Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Living a Life of Passion

Where is your passion?

As I mentally prepare myself for Passion 2015, I can't help but think of this word. Passion. What does it mean?

After a quick google search, I found it to define passion as a "strong and barely controllable emotion". I find myself to be a relatively calm person. Few things excite me. Few things bring me to rage. (Mom, if you're reading this, I know you're probably laughing! Those teenage years were hormonal. LOL) Because of this, I have been blessed with clarity in finding my own passion.

As a young adult, I begin to question my life.

What am I even doing? Is this going to benefit me in the long run?

Am I even being productive?

Where did all of my friends go? Where did my social life go?

While most adults laugh at the small amount of stress we have to juggle, it's still a lot to us. We're not in high school anymore. For some of us, we're about to graduate college. We aren't allowed to say we're "still figuring it out" because "you're about to graduate college, so you better figure it out quick". Knowing that we have to find a career that we could spend the rest of our lives in is overwhelming (especially for those of us who spend a lot of time just deciding if we want a blueberry or a chocolate muffin for breakfast).

So, how do you remain focused?

Life is difficult. Life is stressful. But life doesn't have to be ALL stressful. We are allowed to have fun. Instead of planning your life around how you're going to work, we should plan our life around how we are going to enjoy it, get the most of it.

I love my parents, so don't misread anything in these next paragraphs. I grew up with parents who have amazing work ethic. I credit them for my work ethic now. I'm constantly thinking about work: how I can get more hours, how many hours I'll clock out with at the end of the day/week, if I can go in on my off days to get more hours, how I can improve at work, etc. My father was always working. He's a farmer. He's super dedicated. I once asked my mom how many hours of sleep he gets because I hardly ever saw him sleeping. He came in late and woke early. So, I grew up around that. My mom quit her job to stay at home with my sister. Then she stayed at home to homeschool my sister (and later, me). She was also constantly working. Anyone who discredits homemakers can go talk to my mom (or my grandma and aunt) and ask for their to do list. I guarantee it's more than most get done in a regular work day.

Occasionally my dad would ask what I accomplished that day. If we didn't get much done, he'd make a small comment on that. We weren't in trouble, but both of my parents tried to motivate us to make the most of our time. Because of this, I developed a fear of wasting any days. Even now, if I don't get much done in a day, I instantly allow guilt to cloud my mind. So, instead of sleeping at a decent hour, I'll stay up to "compensate" for time lost. Even when I have to spend sick days in bed, I feel guilty. I feel as if I must be accomplishing something. I became obsessed with quantity of accomplishment, rather than quality.

Is that what life is all about? Ask anyone who is in their older years. Most will say quality of life is more important.

Going back to the beginning, consider your passions. What creates "strong and barely controllable emotion" for you? Is it ending human slavery? Is it ending child abuse? Is it finding a cure for cancer? Is it spreading your knowledge in a classroom environment? Whatever that passion is, whatever motivates you, use that to develop your future career. Allow God to take full reign of your future life. Don't allow the numbers in potential salary to determine your decision of career.

Don't live a life of regret. I strongly doubt that choosing a life that is full of something you have a passion for will lead you to a life of regret. Life isn't about money, how many titles you have in your name, how much college or experience you have. Life is about how you're using your talent to serve God. Don't you want to tell God you used everything you had to serve Him? That you used every possible talent He gave you in order to bring glory to His kingdom? To bring others to Him? I want to be able to say that. I don't want to live a life of regret. I want to live a life full of passion. Passion for serving Christ and His people.

God bless. 

Monday, October 6, 2014

The Power of Prayer

Wow. I haven't written in forever. I mostly write on my Tumblr account.

I have something that has been on my mind lately and I felt the need to write on it.

What happened to my prayer life? It's withering, and with it so is my relationship with Christ. I remember feeling a closeness to Christ, knowing He was listening and always humbly waiting on a reply. I recognized the need for give and take in the conversations. So many times we fail to allow Christ to speak because we doubt He will speak to us anyway. Lately, I've been throwing up one-liners and "calling it good".

I can blame it on my busy life. I work full time hours. I'm a full time student. I volunteer in my "spare time". However, I still have free time where I find myself catching up on the latest book or movie rather than contributing to my relationship with Christ. I have done terrible at this. No wonder I feel like I'm in a desert with my spiritual life! It's my own fault. I can't blame anyone else. It's all about priorities.

You know, when I was little I used to kneel beside my bed in prayer. Every night. There was no exception, no matter how exhausted I felt. I'd kneel because that was the truest form of dedication I knew. And I wasn't even in middle school yet. I showed more dedication as a child than I am as an adult. How sad is that?

A small part of me knows what happened. Why I stopped kneeling. I was going through a rough patch in life and started to become overwhelmed with thoughts that God doesn't care. So I continued praying every night. But I was no longer kneeling. Those long prayers of confessing sins, talking about how awesome my day was (or how bad), how beautiful His creation is, etc. turned into quick "Lord, whatever I have done wrong today, I'm sorry. Amen." as if that was any consolation.

What a terrible relationship! Can you imagine that being all your spouse/mother/father/daughter/son/sister/etc says to you all day? There is no "Hey! How was your day? Mine was fantastic. Let me tell you about it." With this there comes an inevitable decline in the relationship. Communication is vital.

So this week (and always) I'm going to challenge myself. Instead of crashing after doing homework, I'm going to spend the last moments before bed kneeling, praying, and praising God. Even if it's for a moment.

"Seek the Lord and His strength, seek His face continually." (1 Chronicles 16:11)

Monday, February 10, 2014

I haven't written in forever! I feel so deprived of writing. Writing sets a fire in my soul that nothing else besides Jesus and music can do. Even when no one else reads my blog, I will always write here! As I read somewhere, we should write blogs because "we'd die if we don't" not because other people are reading them.

I've been thinking a lot about quality of life lately. I'm always so busy. I'm taking six classes, volunteering as a CASA worker, and I'm also working almost full time (and volunteering for events for the store). I can't help but wonder if I should have set more free time aside for myself. Is life about rushing through it? Or is it about enjoying the ride, learning as much as you can as you make the travel?

Jesus has been stressing the fact that I need to seek peace so I can prepare myself for the next trial that comes my way. While I don't want another trial, I must be emotionally prepared because there will undoubtedly be another trial on this side of heaven. Until then, I'm focusing on quality of life. There is beauty in everything: in business, in trials, in peace, etc.

"Who can tell what will happen on the earth after we are gone?" (Ecc. 6:12)

Saturday, August 18, 2012

What Does Your Sacrifice Look Like?

I haven't written in a while! My goodness.

(I've been using Tumblr quite a bit. If any want to follow me, search for 01tabithanicole.)

I've been thinking a lot about the promises we make to God. Whether it be in tithing, service, or even little everyday activities.

Sometimes I promise God that I'm going to give Him a certain amount from my paycheck. Then when I begin to add everything up, I notice that I will barely have enough to get by.

And I panic.

God wants to know, to see if I really trust Him completely.

That happened to me again a couple weeks ago. I felt God leading me to give to a friend who is traveling to Europe to spread God's love. I wrote the check out for the amount God led me to. Then I begin calculating the things I needed, bills I needed to pay and I froze.
Panicked again.
But I sent the check anyway. God looks at our heart. "Make thankfulness your sacrifice to God, and keep the vows you made to the Most High." (Psalms 50:16)
God looks at our heart. He sees our obedience. And for that, we will be rewarded. He doesn't look at the AMOUNT we have given but at the condition of our heart as we gave, the obedience, the struggle in knowing that it was tough to obey but in love, we do it anyway.

How does your heart look as you give?

Monday, April 16, 2012


Lately I've been pondering my life. What have I done to make an impact on someone's life? What have I done to increase the kingdom of God? Surely my life isn't simply about working and school. There has got to be more to life than work and school. I know there is. Why? Because we were made for more.

I love this picture of the palm tree on the beach because it reminds me of the impact I can have on someone's life. Will I leave behind a legacy? Do others see the light of Christ shining through me? Is my shadow of light falling on those around me?

Life isn't about the materials you possess. It isn't about how many friends you'll have. Don't regret the things you do but the things you haven't done. Take hold of your salvation and live in faith. Don't put things off until tomorrow. "This is your life. Are you who you want to be?"

Friday, April 13, 2012

Be Set Apart

Goodness I haven't written anything in a while. It's kind of depressing.

I've been thinking a lot about how Jesus calls us as Christians to be set apart. So often I find myself justifying my aactions because i see my other Christian friends doing the same. Should I allow them to be my example? Ultimately, Jesus should be the one leading and guiding me.

Matthew 5:8 says, "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God." (Matthew 5:8) Am I pure in heart? Am I even seeking to be pure in heart? Does my heart want to see God? "But if from there you seek the Lord your God, you will find Him if you look for Him with all your heart and with all your soull." (Deuteronomy 4:28) (Emphasis, mine) Am I seeking Him with all of my heart and soul?

God is searching over all the earth for someone who is fully dedicated to Him. Will His eyes be pleased as they land on my heart? Will He see dedication? Or will He see a lukewarm heart, pulled by a desire to seek the world while attempting to serve Him? He wants us to fully dedicate not only our lives, but our hearts, souls, and minds as well to Him.

He has a greater purpose for our lives than this world can comprehend or offer. He has our best interests at heart. He knows our weaknesses, and puts up with us anyway. What greater love than this? What greater patience? He deserves our dedication. He lived His life and died for us, how much more can we give to Him but our hearts and lives? He deserves it.

As the end times grow closer, it will become incredibly necessary to set ourselves apart from the world. We need to stand up for Christ now. If we can't now, how will we be able to when the issue of persecution is stronger? We have to be ready. Prepare your hearts. Purify your hearts. Be set apart. Dedicate your hearts and lives to Him, the author of your very soul.

Here's a challenge to help purify yourselves:
I've recently given up listening to secular songs that discourage me. Not all secular songs are bad. Some uplift me. The Fray are on my list of inspiring bands. I'll put up a list of recommended songs later. My challenge to YOU is to go through your iPod and write down a list of songs you have that don't encourage you. Party songs are great, but do they edify your spirit? That should be our ultimate goal. I'm throwing away a few CD's that I feel aren't edifying. (Such as my Florence + the Machine CD and yes, Foster the People, unfortunately. But, I've made myself a promise.)

Also, I've been carefully digesting the movies I watch as well. Oh be careful little eyes what you see. What you see can forever be embedded in your mind, memories, and affect how you view things in the future. Don't watch things that glorify the devil.

Watch your speech as well. It's easy to talk like everyone else but do you realize that claiming you are a Christian automatically sets you up for being placed under a microscope? People will want to see where you are different. This includes how you speak, how you encourage others, and even how you joke.

Be careful with your thoughts as well. Soon, your thoughts become your words and your words become actions.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

What Makes You, You?

What makes you, you? We're all unique. What do you like to do?

I work almost everyday. I go to school Monday through Friday. In my spare time, I study. Friends text me asking if I want to go out. I can't. It's depressing, but it's reality.

I can't find time for a "Girls' Night Out", but why can't I set aside at least an hour a week for myself? An hour to allow myself to strengthen the talents I have. Sometimes I groan to God, "What talents do I have? What makes me special? I don't feel special." It's an insult to Him. He's give me so much and what do I do with what He's given me? They seem to go to waste because instead of using my time wisely to glorify Him, I'm lying around doing things that don't even benefit myself, others, or (ultimately) God.

I really wanted to write mainly about this tonight because I've been feeling so dry. I know it has a lot to do with the fact that I'm not praying as much as I used to, but it also has a lot to do with the fact that I'm not using the talents God has given me. I used to play the piano everyday. I haven't played in months. I think that when we allow ourselves to thrive in the areas God intended us to, we thrive on the inside as well. True joy is found in Christ. When we are allowing His love to pour out through us into the abilities He has bestowed on us, true joy will flow through us and others will most certainly see it.

I love drawing. I love playing guitar. I love song-writing. I love piano. I love writing. These are the things I plan on trying my best, my everything to make time for because when I allow time for myself, I can pour more of myself (and Christ) into everyone else. Then, I won't be doing it out of obligation. I'll do it because of the joy in my heart. I truly do believe that thriving in your talents will bring you joy.

What do I enjoy? I love hanging out with friends, but when events in life don't allow for that to happen, there are other things I enjoy just as much. I love walks in the evening. Most people don't know that because I never take time for it. I love staring up at the stars. I discover things about myself when I'm outside. I feel closer to God.

God knows you. Even when you don't know who you are, He knows you. He knows what thrills you. He knows what upsets you. Trust Him. He gave you the talents and abilities for a specific purpose. What are you doing with what He's giving you? He made you unique. Are you attempting to discover what  those particular unique qualities are? Are you allowing your spirit within you to thrive? Or are you silently pushing it down because you're "too busy" or afraid of the unknown?

Don't let amazing opportunities slip from your grasp because you aren't looking. You're only in the race if you're running. Where are you? Are you in the sidelines, or are you running this race? Are you afraid to attempt to run because you think you're not good enough? Where will that get you? What's the worst that can happen when you try? You're not a loser. You're a winner because of Christ. He's already won this race for you. The victory lives within you. Are you living out the victory? Are you living a fulfilled life?