His Word, Random, Series

Day 10 – Care

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Today’s post is the first Five Minute Friday prompt in the 31 Day writing challenge. Yes, I realize it’s not Friday…that it’s actually Tuesday, but hey, folks, I’m a work in progress.

Which is actually a good segue into the actual post. Today’s prompt is: Care.

There are days when I ask why I care. Why do I care how I’m viewed? Why do I care what other people think? The only One who really matters doesn’t even judge the same way as people.

See, I have a problem. There’s even a word to describe it…

per·fec·tion·ism noun \-shə-ˌni-zəm\

Definition of PERFECTIONISM

: a disposition to regard anything short of perfection as unacceptable
— per·fec·tion·ist noun or adjective
— per·fec·tion·is·tic adjective

And this is why I am embarking upon this book, “confessions of a raging perfectionist” by Amanda Jenkins. Perhaps this book, in conjunction with His Word will cure me of this deadly disease.

I was having a conversation with a fellow perfectionist just yesterday. We both remarked that we wanted things to be, {ahem} perfect in our relationships. Then we chuckled and began to feel badly for these men who have a tremendous amount of pressure placed upon them to join us in our quest for perfection. And they may not even realize it themselves.

I will tell you this much: I’m exhausted from caring so much about how others perceive me. And the thing is that it’s just that…their perception. And perceptions can be twisted by our life experiences, so it’s not factual and it’s different for everyone.

Does anyone else want to join me in this journey? Is anyone else thinking it might be time to focus on The One whose opinion matters the most? Is anyone else tired of trying to be ‘just so’?

If you’re thinking that maybe it’s time, let me leave you with this snippet from the Introduction to Amanda’s book:

“My problem, I’ve recently realized, is the significance I attach to the list–that if I lose five pounds and spend twenty minutes reading my Bible, I’ll be a better, more spiritual, more loving, more lovable person. When I fail to live up to my own expectations, I feel inadequate. Or more specifically (and as my stats frequently read), overweight, lazy, disorganized, and unworthy of the approval I seek.”

Kids/Parenting, My 'Farm', Random, Series

Day 9 – Join

I have to say that this writing challenge has truly challenged me in some really great ways. I’ve stretched myself to a place I’ve not been before. To a place where I’m forcing myself to write just for the sake of writing.

The prompt for day 9 is: Join.

It catches me by surprise this morning when I step outside that fall has joined us. As I make the trek to the chicken coop, I traipse through damp leaves that have fallen softly from the trees.

I feel the cool, crisp air tenderly touch my cheeks, and as I exhale, I can see my warm breath.

Where has the year gone that fall has made it’s arrival so silently? Like a thief in the night steals, summer has been snatched from our grasp.

And just as the days and the years quickly tick by, the fall of my children’s lives joins me.

How one day, I open the door to my life and it shocks my system to find I have a 9-year old and a 7-year old. She has less than 2 years left in her elementary school days.

Less than 2 years and she will join the ranks of middle-schoolers where life takes on a new level of complexity.

And him…my baby…is not a baby any more. He has joined the thousands of boys that have gone before him into the land of no more hugs and kisses for their mamas.

Oh dear, sweet children…how can I slow time down? How can I learn to join you in this moment?

Help me to appreciate the cool, crisp air of the fall now; before the cold, sharp air of the winter blasts me in the face and chills me to the bone. Because it will be here all too soon.

Random, Series

Day 3 – New

If you’re here for the third day this month, I applaud you! I thank you! And I graciously ask that you return daily during the month of October…I ask that you return to see how this month carries out and how I can grow as a writer during this 31 day challenge.

Today’s topic is: New.

I’m struggling with this new blog post. I am not typically one to schedule my posts ahead of time. I generally write a blog post when I’m feeling inspired or when I feel I have something particularly witty or important to share with you fine people.

I can say this…I can say that I’m going through a season in my life right now. And it’s a season that’s completely new and foreign to me.

On a daily basis, I’m questioning what I’m here for. Is what I’m doing making a difference? Am I making a difference in the lives of those around me?

Am I saying the right things and doing the right things to leave a lasting impression on those I love?

Am I demonstrating ways to be brave to my children? Am I showing Christ’s love toward others?

In this season, my thoughts keep coming back to…when will waiting for the one finally be…done?

That one job, that one financial shift, that partner or spouse you’re waiting for…

His Word, Random, Series

Day 1 – Move

So, here we are, on October 1. The first day of the ‘five minute free writes’ writing challenge. Today’s prompt is: move.

Move. I’ve heard it said that if you can’t sense God’s presence in your life, you can be assured that He is not the one who has moved; you have.

Try as I might, I can’t understand why anyone would move away from God. Yet, we do it everyday in the choices we make. In the small choices and the big ones.

It’s the same in any relationship. If you’re not consciously moving TOWARD someone, you’re moving away from them. I suppose that we are always constantly moving. Either toward someone or away from someone.

It’s all up to you which way you chose to move.

I know that I want to be consciously moving toward those people who love me and want what’s best for me. This includes God.

I want to draw nearer to those who cherish me and our relationship. Those who also have a desire to move toward me. Those who can take one look at the worn expression on my face or hear my exasperated voice on the other end of the line and know that I need a hug. Or some positive words of encouragement.

These are the people that I need to surround myself with. This includes God. He knows all and sees all.

And I have to remember these words…

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Until tomorrow for day #2…blessings to you in His name.

 

His Word, Kids/Parenting, Random, Soul Relationships

Still…

There is something about this time of year that makes me want to pull back – to retract into myself and reflect. Be introspective. Become like a bear and begin my preparations to hunker down and hibernate for the winter season.

It’s seasons like this in which I begin to analyze my relationships – with everyone from God to my kids.

I look at the activities I’m involved in and those my kids are involved in. I reflect on what I’ve accomplished this year, and what, if anything still needs completed.

So far:

  • I’ve read 16 books of my goal of 24 for the year.
  • I had a HUGE purging/organizing session in July. My home feels better and I feel a *little* more organized.
  • I still have my daughter’s closet to purge/organize {let’s be real, this may wait until she’s out of the house!}
  • I still need to get a blogging schedule established.
  • I still need to follow said schedule.
  • I’ve completed, I dunno, somewhere between 4-6 Hello Mornings bible studies.
  • I still need to finish my Bible in a Year plan. {I’m about 5 months behind on that one!}
  • I still need to learn to lean into His grace and accept when I can’t mark things off of my ‘To Do’ list.
  • My kids are in AWESOME classes this school year.
  • Elijah is crazy improving in baseball this year, due to an amazing coach!
  • Emma actually decided to give softball a chance, and she’s not half bad! {which is a total shock to my system!}

But the biggest thing that I have yet to cross off my ever growing task list can be found in one of my favorite Bible verses…Psalm 46:10a, “Be still and know that I am God.”

My absolute favorite version of this verse is in the NASB version. It reads:

“Cease striving and know that I am God.”

Cease striving…REALLY?

Dictionary.com defines cease this way: “to stop; discontinue.”

Dictionary.com defines striving this way: “to exert oneself vigorously; try hard.”

So, basically what I’m telling you is that I can’t. stop. trying. hard.

I can’t stop exerting myself…to please others…to accomplish more…to be more involved…to cross things off of my list.

To just BE STILL

I am Type A all the way.

This is something that God will need to do a miraculous work within me to accomplish. But He is faithful. He is good. He is just. He is love.

And thankfully, He will accept me just the way I am. But, by His grace, He loves me too much to leave me that way.

So, as I enter into this season of my life, of this year, please pray with me that He will continue to do a good work in me. That I will learn to lean into His grace. Into His rest.

Jesus tells us we can, “come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” {Matthew 11:28-30}.

And that I can just be. still.