It’s time to release everything that keeps us from connecting with what matters most.

My prayer today… (Feel free to join me and make it your prayer, too): My Father, Maker, and Friend… Forgive me for allowing the awesome Holy wonder of who You are to get lost in so much that matters so little. Your desires, plans, and dreams are perfect for me so I surrender to Your will and plans rather than my lesser ones. It is only by abiding in all that You are that I can bring Heaven to earth. I release all the wrongs against me as a beautiful tribute to Your grace to me. It is You and You alone who provides the very strength to live the most beautiful life possible- a life that is about You and You alone. So this very moment I willingly release anything that hinders me from fully connecting to You and the beautiful reflection of You in others. Fill me with all You are because it is only in the strength of Your beautiful Name, Jesus, that I can pray this and live this… Amen.

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.” –Hebrews 12:1

“Be still, and know that I am God!” –Psalms 46:10

“For it is [not your strength, but it is] God who is effectively at work in you, both to will and to work [that is, strengthening, energizing, and creating in you the longing and the ability to fulfill your purpose] for His good pleasure.” –Philippians 2:13

Our Worry Only Limits Us

Here is the prayer that closed this morning’s leadership huddle at the incredible hospital where I am so blessed to work:

Holy God,

This is the day that You have made – Let us rejoice and be glad in it.

Each person gathered here is a masterpiece designed by You.

Help us to remember our worth when challenging situations arise. Should we feel depressed or lacking joy in our lives, help us to remember we are fearfully and wonderfully made in Your image.

Our worry does us no good and only limits us, and You do more with worry than we ever could. So help us turn our anxious thoughts and situations over to You and trust that You are working. You work all things for our good because You love us. May we always be mindful that You are working in ways that we cannot comprehend, as Your ways supersede ours. And in this working You are continuing to mold us into masterpieces that fulfill Your purpose.

For the unseen, the increasing of our faith and our capacity to love, we give thanks in Your Holy Name. Amen.

-Prayed this morning by Mary Beth Krivanek, Sr. Chaplain, Emory St. Joseph’s Hospital Pastoral Services

Don’t Let Perfectionism Paralyze Your Progress

So, I’m in some training for work today, @emoryhealthcare’s #QualityAcademy. These words were said during a discussion on selecting which type of graph to use when presenting data. But I think there are some pretty good applications for life in general. For me anyway, the desire for perfection – left unchecked – can stop practical forward motion and leave me feeling pretty useless!

The Unseen Work Matters

Routine… Character… Discipline… Those difficult and seemingly mundane things are the only things that can form a solid enough foundation for the most creative and exciting life you’re capable of. Neglecting a disciplined framework for your life because you’re a “#FreeSpirit” ironically limits how high that free spirit of yours can soar!

Reflecting Our Maker Involves Defining Who We Are

So… Since I’m pretty transparent with my history of struggling with codependency (aka boundarylessness aka #ApprovalAddiction) and depression, I will share that one of my first “missions” after starting my great new job in an amazing new-to-me city was to get established with a great Christian counselor. This is priority for me: to have someone at my side who can look into my life objectively and help prevent me from falling back in to old destructive patterns.

However, I am not sure I got money’s worth during the hour I spent with her this week. Or, perhaps – better said: I DID get my money’s worth – but it was all packed in to the last minute of the session. You see, after 59 minutes of mostly me rambling about trying to conquer all my issues and live a more defined and disciplined life – she closed the session with a prayer. And in that prayer she said, “Father, help Tracy to define who she is because she wants to be like You and You define who You are.” Wow. That right there was worth the entire counseling fee.

That one statement got me thinking about how so many of the great #GodQuotes in the Bible are of Him defining Himself. If you doubt me on this, just do a #BibleStudy or a #GoogleSearch on the #NamesOfGod.

God makes it #CrystalClear who He is and Who He is not. And since we’re designed like our Maker, it is no wonder that when we don’t take time to define who we are and let anyone or anything else define us – we are absolutely miserable at our core.

So, my “homework” from my counselor this week is to put two columns on a piece of paper to define who I am and who I am not. And… I’m thinking I may not be the only one who needs to do this – so I thought I’d share. We live in an age where so many things from marketing campaigns to social media are vying to define us. But let’s spend some time with our Maker and define ourselves instead!