I Want a Do-Over!

go back 3 spacesLately, I keep wishing someone would hand me a chance card that read “go back 3 spaces.”  Gosh, if I could go back 7 spaces, it would be even better!

I wish I could to go back to my last interaction with my mom before her aneurysm.  I wish I could go back 15 years right before I probably said very hurtful words to someone I shouldn’t have.  I want a do-over.  I wish I could go back to 2011 when I took some time off from full-time ministry and took time to travel and play.  I wish I could do-over the past 10 months. I wish I could do-over the past 2 months.  I wish I could go back to this morning for a do-over and take back stupid and lame things that came out of my mouth.  I want a do-over.

The problem is… not only can I not get a do-over… but even if I were to go back, I only wish to go back with the knowledge and experiences I have now… which is just not possible. It’s impossible to live without any regrets in life… I sure try my best though.  Life is full of mistakes…  regrets… and pain.  There are things I wish I could do-over just about every day.  I ask myself “did I represent Jesus well today?”  and unfortunately, I can always think of a way I didn’t.  Trust me, I’m not the type of person who beats myself over my shortcomings every day… but everyday, I’m reminded how far from perfect and good I am.  I’m also reminded how far from perfect this life is… it’s full of frustrations, pain and tears.

Thankfully, God doesn’t hold my imperfection against me.  Although I keep making mistakes, He’s already forgiven me of stupid things I’ll do in the days, weeks, months, and years to come… and He calls me His.  And while I can’t go back to yesterdays for a do-over, He gives me a do-over every new day.  I have the opportunity to make wrongs right.  I have the opportunity to make wiser decisions, having learned from past mistakes.  I have the opportunity to represent Jesus better tomorrow than I did today.  It doesn’t mean I’ll get it perfect one day… not as long as I live on earth.  But I get a do-over every day when I open my eyes.

Life is still full of frustrations, pain, and tears… thankfully, God knows them all… He knows my frustrations.  He knows my pain.  He knows my tears.  And while not everything is under my control, I get a do-over each day to change my attitude, perspective, and response.  I already have a do-over!

Let.It.Go.

Honestly, it’s getting old.  I’ve been through this before… many times.  I must be stubborn… or dense… or just dumb… I keep making the same mistake over and over… and every time, it feels new.

let it go

I keep thinking that I’m in control of my own life.  I keep thinking I know what’s best for me.  And when things don’t go my way, I get disappointed, hurt, and sad.  And I ask God “why God?”  I ask God “what is your purpose in this?”  I ask God “what is your plan exactly?”  I need to Let.It.Go.  I need to trust that God indeed knows what’s best for my life… and that He’s in control.  I need to Let.It.Go.

I have the need to correct everyone’s misunderstandings, misinformation, or misjudgment.  At least, that’s what I think they are.  I’d like to think it’s because I want people to be well-informed and be fair.  But in actuality, I just feel the need to make them understand things from my point of view.  I need to Let.It.Go.  I need to accept the fact that I can’t change people.  I’m not responsible for people’s decisions and opinions.  I need to Let.It.Go.

I have the tendency to want to fix everything.  I’m a problem-solver by nature… and I get frustrated when I see people spinning the same web over and over again.  I get frustrated when I feel like I have the answer, and yet they don’t seem to get it.  I need to Let.It.Go.  I can’t fix everything for everyone.  I can’t fix people’s attitudes.  I can’t fix their opinions.  I really don’t have all the right answers.  I need to Let.It.Go.

I believe life has many ups and downs.  I believe how you feel about life is dependent on your attitude. I believe every stage of life feels difficult when you’re in it.  I believe it’s necessary to have a good sense of humor about life because otherwise, you’ll want to cry all day.  I believe God doesn’t give us beyond what we can handle.  I probably won’t last a day in your shoes just as you may not last a day in mine.  Trust me, my life is no picnic either.  I believe every tough life stages will eventually pass, and we can overcome.  Lately, I’ve heard so many “woe is me” stories and attitudes.  I just want to shake them and tell them to put life into perspective.  If you have a place to lay your head at night and food to eat, you’re blessed. I want to tell them to just get over it, own your own life, and live it!  But I need to Let.It.Go.  I can encourage people, but I can’t change people–only God can do that.  I can listen to people, but I can’t shake them out of their self-misery forcefully.  I am responsible to people, but I can’t be responsible for people.  I need to Let.It.Go.  By the way, there’s a reason why I didn’t go into counseling (when many people said I should)… I would have been a horrible counselor–God wired me for something else and thankfully the Holy Spirit guided me to listen to Him rather than people.

I keep holding onto emotions that aren’t healthy for me.  I need to surrender every aspect of my life to God.

and Let.It.Go.

A Good Place…

On this day last year, I was partying my heart out at Universal Orlando without a care in the world… I just had my last Sunday worship with the church family I had known for 10 years the week before, and for the first time, I didn’t have a ministry to think about.  After 10 years of being at the same church, I felt this overwhelming sense of freedom and I have to admit it was nice to not have to worry about Sunday responsibilities.  I knew I was going to take few months just resting, and I was in a good place.

Last week, I was back in Orlando for Children’s Pastors Conference… and I was reminded of how I felt last year when I was there.  This year, I was at CPC sharing with everyone that I’m getting ready to jump back into a local church ministry in February.  It was a different feeling.  I no longer felt that sense of freedom.  However, I was greeted with much excitement from my friends both old and new.  In fact, few people I had just met at CPC even prayed for my upcoming ministry!  Being around other KidMin leaders got me excited for my upcoming ministry, and I was reminded that I’m still in a good place.

After a year of recuperating, resting, refreshment, and regrouping… I’m reminded that God allows everything to happen in His perfect timing… and I always find myself in the best place for me at given time!

Why I’m NOT making New Year’s Resolutions in 2012

Everybody seems to really like my fb post from yesterday.  I found it online, and it cracked me up because it’s something I would say (jokingly, of course).  I know I’m far from perfect… I’m very aware of many of my flaws!  If you haven’t seen it, it’s from Calvin & Hobbes:

 

I’m a list-maker by nature.  I’ve gone through many notepads making a to-do list for each day of my life.  Every December 31, I would make a long list of what I would like to change for the following year.  And to no surprise, I’m lucky if I keep half of them the first week.  I usually fail before the second week of January, and I end up making a new list on my birthday (18th) as a fresh start once again.  That’s been my January resolution making routine for the past 30+ years.

This year, I’m not making any resolutions.  It’s not because I’m a list-keeper failure… but it’s because I get more caught up on list-making than doing sometimes.  I know me… I know that I will continue to make to-do lists and get a real good use out of my “reminder” app on my iphone.  I know that I will continue to set goals for ministry, business, etc.  However, I have decided that I’m not gonna get caught up on new year’s resolutions and how I will fail once again at exercising, eating healthy, reading the Bible every day (I know… I fail at this too…), being patient, cleaning, etc. I’m also not going to get caught up on “good riddance to 2011, and all new things with high hopes for 2012.”  Reality is… “life is life!”  I will experience good and bad things throughout 2012 just as I had in 2011 and every year before then.  While I don’t want to dwell on the past, I have learned a lot from the years past.  And I want to live each day of 2012 the best I can.  I don’t want it to be filled with “to-do’s” but just be the best “Gloria” I know how to be.  I know I will fail along the way… but each day is a new day!  This may not make any sense to you, but it does to me!

God’s loyal love couldn’t have run out,
his merciful love couldn’t have dried up.
They’re created new every morning.
How great your faithfulness!
I’m sticking with God (I say it over and over).
He’s all I’ve got left.

Lamentations 3:22-24 (The Message)

 

commitment-phobe…

Wow, it’s been awhile since my last post.  The past month has been a crazy month filled with sadness, joy, celebration, mourning, refreshment, frustration, etc… you name it… i probably felt it!  I went from my grandfather’s funeral in Kansas to a conference in Louisville, Kentucky where I was ministered to by great friends… then onto Toronto for a conference where I went through some culture shock (not because they were Canadians, but because they were all Koreans–haha, I know, go figure…) and a crazy great time connecting with my KidMin friends at Group’s KidMin Conference in Chicago.  Being busy kept me from processing a lot of what’s been going on in my life.  Now that I’ve been back home for over a week, I’ve been thinking a lot about what I have experienced and learned the past month as well as where my future is headed… and my insomnia seems to be making its way back into my life–insomnia usually means I can’t turn my brain off… uuuggghhh.  😦

Well, one major thing that has been preoccupying my mind these days is where God is calling me next to do ministry.  I’ve been praying and exploring for the past 5-6 months (i know, a long time…) and it seems to be getting down to the wire now.  I must admit that I’ve really enjoyed the last nine months of not having “church” responsibilities.  But I also must admit that I have missed it.  If you know me, you know that I love talking, thinking, and breathing KidMin!

Last week, as I was thinking about different opportunities that God has set before me, it hit me that I’m a total commitment-phobe!!!  Yuck–that’s a trait I don’t like in people, especially my volunteers…  Sure, I’m up for any spontaneous adventure.. if you ask me to forgo cleaning tonight to go watch a movie or even go on a road trip, I wouldn’t hesitate much!  However, a decision with this much gravity paralyzes me.  The type-A in me starts making pro & con list of what would be the best decision in the long run.  I start playing my own devil’s advocate.  I start imagining what my life would look like in each scenario.  And I… can’t… stop…  because I’m convinced that this decision could potentially change the direction of my life forever…

People that know me know that I take FOREVER making “important” decisions… but once I commit, I’m in 110%!  Many have called me “super picky” on many occasions.  While it is important to go through the discerning process of making an important decision, I find that I get lost in the “what if’s” more than trusting in God to direct and guide me.  The honest truth is, God can and will use me regardless of where I go… sure, one may be a better fit than other options… but I can’t possibly know the outcome of my decision NOW…

Sometimes, God clearly closes doors.  Other times, God opens several doors, and this is where the decision-making gets difficult. Perhaps there isn’t always just one right door to go through, but what matters more is my heart and attitude more so than being preoccupied with choosing the “right door.”

Cluttered…

De-Clutter Mind Map

In the past 2 hours, I have stared at a blank word document page… and now I have 150 words written down…  I have an article that is due tonight, and while I’m excited to be writing this article, my mind is so cluttered that I can’t seem to focus.  In the past 2 hours while I’m suppose to be writing, I’ve thought about my grocery list, my plants, my upcoming trip to the east coast with my dad, my upcoming trip up north, my business, my finances, my future plans, my future plans, and my future plans.  No wonder I’ve only managed to write down 150 words (one paragraph) in the past 2 hours.

I realize that I’m self-absorbed.  I keep thinking about me, me, me, me, and more me.  I need to clear my head.  I had started the day by opening my computer.  I decided to go back and catch up on my devotional.

Spending time alone with Me is essential for your well-being. It is not a luxury or an option; it is a necessity.

Instead of scanning the horizon of your life, looking for things that need to be done, concentrate on the task before you and the One who never leaves your side.  Let everything else fade into the background.  This will unclutter your mind, allowing Me to occupy more and more of your consciousness.  Trust Me to show you what to do when you have finished what you are doing now.  I will guide you step by step, as you bend your will to Mine.

“You can make many plans, but the Lord’s purpose will prevail.”  (Proverbs 19:21)

This is like a vicious cycle in my life.  I clutter my mind with a lot of “what-if’s” and thoughts of the past and future rather than focusing on what’s here and now (especially nowadays).  We’ve all heard that “today is a gift.”  How often do we really live in the present?  How often do we go through the day with cluttered minds?  I, for one, need to de-clutter and focus on what’s in front of me.  Alright, time to go back to writing!