Steps of faith

Every year I set goals. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. I tend to have high hopes and poor follow through. I love dreaming and planning big… what can I say? This year I prayerfully considered what goals God would have me set. Then I documented and shared my goals with my accountability people… my discipleship group, my husband and of course #iveyleague mom (she’s a given!) Having God’s partnership in your goals, writing them down and telling people suddenly ups the ante of responsbility. 2016 Goals - Ashlee_1

Here we are – the start of April 2016 and I am not doing too terribly bad  (SHOCK!). The fact that I still have the list is significantly better than history says! So I will count that more than marginally better compared to years past. The reality is, I didn’t set a laboriously long list of tangible goals. However I must sit in the weight of intangibles. This is where I am deeply motivated and have opened myself up for the accountability people in my life to let me know when my attitude, behavior and habits aren’t aligned to my 2016 purpose. This stuff matters y’all. And in the tangible goals – whoa Nellie!! I did not go easy on myself. Goals that might not seem large to others, yet are all about starting a journey of faith for myself. A journey to take care of what God has given me and prepare myself for the better service of my intangibles goals. Lazy and lethargic – time for you two bums to check out of this here little life.

So, what does this have to do with the price of tea in China?  Stick with me – I’m going somewhere.

Last weekend, I did my first ever 5K! (See that was on the goal list?? CHECK!!)  Now, it was only a fun run 5K – no times and no racing.  The perfect first event thanks to advice and encouragement from my sweet friend, Rachel and my brand new friend Ginger!   And “run” is a loose term, as I would call what I do more “wogging” – somewhere between walking, jogging and wondering if I am going to die. I’m serious.

I saw people wearing shirts that said “I run for ____.” Thank you strangers for making it clear to me I had to declare some reason for this current insanity I was about to embark. Thank you for forcing me to wonder why in the world was I doing this?!?  What was I running (ok-wogging) for? I mean near total panic set in at one point while we were waiting that sounded very much like someone screaming in my ear – “WHAT ARE YOU THINKING?” Then of course “You’ve never run a mile in your life! This is 3.2 miles!” Never mind the reminders, “You haven’t even trained properly for this!” Oh yeah, “God, are you sure this is what you meant?!?” (Don’t we love to let fear cause us to question God?)

I will not lie – I prayed my way through this.  Specifically, “I thank you Jesus, you strengthen me, because you consider me faithful, put me into service” [1 Timothy 1:12 paraphrase mine]. I settled on my answers in this prayer. In my quest to be in better health – I seek to be equipped to live out the commands of my Lord. I wish to meet His goals for me. Through His direction I set a purpose and through His strength, I have already taken many steps of courage. (You are reading the blog that was one HUGE step). I’ve stepped right out of the boat in the middle of the storm walking toward Jesus in total faith that surely He knows why he’s holding His hand out there waiting on me. Baby steps or huge leaps, Jesus is calling and I pray to always keep stepping out to Him.

I step for obedience.

I step to grow my faith.

I step to serve Him.

What does stepping out look like for you and why do you step?  Have you talked to God about what goals He desires you to set for yourself?  I encourage you to do so. I won’t say you won’t be scared, but I will say you will be rewarded in your obedience. (and your calves will be super sore.)

Pray with me:  Dear God, thank you for your ever faithful presence. Thank you for caring about all the details. No matter is too small for you and your direction always leads us to righteousness. May we always seek you daily in order to stay inside your peace and your will for our lives. Give us the courage to do the things we’ve never done before in order so that you would receive the glory. As we step toward Jesus with the world expecting us to fall, make it so clear to the world that you alone are how we make it.  To you be all glory and praise forever. In your son’s precious Holy name, Amen. 

In His grip – Ashlee

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Top Left – Ginger, Rachel and I after color. Bottom Left – Rachel & I before color.   **I flat love these women!**

 

 

 

 

 

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