Facing Unexpected Challenges

So how is your January going? Overwhelmed with the start of the new year and all the activities and to-dos it brings?

It’s been quite busy around here that’s for sure. Sometimes I think devilish imps are determined to sidetrack me from my goals, but I keep persisting. First, I took my car in for an oil change and realized I had an oil leak. So that set me back a good $270. Next my landlines went out so I needed to purchase a whole new system. And then, my laptop went black on me. I was able to get it up briefly but then, silly me, decided to try to reinstall the video graphics drivers and it went back to the black screen. I decided the laptop was too old and a coworker told me, “That computer has given you too much guff!”

“You’re right,” I said. “Enough guff.”

Then it was time to deal with all the decisions regarding getting a new computer: laptop vs. desktop, operating system Windows vs. Mac, size, processor speed, brand, well you get the idea. Bought one at Best Buy and then decided I wanted a bigger monitor, so took it back and got one at Staples and a new monitor – both on sale! I LOVE SALES! Somehow I feel like I’m getting a better deal. Plus this one is a Toshiba instead of an HP so am hoping I’ll have less problems AND it’s energy star!

So this week have been dealing with installing all the new software, checking my external hard drive for viruses, and deciding on an internet security suite. Oh, did I mention learning a brand new foreign operating system, Windows 8? Whew! Just talking about it makes me tired.

On top of all this, my youngest son took off for Minnesota for a new job.

Not to mention, I’ve been dealing with some health issues that are really sapping my energy. I am positive they are exacerbated by the stress. I am not in denial. I realize when I am under more stress than usual.

So why am I sharing all this? Because I want you to know that all of us are faced with unexpected challenges and multiple decisions which cause stress and distract us from our goals. The key I believe is to have faith and realize there is a lesson to be learned in all this. The lesson I learned is that nothing, and I do mean, NOTHING, is worth stressing about. Everything works out in due time.

My key verse is Phillipians 4:6 which says “Do not be anxious about ANYTHING, but in all things with prayer and supplication let your requests be made known to God and He will give you peace that surpasses all understanding.”

Faith is believing that God is on our side and that he is working all things ultimately for our good although it may not seem like it at the time. God does have a plan and a purpose for these trials, just as he did with Job. God is still in control and he is the one who allows these things to happen. Our job is to discern the lessons he is trying to teach us in the process. Otherwise we are doomed to repeat the same sorry situations.

So, dear friends, take heart. Be encouraged. If your situation is particularly challenging, ask the Lord what he may be trying to tell you and what actions you need to take. My favorite verse these days is Romans 8:31 which says, “If God is for us, who can stand against us?” And the answer is no one and nothing.

Until next time, stand firm, listen to that still small voice, and trust that all things will pass in due time. Let me know what situations you’re facing and I will be sure to keep you in prayer.

Daily Decisions Do Count

We all have choices to make in this life. Some decisions impact our lives for years to come such as: should I go to college, shall I marry this person, shall I change careers. These weightier decisions deserve a lot of thought as well as prayer.

Thankfully, these major decisions are not too frequent. But what about the many decisions we make on a day to day basis almost without thinking?

Today for example, I chose whether or not to go to the gym, what to eat for the day, what tasks to complete at work, whether I want to watch “Dancing with the Stars” or work on my writing. The small daily decisions I make, over time, do make a difference and the difference is major.

It is my daily choices that determine whether or not I will achieve my goals in life. If I want to maintain a certain weight, my food and exercise choices will help keep me there. If I want to keep my job, the way I spend my time will impact the quality of my work and if I want to have a decent income in retirement, I will need to watch my spending today.

It’s one thing to have faith that my dreams will come to fruition, but I also have to take appropriate action to make them happen. The Bible says “Faith without works is dead.” (James 2:26).

What decisions did you make today and how much thought did you give to them? Do you have a clear idea of the goals you want to achieve? I know it’s time for me to revisit my goals, how about you? Drop me a note and let me know what goals you want to achieve and remember this passage from proverbs “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he” (Prov. 23:7). Until next time, keep looking up!