My name is Janelle Keith and I’m addicted to coffee. I live in Oklahoma with two cats (don’t judge), and my loving husband, Terry. I have a big story of losing 132 lbs. and am wholly devoted to Jesus, my Savior instead of my sweet savior of chocolate. God uses my passion for writing, speaking life and encouragement, plus positive eating habits as He punches through your heart barriers. We are all under His grace and drawn in by His giant love of each one of us. You can connect with me more here: http://www.thejanellekeith.com.
In my last blog, I mentioned I was blind to my destiny. After my confession of indecision and a deep stirring in my faith, I jumped by faith over my fear threshold! Jumping is only half of the battle. I went home and went straight for my “first” book. I blew off the dust and read this declaration on page 1, “I’ve always wanted to write a book!” And then read my “why” (circa ’76):
1. To have the satisfaction within and to gain a sense of accomplishment.
2. To understand me and others.
3. To receive that inner peace that only God can give.
In my confession, I made peace with my myself but had lost sight of the vision. Vision is critical to moving forward with all God put on your heart to do. A real life vision came next. I closed my eyes and asked for God to set His purpose upon my mind. I saw a mental image of a pile of smoldering coals like at a campfire. A big breath of air came in and set the coals ablaze. The coals stirred to a flame and ignited a burning fire.
Apostle Paul wrote a letter to young Timothy some encouragement. “For this reason, I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands.” 1 Timothy 1:6. Scripture came to life on the screen of my imagination. I felt the Lord’s hand gently stirring the smoldering coals of vision. God’s supernatural breath renewed my passion. The Holy Spirit fanned the flames which reconnected my destiny. Then I sang this chorus of “Breathe, come and breathe on the coals of my heart, set a fire burning.” (Jesus Culture, Set Me a Blaze)
Creativity is like a muscle and if you don’t use it, you lose it. To preach, write, encourage, or hike, like every athlete you must follow a plan to train for an event. No matter the climb, hard work is required. As inspiration, inclination, and motivation work together, discipline is added to the momentum. Momentum takes you further down the road but discipline will cost you something.
Practice develops your craft and patience helps you endure. But growth demands focus. Habits are built over time. Consistency advances you finish lines. Life itself is a labyrinth with demands for curiosity plus a consistent practice and discipline specific to your defined purpose.
Real courage is found when you face off with fears and make peace with yourself. And remember, it’s not a failure if you learn from it. 2 Timothy 1:7 gives a great promise: “For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love, and self-discipline.” If the road to your destiny looks dusty, empty, purposeless, discouraged, or lost, then seek God to find your answers. God knows what He put inside of you, so ask Him what your purpose in life should be. I bet the answer will surprise you.
Can we agree that most people are looking for what only God Himself can provide?
It was in my looking outside of my personal comfort zone did I find true fulfillment. Setting goals motivated me to overcome the fear that came with me. I started to live with intention, laser-focus and at a small place. It was a humble beginning. I inspired myself to aspire and started embracing my God-given purpose.
Here’s what I’ve learned so far:
1. Authenticity comes from honesty.
2. Less is more.
3. Achievement is born from humility.
4. Practice builds discipline.
5. Everyone has a unique purpose.
Life is a series of events, practices, adjustments, actions, evaluations, and so forth. Through all the false starts, restarts, and new starts there is a point to man’s existence. At some point in your journey, you have to wrestle with fear and tell “it” who’s BOSS. What do you have to lose?
You can’t live your life in fear. Well, you can if you choose to, but you’ll miss out on the adventure that’s ahead. Isn’t it better to have tried your best and know you gave it you're all? The alternative is settling for a mediocre life.
Rise to the challenge of your God-given destiny that He lovingly placed inside of you. Yes, God put it there…that’s why it brings such a tension inside. Seek your dream, pray for passion, and practice, practice, practice your abilities. Passion paired with purpose will take you farther in life over mere talent.
As you turn the calendar page are you looking a new purpose in your life?