Stop taking the easy road of distraction, and choose the more challenging path of obedience.

At first glance, when reading the title of this blog, it may seem that the two words “distraction” and “obedience” do not have much of a correlation. It would make sense to say that if a person is distracted, then they are not choosing to disobey. In other words, is a distracted person willfully choosing not to obey if they have never actually heard a command?

I would argue that the answer is yes. If you don’t agree with me, then consider this example. A boy comes home from school, and knows that most days there is a list of chores on the kitchen counter or the fridge for him to complete. The mother leaves the list in the kitchen, because she knows that her son goes in there every day for a snack when school is over. One day, that child wises up and realizes that if he just doesn’t go in the kitchen, then he won’t have to do any chores. He decides that he can forego his usual snack, and then he can go up in his room, lock the door, put headphones on, and play video games. Then he won’t be able to hear his mom when she is calling for him to come do the chores. The crazy part is that he actually thinks that this will somehow relieve him of his responsibility, and that his mom won’t come up stairs and knock on that door until he answers. In fact, she will probably kick it in if he keeps her waiting too long.

How often do we play this same game with God!? Personally, I am so guilty of this. This is something I have to constantly rely on God to help me with. When things start to get hard, and He is maneuvering me into areas that are getting more and more uncomfortable, I have a tendency to want to distract myself so I don’t hear his voice. I will distract myself with good things! Then I reason out why it is okay to be so distracted, because I am distracted by things like work, ministry, Christian movies and Christian music. At least I am not distracted by bad things like drugs and alcohol right?

The hard answer to this is that distractions are distractions no matter what the form, especially if they are keeping us from God. If that thing is keeping us from hearing His voice and obeying, then it is not benefiting us. It is merely a distraction that we are purposefully giving our attention to, because we are afraid of what God has for us.

For example, God might be impressing upon you that the most important thing in your life right now is to have that uncomfortable conversation with a friend or family member where you need to apologize and ask forgiveness for some hurt you have caused. Or maybe He is telling you to forgive someone for the pain they have caused you. The easy road for you could be to just join another serving team at church, and make yourself so busy that you don’t have to hear God’s voice encouraging you to do this.

Another example might be that God is asking you to communicate the gospel to a friend who is lost. But out of fear, you replace that with something like giving a little extra in the offering on Sunday.

I say all this as someone who really struggles with distraction. My default distractions are busyness and accomplishment. God starts pushing me into areas that are too uncomfortable, and I immediately start making my to-do list of good deeds. I need to pray for these 3 people, give to those 2 people, and serve on one more team at church. It’s as if somehow I believe that these things will fix the internal imperfections that I don’t want to face by moving forward in what God has for me. It is easier to run around completing tasks than it is to stop and listen for God’s instruction.

But we are so blessed to have such a loving Father who is patient with us, and will continue to pursue us. Just like the mother in the earlier example who knocked on her son’s door, our God says to us, “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me” (Revelation 3:20 NIV).

God loves us, and He knows far better than we do what is best for us. He wants to see us flourish. He is not encouraging us to take uncomfortable steps in our lives so He can watch us struggle. In fact, He promises that He will take those steps with us, and that we don’t have to be afraid. Today all I am asking you to do is STOP! Put aside the distractions for a minute. Put away the cell phone, the laptop and whatever else has your attention. Lean into God, and listen long enough and intently enough for Him to direct your steps for the day.

“Hear, O My people, and I will admonish you; O Israel, if you would listen to Me” – Psalm 81:8

Then a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is My Son, My Chosen One; listen to Him!” – Luke 9:35

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The Situation Analysis Of Life

After Secondary School..
All your classmates have gone in different directions in the world.

Some have completed universities and are now:
Doctors,
Engineers,
Teachers,
Pilots,
Lawyers,
Administrators, etc.

Some are married,
Some have given birth,
Some are still searching and waiting on the Lord.
Some are dead, don’t forget that too.

And others are on the sick bed,
Some are running their higher degrees: Masters, PHD, etc.

Some haven’t even gained admission into the tertiary institution and may NEVER be able to.

Some own companies,
Some are now Directors and major shareholders in global companies.

But how do you feel
When you meet your classmates, and it seems like he/she has accomplished their dreams and you’re not yet close to yours?
So many thoughts run through your mind, right?
First, you think God has not been fair to you.

How about the ones you meet on the street wearing dirty cloths and still struggling for survival ?
Do you get the same thoughts running through your mind?
I guess, NO.

Don’t forget too that some are already dead.
Somehow it feels natural to have that feeling of jealous for those mates who seem better off, but it is really unnecessary.

There is no room for regrets,
We are all different and our paths to greatness are also not the same in distance.

Some might have arrived earlier before you and some after you, but whatever level you find yourself in life,
Please keep trying to break limitations and move further.

Celebrate the success of others, its an indication that yours too shall surely come.

Your friend buys a car now, be happy with him/ her.
Remember when you’ll buy yours,
theirs might not be the latest again.
There’s no permanent champion, but current champion.

Life is not about competition, do not be in a race with anyone; remember, we may seem to be reading the same book but different chapters at different times.

Don’t let the passion in you kill the desire in you, keep it burning.

What you’re passing through today;
Write it down because one day the world would be ready to read it, they’ll become part of your success story.

There’s no height you cannot attain, believe in yourself, define your goals, recognize distractions and don’t stop striving.

Spend time teaching yourself, because those things that mainly take people to the top are the things they devoted their time to develop.

Don’t be intimidated by your friend’s success, the sky is wide enough for birds to fly without touching one another.

Value every little thing that God brings into your life, love God and obey Him.
For with God, all things are possible.

Now to those who are on top Never forget to give a helping hand to those who are down. Because Life is full of uncertainties; the one you pull up today, may be the one to hold your hands and prevent you from falling tomorrow

A piece of advice there, food for thought

Please share, comment and like this to all your friends and let them realize that God has a purpose in their lives.

God bless you.

Things You Learn When Life Doesn’t Turn Out The Way You Wanted

We often grow up with an idea of what our life will look like when we are at a certain age, more often than not, it is a realistic image, and more often than not, life doesn’t necessarily mirror the image we had for it. At that moment, we can feel inadequate, we can feel like a failure and we can feel that we failed to create the life we want or deserve, but if we take a closer look sometimes the magic is in the journey rather than the destination, it is in the lessons we learn along the way and the changes we have to go through to become the best versions of ourselves.

My life didn’t turn out to be anything like I imagined, in fact the image I had for my life doesn’t even come close to what it is now, and even though I do have my days when I brood about it and wonder where I went wrong, I still smile when I look back at the things I learned when the pieces of the puzzle didn’t fit.

1. You Learn To Steer The Wheel In Another Direction

You know how the saying goes “If you don’t bend you will break” You will find yourself face to face with your fears and your worst nightmares, but you will have to face them, even if you don’t win, even if you fall short, even if you will never be the same person again, you will navigate through them to reach your destination. It is exactly like driving, sometimes you get lost, sometimes you take roads you don’t want to take, sometimes you drive alone at night and it can get scary, sometimes you will have to stop at a red light even though you can’t wait to go home, sometimes you will get into an accident and it may or may not be your fault, but the key will always be to keep driving and steer the wheel in another direction, whatever direction leads you back home.

2. You Will Be Forced To Look Within For Validation

If you are a people person like myself, you get your energy and your validation from those around you, you always wonder do they like me? Did I say the right thing? Are they going to speak well about me? Does my boss think I’m smart enough? Will this man stay or will he get bored and leave? You constantly expend your energy on those around you and that sometimes can be the demise of your own identity and personal growth. This may sound like a cliché but it is true, the best way to use your energy is to consume it on yourself first, and be in touch with who you are regardless of what those around you think of you. You have to embrace your flaws and shortcomings while working on them rather than seek validation from those around you. It helps when someone sees something good in us that we ceased to believe and it helps when someone picks us up when we fall, but at the end of the day, it is temporary relief. If you want long-term relief, you need to seek validation from yourself first and welcome the validation of others second, but you should always come first.

3. You Might Want To Reconnect With God

“When we have nothing left but God, we discover that God is enough.” This is one of my favorite quotes to sum up faith and life too. When things don’t go as planned, and when life gets hard, it is easy to sink in a dark hole and drown in a sea of anger, negativity and despair; also known as rock bottom. The good thing about hitting rock bottom is the fact that it allows you to reach to a higher power, ask for help, pray and seek guidance from the creator. If it takes a toll on your faith, let me assure you that you will not make it out of rock bottom easily, however if you use it as a tool to reconnect with God and strengthen your faith and the belief that God has a better plan for you and that his plans will make you happier than you ever thought you will be, you will be just fine. God sometimes gives us what we need rather than what we want, sometimes it is best not to ask questions and try to go against the ebb and flow of what God brings to our life, sometimes it is better to look up and say I know you got this, let go and keep the faith.

4.You Are Going To Lose Some People

It is a part of life, the more you know who you are and seek validation from within, the more people you are going to lose. Some people will not like it, some people will try to bring you back down, some people will hurt you, some people will walk away, some people will give up on you, and others will stab you right in the face. Only a few good ones will stick around and respect the transition, those people are the ones that are in your life to stay and will help you become your best self. I must say this is the hardest lesson, it doesn’t only require strength and self-control, it requires you to never look back, to close some doors that you so wanted to remain open. The hardest part is not letting them go, the hardest part is letting them go knowing you will not let them back in again, knowing that deep in your heart this person will cause you more damage than good and they have to go. In some cases, losing is winning.

5. It Will Make You A Better Person

Finally, when your life doesn’t turn out the way you wished for, it will humble you. It will make you a kinder person, a more sympathetic person, a wiser person, a stronger person, a less judgmental person, a deeper person, or simply it will make you human. You will learn that you can’t be perfect and you never will be, you will learn that you will fail at things you thought you were good at, you will learn that you can be hard to love sometimes, you will learn that you have bipolar tendencies, you will learn that you cannot control your surroundings and you cannot make someone change or someone love you. You will learn to accept your fate and stop trying to change it. You will learn that life will scar you, and it will hurt you but it will also surprise you-sometimes in a good way, and one day you will look back and be able to connect the dots, one day you will look back and make sense of all the confusion, one day you will surprise yourself when you look at the image you had for your life and realize that it doesn’t resonate with you anymore and it doesn’t matter.

When You Think Life Sucks: Do These Things

“When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you, till it seems as though you could not hang on a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.” Harriet Beecher Stowe

Life is not always great.

At times it may not even feel OK.
When you’ve had several setbacks in a row, bad luck or things aren’t going your way – even though you do your best – then it may feel like: my life simply and honestly sucks.
I think most of us have had days and likely longer periods like weeks or months when we’ve thought about life like this and felt pretty glum and like there’s a personal little rain cloud over your head.

What can u do when that happens?
In this article I’d like to share 10 things that have helped me when I’ve asked myself: why does my life suck?
I hope you find something here that’ll help you out. THE POSITIVITY BLOG

1. It’s OK to feel frustrated (but know how to handle it so you don’t get stuck).

When things aren’t going your way then you sometimes get frustrated. That’s natural and OK. So instead of trying to push these emotions away accept and process them.

But also know how to not get stuck in them because then they’ll just suck a lot of energy and time from your week.
One thing that helps me to reduce that frustration so I can move forward once again is to stop my thoughts from bouncing around in the past or a possible future by reconnecting with this moment.

Two of my favorite ways for doing that are to:
Focus on my breathing. I sit down with closed eyes and then just focus on the air going in and out of my nose. I do that for 1-2 minutes while making sure that I take calm and slightly deep breathes than I usually do and I breathe with my belly (and not my chest).
Focus on what is around me for 1-2 minutes. The people going by out on the street. The slight draft from one of the windows. The warmth from the radiator. The snow slowly falling outside my window and the soft clothes on my skin. This brings my attention fully back to what is here right now.
By doing one of these things for just that tiny amount of time I calm down and it becomes easier to focus and to think clearly again. I then follow that up with the next habit in this article.

2. Tap into gratitude for the simplest of things.

This is usually my next step when I want to reduce frustration. But it works well on its own too when you feel like life sucks. Because during those times it’s easy to go from feeling sorry for yourself for a while into full on victim thinking that lasts for too long and drags you down. I find that zooming out a bit during these times helps.

So I ask myself: what are 3 simple things that I can still be grateful for having in my life?

A handful of answers that I tend tocome back to often are at least partly things that are basic for me but many out there in the world still don’t have access to. Like for example:
A roof over my head and a warm home.
Plenty of drinkable water. I don’t have to go hungry. The simple pleasures of life like a sunset or a relaxing walk in the woods. My family and friends.

3. Focus more on the small how-tos and less on the whys.

Processing what happened and what you feel is certainly important. But instead of taking the common route of dwelling on the whys of the negative situation 80% of the time and looking for solutions 20% of the time switch those numbers around. Spend more of your time on finding the small and practical steps you can take to make things better (even if it’s just a little better at this time). By doing so you’ll start to feel more confident and less suffocated and paralyzed as you are moving forward once again.

4. Reminder: This is temporary. And there is a brand new day tomorrow.

Just because this day or the last week didn’t go well doesn’t mean that there is not a brand new day tomorrow. A day when you can start fresh. With taking action to move towards what you want, likely having a bit more luck and when it will be easier to see that this difficult time is only temporary and not permanent (even if it might feel that way right now).

5. Ask yourself: What is going well in my life though?

It is very easy to get stuck in focusing on the negative things when you start thinking that life or your week or month isn’t going well. But don’t forget that there are still things that are going well in your life. It may be small things.
When I had several setbacks last year I asked myself this question and it helped me to open up my mind and to not get too focused on only the things that weren’t going so well. By opening my mind I could see that many vital things like my small business, my exercise habit and flossing habit were indeed going well and that several fun things had happened recently too.

6. Setbacks can be very valuable if I let them.

I know this may sound like a cliche. And when I’m having a tough time then it’s not what I usually like to hear. But at the same time I must admit that it’s often true. And it’s an important thing for me to reminder myself of because it reduces the pain I feel from a setback since I know that this shall pass and that I will usually get something good out of it in the end. Now, a common way of looking at failures, mistakes and obstacles on yourjourney is of course as something negative and as things that should be avoided. But trying to actively avoid them at any price usually leads to analysis paralysis and a lack of taking any significant action at all.
And the setbacks and mistakes in life can indeed be very helpful. If you let them. So before you start moving on from one of them ask yourself:
What is one thing I can learn from this situation?

How can I adjust my course to avoid this trap/making the same mistake and to likely do better the next time?
These questions have helped me to improve a lot about how I do things in life and to avoid making the same mistakes over and over again.

7. Reminder: It’s OK to have a bad day.

Sometimes a bad day will just be a bad day. Even if you use a couple of the previous tips and strategies.
Because no matter what you do, life will never be perfect, awesome or peaceful all the time. It will still have natural valleys even if you adopt many new and positive habits .

And that’s OK.

But here’s the upside…

If you actually accept that this is howlife is from time to time – and you stop clinging to a dream of perfection – then your life will become lighter and simpler and you’ll be less stressed out and able to more constructively handle that bad day when it does show up on your doorstep.

8. Let it out.

Keeping things bottled up and not letting them out makes it – in my experience – easier to start making mountains out of molehills. And unbeatable nightmares out of things that do genuinely suck. So let what is weighing on you out. You can do it by:
Talking it over with someone close to you. Maybe you just need to vent and to figure things out for yourself as he or she listens. Or maybe the two of you can talk it through to ground the situation in reality. And to come up with the start of a plan for what you can do. Writing about it in a journal. Just letting your thoughts, worries and emotions out on paper or a computer screen can be a relief. And it can help you to start structuring things, to think things through and to start seeing possible solutions or small steps you can take.

9. Work it out.

When things are bad and you cannot think yourself out of the state of mind that it leads you to then take another route. Stop using your head and start usingyour body. Go for a walk in the wintery landscape.Play badminton or soccer with friends. Head to the gym and work out in someway. Will the situation perhaps still suck when you get back? Yes. But maybe less so than you first thought. Because now you have less inner tensions and renewed mental clarity and energy. I have found in my own life that this makes a huge difference to change my perspective and to start working myself out of a negative situation.

10. It’s always darkest before the dawn.

This thought helped me to hold onwhen things looked bleak for many months and to keep going when my social skills and dating life was just plain bad. It helped me to keep going when things looked like they would never pick up for my own small online business.
Why? Because I have found it to be true. When things seemed to be at the lowest point something always happened. Often because being at that low point forced me to change something in how I did things. But maybe also because life seems to have some kind of balance if I just keep going. If I keep taking action instead of giving up and doing nothing then something good always happens. Seeing this repeat itself year after year strengthened my belief in taking action and to keep going even on rough days or weeks. And it brings some comfort even when things look pretty dark.

Staying Strong During Life Challenges: A Reminder

If life challenges are knocking on your door, or they’ve already moved on in and seem to be making themselves at home, these are 6 empowering reminders I researched for you.

Tune in, because it’s time for you to rise up strong…

#1

You have A 100% track record for getting through everything in your life.

You’re doing pretty awesome!

You’re still breathing, heart beating, and you have what it takes to walk ahead powerfully.

Remind yourself every day – “I will be okay. Everything will be okay. I always get through somehow. I trust this.”

#2

This too shall pass.

Challenges are like storms that arrive in your life, like a weather pattern. Storms have a life span. And your life span is longer than its!

The storm will come and it will go, and you will outlive it.

Remember, this is a season. Like everything in life, it will eventually pass. Thoughts pass. Feelings pass. Challenges pass.

Be patient and trust.

#3

Diamonds are made under pressure, and so are you. Your challenges will be the making of you.

Life challenges pressuring you are softening your rough edges, calling you to evolve, buffering you to expose the power and beauty you have.

On the other side of this challenge, you will shine again, brighter than before.

#4

All challenges morph into wisdom.

This is the gift that challenges bring. They come to offer you something.

Whatever you get out of a challenge in the form of greater understanding, skills and life wisdom, you will not only use in future (as a handy side benefit) but you will NEED in future.

There is Divine Order in your life. Maybe you don’t know yet what this life challenge is gifting you, or maybe you do. Maybe you don’t know yet what this wisdom is for, but you will find out soon enough!

Perhaps the wisdom is to support something you will DO in the future. Perhaps it is to help you SHARE that wisdom with someone else in your life, to uplift them on their journey. You needn’t be concerned about why you’re being given this wisdom, only that it is has purpose.

The Universe/Divinity (whatever word you use to describe a higher power at play in your life)… it moves us across each others life paths, in right time and right order. We end up learning through challenges and then being called forth into work, career, vocations, relationships, situations and places in order that we can contribute through the wisdom we have gained.

There is purpose to what you are going through. Trust this.

#5

Sometimes things fall apart so that better things can fall together

That’s actually a Marilyn Monroe quote!

Remember that when it feels like life is falling apart, sometimes it’s actually life’s way of spring cleaning you (and your circumstances) to prepare you for the coming summer season of your life.

So even though it’s tempting to think that life is beating down on you, pause to consider if maybe the slate is being wiped clean in order that something better can form.

#6

What we resist persists. So, it’s vital TO let go and flow.

Use this mantra on a daily basis… “This is happening, and I choose peace.”

Your attitude is EVERYTHING when it comes to staying strong. You will either become a victim to what is happening or you will rise up and be a victor.

The choice is yours, and it all starts in your mindset.

I hope these reminders are helpful for whatever life challenges you might be going through now, or that you may face on your forward journey.

Source: The Daily Positive

Believe In Yourself

There may be days when you get up in the morning and things aren’t the way you had hoped they would be. I experienced this in the past when I used to give up on my ideas and dreams, doubting myself and thinking otherwise. But i thank God, some few friends, and my fellow motivational bloggers on this platform.Believe in yourself and go for it

So i had to tell myself things will get better. You also have to adopt that believe that everything will get better. There are times when people disappoint you and let you down. But those are the times when you must remind yourself to trust your own judgement and opinions, to keep your life focused on believing in yourself.

There will be challenges to face and changes to make in your life, and it is up to you to accept them.

The great and rich minds in the world never gave up on their ideas or dreams, no matter how difficult it was to accomplish, they pushed and believed that it was possible. “Remember Rome wasn’t built in a day.”

Constantly keep yourself headed in the right direction. It may not be easy at times, but in those times of struggle you will find a stronger sense of who you are. So when the days come that are filled with frustration and unexpected responsibilities, remember to believe in yourself and all you want your life to be.

Because the challenges and changes will only help you to find the goals that you know are meant to come true for you.

 

Image credit: Pinterest

Struggle Of The Butterfly

Butterflies illustrate the benefit of challenges in life.

A man found a cocoon of a butterfly. One day, a small opening appeared. He sat and watched the butterfly for several hours as it struggled to force its body through that little hole.

Then, it seemed to stop making any progress. It appeared as if it had gotten as far as it could and it could go no further.
So the man decided to help the butterfly. He took a pair of scissors and snipped off the remaining bit of the cocoon.

The butterfly then emerged easily, but it had a swollen body and small, shriveled wings.

The man continued to watch the butterfly because he expected that, at any moment, the wings would enlarge and expand to be able to support the body, which would contract in time.

Neither happened! In fact, the butterfly spent the rest of its life crawling around with a swollen body and shriveled wings. It never was able to fly.

What the man, in his kindness and haste, did not understand was that the restricting cocoon and the struggle required for the butterfly to get through the tiny opening were God’s way of forcing fluid from the body of the butterfly into its wings so that it would be ready for flight once it achieved its freedom from the cocoon.

Sometimes struggles are exactly what we need in our lives too. If God allowed us to go through our lives without any obstacles, we would not be as strong as what we could have been.

“I asked for strength, and God gave me difficulties to make me strong.
I asked for wisdom, and God gave me problems to solve.

I asked for prosperity, and God gave me a brain and brawn to work.
I asked for courage, and God gave me danger to overcome.
I asked for love, and God gave me troubled people to help.
I asked for favors, and God gave me opportunities.
I received nothing I asked for but everything I needed!”

A Different Way To Face Challenges

If you spend your energy helping someone else, by cheering up someone else, you may give them hope, and, you actually minimize and lighten some of your own burdens.

You’ll feel a lot better when you share your happiness with someone else. You will find that you may still be faced with an issue but it will not be consuming all of your thoughts.

By helping others , by taking that break from your own problems you may find that a solution will appear in your mind.

Sometimes when we take a break we may find that solutions then present themselves. We get so focus on our problem that we actually can’t see beyond it. It is like doing a puzzle, all the pieces are there but because we sat and stared at it for so long we can’t find that one piece we are looking for. But just getting up and going for a walk and then coming back to the puzzle we end up seeing the missing piece.

Sometimes too much focus can actually hinder us from finding the answer.