Tag Archives: gift

What Holds Us Back From Our Dreams- Part 1

Celeste-podcastcelestebarnard.com

In this episode I talk about the things that hold us back from our dreams. We’ve all been given different gifts, talents, and abilities. And God will place dreams in our heart, but there are things that keep us from seeing those dreams fulfilled. This is Part 1. Enjoy!

Zechariah 4:10a (NLT)- Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin…

“Do not lose hold of your dreams or aspirations. For if you do, you may still exist but you have ceased to live.” Henry David Thoreau

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The Day-to-Day Stuff is It

family“Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.” Robert Brault

“Oh nothing as exciting as you …just the day to day stuff…” That’s what my uncle said as we were catching up. I told him, “I promise my life is not that exciting right now.” But after we hung up the phone I was thinking… “Does my life ‘sound’ like it’s so exciting that it makes others feel like theirs is just so ‘ordinary’? I must admit, on Facebook I like to post fun get-togethers and outings…I do.  When I update people or post pictures, I don’t show pictures of me struggling or us waiting to figure out what God is doing in our lives. I don’t post or share the inadequacies I feel at times as a parent and the many (many) ways I’ve dropped the ball.

I have been guilty of looking at posts or pictures thinking, “Wow, life looks like a party over there.”  Or, “Wow, traveling and speaking all the time, now there’s the gig!” But let’s be real honest for a moment, shall we? There are things and events that happen that give us stuff to look forward to and share with our friends and family. That’s a part of life; a small piece in the life puzzle. But something in what my uncle said struck a cord with me.

I have come to realize that the normal, day-to-day stuff is the stuff that makes life. Someone’s vacation is great, but that’s maybe once or twice a year. Speaking and traveling if you’re called to it is wonderful, but you don’t see the amount of hours and preparation that went into the day-to-day before that one big event happened. I am convinced that our day-to-day stuff is the real meat of life. And the sooner we embrace our day-to-day every-days, the sooner we will realize just how rich life is.

Working and being a part of the tribe that you work with, learning the ins and outs of their lives as they learn yours. Baseball games. Parks. Coffee dates. Walks. Making family memories. Movie nights. Bonfires. Meetings. Classes. Breaking bread together. Game night. Playing dress up & tea party. Going swimming. A picnic. Watching a child play sports. BBQ with friends. Baby showers. Weddings. The people we let in who begin to become part of our story. It’s the people in the day-to-day stuff that matter. The everyday, ordinary, real life stuff is what makes the journey joyful- if we realize it. The hard part is to be in the moment instead of always waiting for the next ‘big thing’. Guys, this is it.

I have another uncle in California (I have a lot of family in California). He doesn’t have a lot of money, but his life is so rich. He’s spent his life investing in people- sewn costumes, shown up for plays, shows up for sporting events, takes pictures for people, records music for family, and the list goes on. I look at his life and think, he gets something that so many of us miss. He’s invested in the real, day-to-day stuff. I’m not always great at this, but God has been working on me. The Lord has been asking me “Will you just show up?” You know, be all there. Be in the moment and hold this moment for what it is. When you see it through God’s eyes, the day-to-day, ordinary stuff is truly holy ground.

I was telling some girlfriends the other day about our beautiful, ordinary night. We went to Academy Sports Store and bought a soccer ball & some cones. Exciting, right? And then we went home and played soccer as a family in the backyard. It was so fun! And then my husband lit a fire in our fire pit. I looked out the window and saw my husband and my teenage daughter just relaxing by the fire. Then we finished the evening off by making smores. Nothing extravagant- just a beautiful, ordinary night. And I think sometimes we miss those moments because in our society, we seem to always need something to look forward to- more. But truth is, most of our lives are lived out in the day-to-day stuff.

My brother in law has cancer and has been undergoing chemo for the past 8 months. Ya’ll, what he and his wife wouldn’t give to just have some ordinary day-to-day stuff going on. What he wouldn’t do to just go to work and come home and have dinner or spend quality time with friends and family. Please, don’t take your every day life for granted. Invest in people. Always. Every time. You will never go wrong investing your time and energy into friends and family.

Let us love deeply and drink up the ordinary. Let us be there for one another, and embrace our day-to-day, sometimes messy, sometimes clumsy, sometimes stressful, ordinary, holy life.

Lord, I pray that you would help us to realize that the big things really are the little things. Each day is a gift from You. Help us not take it for granted. Remind us that we’ll never get this day back. Help us to embrace our ordinary, because it’s in that ordinary day that you open our eyes to see the extra, to make it extra ordinary. And Lord, sometimes when we’re going through something hard, we just want to get through the day. Would you show us that you’re with us, send people our way, and even in little things, remind us that You’re in this day. In Jesus name, amen.

 “That might sound boring, but I think the boring stuff is the stuff I remember the most.” ~Russell from UP

 

You are a Gift!

 

gift

“Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.” (1 Peter 4:10 NIV)

 

You are a gift; a treasure really. Have you ever thought of yourself in those terms? Most would quickly dismiss calling themselves this in thoughts of seeming prideful or haughty. Me, a gift? Surely not. Oh, but others, they are gifts; gifts to this world with their time and presence. But me? Truth is, others might look at you and see you as a gift and you would have to either reject their theory in order to stay humble or you could accept this as fact and as God given.

This subject has been floating around in my brain all month and at last, it must come out. When I missed going to church or missed some event, and someone approached me later to let me know that they had missed seeing me, I would secretly think they were saying. “oh, what happened to you?” Translate- Are you backsliding? Everybody else came, why couldn’t you? My glasses had more of a self-conscious filter on them.

But I’ve had somewhat of an epiphany on this. I had to put it in the context of other people, before I put it on myself. If there was a church or family event, and I let someone know (that didn’t make it) that they were missed, what am I really saying to them? For me, I’m really saying that they are special and when they’re not around, that it is noticed, and that truly, they are missed. No judgment on why they had to miss, but just the simple truth that their missing presence was known.

Here’s the deal- you, yes, you reading this, ARE A GIFT. And when you are not around, there is something about you that someone will miss. People might not always say it, so don’t keep a journal to find out how many people have said they missed you in the past month. The very being of who you are is so completely different than anyone else, God fashioned and formed, that no one will ever be able to replace you.

When I first moved here I went through a funk. Has anyone ever experienced that? The feeling where you can’t even really explain it, but you’re just not in a good place and the only way to describe it is that you’re in a funk. That was me. And the more isolated I became, the deeper the funk. I actually said these things in my head. “It doesn’t matter if I go or not, it’s not like I know anyone.” “It’s just one event, no one will notice if I go.” How many of you know that the enemy loves to isolate people? Because when he can isolate you, he has you captive to speak lies and deceive you. What else happens when you’re isolated? You don’t give yourself a chance to meet people, to get lifted up and encouraged, and you allow your own fears to rule and run your life. And again, the enemy has exactly what he wants. He will feed you with things like, “What if I go to the new members class and there’s no one like me?” Can I stop you right here, and tell you that there’s no one like you, and that that is a good thing? “What if there’s that awkward silence?” “What if everybody is just doing that fake ‘nice’ thing?”  And the enemy wins again. You, and your gifts, stay home.

I think we all need to take a realistic look of how the Lord views us. You and I are unique. We are a gift from God. He does not make mistakes, I assure you. If you are an introvert, rejoice. This means that you are probably very good at sitting down and talking with people and getting to know them, while people like me (uhm..) have a tendency to get fidgety and want to work the room in hopes of making sure I’ve had a chance to say hi to everyone. This is good. The extroverts and introverts must work together as a team, not competition! We all need each other.

 

Look in the mirror before you leave your house today and say these words: I am a gift. There is only one of me. God made me unique. When I am away, I am missed, and that is good.

I no longer filter those words of someone noticing I wasn’t there as them being religious and noticing every time I’m missing (and if they are, well, that’s between them and God, isn’t it?). I’m accountable to Him for what I do with my time, not man.

Just remember today if you catch yourself asking if it really matters when you’re not there- you matter. You make a difference. Some of you have a strong presence of joy on you when you enter a room- don’t keep that all to yourself! Share it, it is a gift to others. Some of you carry Gods peace wherever you go. Don’t keep it at home, there just might be someone at that event or gathering that needs to feel a little of that peace. Someone needed to be reminded of this today. Without you, Gods piece of the puzzle is missing and its just not complete! Go out today giving away the gifts He has given you and watch them multiply. Share your joy, share your gift of conversation, share your wisdom, spread your peace, and rejoice in the fact that there is no one exactly like you! How boring would it be if we were all the same? Thankfully we have creative Father who has made us to celebrate our differences instead of criticize them! So what are you waiting for? You are a gift! Go give yourself away!

Lord, anoint me to be used by you today. Thank you for these gifts you have given me- help me to not hide them, but to use them freely, as you would please. And thank you, that you have made me a gift to bring you glory. Amen

You are a manager of the gifts God has given to you. They may be great or small in your eyes, but they matter to God. “Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful” 1 Corinthians 4:2 (NIV)