Monday, September 14, 2015

Hands Full

I'm doing a Faith Challenge for work where they give me a prompt to reflect on each day for the next 30 days. I haven't written in so long that I thought I would share some of my journaling, as I feel I want, with you here. Here's Day 1...


Sept 14
Reflect on how you will use His strength and guidance.
Philippians 4:13
What are your goals for this challenge? How will you become the best version of you in the next 30 days?

In The Message, Philippians 4:11–14 says:
I don’t have a sense of needing anything personally. I’ve learned by now to be quite content whatever my circumstances. I’m just as happy with little as with much, with much as with little. I’ve found the recipe for being happy whether full or hungry, hands full or hands empty. Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am. I don’t mean that your help didn’t mean a lot to me—it did. It was a beautiful thing that you came alongside me in my troubles.

I’ve been having trouble with contentment. My Sunday morning confessional prayer over and over is: God, I’m sorry I don’t trust you. When I’m discontent, I think He isn’t for me or with me. I start to try to make things happen on my own. As Brené Brown says, you can’t script a conversation. I think it’s a similar concept—I can't script my life. I shouldn’t script my life with all of my plans. Sometimes things just happen or as OneRepublic says, “there’s bullsh-t that don’t work out.” There is plenty that hasn’t worked out, at least in my timing. If I was 12 or even 16 looking at my life today, I would think I had it all—great husband, wonderful (3!) kids, and my dream job as an editor. Plus, we have a church we love. Talk about “hands full” (see above in Philippians). That’s it. I’m hands full. To the brim. I can’t even hear myself think to remember this is good, that my life is good. I’m bogged by the expectations of being a good mom and wife and employee. Those things feel so BIG.

But for as much as those things are big, God is bigger. His expectations of me are lower than my own and His love and care is bigger. I sometimes wonder if I’m the one taking care of my family, then who is taking care of me? This is why I’m tired and weak. When I’m weak, strangely, I take over more. I try harder. I’ve been working on not saying these phrases to myself: “I’m trying” and “I should…” because I know those are the times I’m about to take over my own life and put a burden upon myself. A burden that weakens me and makes me feel less than I am. I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am (Philippians 4:13, The Message).

My goals for this challenge are simply to write my thoughts each day. That is actually a huge step for me. When I write, I’m relying on the Holy Spirit to shake things loose and work in me. When I write, I’m actually giving up control. I’m becoming more of me when I let the words flow. And I haven’t been in this place in a long time. My friend Denise once started her blog with “Where have I been all my life?” I don’t want that to be my question when I’m nearing my last decades. But to even make it that far with wholehearted decades behind me, I need to write. Writing reminds me of who I am, what I have, and what God is doing through His strength and timing, not my own.

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