Today I am 23 years old, emphasis on the old. I know I’m not old, but I feel old and I can’t really put my finger onto why I feel so old. But here I am, 23 and still figuring out life. But really, who isn’t? I’ve been through a lot of change this past year and am still going through it. I have a new season coming up in my life and just like any other, I feel excited and scared. Before I really dive into this new season I want to reflect on some things that I’m learning right now.
1. Praise the Small Victories. This is something I’m really trying to apply in my life. I’ve found how easy it is to be bogged down by my failures or the things that don’t turn out the way I want them too. Patting yourself on the back for the things you do accomplish is huge and can really change your mental health and your perspective on life. At the end of the day I try to think about what was a success and thank God for it. Trust me, it really helps.
2. Pray Before Acting. I’ve always heard, “Prayer First” and agreed, but it hasn’t been a big practice in my life. Prayer has always been important, but I’ve always acted before praying and this is something that I have found to be a problem recently. I am trying to be more intentional about what I say and do, and praying first before acting is helping me accomplish this. It allows me to think about the situation and put it in God’s hands so that I can be rational in my decision making and choose to glorify God and uplift and encourage with my words. Prayer is the most powerful tool and it transforms lives. I can not stress that enough. Everyday I see more and more how powerful prayer is and I want everyone to know that.
3. Have Faith, Dream Big, and Give God His Place. With everything in my life over the past 3 years, this is something I’ve almost been forced to do. I’ve come to a place where it’s either have faith, dream big, and give God His place in my life or drown in the difficulty of life. To be honest, most days I feel like I’m drowning, but I still know that God is working. In my life I want to have the faith to be able to dream big and know that God can do more with my dream than ever imagined. I also want to be able to step back, let go and stop fighting a battle that’s not mine, and give God His place in my life. Being able to say, “Okay God, this is all you. I trust you to take care of this situation and I know that your ways are better than mine. Help me to let go of control and let your Spirit work,” brings a supernatural peace that can only be given by God. This is something that I have not mastered nor ever will, but am trying to live by.
A friend of mine in Nicaragua shared this verse with me that goes right along with this and I will forever be grateful:
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us. Ephesians 3:20 (emphasis mine)
We can know with certainty that God is working even when we don’t see Him and know that we can trust Him with our dreams because His power is capable of doing anything.
4. Behave in a Way That Supports My Dreams/Desires and NOT My Perceptions. Carlos and I were fortunate enough to be a part of a staff retreat for an organization in Nicaragua. There was a session that weekend about this and it changed me. The session challenged us to consider our behavior, thoughts, and actions and determine if they support our desires, our dreams, and our goals in life – or if they are based on how we perceive things to be. Most of the times, we speak and act according to how we perceive the situation to be rather than what we want out of the situation. This concept blew my mind. This new way of living not only supports my desire of being intentional, but also helps me to realize that the way I behave plays a crucial part in when or if I achieve my goals. I have SO MANY DREAMS and I don’t even want to imagine not reaching them because all this time I was too focused on how crappy the situation is or how so and so treated me, etc. etc. NOW is the time to make a list of what I want, how I can achieve them, and what I’m doing now that is not supporting them. Amazing right?
These are just a few of the mountain of things I am learning right now. Twenty-three will be a year of blessing, finding myself, and action. Before I end I want to share with you a few more things…
Books I’m Reading:
- Audacity by Beth Moore
- The Power of a Praying Wife by Stormie Omartian
- The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson (still)
I highly recommend all three of these books. No matter what stage in life you’re in, these books will rock your world.
What I Want to Learn This Year:
- To use social media for inspiration, creativity, and encouragement
- What my spiritual gifts are and how to use them
- How to love people well
Thank you so much for all of the birthday wishes so far. Twenty-three will be a good year, this I’m sure of. Thank you for your prayers and support and encouragement. If you’re interested in life updates, just ask! Thanks for reading and I pray that you found some encouragement in it!
Now then, stand still and see this great thing the Lord is about to do before your eyes! 1 Samuel 12:16