Roadblock or Detour?

Do you ever wonder how you got to where you are? How sometimes you think you’re headed in a certain direction in life and then it changes?

Detour!

How do you handle it?

I recently had several detours in my life. I was plugging along as a HS special education teacher for eight years when I felt called to write a book (Detour #1). I found that balancing a full-time job, family and writing a book was nearly impossible and after a some serious prayer, decided to take a year off (Detour #2). Not long after I made this decision a part-time position opened up at my church and someone asked me if I’d be interested (Detour #3). It has been such a privilege to work with my pastor and other church staff and has given me even more appreciation for the wonderful things they do. After I released my book last year, I have had some amazing opportunities to share my story, write articles and appear on TV and radio programs during this time. I’ve also had the opportunity to focus more on my health and be more available for my four sons. I volunteered in my sons’ fifth grade class once a week to assist with math and was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked it.  This got me thinking…..what if? So this September you will find me in fifth grade helping students with reading (Detour #4)!l-450744

When life hands you a sudden change, do you embrace it or allow it to throw you off course?

I can’t wait to see what is ahead!

Can we be honest?

Protecting ourselves is human nature, it’s part of our “fight or flight” defense. We only want people to see the best parts of ourselves (think about your social media posts!) But what if everything we did was broadcast?

Do you have a part of your life that you hide or keep to yourself in order to prevent others from REALLY knowing who you are? Hiding the truth can be exhausting and will ultimately lead us further from God.

I kept a very big secret until I was 41 years old. I was sexually abused by my father and had never told anyone. I had lived a life that was far from honest and had tried to ignore it. I knew that it was standing in the way of my relationship with God, but didn’t know what to do about it.

The truth is that God already knows everything about us. So until we confess our sins, we aren’t being truthful with Him.

“People who conceal their sins will not prosper, but if they confess and turn from them, they will receive mercy.” Proverbs 28:13

When we decide to pursue living honestly, we will find ourselves on the way to becoming truly free.

So how do we do this?

The first step it to be honest with God. Ask for forgiveness and guidance for how to live an honest life. The payoff to being honest with God is freedom, hope and purpose.

“Finally, I confessed all my sins to you and stopped trying to hide my guilt. I said to myself, “I will confess my rebellion to the LORD.” And you forgave me! All my guilt is gone. Psalm 32:5 (NLT)

The second step is to be honest with ourselves. I had to understand that my abuse was affecting my life, no matter how hard I tried to ignore it. Once I was honest with God and myself, it became clear to me that I needed to forgive my parents.

The third step is the hardest- to be honest with others. Once I addressed my abuse with my parents and started to tell others about my past, I was able to help myself grow closer to freedom. I share my story publicly to show others how trusting God with every part of our life and being honest with ourselves and others is healthy.

“Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church.” Ephesians 4:15 (NLT)

I hope that if you are hiding part of your life, you will start searching for honesty and forgiveness with God, yourself and others. I promise that it will lead to contentment and love!

To read more of my story go to http://www.traceycasciano.com

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100 word challenge: Job

https://thinspiralnotebook.com/2016/04/27/100-word-challenge-job/

Let’s face it, we all need to make money in order to live. Some go to work everyday and look at the clock wishing the hours away. Others can’t seem to get enough hours to get everything done. Either way, the fact is the average American spends 60 or more hours a week at work. That’s a lot of time! Make it count. Ask yourself what you are good at. Find something that makes you feel like you are making a difference. Work is important. We can serve others, serve our family and grow from experiences.

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Lead Me

It must be you God,

leading me down this path.

l-301503Sometimes slowly,

other times at a lightning pace.

It must be you God,

leading me to be a voice for others.
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Years ago I couldn’t have,

but now I feel your grace and love.

It must be you God,

encouraging me to to push ahead.

I feel your presence now,

guiding me when it gets tough.

It must be you God,

trusting me with this task.

You’ve shown me how to forgive,

to leave my hurt in the past.

It must be you God,

giving me this courage.

I’ll do my best to make you proud;

you’ve given me so much.

It must be you God,

Filling me with this joy.

I feel a sense of urgency,

a new found purpose.

It must be you God,

leading me down this path.

God will wait for us… #outofthedarkroom

Do you feel like you need more? Have you tried everything and can’t find happiness? Are you unsure of your purpose?

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When you search for God and tell him everything that is on your heart, He will fill you with peace. Isn’t that refreshing? So stop worrying about how long it’s been since you went to church or prayed. Just go to Him. I think you’ll be amazed by what He can do for you!

“And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love.” Romans 8:38 (NLT)

Write 31 Challenge- Word of the Day

October 18 Word of the day- Purpose

How many times have you asked yourself this question:

What is my purpose in life?

31 day word challenge

How do we know what God wants us to do? Rick Warren writes about this in his book, “The Purpose Driven Life.”

My favorite quote from him is, “The purpose of life is far greater than your own personal fulfillment, your peace of mind, or even your happiness.  It’s far greater than your family, your career, or even your wildest dreams and ambitions.”

What’s your purpose?

Faith can be scary at times

I have been writing for almost a year. I feel that I have been called to share the story of my past and how I came to know Jesus. My desire is to help others who may be struggling with self-worth. Throughout this process I have had some struggles and setbacks. First, it’s not easy to put the pain from your past on paper. It forces the part of your brain, that has tried to forget, to relive the dark, unhappy times. Second, the writing process is difficult. Having a professional editor look over your work is very important, BUT, it leads to more work. My third and biggest struggle has been time. I work a full-time job and have a large family and can’t find the large chunks of time that I need to work on my writing.

There have been moments where I have said to myself, “Give it up. No one will read it.  You’re not a writer.” Each time I have had these thoughts, something or someone has come along and steered me back onto the writing path. I have prayed and asked God for guidance….. Am I really supposed to do this?graaandcanyon

During this time I have become more and more unhappy with my job as a special education social studies teacher. After eight years, I feel unsatisfied, underappreciated, and bored and have sought out different opportunities. Most recently I interviewed for a different position within my current school (still teaching social studies, just not special education students). Honestly, I felt like I had a great chance.  My husband and I talked at length about it and I prayed a lot. I asked God to make it clear to me what I should do. After the interview, I made the decision that if I didn’t get the job, I would no longer teach and I would devote my time to writing the book that I’ve been dreaming about.

I found out yesterday, that not only did I not get the job, but they hired a brand new teacher.  BOOM, like a punch to the gut, it hurts.  So now I’m wrestling with more doubt. Is this part of God’s plan for me?

When I started this journey of sharing my past and writing about it I called it a leap of faith. Why do I suddenly feel like I’m standing on the edge of the Grand Canyon?

Purpose or desire?

I was at an event at my church this weekend that focused on finding our purpose. How do we know what our purpose is?

 It’s in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for. Long before we first heard of Christ and got our hopes up, he had his eye on us, had designs on us for glorious living, part of the overall purpose he is working out in everything and everyone. Ephesians 1:11-12  (MSG)

I want to hear God’s voice clearly tell me that what I think he’s telling me to do is correct. I want to know that my new passion and vision of writing a book to glorify Him and help other women is the purpose he has for me. But how do we know if it’s really God or just our own desire?

God’s wisdom is something mysterious that goes deep into the interior of his purposes. You don’t find it lying around on the surface. It’s not the latest message, but more like the oldest—what God determined as the way to bring out his best in us, long before we ever arrived on the scene. 1 Corinthians 2:6-10 MSG

I pray and ask for wisdom. I pray that my passion for writing this book is the key to my purpose. I pray to ask if the discontent I feel in my current job is God nudging me to try something new.

So fellow bloggers, I want to know what you think. Is our purpose revealed to us as a test of faith?