Monday, December 4, 2017

Me, Myself, and I



Looking back through my posts I am disappointed, but not especially surprised, to see how "me" focused they are. "Here is what I have done wrong." "Here is what the Lord is teaching me." etc., etc.

They are not necessarily me talking about what an awesome person I am but they are still selfish. Focused on my works and not Christ's.

I can be a perfectionist and in my spiritual life this boils down to unending efforts to be a good enough person that God won't regret saving me. Terrible theology, I know. (Update: ran across this thundering verse of love and grace immediately after writing this post-- “I, I am he who blots out your transgressions for my own sake, and I will not remember your sins." Isaiah 43:25 -- my sins were blotted out not for my sake, but the Lord's.)

So how to end this cycle of navel gazing?

Stop talking, thinking, and focusing on myself.  I need to stop working so hard to better myself and instead, follow the Lord. Focus on Him. His amazing works. His grace. His compassion.  Not so much my lack of these qualities (though I do think there is a very important place for conviction! don't get me wrong!) as much as His possession of them. Do I spend as much time thanking Him for being perfect as I do asking to be made perfect? God is teaching me that there much be a balance. I can't fix myself by looking only at my faults. I need to stare in wonder at His perfection and let Him work on fixing me.

I feel like a hiker, so afraid of tripping that all they can do is stare at their feet. I would be much better off to lift my head, listen to my Guide, and keep my eyes focused upwards, toward the top of the mountain.

Meh...that all sounds very mushy and confusing but I hope you can understand.

"But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus."
Philippians 4:13b-14

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Grace Upon Grace

So...I wasn't exactly intending to take a break from blogging. Sometimes though, life throws unexpected things (good and bad) at us and all we can do is accept them from the Lord and deal with them.

I copied the following song into the front of my current journal because I felt it perfectly fit my life right now. I often feel like I am completely ruining everything with my ignorance and stupidity. And then I have to take a deep breath and remind myself that God covers me with grace. He forgives me and will work everything out for my benefit. Yes, I am out of control of my own life. But I trust the One who is controlling it and am so thankful for the grace He offers to me.




Wednesday, October 4, 2017

In Which I Fail as a Mentor



When I started volunteering at the local crisis pregnancy center in April of this year my plan was to do all their behind the scenes work. Counting money, cleaning, making copies, etc. I was good with but nothing directly involving the clients. I knew dealing with them would drive me nuts.

And then a child, pregnant with a middle aged man's baby, walked in the door and looked me in the eyes.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Counting My Blessings (Unwillingly)



I told a friend that this had been a "bitter" year for me. You readers have gotten to see a lot of this so I won't go in to further detail.

I will explain however the kick in the pants that I got a few weeks after making this statement. You see, I just happened to run across a collection of verses on "Joy" and  it dawned on me that many of them were not suggestions. They were commands.

And I was reminded of a quote I discovered several years ago:

"Be thankful for what you have. Your life, no matter how bad you think it is, is someone else's fairy tale."  ~  Wale Ayeni (no idea who this person is but I like the quote)

I may not feel like counting my blessing but nevertheless, God has told me to do so and I believe it is because when I do, I tend to have a change of attitude.

Compared to many other peoples' my year was not that bad. After all, I started water-coloring, picked up the ukulele, got certified as a Master Gardener, began counseling at the local Crisis Pregnancy Clinic, reconnected with an old friend, and traveled to several new states. All of that and I still have a quarter of a year left for more exciting things.

When I really sit and think about it, God has abundantly blessed me with some wonderful things this 2017 and instead of spending my time complaining about the bitter parts to my friends, family, and blog readers I should devote my energy to thanking the Lord for His gifts and using them to serve others.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Totally Different



A few weeks ago I told one of my friends, "You know, I am nothing like I would have expected to be ten years ago. Or even five years ago."  After all, I grew up as a tom-boy believing all emotions were useless things that got in the way of logic and sense and that functionality always trumped beauty.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

I Am A Monster//Dealing With Guilt



INFJ -- I've mentioned before that this is my Myers-Briggs personality type. What I haven't told you is that I am not all the internet believes an INFJ is. INFJ's are portrayed as rigidly upright, unfailingly thoughtful, unendingly self-less. I believe that most of those with this personality type are really like that.  Or at least, do their best to be.

I am not like that.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Modesty: Is My Heart Really in the "Right Spot"?



 (I would recommend caution for young readers. This post is unusually gritty for me and may not be suitable for young minds.)

It's a rare thing that I feel the need to add my two cents to a viral controversy but a recent influx of Facebook posts by some friends I once loved dearly has made me think a lot and you get to reap the benefits of this thinking! ;)

The controversial issue I am speaking of is modesty.

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