START

The best things that have happened to me in the last five years weren’t things I planned.

YES! Planned lives leave no room for adventure and faith. To be honest, the best things will not happen when we try to control the outcome. We miss out on opportunities when we try to plan our journey. The only one that is writing our story is God, and we have to let Him write it without our planner on his throne. His ways are always better than ours and are usually a surprise.

Forget finding a purpose. It’s a never-ending story that will leave you empty. Live with purpose instead.

I loved this perspective in the book. We spend so much time as humans finding a purpose for our lives that we miss the point. The point is never to find our purpose but realize our life is purpose. If you have a heartbeat, then your life has purpose. Don’t find it; live it. 

But money isn’t a calling. It’s a consequence.

Money does make the world go around, but it should not control your life. I remember running my nonprofit and not being paid to do it. I believed in my dream so much that I was willing to work full-time and do the nonprofit in the evening. I wasn’t called to make money, but I am called to serve people. Pursuing money will leave you empty once you realize you have everything but the dream in you. Don’t sacrifice money on the altar of your dream.

You need to spend more time practicing your dream than you do promoting your dream.

Talk about a punch in the face. Too often, we spend more time telling people about our dream than we do living our dream. Do not tell me about it; show me your dream. Practice, research, and excel at your dream. Stop waiting for your promo to make it big, and let your dream be your promo. If I wanted to watch a promo, then I would go to the movies and watch a trailer. Do not put your dream trailer on the big screen until you are living it and continuing to learn through your dream.

I read this book in two days. Jon Acuff is a great author, and he is a little funny. I am thankful for the person who bought this book at full price and gave it to McKay’s. It saved me some money. I will pay full price for Jon Acuff next book. I highly recommend this book if you feel stuck or in need of a boost to get you back on track.

 

 

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Roots

Roots

Last week, I was taking a walk around the park at lunch time, and I noticed that the concrete was not even. I started to wonder why there were so many bumps and cracks in the concrete, and then I noticed the roots. Next to the trail, there are a lot of trees, and the roots have been getting under the concrete and breaking the concrete. One place along the way you can see the roots where it has completely broken through the concrete. It is sad because most of the trail is flat until you get to the parts with the roots.

This trail reminds me a lot of our lives. We all have roots, but we try to hide them under a flat surface- hoping no one will see the bumps along the trail. This is why roots have to be dug up and cut off at the core. You can’t cut the limbs off the tree and call it dead. You have to get down to the bottom of the problem. I have been reading and writing a lot about brokenness and how brokenness has a story.

The story with the roots on the trail is that even if the trees were cut down the cracks would still be there, but the cracks would tell the story of redemption. It doesn’t mean the trail will be flat again, but at least it won’t be so bumpy. Embrace the roots that have caused damage; realize that roots are part of the journey, and along the journey repairs have to be made. Repairs aren’t meant to perfect us but to remind us of what once was.

So, what root is breaking through the surface in your life but is so hard to cut at the core? Embrace the breaking but don’t let it stop you. Journey through the roots but do not let the roots journey through you. Do not let the roots control the outcome. Remember, brokenness is a sign of strength not weakness.

The Broken Way

When the church isn’t for the suffering and broken, then the church isn’t for Christ.

I really enjoyed this concept in the book. The church does need to do a better job at creating spaces for brokenness. I think a lot of people are afraid to be open with others because the church can turn someone’s vulnerability into gossip time. This has to change! If you have to tell the church every week that this is a safe place, then I question how safe the space truly is.

He looked out the window and pointed. Every morning that the sun rises, and you get to rise. That’s God saying He believes in you, that He believes in the story He’s writing through you. He believes in you as a gift the world needs.

Our brokenness has purpose even though it feels like there is no hope. Our hope isn’t found in the one that caused our brokenness, but our hope is found in Christ. As I read this in the book, my mind went to when my parents got a divorce. I was broken to the core because my whole life had just changed. It was hard! I was 8 years old, and it took me until I was a teenager to deal with that deep wound. There were many nights that I did not care. I questioned God; I asked why. I know now that it had a purpose, and God has used me to help other kids going through that same brokenness. It is true that God is writing a story through us. Even though it may take years to see the story, it always ends in God’s redemptive plan and points back to Him.

It’s always the vulnerable heart that breaks broken hearts free.

This is probably one of the most important aspects of the book. Be open about your brokenness because it is through our brokenness that God can heal the broken heart. I got the picture of having open heart surgery. God is there about to mend a broken heart that has been through a lot of pain and blockage and needs blood to flow through it again. He has to go in and make the blood flow clear again and put His touch on the heart. The recovery will be painful for a short time because the surgery takes time, but your wounds are now scars that can tell the story of God’s sovereignty.

The Broken Way isn’t just a good read. It is a soul-searching book. It will bring up wounds from your past that may not have been taken care of, but through this book, God will do a work. Tears will be shed as you read. Have an open heart as you read this book. Be prepared to close the book at times to talk to God. Don’t rush through God moments because you will have them as you go through this book. I encourage you to keep a journal too. I wrote some things down from my past that I thought were taken care of, but there was more that needed to be exposed. Don’t be afraid to go digging because some roots need to actually be dug up and not just trimmed. Get ready for a journey through your brokenness.