Friday, January 24, 2014

Under Pressure.



PRESSURE. This would be the perfect moment to cue that old school Queen song, but don't worry I won't [haha].

If you haven't noticed, pressure is all around us.

Pressure to get married in your 20's or 30's [depending on what group you are talking to].
Pressure to purchase your first home by the time you're 30 or in your 30's.
Pressure to have your career take off in your late 20's into your early 30's. 
Pressure to complete your bachelor degree by the time you are in your early 20's. 
Pressure to complete your master's degree by the time you hit 30.
Pressure to have your first child [if you're a childless married woman] in your 20's or 30's [again, depending on what group you are talking to].
Pressure to have this & that & that & this to show you are doing well financially. 
Pressure to look/sound/be a certain way [i.e. weight, appearance, etc] to fit in.

Our society is obsessed with trying to streamline everyone's life events by age. In the last couple of months I have read at least 5 articles that started off with a number, followed by things you need to accomplish in your [20's, 30's, 40's, & 50's]. Really though? What happened to just living without restraints and timelines?

The pressure can be intense and at times unbearable [yes, IF we allow it to get to us, but let's be real--whether we allow it or not, it has crossed our minds more than once]. The truth of the matter is that there is no model timeline to what every life should look like. Despite what timeline society wants to dictate to us, every individual has the right to live life according to God's timeline for their life. Not everyone will get hitched in their 20's or 30's, not everyone will purchase their first home in their 30's, not everyone will have their first child in their 20's or 30's...I can go on and on.

It is time we march to the beat of our own drum--the drum God has specifically put in our path. No need to get our beat to sound like everyone else's--let's be unique.

The point is...Let's LIVE {Y}OUR LIFE at the pace and timeline God has intricately designed for YOU/us.


Thursday, January 2, 2014

364 Days Left for Victory!

photo credit: indulgy.net

Many of us have experienced going through a bad day [I'm talking baddddd] and instantly feeling like we have a bad life. The mixture of emotions including frustration and sadness sometimes lead us to think that our life is no good. Yes, granted, our life might not be ideal in the very moment of our bad day, but we should not let it dictate our entire outlook on life. After all, things can only look up after they have reached the lowest of lows.

Yesterday was New Year's Day 2014. The words/sentiments you hear during the weeks leading up to New Year's Eve, NYE, and even after are the following:

Resolution, resolution, resolution.
"2014 will be the best year yet!"
"Cannot wait to start over in the new year!"
"This new year will be MY year!"
"I'm excited to end this year. It was so bad!"
"This will be the year of change." 

When the clock strikes midnight on NYE it is symbolic of getting rid of the old [negative] and bringing in the new [positive]. A sense of renewal washes over you and it feels amazing.

So, what happens when the 1st day of the year starts off in a negative way? Here you were so hopeful for the brand new year and something negative already tainted your quintessential picture [and expectation]. Some will probably think, "Oh boy, is this a foreshadowing of how my year will be?" Nope, it's NOT an indicator of how your year will be. Not at all! Bad moments happen all the time. We must rise above and keep living!

Yesterday [mid] morning [New Year's Day] was interesting. Approximately 3  negative consecutive things occurred and it frustrated me. All I could think of was, "Great. This is NOT the way I envisioned starting 2014." By the early afternoon it had cleared up and I pulled myself together with God's help and had a wonderful New Year's Day alongside my dear husband. This situation [as simple as it sounds] reminded me that if we let situations keep us down, that is exactly where we will be--down. If we tackle the situation head on with the best problem solver--GOD--the situation will be turned around! We must not dwell on bad situations or bad days. Let's get up and rise above the things that hold us down.

My friends, did you have a rough start to 2014 already? If so, don't worry--there are still 364 days left for victory! My prayer is that we continue to walk hand-in-hand with our Savior, Jesus Christ and that together we overcome the daily or weekly challenges that present themselves to us.

I leave you with this poem:

A New Year’s Prayer
Author Unknown
May God make your year a happy one!
Not by shielding you from all sorrows and pain,
But by strengthening you to bear it, as it comes;
Not by making your path easy,
But by making you sturdy to travel any path;
Not by taking hardships from you,
But by taking fear from your heart;
Not by granting you unbroken sunshine,
But by keeping your face bright, even in the shadows;
Not by making your life always pleasant,
But by showing you when people and their causes need you most,
and by making you anxious to be there to help.
God’s love, peace, hope and joy to you for the year ahead.