Rachel Jenae

What Worked and What Didn’t Work

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Striving didn’t work. 

Doing everything myself didn’t work.

Just doing what is needed didn’t work.

Just getting by didn’t work. 

Living in routine, monotony and comfort didn’t work. 

Saying yes to everything and everyone didn’t work.

Surrounding myself by go-getters and dreams worked.

Listening more and talking less worked.

Putting aside annoyances worked.

Genuinely loving more and analyzing less worked.

Cutting out toxic relationships worked.

Putting first things first worked.

I recently found this list from an old notebook I’d written at the beginning of this year.  It was packed full of tid-bits I’d heard here and there and challenges I’d forced myself to face.  I knew I needed something.  I knew I was stuck in a rut and could not see the way out.  I just knew most of my answers were right beyond what I was willing to ask myself.  Right beyond where I was comfortable digging and searching in my own heart and mind.

“This year I’m stepping into my niche and more of my unique calling!  I am today, who I aspire to be!”

“I am the average of the 5 people I spend the most time with!”

Those were my goals. Plain and simple.

Then I came across my answers to the “Why” factor.  The why behind what inspires me every day.  What motivates and drives my heart to great lengths and why.  These are the things I want in front of me every day and when I fail to keep them in front of me, I find myself slipping.  Slipping into monotony and boredom. Slipping out of my niche.

People less fortunate

Kids laughing

Amazing Friends

Creativity

Organic Genuineness

Encouragement

Travel

Famiy

Challenges

Music

And next there was a section on goals.  I tend to talk goal-setting with a lot of my friends.  I try to see how I can help them get there. I want to see them succeed and flourish.  It looks different for every person.  Success isn’t a formula or picture, but rather the place where you thrive the most in who God made you to be.  I love seeing people come alive in their niche and connecting to the unique desires of what God has put in their heart.

“Success is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.”  -unknown

I don’t think finding success and your niche and place of thriving just happens.  I don’t think you just wake up one day and walk out your front door to find it.  I think that’s a start and God will meet you there, and some it happens fast for and some takes longer, but usually it happens somewhere after that.  Somewhere after realizing your strengths, gifts, abilities, and desires and then your preparation in turning them into excellent skills (which is part of the adventure), God who sees the long-term procession of your life ordains the time and opportunity for it all to come together. He holds doors closed until He knows your shoulders can carry the responsibility to walk through them carrying those gifts tightly fit onto you instead of held loosely in your insecure hand.  He, in His infinite mercy, lets the desires of your heart be refined again and again, so that all you think you are and have and want is sifted until He knows you’ll trust Him with them more than the vision you think you see.  He will not be 2nd place, not even to a desire He’s given you.

At least that’s what He’s done in me and it’s worked.  Time and time again, what He does and leads me into has worked. Usually with 100% accuracy too.  Funny how His ways work. And now I find myself 10 months into this year and my heart is encouraged again by these simple truths and challenges.  I never want to stop asking the hard questions.  I never want to stop surrounding myself with people who will sharpen me.  I never want to put the dream and desires of my heart over the genuine relationship with the one who gave me those dreams.

This, my friends, is what has worked.