“I know the plans I have for you…”

feet-walking-forward

What I am now, it is all because God poured out his special favor on me–and not without results…It was not I but God who was working through me by his grace.
~I Corinthians 15:10

Good Morning! How are you all doing?! It has been so long since I’ve sat down for a little chat. Part of the struggle for me was not knowing where to begin again. Today, I just decided to…begin!

I’ve been reflecting this week. Last year, at this time, I was faced with huge changes in my life. I lost my job and was left a bit unsteady. I still remember the HR Gal (whose friendship I always cherished) telling me, “Cindy, a year from now you’re going to look back and see that this is the best thing that ever happened to you.”

Okay, seriously…when you hear that at your exit interview, those are not encouraging words. I put my poker face on, and showed her much grace. She was someone I considered a friend and felt her words were truly sincere, but inside I was thinking, “How on EARTH can you say that with a clear conscience?!”

Well…here I am…a little over a year later and her sincere words have come to fruition – and she was right. While our budget is much tighter, we have our heads above the water and I’m enjoying the freedom of an early retirement. It was truly the best thing that happened to me, because God had other plans…

In January, I took on a voluntary position to be my pastor’s assistant. I only work a few hours, a couple times a week…but, I LOVE IT. When I left the big work world I told everyone that I would never – EVER – go back to office work. Sign me up to be anything but! Funny thing…I really love being back in an office. I love the office chatter and an atmosphere that feels so familiar to me. More than that…I love that I’m giving it freely. I know not everyone can do that, so I’m thankful that I can.

We can get caught up in the “what am I going to get out of this” attitude when we step out in an act of service. I’m human – I have – and I do. But this time, it’s different. This year has been a huge journey of deep soul searching for me. I think God must have giggled a lot through the year as I stomped my foot and said, “But I don’t wanna…!” I felt like I had lost my sense of self with my job, but I hadn’t. It’s who I am and that’s why I was good at it. I don’t mean for that to sound all self-centered, because I do believe that God wants us to acknowledge and embrace the gifts and talents He give us. He wants us to increase them, not hide them away. And that’s exactly what I wanted to do. I wanted to stuff that part of my life into some box and leave it be.

This has been the biggest part of my personal journey…realizing that these gifts and talents are a deep part of who I am. What a wonderful attitude adjustment I’ve received through this entire experience.

I guess my take-away from this is…what are your true gifts and talents? What are the things that you are just naturally drawn to? Are you stuffing those away, thinking that they’re of no use? I would encourage you to do a bit of journaling. Sit down and write out what you feel your God-given gifts and talents are. Be still, and allow His voice to drift through you and write down the ideas that settle in your heart. And then…think of a way to just begin. Give it a try! You just might be standing in the way of inner peace, freedom and happiness as you begin to embrace, claim, and use all that He has gifted to you.

Happy Friday, Friends!
Hope you have a wonderful day!

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“You are the only person on earth who can use your abilities. No one else can play your role, because they don’t have the unique shape that God has given you.” ~Rick Warren

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. ~Jeremiah 29:11

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