Category Archives: Contentment

the badge of busyness

blog image1

Really hoping I spelled busyness correctly. I can never remember if it’s with an ‘i’ or a ‘y’…also, you don’t put ‘an’ in front of ‘y’, right? Even though it’s sometimes used as a vowel? English teachers, chime in as you feel necessary.

Also, just Googled it. I definitely spelled ‘busyness’ correctly.

Whew. I was worried.

ANYWAYS.

I’ll be the third one to admit that I can be a slave to my schedule. I prefer to make plans with people at minimum 3 days in advance. I do not do well with spontaneity. It makes me a little sweaty. I like to know (read: control) what I’m doing well in advance of when I’m doing it.

I’m working on it though. #babysteps

And along with that, for an introvert, I enjoy having a full calendar. Mainly, I think, so I can control my environment. Even if the thing that’s on my calendar is alone time.

Seriously.

I’ve scheduled alone time with myself before.

Often, I like to think that I’m back in my Brownie days with my vest on and everyone can see my little badges. And one that I like to flaunt quite frequently is my badge of busyness.

“So, long time no see! How have you been?”-person
“Oh man…ya know…busy.”-me

“Anything new happening in your life?”-another person
“Not really, just super busy all the time.”-me again

I want to move at a fast pace, filling my life with things and commitments, yet I struggle to slow down and be with Jesus.

Then I get confused and frustrated and hurt when I feel far from Him. I feel like God isn’t keeping up and that I need to pull His weight as well as mine. I don’t understand why He isn’t honoring all of the good things I’m doing by giving me what I want when I want them.

Then, I do slow down. I take the time to be with Him. I make myself busy with Jesus. And I see this in His Word:

The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you…

2 Peter 3:9a

Hittin me with that truth stick.

The Lord is not slow like I think He is. His patience is for me.

It’s humorous to me how I think that I know better than God. That I think He just needs to get with the program and move at my pace. That He is just holding out on me because He feels like it.

But that couldn’t be farther from the truth.

The truth is that God is still God, and God is still good. He is patient with a crabby little sinner like me. He gives goodness for the good of His people, to the glory of His name. He who has promised is faithful, and His promise will come to pass as He sees fit.

And you know what His promise is? Jesus. Redemption through the blood of His Son. Restoration with Him for eternity.

I can take my badge of busyness off – I can stop working so hard to control my circumstances and my feelings and my future and all other things – and rest in the security I have in Christ.

I can put on the badge of Christ and “let the peace of Christ rule in (my) heart” [Colossians 3:15], knowing that my busyness doesn’t save me. My calendar is not my savior. My good deeds do not redeem me.

Christ redeems me, and that’s the only badge I need on my vest.

Tagged , , , ,

fulfilled. kinda.

IMG_2750.JPG

I went to Chicago this past weekend and had some of the most delicious barbecue I’ve had in a llllloooooonnnnnnggggggg time. Growing up as my father’s daughter, that’s saying something, because that man can GRILL. Also, growing up in the MidWest, barbecue is a big deal.

I ate a pork plate with fries and bread and coleslaw alongside my friend and was filled to the brim. Metaphorically, that is. I don’t really have a brim, since I’m a human.

Anyways.

I was stuffed. I was satisfied. Fulfilled.

Then I woke up the next day.

I was hungry all over again. My fulfillment had subsided. I was pretty empty as far as calories go.

And my stomach is not the only thing that happens to.

So many times I am fulfilled by a coffee date with a friend, dinner out with the ladies, a trip to my favorite city, a tweet from one of my favorite actresses (it should be noted that I’m still on an adrenaline high from that, and yes, that was a shameless plug for myself).

I am on a mountaintop of emotion, so full of joy and happiness and all the good things one can feel.

I am completely satisfied by the circumstances of my life.

And then I wake up the next day.
Or I have a minor argument with a friend.
Or I see an ex and am immediately reminded that my life is not what I thought it would be by age 26.

My fulfillment is oh so temporary, and it is so easily replaced by emptiness when I allow external people/places/things to be the source of my satisfaction.

I’m like the people Jesus talks about in John 4 that drink of water that will cause me to thirst again. Instead of drinking of the water that Jesus gives me – the water that will become in me a spring of water, welling up to eternal life. (John 4:13-14)

Instead of seeking a deep drink from the Living Water that is Jesus, I am content with sipping from dry wells that the world has to offer.

And I wonder why I’m on such an emotional rollercoaster 83% of the time.

My head and my heart know so well that nothing of this world can satisfy in the deep way that Christ can. Yet, the things that we often seek for fulfillment are not bad things – relationships, food, shelter, work. The trouble is when those things become my god. When I rely on my friends to fulfill me, I am left empty, because guess what, they are just a bunch of sinners too. When I go to food for satisfaction, I end up gluttonous and desiring the created thing over the Creator.

May my fulfillment come from Christ alone. May I be able to say along with the Psalmist, “Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on each that I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” (Psalm 73: 25-26)

learning to dwell

dwell

For the past few years I’ve done this pretty cool (to me, at least) thing where I pick a word or theme of the year. One year it was discipline, last year it was #toshowingup, and this year it is “dwell.”

I think we can all agree that the only thing most of us resolve to do is not follow through on our New Year’s resolutions, so, in place of that, a friend introduced me to choosing a word/theme for the year.

I like the consistency of learning how to implement a theme over the course of the year. I enjoy the process way more than the outcome. AND it’s a lot less pressure than having to stop drinking coffee and go to the gym 8 days a week starting January 1.

So here we are, 2016, and I’m going to dwell.

I want to learn what it means to be in the present with God and myself.

I want to stop being anxious over uncontrollable circumstances.

I want to know deep in my soul that my identity and value are unshakable in Christ.

I want to dwell in the presence of my Maker, resting in His goodness alone.

Merriam-Webster defines dwell as a verb that means, “to remain for a time.”

It is active, yet it is passive. You have to make the choice to remain somewhere.

It’s easy for me to talk about rest, and dwelling, and sitting, and remaining. It’s a WHOLE ‘NOTHER BALL GAME for me to actually do it for a time.

I’m decent at dwelling for a day or so, when it’s convenient for me. But this year, this go ’round, I want to dwell forever. I want the time to not have a frame – I want to be with Jesus and remain in Him.

I doubt I’ll have this whole dwelling thing figured out by 2017. If I do, maybe you could take me out for queso and I’ll tell you all the secret things.

But I am excited about what 2017 will look like because I will have dwelt with the Savior. I will continue to learn more and more every day what it means to have my identity anchored in the Unchangeable One.

This year will be one for the books (blogs) and I’m excited to share it with you.

*what is God calling you to in this coming year? Is there a theme or word you can own for 2016?

Tagged , , , ,

unquenchable thirst

SNL_1373_09_Mall

I’ve been sitting in my chair in this coffee shop for a solid ten minutes trying to figure out a clever line to open this blog with…

I was also eating a breakfast burrito, so I’m not that mad about it.

But for serious.

I often think that I have to be this quick-witted, funny person 24/7, and when I’m not I get a little insecure. When I don’t live up to the expectations I believe people place on me, I feel like a failure and I’m often concerned that people won’t want to be around me. Dramatic? Yes. Honest? Also, yes.

I thirst for approval. I long to be known. I desire deep satisfaction.

And I don’t think I’m the only one.

This past weekend I was reading John 4, the story of Jesus and the Woman of Samaria. This is a story I’ve heard 1.7 billion times (where my grew-up-in-the-church kids at?!), but I saw this bit of Scripture in a new light this time around.

Jesus approaches this woman who was the town outcast, had multiple husbands, and was such a social pariah she had to go draw water when no one else was around.

In reading this story I became empathetic toward the woman. She was searching for something.

Approval.
Being known.
Satisfaction.

She=me.

And what does Jesus say to her?

but whoever drinks of the water that I will give will never be thirsty again (John 4:14)

And the woman says, “Sir, give me this water…”

I picture her, with her hands cupped, kneeling next to Jesus, begging for Him to give her a sip of the one thing she thinks will complete her, will fix her.

Now, I’m not sure she really got what he was saying. I’ll never know this side of heaven.

BUT, I do know that Jesus saw a woman thirsty for something only He can provide.

He sees me, thirsty and longing for something more, and offers the only thing that can truly, deeply, and fully satisfy.

He offers Himself.

He doesn’t make me draw from the well before He redeems me.

He redeems me, and my well runs even deeper.

I pray I am never over that truth. That there is a God who left His throne in heaven to dwell among His people in order to save them and place them back in to right relationship with Him…man…that’s a God I hope I never get over.

That’s a God I hope I never stop thirsting for.

 

*there’s no clever SNL skit about thirst (at least not one I want to put the effort in to finding right now), so instead, enjoy one of my all-time favorite Amy Poehler characters – Kaitlin!

entering rest

SNL_1596_09_Sleepover

I like naps. A lot. Really, I probably love them. Snuggling up in a blanket on my bed while it’s still sunny is one of my favorite things to do.

Physically resting is definitely a norm in my life. Spiritually & mentally resting, however, is a different story.

If letting my mind run wild with different scenarios, worries, anxieties, etc. were an Olympic event, I would most likely win gold.

I specifically let my mind keep busy thinking about my future –

“will I get married?”
“what does this text mean?”
“why doesn’t he call?”
“he liked this picture, so we’re engaged, right?”

It goes on and on and never ceases. The fight within my mind over my thoughts is exhausting.

I’ve been reading through the book of Hebrews and using a study from shereadstruth.com. Today’s passage was about true Sabbath rest. A rest that belongs to the people of God. Not one that we have to work for, or even wait on – it already belongs to us.

One line on the blog that hit me in the gut was:

(God) has already assigned you more worth than you could ever create or accumulate. This is the good news today, on Sunday morning and for the rest of forever.

Did you see that? Because of the worth that the Creator of the Universe has already given me, I don’t have to worry about my future. I don’t have to read in to that text message that may or may not mean some dude likes me. I don’t have to exhaust myself with the cares of this world. I can rest, secure and hopeful, in my Savior’s loving arms – knowing that my future is in the hands of Jesus, the One that lived the perfect life, died the death that I deserve, and rose again on the third day so that I am now redeemed.

That’s the rest that belongs to us. We are free from work, worry, being consumed with things that are out of our control. We get to enter in to deep, restorative, and real rest that only Christ can provide.

Do I want marriage? Yes.
But missing Jesus because I chase after a boy isn’t worth it. Not for one second.
I want Jesus, and His rest, more.

Check out Bedelia’s sleepover & her best friend/mom here!

Tagged , , ,