Happy Blogiversary to me!

This week, on April 13, 2016 I celebrated my 1 year Blogiversary! Yay Me!

1 year ago, I posted Invasion of Glory! as my re-entrance into blogging land. Since then 47 posts have went out.

It is hard to believe sometimes that I have been at this blogging thing for a year and I didn’t quit.  I have missed a week or two for vacations or sickness, but all in all, I have been pretty consistent in posting a weekly blog.  Which by the way is a HUGE improvement from the first time I attempted to write a blog.

Opening a gift box with magical special effects lights

Travel back in time with me for a minute.  The year 2007-ish.  When I started Dare 2 Hear Ministry, I knew I needed a website, so I hired a company and they built me one.  I am technically challenge and so I needed a user friendly version.  It also came with a blog, which I thought was great.  I can share my thoughts and what I feel the Lord is showing me.  However, I wasn’t very consistent and I didn’t really know what I was doing, (still don’t actually) so it was easy to let it fall by the wayside.

I once had a reader send me a note with the comment “you’re not very consistent with this whole blogging thing are you?”  OUCH! – – Nope, I sure wasn’t.

Back then, I had no clue about what it could mean if I stayed with it.  There were no blog hops or link-up parties (Or if there were, I was clueless about them).

I often think back and wonder what would have happened if I had stuck with it?  What if I had persisted and continued to blog back then?  Where would I be today?   Although blogging in different forms has been around since the 1980’s – 1990’s, according to Wikipedia blogging didn’t really begin to be gain popularity until 2002.  Even then, it wasn’t as common place as it is today.

just believe

 

As I sit here today writing, I think “Wow, if I would have stayed with it, I would have been a trailblazer, on the cutting edge and a blogging ‘old-timer’ so to speak.” In fact, as I look back over my life at the things, I wish I would have done, but didn’t for various reasons, it makes me sad.  I actually have spent quite a bit of time over the last week beating myself up about many missed opportunities like not sticking with this whole blogging thing.  It led me to write my blog post last week about Laughing at God, you know laughing at what He may want you to do instead of believing He will make a way to see it accomplished.

As I was looking back over my life, I did have a few light bulb moments. I realized, I often tend to allow other things like time constraints, fear of doing wrong, fear of failure, fear of what others might think, fear of  __________ ( just fill in the blank, I am sure I have let fear in its many forms stop me at one point or another), or lack of technical ability to get in the way.

Regrets!  I’m beginning to not like the word.  In fact, I want to banish it from my vocabulary, at least when it comes to myself.  I don’t want to have missed opportunities, feel sad, or disappointed over something that I could have easily done or said to make things different.

I could dwell on the regrets of the past, but I won’t, because it doesn’t feel very good to have regrets. So instead, I want to learn from them and choose to advance forward.

My #OneWord2016 is Advance and honestly, I haven’t felt like I have advanced very much so far this year.  But, that is about to change.  As I have been contemplating these regrets of mine, I realized something: Even if I only take one small step forward, I am advancing!  I need to not get so overwhelmed with all that is on my to-do list, that I do nothing.  Nor do I want to get lost in the bigger picture of things and not know how to begin.  Instead, I am purposing to move 1 baby step at a time forward, starting today.

Vintage magnifying glass, compass, goose quill pen and spyglass lying on an old map.

A few weeks ago, I was listening to a podcast and in a portion they were talking about top regrets people have at the end of their life. Most were about the way they chose to spend their time.  Some regretted that they had worked so much.  Some had regrets about not spending time with their families and the people that matter most to them.  Still others, had regrets about not letting themselves be happier, or regrets about the dreams they had never had the courage to pursue in their life.

As I listened, I felt the Lord prompting me to not wait until I was at the end of my life to look at the things I had regrets about.  I am sure we will always have some regrets in life especially if we are in relationship with others, but what if we began to identify things we already regret, but have the power to change now?

I don’t want to get to the end of my life – hopefully many years from now and have so many regrets, that I could have done something about.  So, I took that prompting from the Lord and began to reflect.

landofwhatifs

As I was reflecting, I had items come to mind from just a day ago, to things from years ago.  Some of the things I can change and turn around, some I can’t.  Although, I can purpose, plan, and prioritize my life to make the necessary needed adjustments.  I can learn from those regrets so I can move forward (advance) unhindered by the weight regrets bring.

Do you have regrets?

I think we all do, but as I have already stated, we don’t have to go through our life filled with regrets, waiting until it comes to the end and wish we could now change things.

As this idea of living with regret bounces around in my mind, I’m drawn to the story of Samson in the Bible.  You know Samson, of Samson and Delilah?  The strong man, a man who was set apart by God before he was even born to defeat the Philistines.  If you don’t know the story, I encourage you to grab a Bible and read Judges Chapters 13 – 16.

It seems Samson at every turn did his own thing.  He broke every vow of a Nazarite and set out to get what he wanted, no matter the outcome or the consequences.  He didn’t lead the Israelites to defeat the Philistines like Judges 13:5 states he would. Samson felt he was invincible, he felt he was above the law, and he was so full of pride and felt he deserved whatever he wanted.  The sad part is, Samson had an assignment, but he didn’t do the things set before him to do. In the end, he did exact revenge on the Philistines.  Samson did kill many of them, but not in battle, and definitely not as a leader of Israel.  At the end of his life, I can’t help but wonder if Samson had regrets?  I think he did.  If I were Samson, I sure would have.  Samson could not go back and change all the things he had done wrong, but he could moving forward choose to do the right thing.

courage to change

We can’t go back and change the past either and have a complete do-over.  We can only purpose today to make changes and identify those things we can change.  Sometimes, that means we may have to ask others to forgive us, or forgive ourselves.  Don’t live with regrets, but join me in living with courage and purpose.

4 Steps to Regret-Free Living

1. Reflect

  • Think on and jot down the things you regret the most over your life. This list will help you to begin taking the first steps in moving forward successfully and changing the things in your life that need to be changed so you can move ahead.

2. Identify

  • Identify what can you do today to change the things you already regret.
  • Don’t entertain or dwell on the ‘What if’s’, or the ‘what could have been’s’.
  • It’s good to reflect on the things you wish you could change (or can change) in your life, or wish you could have done better, but don’t stay there.  Create a plan of action to move forward, so you don’t repeat the mistakes.

3. Learn

  • Learn the needed lessons and move forward.
  • Understand that mistakes will happen and you won’t always get it right, instead, turn the mistakes into lessons, pick yourself up, learn from them, forgive (yourself & others), and move forward.

4.  Passionately Pursue

  • Passionately Pursue Your God given Purpose (dreams).
  • Be bold and courageous and pursue the dreams in your heart.
  • Don’t let yourself, others, or fear hold you back from doing anything.
  • Do your best not to miss upcoming God-given opportunities.

My Post: “Will You Sit with Me?” was featured here:

My Post: “The Journey through Change” was featured here:

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