Guest Post: 15 Things To Remind Yourself Of When Life Seems Overwhelming And Difficult

Hello guys,

Raise your hand if this year has been rough. Yeah, I know. We’ve all had a rough year. Some of us have had a rough few years. Now, do me a favour and put your hand on your chest. Do you feel that? That’s called life. Your heart hasn’t stopped beating to keep you alive, so don’t waste any more of it feeling sorry for yourself. There’s time for everything in this life. There’s time to mourn, cry, to be angry, to feel indifferent, but there’s also time to laugh, hug, kiss, and dance. If you’ve been moping for a while, maybe it’s time you remind yourself of these things and finally start living life more fully.

1. You’re more than just your body.

You have a mind, a soul and a heart. The outside is just the tip of the iceberg. There’s so much more in you that people love than what’s on the outside. Put more focus on what’s inside and let that beauty flourish from the inside out.

2. You can do anything.

If you focus and plan, you’ll surely reach those goals. It’ll take work, but it’ll feel good to know that hard work and helping yourself was your key to success.

3. You’re the only person who can make you happy.

No one else can make you happy, nor can you fill voids in the happiness department with material things. You and only you can control your level of happiness.

4. Problems have solutions.

Take a moment. Breathe. Think. Analyze. Plan. Solve. You can do it.

5. Is your problem really that big or are you being dramatic?

Stop and assess. Don’t waste energy on worrying about something not worth worrying about.

6. Be thankful for your support system.

No matter how big or how small, you’re part of a community of people who love you. Appreciate them and give thanks that you have someone to turn to.

7. You’re not alive to impress anyone.

Life is not about fitting in or making people like you because of how you look or what you have. Social media is full of liars and the moment you understand that, the lesser you’ll feel like impressing anyone.

8. Do things for yourself.

If you like it, do it. If it makes you feel good, do it. If it makes you happy, do it. If it makes you feel empowered, do it.

9. Life has a long list of good things ready for you.

You may be in a rut now, but that won’t be forever. Life always gives us sweet surprises. Be on the lookout.

10. Failing doesn’t mean it’s over.

You may have failed 1,000 times and feel like giving up. That’s ok. If you don’t want to give up and know you want to continue persevering, that’s also ok. It’s not over until you say it is.

11. People love you, so why don’t you love yourself?

We have this tendency to constantly self-deprecate. We under-value and under-appreciate ourselves, when the people we know value and love us. If they can love you, you can definitely love yourself too.

12. Life doesn’t suck as much as you think it does.

If we look hard enough, finding the bright side to life isn’t all that hard. Count your blessings, literally. Write them down and be amazed. Your life isn’t that bad.

13. You’re not alone.

We’re all on this journey together. And yes, life can seem easier for some and harder for others, but a wise man once said, “the sun rises for both good and evil”. You’ll get a fair shot at the things you want, but in the meantime, rest assured that everyone is fighting for something. You’re not an isolated case.

14. Messing up just means you’re human.

Congrats, you’re not a robot, or an alien, or a fictional character. You’re a real, live person who stumbles. Dust yourself off and start over. It’s that simple.

15. Don’t deprive yourself of anything lovely.

Never deny yourself the opportunity to love, eat, dance, sing, cry, shout, etc. Go. See new places, make new friends, try new things. Life is short and isn’t meant to be rationed.

Source: Much credit to Fernanda

You Never Know What God Has In Store For You, But It’s Always Better Than You Think

Guest post.

You never know why God picked a certain path for you even if it didn’t make sense to you or even if you thought that it was unfair or too painful. You never know why God made you fight certain battles alone or why he made you lose those battles. You never know why he picked someone else for something you wanted or a dream you wished for, but you should know that what he has in store for you is always way better than anything you could have imagined for yourself.

You never know why his delays or his timing or his plans did not align with yours, but you should know that with time, you are going to realize that you didn’t need what you wanted back then, that they were juvenile wishes or dreams from an unhealed or an immature version of you. You are going to change and evolve and your dreams and passions will change and you will thank God that you were not stuck with an old dream or an old story that would have been wrong for you.

You never know why God tested you with the things that meant the most to you or the things you thought you couldn’t live without, but you should know that every time you think you lost something special, God has something outstanding in store for you. Every time you go after a blocked road or a closed door, God has an even better one wide open for you. Every time you chase someone who doesn’t love you or appreciate you or someone who isn’t right for you, God is saving you from a lifetime of pain and regret because he has someone perfect for you.

The truth is, you never know what God has in store for you, but from what I have seen in my own life and what I have learned when my life didn’t go as planned, all along God had a totally different vision for my life, and now I know that what I wanted for myself would have destroyed me. You never know how many doors God is willing to close to protect you, but you also never know how many doors he’s willing to open to bless you with things you never even dreamed of.

Sooner or later you are going to realize that what God has in store for you is always better than anything you could have imagined for yourself.

Thank you Rania Naim for reposting this inspirational post on my platform.

Tackle Your Challenges By Yourself With The Guidance Of God

Hey guys!

Am sure you’ve heard the story of the butterfly. Well, it is a good inspirational story for starting your Monday morning.

Once upon a time, a man found a butterfly that was starting to hatch from its cocoon. He sat down and watched the butterfly for hours as it struggled to force itself through a tiny hole. Then, it suddenly stopped making progress and looked like it was stuck.

Therefore, the man decided to help the butterfly out. He took a pair of scissors and cut off the remaining bit of the cocoon. The butterfly then emerged easily, although it had a swollen body and small, shriveled wings.

The man thought nothing of it, and he sat there waiting for the wings to enlarge to support the butterfly. However, that never happened. The butterfly spent the rest of its life unable to fly, crawling around with small wings and a swollen body.

Despite the man’s kind heart, he didn’t understand that the restricting cocoon and the struggle needed by the butterfly to get itself through the small hole were God’s way of forcing fluid from the body of the butterfly into its wings to prepare itself for flying once it was free.

Moral of the story: Our struggles in life help to develop our strengths. Without struggles, we never grow and get stronger, so it’s important for us to tackle challenges on our own, and not rely on help from others all the time.

Have a inspiring week.

Repost: You Grow From Your Challenges

Another Reminder!

So I learnt something about Happiness today. Happiness is a decision.

And sometimes happiness is not really a ‘thing’ at all, but a decision. Deciding to live with a spirit of gratitude. Choosing to be thankful, to see the bright side, to love and smile and have hope, regardless of what’s in the way. Accepting that you cannot change everything, but you can adapt your attitude. And letting yourself heal.

Happiness comes for no reason at all, other than because you decide you want it there.

When we Release what is not meant for us. Release what has abandoned us. Release what has attempted to destroy us, hold us captive, bring us down. Release the pain we’ve been holding in our chest. Release the anxiety, the anger, and the fear.

So choose to be thankful in the challenges. Choose to see the bright side, the healing, the places you will go and people you will meet next.

Have a wonderful day!

Why We Love To Choose To Be Thankful In The Challenges—That’s Where You Grow And You Should, Too!

I remembered when I was young, my aunty and teacher in school asked us a question on what we wanted to be when we grew up. At the time, I was bursting with dreams—a pilot, a soldier, a police officer, an Aeronotic Engineer and so on. Of all the items on the list, though, there was one theme. When I grew up, most of all, I wanted to be happy.

And so I put it on the back of mind to work towards what I want to become. The options waa many, but in all what makes me happy matters — a promise to my future self. That scribbled word was a goal, a mindset I would work towards, regardless of the obstacles along the way.

Years later, and more or less ‘grown up,’ I think about what I said I will become often. I think about how it has followed me through the turbulence of my teenage years, the chaos of the university, and into adulthood, where honestly, being happy seems like the most important conscious choice I can make.

Being happy, I’ve realized is not something you can pinpoint, grab between your fingertips, or keep. It’s more abstract than we give it credit for. We search as if we’re able to discover it, obtain it, hold it in our palms—but sometimes it’s so beautifully transient.

And sometimes happiness is not really a ‘thing’ at all, but a decision. Deciding to live with a spirit of gratitude. Choosing to be thankful, to see the bright side, to love and smile and have hope, regardless of what’s in the way. Accepting that you cannot change everything, but you can adapt your attitude. And letting yourself heal.

Happiness comes from finding peace with where you are. Not because it’s exactly where you wanted to be. Not because you have everything you could ever need. Not because you are wealthy, or in love, or doing better than the person next to you.

Happiness comes for no reason at all, other than because you decide you want it there.

You decide to create it, to make it, to build it out of the circumstances around you. You decide to open the door to it, to let it in, and then to foster its growth in your life, no matter what good or bad moments you face.

You decide that you want to live positively—bringing in good energy and people and moments and exhaling all that is out of your control. You decide that when terrible things happen to you, when you’re broken, when you lose people you love, when you’re left, when you’re exhausted or defeated or angry, that instead of letting the circumstances of this life control you, you want to react with a smile on your face. You choose to say, ‘I can’t change what has happened, but I can change my reaction, my next breath, next step, and where I go next.’

And you walk forward, focusing not on what you’ve lost or has been taken from you, but the knowledge you’ve gained, the love you’ve created, the strength you’ve found, the hope you’ve given yourself, and the wealth of things, people, memories, and moments you have to be thankful for.

So choose to be thankful in the challenges. Choose to see the bright side, the healing, the places you will go and people you will meet next.

Choose to let go of what you cannot fix or control, what you are not in charge of, what is out of your reach. Choose to accept the circumstances of this life, even when they’re imperfect or awful, and instead of wrapping yourself up in negativity, exhale and release.

Release what is not meant for you. Release what has abandoned you. Release what has attempted to destroy you, hold you captive, bring you down. Release the pain you’ve been holding in your chest. Release the anxiety, the anger, the fear.

Release and make a conscious choice—today and every day—to seek happiness and live with a grateful heart. Because there you will heal, you will begin again, you will grow.

It won’t be nice if I take all the credit for this piece. Thanks to the brilliant Marisa.

Share and comment.

The Single Best Way to Respond to Difficult Times in Your Life

This is a guest post and a reminder that your testimony is here.

We all face difficult times in our lives. I’ve learned that there is one way to respond that is supreme and will help you, preserver, in life.

Some time ago, I was in a season of life that I was ready to be out of as soon as I entered it. If you’re reading this (and you’re human), you know exactly what I’m talking about. Thankfully, I made it through these difficult times, which we always do. But this time was different because I found an alternative way to respond.

I am wired in a way that I always immediately try to fix everything that isn’t right. (Sound familiar?) And during this difficult time I’m referring to in this blog post, that’s exactly what I started doing.

But this difficult time in my life was different from any prior experience…

I couldn’t fix or change what I was going through. As a result, I quickly became exhausted. I put a lot of time into trying to fix everything. Then one morning, I broke. You see, I had been pleading with God for weeks on this matter. But I would continuously ask God for the same thing over-and-over. But this morning, I decided to do something different.

Instead of asking God to fix my problems because I couldn’t, I instead decided to sit quietly and listen for His voice. Sounds simple, but when I just wanted everything “back to normal” or to be fixed in my life, it took a lot to sit quietly and not ask for God to intervene on my behalf to improve my situation.

When I finally got quiet before God, He responded.

I’ll never forget it. I heard God speak clearly, and I wasn’t sitting quietly for hours; no, it happened pretty quick! Do you want to know what God said to me that morning?

“Be still, and know that I am God.”

That is all He said—nothing more, nothing less. I remember sitting there for a moment in shock. Then I was left with those words echoing in my head.

It was a strange moment of revelation and peace. I realized at that moment that my job wasn’t to fix or even change the difficult times I was facing. In fact, there was probably a purpose for what I was going through. What God wanted for me to do was to be still, which means to be at peace with Him, knowing in the end, He would take care of me.

A few weeks later, I stumbled upon a Bible verse that ended up being strangely familiar.

“Be still and know that I am God.” – Psalm 46:10

I had no idea that the very words God spoke to me were also in the Bible! But, it was a similar moment of revelation and internal peace. A moment that I, to this day, am eternally grateful for.

During these few tough weeks of my life, I ended up learning that there are times that we need to take a step back, exalt God for who He is, and be faithful in trusting God through our difficulties. We need to remember that He knows everything we are going through, good or bad. No matter what season of life you may be in, good or bad, I encourage you to don’t be in a rush for the next thing. Take a step back, and refocus on God and His goodness. Thank Him for where you are!

Are you wondering what I was struggling with during this season of my life?

I typically like to give context in my blog posts, but I am intentionally leaving it out today. Not to seem private or secretive, but instead to further prove a point. It doesn’t matter what we’re going through or what we’re struggling with. It could be big, and it could be small, no matter what, though, God is in control. If we can learn to be still and know that He is God, then, in the end, we will make it through what we’re facing in life.

Ultimately, here is the point I want to get across to you today:

God is in the midst of every season of your life, even the difficult times. Be still today; exalt God for who He is.

In conclusion of this blog post, I wanted to end it with a scripture speaking to me ever since I was a child; I believe it relates heavily to what I’m sharing today.
The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. – Psalm 26:1-6
I don’t know what you’re going through in life right now or what you may be struggling with. But I know that no matter how good or bad things are right now, the best thing you can do is slow down, be still, and know that God is still God and He is still in full control of your situation.

This piece relates to what am going through in my life. I decided to share with everyone facing a storm in their life.

Comment and share!

Special credit to Alex Sanfilippo

Struggling will make you stronger

Once upon a time, a man found a butterfly that was starting to hatch from its cocoon. He sat down and watched the butterfly for hours as it struggled to force itself through a tiny hole. Then, it suddenly stopped making progress and looked like it was stuck.

Therefore, the man decided to help the butterfly out. He took a pair of scissors and cut off the remaining bit of the cocoon. The butterfly then emerged easily, although it had a swollen body and small, shriveled wings.

The man thought nothing of it, and he sat there waiting for the wings to enlarge to support the butterfly. However, that never happened. The butterfly spent the rest of its life unable to fly, crawling around with small wings and a swollen body.

Despite the man’s kind heart, he didn’t understand that the restricting cocoon and the struggle needed by the butterfly to get itself through the small hole were God’s way of forcing fluid from the body of the butterfly into its wings to prepare itself for flying once it was free.”

The struggle is over in your life in Jesus name, Amen.

Your Reaction Matters More Than What Happens To You

Once upon a time a daughter complained to her father that her life was miserable and that she didn’t know how she was going to make it. She was tired of fighting and struggling all the time. It seemed just as one problem was solved, another one soon followed.

Her father, a chef, took her to the kitchen. He filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Once the three pots began to boil, he placed potatoes in one pot, eggs in the second pot, and ground coffee beans in the third pot.

He then let them sit and boil, without saying a word to his daughter. The daughter, moaned and impatiently waited, wondering what he was doing.

After twenty minutes he turned off the burners. He took the potatoes out of the pot and placed them in a bowl. He pulled the boiled eggs out and placed them in a bowl.

He then ladled the coffee out and placed it in a cup. Turning to her he asked. ‘Daughter, what do you see?’

‘Potatoes, eggs, and coffee,’ she hastily replied.

‘Look closer,’ he said, ‘and touch the potatoes.’ She did and noted that they were soft. He then asked her to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg. Finally, he asked her to sip the coffee. Its rich aroma brought a smile to her face.

‘Father, what does this mean?’ she asked.

He then explained that the potatoes, the eggs and coffee beans had each faced the same adversity– the boiling water.

However, each one reacted differently.

The potato went in strong, hard, and unrelenting, but in boiling water, it became soft and weak.

The egg was fragile, with the thin outer shell protecting its liquid interior until it was put in the boiling water. Then the inside of the egg became hard.

However, the ground coffee beans were unique. After they were exposed to the boiling water, they changed the water and created something new.

‘Which are you,’ he asked his daughter. ‘When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a potato, an egg, or a coffee bean?’

An inspirational story for someone today never to give up but be hopeful for someday the light will shine.

Credit to January Nelson

Dodging the Second Arrow – How to Manage Yourself During Difficult Times

One of the most profound Zen parables, “The Two Arrows“, tells the story of a samurai who was struck in the shoulder by a stray arrow in the heat of battle. The wounded samurai looked down at the arrow in his shoulder and was overcome by shock and disbelief. His sword dropped to the ground as his courage deserted him, and when the enemy soldiers saw this, they fell upon him and defeated him.

The parable continues by recounting the story of another samurai who was also struck in the shoulder by an arrow. His injury was equally severe, but when he looked down and saw the arrow in his shoulder, he did not lose courage. Instead, he became even more determined. He grabbed his sword with his other hand, tucked his wounded arm into his armor, and charged the enemy soldiers with a ferocity they had never seen before. In the end, despite his injury, the second samurai survived.

The narrative describes two very different reactions to the same misfortune, but a deeper insight is revealed when we understand the true meaning of the story’s title. Although “The Two Arrows” seems to refer to the arrows that struck the two samurai, the title in fact refers to the two arrows that struck the first samurai. The first arrow — the wooden one — was the one that injured his shoulder. The second arrow — the arrow of doubt and fear — did much worse damage…

The second arrow destroyed his spirit.

When we consider the story from this perspective, we realize that it was the second arrow that killed the samurai, not the first. After all, the other samurai was struck in the shoulder in the same manner, and he survived. There was no second arrow for him. Furthermore — and this is perhaps the most important part — the second arrow did not fall from the sky. It came from within the samurai himself.

We may not battle with swords and arrows anymore, but we all get struck by arrows of misfortune from time to time. Some are worse than others, but the first arrow is seldom lethal on its own.

It’s the second arrow — the negative ways in which we deal with these misfortunes — that can devastate us. The challenge for us is to avoid that second arrow.

Easier said than done, right? Perhaps, but we are certainly not without guidance in this area. There are several short-term and long-term strategies that we can use to manage ourselves during the more difficult times in our lives. Here are a few that I have found to be particularly effective…

Remember to Pray

This is the first thing you should do. First put everything in God’s hands, cast your care for he will take care of you.

Remember to Breathe

One of my family members suffers from dementia, and he is starting to experience some of the behavioral changes that often accompany that disease. The staff at his residence notify me whenever he gets into an altercation, so when I hear the beep of an incoming message from one of his caregivers, I immediately get a sinking feeling in my stomach. That’s when I know it’s time for an old, reliable countermeasure: slow and regular abdominal breathing.

Breathing may be automatic, but proper breathing isn’t necessarily so. During moments of nervousness or stress, our respiration naturally becomes shallow and erratic. This can cause us to become even more anxious, and in severe cases, may even trigger panic attacks.

Slow and regular abdominal breathing, on the other hand, has the opposite effect. It activates our parasympathetic nervous system – a division of our nervous system that calms us down and helps us control our emotions. With a little bit of focus, we can use this connection to our advantage.

The next time a co-worker becomes confrontational and you feel your lip starting to quiver, or the next time you are about to address a large audience and your knees get weak, take a moment to bring your breathing under control. This simple act has a remarkable effect, and is undoubtedly one of the most important life skills anyone can learn.

Recognize the Second Arrow

The story of the two arrows does more than just convey an important idea. It provides us with a contextual reference that can help us recognize and classify our behavior. Armed with this insight, we can reflect upon our actions and ask ourselves if we are reacting to a situation in a positive and constructive way or if we are suffering from a second arrow. When we perform this type of introspection, we can flag negativity early on and manage it more effectively.

Take Back Control of Your Thoughts

As a species, we are evolutionarily hard-wired to give priority to negative stimuli. This instinct gives us important survival advantages, but it also leaves us with a tendency to dwell on the negative. Although that tendency may be overwhelming at times, it is possible to overcome it and take back control of our thoughts.

When my daughter was ten years old, she suffered a stroke while on her way home from school. She eventually recovered (I’m glad to report!), but that first night in the critical care unit of the hospital was one of the worst nights of my life. As my wife and I were preparing a makeshift bed in the waiting room and wondering how we would ever make it through the night, one of the doctors who attended to my daughter dropped by to wish us the best. Afterwards, as I settled into bed, and all the worry and stress of the situation filled my head, I distinctly remember focusing my mind on nothing but a mental image of the doctor’s friendly face. That mental diversion — that one little act of changing my thoughts — helped me nod off and get some much-needed rest.

Worry and stress are inventions of the mind, and if the mind can cause these feelings, the mind can alleviate them.

It’s within our power to direct our thoughts away from the negative and towards, well, anything else. It might require a conscious effort, but it can be done. Evolutionary impulses may be strong, but that doesn’t mean we can’t override them from time to time!

Stay Active

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve finished work, gone home with the problems of the day still swirling around in my head, gone for a workout, and then wondered why I was so stressed. It may sound cliché, but sometimes there’s nothing like a bit of exercise to help us clear our minds. The effects of physical activity on mental health and overall quality of life have been well documented, and the feeling of general well-being that comes from being active cannot be overstated.

The more active we are, the stronger we feel, and the more positive and self-confident we become. It’s a powerful cycle!

This is a guest post from Ernest Cadorin🙏🙏🙏🙏💯💯💯💯

Image credit: Pinterest

5 Tips for Conquering Negativity When Starting Your Own Business

Guest post from Katelyn Marie

Imagine this. It has been raining for so long, but you want to take a walk and meet your friend who lives a house down. The only problem is that you live on a dirt road. There are no sidewalks or paved walking paths to be found.

So, you decide to walk on the dirt road. As you take the first few steps forward the mud is so thick you can feel the suction on your shoes as they are nearly pulled off of your feet. You’re scared of the step you just took and want to turn around, but you realize that you really want to see your friend.

You push on only to slip and go sideways. You catch yourself and learn from your mistake. Pretty soon you’re walking at a good clip, but you don’t see the stick in your way and trip over it, falling down completely.

Managing to get back up, you notice you’re covered in the filth and dirt. The mud is fresh in your mouth; it tastes disgusting. You won’t be able to wash off until later, but you wipe off as much as you can.

You start to wonder when you’ll get to your friend’s house. It didn’t seem this far away before.

You think about giving up completely, but you realize that wouldn’t be wise. You’re already part way there. You’ve chosen to follow through and if you quit now, you’ll feel cheated. Besides, you want to see your friend.

Finally, you see your friend waving from her porch. She runs forward and embraces you.

“I’ve been waiting,” she says.

Revealing Your Power

  • Now, what if I told you the mud was every negative thought, naysayer, or comment that was holding you back from your dreams?
  • And your friend was success.
  • And that you were carrying a super long hose that could’ve been used to wash yourself clean at any time you chose?

Would you believe me?

When I first started out, I’m not sure I would have.

Right out of college I chose to start my own freelance writing business. That was the scariest decision I’ve made to date. It’s hard and frustrating and sometimes completely baffling. It’s all too easy to get wrapped up in the doubts and negative thinking that can accompany taking a leap of faith.

But success was calling my name. She beckoned me from her porch, called me to keep coming closer, to keep pursuing her.

It’s easy to get stuck in the mud. To fall victim to the thoughts in our own mind and voices of others who doubt our ability to achieve what we are called to. It’s easy to stumble over an obstacle in our path and let it stop us. But we must forge on.

A lot of people have called me brave for starting my own business. While these things do take courage, I think the bravest people are the ones who start working on their goals and keep working to complete them. It takes grit, determination, and bravery.

I didn’t believe it at first, but I do hold the power. And with these five ways to conquer negativity, you can hold the power, too.

Say No to Negativity When Starting Your Own Business – 5 Easy Tips

1. Not Everyone Will Understand—Don’t Expect them To

There will always be well-intentioned people who will try to change your mind. Who will try to convince you to do something safer or easier.

My advice: don’t let them. Stick to your guns and explain why your dream is important to you. If they don’t come around, they aren’t worth your time.

2. True Haters are Probably Jealous

Ever come across a person who has nothing kind to say about your business venture?

It might be their own insecurities talking. You’re doing something they’ve only dreamed about. Remind yourself that it isn’t you and if you can, distance yourself from the negativity.

3. Find Positive Places and People

Whether it’s friends and family or a group on Facebook, surround yourself with like-minded people who share your goals. It’s much easier to reign over doubt if you have people walking with you. Plus, it’s a great way to network and expand your circle of supporters.

4. Success is Measured in More than One Way

Don’t look at your business purely in terms of profit. While that’s the ultimate goal, there is so much you learn with a start-up. You’re gaining life skills that are invaluable. So, when someone tries to measure your success in monetary terms, know that’s not the only way to look at it.

5. View Mistakes as Lessons

When you start this journey and as you continue to walk on it, there will be times when you mess up. Instead of throwing in the hat and telling yourself you aren’t cut out for this, try to see mistakes as learning experiences. Work through the problem and try not to repeat it. Be as gritty as possible.

A Rocky Road is Well Worth It

It isn’t always easy to follow your dreams. Sometimes they seem impossible. We make excuses: now’s not the right time, I don’t have enough money saved, I’m too old for this, I wouldn’t know where to begin.

But the truth is we can make excuses for days. There will never be a “right” time to start. But if it is something you really want, put on your boots and stick your foot into the mud. It’ll be messy, but there’s a good chance it’ll be worth it.

Image credit: Pinterest

Living The Life Of An Overcomer [Your Calling as a Christian]

In today’s world we’re told to focus on overcoming external problems. But as a Christian, living the life of an overcomer is an internal focus.

For a long time, I believed that living the life of an overcomer had to do with conquering circumstances, winning an external battle. I thought that living a life of an overcomer meant making things happen despite many challenges. Perhaps this is part of it, but there is more. I’ve come to realize that our internal battles are greater predictors of the outcome and quality of our day to day lives than our circumstances.

I have come to realize that the Lord was calling us to overcome the greater battles of what lie within us.

God is calling us to overcome our thinking and heart meditations; ideas about religion that draw us away from the truth by distracting us with rituals and acts. Early in the New Testament, Jesus quickly points to the importance of concerning ourselves with the condition of our hearts rather than external factors. In our time the focus on what we eat seems trivial, but at that time in history “purity” also had to do with what one ate.

What goes into someone’s mouth does not defile them, but what comes out of their mouth, that is what defiles them. But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these things defile a man. – Matthew 15:11, 18

How radical was this?

Jesus said this at time when religious people were concerned with doing what appeared to be right. Back then people were so focused on following procedures. This applies to us today as well. We live in a social media world, our bible lets us know that it’s not about being seen by people, but being known by God. That is the power of the truth; it’s time-less.

The heart can’t be seen, but only God knows what is in it.

We are told to focus on overcoming that which can’t be seen. The thoughts and intentions of the heart. It’s that bitterness, judgment, anger, hatred, unbelief, negativity, greed, jealousy, immorality, anxiety, chronic frustration, …The list can go on and on. When we don’t focus on these things that are contrary to the Spirit of God, they begin taking root within us and begin to feel like they are part of who we are. These are the things we have housed for so long that they feel like part of our DNA. This may be normal in today’s world, but it’s not our portion.

We are called to live the life of an overcomer. It’s a calling that only radical Christians can live.

We have to reject what the world says is okay and good for us. We have to refuse to be normal. Even though no one can see it and applaud our efforts, we have to engage in an inner battle to be right with the Lord.

You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. – James 4:4

Everyday we have to overcome our inner self. We can’t do it on our own. The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak. We have to keep calling upon Him who made us conquerors. Confessing our shortcomings and repenting. The Kingdom of heaven is near. We don’t want to be turned away at the gate while we recite the acts we did in the name of Jesus. The outcome of such a choice was made plain to us.

The Word tells us, many are called but few are chosen. Christ must be Lord of our hearts, sitting on the throne of our hearts. It was revealed to those who choose to believe when Jesus was asked by the disciples which commandment was the greatest. They wanted to know, if we fail to do it all, what must be definitely get right.

This is the anchor for living the life of an overcomer:

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” – Matthew 22:37-40

May God help each of us to have a pure heart; so we can begin living the life of an overcomer.

An inspirational piece from Priscilla Shumba.

The Question is: Are you living the life of an overcomer?

The Truth About Difficult Times You’re Facing in Life

Recently, have been reading a lot of inspiring articles online. I find it important to share some of my readings with you guys.

Every one of us goes through difficult times in our lives. But, that’s not a bad thing. Here’s the truth about difficult times in your life.

Originally posted by Joshua Delp.

Are you facing difficult times in your life right now? Many Christians view these trialing seasons as the work of the enemy and not the work of God. As far as I can see, this is not a biblical truth. Yes, there is an element to trial that involves our sinful nature, fleshly desires, spiritual warfare, and the chaos and insanity of this world.

I know many of you who are reading this have suffered greatly. You have seen and experienced that which you would not wish on your worst enemy. I know that. I have too. The pain and brokenness you have faced was not the work of God.

Life challenges
When life sucks, have faith in God and believe the situation will change.

But our God is the God of Salvation; the God that makes all things new. (2 Corinthians 5:17) Remember that God allowed Job to go through trials that he may give an example of faith to the generations. Promise after promise in the Bible assures us that God uses trial to create greater faith in us, steadfastness, perseverance, a more Christ-like character.

James says, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”

The truth about difficult times in your life

No one enjoys difficult times in life; there’s no secret there. During these times is when a person’s true character is revealed. Following Jesus is easy while you’re at church. It’s also easy when everything is going our way in life. But what about when following Jesus costs us something?

Sometimes God must allow us to come to the end of our strength because it is only then that we learn to rely on His Grace, which is the power to be the men and women He is calling us to be.

The beauty of God’s Mercy is that if we will hold on to Him, if we continue to follow Jesus, even when everything is screaming on the inside and outside, our worse, when we are mediocre and complacent, he uses the darkness of this broken world to create something priceless in us: Steadfast faith that will lead us to Eternity with God.

It’s only when we understand the truth about difficult times in life that we begin to receive refreshment from God. Only by persevering in the face of trial, do we receive the crown of life.

In closing, here are a few encouraging bible verses that help us understand the truth about difficult ties in our lives and what they actually mean.

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him. Who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28

“Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.” James 1:12

“In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith–of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire–may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.” 1 Peter 1:6-7

The question is, What difficult time have you been through in life that has prepared you for where you are today?

Thanks Joshua for this inspiring piece.

Why It Is Imporatnt To Make Hope An Habit

In order to get God’s perspective, you may need to develop some new routines in your daily life- new habits. Hearing the word “Habits” will give you a perception of something bad. Because bad habits get most of the attention these days. But you can develop good habits too. Most notably, you can make hope a hanit. Hope can be something you develop over time until it just becomes a natural disposition.

An attitude of expectancy- looking, longing, and anticipating that God is going to do something great- isn’t something that will always come naturally to you. This is a Mindset of hope that you’re going to have to intentionally develop until it becomes an habit. One of the ways to do this is to remind yourself to be expectant of good things. Probably putting a sign all over your home, car, or office isn’t a bad idea.

I believe in employing all methods necessary when am working on developing a new habit. Good habits leaves no room for bad ones, so if we have a habit of hope, there will be no room in our mind and heart for hopelessness, discouragement, and despair.

Habbabuk 2:2 says:

And the Lord answered me and said, write the vision and engrave it so plainly upon tablets that everyone who passes may (be able to) read (it easily and quickly) as he hastens by.

Write your vision down. It doesnt have to be anything long or elaborate. You could make small signs that can be read “easily and quickly” as you and your family hasten by. Think of how much more hopeful you would be if…

  • When you get up to brush your teeth, there is a sign on the bathroom mirror that reads: “Hope is important. Don’t forget to believe God is going to do something great in your life today.”
  • When you walk down the hall, there’s a sign that reads: “Hope is the happy anticipation of good. Get happy. God has good things in store.”
  • When you go into the kitchen to make breakfast, there is a sign above the gas or stove that reads: “Gey excited, God is cooking up something amazing today.”
  • When you get in the car to go to work, take the kids to school, or meet a friend for a cup of coffee or lunch, there is a sign that reads: “Get your Hope’s up. God is with you today, and He delights in being good to you.”

I don’t know about you, but have decided to get my hopes each day! If you want to live a life of hope, do whatever it takes. There are a lot of things during your day that try to steal your hope. Decide you’re going to outnumber the “hope stealers” with reminders of hope. Plaster then everywhere! This is especially important if you have had a tendency to be negative or depressed, or if you are going through a particularly difficult time.

Who Else Wants To Know The Mystery Behind Staying Stable In Hard Times?

Many people have gifts and talents and are called to do great things for God. Yet He hasn’t said, “Go,” because they’re still learning how to be stable, dependable, reliable, not easily shaken, and in control of their emotions.

As Christians, we need to live the life that we claim to represent so that our gifts and talents can be released―not just for our own sake, but for the good of those around us.

I am so glad that I’m married to an understanding woman. Of all the things my wife has brought to my life, I am so grateful to her for teaching me the value of silent and stability.

Stop Making Excuses

I could get up each morning thinking I was going to have a great day, and then something would set me off. Then by 9 a.m., the rest of my day was totally ruined! But it doesn’t have to be that way. We can control ourselves, but until we believe that, nothing is going to change.

The first thing we must do is stop making excuses, like “I can’t help it. I’m just an emotional person. If you had to put up with what I have to put up with, you’d throw tantrums too!” God is never going to tell you to do something you can’t do without His help. And you can accomplish much if you learn to control your emotions.

If You Have Peace, You Have Power

Whether you like it or not, you’re in a spiritual war. Your enemy, Satan, comes against you in many ways, and he’s going to fight against you. So you need to know how to stand against him.

Philippians 1:28 (AMPC) says, “And do not [for a moment] be frightened or intimidated in anything by your opponents and adversaries, for such [constancy and fearlessness] will be a clear sign (proof and seal) to them of [their impending] destruction, but [a sure token and evidence] of your deliverance and salvation, and that from God.”

This scripture is saying that God and the devil are watching us. If we remain peaceful, the devil knows that he can’t upset us and we’re just not going to give in. But it’s also a sign to God that our trust is truly in Him.

No matter how much you say you trust God, if you’re upset all the time, then you’re not really trusting Him. And as long as you’re trying to take care of yourself, God will just stand back and say, “Let Me know when you’re ready for Me to jump in and help.”

Keeping Your Peace Brings Maturity

You and I have the privilege not only to believe in Christ but to endure a little bit of suffering while we’re waiting for His deliverance because it’s the hard times in our life that bring maturity. Every day that you stay firm in your faith and you don’t get your breakthrough, you’re growing spiritually that day.

Jesus said, “In the world, you will have tribulation.” The purpose of having faith isn’t to avoid problems but to get through them with peace and stability.

If the only time you can praise God is in the Promised Land, you have a problem. You need to praise Him in the wilderness. Actually, if you don’t praise God in the wilderness, you’ll never get to the Promised Land. We all have to do the right thing when it’s hard, when we don’t feel like doing it. That’s when we grow. (See
Exodus 14:13-14 )

Be determined to trust God. No matter what happens, hold your peace; remain at rest; keep an attitude of praise and thanksgiving; do what you can do; and keep on saying, “God is fighting for me.”

Credit: Joyce Meyer