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There is a temptation that many entrepreneurs don’t want to mention. That temptation is to ignore your family. Oh, we won’t color it up that way. We will say things like, delayed gratification or it’s a season. That sounds better than I am ignoring my responsibilities as a dad or mom. But let’s be honest a lot of seasons last years. Your kids can’t be raised properly with an absently dad or mom for a few years.
This last weekend my wife went away to a woman’s retreat with our church. I had the whole weekend with my three kids.
No my son is not on fire. He is a good distance away.
It was so fun! We camped out, had bonfires, watched movies, and March Madness basketball.
In my earlier years, I would have miss labeled this weekend an inconvenience. However, this last week is what entrepreneurism is all about. The ability to have freedom of time when you own your company is often overlooked.
When no one tells you what to do and when to do it. You can be the ultimate family man or the ultimate workaholic the choice is yours, and you make that choice whether you know it or not.
I have found there are a few questions to ask when deciding whether to work of be with the family that makes your choice a little easier.
Can they do it? The more people you lead, the more people will ask you to do a lot of different things. Is what is getting asked of you something they can do themselves? Often the answer is yes. Often your team is looking for the easy way out, and that is confirmation from the leader. If so don’t proceed, but through the question back at the team member. If they can’t do it, then move to the next phase of questioning.
Can I help? This question is the most fundamental but crucial. Do you have the time and resources to help or do you merely just want to help? The more people you have under your leadership, the more you need to check your resources. It is important to know that difference. If you have the resources, you will move on to the next form of questioning.
What is the result? This is crucial to answering whether we are helping someone or hurting them. Often we don’t wonder what the result will be of our actions, but it can be helpful or devastating its important to know the difference. Are your harming or hurting is another way you can pose this line of questioning.
Can anyone else do it? In business, there are many things we do, but others can do it. However, no one can be the dad or mom you are supposed to be, or the husband or wife God destined you to be. You only have so much time, and you must use it wisely on things that only you can do.
If you answer all these questions before acting, I am sure the answer will be clear. Most days the choice will be family, but sometimes that choice will be to work a little more. Take each day as it comes, and you will be blessed on your journey.

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Your business should not be in competition with your spouse.
It shouldn’t be but there I went pitting my stores against my family. It felt like when I focused on my family my business struggled, and when I focused on my business my family struggled. Surprisingly my wife didn’t feel the love with this approach.
Instead of loving my family well they felt like an inconvenience.
A little tip for you: When your family feels like and inconvenience in your mind they will resent your business. What is internal isn’t hidden but felt by them.


If we are successful in business but fail at home we have failed.
Success should start at home and move into our business if we are approaching it the right way. If your spouse hates your business it is your fault not the business. The beauty about that is that you can also be the one that changes the home and work dynamic. Focusing on these 4 things will make your marriage prosper as you build a business.

Priorities. Nothing will change unless we get our priorities straight. Your family must always come before your business in your heart and mind. Schedule out family events and what time you will be off work and with them. Stick to what you say! We would never be late to a meeting with a client yet it is simple to be late in getting off work or canceling a family trip. By keeping your appointments with your family they will feel like the priority they should be. Sometimes you will need to work late but it shouldn’t be a pattern. Plan ahead and stick to the plan.
Today’s work today. One of my biggest balance problems is between the good old ears. I can get consumed with what is coming up and not be present with my family. Businesses never sleep it is what makes them beautiful for making money but it can consume you mentally if you let it. Make lists and then mark your lists on a calander. When I do this my mind is sharp and clear. I am able to work on today’s work today and leave the rest for another day. Do today’s work also means be diligent at work to get your work done.
Turn the key. Great advice I have received from a seasoned entrepreneur is when you are heading home for the day and you turn the key to your car visualize that you are turning off work and turning on home life. If you are unable to do this go back in and finish your work or write it on a calander for tomorrow. The same thing should be done going from home to work. Often we are consumed with home at work or work at home because we have open files that need to be dealt with. Turn the key and switch your focus to operate a successful business and home.
Talk shop. Plan, dream, and talk about the business with your spouse. My wife is not involved in my business but it doesn’t mean she doesn’t have a say in it. She helps me make decisions and when I am being smart helps me to develop a business she wants. Your business can be a vehicle to reach your dreams with the right intentions and actions. Does your spouse value money or time? What freedom matters the most? Are you telling them the good parts of your day or just the negative things? Talk about your business to gain unity and clarity.

Practice and focus on these four principles and watch your marriage thrive. If you haven’t done these four things it will take time to switch your spouse’s perception of your business. Practice patience and focus and they will love your business. Be blessed on your journey.

What helps your marriage to prosper while building a business?

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Inside every one of us is the dream of a destiny and a calling.

Somewhere deep inside is a cry for a purpose, a calling that will reveal our place in this world. These dreams all look different, but mine went something like this.

There I was walking along on a cold and dreary day the Oregon rain falling on my face when out of nowhere a light pierced the darkness. This light sliced through the darkness, as a host of angels begin to sing, Welcome to the Jungle.

From the light, a voice like Morgan Freeman’s boomed, “This is Zechariah Newman, and he is here to save the world!” The voice went on to detail exactly what I was to do and how long I would have to work. And yes, the angels were still singing.

This revelation would, obviously, transform my life. I would travel the world, work four hours a week, help millions of people, and make millions of dollars. A win-win for humanity—and me. I would be a cross between Mother Teresa and Richard Branson.

Maybe your dreams don’t include angels, 1980’s classic rock, or a voice like Morgan Freeman. Okay, it probably doesn’t include any of those things. However, there is one thing universal to dreamers: the great tension between reality and our dreams.

What we’ve dreamed up in the spaces in between our ears and beating in our chest can make us go emo.

Depressed and disillusioned we can give up our dream of a purposeful life.

Happiness won’t last when expectations are attached to them.

When we have expectations, we are in a constant state of comparing our reality to our dream. Hence the emo rollercoaster. Up down and sideways we allow emotions to be the running engine to the dream. So, we give up one day and want to conquer the world the next day. Stopping and starting we will never gain momentum.

A much better way then expectation is appreciation.

When we are grateful we have energy and passion to pursue that is in our heart and mind.

Appreciation allows us to work on today’s work today. It focuses us on what is right and we produce more of the good we see around us. Striving is removed and a focused joy will settles in.To raise my appreciation I do these 5 things.

  1. Start with God. The Bible says seek Him first and all these things will be added. When I start with God as my source I have appreciation in my heart and mind.
  2. I thank God for anything big and small.
  3. I list 5 things I am grateful for that can never be taken away.
  4. I see in you. I have one conversation with someone about the good I see in them every day.
  5. I exercise daily to get endorphins flowing that physiologically make me feel better.

When I build these 5 daily disciplines into my life I lose my expectations and they are replaced with anticipation and appreciation. As you chase your dreams remember you are blessed beyond measure with the right prospective. Be blessed on your journey.

How do you stay appreciative?
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The Mile

Zechariah Newman —  March 2, 2017 — Leave a comment

This last weekend I ran the Phoenix Marathon. I love marathons because they are just like chasing a dream.
Phoenix is my fourth marathon in my third state, and I have a dream goal to run one in every state. This marathon was a special one for me because my mentor and friend moved a year ago, to Arizona. We ran together and had a great time catching up.
Marathons hurt.


Marathons hurt and for me, they take a long time, but there is beauty in them as well. There are new people you meet things to look at and if you’re lucky great conversation. The thing that amazes me is that every marathon I get a life lesson. This marathon was no different.
Here is the wisdom from this marathon.
Enjoy the mile you’re in.
This was the mantra for the run but more importantly one I need to apply to my life.
Marathons are many different races within one.
In the beginning, you are excited and nervous. You are unsure if you will make it and have many concerns but you move forward with anticipation. In this stage of the race, you need to load up on liquids and slow down, or you will burn out.
Dreams are the same way, in the beginning, you are nervous, and your nervous energy can get you to sprint when you should be patient and pace yourself. Fill up with things that will energize you in the long run and practice restraint in your pace.
Slow and steady beat fast and empty every day of the week. Fill up and slow down. Enjoy the mile.
In the middle section of the race, you get bored. Nervous energy leaves your body and mind, and the ache starts to set in. You may find yourself slowing down, and you need to make sure your pace is maintained. Confidence is gained, but you are agonizing over the steps to go. You need to focus on what is right in front of you.
Dream chasers in this section need to have tenacity. When the dream loses it’s shine your dedication to the craft is shown. Don’t focus on what is ahead, focus on the mile. Keep your pace strong to reach your dream.
Fall in love with the process. The process will keep you when excitement is replaced with the grind. Enjoy the mile.
At the end of the race, your whole body hurts. Boredom is gone, and pain has replaced it. You wonder if you have what it takes, and want to quit. You are tempted to look at the whole race and get discouraged. You must focus on one object and reach that then focus on the next one. You must push down your emotions and put your shoulders back and grind out each step.
Dream chasers must stop asking themselves how they feel the longer the dreamer has chased a dream. They must focus on the next step and not focus on the steps behind them. Only the steps that are in front.
Embrace the pain of the step. Enjoy the mile.
There is beauty all-around as you focus on the mile you’re in and not the marathon. Eyes up, take a step, and power through. Be blessed on your journey.

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I had just had a typical day for this entrepreneur. My days start out the same, time alone in the morning followed by a day full of leading, exhorting, and vision casting. My day consists of being always surrounded by people. As I was driving home, I couldn’t help but feel all alone.

The number one struggle I have had which I think is common among go-getter entrepreneurs is friendships. The further I have climbed the ladder of leadership the fewer friends for just friendship sake I have. In these short moments to think I often realize that most of the relationships are part of a game of chess in my mind. Almost all relationships that I have outside of my family, I am either leading, or they are mentoring me. I have justified this as proper stewardship of time and energy because I am always focused on the next goal and only allocate time to climb that mountain. However, when we don’t make time for friends we are robbing ourselves of so much. Here are four benefits to making friendships a priority.

Mental Freedom. One of the biggest benefits to friendship outside of our business is a separation of tasks and the ability to turn the mind off of it’s regular focus. Anytime I switch my mind from my business I think of the best ideas. In the shower, running, hanging out with friends frees my mind. It is as if the software in the back of the brain doesn’t have permission to think creatively until you are not trying to think about your business. Friendships are wonderful for your mental freedom.

Transparency. The only way we can feel truly known by others is when we are transparent with them. Otherwise, they love a false version of us. When you are leading a group of people, it is impossible to be totally transparent. This is what can lead to that lonely feeling, “do they know the true me?” You may think. This can lend towards loneliness because you have fewer people that know you intimately. Close friendships allow places for you to be honest in struggle and triumph.

Perspective. When you stay focused on the business all the time you can loose the forest through the trees. An outside perspective of life, business, and you, in general, is so needed. I have had many casual conversations with friends that have led me to freedom in business and life. Friends outside of work can give us a great change of perspective.

Wiring. You and I are hardwired for actual relationship yet often it gets the least of our time and energy. As you focus on relationships, you will see a return to living and health. An energy level increase and peace that we will not find in isolation. Relationships are needed for growth and health. You were wired to be in relationship.

Don’t wait any longer and start pursuing friendships today. The old saying goes, to make a friend be a friend. Join entrepreneurs meet up, a Small group at church, Lions club, Rotary club, or a chamber of commerce. There are many opportunities out there just step out and take the risk of authentic friendship. Be blessed on your journey.

Do you feel alone in entrepreneurship?

 

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In the information age, we often get in this constant state of learning. There are many blogs out there including this one, and we can keep looking for new information or information we want to hear. The constant pull for more information can prevent us from making decisions, running our companies, staying healthy, or even being present with our family. We need motivation and sometimes information, but we also need to be conscious whether we are entertaining ourselves or we are being transformed. Transformation is the name of the game, and we need not forget it. That means that new information is moving from our heads to our heart and then to our hands. Transformation only occurs when we have a change in action.

Often we are not in it for transformation. We read something then move on to something new never being transformed. We must first understand. There must be a point that we completely understand this new information. From our mind information must become revelation by flowing down into our heart. It must become real to you and your life. Your heart is where the emotions lie. Emotions can have so much impact to get you to act however it must not stay there. At this point, it must flow from your heart into your hands. A change in action is transformation coming to its fruition. Action happens no matter when we feel like it or not.

In transformation, if we skip a step the change doesn’t last. Skip the understanding in the mind, and we act when we feel like it. Skip the heart, and there is no fire in the belly that pushes you beyond your personal limits. If an action doesn’t take place, we never transform into something new and stay the same before the new information came into our lives.

Here are four tips to help in transformation

Underline and highlight. As you go through books or blogs, underline and highlight the new or valuable information that jumps off the page at you. This will help you remember and quickly look up the crucial things from the blog or book. You can also make notes in the margins that help you to remember. Highlighting and underlining help you pull out details you need.

Reread. Once you are finished with a book or post, reread the information that you have underlined and highlighted multiple times. I go back and look at the book for a month or two, and it helps me to own the information.

Tie it to you. After you have the information in your mind, you must tie it to your heart. How have you experienced what you have read? When have I felt that way? How would the past be different with this information? Make sure that you ask questions that apply the information to you in a personal and real way.

Hands. How will you be different? Will you change and if so how? What is one action that you can do immediately? You must identify ways in which you will be different. Yes, you will fail and not do it all the time, but you must know how you will change. You must have a change in action.

These tips have helped me in my process of transformation, and I know they’ll help you. Be blessed on your journey.

What helps you to make sure information becomes transformation?

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This last nine months life has been a whirlwind for me. It has been a mixed bag of everything from a nervous breakdown and health scare, sickness in my family, and more responsibility than time. In the last year, I gave up on my long-term dreams to write a book that people actually would read. My dream that I was shooting for felt like it would never happen and in the end, I laid it down and honestly thought I was done writing on this platform. I became jaded by the whole thing. Thinking things like, “Why was everyone else getting this platform thing to work, and I wasn’t? Why was it easy for them? I don’t want it anyway.” My identity became so wrapped into how many times something got shared. I found myself in comparison mode and depressed. Feeling like a fake and a hack I stepped aside, writing two posts in 9 months.

I think we all have moments of feeling like a failure and questioning our worth. We all struggle, we just struggle with different things in different ways. It is easy to want to be made different, but in reality the desire to want to be different than who we are is a trap to put us on the sidelines. I have never had trouble moving with the end in mind. I can envision what I want and what it will be like to achieve the desire in my heart. However, this can make me focused on what has not come to completion. If you have a dream in your heart, I have a few cautions for you.

Who is your dream for? We can act more sacrificial than we are. The reality is that your dream is a mix of wanting to help people, but also a self-serving portion. The longer I pursued my dream, the less it became about help and the more it became about me. I needed a refocus on who this dream was for, that it wasn’t about me. When you get frustrated, remember it’s not about you. Ask yourself, how can I serve others better?

One is all that matters. If you want to help people you need to treat each customer, email subscriber, or employee as an actual person. Dream big, but never greater than serving one human being at a time. It is tempting to play the numbers game and not the life transformation game. Growth only tells us if we are doing a good job of serving the one person that is listening to us. Ask yourself, how can I serve just one person better?

Priority. Priority is a simple word to write, however, a hard thing to practice. We can become a slave to our dream instead of having it flow out of our lives. There will be a time that you stay up too late, work too hard, and get out of priority, but have checks and balances in place so that out of priority doesn’t become your new standard.

Calendar. If you are going to chase any dream that is in your heart, it will take over. Sit down and calendar out the year. Start with personal days and family vacation days, then move into significant events, and lastly the dream and how you are going to get there. If you don’t put it on the calendar, it won’t happen. My wife and I want to go back to Hawaii and I believe we have said “next summer” for the last four years. Life happens. Plan it or you are lying to yourself and your family about what you are going to do.

At the end of the day, my dream not being comfortable is one of the greatest gifts of my life and it can be that way for you with the right perspective. When your vision looks dead, it will challenge your why and your ulterior motives. Don’t give up, however, you may need to step back and take a break. A new direction may be required. Take some time to yourself and your family. Life is short, but it is also long. Make sure to step back and refuel. Focus on others and run in such a way that honors the dream giver. Be blessed on your journey.

What cautions do you have for dream chasers?

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This is a guest post by Mary Sauer of Modernize. Modernize is your trusted ally in home improvement—empowering homeowners with the expert guidance and educational tools they need to take on big projects. You can connect with them on Facebook or Twitter.

When you are self-employed or own your own business, work-life balance takes on a whole new meaning. Being able to work from home, the office, the library, or a local coffee shop is one of the advantages of being an entrepreneur, but it can also be a disadvantage for some. The flexibility of self-employment is great, but some may find they struggle to thrive without the structure of an office or set work hours.

 

At Modernize, we believe that when you work travels with you, it is best to create an at-home office space to encourage structure in both your work and personal life. Whether you devote an entire room to all things business related or you dedicate a few square feet in your living space to this purpose, there are certain advantages to creating set boundaries for your office space.

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Avoid Distraction When Working From Home

If you spend a lot of your work hours in the comfort of your home or if you occasionally bring work home from the office, you need a quiet space to free yourself from the distractions of everyday life.

 

An at-home office space provides entrepreneurs with an escape from whatever responsibilities may distract you from getting your work done. When you can spend more time focused completely on your work, you work more efficiently, achieve better results, and finish up more quickly to free up more time for tackling additional projects or spending time with friends and family.

Close the Door When the Workday is Done

Many entrepreneurs find the flexibility of their work can make it difficult to clock out and take extended breaks from work. If you are constantly in the presence of your work computer, cell-phone, or paperwork, it serves as a regular reminder of the things you could be doing during your time off.

 

An office can serve as a clear boundary between work and your personal life, a boundary that can be very difficult to set if you work from home. At the end of the day, you can literally close the door to your office and reduce the temptation to return a phone call or check your email one last time when you should be relaxing or connecting with your family.

Promote Organization

Staying organized isn’t easy, especially if you are an entrepreneur who has full responsibility for managing day-to-day operations, balancing the budget, and communicating with clients. Creating an at-home office space is a simple way to promote organization in your professional life.

 

A common piece of advice for keeping a home clean is, “a place for everything and everything in its place,” and the same is certainly true when you are running a business. With an at-home office, you can create specific locations for everything you need to run your business from your home.

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When you are ready to begin planning your home office, consider both the efficiency and the decor of the space. You will be much more likely to use a space you enjoy spending time in, so design in a way that feels true to your personality and you’ll be more happily productive than ever.

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In a sluggish daze, I slowly opened my eyes. I could hear my three-year-old saying, “can I get up know?” Startled out of my sleep is the way most days have begun lately. I haven’t risen early but have slept in an hour more to wake up to one of my kids posing the question. My jolting awake has usually been followed by the non-verbal actions of me rolling out of bed and unconsciously staggering toward the coffee maker.

thorns

photo by: KCNewman photography

As the aroma of coffee began to fill the house I had a sudden thought I could not shake. Are you a Jackass or a race horse? Saturday was my first day off in a month, and I wrote this off as an exhausted mind making things up. I certainly felt nothing like a race horse.

This season has been a busy one I am running two stores and now have come on staff at my church as the Life Groups Coordinator in charge of 48 groups. I have been overwhelmed and gotten into Martha mode. Hustling the wrong way, exhausted and empty.

I went back to sleep at ten in the morning this day for a couple of hours. Then woke up for an hour and then again at one in the afternoon laid back down. Crashing in a heap mentally and physically depleted. The whole day I couldn’t get out of my mind, jackass or racehorse you choose. That was it, my day off turned into a random question and sleeping. At nine that night I was ready for bed and I slept hard yet again.

The next morning I got up and tied my running shoes and went for a run. Jogging back up my driveway I felt charged up and alive. Ready to take on the world! Have you seen race horses at the starting gates? They clamor and bang on the gates waiting to go. Chomping at the bit, nervous energy flowing through their body. If you open those gates, they are going to charge out.

The donkey not so much. Stubborn most of the time holding its ground. Anchored in position the master will try and pull the rope attached to the bridle and tug to no avail. Pulled into action against its will. It fights against instead of charging out like the race horse.

I can be the racehorse but often I am so tired I am like the jackass. Abstinent and defiant begging to not go. Worn out and exhausted I am resting from my work. We are called to work from our rest. We are called to fill up so that we can pour out. We are called to flow out from the Sabbath, but it’s hard. It’s hard because we look at the tasks and put that above all. It’s hard because people will always want your help. It’s hard because when we rest sometimes, it gives space for us to think about our failures. Rest is just hard for the go-getters. God whispers to rest, and I will give you what you need to accomplish, yet I fit as much in and try to find time to rest.

Are you feeling like a racehorse? For me, I had forgotten what that felt like. I hadn’t had space to let go and be still. Here are some things to check to make sure you keep energized and focused.

Sleep. You need to know how much you need and stick to it. If you have young kids, and you need more sleep go to bed earlier, that is the only way that you can get more. They will wake up with the sun if they are like mine.

Extrovert/Introvert. Know which you need. I love people, but I need to be alone to recharge. I was not getting my time in the morning before the kids were up and this was a factor in my burn out. Know which one you need and be proactive in it.

God. Prayer, reading the Bible, and just sitting at the feet of Jesus is necessary to having a healthy life for any Christian. The One that knit you in your mother’s womb knows what you need. Ask God and move on what He says.

Patience. Lack of patience is the root of burnout for me. I am trying to make stuff happen, and I want it to happen NOW. Charging out of the gates has served me well, and it has also led to burnout. Look at all you are trying to do and ask someone that is further down the path then you are. They will tell you if you’re trying to eat an elephant in one bite.

Lead from health and rest and look around so that you can enjoy the journey. When we rush seasons of our lives we can miss the beauty in the very moment, we are trying to work past. There will always be another mountain and always another challenge to overcome. We forget the most basic of things sometimes. “This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.” Be blessed on your journey.

Do you struggle to rest?

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I want answers, and I want them now. As I sit on the precipice of a major life decision I want reassurance from everyone and no discouragement.  That’s why we ask so many people what we should do. Searching for the answers on the outside and not looking inward at what God has been speaking. Can’t trust myself and what I feel God saying I need a second, third, fourth, and hey a thousand agreeing voices really would be nice. Then if something happens, I can blame them. Look all these people thought it was a good idea. Like a child wanting someone to blame, to remove my responsibility. “Go through the process,” my pastor keeps telling me. I hate the process. The process sucks!

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photo by: KCNewman Photography

Reaching my arm out slowly wanting to grab hold but afraid to let go. I’m stuck in the middle between faith and fear. Frozen like a deer in the headlights, between safety and adventure. Standing in the in between, I am about to go splat.

Like, could all the lights to go green before I take a step. Can I get a stamp of guarantee?

That’s what I want to know, the beginning to the end. Is that too much to ask? A little god-like power would be nice.

No mystery, no trust needed.

The reality of calling and following Jesus is much different than my no trust plan. Often it is like driving through fog. We are moving along feeling are way around not able to see more than a few yards in front of us. When driving in fog, you don’t stop because you will get rear-ended by others struggling to see. You don’t go fast either because you could run into someone or venture off the road. You simply plod along waiting for the dense fog to lift. Eyes fixated on what you can see. No thirty thousand foot views here. We only think that this is the way to go, and we are trusting God for the rest. Fixated and dedicated to the little bit we can see, we do our best on what is right in front of us. We trust Him that eventually the fog will lift, and it will all make sense. We must live through the principles to get to the promise.

Why do God’s principles have to be the opposite of what I want? Sow then reap. Believe then see. Give your life to get one. Make yourself a slave to Christ to be free. Die to self to be born again. It is always the principle before the promise. But at least, there’s a promise. Do you know what is on the other side of emotion?

Nothing!

If we trust emotion, we are deceived. Emotion makes us foolishly wonder around zigzagging from one excitement to another. Emotion causes us to quit right before the fog lifts. Emotion causes us to settle for safety instead of PEACE. Emotion confuses lust with LOVE. Emotion mixes up happy with JOYFUL. Emotion leaves us empty and wanting more. However, there is a promise behind every principle

Here are a few promises of God:

He promises to be with us.

He will give you wisdom if you wisdom if you ask for it.

If you bring your request to God and refuse to worry, you will have peace that transcends all understanding.

If you seek Him, you will find Him.

Trust and faith are needed in the principle before every promise, and it’s not easy to trust sometimes. We have been let down by people and wonder if God will do the same. We have are eyes on the result all the while God is asking us to be formed and molded in the process. We are invited into trusting the process. Into allowing Him to mold you and shaped you. He promises to finish the good work that He began. Will we embrace the process and trust God on the journey? Trust the One who knit us in our mother’s womb. Trust even when we think it sucks. Only then can we be blessed on the journey.

Do you struggle to move?

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