Setting up camp at Word of Life in Hudson for GTD's annual IGNITE Retreat!!
Can't wait =)
Praise God, today I closed on a little 63 year old fixer upper dream (to me) home! It's a 1955 Bungalow on 1/2 acre in Pinellas Park, FL. It's 1750 sq ft (including nearly 500 sq ft of a somewhat finished attic conversion). It also has an 850 sq ft workshop / garage. Basically it has all the ingredients for all my needs. Of all the 30+ homes I visited this was the only 1 that my heart leaped at. As my awesome Real Estate Agent, Debbie Schmidt, said, "Your heart finds the home then after that it becomes a business decision." I loved that gold nugget of advice!
This has been a wonderful learning experience and spiritual journey. Every time I prayed about this house God kept telling me to keep moving fwd regardless of any legitimate concerns. I've been at total peace about whatever happens. If I get it - GREAT! If I don't - GREAT! I personally loved the house. I personally wanted the house. But more than any of that I want to be wherever God is at... even if that's without the house... or in the house with termites... or whatever =). It has been such an awesome journey. I'd move fwd then come to a stop sign. I would pray about it and God would say, "It's only a STOP sign. It isn't a ROAD CLOSED sign. Stop at the STOP signs, acquire knowledge and wisdom, seek wise counsel, inquire of Me, use discernment, wait for the traffic to clear, then proceed fwd." It has been such a wonderful spiritual journey. Each STOP sign ended up reducing the price more and getting needed things done or scheduled. I started to like the STOP signs hahaha!!
In the end, after a few series of negotiations, I got the house for $224k. It's surrounded by a new housing development of $400k homes. Everything about it says wise investment to me. And the feedback that I've received from experts was unanimously and overwhelmingly affirming. This appears to be a wise investment. I think Chip & Joanna Gaines as well as Dave Ramsey would give me 2 thumbs up on it =)
I've made a very humble salary for many years so it looked like I was going to need my Dad & Mom as a co-signer in order to qualify for anything larger than a refrigerator box. My parents didn't hesitate when I talked to them about it, but I didn't want to go that route and expose them to any kind of risk. And at 47 years old I really wanted to take on this responsibility without a co-signer. I have a humble salary, but I have very few bills. Thankfully, in the end my AMAZING Lenders - Adam & Heather Zima of Champions Mortgage (BEST Lenders EVER!!) - worked and worked and worked with me so that I could qualify for this loan on my own. I've known them for many years and I was beyond blessed to work with them on a professional level. I can't begin to explain how great they are at what they do. They literally make dreams come true!
I have so many people to thank who have patiently taught me so much about the complex process of buying a house... the single largest purchase in most people's life. I especially want to thank my brilliant cousin, Dana Ward, who coached me through the whole process and helped save me thousands of dollars (as well as a few mistakes).
From the moment I received the news 6 months ago that I had to move from my current location I was filled with an inner confidence and anticipation that this was a God thing. I was eager for this challenge. I wanted this fight. I wanted to contend against all the hurdles that were in front of me as well as overcome past personal limitations such as a small history of hasty decisions, reluctance to ask for wise counsel, a tendency to lose balance by becoming too absorbed with the mission (I never missed a workout or a Sabbath with my mom or strayed from my nutrition plan or overworked or turned down an opportunity to take my Dad to the Dr's). This journey was so much more than buying a house. It was a hundred different challenges within the time consuming process of finding a home. I wanted all of these challenges... every last one of them... and if the closing fell through today I was ready to rejoice for the next round in this heavyweight fight and return back to the drawing board. But, glory to God, it appears that I will be heading on to the next phase of this awesome contest... the renovations!!
Thank you to my friends and family who have cared and asked about and prayed for this home search and me! I'm forever grateful!!
Now it's time to get on to the renovations!! I'm eager for the next contenders, obstacles, and battles!! I simply love to contend =)
THANK YOU JESUS! THIS IS YOUR HOUSE! I'M JUST THE DOORKEEPER =)
"Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain." - Psalm 127:1
"Better is one day in Your courts than a thousand elsewhere; I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked." - Psalm 84:10
Well, I guess it's not actually an unveiling... my possible new house included some free termites hahaha! I knew about it a month ago and part of my mortgage lender's requirements was to have the house treated by the seller before closing. So the house has been fumigated, and Lord willing, tomorrow morning I'm scheduled to close on the house. Stay tuned for updates. I'm beyond thrilled!
There are very few easy victories in life. No matter what your honorable pursuit is it will be met with fierce opposition - whether the opposition is from your own avoidance of pain or self sabotaging emotions or an undisciplined mindset or a lifestyle of foolishness - whether it's from an environment surrounding you of low standards, mediocrity, and complaining attitudes - whether it's the devil himself and his minions of dark spiritual forces scheming for your discouragement, depression, and destruction - whether it's a history of poor choices, major setbacks, or inherited generational sins - whether it's Murphy's Law, a malfunctioning alarm clock, or an unexpected health ailment - the reality is that EVERYDAY opposition attempts to rob you of your future by defeating your present. So what do you do? Roll over in your bed? Hide under the covers? Drift with the current? No! You FIGHT! You anticipate daily oppositions from every direction and even the enemy within and you develop a WARRIOR'S mentality. You learn to love to FIGHT! You live for the FIGHT! You run to the FIGHT! Every night is FIGHT NIGHT! You FIGHT for every inch of progress. As you train yourself to become a 24/7 vigilant fighter something amazing begins to happen. You stop losing and you start winning. The wins start mounting. You stay humble knowing you are just one foolish decision away from being defeated. And fight after fight after fight you become who God made you to be. You become more than a conqueror. And you keep running back into the arena for the next opponent, the next fight. Does it ever get easy? NEVER! But FIGHTERS don't want it easy!! You have to have a mentality that matches reality. Life is a NON-STOP FIGHT. You FIGHT or you die. For too many people life is just a long drawn out dying process. Don't tap out! Answer the bell! Your alarm clock is the bell! Rise & FIGHT!!!
"Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand." - Ephesians 6:10-13
"Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses." - 1 Timothy 6:12
STRiVE to THRiVE!
It was a full day of adventure as we paddled with the mother & sons of Relevant Church through an obstacle course of downed trees, spectating alligators, and raw Florida beauty on 4 miles of the Hillsborough River in Tampa, FL. It was a really good day!
I'm 6 days away from closing on my first house / new GTD office... there are no guarantees... it could all fall through in the last minute or soar through with flying colors... either way, it has been an awesome journey that has already enriched my life in many ways. Sometimes it's easy to miss the enjoyment of the process in a rush to get to the destination. Not this time. Not for me. So much of this was about the journey as well as aiming for the right & best destination. 7 days from now I will either own a home, be seeking a different home, or had some sort of delay in the process. Whichever it is, it will have been prayed through thoroughly, and I will continue to rejoice in the moment knowing that it's all working out to my good and God's glory! Win! Win! Win!
"And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose." - Romans 8:28
Motivation is a launching force, not a sustaining force. It's designed to start momentum, not keep momentum. The launching fuel of motivation runs out quickly. So how do you continue on in your endeavor until you're successful? Discipline picks up where motivation leaves off. Do you want to reach your full potential in any area of your life, better yet, in every area of your life? Then desire, embrace, and develop healthy self discipline. Don't naively treat discipline like a genetic predisposition that a small percentage of people are born with. Instead, embrace it more like the skeletal muscular system that everyone is endowed with but relies on your intentional usage to develop. Discipline isn't a natural ability; it's a developed skill. It isn't naively thinking you're going to wake up each morning and naturally want to (AKA: be motivated) to do what you should do. It's soberly realizing that you will rarely wake up naturally motivated to do anything you know you should do. And that's the point of discipline. It's this amazing invention God created and prepackaged into human beings. It doesn't rely on emotions for movement. It doesn't depend on your feelings to operate. It doesn't care about weather you want to do what you know you should do. It's bigger and so much better than emotions. It's so much higher than fair-weather motivation. Discipline is an all-weather all-terrain decision to take action... regardless of how you feel... and even in spite of how you feel. It's absolutely amazing! Discipline bridges the distance between your dreams and the fulfillment of those dreams. It takes you from being out of shape to great health, from debt to prosperity, from bondage to breakthrough. If your dreams have any value at all then they won't be easy to accomplish. Your going to have to move on days you don't want to move. Your emotions will persuade you to relax, but discipline needs to throat punch your emotions and say,
"Not today. Not on my watch. We don't make progress when we listen to you. You create regrets. You rob me of my future. You steal my dreams. You destroy my potential. You make me look back at the end of my day and see nothing but wasted time and unused energy. You set me up for failure. The devil doesn't even need to torment me because you're doing his work for him. We're not listening to you anymore. I'm listening to my discipline. I'm developing my discipline. And you no longer rule my life. I get up weather I feel like it or not. I workout weather I feel like it or not. I read weather I feel like it or not. I eat healthy weather I feel like it or not. I pray weather I feel like it or not. I do what I should do when I should do it and how I should do it weather I feel like it or not. I'm taking back the God-given self control I was given and using it the way it was designed to be used. Get out of my way emotions! This life is under new management!"
Discipline isn't something that keeps you from living life fully. It's something that God gave us to keep us from squandering our life foolishly. Discipline leads to a fuller richer life. Discipline isn't the enemy. It's actually our greatest endowed ally.
If you're underdeveloped in healthy self discipline then right now is the best time to start developing those discipline muscles. Pick something simple you should be doing and start doing it consistently as often as you should be doing it regardless of how you feel (ex: drinking the right amount of water each day while stopping drinking sodas). Develop a strategy and gameplan (ex: Use a checklist & checkmark to track your daily water intake. Get a cool looking favorite water bottle. Give yourself 1 cheat day each week to drink soda. Give yourself some kind of achievement award for sticking to it for 1 month. Etc, etc). Part of the fun of discipline is strategizing and formulating a gameplan to beat your self destructive tendencies.
"Go to the ant, you sluggard;
consider its ways and be wise!
... How long will you lie there, you sluggard?
When will you get up from your sleep?
A little sleep, a little slumber,
a little folding of the hands to rest—
and poverty will come on you like a thief
and scarcity like an armed man.
... the reproofs of discipline are the way to life..."
- Excerpts from Proverbs 6 (NIV & ESV)
STRiVE to THRiVE!