The Ultimate Goal

What’s your goal? Do you have more than one? If so, are they short term or long term goals? As a writer and a fitness junkie, I like goals. I find that it helps me move forward and stay motivated.

I think we can all agree that it’s a great feeling when we reach a goal. Whether it’s running a race, writing a book or doing 20 push-ups, it’s exciting to meet a goal when you have worked hard for it!

But sometimes we can get in the way of reaching our goals. For me, I find myself comparing my achievements to others. I feel great that I just ran 3 miles on the treadmill and then notice that the guy next to me is barely sweating and has gone 5 miles. I’m happy to have 500 followers and then see that my friend has 5,000. I sell 100 books at an event and then guest speaker sells 1,500.

Do you ever feel this way?

Why can’t we just be happy with what we set out to do? Why do we let comparison bring us down? Why do we let our goals shift to what others have accomplished?

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In a society that is focused on social media statistics, it is important that we remember what our ultimate goal is as Christians while we are here on Earth. That goal is the one that truly matters.

“Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.” {Hebrews 12:1-2}

God wants us to do our best to be spiritually and physically healthy. Keep running and doing push-ups. Read the Bible and share the love of Christ with others. Do your best each day and be happy with the progress that you’ve made! The truth is that there will always be someone faster, stronger, richer and better looking, but I need to remind myself that God formed me to be exactly who I am and I am thankful for that.

My new goal? Continue to make progress in all areas of my life and celebrate meeting goals. Stay focused on the ultimate goal and stop comparing myself to others.

Sharing at #HisStory

Imagine Mary’s pain

My family attended a Good Friday service last night and before it started my youngest son asked me, “Why is it called Good Friday when it was such a sad day?”

It was a sad day and as we listened to the accounts of Jesus’ last day, I found myself thinking of Mary. Trying to empathize with her as a mother is heartbreaking. She had given birth to Jesus, nursed him, taken care of him as a child and watched him grow into the man that she had been told by angels that he would become.

Imagine the fear and helplessness that Mary felt as she watched the horror of her son’s death unfold. The overwhelming desire to want to protect him from the emotional and physical pain that he endured.

The disciple John was at the cross and recorded the scene as Jesus commits Mary into the disciple’s care: “When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, ‘Dear woman, here is your son,’ and to the disciple, ‘Here is your mother.’ From that time on, this disciple took her into his home” (John 19:26-27).

This tender moment between mother and son is painful and beautiful at the same time. I had the opportunity to see Michaelangelos Pieta in Rome and was overwhelmed by the beauty of the sculpture.

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In the statue, Mary is holding Jesus in her lap as she had done so many times when he was younger. She was no longer able to protect him, but must have been full of pride.

I imagine the darkness that consumed Mary for the next two days as she tried to make sense of what had happened….guilt, sadness, anger, loss. I imagine the conversations that she had with God.

And then there was joy on that third day. As Mary realized that Jesus’ sacrifice, her sacrifice, was for all of us. The day when everything made sense- the reason we call it Good Friday.

An unexpected guest

My husband and I have four sons, a big dog and 2 cats. In other words, my house is usually a bit messy. At any given time there are at least two pairs of shoes left at the front door, a backpack lying in the kitchen, dog toys under the dining room table, and laundry waiting to be folded. I’m usually ok with it and don’t freak out unless I know that someone is coming over. Even then, there are degrees of the freakout. If it’s good friend from across the street, I may pick up the shoes and ignore the rest. But if it’s not a close friend, I may go into a tailspin and start nagging my kids to pick up their stuff. Ocassionally, I look around our house and think, “what if someone came to the door right now?”

It’s sort of like our relationship with God. We know we need God in our life, but we often invite Him to join us when it’s convenient (when our life is nice and tidy). Imagine if He was there when you didn’t “invite” him…..when you were rude to the waiter, told an inappropriate joke, or cheated on a test. We invite him when we need help or when things aren’t going well and ocassionally remember to thank him, but what if we really went “all in” and lived our life so that He was present at all times? Imagine living life in such a way that Jesus could come alongside for an entire day. A week? A month?

“And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.” Mark 12:30 (NLT)

I challenge you to think about what area of your life would you need to “tidy up” if you knew that Jesus was going to be with you even when you didn’t invite him. Are you willing to let God take control of all the areas of your life?

Your destination is straight ahead

Do you remember life before GPS? Ok, there was MapQuest (is that still a thing?) but I mean before that? Remember using a map?!

I am directionally challenged. Seriously. I rely on my GPS to get me everywhere. The worst is when it doesn’t give you enough time before you need to turn and then you hear the obnoxious….RECALCULATING. My husband often teases me about it. He says, “what if your GPS didn’t work?” I laugh and shrug. Being a woman, I would ask for directions!

It got me thinking….what if we are truly lost and have no idea where to go?  I’ve been in this situation before, not just on the road, but in life. I’ve needed direction and been scared that I would make the wrong decision. Have you? Who do you turn to when you need direction?

What if we trusted Jesus as much as we trust our GPS?

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To do today: Thank God

Hi friends,

If you follow this blog, you know that December started off rocky for me. I am an only child with an aging mother and on December 3, she fell and broke her back. It sent the start of my holiday season into a tailspin and I was a wreck. I found myself trying to juggle hospital visits, calls to doctors, work, and feeding my mom’s cat, all while taking care of my family and trying to prepare for Christmas. It was tough!

l-274439My mom has been in a back brace and in a rehab center for a month. She is not happy, wants to go back to her cat, and hates having to do physical therapy. I have worried, cried, and prayed.

Fast forward to today…..I held my breath as she got an x-ray and we waited to meet the orthopedic surgeon. I finally exhaled as he gave us a good report. She will return to her cat next week!

This experience got me thinking about my faith. God has never let me down, yet when things get tough I don’t always turn to him.

Why do we do this? Is it because we want to believe that we can do everything on our own? Isn’t it nice to know that we don’t have to?

Have a great day!

Tracey

follow me on Facebook! https://www.facebook.com/TMCasciano

 

 

 

 

 

Knock knock….

Waiting is hard, but when what you’ve been waiting for happens, it is wonderful! This is Advent. We are waiting to celebrate the day of our Savior’s birth. The day that everything changed for us as man.

Isaiah 9:6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Along with this wonderful time of year comes a lot of business. We shop, we wrap, we party, we travel. We get busy! In this business it’s easy to lose sight of the true meaning of Christmas. The innkeeper had no room for Jesus. Do you have room in your busy life to let Jesus in?

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I find it amazing that He came to this earth to be crucified so that you and I may one day live with Him in heaven.

Will you come to Jesus?

If not, why not?

Maybe today is the day that God is knocking on the door of your heart.

Do you have room for Jesus?

 

Starbucks red coffee cups…really?

I have to chime in on this.

I love the beginning of the holiday season (as long as it is after Halloween) and do enjoy when Starbucks brings out their red cups. However, those cups are NOT the definition of what Christmas is about. Christmas is a celebration for the birth of our Lord. It is a joy that Christians have within their hearts and share with others.

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I can’t understand why everyone is freaking out about the red cups and have a hard time thinking that it was an anti- Christian move on Starbucks part. I’d like to suggest that everyone who is upset about it bring a Sharpie marker with them and draw your own designs on the cups!

Can we move on  and discuss the real meaning of Christmas now?

#Write31Challenge- Word of the Day

October 24 Word of the Day- Appreciation

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Many times in our lives when we are faced with a difficult situation or hardship, it may feel as if God has abandoned us.

Consider the crucifixion of Jesus. When it was happening, His disciples surely felt as if God had abandoned Him. In fact, Jesus even asked God why He had forsakened Him.

It isn’t until after we have experienced a trial that we are able to see that it was part of God’s plan for us and appreciate what we went through.

Looking at the crucifixion again, it wasn’t until Jesus’ resurrection that God’s plan was made clear. I think we can all appreciate that!

Write 31 Challenge: Word of the Day

31 day word challenge

October 2- Word of the Day : LOVE

Love is a warm cup of tea on a winter day.
Love is a hug from an old friend.
Love is sharing a blanket.
Love is a smile that was captured when no one was looking.
Love is family doing something together.
Love is necessary.
Love is always there with Jesus.

What do you think of when you hear “LOVE”??