All Burned Up

New Year’s Resolutions. Many of us made them, but as we reach the end of yet another month, I must ask, “Are you still on track to accomplish those things that were important to you less than 60 days ago? Is your intentionality as concentrated today as it was last month or at the end of last year?” I must be completely honest. In the hustle and bustle of everyday life, in just this short period of time, I had forgotten one thing I promised God as last year was ending.

Let’s go back…

I love going to church on New Year’s Eve night. There’s just something about hearing the pastor’s declaration over the year ahead. But in an even greater way, leaving the past problems, the past hurts, the past disappointments, the past mistakes, in the past, is like exhaling as you start anew! As the year was ending, my pastor challenged us to do two things: 1) burn the very thing(s) that would attempt to hold you back in the new year and 2) be bold enough to place on our “Dream Wall” the thing you would like to accomplish in 2016. As my husband and I were making our way out of church that night, one child had already fallen asleep, but that was ok. As long as I could get to that flaming barrel, at the front of the church, to burn up the only thing that could hold me back in 2016, I was good. As I made my way toward the fire, I took a finally look at my small piece of paper before tossing it into the flames. The one word with only two letters that was about to be all burned up was….me.

And I willingly threw “me” into the flames.

I knew in order to fulfill my purpose and become everything God has called me to be, I had to get rid of “me.” My way of thinking. My desire for comfort. My ease in following. My contentment without expectation. My voice as the voice of reason. And as I said before, I willingly let go…that night. But as the new year began and the days progressed, my daily routine did not seem all that new. There was still more work than hours. More “honey did you” from my honey. More activities for the kids. And more to do’s that were not getting done. Once again, I was trying to do everything; all the while, I was feeling tired, overwhelmed, and to tell the truth, a little bit frustrated.

Then one day, I was passing the front of our church when God stopped me in my tracks. He gently asked, “Did you forget?” “Forget what?” I said with just a hint of attitude. “That you are all burned up.” I paused. In that second, I relived the moment I threw “me” into the barrel of flames.

You see, I understand that I am the only one who can keep me from achieving the dreams God has placed in my heart. That’s why I chose to be all burned up. Scripture tells us, “With less of you, there is more of God and His rule” (Matthew 5:3b). Satan knows this too and that’s why he’s so intentional to keep us busy, create distractions, and use the irrelevant things of this world to divert our attention. He creates undue stress in our lives by making us focus on trying to be all things to all people. He knows as long as he can keep us preoccupied, we will never accomplish anything of significance.  I promised God I would not operate in my own strength this year; yet, I was doing the exact opposite.

So I ask, “Where are you in achieving your goals for this year?” If you are still on track, I applaud you. If you are not, let this be your friendly reminder to refocus. Don’t allow another day to pass without doing something that gets you one step closer to your desired end. Satan is working diligently to attain his goal to steal, kill, and destroy. Let’s intentionally work harder to achieve ours!

Now tell me…Are you still on track or is it time to refocus? I love it when you share with me. So let me know what’s going on with you, here in the comments or on social media! See you next week….

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5 thoughts on “All Burned Up

  1. Rebecca February 24, 2016 / 7:13 AM

    Thank you for speaking to my heart! I found you through Jen W on your fb post.

    Like

    • startanew74 February 24, 2016 / 7:20 AM

      Thanks Rebecca! Jennifer is my cousin. Grateful to connect with you.

      Like

  2. L.A.Johnson February 24, 2016 / 11:17 AM

    You are a BLESSING, thanks for the reminder!!!

    Like

  3. Yashica B. Douglas February 27, 2016 / 7:36 PM

    Once again, you did it my dear. Your words fell off the screen and leaped ever so gracefully…and with just the right amount of sting…into my heart. Thanks old friend for allowing God to use you. You are indeed a tremendous blessing!! As a counselor by profession, I tend to give my all, including pardon, to others while ignoring my needs without giving pardon to myself. Then the guilt cycle begins…spirals actually – and frankly gets out of control. I’m sick of “me” sometimes…and that’s perfectly okay. It’s okay because I know God knows my heart and He’s waiting for my FULL surrender. Each day I get closer to that release. And on those bad days where I stubbornly hold on without releasing?? Well, let’s just say I’m like Jonah eaten up whole, twisting and turning, only to be released in a way I wished I could’ve avoided if only I had surrendered in the first place. Like I said, sometimes I get sick of ‘”me” sometimes…and now you know why. LOL! So after the pity party I allow myself for only a few minutes (or hours)…God nudges me, reminding me I am HIS. I belong to HIM. And then HE tells me HE is working on, in, and through me – HE is fighting for me and I need only to be still. And at that moment, I realize I am exactly where I need to be. God is so dope y’all! He’s absolutely divine! I’ll accept being burned by HIM any day in order to walk in HIS grace and beauty. Call me the “Coal Miner’s Daughter.” Yup, I don’t mind the process of getting burned beautifully. Besides, He promised me (all of us) beauty for ashes and I think I’m rather beautiful already. Ha! So my friend, that’s where I am with my resolutions. Every day is new. Thank God for that! Keep lifting us up honey. We need it! xoxoxo -ybd

    Like

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