So often we get wrapped up in someone else's success. We focus on their high moments and compare them to our lows. We forget our journey. We forget what we were supposed to learn. We forget we were supposed to grow.
I want you to know if you are in my life, or even reading this as a complete stranger, there is greatness inside of you. Find it. Find it through serving others. Find it by building others up. Find it by affirming others. And lastly, find it by affirming yourself. Remind yourself you were created with purpose.
How many of you have tried to start a fire? I have. It's rough. Years ago when Little Man was a baby we had the most horrendous ice storm. No snow. Just ice. It rained and rained, then sleeted forever and soon enough all the trees were covered with inches of ice. As trees began to crack and power lines were down everywhere our entire city was without power for a week. Some areas as long as two weeks. It's a whole different ball game when you are a new parent. Where before we'd tough it out, we couldn't ask a baby to do that in the freezing temps. We made a fire. The flame was so small to begin with and easily went out if we did not fan it. So one of us fanned the flame while the other added little bits of newspaper until we had a roaring fire. Once the fire was in full force we could enjoy the warmth.
It's the same for our lives. We all have a little flame inside of us. Fan it. Remind yourself of the positives. Affirm yourself with positive beliefs. Remind yourself what God says about you even if you don't believe it. Speak it. Speaking it brings life, and life more abundantly. After all the fanning, your flame encompasses your whole life. You become a warm person. You offer that warmth to others.
Recently, I began focusing on speaking positive affirmations to fan my own flame. It wasn't always easty to speak these affirmations, but I did it. Here are some of mine:
- I am blessed to be a blessing.
- I was made to be great.
- God created my hands for helping. Helping is what I will do.
- I have gifts and talents that are uniquely mine. Share them.
- To be great you must serve many.
- Tough times don't last. Tough people do.
- Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.
In fact, I was reading Unglued by Lysa Terkeurst last night. I underlined very powerful section from the first chapter. I even put it as my Facebook status. She says,
Progress. Just make progress. It's okay to have setbacks and the need for do-overs. It's okay to draw the line in the sand and start over again-and again. Just make sure you're moving the line forward. Take baby steps, but at least take steps that keep you from being stuck. Then change will come. And it will be good.
Is that not so true? Honestly, I get so caught up doing it the right way all the time I forget it's about progress. I begin to talk down to myself instead of fanning the flame. News flash!!! We will screw up. Dust yourself off and draw your line again. Just keep moving forward. It's a great reminder to myself. Especially on days I drive off and leave a stroller in the school parking lot because I was so busy trying to get 5 kids loaded up and home so I could deal with the blow out diaper that I had no wipes for. Yes. That was me. I screw up. It's okay. I had to draw my line again.