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No Refund.

Do you typically purchase travel insurance? Seriously. Do you naturally and instinctively purchase travel or any type of insurance related to flight, hotel, car or entertainment? If you do, I applaud you. I wish I could say the same. The “old” me didn’t see the point of spending the extra $100.00 for refund protection, credit guarantee and all the benefits that come with said insurance. While it does ring true that it is a form of money making scheme, there is some relevance to the guarantee of knowing should something come up, you’re covered.


The past couple of months Jarrod and I have gone through the ringer. In the moment as all trials tend to present itself, it felt as if we were drowning and barely grasping for the little air that’s left. First there’s the seemingly never ending car issues. Then there’s the plumbing issues that get a tad bit messy sometimes. And to add to all that we’ve had sinus infections, ribs out of place, pulled muscles and ligaments, strep and not to mention the not so pretty stomach flu. All while trying to navigate our daily schedules and demands of life. It’s not always pretty. Matter a fact, it’s never really pretty, but what helps is knowing there’s hope and this is not the end all. If you think about it you can find something to complain about. Just as I did. Rightly so, when life get’s uneasy and unpredictable, you and I can gripe, complain and dwell in our not so perfect life. But in all honesty our griping, complaining, groaning and moaning does nothing other than drive you and I crazy, into deep depression, anxiety and worst of all separates us from Christ.


Now back to my predicament on insurance. Jarrod and I have booked several trips and events that we unfortunately were unable to make or attend. Each time I called and asked for a refund or some form of credit I was told “Sorry, you didn’t have insurance. There’s nothing we can do.” The first couple times we were bummed by the reality we wouldn’t get our money back or a credit to our account. The big kicker was our most recent trip that included flights, hotel and cars. That one was a sucker punch to the gut. The accountant, penny pincher and need to have our finances in check didn’t swallow the pill well when the all too familiar words were said by the agent on the other line, “Sorry, you didn’t have insurance. There’s nothing we can do.” I sat quietly listening to the agent on the other line explaining the importance of insurance and pretty much everything I knew but was too stubborn to welcome the advice and correction.


What I’ve learned through the unexpected and wild ride Jarrod and I have been on these past couple months is:

  1. There’s no guarantee in tomorrow.
  2. There’s guarantee in insurance.

We don’t get a refund on time. We don’t get a refund on our response. We don’t get a refund on a lot of things. Life is unpredictable and our plans often don’t pan out the way we envisioned it. Reality is, too often we get caught up in not having things our way that we fail to realize the big picture. In all the closed doors, canceled trips and slow down in life Jarrod and I found ourselves thanking God for what we did not know. We don’t know what we were protected from. We don’t know why certain things didn’t pan out the way we wanted them to, but what we do know is that we submitted our lives to Christ fully and in that we said “have your way, God.” Ultimately, while we make plans we understand fully and accept that God’s will be done over our lives before our personal will and desires.


Now to conclude this weeks blog, let’s talk about insurance. With insurance there’s guarantee. There’s guarantee you probably will get your money back. There’s guarantee you will get a form of credit, and maybe even flight miles. Without insurance you are pretty much left empty, depleted and living a life of regret. It’s the same when we choose to walk without Jesus. Jesus is our insurance. He’s our guarantee to everlasting life. He’s our guarantee to peace in the midst of the storm. He is our guarantee to hope when all seems hopeless. He’s our guarantee to joy when life screams its’ attack and chaos of grief and loss. With Jesus, because of Jesus, we can live not worrying about tomorrow, but trusting that our daily bread is sufficient to carry us through.

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
-Matthew 6:33-34

Side note: from now on I will purchase insurance on flights, car rentals, events etc.

I’ve learned my lesson :)

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Disposable

The idea of being disposable is disheartening. Reality is, you and I are disposable. That’s quite the opposite of what I “preach” but hear me out for a couple minutes here. Disposable can be defined as, being designed for or capable of being thrown away after being used or used up — capable of being replaced. On this earth our time is very limited. We have a limited time to be the best version of ourselves we can possibly be. We don’t get do overs. We cannot identify our shelf-life, but what we do know is that while we do have life, we should live. Too often though, many of us are not living. We have either remained on the “life shelf” or we have allowed who we are to be consumed by our talents that we truly have not seen the big picture. So what version of yourself do you want history to remember? Do you want history to remember someone that didn’t do anything, someone that lived ingenuously consumed by their talent or someone who lived with purpose?


The day I realized I was disposable is when I switched jobs and I was no longer being asked questions about how to do things. I was no longer “important.” I was replaced and disposed of. This wasn’t done negatively, rather naturally those who took over my position were trained and understood the job and got it done. I realized here that I had placed an emphasis on my knowledge and talent in my job that I lost sight of the big picture.


Reflect for a minute. If you were to die today, what would happen in your workplace? Now you may not work in corporate. That’s understandable. Wherever you currently hold a position, what would happen? If you don’t know let me give you a little insight. You will be missed. You will be missed for the first couple days. You will be missed for a couple months. But guess what? While you are missed, you will be replaced with someone that can do your job just as capable as you or even greater. While you are missed and loved, someone is able to fill your position and get the job done. You and I are disposable

Too often, we place our identity in our talents, career and titles we’ve been assigned that we lose sight of the big picture. We take for granted the borrowed time we have thinking tomorrow we will change, tomorrow we will make an impact, tomorrow we will be. But tomorrow never comes when we wait to become better. Tomorrow really isn’t promised to any of us. While talents, a phenomenal career and glowing titles are great on our resume, what really matters is far more simple. The legacy we leave behind is far greater than these things.


Now there’s some of us who have simply remained on the shelf of earth and have done nothing. You live, but your day to day living is simply as a means to make ends meet. You stay in your cubicle, you do what you need to do, an do so lacking purpose and goal. Oddly enough, you and I who live like this are equally disposable. Unfortunately, the memory we leave behind will be one that hangs simply on you existing physically and nothing more. Pretty morbid isn’t it. Our existence here on should not be wasted. Your time, should not be wasted. Too often we allow our lives to be consumed by our talents and dreams that we neglect to live. Too often we are consumed by fear of failure and taking the plunge that we neglect to live. And in doing so, our life here on earth lacked true meaning and we are replaced the moment we take our last breath.

Where am I going with this? It’s simple. Being disposable is uncontrollable. That is simply the reality of the life cycle of man. What you do while you have breath in your lungs is on the other hand ultimately controlled by you. You can either decide to live self-centered, without purpose, or with purpose.

Defining “living with purpose” is awfully difficult. Simply put however, living with purpose is doing what matters that is in alignment with ones values and beliefs. If you’ve followed only on my blogs, you’ve probably caught on that I am Christ-follower. I am never shy to share my faith in hopes that through sharing someone might gain a new perspective and hope to live with purpose. Doing what matters is doing what is right. Doing what is right should align with our values and beliefs and our values and beliefs should challenge and motivate us outside of ourselves. In Christianity, I find that true purpose is obtained. I am challenged to the hard things but the right things. I am challenged with purpose outside of titles, status and talents. I am challenged with purpose that places myself second and placing others first. I am challenged to leave a legacy of hope.

Our departure from earth, will break hearts, stir grief and bring sorrow. Our departure from earth will hurt our loved ones and those we work with, but our departure from earth will be replaced by someone else who can get the job done. So my charge to you is, leave a legacy that targets peoples hearts. In living we purpose we shift our perception of life from self to others. We shift our awareness from what I can do for “me” to how can I help those around me? We should use our talents, gifts and opportunity not to advance self, rather to create opportunity for those in need, encourage those who have lost hope and to expand the hearts of those around me. We should do the hard things, takes risks, live life fully leaving a legacy of hope. Our time on earth is limited. We are disposable. We get to choose what we do. Either a lot of nothingness or a life worth living leaving a legacy of hope.

Are you living with purpose, living for self, or simply not living? How can you leave a legacy of hope?

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Quit speaking that over your life!

  • I am stupid.
  • I am ugly.
  • I am not good enough.
  • I am too old.
  • I am too young.
  • I am incapable.

According to the National Science Foundation, 80% of our thoughts are negative. A lot of our thoughts about life and ourselves are pessimistic. We outwardly walk around in melancholy. A dark cloud over our heads exposing our dejected thoughts. Some of us conceal our despondent thoughts in hopes that the world would be blind to our insecurity as we cover up in nice clothes, fancy things and artistic instagram posts.

Think for a second. What is one negative thing you repeatedly say about yourself or think to yourself on a daily basis? What is that insecurity you say to yourself that haunts you at night and interrupts your thoughts each day? The words you speak, shape who you are. Whether through mere confessional joking or the thoughts you entertain that stirs insecurity; those words crystallizes and then shapes your belief about self, forms your character and establishes your worldview. What you speak will be what you become.


If you’ve read the historical fiction novel by American author Kathryn Stockett, The Help, or seen the film adaptation, there’s this moment where Nanny Aibileen Clack tells Mae Mobley, to repeat what she said. Nanny Aibileen’s words to Mae Mobley were, “You is Kind, You is Smart, You is Important.” Nanny Aibileen wasn’t just doing a nice thing by saying those words. She noticed insecurity developing in Mae Mobley at the ripe age of 2 due to the neglect she received from her birth mom. Nanny Aiblineen needed Mae Mobley to speak words of perfect truth because she knew that whatever Mae Mobley, or anyone for that matter spoke of themselves, would be who they would become.

My husband is my Nanny Aibileen. There are days where I wake up and I all I can say about myself are negative things. I’d tell myself, I am ugly, I am too fat, I am not capable and I am just not cut out for it. That’s when Jarrod will scoop me up in his big arms, take my face in his hands and look me dead in the eye and tell me “Quit speaking that over your life!” He’d follow that by challenging me to speak absolute truths. He doesn’t let me wallow in the negative talking. He stops me in my tracks and challenges me to speak truth not death over my life. Face it, we have bad days, but bad days can easily turn into bad weeks, months and years if we allow ourselves to constantly speak words of death over our lives.

Words that stir poor self esteem, and low self worth are words of death. They kill our drive, kill our confidence and kill our character. Words of life, does exactly what the word is. It gives life. It stirs motivation, gives hope to each day and build our character. King Solomon wrote in Proverbs 18:21,

“Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit."

Simply put, whatever you speak over your life will be what you produce. If you speak you are stupid, ugly, not enough, too old, too young or incapable, you will live out those words exactly. Maybe not to others, but when you look in the mirror, that will be all you will see. It is far more than seeing though. You will act out what you speak. If you tell yourself you are stupid, you will make no efforts to learn. If you tell yourself you are ugly, you will make no effort in your outward appearance. If you tell yourself you are too young or too old, you will keep living in excuses and never live to your true potential. If you keep telling yourself you are incapable, you will never walk through doors of opportunity.

Champions make adjustments. Everyone else, make excuses. Whether you believe it or not, speak truth of life over your life. Be the champion and make adjustments. Excuses will keep you in the rut. Excuses will keep you defeated. Excuses will keep you from accomplishing your goals, from becoming a better you and from making a difference. Excuses rob your potential. Champion on! Now, quit speaking that[death] over your life.

As Nanny Aibileen Clack would say, You is Kind, You is Smart, You is Important. Now say that out loud until you believe it.

Have you used words of death as an excuse to stay in the rut? What words have you spoken over your life that you need to rid of? Replace them with words of life!