Purpose and Platform: How the two collide

God has given us all a unique platform through which He will accomplish His purpose in us. Something entirely different than everyone else. What happens is that we get so caught up in worrying about our platform that we miss our purpose. We compare our platform (number of followers, page views, job position, gifts, talents) to so many other people’s, when we are called to pursue a purpose.

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Why do we chase a platform? Because it’s the part people see. People see our talents. They see our promotions and our gifts. They see where we excel in school. They see how many followers we have. They see how fit we are. If we want to see whether or not a person is “successful”, we often look straight at their platform.

We’ve started measuring who a person is, by how successful their platform has become.

The part of a person we often miss is their purpose, because it’s not as easy to see.

When purpose and platform collide in a way in which someone’s platform passionately gives you a glimpse into their purpose, it’s a beautiful thing. It’s rare to see genuine passion behind something or someone. I think that it is rare because our society has become so focused on how someone appears to us. Purpose is an entirely different side of that someone. It’s the side of their soul. Some can display it incredibly well and effortlessly through their platform. Others? It’s tucked inside, perhaps visible to less people, but nevertheless still there.

A small platform never can negate a large purpose.

Where is your focus? Because God has given you every single thing you need to accomplish His purpose for you in this life. It is beyond your comfort zone. I promise you it will not feel good all the time. I promise you the only way you can discover it is to step out in faith, and consistently do what you have never done. You have to be brave enough to be vulnerable.

But this purpose will not be accomplished through a platform that is like anyone else’s. It will look entirely different. Their platform might be a blog. Yours might be speaking at an event. Their platform might be as a CEO, yours might be as a sister or friend. Their platform might be found in a college degree, yours might be found by doing what no one else seems to be doing. Never overlook the platform that He has given you right now because it’s not what you wanted. It is there, and that is what matters. There are hundreds of platforms in your life, and perhaps one in particular that ignites passion inside your soul.

Quit putting pressure on yourself to conform to an image that He hasn’t called you to. You’ve done it, I know. I know because I have. You scroll through Instagram and just wish your life could look like hers. You spend so much time consuming creativity that you forget to live a creative life yourself. You spend so much time examining her platform that you miss your own purpose. Don’t try to copy someone else when The Lord has designed something so incredibly unique for your life.

In order to accurately compare two things, they have to be made for the same platform. And while our underlying purpose in this life is the glory of God, we are not all made to accomplish that purpose in the same way. We are not all made for the same platform. When you compare, you are comparing something that isn’t even equal. Something that was never meant to be the same. We are distorting the purpose God has for each of our lives by telling Him our platforms should look different. 

This has been hitting my soul like a ton of bricks lately. I hope it wrecks you too, in the best way possible.

Start chasing down the purpose He has for you. If you don’t see it now, keep seeking Him. It’s found there-in His presence.

The platform will follow as an overflow of the passion inside your heart, when you discover who He has made you to be. Don’t waste more of your time in self-pity, always wishing your life could look different. Embrace the platform He has put before you today. Let His purpose for your life guide you. And never de-value who you are because your platform is a different size than someone else’s. He’s not looking at numbers or talents or gifts. He’s looking at how faithfully we use what we do have. Bring your two pieces of silver and give them to Him. Your platform might even look as small as two loaves of bread and a few fish. But that didn’t stop Jesus from using it to fill five thousand people. Any platform will be used by Him if placed back inside His hands.

Take your simple thoughts, your dreams, your pictures, your passion: place it in His hands. Watch Him bless it. Watch Him feed thousands of souls. And watch Him get all the glory, because it’s His.

Quit comparing your platform.

Start pursuing your purpose.

and somehow, we find acceptance

rejection is an acceptance.

an acceptance into who you were meant to be.

an invitation to step into the embodiment of the space you were created to fill.

an ushering in of something beautiful.

2-26-7I promise you this:

you can leverage pain into passion.

you can leverage loneliness into love.

you can leverage rejection into acceptance,

if you make a choice.

I know it’s hard to see it now. I know you don’t understand where He has you. I know their words-or lack of-hurt.

I don’t know how you feel. I’ve never walked a day in your shoes.

but I see your pain. we have to acknowledge it. we have to own it as our own.

and tonight-

this short word is for all of us, because it finds us all at one time or another:

you are not labeled by rejection. you are invited into the arms of a God of acceptance.

a life without rejection is a life without acceptance. you cannot have one without the other. you cannot know the height of one without the depth of the other. you cannot know the fullness of your God if you haven’t tasted the emptiness of everything else. & that is juts what rejection shows us.

if everything worked out, you would never know what was right for you.

don’t minimize your pain.

if you need to cry tonight, cry.

if your dreams are shattering tonight, cry.

if he walked away, cry.

if a friendship is broken, cry.

if they said no and your heart was set on yes, cry.

but wake up and know in your heart that this is the ushering in of your purpose–of who you were made to be.

and somehow, when the world tells us we should stay in the depths of rejection, we find the strength to reach for acceptance.

because acceptance has a name. and it’s name is Jesus.

a fresh start | arbonne 30 days to healthy living

Fitness has always been something I am passionate about. Ok maybe not when I used to get five minutes into a run, cramp up, and start crying. But once I overcame the initial hate I had for exercise, I became addicted.

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The 16 year old me spent way too much time thinking about what she ate and how it would affect how I looked. The 19 year old me feels completely different. And it’s because my perspective has changed.

There’s a balance between taking care of yourself and becoming consumed with something, and I’ve swayed back and forth between those two often.

I chose to do the detox because I felt like I had been at the same point for the past year. I wasn’t noticing any results. I’d workout a ton but I never noticed any difference. I was drained from school and had tried adjusting my eating but couldn’t find consistently. I wasn’t eating awful, but I knew I could do a better job of being more disciplined and taking better care of myself. When Arika shared a post on her Instagram about the detox she was doing and the results, I was in. I bit the bullet and ordered the kit before I even really knew what I was getting into.

The first three days were rough. You cut out coffee, dairy, gluten, sugar, and more. I took 3 naps in those first few days. I had a pounding headache from not having caffeine. I think my body was in shock.

But by the second week of eating whole, real foods, greens, vitamins, healthy proteins, healthy fats, and really yummy fizz sticks (my FAVE), my body adjusted and my energy was next level.

One of the biggest differences I noticed was my ability to concentrate. My body and mind were alert and awake, and I didn’t feel as though I was lagging. I felt more energized than ever.

My cravings changed and I find myself wanting to eat healthy foods and fuel my body with what will energize it.

I went into it focusing on weight. I came out of it not even caring to step on a scale. It’s about so much more than weight. I feel more confident than I have ever been because I know I am doing everything I can to take care of my body. When you do something you’ve never done, you realize you are SO much more capable than you think.

This clean eating program showed me that health is so much more than how we appear. It’s how we feel + it’s who we are. I am so thankful for this challenge. If you’re looking for a way to jumpstart your fitness journey, I highly encourage you to jump on board. Most of us have no idea how incredible our bodies can feel.

 

 

shutting the door on distraction

notes:

-if we are always available to everyone, we will eventually have nothing to give to anyone

-we’re giving so much accessibility that we’re losing attention

  1. Discern the demands

What is the distraction? That’s half the struggle. To figure out what it is that is distracting you and what you should focus on. Jesus was comfortable in a crowd. We live crowded lives and we have crowded calendars. A lot of us live under the “one day” illusion.

Christ wants to connect with you in the crowded places in your life. He will give all of His attention to the one who has come to the end of himself. Sometimes you’ll have to leave the thing that seems more important. You need to discern where The Lord needs you now.

PRAYER: Lord, show me what really matters.

2.  Locate the leaks

Your brain isn’t as capable when you multi-task. Even Jesus could only do 1 thing well at once: He had to focus. We’re leaking life by switching back and forth so much.

Information comes at the cost of your attention. We’re at a time where we have a wealth of information and a poverty of attention. The presence of Christ allows us to locate the leak. Focus brings freedom. What you focus on matters. Focus on fear, and you’ll always be a prisoner. Focus on faith and nothing can hold you dow. You have been SO focused on the wrong things.

3. Pursue the Pull

Life is always pushing you in one direction and God wants to give you the ability to perceive the pull of His power that He’s trying to release into your life. It’s the pull in the midst of a pushy life. Jesus always refused to be pushed, but He could not resist the pull. When you feel that pull: pursue that.

Pulled apart vs. reached toward.

Distraction vs. focus.

4. Dismiss the Drama

There comes a time when the voices that are talking need to be silenced. When you shut the door on doubt, you open the door to destiny.

stop waiting

Therefore, return to your God, Observe kindness and justice, And wait for your God continually. Hosea 12:6

wait

I want to encourage all of us to stop simply waiting, and start waiting upon. To start waiting for.

Waiting is stationary. Waiting upon is an action.

Waiting is staying in the same place. Waiting upon is reaching for more of God.

Waiting is a spiritual excuse for inaction. Waiting upon is pressing into God when you don’t know what to do.

Waiting implies we sit still. Waiting upon means that we might not physically be moving but spiritually we are drawing closer.

Waiting upon God is an action. It is a consistent pressing into the presence of God. It is a determination to set our eyes on the Only One who can give us direction.

Waiting on God does not mean we don’t take action. It does not mean we don’t take bold and unplanned leaps of faith. It means we risk our lives, even if those risks seems small. Because all of the small risks and decisions we make each day add up to our lives. Waiting upon Him means that while we take bold leaps of faith we wait in His presence wait upon His best for us. It does not mean that we wait until our circumstances are better and then step forward, it means we step forward when our circumstances scream “no.”

Stare uncertainty in the face and tell it you know the power of a certain God. God is calling us to action, and oftentimes, we don’t have to wait months to be sure it’s the right thing to do. Take the next step. Move forward. Do what you haven’t done and what you don’t feel you are capable of doing. Trust that He will meet you there. Oftentimes, we need to take a bold step, say yes, and wait upon His goodness as He takes us to a new stage of our lives, instead of putting a decision off and hoping someone does the hard stuff for us.

We don’t have to know how He is going to do it. We don’t have to know where and through whom He is going to do it. In fact, we don’t have to be certain about any of the details. We can rest knowing that He will accomplish what He wants to accomplish in us. It doesn’t have to be what we expected, and it probably won’t. It will be so much greater. 

 

3 ways to get less (but more important) stuff done | the minimalist series pt 1

A lot of us spend a lot of valuable time doing a bunch of stuff. We measure productivity and success by quantity (or in my case the number of boxes with a black check through them).We get a lot done, but it’s not important.

I don’t think we were meant to be spread so thin and chase so many things. I’m after a quality life, not a quantity life. I want a life of direction, focus, and passion.

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With that being said,

here are three ways to get less (but more important) stuff done.

Before you try any of these three suggestions, make a list of what you do each day. Identify the things in your life that are stealing your time and taking up creative energy that could be better used elsewhere. I bet this list will surprise you and I’m sure it will provide you with direction for where you want to go.

1. Get up early.

Eww. I know. It’s not fun. I used to swear by the fact that I worked best at night and was the farthest from a morning person. This semester I’ve been forced to wake up at 5:30-6 each morning and I’ve changed my mind. It’s not always the most comfortable thing to do, but waking up even just 30 minutes earlier than your used to can change your perspective and keep you motivated. When you feel productive you’ll want to be even more productive. If you want to do something great-somthing that no one else is doing-you have to take action and you have to get a head start.

How

Start small. Start by getting up 15 minutes earlier than you’re used to and increase it each week. The next week 30 minutes. Then 45, then an hour. Soon you’ll be seeing how early you can get up. Maybe. If so kudos to you.

Be disciplined. Make yourself turn off your phone and read a book before bed. It will help you relax and fall asleep sooner, making it easier to hit the alarm off early the next morning instead of hitting snooze.

Stick to it. You have to be consistent for your body to get used to a new sleep schedule. You need a few sleep in days here and there, but your body will thank you if you make it a habit to stick to the same schedule.

eb-10Processed with VSCO with a6 presetaboutpage2. Don’t just plan your day, prioritize your week

List the things that must get done, then the activities you want to get done, and finally list what you would consider a “bonus.” Every Sunday, plan out your week. If you’re a college student like me, assignments can often be overwhelming and it’s easy to miss something because you simply forgot. By planning and prioritizing your entire week, you’ll be able to manage your time more wisely. Set out your priorities and your goals for what you want to accomplish at the beginning of the week and you’ll have a gameplan for what you need to do each day to make those happen.

How

Set aside an hour or so on Sunday afternoon to organize and prioritize your week. Not everything has to be on a schedule, but include important assignments, meetings, appointments, and commitments.

Put it on paper. Some people may prefer an app, but I find it useful to see my week on paper. With details. And check-boxes. Grab a cute agenda or planning book to keep yourself organized.

3. Quit trying to multi-task

No matter how good you think you are at multi-tasking, I can guarantee you are better at single-tasking. Our brains weren’t designed to do a thousand things at once. You will be significantly more productive if you fully focus on what’s in front of you instead of spreading your attention out over a bunch of stuff. It’s a challenge to keep your brain from wandering and stay on task but it’s worth it.

How

Shut your phone off or put it away. I’ve started implementing this in a few different areas and I’ve found that it’s helped not only with productivity but with my concentration level as well. When you’re driving-put it in your glove box or purse. When you’re sitting in class, put it in your backpack pocket. When you’re writing content or completing an assignment, set it aside and put it on silent.

Clear your mind of anxiety and focus on what is in front of you. Before you start any project, write down anything that you’re worrying about. Get it out of your mind and onto paper so you can focus on the task in front of you.

Set a timer. Once the timer is up, move on to your next task, assignment, or project. This way you can plan how much time you will need and be wise about how you use that time.

bottom line: identify what’s stealing your time, get rid of it, and make room for what really matters. everything that is uncomfortable in life is making you more like the person you want to be. embrace discomfort and discipline. decide you can live without mediocre.

Be a boss. Get less (but more important) stuff done.

what economics and opportunity costs taught me about Jesus

I’m in my second semester of economics at FSU. Micro and Macro have been two of my favorite courses so far. One of the biggest concepts hammered into my head is the term ‘opportunity cost.’

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My professor makes it a point to always make sure the definition is clear. “The opportunity cost is the value of the next best alternative you give up when you make a decision to do something.” The golden rule of economics is just that: there’s no such thing as a free lunch. There is always an oppoturinty cost, and there is always something you have to give up. You make your decision when you weigh how great the opportunity cost is. Essentially, you ask yourself, “What am I willing to give up, and what do I have to give up, to do this?” You cannot simply evaluate a choice based on what you’re going to gain. You have to look at what you’re going to lose.

Today my brain ran to an analogy. Funny how sometimes you connect little dots and all of the suddenly there’s an image and you don’t know how you haven’t seen it before.

Deciding to follow Jesus is just that, it is a decision. It requires an act of your will. It’s a daily decision. I believe you make it once. I believe He makes you His forever. But I believe that there are smaller choices that we face every day: will I follow Him, or will I follow the world?

If I follow Him, there’s a pretty big opportunity cost. There are a lot of things I have to say no to, myself being one of them. That opportunity cost involves turning away from good things to let Him show me the best. I have to give up living only for pleasure. I have to give up what people might think of me. I have to give up fitting in with the rest of our culture. I have to give up personal gain and advantage. I’m called to give up comfort and ease and safety. I might have to give up relationships. I might have to give up career opportunities that don’t bring Him glory. I have to give up part of “my” day. I have to give up myself and my “right” to my life. That’s a big opportunity cost.

Then I started thinking about what it would mean to follow the world. I might gain popularity, applause, approval, wealth, comfort, ease, temporary happiness, boys, more friends, and an easier lifestyle. But the blindfold fell from my eyes when I realized what the opportunity cost would actually be. I would give up the fullness of the presence of the LIVING GOD. I would trade my joy for a temporary satisfaction. I would give up peace, strength, purpose, and passion. I would exchange the power of the King of the World for power over people and their opinions of me. I might gain attention from boys but I would lose the gaze of the Creator of my Soul. I might climb the ladder of success but my heart would sink under the weight of it’s guilt and paralyzing shame. I might build the largest house ever built by man and yet it would never be filled with the genuine love of God. I might experience the “freedom” of believing it all means nothing but at the end of the day I would lose any spark in my soul without knowing that I have a purpose.

I am not prepared to give all of that up. What Jesus Christ gives me cannot compare to anything this world could ever promise. He is the only One who can satisfy my soul.

Weigh your own opportunity cost. I’ve never been so thankful for my salvation. Trust me, following Christ is an “economical” decision.