I sit and stare at a blank screen attempting to type up yet another blog post. As life would have it, I hadn’t had a chance to prepare in advance like I had done previously. However, I had a deadline that I wanted to make—the usual deadline I’d given myself to post. But, then it hits me. You can’t rush good work. Oh, the woes of a writer! Whoa, I just referred to myself as a writer for the first time. That was weird. But maybe it doesn’t have to be weird. Perhaps, I can get used to that title. Perhaps, I should embrace it. Maybe God is calling me to write more. Maybe he is expanding my purpose.
What I mean by “expanding my purpose” is what I initially thought I’d do in life was in a nice, crisp box. Maybe God wants to unfold the closed edges of that box and awaken the gifts inside, gifts that I didn’t even know I had. They are gifts that are so huge, so brilliant, and so vibrant that they cannot be contained in some mediocre, plain-ole, dull-colored box. Or maybe God is not expanding my purpose at all. Maybe I am just beginning to see my purpose with fresh eyes . . . . We’ll see.
Food for thought: What traits, talents, or skills have you brushed aside as just “a thing” and didn’t view as something to be nurtured? What gifts have you been toying around with and have yet to take seriously and explore? What ideas has God dropped inside of you that are just waiting to come into fruition?
Ah, no greater food memory from yesteryear than good ol’ sludge coffee. You know the kind, coffee that has the bitterness of dirt poured out of an old boot. Sludge coffee is the kind of coffee that will make any diesel fuel engine jealous of your esophagus. Here’s to you, sludge coffee. Thanks for the companionship through the long hours of study. My professor thanks you too, as you have helped me to put a noun and verb together in order to sound a bit coherent after the 14th hour of my 24-hour take home exam. My future dentists thank you as well, as you have no idea how you’ve helped them maintain their job security.
When I had to wake up early for a class that started before the sun rose, you were there. When I had to stay awake for my evening property law class, you were there. When my favorite coffee shop was closed and I had no other way to quench my caffeinated thirst, you were there. And I mean that. Just like the stench from that old boot you were poured out of, you remain in the air hours later after having been by my side. Dear sludge coffee, you’ve tasted horrible, but you’ve no doubt been good to me and I just want to say, “Thank you.”
This is a place that will leave your head spinning. Graduation has come and gone. As the time passes and you get further and further from that moment of graduation, some of your student memories start to fade and you begin to miss the place you were once so anxious to escape. For the most part, school is all you have ever known. Now, you’re onto a new struggle. You’re struggling in this unfamiliar world of adult-dom that doesn’t involve highlighters, overpriced books and a guy at a podium who reminds you of Colonel Sanders. You’re in professional limbo.
This is the feeling of, “I’m not where I was, but not yet where I want to be.” While I wait to get a job to gain experience for all the jobs that require experience, what should I do in the mean time? Get creative! Develop your skills! Practice your talents! Expand your gifts! Keep on working hard at your creativity.
Now is the time to try to pour yourself into your passion while you still have the time. You may not be at the job you want right now, but use your down time for self-development. Work on using the resources already at your disposal. Improvise with what you already have! Places like Pinterest are full of great ideas of turning the ordinary into extraordinary.
The road won’t always be so dark and twisty. You’ll eventually escape from professional limbo, but in the meantime, in the words of Eddie Kendricks, “Keep on trucking ba-by!”
My perspective can be clouded because many times I get caught up in how I feel. When I feel a certain way, e.g. feeling stressed out about something; it’s hard for me to focus on the bigger picture as opposed to my feelings.
Feeling caught up in the emotion of things can harden your heart—make you bitter towards the reality of your circumstances. If you’re feeling like God has forgotten about you as opposed to focusing on the reality that God is actually always there, then you can live life through a tainted perspective and easily develop a bitterness that’s hard to overcome. This spring, rather than just emptying out closets and wiping down baseboards, I’m going to try spring- cleaning my perspective.
My goal is to just try to focus on making my perspective more positive. I’m going to focus more on what I have and less on what I don’t have. I’m going to focus more on who I am rather than who I am not. And I’m going to focus more on who God is rather than who I’m making Him out to be. It’s going to taking a lot of work, but then again, what spring-cleaning task doesn’t?
When life gives you lemons, you’re supposed to make lemonade right? Well, I discovered that I have not. When life has given me lemons, there have been plenty of times that I’ve thrown the lemons back at life and yelled, “Hey! Knock it off! I’m tryna’ make Kool-Aid over here!”
So many things go on in our lives that we didn’t plan initially. We don’t want lemons. Lemonade wasn’t in our plans. That is not what we had a taste for. Where is my nice warm Caramel Macchiato? Why does it seem that no matter how many drink orders we place in life, life only seems to give us the options of tap water or lemons?
We plan our lives down to the very minute detail only to have life throw us one curveball after another. I get super frustrated when things do not go according to plan. Before I get consumed by my frustration, I’m reminded of Proverbs 16:9, “ In their hearts humans plan their course, but the LORD establishes their steps.” What I’ve had planned for my life was good on a small scale and seemed to satisfy my taste buds at first, but where is God trying to take me in the grand scheme of things? Where He is taking me could be far better than I could have ever imagine, but if I refuse to go, kicking and screaming, I could be missing out on a delicious experience of life.
Though a lot of the things happen in our lives that appear out of place or taste sour at first, they can eventually turn into a sweet elixir of wisdom that can be used for our own personal growth as well as the development of others. All we have to do is let God lead and we’ll discover that the lemons in life that we’ve been given aren’t just for individual thirst quenching, but rather those lemons are to be shared in order to quench the thirst of our neighbor as well. We can learn a lot by taking situations in life as opportunities to better ourselves and to help others. What have you been doing with your lemons?
It’s hard to write—it’s even harder to write consistently. I’m sure my fellow bloggers understand that painstaking moment of writer’s block. What’s even more torturous is the lack of inspiration. Whether you’re a writer, an artist, or a musician—inspiration is everything. It gets your creative juices flowing. What do you do when the inspiration well runs dry? I’ve learned that I’ve had to stop pulling my inspiration from things or circumstances because they are constantly changing. In order to consistently be creative and remain inspired, you need to pull from something more stable.
Life gets tough and you undergo some major struggles. Sometimes you end up not feeling as your most inspirational self. I have learned that if I plan on consistently blogging, I need to tap into a resource that is constantly inspiring. While having a discussion with some friends, I had an epiphany. The only way that I can continue to give encouragement through my blog is to tap into my source—God. God is my inspiration. He is the only constant that has remained in my life. Trends change. People change. Circumstances change. He remains the same. I didn’t mention this to go into a debate about religion or the existence of God; you’re entitled to believe what you want to believe. I’m telling you what I know to be true for MY inspiration.
If I tried to draw inspiration just from how my day went, on some days I wouldn’t have anything to talk about. I’m no longer drawing from my day, but I’m drawing from God. I feel that if I stay tapped into God and keep building my relationship with Him, there will always be something new and encouraging to talk about, even on my bad days. There were times in my life where I went through some emotionally dark places, but He was the only one that got me through. It’s hard to describe but even on my darkest days, I know He’s there for me, and THAT is inspiring.