Imagine how different your life would be if the only thing you changed right now was your belief in yourself. If all you did today was say “I can do this.” If every time you had a doubt in your mind. Or someone else doubted you. If every time you said “I CAN do this!” “I AM going to get through this!” Imagine how much your life would change. It’s so incredible that all you have to do to change your life is change your mindset. That’s it! All you have to do to live the life you’ve imagined is believe in yourself. Encourage yourself. I don’t know what your purpose is but I do know that it’s a great one. And you’re so incredibly capable of living the life you’ve imagined. You see the difference between you and the people you think have everything. The people you strive to be like. The difference between isn’t what they have. It’s how they think. That’s the key. So go unlock your full potential. Because you absolutely deserve to. __a.c.
“This wasn’t supposed to be part of my plan.” “I never planned for this to happen.” “This was never my plan.” These are the phrases spoken by 100% of the population at some point in time. We hear it from everyone. We say it ourselves. Because we think our plans are actually ours to make. But there not! Our plans are not ours to plan. They’re ours to live! And that’s a very important distinction to understand. We did not create the universe. We did not create ourselves. We did not create our bodies or any of the things needed to sustain them. We did not create our purpose. Our passion. Our dreams. We have created nothing of which we think we should control! And yet we have created everything [what we do each day, how we react to what happens to us, our mindset, our way of thinking] of which we think we have no control of! How do you know? How do you know you weren’t supposed to face adversity in life? How do you know you weren’t supposed to face failure? Disappointment? How do you know you were supposed to have a perfect life? That everyone should always agree with you? Like you? How do you know you were never supposed to get knocked down? Sometimes over and over again? To be challenged in life? How do you know everything was supposed to be handed to you? That you were supposed to succeed at everything in life? You don’t! Because our plans is not ours to plan! It’s only ours to live! And just maybe the very things you want are located inside of the very situations you think shouldn’t be a part of your life. But you will never ever discover them if you continue to wake up each day and put blame on God. On your surroundings. On the people around you. On your lack of growth. God did not fill your heart sadness or your mind with doubt. He did not make you ungrateful. He did not place you in a position of failure and tell you that was your permanent home! He did not make you unwilling. God never placed you in a comfort zone and told you to stay forever! He did not place you in an unhappy relationship and tell you you can’t make it better! You did that to yourself! We do these things to ourselves day after day. And then all of a sudden a lifetime has passed us by and we have so very little to show for it. We all have the most amazing ability to wake up each day and change our circumstances. To better our situations. We were given life! That is so incredible. Each day we live is so incredible. So if you can be wise enough to understand that. If you can be brave enough to truly chase your dreams. If you can be focused enough to unlock your happiness. Well, you might just become limitless. You might just end up changing the world for the better. And you might just end up living the life you dream of. __a.c.
We have a problem. In this world. In America. In our country. We have a problem. And we all know it. We can turn our head away. We can close our eyes to it. But deep down. Inside. We know it. What do you do with a problem? You solve it. Now although it causes complications, it’s not a complicated problem. And that’s an important concept to understand. You see, the problem disguises itself in words like racism, profiling, stereotyping, revenge. You can call it what you want, but the bottom line is the problem is hate. And the solution? It isn’t at the bottom of the ocean. It isn’t hidden on the top of a mountain. It’s not across the ocean. Across the galaxy. It’s not on a different planet. It’s not hidden in a code. Or disguised in the Mona Lisa. It’s not under a stack of dusty old magazines in your attic. You don’t need to pay money to get it or go to school to learn it. The solution is as close as you. It is literally inside of you. It’s your heart. It’s love. Not the kind of conditional love we all know so well. It’s unconditional, God given, love. It’s what we were literally born with. What we were sent here to do. What we were sent here to be. It’s us. It’s you. It’s me. It’s our neighbors. Our sons and daughters. Our mothers and fathers. It’s the homeless man on the street. The mailman. All the people you’ve looked down upon and looked up to. Everyone you’ve looked away from. Every single person you have laid your eyes on. We are the solution. No excuses! And we can absolutely solve this problem of hate. Because we are absolutely filled with love. __a.c.
People think there’s only a certain time frame you have to get it all figured out. Your twenties is when you’re supposed to get it all together. Graduate college, start a career, get married, buy a house, start your family, blah, blah, blah. And that’s a lot to pack into a ten year span in general, but especially when it’s packed into the wrong decade. And until you actually reach your twenties, you think it’s all possible. You think it’s all going to fall in place. Just. Like. That. Your dreams are set up to achieve it all in your twenties and you don’t even realize that yet. You think that’s plenty of time to have it all accomplished. Ten years. Sounds plausible, right? Then why do we have a world filled with twenty somethings feeling like failures? Why do we we have an ever increasing amount of depressed twenty somethings? Why doesn’t that plan actually work? Because we forget that life happens. We forget that people, even grown people need love and support. They need to be uplifted instead of judged and put down. Maybe you don’t graduate college in four years. Maybe it takes six. Maybe law school or the graduate program you chose was completely wrong for you. Maybe you don’t land a dream career or even a career at all right out of college. Relationships fall apart. Financial problems. Student loans. Not enough money for a house. Bills. A baby. Maybe you or someone you love gets sick. It happens. Stuff happens. Life happens. You see, a lot is going to happen in your twenties. The whole span of your twenties. Every single one of those years is going to soak up this world. It’s going to build you up, push you down. You are going to laugh and cry and smile so much. You are going to face decision after decision. And YOU have to make them. You are going to have plan after unexpected plan because it’s probably not going to pan out like it’s “supposed to.” Because it’s not supposed to pan out in one certain way! So much happens in your twenties and they are such crucial, important years of your life. You’re going to discover yourself in your twenties like you’ve never discovered yourself before. And you shouldn’t spend your twenties feeling rushed, or like a failure. You should spend them feeling amazed, impressed. Excited about the person you’re discovering yourself to be! You should spend them learning how to overcome a situation, not feeling like you fell behind a line. You should spend them getting to know yourself and the world around you. The people around you. You should let them transform you into a beautiful, kind, loving person. Because as challenging as they will be, your twenties are amazing, magical, struggling, beautiful years. And you will never get these twenty something years back. But if you live them right. If you love them right. The rest of your years will thank you for them. And so will the rest of the world. __a.c.
We have become a very verbally opinionated world. And that’s not the problem. We’re human. We think. We speak. Opinions are bound to be part of our everyday lives. The problem is WHAT we have become so opinionated on. The vast majority seems to only speak on the latest “trend.” And by the way, just because it’s trending doesn’t actually make it worthwhile. People are so opinionated on how someone was or wasn’t watching their kid at the zoo, but how often do you actually play with or read to your kids every day? How someone should or shouldn’t have shot a gorilla, but how important are your babies to you? And do you even fight for animal rights in your life anyways? Is it even relevant to your life? Whether someone is too skinny or fat, or wearing an outfit we don’t approve of, but when was the last time you talked about the word of the day after church? Whether a dress is gold or blue, but when was the last time you offered a helping hand? Whether people are white or black, but when was the last time you talked about or practiced unconditional love? Whether someone is or isn’t deserving of one of life’s blessing, but when was the last time you encouraged people to read the Bible? When was the last time you read scripture? Applied it to your life? When was the last time you went out of your way to help someone? Said “have a good day” to a stranger? When was the last time you went out of your way in your relationship to absolutely make the other person’s day? Volunteered? Helped a kid in need? When was the last time you complimented someone? My point is not that we shouldn’t have opinions. I believe opinions can be a great addition to the world. It was God’s opinion of Adam’s loneliness that led to the creation of Eve, which in my opinion is awesome. My point, you see, is that we should all take a look at what we are so opinionated on. What we are so inclined to verbalized, to put into the world. Because what we speak, write and do stays forever. And are we creating forevers that are worthy to exist? And remember, talking about someone else’s sin does not make yours disappear. __a.c.
I had it all figured out. My plan was set, ready to go. I was excited and ready to take on the world. And then slowly, piece by piece, goal by goal, it all fell apart. And I mean all of it. I failed at some, got distracted and forgot about others, and then somehow I found myself with nothing but a broken plan. Dreams never to come true. Not even a new plan to take its place. Just confusion. Frustration. Fear. How could all that planning. All that dreaming. All that work towards it end up with nothing to prove? Nothing to show. And then I realized it.
After much time had passed I finally realized it. I had something to prove. I hadn’t actually ended up with nothing. I hadn’t actually gone on living without a plan & I didn’t even realize it. Because it wasn’t my plan. I hadn’t been wandering around lost in the wilderness of this world. You see I actually ended up with what I needed. What God knew I needed. Strength. Perseverance. Hope. Faith. Love. Positivity. Patience. Understanding. I had all of these things surrounding me. But they didn’t just come to me. They didn’t just fall into my lap. I had to fight for them. I had to give it all I had to get them. And most of these. Most of these things I earned I never even factored into my original plan. College. Career. Money. That’s the plan, right? That’s how we’ll change the world, right? Make our parents proud? But all of those things are gone eventually. The careers end or make you unhappy. The money runs out or loses its value. And then what’s left?
And the ironic thing is, we never plan those things into our lives. We never pencil in strength and patience on our calendars & count down to the days we have left to reach them. And we need them. Boy do we need them.
You see, I had walked out unharmed, and actually stronger after the fire. After my plans came burning down. And that’s worth something. That proves something. That shows something. Because it’s the things you can’t frame that are worth displaying the most. __a.c.
I wake up, check on my 9 month old son and then first thing I think about is coffee. Every morning without skipping a beat. My first thought goes to coffee. A warm, lightly dark cup of perfect coffee. Before I can actually have the warm cup of pure goodness in my hand I first have to get up, put my contacts in, brush my teeth, pee, change Ayden’s diaper & play with him for a few minutes. (Afterall, he does come first.) Then I have to walk downstairs, put Ayden in his playpen, make the coffee if it’s not already made, get a cup, put two packs of sweet-n-low and coconut milk in it and then pour the cup. But I don’t think about all that. I don’t think about what my day will look like- diaper changes, cleaning up inevitable puke and baby food, two minute showers because apparently Ayden doesn’t think I need a longer one than that, work, errands, nap times, laundry, reading, bills, writing, traffic, etc.
All I think about is that warm cup of coffee. And it’s enough to get me through the entire day. It’s enough to get me through the routine, which varies day by day. It’s a comforting, necessary, consistent.
That’s what faith is.
You have to work at it to have it every day- some days more than others. But once you have it in your hands, no matter what lies ahead of your day, you’ll get through it. You’ll be able to look back at each point in your day and night, and be comforted because you have it today, and you’ll have it tomorrow, too. It’s like an anchor in your day. The sea may rock and roll your ship, but you best believe you aren’t going overboard. It wants your soul, puts a smile on your face, and helps you over every obstacle you’ll face- because you are going to face obstacles. We all do.
So maybe it’s not the cup of coffee afterall that gets me through the days. But it sure does help. __a.c.