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What's stopping you from accomplishing something great?

Have you ever desired to doing something so great that it scares you? Like you don't even want to speak it because surely someone will tell you that it'll never happen, it's impossible, or that you're plain crazy. Even still, you honestly have doubts about it yourself?

No? Good, me either. I totally like to set my eyes on the easily achievable tasks while playing the background in my own life. 

So maybe that's no entirely true; however it is what I revert to. Because even though I do have big dreams, sometimes I'm just scared. I'm afraid that no one will join me or find value in what I'm doing. I'm afraid that it just won't matter, or I just won't be good enough to achieve all that is in my heart to accomplish. 

I have even allowed those fears and insecurities to let me act small, settle for less, and to hide my abilities in places of comfort and complacency.  The only problem is that the approach hasn't worked. After every adjustment I make to try and be less than who I was created to be, I find that my true heart's desires are still there challenging me to be more and live on purpose.  Unfortunately, I haven't lived up to the challenge on many occasions.

How about you? Is there something that you are so purposed for yet you settle short of it?
I wonder, what is really stopping us? Sure there are valid life responsibilities, and we need not bail on those. I just wonder what keeps us from intentionally stepping closer to that thing that we've been reaching for in our hearts only not allowing our mouths to speak of its reality. 

Perhaps it's fear, insecurities, lack of focus, doubt or a combination of all of those and more. Or maybe it could be that we haven't seriously admitted our BIG dream(s) exists.

That's what I found. I had lied to myself to the point I believed that if in my entire life I only helped make the world better for one person, I'd be satisfied. You know what? That was a sugar coated feel good lie seasoned with false humility.

It was dishonoring to God because He created me for more, and it was disrespectful to myself because I sold myself short. 

The truth is that I want to be a catalyst for world change not just one person change. Just admitting that adds possibilities that I never saw before. Of course, there are still fears and insecurities that pelt my mind and soul with doubt and condemnation. Being honest about my true desire hasn't been some magical elixir that set the world right. It has, however, forced me to own my heart's desire which means I am now responsible for it.

That in itself has been a huge for me. It has pushed me to step forward in the discomfort and fear and doubt. It has called me to continue even when I think it isn't making a difference. It has significantly defined the decisions I make and the attitudes I embrace which have set me up for incremental progress that over time adds up to much larger gains. It has added life to what was once lying buried in my heart and soul. 

What about you?  Do you have BIG dream just lying in your heart? If so, why not take responsibility for the dream and give life to it by just admitting that it exist. That one simple step could set you on your path to fulfilling your purpose. 

No more living small when we know that we desire to be more. It's time to own those BIG dreams and fulfill our life's purpose.

Here's to the adventure ahead!

Orlando, evil, and the light.

As my heart aches for the victims in Orlando and grieves for the attacked world at large, I sit back and watch. I feel small and helpless. There are days that hope completely flees my body, and I find myself gripped in fear. I question the significance of my prayers and how I could ever make a difference in this world.

Then, I realize that those are the exact feelings that the enemy, those who do evil and cause terror, desire. When I give in to those feelings, I surrender my victory and admit defeat. My light burns more dimly and allows the world to grow a little darker.

If too many of us fall prey to this defeated mindset, then a multitude of lights grow dim and darkness spreads even more quickly; however, if we join together and spread love in deed and action, if we lift one another up when we are fallen, if we unite as one people and treat our fellow man as we, ourselves, would desire to be treated, then those lights that were threaten by darkness will begin to burn a little brighter and illuminate the world.

So it may be that in the face of evil, I feel small, but it's in the darkest of days, that I choose to be a light.

Prayers for Orlando and peace to my fellow man.

Don't stay under the stereotypes and labels of this world.

The quote pictured above sits on my 10 year old son's desk at home. He found it while doing a project for school and has left it there because he has a heart to fight injustice, and it inspires him.

Recently, I was reading the quote and it struck a cord in my heart as I realized that those words were needed because  people had been judged based on external features rather than internal qualities.  It aroused something so deep inside that it almost made me afraid of what I was feeling. I became angry and passionate and angry once more. In that moment, I wished that I could have stood on a mountain top and yelled to the whole world to "STOP IT!" (and that was the nice version)

But really we need to stop it! We need to stop labeling groups of people based on skin color, ethnic background, gender, and so on.

There is no group of people that are ALL the same. All women aren't, all men aren't, all African American people aren't, all Caucasian American people aren't, all Asian people aren't, all Hispanic people aren't, all baby boomers aren't, all millennials aren't, "fill in the blank".  (of course the list could could on)

In fact, the only thing that I can think that we ALL are is unique individuals who happen to be flawed in someway. And those flaws are NOT defined by some physical feature that we were birthed with.

Those flaws are defined in areas where we lack character, understanding, self control, and compassion. In areas where we choose to harm our fellow man in word or in deed. In areas where we choose to ignore people as individuals but rather live according to stereotypes. In areas where we choose not to rise above hate, but play right into its hand with division and labels.

I, for one, choose not to live under the labels of this world. I choose not to speak negatively of people groups as a whole.

I chose not to see you as the world may have labeled you. I choose instead to see you as an individual who has a story that I may not have yet.

I choose a brighter freer future for my children and their generation. I choose to be a part of the solution by helping the next generation build the type of character that will not only benefit them but their world as well.

Would you join me in removing all the stereotypical labels that are in your life? It doesn't matter if they are applied to you or others. Just remove them.

Now, let's take our flawed selves out into the world and show that we are also capable of love, forgiveness, and grace.

It's simple. Life is complicated.

I knew I needed to write this week but, I wanted it to be simple. In fact, the topic I had chosen to write about was simplicity.

And honestly, I love simplicity. I mean I really really do. I'll prove it:

I keep my pantries and closets lean and always purge old stuff before buying new stuff. Or maybe that's just because too much stuff freaks me out and makes me want to hyperventilate.

Okay, so what about this:

I prefer picture instructions, working on a smart phone, shopping online, and texting over talking on the phone. Or maybe that's because I have a lazy streak and am an introvert.

Let's go in this direction:

I like structure, lots of structure, unless I'm not feeling the structure. Then I want flexibility, lots of flexibility.

Oh and I like to give details, lots and lots of details, to build up to any point that I'm making unless I'm mad at you or am just feeling blah. Then I'd don't want to talk. I mean like nothing; no eye contact; no words; nothing.

And ... I like to talk things over, ponder deeply, and look at every single angle before moving forward unless it's eating chocolate. Then I just go for it; milk chocolate, dark chocolate, Belgium chocolate, chocolate chocolate .... ummm

Oh yeah, back to writing. Where was I? Yes, simplicity.

Those all sound pretty simple, right?

Okay, so I proved nothing to you except that I can be really complicated, but can't we all? Isn't life an ever changing, refining fire that we are continually adjusting to day by day, week by week, and year by year?

We are continually learning, growing, and adapting to who we are becoming. It's never ending.

Now, I could turn this all around and leave you with a sweet clique like: "Life is simple, all you need is love." Then send you about your day, but that's not true. Neither, life nor real love are simple. Both require work, and both require grace (two more non-simple things).

So maybe life isn't simple, but I have some good news for you. We are all in it together.

Since life is a collaboration, why don't we make it a group effort to show love and offer grace. Then when one of us messes it up (and we will), there will be another one of us awesome complicated people there to help.

Now, take your complicated self in the world and make it great!