March 12, 2015

Just Start!

What on earth?

It's been 266 days since I've written on my blog. The last time I posted something I lived in a different house, only had 1 dog (yes, there's now a 2nd), and did NOT have a child in the youth ministry. How did this happen? ("How did my daughter all of a sudden become a teenager?" is another post for another day.) How and why did I go so long without ranting and raving about any of it? I have about 37 excuses (10 of which are totally made up) along with 2-3 actual reasons why this has occurred. But I'm not going to go on about that. I don't think the first post in over 8 months should be devoted to how that all started. I do, however, think it's worth talking about how it continued and grew and carried on so long. Why is it, that after months and months of knowingly avoiding this, here I am again? Great question. Even better answer.

I know people who look in the mirror often and think, "How did I get here? When did I gain all this weight? How did it get so out of control?"

Someone out there today is looking at their bank statement and wondering, "How did this happen? How did I let myself waste all that away?"

Marriages are weakening because that conversation of forgiveness and reconciliation keeps being avoided. A husband wonders, "Does she really love me anymore?" A wife wonders, "Does he even like me anymore?"

Alcoholics are whispering and lying to themselves (as they've possibly done thousands of times before), "It's just one beer. I'll quit tomorrow."

For so many - the overweight, the almost bankrupt, the broken spouse, and closet drunk - that tomorrow turned into 266 days. Your staring at the mirror, the withdrawal slip, the person in bed next to you, another empty bottle...and wondering, "What on earth? How did this happen?"

I've been there. And not just with my blog.

But today I want you to know that life change is in reach.
Today can be the day you decide that there won't be a day 267.
I want to encourage you with 2 words that can change everything. 
The first word is: STOP.

STOP wondering how you got here. (You already know.)
STOP making excuses. (No one - including you - wants to hear them.)
STOP waiting for the other person to say, "I'm sorry."
STOP spending money you don't have. (Genius concept, I know.)
STOP living in the past. (Has that ever worked for anyone?)
STOP pursuing the toxic waste that's been destroying your life.
STOP being a victim, a whiner, or a statistic.

Just STOP. 

And when you've finally decided to STOP, there's another word that's waiting for you - waiting to lead you on to a brand new Day 1. 
The second word is: START.

Plain and simple. Straight to the point. Nothing to misunderstand. START.

START writing.
START going to the gym.
START making healthier choices.
START dating your spouse again.
START saving money and paying off debt.
START pouring it down the drain.
START praying about how you spend every cent.


Jon Acuff makes the statement: "Regardless of your age or station in life, it all comes down to one simple truth: you just have to start." (Start: Punch Fear in the Face

It's so simple, yet me somehow make it so complex. We want to see all the results NOW - we want immediate gratification. But it often just doesn't happen that way. It's a long, hard road. An uphill battle, if you will. But man, is it worth it!

That first step is hard. I know it is. But when you realize that Jesus makes "all things new" - that he takes spiritually dead people and raises them to life - you begin to realize that He has given you the power to overcome debt, addiction, pride, gluttony, laziness, and every other idol and stumbling block standing in your way. 

Just STOP.
Just STEP OUT in faith. Trust God. Lean on Him. Lean on others.
Welcome to Day 1.

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