Tag Archive | Christianity

How Can Struggling Be Beautiful?

    “For we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose for them.” ~Romans 8:28 (NLT)

 

       This blog is about my attempt to Make Life Magnificent in every area despite the hardships life inevitably presents. That’s why my subtitle begins with The Beautiful Struggles of… Yet, when you think of the word “struggle,” the last thing that may come to mind is “beautiful,” or even magnificent! This leads to why I posted the Bible verse above: Romans 8:28.

        Throughout my life, I’ve heard this verse so many times in so many contexts. Whenever I’ve faced tough times, I actually felt resentful of this Bible verse. How can losing my job or my home be for my good? How can going through a divorce be for my good? Or how can the death of someone I love be for my good? I especially asked these questions when I became a young widow. The problem in my understanding was the definition I used for the word “good.”

We use good to describe all sorts of things:

  • Wow this food smells GOOD!
  • Your perfume smells really good.
  • Campbell’s Soup tastes Mmm! Mmm! Good!
  • That was a good movie
  • I’m doing good today. (When I hear this one I cringe because you should say I’m doing well…but that’s the English teacher in me! Sorry)

I could go on and on. We use good to describe all sorts of things and it almost always means something pleasant, pleasing, and satisfying. Perhaps when GOD talks about working everything (even the bad things) out for our good, He may have a different idea in mind. Not that His definition of good is synonymous with bad, but maybe He chooses to look at what’s good for us beyond physical, tangible things.

I can speak of my struggles with being single, raising a son, or working as a teacher in an urban school as being beautiful because I choose to believe that even in my hardships, GOD sees the bigger picture and is working on my behalf. I’m not implying that God is like a Santa Claus waiting to just give me whatever I want; however, he is like a Father that definitely wants the best for His children.

So I struggle with some things. In my struggles, I press forward. I’ll now be sharing those beautiful struggles with you. Please feel free to share yours as well.

You never know how your test can used as a testimony to bless someone else’s life.

Below I’ve included some quotes about struggling that are really uplifting to me. negatives

oprah quote

don't!life is a beautiful struggle

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Life Magnifiers: Being S.M.A.R.T for 2014

“The tragedy of life doesn’t lie in not reaching your goal. The tragedy lies in having no goal to reach.” – Benjamin Mays

          Benjamin’s quote is an excellent boost for all of us gearing up to Make Life Magnificent in 2014! I’m not calling them resolutions anymore (one of my recent posts on this explains why), I am calling them Life MAGNIFIERS. A magnifying glass makes things bigger and easier to see, which is exactly what we need in order to get to the root of some issues and make specific changes for a better life.

   When I became a widow and single parent at the age of 24, I honestly thought life was over for me. I’m sure someone out there has experienced worse, but this trial for me was the darkest I’d ever experienced. Each day my only focus was on surviving and trying to make it to the next day. Thank God that my heart is now healed and my focus is clearer. I don’t want to just survive, I want the THRIVE, and live better in every area.

       Where do you start when you want to make positive changes? You start by getting S.M.A.R.T! I am not trying to say that all this time you’ve been stupid (innocent, cheesy grin!), but each letter in the word “smart” stands for words that will help us Make Life Magnificent:

smart goals

smart goals explained

 

      As you can see by these charts, we’ll have to dig deeper for the new year. You may be thinking, how is this different from having a resolution??? (with head scratching). Here’s an example of a resolution:

“I want better finances.”

       We all want that! But do you have any idea on how to get there? Take that area of your life and make it bigger. Look underneath all the stuff: receipts, purchases, spending habits, etc. to find out why this part of your life isn’t already where you want it to be. Now use the S.M.A.R.T guide to help you develop a better plan such as:

“I want to have at least $1,000 in my savings account by April 1st. That means I need to save at least $250 a month.”

      This is just a starting point. Each day leading up to the New Year, I will be sharing a post that will help us magnify areas in our lives that we want to improve. For today, think about being S.M.A.R.T for 2014.

Related Post:

I won’t call them Resolutions anymore

Just Look At You!

Psalm 100:3 offers a beautiful reminder that “God made us…” Although this statement seems quite simple, when you think about it, it is so liberating. The Almighty, All Knowing, Alpha & Omega, Creator of the entire universe took time out of His busy schedule to create you! Every feature and flaw was all apart of His glorious design for you. Just look at what else scripture says concerning this:

Psalm 139:14 I will praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made…
Ephesians 2:10 For we are His workmanship [masterpiece] created in Christ Jesus…
Jeremiah 1:5 (Amplified) Before I formed you in the womb, I knew and approved of
you…

What should WE say concerning this? Back in Psalm 100, immediately after verse three talks about how he made us, it tells us in verse four to enter into his gates with thanksgiving. Is this an arrogant boasting and ostentatious display of ourselves? No. It is a great reminder that in Christ, we can have an humble confidence that everything about us was carefully planned for HIS glory. If we don’t have it, we probably don’t need it!

Image

Let’s rejoice that God made us. 🙂