2016: Life Lessons

Wow! It’s hard to believe that another year has come and gone, it flew by. This year was all about growth and unconditional love. There were some dark moments but I am thankful for the seasons where it was silent, it was in those moments when I had no other choice but to depend on God. Friendships ended and relationships were mended and I am grateful for that.  Below are a few life lessons I learned this year!

1. “Never compare your behind the scenes to someone else’s highlight reel.”-Steven Furtick
This was my favorite quote this year! I had to constantly remind myself that most people only share or post the things that they want others to see! And while there is nothing wrong with that I found that it gave me an opportunity to compare my life to theirs.  God never intended us to live on this earth and to compete with each other whether it’s in our professional lives, hair growth (yes! Women do compare their “hair growth goals” to other women) or financial status we are constantly comparing our stuff to others. But the thing I love about God is that some of us can’t handle that level of exposure, that financial responsibility or that amount of responsibility in our workplace. Not because we aren’t worthy but we may not be ready, this year I had to learn to wait on God and trust HIS timing. Although it didn’t feel good I knew that my time was coming and that when I compare my life to other people it’s like I am telling God that my life isn’t good enough.
2. Slow Down! 
I learned that it is okay to just say “NO!” and to actually mean it. I learned that self-care and rest was vital to my physical, mental and emotional well-being. Running on empty was self-destructive and in the end detrimental to the people who needed me the most. “You cannot pour from an empty vessel.”-Trice Camm
That quote is so true, if I don’t take the time to ensure that I am filled then I have nothing to give. I learned that it’s okay to just lie in bed and eat whatever I want (in moderation) and to not feel guilty about going to the grocery store on an empty stomach and not sticking to the grocery list! (You should see my shopping cart! Haha)  Slowing down gave me the opportunity to embrace what God had given me and to enjoy the moment. We spend so much of our time running here and there and when it’s time to care for ourselves we don’t have any energy left.
3. Unplug if needed!
 2016 was a constant reminder of how important it is to unplug from social media and the negativity in the world. As the year started flying by I started watching the news less and less. My heart and soul could not take the things that were broadcasted nightly. Instead I spent majority of my time immersed in books and at Barnes and Noble (thank God for their membership accounts!)  I noticed that I was so attached to my phone that I was losing grip on the things that mattered the most to me. (Take a moment to read my story here: “How social media almost ruined my relationship with Christ.”)
I had to remind myself that before there were cell phones, weekly marches and protests, hateful tweets and statutes there was FAMILY! I wasn’t afraid to hit the ignore button and it didn’t bother me when I missed a few calls during my writing time.
4. Follow your heart and pursue your dreams! 
I always wanted my writing to be displayed on a large platform; little did I know that God would take a simple idea of “My Journey” and allow it to bless so many people. I began to seek God for direction and for wisdom, I knew that I wanted to write but I wasn’t sure if I wanted to be transparent.  I am so thankful that God not only gave me a vision but a desire to share my story and a willingness to be open and honest about MY STORY! That’s what this life is all about living our story and embracing our journey! Blogging was just a small part of the purpose God revealed to me this year; he reignited a dream inside of me that I left behind as a child. I learned that you cannot share your story, your vision, and your plan with everyone. I learned to protect my gift just like a mother protects her newborn. You nurture it, you protect it, and you grow, develop and learn.
5. NO Excuses!
2016 was definitely a year of “no excuses!”  I didn’t have an opportunity to be lazy in my prayer life and I didn’t have a chance to make excuses about why I didn’t have time to pray. Why? Because God humbled me in such a powerful way, I went through some of the most painful experiences in my life this year but through it all I couldn’t find a reason to detach from the experience. I had to go through it, I had to grow and most importantly I had to learn. I had to reprogram myself when it came to love and how I loved. I had to bite my tongue when I wanted to lash out and I had to walk away when I wanted to stay.  I learned how to pray, and how to talk to God. I understood that there was no reason to hide behind something that wasn’t true or real. God sees all and he knows all, so approaching his throne with an excuse was no longer working.

Overall this year was exactly what God had planned and although it was tough I learned that he always fulfills his promises! I pray that you go into next year with an open mind and heart, ready to receive whatever God has for you.  I pray that when life gets tough and things take a turn for the worst remember who is on the throne. I encourage you to go back to the drawing board, go back to where you first fell in love with Christ and continue to nurture that relationship. Continue to be honest with yourself and with the ones around you. Never feel guilty about removing yourself from toxic people or situations. Know WHO’S you are and WHO you are! Make no excuses for taking care of yourself and for ensuring that your dreams come to pass.  Dance when you feel like crumbling, laugh when you feel like crying and most importantly run when you feel like crawling. God has you and I know you will make it!
Happy New Year! Love, Trice Camm


Donna said…
Visiting from the Peony Project. Sounds like you learned a lot in 2016. The first one is still something I'm working on, it can be hard to remember that social media doesn't show the whole picture! Self-care is something I've been working on as well the quote that stuck with me the most was "you don't have to set yourself on fire just to keep other people warm" but I love the analogy of pouring from an empty vessel, such a great way to look at it!

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