Depending by which standards you measure life from - I could say that 2018 was a horrible year.
I had people come into my life that caused me such deep pain that I am still learning how to cope and move forward.
I had situations that stretched me further than I ever thought possible.
I saw things in people that I wish I could unsee.
2018 had so many plots twists the best fiction writer couldn't have wound this plot together.
As 2018 is coming to an end I find that I have two choices. I can drag this "horrible year" into 2019 or I can change my perspective.
I do not look at 2018 as a horrible year. I have learned so much about myself and where my place is in this world. I would have chosen to learn the lessons another way, but unfortunately the easy way is usually not the best way.
I had a situation in 2018 that changed me - it through me for a loop that I wasn't expecting and was not prepared for. I didn't know how to feel, I didn't know how to cope or move forward. It broke me and shook who I thought I was to my core.
So how do I move forward for 2019?
Easy! No actually it's not easy, there are not a magical amount of steps that will make it all shiny and new.
As with anything that has the greatest rewards is the amount of effort you put in to make it a success.
I am choosing that my 2019 will be a success story to the lessons I have learned in 2018. (I am sure that 2019 will have new lessons for me to learn😊 )
I have a saying for my experiences in 2018. Years ago I made the choice to stop looking at situation based on a good or bad scale. Everything is a "character building exercise". Each day there is something to be learned and to be gained. Once you change your perspective, then your life situations start to look differently.
Once the situations start to look different then you start to change your reactions and how you feel about life and your place in it starts to become clearer. And thankfulness and gratitude become a part of these experiences.
A few questions I ask myself on this last day of 2018:
I am looking forward to journeying with you in 2019!
I have been traveling around and teaching journaling workshops - some would describe it more as a party. However you look at it - it is fun!
It is an afternoon of learn new things about yourself, scripture, fellowship worship and food! The number 1 response I have received about the "My Journey" journal is that they wished they would have started it years ago.
No need to run away to a cafe in Paris (unless you really want to), the "My Journey" journal is a great place to start to get who you have been created to be and why you have been created for such a time as this.
I recently traveled to a community to lead a workshop and it was my favorite one so far! Why? Because it had teen girls up to Grandma's - to see the generations working together and getting to know each other was a beautiful sight!!!! Seriously my heart exploded seeing all the open Bibles, pens and pencil crayons creating beautiful and washi tape being unrolled by the yard. Some were creative, some were not :) but everyone was getting involved and having a wonderful time.
The group of attendees from the church already decided to meet once a month to continue on the practice of "My Journey" journal and Bible Journaling. My heart was so filled with joy and the smile on my face lasted the long drive home.
This event was also a great opportunity for a test drive with the teen journal, and the girls really liked it from what I heard from the girls that attended. Here is a little more information on the teen girl journal:
I now have the 2018 "My Journey" Journal available for pre-order!
This spiral bound 8.5 x 11 workbook gives you a place to find peace and gratitude as you spend time weekly writing your thoughts and heart messages.
I will have pre-orders open only until November 25th, then they will be available for shipping the first week of December. So get your Christmas orders in!
Special bonus! Join me on my Facebook page for a Facebook live on Friday, November 10th! Be sure to "like" my page so that you will be notified when I go live! It should be entertaining since I have never done one before! :)
For anyone that purchases a 2018 journal will have access to videos posted in the members only section on my website, so be sure to register for your free account!
There are so many exciting things going on, make sure to join me on Facebook and Instagram, and share the news with your friends. I have worked through this journal for almost a year and I can't believe how much I have changed. My thoughts are more positive, my attitude is more reflective than reactive now and my prayer life has flourished. I am so excited to finally share this with the world!!!!!
I always feel like I am running ahead. No matter how hard I strive to catch up and reach the goal I always seem to miss it. This has me feeling so very tired and worn out.
The phrase "Nothing changes if nothing changes" continues to run through my mind. As I have been working through the "My Journey" Journal I have learned that it is my mind that needs to change. I don't need to work harder or try to achieve more in life (that's a relief!) Most of the goals that I have set for my life are unrealistic goals that I will never attain. This mindset was stopping me from enjoying my everyday life. Life is too short, I don't have any more time to waste.
My everyday life is my legacy. What are those closest to me going to remember about me? It's not the big accomplishments - it's the little things that I do for my family, it's the way that I treat those around me with respect and encouraging words. It's the time I commit to praying with our daughters each night and sharing about their day. It's the example that I set as I open my Bible to study and invite my family into that space to learn together. It's sitting in the same room with my daughter drinking tea and reading a book.
It is starting my day with prayer, asking that the Lord's will be done and seeking His will alone.
Join me this week to seek His will in our lives. I'll warn you that it is easier said than done. For me it is a constant battle in my mind to seek His will and not my own. As I have been journaling about this over the past few weeks, I have discovered that I am living more intentionally and finding joy in my everyday life. The time spent with my family has more purpose, opportunities that I never expected are presenting themselves to me and I feel a connectedness with the Lord that I have been longing for.
If you are joining me in this, give this post a "like" below. I would be honored to pray with you and for you, just leave a comment or send me a private message and let me know. We can do this together, life is never a journey that we have to travel alone.
Each morning as we put our feet on the floor we have a day full of opportunites ahead of us. Make them count!
Here is a list of ways that you can make the best of our life! Enjoy every day!
So, how is 2017 going?
I have felt so much stretching and growth in just the first 25 days! It is such a powerful and beautiful thing. Oh that my heart will remain open to what I need to learn.
As I have spent time in study and prayer I have noticed my perceptions changing. In my journal I wrote about how I need to change my attitude toward certain things in my life because honestly I have been crabby.
My life has felt like it is full of all these "have to's" - I have to make supper, I have to go to work each morning, I have to do laundry - you see where I am going with this? To make me feel worse about myself I see all these shiny happy people on my social media feeds that seem like they are fully enjoying life. Oh how I long for that feeling.
As I sat with my journal I prayed for a changed heart and a new attitude toward my "have to's". What if I changed my "have to" to a "get to"? I get to make my family healthy suppers, I get to provide for my family by going to work each morning, I get to do laundry to take care of my family.
By looking at my life as a "get to" it has changed my perspective dramatically. This is my time, this is my place, this is what I was created for. Why would I question it? Why would I look down on it?
Daily I began changing my "have to's" into "get to's". Once I became aware it was incredible how many times a day I had to consciously correct my negative attitude.
That Sunday in church in our pastor's sermon he talked about changing our burdens to blessings! That was the lesson I had been learning all week - everything that I saw or interrupted as a burden in my life is a blessing. A beautiful blessing that my Father has given to me, not anyone else - He chose me to wash my husband gross work clothes because he works so hard to provide for our family, I get to wash the uniforms from the school that our daughters attend that have built into them and encouraged them. My family is a blessing.
I am learning to do this joyfully, I am learning to see the many blessings in my everyday.
I love the story of Esther. Her wise cousin Mordecai says such powerful words, at a time when so much was at stake. There was no opportunity to be gentle with the words that Esther needed to hear.
Don't think for a moment that because you are in the palace you will escape when all the other Jews are killed. If you keep quiet at a time like this, deliverance and relief for the Jews will arise from some other place, but you and your relatives will die. Who knows if perhaps you were made queen for just such a time as this. Esther 4:13 & 14
Oh dear friends, so often we hear the last part of this passage. But please hear the cry of Mordecai - you are not safe just because of your position. If you chose to be quiet you will die and someone else will rise to do what you chose not to do.
Seriously, does that not knock you to your knees. I have been created for such a time as this, to serve my family, to serve my community, to serve my church family. It is a choice that I make daily. whether it be a large or small tasks that I have been called to - I need to rise to that place and not remain quiet.
Oh Father, may I be obedient to your call on my life.
Changing my burdens to blessings,
Carolyn's experience as a missionary, pastor's wife, national award winning author & speaker all unite to encourage, empower and equip women of all ages to delve into scripture to discover it's truth in our lives today.
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