Steps to new beginnings

nye_2019Happy 2019! It is a brand new year! This year you can do anything or be anyone you want to be. If you are like me the year crept up on you. Have you made any New Year Resolutions? I have made many. If you haven’t there is still time, I know that it is the middle of January but you can always have dreams and goals that you want succeed in.

If you did, how it is going? Did you make it through the first hour, day, or week? Sometimes our goals are short lived, aren’t they? We have the best intentions. We tell ourselves we can do it. We are committed but when the day comes we fail miserably. Or sometimes we make it a few days, weeks, or months, but somewhere along the way we lose our momentum, and before we know it our progress and fall back into our bad habits. I know it happens to me.

heidi-sandstrom-259886-unsplashI think the problem we all have with having goals and dreams is they require more than positive thoughts and good intentions to complete them. They require action. They require tough choices, faith, determination, and endurance. They won’t come easy we have to work for them. In the end it will be worth it depending on how much we wanted it, and what we wanted for the outcome.

I was reading the Old Testament the other day about how God’s people had a huge goal that they had to accomplish. After they were driven from their homeland because of their friends’, parents’ and grandparents’ disobedience to God, they were free to return to Jerusalem to rebuild the Temple of God that had been destroyed.  They were committed to completing the task and had the resources to accomplish it. They successfully rebuilt the altar and set the foundation for the Temple just as they set out to do. But they weren’t finished. 

temple 2.jpg

Two things happened between them completing the foundation and reaching their ultimate goal: discouragement and fear. Some of those who remembered what the old temple had been like were disappointed and afraid that it couldn’t be as grand as the one that they once had, so they gave up trying or brought to much negativity to the project that caused others to lose heart. (I have been around people like that, especially at college. Have you?) Many also gave into their fear of their enemies who were threatening them and frustrating their plans, and fear for their own livelihood. They became concerned with meeting their own needs instead of trusting God to provide them the resources to finish their ultimate goal. 

“Take delight in the Lord,
and he will give you your heart’s desires.” – Psalm 37:4 

One of the biggest obstacles I face is discouragement. If I let those people at school discourage me then I wouldn’t be able to finish my ultimate goal of working in the school systems interpreting for deaf children. I want to help them reach their full potential but I won’t be able to complete that if I let people that discourage me have power of me so I don’t let them. I let them motivate me to do better and study harder. When the results aren’t coming fast enough or if I make a mistake signing in class sometimes it can be easy to give up. Sometimes when others don’t understand what I’m doing or why I’m doing it their words can easily derail me if I chose to let it. It has the opposite effect on me, instead of having a negative affect on me it has a positive affect on me. It motivates me to do better and explain my ultimate goal.

templeAfter the progress stopped on the temple, God sent one of his messengers to speak to those who set the work aside. He encouraged them to keep going but he rebuked them from their fear and lack of obedience. They were reminded that they weren’t alone and that their work was important. He would be there with them, help them, and provide for them. There was still a lot to do, and it wasn’t going to be easy but with God’s help they knew they could complete their ultimate goal. They also knew that it wasn’t so much about accomplishing the goal but about what they were called to do. While I was reading I came across a verse that really stuck out to me and went along with this blog post. It is from Zechariah 4.

“Then he said to me, “This is what the Lord says to Zerubbabel: It is not by force nor by strength, but by my Spirit, says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.” – Zechariah 4:6

We are all precious to God no matter what he has called us to do. Start with that belief that you are precious to him and see where it takes you. I know my ultimate BIG goal for 2019 is to let others see his light through my actions whether I am at home with my family or at work with my work family. I want them to Jesus through me. God can help me accomplish my dreams and that is amazing and that changes my perspective on everything. Often times when I try to accomplish things in my own strength, time, willpower, and resources it doesn’t work. I fail and fall short into discouragement and frustration.  When I live in his unfailing love, mercy, grace, and believe that I am precious to him the outcome changes. I succeed in my plans and people who try to distract me a discourage me don’t get to me. His unfailing love, mercy, and grace keeps me going. All those things keeps me on the path to high places with him.

step.jpgThis year I have decided that to complete my new year resolutions I need to focus on the next step. I have to realize that Goals and dreams take time to come together and that they don’t come together overnight, in a week or even in a month. If I expect it to come together in that amount of time then it will lead to frustration and discouragement. If I focus on each step I will be happier and will feel like I am accomplished even if I have a long way to go. For example one of my goals is to sign more everyday when my last semester of college starts so I will be ready for the final project. The first goal I will focus on is reviewing the signs that I am not familiar with and do not know that well. I can also ask God to help me stick with it.

What’s the next step to where God is leading you? Take the leap and let him guide you in this beautiful new year. That leap of faith can take you to places you never imagined to high places even. You just have to trust in God to take you there. Let him guide this new step to new beginnings. 

“Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand.” – Colossians 3:1

 

❤ Elena Grace

Anticipation \\ book review

Good Morning I write with great passion as I take part in a Book Review Blog Tour and write my first book review for my great friend Staci Thomas!

Staci has a B.A in Journalism from Penn State University, and has always enjoyed creative writing. It wasn’t until after heartbreak that she accepted God’s calling and began writing according to His Word. This is the first book that she has written but it is apart of a trilogy.


 

Anticipation Book
Click here to buy your copy on Amazon

Title:  Anticipation

Author: S.D Thomas

My Rating:  5 out of 5 stars

Synopsis

Cassie Smith wasn’t expecting to fall in love with her best friend, Mark Santos, or the emotional turmoil she encounters in the relationship. But, this newfound love has her questioning the only commitments she’s ever made: to God and to leaving her hometown. Will she change her mind and stay with Mark? Or will she risk everything she’s ever known and loved to continue with her original plan? FREE Bible Study Guide that corresponds with book is available via website http://www.sdthomas.net


Will she ever figure out what she wants I fell in love with this story from the very first page. It embodies the struggle that young christian couples face today. The story has every element a good story should have. It kept my attention from page one. I love how the story came together and I could see it in my mind as I read it. In Anticipation, Staci presents Biblical references, romance, well developed characters and plot line.

One of the elements I fell in love with was the character development. I quickly fell in love with the main characters (Cassie, Mark, Shelly, Eric, Jake, Cassie’s Parents, and Mark’s Parents). I thought that the characters were well development. The characters also learned lessons along the way. From the very first page I connected with Cassie and I felt what she was going through.  The roller coaster ride of emotion in your senior year is something I am very familiar with. As I just went through them myself. I didn’t know what I wanted to do until close to the end of the school year when I got my acceptance letter from the college I wanted to go to. Will Cassie figure out what she wants?

 

Anticipation 7Cassie has these plans to leave and go to the University of Georgia (UGA) after she graduates high school. In her mind she really wants to get out of her town but then she begins to think that that isn’t what she wants at all. She is just trying to figure out what she wants and make a decision on whether she should go after it with no regrets.

Mark says to Cassie in the book that their senior year can be great but Cassie thinks that the options of ‘great are limited within the confines of her town. Does she know what Great is? Will she find out what it is before she graduates? 

Anticipation 8

To decide what you want and then go after it without regrets… That is something vigorous that we all have to do sometimes and it can be challenging to let go of your plans and follow God’s plans. In the book when Cassie says this she is comparing her life to her best friend Shelly’s life and how Shelly went after the things she waned in her life. She just wants her senior year to end so she can get out of her town. Something happens that throws those plans upside down. Does she know what she wants? Will she let God guide her to where she is supposed to be?

 

Anticpation 9

One Friday evening Cassie and Mark decided that they didn’t want to go to the football game instead they wanted to hang out. Cassie tells Mark that she is jealous that he might be going back to the Philippines in August on a Mission Trip. When she says that he gets mad and tells her that he can’t talk to her about this and that he didn’t want to just be her friend.” What will happen since he doesn’t want to just be her friend?

Check out the book to find out how the story ends.

The most important thing that I loved about this book was how Staci incorporated Jesus into every page. It is rare to read a book today that has a biblical background. I was so glad when I found out this book had a Biblical background. Each chapter starts with a Bible Verse. It is so awesome to see how each Bible Verse comes to play in each chapter.


It is a beautiful story that show the struggles many young couples face today as they move into adulthood and how their faith impacts all their decisions. It shows how not to loose who you are as you fall in love with your best friend and in the process how to navigate and transition into adulthood. I absolutely love this book and I think you will too.  I highly recommend that you read this book if you are looking for a good Christian young adult book to read.  I hope that if you read this book that you will be touched by God’s unfailing love and grace.

 

Elena Grace

 

I hope you will check out Staci Thomas on these social media sites.

Staci’s Social Media

Instagram

Facebook

WEBSITE

Goodreads

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Something New

ryan-riggins-216049

Hey guys! It’s been a while since I have posted and I am so sorry that I didn’t keep up with my blog while I was at Spring Heights this summer. I was just so busy with my campers and other camp things. I’m going to be posting about that and my experience there soon. I am also going to be starting something new with my blog. I will be starting to write book reviews for books I am reading or I have already read. I am also joining the community of Bloglovin’ so please go follow my blog at this website.

<a href=”https://www.bloglovin.com/blog/19031535/?claim=chshqrcu5yy”>Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>

 

❤ Elena