeated, I know God is never defeated.

He never grows weak or weary. No one can measure the depths of his understanding. He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless.
Isaiah 40:28b-29 NLT

I'm stronger than I feel because God's strength never runs out. {Tweet this}

How I feel depends on what I can see and what I know, but God knows what I don't. He's not surprised by events or taken off guard. He knows what's coming next. He sees it all.

I'm stronger than I feel because God is in control. Every day. All the time. Which means I don't have to have it all figured out. And what a relief that is because no matter how hard I try, I just can't.

But God can. He is in the details. No matter how big or small, God knows every bit of His plans.

When I don't see any possible way, God knows the way.

What looks impossible to me is never impossible for God.

He weaves all the details of life together in ways we can't imagine or understand. But in ways that astound us and leave us in awe. {Tweet this}

I don't have to have everything figured out before I take the next step because God does have it figured out. He knows where He's leading me. I just have to follow.

I'm stronger than I feel because God is stronger than I could ever be. And I don't have to figure it all out because He already has it figured out. Down to the very last detail.

His plan. His way. And His peace that passes all understanding.

The Lord gives his people strength.

The Lord blesses them with peace.
Psalms 29:11 NLT

In Christ,

[Photo credit:]

Not Too Late to Begin

It's hard to believe it's March already. Just two months ago, the year was new and full of possibilities. Now, the winter feels long and my motivation is lost.

I think of Lamentations 3:21-24...

Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: 
Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.

And I'm reminded that...

These winter months won't consume us.

Situations and circumstances won't do us in.

What feels impossible for us is completely possible with God.

When we stay close to God, we know His love and compassion cover us. He is generous with new beginnings. Day after day, hour after hour. 

While we think Why bother? God says start again.

When we feel we can't do it, God urges us to keep trying.

When we say it's too late, God knows His timing is just right.

Who are we to say otherwise?

Every morning is a new day with new possibilities, no matter what the date is on the calendar. 

It's not too late to begin in March. Start what you meant to start, even if it's later than you planned.

Give yourself a do-over for whatever isn't working out. Mistakes show us what we can do differently. Regroup and try again. As many times as you want.

If the timing feels all wrong, remember that our timing usually doesn't match the time God has planned. Later than we hoped is better than never.

No matter when you start, just start. But to avoid immediate discouragement, be realistic. 

Dream big. But set small reachable goals. The encouragement of progress and small wins along the way help us to keep moving forward. {Tweet this}

And know that it's okay to change the plan or alter the goals. Because sometimes change itself is part of God’s plan.

In Christ,

[Photo credit:]

What Makes You Smile?

Lately, on Facebook, I’ve been asking a question—What’s making you smile today?

It’s not just a question I’m posing for others, but one I’m asking myself every day…because sometimes, no matter how our day is going, we just need to make sure we can still smile.

It’s easier when everything is happy and going well, but on those hard days? Not so much.

The smile on my face doesn't mean my life is perfect,
it just means I appreciate what I have 
and what God has blessed me with.

During this winter which seems very long—we need to smile, even on the days that make us weary of the cold and snow.

During the difficult days when we don’t know what’s going to happen or what we need to do next—we need to find something to make us smile.

Especially when we don’t feel like smiling, we can make a conscious effort to find something that makes us smile. {Tweet this}
Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile,
but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.
Thich Nhat Hanh

Once we’re in a non-smiling mood, it’s easy to stay there. It’s comfortable to dwell on everything that’s bringing us down. And it’s all too common to spread that negativity to those around us.

But smiling when we don’t want to? Some days that can be a real challenge—one that’s worth the effort.

What if your smile is the only one someone else sees today?

What if your smile is what helps turn someone else’s day around?

What if we fan into flame a positive outlook instead of the downbeat way we might feel? {Tweet this}

We shall never know all the good that a simple smile can do.
– Mother Teresa

A smile won’t fix every situation or change undesirable circumstances, but it won’t make them worse. It has the potential to change our focus for a few moments causing us to look at something other than what we can’t fix. {Tweet this}

And after a while of working to find a reason to smile, it will become a habit—a good habit. One that we’ll want to continue.

I just like to smile, smiling’s my favorite.
Buddy (from the movie Elf)

What’s making you smile today?

In Christ,

[Photo credit:]