Things to Stop Doing to Yourself: Part 4

I hope that the previous Things to Stop Doing to Yourself Part 1, 2, and 3 were enjoyable! But I want to add ANOTHER installment. Yeah, yeah, you might be thinking, “holy cow another one,” but they are too good not to share! Here it goes!

  1. Stop focusing on what you don’t want to happen. Focus on what you do want to happen. Positive thinking is at the core of all great success stories. If you wake up anticipating something good to happen, more than likely, even if small, something good will come to light.
  2. Stop worrying so much. Worry does nothing but add more stress to the current stress load. Thinking about all the worry will strip you from the good right in front of you. Honestly, will it really matter a year from now? If no, stop sweating it and take your mind on positive.
  3. Stop blaming others for your troubles. The extent to which you achieve is proportionate to the extent you take responsibility for yourself. When you blame others, you deny responsibility. Doing that gives others power over that area in your life. 
  4. Stop trying to make things perfect. The only true perfection is God and we are most definitely not Him. If you critique every work, you’ll waste your life away. And furthermore, the real world does not reward perfectionists, but instead those who get things done. 
  5. Stop running from your problems. Face them! Of course they won’t be easy. Great victories don’t come from every battle being easy. And we’re not supposed to be able to solve every problem instantly; that’s not how we’re designed. Besides, struggles allow us to learn, grow, adapt, mature, and become more fully who we are meant to be. Though a hard task, facing your problems, your rewards will be better than all those problems. 

 

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My Broken, but Beautiful Journey

The past few years have been the hardest out of my entire life. I have suffered family tragedies, health complications, and tensions in my life with personal struggles.

It has been a long and rough road: my parents losing their best friend in a tragic boating accident; my uncle from defeating cancer only to sign previously a DNR and the hospital giving him too much medicine, slipping into a coma, thus dying; my mother losing two aunts in one week; and just recently, my grandfather passing away just last month from congestive heart failure.

I was diagnosed two years ago with a syndrome that disables me to have children on my own; when the time comes to have a child, I will be required to use extra help and medicine to help my reproductive organs actually work. I was only 18 at the time, and the thought that having a child was taken away from me before it was even an option was devastating.

And in the midst of it all, I went through times where I was slipping into depression and loneliness. It was brutal. I felt alone, broken, and needing something radical to change it.

It was as if a darkness followed me wherever I went. I tried to engage with people even though I didn’t enjoy it. I tried to do activities that I enjoyed to make life seem a little less dampening with everything going on. However, there is only one thing that ever gave me constant hope…

Jesus Christ.

He gave me grace to go through the road I went through

because

I’m

still

standing.

Coming out of the dark time with tragedy everywhere I looked was a slow process; it wasn’t overnight. I had to seek God and only his “peace that surpasses all understanding” (Philippians 4:7).

Doing my devotions was the ONLY amount of hope. It was the only thing I knew to do that would help me. And that was because I knew the promises of God, not because I felt like it. I felt like life was bad, but I knew God was good. So I sought Him and the only fix to my broken road.

Through that long, cycling healing process, God taught me some things.

He spoke to me that He was my only hope. I had to stop looking to friends to make me feel better or aid my happiness. I had to look to God. I asked him to show himself to me. Instead of focusing all my efforts on the things going wrong, I focused on finding more of God, and leaning into him for my breakthrough.

I learned also that once you’ve been broken you can there is a new connection to reaching other broken people. I don’t want to go through trials and not be able to help someone else that is hurting. I want my struggles and experiences to help people.

I have found that such hope is found only through Christ. And that only pure joy comes from diving into God and his presence. 

Ultimately, my circumstances did not change, but rather my perception of God. He isn’t a God somewhere far, not moving in real time. He is a God that is right beside you, seeing you at ALL times.

He saves us from destruction and has plans of hope for our lives, but allows us to go through difficulties to become a better person and to trust Him more fully. Easier said than done, but when you lean into God and searching for him, breakthroughs are sure to come.

Not only that, God is preparing you for greater things. You can do this. 

Now I am the happiest I have ever been. Of course I have days that are terrible, but I know that I have ope in the Lord, trusting that he never gives me more than I can take, and never leaving my side. I am not affected by my circumstances, because I have a Lord that is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

Take hope. For the hope we have trusted and joy found in the Lord shall not return void, neither will his promises. I pray that you are encouraged today, and realize that trials are a part of life, but knowing Christ, Earth is the only hell you will know. Heaven will be glorious, and all that time during our life that was rough, will be rewarded with eternal presence of the most high.

You can do this. You were given this life because you can handle it.

As always, be blessed.

Things to Stop Doing to Yourself: Part 2

Just a few days ago I wrote about “Things to Stop Doing to Yourself: Part 2” and I wanted to write the next installment. There are things in life that you cannot spare for yourself. It is vital to personal and mental health by taking care of yourself. Here are some more things to do just that.

  1. Stop getting involved in relationships for the wrong reasons. Relationships are meant to be chosen wisely, not flippantly or haphazardly. It is truly better to be alone than to be in bad company. 1 Corinthians 15:33 says “bad company corrupts good character.” There’s no need to rush. With friendships. And in romance. Fall in love when you’re ready, not when you’re lonely. I have been single for the past 1 and a half, only having previously one boyfriend. Truly, it has been the best time waiting in singleness. Better wait.
  2. Stop rejecting new relationships just because old ones didn’t work. This is something I actually am working on myself. I have had friendships fall out and it seems like it won’t work positively again. BUT. There is a purpose for everyone you meet. Some will test you, some will use you and some will teach you. Most importantly, some will bring out the best in you. Trust me, you met that person for a reason, either as a lesson, or a blessing.
  3. Stop overlooking the beauty of small moments. Take bliss in the little things, because one day you will look back and see that they were the big things. Every foundation starts with a small, tightly packed base. These are those small things. Do not overlook them. The best part of your life will be the small, nameless moments that you cannot buy.
  4. Stop trying to be everything to everyone. Doing so is completely impossible, and you will tire yourself constantly trying to do so; it will burn you out. But making ONE person smile CAN change the world. Maybe not the whole world, but THEIR, IMPORTANT world. So narrow your focus.
  5. Stop being ungrateful. No matter how good or bad you have it, wake up each day thankful for your life. Someone somewhere else is desperately fighting for theirs. Instead of thinking what you’re missing, try thinking about what you have that everyone else is missing. You are living, breathing, and reading. You are more blessed than nearly half the world. Think about that, and let that sink in.

I hope this offered some encouragement to your day. Please try to lighten your load, and take care of yourself. Once you do, I promise life will be brighter.

As always, be blessed.

The Giving Keys

Ever see something like a child smile at a playful, sweet puppy? or the way warm sunshine can kiss your cheeks on a spring afternoon? What about the things you hear and it warms your heart, encourages your uniqueness, embracing your flaws, giving hope to others, and well, yourself? Sounds like a grand thing, and how could all those emotions be wrapped up in one thing? The answer, and continuing story, is simple….

Taken from thegivingkeys.com

Taken from thegivingkeys.com

The Giving Keys is an organization that gives back to struggling people, as well as provides hope and a reminder of strength to those that need it. The function of the organization is the idea that you buy a key necklace, with whatever word you want; words to pick from include “hope”, “truth”, “live”, “love”, and “peace” to name a few. That key is found somewhere and collected to have your hand-picked word metal stamped and placed on a chain as a necklace.

The premise is that each key has it’s own story – blemished, used, tattered, but beautiful – just like the receiver. And furthermore, when someone gets the key, they must give it away at some point to a person they feel needs the message. After that, The Giving Keys wants to hear the stories of your path with the key and how you gave it away. The word stamped on represents the encouragement you need, a word that got you through a hard time, or something you are working to obtain; truly, just as each key is unique, so is the story behind the key’s wearer, and that word is up to you.

Caitlin Crosby, founder of The Giving Keys

Caitlin Crosby, founder of The Giving Keys

With great encouragement you would receive from the Giving Keys, amazing things start small. It all began with a New York hotel room key. Actress and singer/songwriter Caitlin Crosby, the founder of The Giving Keys, wore a key as a necklace and had the idea to start engraving old, used keys with inspirational words at a locksmith in LA. When she would perform, she sold the keys at her merchandise tables, and the demand was nonstop; she would in between shows run around trying to find keys and engrave them to keep up with demands in fact.

After seeing a need for her growing inspirational keys, she ran into a homeless couple on the infamous Hollywood Blvd, Cera and Rob, and knew she found the right people for the organization. Once partnering with The Giving Keys and making it thrive by finding, engraving, and distributing keys, a once homeless couple came to buy their very own apartment. Not only are The Giving Keys changing the lives of the ones buying them, but changing the lives of the ones engraving them too.

One of the Thriving Couples

One of the Thriving Couples

Are you feeling those warm feelings in your stomach yet? As the business started to develop, more partner relationships were built and now The Giving Keys have ten employees that are trying to transition out of homelessness. Through this time, the organization have helped them open bank accounts, provided financial planning support, and now five of the ten earned to get their own apartments and support themselves.

I just recently received my giving keys, and I love them. I order a key with the word “hope” on it, to help remind me the hope I have in the future and in God, despite present circumstances being scary. When I got it, I found that the other side had

My Keys

The keys I bought; I love them! Thanks Giving Keys

accidentally been engraved with the word “grace”; oddly enough, I have been praying for grace in situations that my family is going through with health complications. What a seeming accident turned out to be such a good encouragement and reminder. The other was marked “trust”, where it describes this time in my life. Now oftentimes I proudly wear my keys, filling a reminder of inspiration to my day, as well as looking great to the eye.

These words mean an immense amount to me; in a time where my life was crumbling – family members dying left and right, being diagnosed with a rough body syndrome, and feeling down – hope in God was all I had. Trust, for times when I didn’t understand why life has’t turned around, but believing God to hold us. And grace, for times when you need mercy covering you survive. So what’s your word? your key? When you figure it out, I hope you wear your key, pay it forward, and write a story.

The Giving Keys

The Giving Keys

To buy a Giving Key, for yourself or for a friend, visit the lovely site, www.thegivingkeys.com.