Being Big in Your Life – If Not Now, When?

Please give a warm welcome to Envision Possibilities.

autumn road

I’ve come to the conclusion that we suffer from the when/then syndrome…. you know the thought process “when my son is in kindergarten, then I’ll get started on my writing dream” ; “when we have our finances in order,  then I’ll start on that new project”; “when I have more time, then I’ll take time for my dreams”; “when I turn 40, then I can retire and really start enjoying my children”; “when we have an empty nest, then we’ll focus on our marriage”; “when I do ALL the laundry AND put it away, then I’ll take a little time for me”, and the list goes on……

What if the “then” never comes?

Picture a graveyard. Under the big oak tree in the far corner, there’s a granite headstone. Look closer. See the name engraved? Yep, it’s yours.

So you’re sitting here, looking at your own headstone. There’s your year of birth, and the year you—heaven forbid—pass. And between them, there’s a little, coy hyphen.

Now, here’s the good news: that hyphen is what God gives you to use for his glory.

ON BEING BIG

Let’s take a moment to think analytically about that hyphen. There are two things that anyone who aspires to be big must face. The first is knowing what you want to do. Or, in the words of poet Mary Oliver: “Tell me, what it is you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” (We’ll get to the second in a moment.)

Determining what you want out of life—your career, relationships and your free time—is a surprisingly hard process for many of us. It’s much easier to abide by the rules and plans of others than to look within ourselves and see clearly what we are meant to—and would really, really enjoy with the whole of our being—do.

Here are 4 starting points for discovering your brand of being big:

What are your threads? Everything you’ve done and loved up to this point is a thread running through your life. Those threads are always with you, and you can choose to pick them up again at any time. Adored math as a kid, but your parents pushed you into sales? Maybe it’s time to take some classes and explore.

Who makes you jealous?  While envy is not necessarily a good thing, envy can be a way to unearth some of our big, deep desires. Who have you been a little jealous of recently? Oprah? A Friend? A Colleague? Another Super Mom? Maybe it’s actually a clue to your being big.

What have you always wanted to do? Complete this sentence: “If money and time were no object, I would totally want to…” Work in Paris? Start a business? Start a blog? You could start today with a language tape, learning about entrepreneurship, or writing in a journal daily.

What are your forbidden fruits? Sometimes we tell ourselves that certain things are off limits, when really, it’s just a mirage created by our limiting beliefs. What seems off-limits to you but might be great fun if it weren’t “forbidden” in your mind? Maybe it’s a God whisper asking you to play a little bigger……  Speaking on Stage? Starting a blog? Writing a book?

THE SECOND THING

Once you are firmly pointed in the direction of your own bigness, you will undoubtedly meet the second thing about being big. As any hero will tell you, once you start heading in the direction of being big…once you take action toward your goals…the second thing undoubtedly shows up. And that thing is fear.

Here’s the secret about being big: you still get the socks scared off you on a regular basis. (Perhaps even more often!) But it no longer stops you. Spooks you, yes absolutely. Makes your knees go weak, without a doubt.  But when you’re living big, praying big and have faith, fear ceases to be a reason to quit.

Because you’ve got big things you want to do with that little hyphen of yours.

So I ask you are you living big? What does that even mean to you?

If you wait for perfect conditions, you will never get anything done…….Be sure to stay busy and plant a variety of crops, for you never know which will grow — perhaps they all will. Ecclesiastes 11: 4,6 (NLT)      Author’s content used under license, © 2011 Claire Communications

Giveaway

I’ve been working with some pretty amazing moms in a program called Light Your Fire and Faith and this is what’s happening for them; they are feeling a little less stuck on the gerbil wheel of life, they are doing things they enjoy, finding more time in a day, asking their bosses for things they have never been brave enough to ask for before, starting new jobs and companies and basically living the life they always dreamed of….I was wondering if you are feeling stressed or stuck right now? And if you might be looking for some guidance on how to do something a little bigger or enjoy your family more?

If that sounds like something you’ve been looking for, then I’m giving away a free hour long coaching session with me to someone who comments in the blog post below. We will randomly draw a name from the comments to see who our recipient will be and you will be well on your way to Light Your Fire and Faith!

Visit Envision Possibilities’ Website.

Christin

Christin has a heart to encourage and equip women in aspects of discipleship, marriage, mothering, writing, blogging, and community. She sees the body of Christ as an important community of encouragement and discipleship and works to foster that around the web. She has been married 13 years and has 7 children ranging in age from 11 down to 3. You can find her encouraging moms at her blog Joyful Mothering, writing some deeper thoughts on life and writing at ChristinSlade.com, and learning more about Google+.

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5 Tips for Living in the Moment

5 Tips for Living in the Moment

Warm welcome to Matt Knisely on behalf of Thomas Nelson!

I never use to be concerned with time. I never cared about it, nor did I care how I would spend my day; I let it passively slip away—until now. Maybe it has something to do with age or the intensity of life and how it’s winding down, like the grandfather clock that stood in the corner of my grandparents’ home.

Regardless, I’m consumed with it now.

Time is precious. But even more valuable to me are the liminal spaces that link one instance of time to another and how they are strung together, not haphazardly, but carefully woven into the tapestry of life. They are the moments of life itself, and they have me captivated. However, fully living in these moments, when our world seems organized against it is just . . . hard!

My camera helps me focus on what’s in front of me and not let the moment slip away. Most people are looking for these big, magical moments that grab your attention like something you see on America’s Funniest Home Videos or read about online. But our lives are made up of intimate moments . . . of memories big and small . . . like meeting the love of your life for the first time . . . or when you say goodbye to someone you love for the last time . . . or the time your child grasps your face with her chubby fingers and says, “You’re my best daddy”. . . or the moment you finally choose forgiveness over hate.

Time, while it’s fleeting, holds wonderful things that only change with its passage . . . the delicate features of a newborn, the wobbly steps of a toddler, the pure innocence of childhood, the special moments between you and your spouse, and the remarkable bonds in a family. Photography has allowed me to see life with a whole new lens: to capture time in an instant and relive that moment’s story forever. It’s allowed me to live a fuller life and to see the beauty of every second of the day.

Here are five ideas to help you live in the moment and see the extraordinary:

  1. Right Here, Right Now

It’s more than the title of a song from the ‘90s. It’s a state of awareness and about being present, getting rid of the distractions, booting down, turning off the TV, setting down your phone and forcing yourself to slow down, do less and live slowly.

  1. Pay Attention To The Little Things

It’s the subtle moments that make life grand. If we spend time being conscious observers and conscious listeners, we capture the simplest details. Those details are the juice, the essence of our life’s story; what moves each of us and stirs our souls.

  1. Get Lost

Lose Control. Have Fun. Play. Be Curious. Replenish. When’s the last time you stopped to watch the wind sway through the majestic trees around you? Or sat down in the middle of a lush green park and enjoyed the laughter of children playing? Give a gift to yourself and just enjoy the world around you.

  1. Move Forward

It’s the only direction we are given. When the intensity of life is breathing down our back, don’t worry about it, leave all worry in the rearview mirror, because you cannot go back. Be positive and you will find a sense of peace and calm in the middle of a stressful and chaotic world.

  1. Be Thankful

Take a moment to be thankful for the things you have been given. Every morning we have a brief moment to sip a hot cup of coffee. Every morning we squint at the bright rays of the sun hitting our eyes. Every day the cool water splashes our sleepy face. Every time someone greets us, “Good morning!” Every time we see that sweet smile on our loved one’s face. Every time we decide to help someone who asked us for a favor. These are just some of the many brief moments we forget to be thankful for.

We live life at an alarming rate and the moments that hold it together are lost if we are not focused on them. The most precious and defining moments in your life are the ones you are present for. They are the ones you seize. They are the one’s you are awake to experience. They are the moments worth waiting for.

Matt Knisely,
MattKnise.ly

Visit Thomas Nelson and check out Matt’s book, Framing Faith.

Photo: DollarPhotoClub.com

Christin

Christin has a heart to encourage and equip women in aspects of discipleship, marriage, mothering, writing, blogging, and community. She sees the body of Christ as an important community of encouragement and discipleship and works to foster that around the web. She has been married 13 years and has 7 children ranging in age from 11 down to 3. You can find her encouraging moms at her blog Joyful Mothering, writing some deeper thoughts on life and writing at ChristinSlade.com, and learning more about Google+.

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Normal People. Doing Good. Changing the World.

HelpOneNow

Have you ever been scared to do something? Something outside of your comfort zone? Something that may change…everything?

Deep in our hearts, we battle with this notion that we were born for a reason, for something bigger, but, we are also scared. We fear that maybe, just maybe, our lives will be flipped upside down, that we will take “living on mission” a bit too far, and once we cross the proverbial line, can we go back to normal, comfort, excess?

So we became paralyzed.

And, speaking of normal – what does that even mean?  Who’s normal and who’s not?

I was living a very “normal” life in Austin, TX; everything was going good. I had a great marriage, two amazing daughters, a new house, and even a new puppy. I was planting a church with some of the best people in the world, and my wife’s business was thriving. Plus, I had never ending access to amazing Texas BBQ and Tex-Mex. Could life get any better?

All of these things are good and beautiful, as long as they don’t become idols.

 

A Life Interrupted Is A Life Inspired

 

The beauty of the gospel is simple–God’s ways are better than our ways. The path that God leads us down is the best path. I had to learn that the hard way.

I had to learn after years of ignoring that “still small voice” that was gnawing at my soul, that voice that was trying to bring to light the plight of the orphan, widow, and slave.

But, I was too comfortable to obey, to lean in, to care. It took me five years to say YES!

I finally relented and took a trip to Zimbabwe. On that trip, I had a moment that changed everything for me. I met a starving orphan at an abandoned gas station. He was hungry, thirsty, and desperate. He asked me if he could work for me to earn money, as he did not want to beg for food.

He was eight years old.

And he wanted a job.

I looked this desperate orphan in the eye, and I told him I could not help.  As we drove away, I was broken. Five years later, I’m still broken. But, it was that moment that helped me realize that God uses normal people to change the world.

A Radical Normal

I started Help One Now to catalyze everyday, normal people to engage extreme poverty by partnering with local leaders (nationals) who are already caring for orphan kids and working to see their communities transformed through spiritual development, education, job creation, and healthcare.

When I returned from my trip in Zimbabwe, I began to have conversations with friends who wanted to help, but they did not know how to do it. So, we began to create simple tools, like our Garage Sale for Orphans initiative.

Over the last few years, we raised close to $500,000 to help fight poverty. We used these funds to bring clean water to desperate communities, create jobs through micro-lending, build houses for those who lost homes in the Haiti earthquake, and in the last year, we’ve rescued over 40 kids from trafficking in Haiti.

Our excess is being used to crush poverty and see communities thrive!

Join the Movement

We did all of this, and much more, by normal, everyday people saying “yes” to throwing a garage sale party, picking a project that they’re passionate about, and donating the funds of the garage sale to that project. These people are the new radical–a crazy tribe of doers who refuse to make excuses, but choose to engage in issues that God is passionate about.

HelpOneNow 2

 

 

Yet, we all know that life is busy and stressful and sometimes overwhelming, and we all need to find pathways to help us engage and make a difference. That’s what Garage Sale for Orphans is all about.

We’re on a mission to raise $1,000,000 in the next two years to fight global extreme poverty.

I’m asking you, the Allume Community, to be part of this movement;

Sign Up Here H1N

Rally some friends and family, throw a garage sale party, pick a project, and make a difference.

Christin

Christin has a heart to encourage and equip women in aspects of discipleship, marriage, mothering, writing, blogging, and community. She sees the body of Christ as an important community of encouragement and discipleship and works to foster that around the web. She has been married 13 years and has 7 children ranging in age from 11 down to 3. You can find her encouraging moms at her blog Joyful Mothering, writing some deeper thoughts on life and writing at ChristinSlade.com, and learning more about Google+.

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