Sundays With Rae

a blog for women by a woman who is trying to get her life together while still loving Jesus

Halfway There

Believe it or not, we’re almost halfway through 2020. With everything going on, it certainly feels like we’ve been in 2020 longer than six months. Never in a million years could I have imagined that we would be where we are when I wrote down my goals for 2020. From pandemic to protests, these past six months have not been for the faint of heart. But even with so much going on, you are here! You are alive and breathing, and that’s worth celebrating.

At the beginning of every year, a lot of people set goals for the year. Some call them new year’s resolutions, some call them a vision board, some call it a plan, and for some it’s just some stuff they want to get done. Whether it’s lose weight, write more, read your bible, go to church, go to therapy, start your business, eat better, draw more, get a new job, meditate, save more, whatever it is, I’m encouraging you to revisit it. You may have had more time or less time these past three months to accomplish your goals, just know there is still time. We have no idea what tomorrow holds but choose to do something towards your goals today.

One of my goals for this year was to read ten books. I certainly have had more time to get this done but I realized today it’s been a month or so since I finished my last book and I still have six more books to go. So I’m going to choose a book today and continue pursuing that goal. It’s that simple. Just because you’re not where you thought you would be this time of year, doesn’t mean you can’t get there. I know you paid for that gym membership and the gyms closed; start walking around your neighborhood or find some workouts on Youtube that you can do at home. I know you started saving money, then you got let go; even if it’s two dollars from that unemployment check, save that. I know you were set to launch that business and now everything is at a standstill; keep networking and promoting yourself.

When I played basketball, during halftime if my team was down, my coach would always say, “we have another whole half to go. We can do this.” You have another whole half to go. You can do this. We’re only halfway there.

Philippians 1:6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ

 

June 2020

2 Years and Counting…

There are bloggers much more successful than I am, meaning they have more followers, they get paid to write, they post more frequently than I do, and a list of other things. But I realize my goal with this blog was never to gain a lot of followers, make money, or become a social media influencer. My goal was simply to encourage and help someone feel less alone in this world. And by that standard, I have been successful. I feel like I’m truly doing God’s will when someone tells me they read my blog and it helped them or they shared it with someone they thought needed to read it.

Of course there have been times when I felt like a particular post didn’t get enough views but I reminded myself of my goal. God may have given you a task, maybe to write a book, start an organization, start a blog, begin a new career, go back to school, whatever it is, make sure you know why you’re doing it. You won’t always have the support you think you need, the outcome won’t always be what you imagined, but as long as you’re fulfilling your why, I believe God is pleased and that’s the ultimate goal. Here are a few tips to help you stay focused on whatever that task is:

Be consistent – Whatever you say you’re going to do, commit to doing it. Don’t commit to something crazy because it sounds good or the next person is doing it. Commit to what you know you can do.

Invest some money – I’m not saying spend your life’s savings but we tend to take things more seriously when our money is involved.

Trust God – There’ll be times when you question if you heard God right because nothing seems to be coming together but take Him at His Word.

Thank you for all your support!

January 2020

You Have Food at Home

One of my goals this year (and every year before now) is to dine out less. I use the term “goal” loosely… very loosely. It’s something I would like to accomplish but I’m not working hard to accomplish it. I don’t have a plan but it feels like something I should say I want to do. It’s so easy to pick up some lemon pepper wings or an eight count nugget meal; there’s a place to stop on almost every corner. Even when I buy groceries, most of the time the food spoils because I don’t feel like cooking. But when I finally make enough money to hire a personal chef, I’ll be able to say, “I have food at home.”

Many of us have decided we’re going to have more peace this year and experience more joy, but the worries of this life seem to be everywhere we turn. We’ve been living how we’ve been living for years and peace and joy seem to require too many steps, they’re too costly; attaining either is an inconvenience we’d rather not encounter. But what if I told you, God already has it for you? That He sent His son to do the work and pay the cost so you could enjoy the outcome? What you want, you already have if you’re walking with Jesus. He’s cooked up a meal full of joy and peace with love. You don’t have to go anywhere else to get it, simply go home and enjoy all that God has prepared for you!

When doubt and worry try to tempt you, remind yourself you already have peace. When anger and sadness are within your reach, don’t be afraid to say you already have joy. As humans we go through a range of emotions, but don’t be so quick to indulge in every emotion, every time, for such a long period of time. Don’t be so quick to hold on tight to the things you say are weighing you down. Choose what God has already given you. Even if you can’t taste the joy and peace yet, keep making your way towards home.

Positions and Conditions

Position – where we are

Whether in war or sports or in an aircraft, position matters. Most of us desire to be in a certain position in life. A place we strive to go or maintain our stance in. If we’re not careful, we’ll find ourselves in places we had no intentions of being. Years will pass and we’ll have no idea how we ended up where we are. The children of Israel were serving other gods, not realizing that in doing so, they were pushing themselves further from God (2 Kings 17:18-20). Maybe you’ve allowed time to get away or perhaps you got distracted by the things of this world and you’re not in the financial or spiritual or relational or professional position you thought you would be in by now, but I encourage you to be aware of where you are and the steps you’re currently taking to get to your ideal position.

Condition – how we are

How are you? We’re usually asked multiple times a day and our usual response is “I’m fine” or “Everything is good.” But how are you really? What does your heart look like? Out of it flows the issues of life (Proverbs 4:23) so ask yourself, how is it? How long have you been carrying that achy feeling? Is there a joy you can’t explain? Or has an emptiness crept in? It’s so easy to go through this life not feeling. We’re neither happy nor sad. We’re busy doing and not being. I encourage you to stop and consider the condition you’re in.

Positions and Conditions

As we live our lives, it is important that we keep in mind our position and condition. Too many people are where they want to be in life but they’re not emotionally well. While others are emotionally sound, but can’t tell you the last personal goal they achieved. After I got my last degree, I soon got an amazing apartment and a job I couldn’t have dreamed of being any better than it was, but I was a wreck inside. Now that I’ve allowed God to heal those broken parts, I’m questioning my current position. I believe this is what life is about: a constant self-evaluation as we strive to live the lives God intended us to, impacting those He intended us to. Check your position and condition.

 2 Corinthians 13:5 (ESV) Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test!

In the right position with the right conditions (August 2019)

Promise Not to Tell

Silence gives consent. Silence kills. If you don’t say anything, it’s like it never happened. We usually hear these phrases when something bad happens. But I’ve noticed that I often remain silent when good things happen. I remember when I bought my house a couple of summers ago and my coworker asked why I didn’t share during the meeting when the principal asked if anyone had any good news. It’s like I was embarrassed God allowed me to accomplish such a goal. Or like me and the devil had promised each other I wouldn’t share what God had done. What have you unknowingly promised the devil you wouldn’t tell?

It’s not that serious. No one cares. I don’t want to come off as conceited. I’m just a private person. We use every excuse we can think of not to tell of God’s goodness. Even when given the opportunity to share, we make His glory a secret. We hold on to it like our grandmother’s finest china that will break if anyone but us knows what God has done. We call it modesty, not wanting too much spotlight. That modesty can also be translated into fear. If people find out, will they hold you to a certain expectation? What happens if they think that you think you’re better than they are? Do they even know how much you trust God with your life? And if they do find out, will you be “too saved”?

Sometimes we share what we have, but not who gave it to us. We worked so hard to get to where we are, and if we’re not careful we’ll have people believing we did it by our self. I’m soooo guilty of all of the above. Either I don’t say anything at all or I just casually mention my accomplishments with no mention of the God who I know helped me achieve those goals. I would tell myself that people already know I love God so surely they know I realize it’s because of Him that I’ve been able to do what I’ve done… But why not take every chance to remind them? Why not say it out loud so I know it’s real? Why not show the devil that me and him don’t have any secrets?

I am committed to telling people how good God has been to me (not what I’ve done, but what He’s done), with the hope of inspiring them to pursue whatever He’s purposed in their hearts because if He’s done it for me, surely He’ll do it for them. This doesn’t mean making a Facebook status about everything good that happens to me with the hashtag #allglorytoGod or posting a picture on Instagram of every place I’ve been blessed to travel to. I’m definitely not opposed to sharing what you want on your page but don’t ever feel obligated to do so. It can be as simple as texting a friend “God did it again! I passed my test!” Or while at dinner sharing how thankful you are that God blessed you with the job of your dreams. Or talking to young people about where you were at their age and how God brought you out. All of this is part of moving beyond just telling what we’ve done and truly telling someone about the Source of our resources. So if you too are committed to making God famous, hold up your glass of apple cider and let’s make a toast to breaking the promise of not telling!

Psalms 109:30 I will greatly praise the Lord with my mouth; yea, I will praise him among the multitude.

July 2019

On Time

Christmas 2018

So last night my plane was supposed to land at 10:34pm. It did not land until 2:35am. I wasn’t happy about it, but I wasn’t upset. Upon arriving at the airport, I received an email saying my 8:54pm flight had been delayed by an hour. That’s not too bad. My phone and iPad were charged so the extra time was not really an issue. I expected the wait. Minutes then hours passed by and we started boarding the plane. Before I knew it, they closed the airplane door around 10:10pm and all was well. Until it wasn’t. The airplane door reopened, and we sat waiting. Ten or so minutes later the captain came on and said something about a panel missing and blah blah blah but we should be up and running in the next fifteen minutes. Fifteen minutes came and went. It was a little after 10:45pm when the captain came back on to tell us we would have to get on another plane; a plane that wasn’t landing until 12am. I did not expect this wait. But I had no other choice than to endure it. So, I walked to the terminal they directed us to (which was not close), got some chips and a soda, and I waited. The other plane landed and because it was an international flight, not only did they have to clean it, but they had to do a security sweep. Translation: more waiting. Somewhere after 1am we were up, up, and away.

Through the expected and unexpected waiting, I finally got to my destination. Not at the time I was told I would or thought I should, but at the time I got there. We put expectation on ourselves and other people put them on us about where we should be in life based on an invisible list, and we fall apart or think of ourselves as less than when we don’t get there “in time.” However, we’re right on time because we serve a God who is on time. So maybe this year you did not accomplish everything you set out to accomplish, but trust that you are still on your way to your destination. Even if you have to wait it out and go places you didn’t expect to, you will get there on time.

Ecclesiastes 3:1 To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven

Don’t You Dare Quit!!!

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Koko Head, June 2011

In the summer of 2011, I spent the summer in Hawaii and my friend had this bright idea to climb Koko Head, a crater consisting of over 1000 steps to the top (half way through, the steps become a bridge so you’re basically crawling at some points), with the trail becoming so steep, it almost feels like you’re walking at a 45 degree angle. In the beginning, I was excited; the climb seemed relatively doable but by and by… Quite some time passed and I realized I was still climbing and wasn’t anywhere near the top. It was hot, I was sweating, I didn’t have enough water, I’m lazy, just everything seemed to be all bad. I kept questioning why I was even doing this. I wanted to turn around and threatened to numerous times, but instead (and with my friend’s encouragement) I just kept going. Although I didn’t want to be tired, I wanted to reach the top even more. I knew the view would be worth it. And it was. I wanted to be able to say I climbed Koko Head. And I did.

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It wasn’t fun anymore (Koko Head, June 2011)

Goals are not easy to accomplish. Jesus’ goal while here on earth was to be offered as the ultimate sacrifice so we could be made right with God. He knew what he would face, but it didn’t make it easy to go through. He cried and went as far as to ask if possible the cup be passed from him (Luke 22:42). But with all of that, he did it anyway! He took the betrayal, he took the mistreatment, he took the beatings, and because he didn’t quit when attaining the goal got difficult, we all have the opportunity to gain eternal life.

In my head, if I have a goal I want to accomplish, then the work ethic should just appear out of thin air. I should want to do everything it takes to accomplish my goal. I should never get tired of working towards my goal. I should always enjoy every step it takes to reach my goal. Lies, all lies. Even when we’re doing what we love and what we want to do, there will be parts of the process we don’t like. Most parents love their children and love being parents, but they’re not necessarily thrilled about cleaning up exploding diarrhea. Grossed out, and perhaps a bit annoyed, they get their baby clean (and anything else that needs cleaning), and kiss their bundle of joy, still grateful they get to be called a parent. Disliking certain parts of the process is not a sign to quit. You get through it and keep going.

Other people may appear to be accomplishing their goals at a faster rate than you are. While climbing Koko Head, there were 7 year olds moving up that crater faster than me and some people passed me a couple of times (I would be lying if I said I didn’t think about tripping a few of them, it was the heat getting to me lol). But I kept going because I had a goal to reach. Their goal was their goal, and my goal was my goal; them accomplishing their goal, had nothing to do with me accomplishing my goal. If anything, it served as motivation. If they could do it, then surely I could too!

You may want to start your own business and every time you turn around something seems to be going wrong. The building didn’t pass inspection, the investor pulled out, the marketing campaign didn’t go as well as planned. It’s always something, but none of those are reasons to quit. You’re trying to go back to school, but the loan money didn’t come through, you didn’t pass the prerequisite class, you didn’t get into the college you set your heart on going to. Keep applying, keep trying.

In this life you may be tired, frustrated, discouraged, disappointed, and a host of other negative emotions. That thing, that goal you are striving for, is worth it. It is worth the sleepless nights, the sweat, the tears, the naysayers, the multiple drafts, the rejection letters, the conference calls. It’s worth all of that! It’s okay to feel however you feel, but you cannot quit.

Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me