Negative Moments

My daughter recently tried and accomplished something new. It was really cool, both for her, and for me watching the process. 

She was on top of all of the details and very excited...but then the process hit a snag. And her good mood quickly went downhill. I listened as she vented her frustration for a few moments.

"Now it's all ruined," she finally said. 

"It's only ruined if you let be ruined," I said.

We talked about all the things that went well versus the one thing that didn't work right. I didn't minimize that one thing because I think it would have bugged me too.

But when looked at from a different perspective, it didn't outweigh what did go right. It didn't take away from what she accomplished. It was just part of the learning curve.

It's only ruined if I let it be ruined is easier said than done sometimes. I know.

But how often do we let that one thing take away from everything else?

That one negative comment in the midst of positive comments?

The one inconvenience in the day?

That one thing that didn't go right despite all that did go as planned?

The negative co-worker or rude person at the store?

Yes, these instances can be frustrating, and negative people can get on our last nerve.

But once a short-lived situation is over, the choice of whether or not to dwell on it for the rest of the day is ours to make. And sometimes we have to make that conscious decision to let. it. go.

Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?
Matthew 6:27 NLT

Worry doesn't add to our days, and reliving the negative moments takes away from what we have right now. {Tweet this}

The weight of how we let situations affect us is up to us. 

Obviously, sometimes the circumstances warrant long-term concern. But other times, we hang on to things that happened for too long. We let one thing cast a shadow over everything else, ruining our mood, our day, and often affecting those around us.

When we focus on the negative, it can consume us. But when we focus on the positive, it changes our perspective and how we walk forward in our day. {Tweet this}

One holds us back. The other clears the way for the next step. 

Which will you choose?

In Christ,

[Photo credit:]

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]

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:]