Stand Still


I’m having a Carrie Bradshaw moment, and not in that Rated R kind of way. As I sat doing my daily pre-bedtime rituals, I sat there thinking a million thoughts in my head. I had this kind of agitation that only comes at certain times. You know, the kind where you know when you rest your head on your pillow at night, you know that you won’t be able to fall asleep. Immediately I knew I was supposed to write. It’s been so long that I fear my fingers have been collecting dust. My hands have been used for carrying heavy things, running from one place to the next with my role and many thoughts have come and gone without a single click to the keyboard. So much has happened since I’ve last written. You wouldn’t believe it, even if I told you.

One thing I can tell you for certain is that my work has consumed my life, and not the kind of work that I’m LIFE passionate about. What am I passionate about anymore? Sometimes it seems in life as soon as I think I’ve found direction, as I begin to see myself moving in one singular direction, something comes along and thwarts the plan and I’m left sitting in the dust trying to collect the particles that fly all around me. Does this even make sense? It’s like my life is in a perpetual standstill. Where am I going to go from here? Why am I here? Will I ever make it to where I know I am meant to go? So many people live their entire lives and never realize or act upon their calling. Here I am, a called writer, and I’ve been working to no end. Working and working and working, but not crafting my trade.

What do you do when you find yourself in that predicament?

What do you do when you don’t really know what to do? With yourself? With your life?

Honestly I have felt so lost. I am succeeding so well in my career. I was ranked #1 in my entire company for my role for the month of November, but I can tell you that on many, many occasions, I thought about ending it all. What do I have to live for? I’ve played the game of life for so long, and yes I have done many incredible things. When I look back over my life I can string a bunch of memories together that make for incredible stories. On the outside, it seems as if I have it all. I could tell story after story of miraculous moments and grandly favored experiences, where others would be in awe. I’m sure some people look at Adored Above and at my Facebook and think that life is just peachy for me. Can I let you in on a little secret? I’m one of the most talented and capable individuals I have ever met (although there are many more talented and many more capable) YET, I have no idea what to do next. And honestly, that makes my talent and abilities seem so much less than they are. How can I make a lasting impact on the World, when I can barely get through mine each day? It’s not as if I’m not able. I am. It’s just that my mind is waging a war, and the enemy is myself. One thing I can tell you, and it’s not that I have it figured out, is that your thoughts truly have a huge power over your destiny. On the day that I wanted to give up completely, I couldn’t think of anything to ease my pain and confusion. I couldn’t see my way out of the hopeless mental fog. Yet when I least expected it, I found out that I had achieved my goal without even realizing I had done it. In a moment, all of those long hours, sleepless nights, grueling shifts, miles and miles spent driving, and days I barely ate AMOUNTED to something, and something significant. Yet, even with all the success, there is something to be said about a quieted and content mind. A mind and soul at peace and at rest within oneself. I don’t claim to have all the answers. Honestly, if I had all the answers, I wouldn’t be writing out my frustrations for all to read. I would certainly be in a better position than I am today. But the fact of the matter is….

Regardless of how I feel, I have value. I may not feel valuable. Honestly, more times than not (and I am not proud to admit this) I have a hard time seeing my worth. Head knowledge is very different from heart knowledge. I can know the facts about my successes and my life, but if I don’t believe it in my heart it is just words on a page, a thought passing by like a shooting star fading out into the distance.

Every person reading this can relate to this feeling. If you can’t, I want your Wheaties for breakfast. Bottom line is that life is a crazy journey. Sometimes you can feel like you are on top of the world and the sun rises to greet you. Other days, you are as good as the gunk on the bottom of some random persons shoe. 

I feel like I’m posing a problem that I have a hard time finding a solution to. Maybe that’s part of the point? I know I’ve spent many years struggling with this, but it’s not something I want to struggle with forever. I don’t know how to get out of this rut I am in, but I know that it’s better to do something than nothing. So what do I do?

I honestly don’t know. I take life day by day at this point. Sometimes standing still is helpful and just right. Other times, standing still is just not the best route. I may not be able to climb the highest mountain in a day, but I can certainly take the first step.

I might not understand all the reasons for why things are the way they are in my life, but what I can do is take a small step to learning more, growing, and towards one of my dreams, goals or visions.

Hopefully this is helping someone, because I honestly feel like I’m rambling. Maybe today is that small step. It’s been a long time since I have written and I am rusty. But the fact that I am putting action to my future dream of writing in a tangible way today…. maybe that is the point. That small, but impactful step.

And on that note, I am going to bed.

See you soon, xo


You ARE what you CHOOSE!


Deuteronomy 30:19-20

19 I call heaven and earth to witness this day against you that I have set before you life and death, the blessings and the curses; therefore choose life, that you and your descendants may live

20 And may love the Lord your God, obey His voice, and cling to Him. For He is your life and the length of your days, that you may dwell in the land which the Lord swore to give to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

They say that insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. I guess I’m insane. No, I’m kidding. However, I must confess making the “hard” choices in life is not my strong suit. It’s true. I struggle with the volition of my will and purposing it to a set standard of living. What I mean by that is I know in my heart that God’s best is for my best interest and will truly lead me down the best pathways of life, yet I far too often find myself not trusting God at His word. It’s so much easier to walk the road of independence and self-sufficiency because it seems we would know what it takes to make us happy, right? In most cases, wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Guess what, I’m not the only one who has ever dealt with this dilemma. I’m not the first and I am certainly not the last. You want to know what I’ve realized lately? I’m realizing more and more that what is preventing me from walking out my FULL calling lies in the choices and decisions I am making on a daily basis. I was listening to Andy Stanley’s podcast series titled “Guardrails” and within one of his messages he mentioned we are to “Face up to, accept, embrace what you know in your heart is the Lord’s will for your life. Stop deceiving yourself stop playing games.” I’d say I’m a good game player, if I was to be completely honest with myself. I am a skilled edge walker, reasoner, and expert justifier. If I were to be honest with myself, I know the purposes God has for my life. I know what He is calling me to do. Yet, with ease I far too often find myself as a guppy swimming with the stream and not against it, as I know I should be. When you swim with the stream, you are as good as a dead fish. There is no skill required to go with the flow. Think about it, if you were a fish in water and the stream currents pulled you along, would you need to exercise any discipline? Yet how often do we find ourselves likened to this metaphor? Living a defeated life doesn’t require much of anything, except a broken will. So what then do we do with this? The first step is to acknowledge the problem. I’ve been awakened to this realization most recently. When I look at the pieces of my life and the gap between who I am now and the woman I am to become, I see only a few KEY things. The first and most important key is in my decision making repertoire. It’s so simple. Make the right choice. Why is it so hard? Why does it feel so complicated? Why is our flesh at such odds with God’s perfect plan? Nobody is immune to it, we all face the same temptations and struggles. For me, my emotions tend to drive my decision making, which is a lethal combination. Emotions+decisions is a path to disaster. Sometimes our feelings are our most valuable asset, as they are like the wind in that they can often be a guiding force. However, when our emotions drive us to places we should never go, we often will find ourselves in compromising positions we were never meant to be in. The first step, perhaps, is taking the emotions out of our decision making process. Emotions can be a guide, but our head and heart must never be disconnected. The Bible says our heart is deceitfully wicked and who can trust it. I don’t like that verse. Something in me doesn’t WANT to believe my heart can be wicked, but it’s true. Sometimes the truth is ugly and in your face. Our heart can be very misleading. I think as a woman, emotions are particularly difficult. Emotions and feelings are powerful influences in our lives that must be stewarded wisely. I wrote most recently about “sitting” with your emotions. I really encourage you to read my piece about “Patience in Pain” it’s a powerful revelation I had about how pain can truly be a key in propelling us on to victory. I think there is power in our ability to sit with those uncomfortable emotions and experiences. For one, I think in doing so you can accurately see them for what they are worth. Just that, feelings. And for another, I think when we can slow the process down and just let things BE, we are able to clear our head, separating it from our heart, to make the best wisest choice. What separates winners from a fool is in their ability to choose wisely. Yet with all this head knowledge, it still does not make for an easy road. You can know that something is or isn’t right for you, but when the rubber meets the road, you may still find yourself in over your head with the blare of an alarming decision that must be made. So what’s the answer? How do we solve this unavoidable dilemma? It’s simple. Make the RIGHT choice. Why is something so simple, so incredibly difficult? I think the biggest principle in making wise choices is your faith, trust and BELIEF that God is who He says He is. You must first acknowledge Him in all that you do. When you have a strong awareness of God and His character– which is faithful, just, loving, gracious, and benevolent, you can begin to trust Him with your mind, will and emotions. Simply put, if you do not trust God is good and has good for you, you will not choose His way. It’s the plain and simple truth! Do you take Him at His word when He says

Ephesians 3:20 Amplified Version

20 Now to Him Who, by (in consequence of) the [action of His] power that is at work within us, is able to [carry out His purpose and] do superabundantly, far over and above all that we [dare] ask or think [infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes, or dreams]—

Do you not think that the dream maker of our hearts would have a better plan to accomplish these dreams than our very own ability or imagination? What I mean is, the Creator of EVERYTHING you see has placed dreams and desires in your heart. The same God who has brought all these things together in your life, is the same God who promises to do more than the imaginable in our lives. We have to align ourselves with this Plan and that requires a relationship and a trust in God. I know for many, including myself, trusting is a sore spot in our hearts. It’s difficult to trust in what we can not immediately see. We feel a sense of power when we control our destiny, but that same sense of control really takes control away from ourselves because we are not trusting in God’s divine ability to bring every dream to pass. So where do you begin? There is this book I’m reading by Rebekah Lyons that is called Freefall to Fly. She talks about how that it’s in the free fall is where your rescue comes. We all must fall in order to fly. What is it that you are holding onto right now? It may be a person. It may be a dream. It may be an idea. God is asking you to let it go. You know this is true, because it’s speaking to your heart of hearts right now. I’ve heard it said that we are far too often like the child with a small toy firmly grasped within it’s hands, while God is standing by with something far greater in His hands. We can not grab a hold of what God’s best is, when we are holding tightly onto the reins of our lives. I know for me, I have for too long had one foot into the future with my other foot stuck in the past. I’ve grasped onto the life I want to lead, while I know God desires to usher me into this glorious future He has planned and prepared for me. For too long, I have flailed in my emotions and in my wrong decisions and it’s held me back from everything God is showing me that He and only He can and wants to give me. This life is far too short. God says we are but a vapor here today and gone tomorrow. Our life is a speck in the grande scheme of things. We only have here and right now, and it’s all in what we do with it. Are you going to let another day go by? Are you going to stay stuck, wheels spinning, on the path to nowhere? Or, do you want to risk it all and start your free fall so that not only God can rescue you, but redeem your life and set it on a broad path leading to grace, favor, and unfailing love that pursues you for the rest of your life? I don’t know about you, but I want to have an unimaginable life, filled, bursting at the seams with the dreams and desires that God sets into motion and brings into fruition. It all starts right here and now, with making the hard choices. Let’s be a people that believes for what we can not see. Let us trust God for the little bit that we can not see, so He can do more than we could ever imagine on our own! Let’s live a life of purpose, not just our purpose, GOD’S fulfilling purpose that He’s planned before we were ever a thought.

Love you, believe in you & know that God’s got His hand on your life. You wouldn’t be reading this if it were not true!

xoxo Alicia Barkley