Family & Friends

One precious thing in life that has been brought to my attention over and over in the past couple months is the role of family and friends in my life. In all honesty, family and our closest friends are the ones we look to for advice, encouragement, love and support. They are the ones we cry, laugh, talk, and yell with. (Hopefully more laughing and talking😉) They are the ones we seek understanding and encouragement from when making decisions, going through a tough time, or in our faith.

One important thing to understand, and I have seen both sides, is that they won’t always give what you are looking for in that moment. Reasons could be, they are trying to protect you, think they know best, have lived longer and believe they have more wisdom with age, they love you, they are scared of getting left behind, and many more reasons. Sometimes they will be your biggest cheerleaders and sometimes your biggest critics. How they react is based on their viewpoint and their knowledge of the situation. When the ones we love most are not the most enthusiastic about our choices, it hurts and can be very discouraging.

The decision at this point, do we listen to what they think is best or what God says is right? Do we let the fear of approval take over and give up on something that could change the future before us? Do we let their OPINION define us or refine us? Do we take it as water to our fire or fuel? Are they going to be right or are you?

We need to seek advice and counsel from others that we respect and love, but we also need to be careful to seek advice from those that have success in the area we desire, are farther down the road, and have the fruit on the tree. If we are looking to make a financial decision, wouldn’t you say it makes sense to look to someone that is doing well financially? In our career path, wouldn’t you want to speak to those that are on the path you are interested in and ask questions about the good and bad, and get a few different perspectives on if they are happy with their position in life?

You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough. – Jackie Lewis

Isn’t that statement so profound and rings with truth? But yet so many people live life ignorantly, myself included, I was very selfish and lived my day to day life thinking whatever happens, happens. I hope for the best. How crazy is that? I was not living intentionally, wanting to make something of everyday that I am given. As Gods word says in
James 4:14- Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.

Our life is but a breath on this earth and we are here to fulfill a calling, a purpose, a passion that has been ignited, whatever you want to call it. The point is that we can live to be fulfilled and to fulfill or we can quit and live day by day hoping for the best because we fear the approval of fellow people. We were given the need for relationships to survive. Like
plants need water, we need relationships like we need air. So naturally we look to those we love and share our lives with because we want to feel united as one and want to agree in everything we do. But sometimes I feel I look way to much at those that surround me for approval when I need to look UP for the only approval that is needed to do what needs to be done. When those you love encourage and uplift you in anything, praise God. But when they are criticizing and discouraging you, just ask for love and understanding that if that’s where God has called you then you are going to follow and will do it with excellence and then follow with confidence and peace knowing you are in the right place. Strive to LIVE INTENTIONALLY FOR EXCELLENCE every single day. Keep your long term goals and aspirations in sight but never lose sight at the here and now moments that bring those goals and aspirations about, into realities. Never apologize for your calling, just run after it! Will never be regretted!:) that is one thing I can guarantee! The work is hard but the reward is great!

The common man achieves nothing.- Orrin Woodward

Will you decide to be uncommon and chase after something great?

If so, I will see you at the finish line! 🙂

With love,
Jessica

Learning New Habits

This past Saturday at the Life Leadership Seminar in Atlanta, Ga, we had Dan and Lisa Hawkins come and share some great info on how to achieve success and their belief that they know it is possible for each of us if we choose to do the things necessary. One thing Dan said that really hit home for me was an example of if we tell ourselves we are going to wake up at 7am and we hit snooze till 8am, we are lying to ourselves. Although that seems like a very little, insignificant thing, it will eventually lead to us lying about bigger things and eventually lying to others and not even noticing. That was so big for me because I have been telling myself for a month I am going to wake up at 7 and start my morning by reading, doing my bible study before boys are up and maybe even showering and haven’t followed through once. So Dan said he would take away things he loves until he achieved a goal him and Lisa set for themselves. So I love sodas and ice cream! My absolute favorite! So I am taking those things away until I wake up every morning for a week and a half at 7am. This morning was the first morning and I already feel tempted to give in to just sleep and reason why sleeping for 5 more minutes is no big deal, IT IS!! I overcame that reasoning and I feel fantastic already having a slower morning to wake up and get my time with God and read Orrin’s new blog was great before the kids woke up, to get my mind and heart in the right place. Very refreshing and exciting that I overcame flesh to begin the little things to achieve the big things. It is the little victories that add up to the big victories. So my point of this is that if you are striving to achieve something big like a promotion, a business achievement, meet significant other, being a great parent or spouse, meet a new physical achievement, then start analyzing the little things in your life that you reason to put off or not do and begin overcoming them by committing to do them for a time period of your choice, take away something you love whether it be tv, video games, food or drink item, Facebook, whatever it is you love MOST! If you miss a day, then you start over. Consistency over time creates habits, habits create results. What results are you creating? Great, good, or bad? I hope and pray they are GREAT! 🙂

With love
Jessica

The Light

The inspiration for this blog goes out to my sister Brooke. She sent me a text with the song “Ready or Not” by Britt Nicole. I love you sister!

As I was listening to this song just now, I realize that there is a light inside of each and every one of us that is meant to shine, and I mean like shine BRIGHT! You know the kind of bright like trying to look directly into the sun or even near it. But not only the appearance of the light but the warmth that comes with it. But not the miserable warm with sweat and scorching heat pressing on you, I am talking the type of warmth where it’s enough to warm you with a light breeze that isn’t overbearing.
Where does this type of light and warmth come from?
From within. The light is already inside. What has happened to the light? We have become experts at covering it up. For most of us, myself included, we cover it up with blankets of fear, anxiety, hurt, anger, doubt, worry, excuses and many more. When opportunity comes knocking to help pull blanket after blanket off and let the light shine again, our reaction should be excited, thankful, and ready but because we have let the light be buried so deep we think it’s broken, dead, and could never be bright enough to make a difference. What is great about the light we possess is a light that will never break, dim, or die. It will shine for always, it is our choice to uncover it, dust it off, and share it with the world. The light was not only meant to shine, but be shared with others. Each light is significant, special, unique, one of a kind. And you, the reader, possess the light I am talking about. Stop thinking, right now, “well she isn’t talking about me,” or “oh my goodness, so and so needs to read this, this is exactly what they need to hear.” I have thought those things many times. I am writing this to you, your light may shine but just with everything in life, it could always use some touch ups, improvements, and some bigger shine. We should always be growing and changing. So find your light first, uncover, dust off, polish, whatever and THEN think of who you know and love that is looking for the light. We first have to focus on ourselves, because no one will listen to those that aren’t putting into action their words. We can’t bring others shine out without first coming out of our own darkness. Every individual light is special, I couldn’t stress that enough. Never think your light doesn’t bring something new and encouraging to the table. Your light could be the only light that could brighten the person in front or behind you in the grocery line, the person sitting next to you on a plane, at school, or at work. They are blinded, searching for their way, will you be able to shine the light and open their eyes? Don’t be ashamed, be proud of it. 🙂 Picture when you bought an outfit or a car and you felt so proud and happy, you held your head a little higher, stood up a little taller, and had that little smile like yea this is mine, be just as proud but also humble that you found yours and want to share it with love. I have found my light and I am making sure everyday that its shining to its fullest. I am not ashamed in anyway and I share mine everywhere I go:) Never know when a simple “Hi, how you doing?” could turn someone’s world upside down. My light comes from Jesus Christ! When your light is needed, I pray that you have it shining bright for the person searching for theirs. Find your light and take it all over the world. 🙂 love you all!

For with you is the fountain of life; in your light we see light. (Psalm 36:9 NIV)

With love
Jessica