Thriving Thursday: We Were Made To Thrive

John 16:33New International Version (NIV)

33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

You were meant to do more than just survive. You were meant to thrive.
You were not meant to struggle to make it through the week, the day, the next hour. You were not meant for your world to feel like a weight, for the break of dawn to be the starter pistol for another meaningless rat race. You were not meant to be shackled by anxiety, worry, and fear. No, you were meant for so much more.
You were meant to have life and to have it more abundantly. That is the promise of the eternal God.
You were meant to dig deep and to reach out.
You were meant to know God and to make him known.
You were meant to point to the one hope, the one anchor, the one true source of joy, peace, and contentment for the entire human race. His name is Jesus.
Surviving is for those who have no hope. That’s not you — not if you’re God’s child. You were meant to thrive.
I’m not saying you won’t have trouble in this life. Only the false teachers of the prosperity gospel claim otherwise. They promise prosperity while using Scriptures written from prison or during some of the lowest moments in the lives of godly men. Out of Jesus’ twelve disciples, only one escaped martyrdom, and he was exiled to a desolate island. I still can’t figure how that entitles us to buy a Benz. Without exception, all of us will have some bad days. But Jesus tells us to take heart. He has overcome the world, which means we can thrive amid it all (John 16:33).
When I was in high school, the word thrive was not in my vocabulary. It felt like the best I could do was to survive. As I struggled with attention deficit disorder and dyslexia long before most folks knew of their existence, school days felt like a mix of labor camp, summer camp (recess and lunch), and the next embarrassment that lurked right around the corner. At times, my life still feels that way. At times, I feel like I’m still trying to survive.
If we are honest, we can look back on the last year and say we only survived it. We survived work. We survived school. We survived with most of our relationships intact.
Some of us have not survived very well. Maybe our circle of friends has changed. Maybe our families are different than they were this time last year, and we have survived some major storms.
In fact, a lot of us are in survival mode right now:
If I can just get to this weekend…
If I can just make it to the first of the month…
If I can just get to summer vacation…
If I can just finish this project…
If I can just beat this sickness…
If I can just make this payment…
If I can just get the kids through college…
I remember looking at the clock in high school and thinking, Only eleven more minutes. I don’t think they’re ever going to pass. I’m never going to get out of this place. I’m going to grow old and die in this room. If I can survive just eleven more minutes, I’m done with this.
If you’re not careful, you will live your life with that same survival attitude.
I went to my class reunion a few years ago. As I talked with a group of friends, we looked over to the bar. Around it stood ten guys who are the exact same people they were as seniors in high school. They never grew up. My wife, Melanie, and I sat with a friend named Karen. Back when we were in school, Karen was quiet — nice, but reserved. Believe it or not, I was too. Neither of us really did much in high school, which is sad when I think about it. It wasn’t until later in life that we emerged from our shells. At the reunion, Karen looked at the guys at the bar and shook her head.
“You know,” she said, “it seems like some people never left the beach.”
We listened to the guys at the bar say things like “Man, I was glad to just punch that clock Friday” and “Dude, I can’t wait till summer. We’re heading down to Panama City Beach.”
Every day, they’re just surviving.
You were not made to survive life. Or to survive work. Or school. Or your family. You were not made to exist until you can get over the next hump or get to the next break.
You were created for one purpose: to know God and to make Him known.
You are not living the life you were created to live if survive is your word. You were made to thrive.
Point to Remember: We were meant to thrive and not just survive.

*Guest Post by Mark Hall


Hi there! I will be doing a giveaway here shortly! I'm really excited about this! I received a cookbook, titled, "Food52 Vegan", which I thought would be super awesome! But since I'm allergic to soy; it isn't really of any use to me because they use soy in a fair amount of the recipes (sometimes unknowingly -- it's not always "tofu" or "soy sauce"). Anyways, I wanted someone to be able to use this cookbook; because it really is detailed and beautiful. It has lots of color pictures (I love that!) and I'm sure even if you're on the SAD diet, you'll love experimenting with this cookbook!

So here are the details of the book:

This book was voted "Monthly Best!" by Amazon, and is usually sold for $28 in stores. 
Omnivore or vegan (or anywhere in between), we’re all looking for memorable, flavorful dishes to cook for ourselves and the people we care about. If those recipes happen to be healthful, nourishing, and friendly to vegetarians and vegans, even better.

With her wildly popular New Veganism column on Food52, Gena Hamshaw has inspired home cooks  to incorporate plant-based recipes into their everyday routine—and even gained some nutritional yeast and cashew cheese converts. This vibrant collection of all-new recipes plus beloved favorites from the column—along with exquisite photography and helpful tips throughout—will show all of us innovative ways to cook with fresh produce and whole foods. 
From Savory Breakfast Polenta to Cauliflower and Oyster Mushroom Tacos to Ginger Roasted Pears with Vanilla Cream, these recipes are delicious, dependable, and deeply satisfying. Cook from this book just a couple of times and you’ll soon find yourself stocking up on coconut oil, blending your own nut milks, seeking the sweetest tomatoes at the market, and looking at plant-based dishes in a whole new way.

Details of the giveaway:

To be eligible to enter the giveaway, you must complete the following list. If one or several are not completed, your entry will be forfeited.

1. Follow me by email. 
2. Comment on one of my posts/pages and include your name or a nickname that is unique.
3. Post my blog by link to Twitter, Instagram, and/or facebook.

Once you have done the above three, shoot me an email stating that you have completed all three and send me a link to the place where you posted so I can see it! :) (Be sure to use the same name that you commented with, otherwise I might get you confused!)

At the end of 2 weeks, (on October 22), I will use an online random raffle generator to choose one of you to send the book to-- completely free!

Living + Active Challenge Week One; Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday

Monday: Today I did not exercise, because I worked a 12 hour shift! I ate well though, and stuck to my plan: except instead of eating acorn squash I ate pasta salad. But I ate oatmeal and blueberries for breakfast, and gummies for a snack. I drank 6 glasses of water.

Tuesday: Today I did not exercise, because I worked a 12 hour shift! I did eat well again, and stuck to my plan. I ate cereal and almond milk, squash soup (yum!), a banana, an apple, and grapes, and instead of cashews I ate some more pasta salad.

Wednesday: Today was a little harder because I took a 5 hour nap from 9-2! I decided to forgo the nutella sandwhich and grapes because my wonderful boyfriend bought me a pumpkin donut..and of course I had to eat it! :) I plan on eating brussels sprouts and rice and that's about all I feel like eating for the day. For exercise I did 30 minutes of yoga. <3