Fact: There is no “perfect time”

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How many times have we put off goals and dreams that burn deep within us because we’re waiting for everything to fall in place? I’ve done it plenty of times, and each experience has left me disappointed and confused because I wasted days, months or years for enough money or education to make my dreams come alive. In the midst of waiting for the perfect time to make a move, we often see others whizz past us like the Road Runner. Bitterness begins to boil within us like hot water in a pot. Or we become panicky, wondering what went wrong because it just seems so unsafe to take a risk. I’ve often called myself a “procrastinating perfectionist,” which really translates into “I’m a lazy coward.”

As a believer, I rely on God’s word for the answers to life’s challenging questions. There might not be a specific answer in the Word to what I’m dealing with at the time, but there are principles that can be applied to any situation. I’m sure most who have opened the Bible at least twice or sat in a church has heard Proverbs 3:5-6: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” Other than John 3:16, that was one of the first scriptures I felt confident enough to recite without flipping through the pages to make sure I hadn’t goofed. Life is full of decisions and regrets, from that car we shouldn’t have purchased to that burrito we shouldn’t have wolfed down at 10 p.m.

If we use the faith that we claim to have, then it doesn’t matter if things fall into place perfectly. That’s the whole point of faith. That word doesn’t mean we’re supposed to believe until something doesn’t go our way. Faith is the reason why many of us have the careers our parents tried to talk us out of, or the children that doctors told us we would never have.

As January fades and our desires head toward the resolution graveyard, I try to focus on what I can do right now to best of my ability to reach my goals and trust that things will be fine. You wouldn’t believe how much reading a good book, taking a walk, trying a new recipe, making a new friend or sharing wisdom with a coworker can boost your confidence to take on the scarier parts of life.

Right now, one thing you might run the risk of losing is fear.

Life happens…

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Yikes! It was shameful to come back to my blog and see how long it’s been since the last post. A lot has happened, including getting a new job, moving to a new state and building  friendships and goals. In the midst of change, sometimes you have to face that nagging voice from the past that reminds you of unfinished business and bluntly tells you the truth—you’re just not that busy. I’ve scrolled past all those variations of the same quote on Facebook a million times, the ones that talk about everyone having the same 24 hours in a day and so on. So, why do my 24 hours slip by so quickly? I tend to plan to get around to doing something, but I always end up spending 90 percent of the time reading articles, Youtube videos and blogs about my task, 9 percent napping and 1 percent panicking about how time has zoomed by. I guess the moral of all this is the best time to start anything is right now. Which is why I don’t really have anything unique to write about, but at least I’m writing.

Hope after Heartbreak

Just like death, heartbreak is one of those unavoidable experiences that we all face in this journey called life. It can take a toll on your self esteem and ability to trust, but I’ve learned that your response to it always determines your level of victory over it.  Four things that helped me through heartbreak:

Don’t think you’re incapable of doing the same thing

I remember as a child feeling a bit appalled when someone said that I was going to be a “little heartbreaker” when I grew up. Not realizing it was just a figure of speech, I tried my hardest to prove that person wrong. The truth is, none of us are perfect. We say and do foolish things for a variety of reasons and we can’t take them back. When we’re hurt, our bitterness can produce pride and give us a false sense of entitlement to treat our offenders like garbage. That’s why it’s so important to forgive. One day you will find yourself desiring the same grace that someone else needs right now. It’s best to get in the habit of forgiving, no matter how big or small the situation is. 

Let time heal

You might be tempted to use alcohol, drugs, food or another person to numb the feelings, but  time is your best friend. The days tend to drag when you’re going through difficult circumstances, but remember that each day that your eyes open and your lungs fill with air is another step closer to freedom. I enjoy memorizing scriptures and filling my mind and spirit with words of wisdom and truth.  You have to drown out the negativity, stop living in the past and have hope for your future. 

Overcome evil with good

It’s easy to sulk when you’ve become the victim of heartbreak, but it’s the perfect opportunity to reach out to someone else. Volunteer, call a friend or do a favor for a family. You can also treat yourself by reading a good book, traveling or buying a new outfit (but don’t overspend!)

Last, but not least…

 LOVE!–Don’t allow one person keep you from loving others genuinely. When you love, there’s always a risk that you will get hurt. It’s ok, just let those lessons builds strength that you never though you could posses. You may not want to get out bed, but you’re needed in this world, so keep living and keep loving. 

If you have any lessons about heartbreak, please feel free to share them. God Bless!

~Aniesa 

 

Never stop learning

Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young. Henry Ford

I made a commitment this month towards learning more about my career and what I want out of my career. When I graduated from college six years ago, I suddenly I felt that I had all of the education that I could take. I just wanted to work, make money and finally feel like an adult. But I didn’t realize that it took more than just walking across a stage and taking a photo with my newly earned degree. True education begins when the bills are due, work hours get longer and handouts become fewer. When your career or life goals hit a stump, it’s time to start learning again. If you’re not able to sit in a classroom right now, you can still  join a club, volunteer or spend a day at the library. I challenged myself to take on stories at work that I usually wouldn’t touch. I’ve pursued writing gigs that seemed way of out my league. There are people all around us who are free teachers whether’s it’s your neighbor, pastor or colleague. Education is all around you. Even if you’ve never gone to college, an open mind can still take you to new places in learning and opportunity that once felt beyond your reach. The next big invention or breakthrough is resting in your brain right now, waiting to change the world. Take chances, read new books or magazines, express your vision with others and don’t be afraid of failure. The best time to start is right now.

The journey into a New Year

I thought that I should make one final post before the new year arrives. I had to take a mandatory break from the Internet for a couple of weeks, which was much needed. This year was a long, difficult journey in my life. People came and left my life so quickly and a few of my hopes were delayed or halted beyond my control. I’ve seen people very close to me endure some painful experiences in their finances, careers and marriages. One of the toughest questions that I have had to refrain from asking is “why me/them/us?” Sometimes it takes difficult circumstances such as heartbreak or mistakes to get you back on track. When things always go your way, you tend to settle in a period of complacency and pride can consume you. But some of the greatest accomplishments in history took place when a person reached their breaking point. Sometimes you feel like the only person in the world who is suffering, but beyond the surface is a whole world of people who are facing life’s challenges. Remember that there’s always someone out there that you can be a blessing to each day, especially those days when you don’t even feel like getting out of bed. When one door closes, there’s another that is just waiting for you to walk through. No matter what is going on, enter the new year with hope, gratitude, compassion and confidence…and a smile.

Have a blessed and prosperous new year and may God be with you!

~Aniesa

The truth about Monday

Mondays have always scared me. I typically glide through the extremely short weekends successfully forgetting about all of the work, emails, phone calls and other responsibilities that I have to face. I wake up on Monday hoping and praying that it’s a holiday, still Sunday or that I am dreaming. It actually took me a while to admit that, but at least I know that it has nothing to do with the actual day.

This year I finally faced a hard truth: Life will be difficult and failures and disappointments are inevitable. However, your attitude will determine how long it takes you to overcome them. I realized that I dreaded going to work on Monday not because of what I had to face, but the possibility that I would get everything wrong. In my head, I created a chaotic week filled with errors and angry people. That might actually happen, but why hide under the covers every Monday and wish Saturday back? It’s not going to happen.

When we look back at our lives, how many times have we avoided opportunities, relationships and destinations out of fear that things would go terribly wrong? And when they do go wrong, we immediately internalize that it’s something awful about us that caused it. That person dumped me because I’m not good enough (I once believed that). I wasn’t hired for that job because I sounded like an idiot at the interview (believed that too). A big part of me dreaded started this blog because I feared no one would like anything I had to say.  Sometimes we give people and circumstances too much power over our value.  It’s important that we face our perception of failure and disappointment, focus on what caused us to immediately jump to the worst conclusion and view things from a new perspective. You may have been dumped, overlooked or totally blown an opportunity, but it doesn’t make you less valuable as a person.  You can look back one day and say, “Yep, that happened” and keep going. Face each day knowing your worth and use failures as opportunities to see growth and hope for the future. You’re alive to endure them and that’s all that matters for now.

Now I realize that the best part about Monday is that it serves as proof that I survived the previous one.

The challenge of getting Your Gift

 
I just thought of when I was a kid during Christmastime. There was usually one special item that I had been hoping and waiting for all year long. Then the day finally comes. I unwrap it and there it is. The picture on the outside of the box is perfect, just how I imagined. I open the box and look inside and notice something is a little different. In order for it to fit in the nice box perfectly, the actual toy is in a dozen different pieces. I can’t just take it out of the box and play with it. I take out every part and lay it before me. It’s confusing because I know what it is, but it looks so much different from how it looks when it’s all together. There’s an instruction manual with it. I have to read it over and over but it takes time for it to make sense. I would ask my father for help putting it together. He’s more mature and he understands the instructions. He teaches me how to go step by step to put my gift together. You can’t do step five without doing step one first, or the toy won’t look or operate the way it is intended. I become frustrated and impatient and try to do it myself despite my father’s knowledge, but I only end up making things worse. He had all the tools needed to do the work. I finally step back and let him lead me and guide to put the gift together gently and in perfect timing. When we finished, it looked just like it did in the packaging. I didn’t see that coming the first time, but as I grew I learned that what your gifts look like on the outside aren’t always how they look on the inside. You have to mature and allow your father to teach you how to piece them together step by step until they are complete. Isn’t that just like God when He gives us what we’ve been praying, asking and hoping for? They come and they’re in a million different pieces and we have to rely on Him to help us put them in order with our lives so they will function how they are supposed to. This could include a job, mate, children, a home, financial increase, etc. They are great gifts, but they usually have so many different little components that you didn’t really expect. Allow God to help you put them together in His perfect way. Shalom.