Is Your’s a Wonderful Life?

This Christmas we started a new tradition–watching the movie It’s a Wonderful Life. A classic.

I cried throughout. Despite the positive title, it revolves around situations, people, and events that keep George Bailey from the life he’s always dreamed of. And to top it off, a seemingly impossible crisis finds George a very desperate man.

Many people have been there, or will be some day. What makes life worth living? And how can we follow our dreams?

Here are two key factors:  God and being intentional.

I believe God makes life worth living because he gives me unconditional love, forgiveness, true freedom, purpose, and a hope for the future. And in turn, I can share those with others. Do we really have those things without God?

We can’t always plan how our lives are going to go. Look at George Bailey:  Nothing seemed to be turning out the way he wished, but he was a happy man in the end. At the same time, the dreams we have for our lives won’t happen unless we are intentional with how we live. For example, say you want to be a famous painter, but you spend every spare minute watching TV. A few years later, those hours watching TV haven’t brought you a single step closer to being that famous painter. (You might be able to tell I’ve been reading Quitter, by Jon Acuff)

So. New Year’s Day, I will be working my way through Michael Hyatt‘s Creating Your Personal Life Plan. That is my first step toward being intentional with my life.

What’s your plan for New Year’s Day….or your life?

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Disappointment & Discouragement (& possible Deflation) in a Dream

Most of the time when people dream about their dreams, it’s in a positive light. It involves all things good. They wish they were pursuing their dream, more than anything.

People who do step out and pursue a dream, find out pretty quickly that it’s not all sunshine and roses. One of the big negatives a person can run into (seemingly completely contradictory to the whole dream-idea) is disappointment.

Disappointment can show up in different ways. A couple examples:  In the people around us. Or in a turn of events. Each can lead to discouragement.

If we aren’t careful, disappointment and discouragement can lead to deflation. Feeling deflated, or the deflation of our dream. If we don’t get a grasp on things, these three ‘D’s can be a real dream-killer.

So what do we do?

Hope in the Storm

There are two things I keep in mind. First, God is number one in my life and with him in control, things will turn out for the better. Second, I have to remind myself discovering disappointment is almost like going through a phase–I can work through it. It doesn’t last forever.

Working through disappointment can sometimes feel like trudging through molasses. Sometimes I feel like I’m barely moving, but as long as I can tell I’m still moving, I keep plowing through.

I guess you could say I hold onto hope–I’m still holding onto my dream.

A friend of mine shared motivation he heard from a lady behind him, while going uphill in a recent marathon:

“Suck it up, cupcake!”