a new tradition that’s keeping me from freaking out

song: say so – vasco remix

read time: 7 minutes

i haven’t written about my time in cuba yet, but i plan on doing it soon. because cuba really did teach me so much.

but, one of the things that i learned — a week without wifi will change so many things for you. it’ll change the way you think, feel, and look at the world. the silence and stillness will change you — in the best possible way.

the week that carly and i had in cuba— we spent a lot of time on our balcony people watching and reading. i brought two books with me and pre-trip i was thinking “this is a lot!”. turns out, if it wasn’t for weight restrictions, i should have brought some more. i raced through those books.

without anymore brené brown to invigorate my mind in-between walking to the malecon and hunting for cuban a sandwich (that wasn’t going to kill our love for food for the rest of our lives)— i started reading the Bible on my phone and catching up on all my podcasts.

morning, afternoon, and night — i was soaking myself in the word of God. there was no work to pull me away, there were no distractions of a constantly buzzing iphone, and there was no responsibilities that told me i didn’t have time.

after a solid week, i realized— my soul needs this on a continual basis.

my soul needs constant reminders of God’s goodness. my soul needs constant reminders to love people well. my soul needs reminders that God’s promises are unshaken. my soul needs reminders that i am not limited, but can achieve the impossible. my soul needs something morning, afternoon, and night. 

while i wish i lived a whimsical life that involved lingering on a balcony reading for hours throughout the day— that’s not reality. regardless, i knew i needed to do something that allowed me to feel like i was soaking and continually inhaling the truth of God’s word all day. 

sitting on an airplane on the way back to mexico city — it came to me. use technology to get what i want.

i decide to set reminders that would be affirmations, prayers, and reminders to believe and find rest in the faithfulness of God.

every day, starting at 7 AM reminders go off on my phone with a prayer or affirmation. and they don’t stop until 10 PM.

they look and sound like this —

Holy Spirit, i thank you that you guide me and pave the way for divine moments, opportunities, and conversations today.

God, thank you for all creativity, wisdom, knowledge and understand as i work today.

i praise you, God, for being faithful and fulfilling every promise.

Lord, i thank you that your word is not shaken and that my faith is unshakeable. i thank you that you are my hope and righteousness.

thank you, God, for making wild hearts successful and impacting people’s lives.

thank you, God, that you are meeting ALL my needs and that i am meeting my financial goals.

limitations, you cannot hold me back any longer. i intend to grow in accordance with how i was made and what God has planned for me.

Lord, i thank you that you are doing IMMEASURABLY MORE than my finite mind can comprehend. i thank you that you are outdoing yourself in blessing me.

thank you, Lord, for bringing me the right clients and growing third story to be a strong, influential, and flourishing business.

while on the outside, this may seem like nothing monumental — it is so monumental to my soul. because, everyday these words are seeping into me. everyday, i am taking a couple seconds at each hour to focus on God, his Word, his promises, and his faithfulness. 

and, i can tell you, it’s changing the way i live. 

in the last two weeks, i’ve experienced a couple pretty big disappointments. i won’t go into details — because quite frankly, they don’t matter.

give me these two scenarios back to back a couple years ago, and man — i would have told you with puffy eyes, tears streaming down my face, and sad quiver in my voice that my world was crashing.

but focusing on the right things (aka God’s word over circumstances) — changes everything. it changes the way you interact with situations that come your way.

prime example — i was driving home a couple nights ago— tears welling up in my eyes from disappointment. midway through my drive, my phone started vibrating. i looked down, and one of my reminders went off — it read: “Lord, i thank you that your word is not shaken and that my faith is unshakeable. i thank you that you are my hope and righteousness.”

right then, in that moment — that’s what i needed: to be reminded and focus on God’s word and that his promises are unshaken.

the words that flashed across my screen weren’t magic — they didn’t take the tears welling up in my eyes, but they did keep me grounded. they didn’t make the disappointment fade away, but they did keep me rooted in truth. they helped me keep my emotions in check, my hope in God, and my focus on the faithfulness of God. 

life is unpredictable.

sometimes, it’s really tough.

and sometimes, although we dream up how each day and scenario in our life ought to play out — life doesn’t always follow the narrative we’re playing in our heads.

so, yeah, life is pretty unpredictable.

but, on the flipside, God’s word is constant.

which means — while you may be waiting on God’s promises right now and disappointment may keep finding you, choose to focus more on the Word of God than your circumstance.

because God’s word is dependable.

maybe, you didn’t get the pay raise or new client you were hoping for, choose to focus on God’s promise that he will supply ALL your needs according to his riches and glory. he is your provider.

maybe, you just keep hitting a dead-end with your business idea and nothing seems to be working. choose to focus on God’s promise that He will pave the way and bring opportunities your way and that everything you do will prosper.

maybe, you feel completely lost in life, completely numb and dead inside, and aren’t sure what your purpose is or why you exist. choose to focus on God’s promise that you were fearfully and wonderfully made and that you were created with a purpose.

whatever it is, whatever season you are in— know this: GOD IS FOR YOU.

when disappointment hits, choose to be overtaken by the faithfulness and promises of God rather than your circumstance.

i am confident, that in the midst of disappointment, as we continue to focus on the promises and character of God, as we continue to praise God for working on our behalf, as we continue to be unshaken in our faith — we’ll see the fulfillment of God’s promises in our lives.

while most of us have jobs and responsibilities and cannot sit out on a balcony all day, basking in the sunlight, and reading the Bible all day to keep us well prepared for the realities of life —

i challenge you, do what i did.

set prayers and affirmations in your phone as reminders to go off throughout the day to keep you grounded in truth. 

we’re both human — which means, even if we’ve never met— you and i have something in common: we both want things. deep down inside, whether you’ve spoken them or not, there are things that you want. there are things that you want to see come to life.

the good news, they can.

the other part of that news, you have to do your part. you have the believe for them. the provision and power of God cannot be stopped, but your unbelief will stop it.

you are unstoppable.

you are unlimited.

you are able.

you are worthy.

don’t allow the circumstances in your life to sell you on a different narrative. your circumstances are just that — circumstances. they don’t have any power or the final say in what will or can happen.

God’s Word is the final say.

God’s word is unshakeable

with that said, if we want to see the fulfillment of promises — we too, must be unshaken. but that doesn’t come without determination and focusing on the Word of God.

“let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.”  (hebrews 10:23)

however that looks, whatever that means for you — do it.

because that’s the dare— to hold unswervingly to hope.