Tag Archives: contentment

the badge of busyness

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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.

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misplaced contentment

surprise sue

Warning: this blog will not fix your contentment issues.

The following is an actual conversation that actually occurred between actual people. Their names have been changed to protect their privacy.

“I think I’m going to get my tragus pierced this weekend.” – Krayla

“Isn’t that kinda dangerous? Just go skydiving instead.” – Whitley

“….I think I’m just bored…” – Krayla

“Mmmhhmmm…contentment.” – Whitley

Fine, I’ll confess. Krayla is really Kayla. It’s me. I was the one that wanted (wants) to get my ear pierced again. And I really think it is because I’m bored. I think it’ll look cool and people will think I’m pretty hardcore.

But really, deep down, I truly do have a contentment issue. My friend is right – I’m not content with my life so I want to change it. I talk about tattoos, or piercings, or a new coat/shoes, a different (insert thing here).

I often think I’m just stuck in a rut of some sorts, so I need to do something exciting to amp up my life. I miss contentment in Christ and work to fill it with new, shinier things.

And, quite honestly, I think the church (at large) has done a poor job at helping singles (men & women) figure out what contentment in Christ really looks like.

Side note: I also think contentment in Christ is an issue that married people struggle with as well, but since I’m not married I cannot speak to that.

I often find myself living this life of singleness, treating it as if it is only a season. I want to pass through it as quickly as possible and get the golden goose egg of marriage delivered on my front door PRONTO!

I become discontent with my life – thinking that God is holding out on me, or doesn’t really want me to experience true joy – because I still file my taxes under a single status.

I misplace my joy in guys, and am never satisfied. I rely on my relationship status for contentment, and am always left disappointed. I lean in hard to the perception that marriage will ultimately fulfill me and give me worth, and when that wall crumbles I’m left face first on the ground.

And I say the church at large has done a poor job in helping me (and others) figure this sin issue out because that’s the realm we play in to. We place marriage on this really high pedestal and leave those of us that can’t climb up that high out. When couples have babies, we promote them to sainthood – especially if they make the ‘right’ choices regarding feeding & waste disposal.

What we don’t do a good job at is teaching and encouraging one another to rely on Jesus regardless of season or status. We don’t do a good job at listening to Paul and trust that we too can experience this truth deeply when he says, “Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am.” (Philippians 4:11)

I don’t have any answers, or really any good input when it comes to living a content life. I’ve obviously got a lot to learn in this area. But I do have a challenge: I’m going to stop referring to my singleness as a season to just pass through, I’m going to stop relying on the next best thing to satisfy me, and I’m going to continue to run, hard, to Jesus when I starting thinking about getting my ear pierced again.

But maybe I will get my ear pierced. Who knows.

**watch Sue get really amped up here**

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you don’t have to have an answer

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I like to have conversations with people about life and all that occurs in it. I really enjoy being around people in different stages of life than me – hearing about how God is working, has worked in other seasons of their lives, and their hopes for what He will do in their future.

What I don’t always like is how we always have to have an answer for one another.

I often find myself in conversations with people where I feel the need to have all the correct answers to their life issues. I need to always have the right Bible verse, the right cliché saying, the perfect attagirl speech to fix all their issues.

I’ve also been on the flip side – I’ve simply wanted someone to hear my frustrations, struggles, or anxieties of life but in return I get a pep talk that concludes with, “Don’t worry, you’ll be fine.”

Neither of those are healthy places to be in.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how we interact with one another. It’s not good for me to listen to my friend that is struggling in her job, and follow up with, “Well, at least you have a job that pays you on a regular basis, and there’s no threat of you losing it, you should be grateful.”

That leaves my friend feeling like she was never heard in her struggle – that her voice was silenced, her hurt heart shut out, and her personal life doesn’t matter.

If you think I’m taking that a little too far, then you might be a robot. Or just a non-emotional human, which is more likely than you being a robot.

I have definitely felt those feelings – that I was silenced, shut out, and of no value. (Dramatic? Yes. I know this.)

I’ve been in conversations where I’ve poured out my struggles with singleness and in return have heard things like, “When you least expect it, God will bring the right guy along” or “You just need to be content in Christ right now” or “You’re such a great catch, any guy would be lucky to have you!”

While yes, all of these things are true, I already know this. I just need someone to hear me, cry with me if necessary, understand that I can get sad, and pray for/with me that God would meet me in my pain and comfort me. If I ask you for your input, please give it. And I’ll try not to open my mouth if it isn’t appropriate. But let’s agree to be quick to listen & slow to speak with one another.

We don’t need to have the answers for each other – God already has them.

Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. (Romans 12:15)

*PS, tonight’s clip isn’t a Debbie Downer sketch, BUT it is a sketch of her freaking out while attending a game night. Watch it cause it’s awesome.

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when being a competitor doesn’t make sense

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I love competition. I love the thrill of having a specific time frame to complete a specific task. Whether it’s needing 3 more runs in the last inning or getting my teammate to guess the word and pass the round-thingy before the Catch Phrase! buzzer goes off, I want to be the one fighting for the win. Being a competitor is simply engrained in who I am.

However, I’m a little tired of competing right now. I’m tired of continually battling in my own strength. I’m tired of thinking that singleness is just another hurdle to jump over.

As an athlete, I can do things to make myself better: shoot more baskets, take more reps in the batting cage, run a little farther for a little longer.

But when it comes to contentment and joy, I can’t do anything. I cannot earn my starting spot in the line-up. This is one game I can’t win. I can’t muscle my way into God’s grace, mainly because He’s already extended it to me. He’s already invited me freely into Himself.

I’m reminded of the people of Israel fleeing Egypt in the book of Exodus. They get to the Red Sea and basically throw an intense mean mug Moses’ way. “Dude, you know Pharaoh is getting closer and we have this impassable body of water in front of us, right?! Did you realize you were taking us this way? I told you we should have stopped for directions 1000 paces ago!”
And Moses busts out some timeless truth,

The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent. (14:14)

Yet, I act just like Israel. “Hey, God, you know I’m still single over here? You realize this isn’t the plan I had thought of, don’t you? You do know what you’re doing, right?”

Dear Kayla,
The Lord will fight for you. You just need to be still and trust in Him. Rely on Jesus, not yourself. Stop competing for something that’s already been won. Rest in Him.

In the fight for joy, contentment, peace, etc., being a competitor doesn’t make a lot of sense. Letting Jesus be Jesus makes sense.

*to see Amy’s monologue featuring some sweet K. Wiig dance moves, click here!

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Letting God think He has Control

I’ve talked before about how I’m a manipulator and how I’ve tried to use God to get what I want. But I’ve not yet talked about how I try to fake out God.

As much as I don’t want to admit it, I love having control. I love thinking that due to my hard work or expertise, stuff gets done. I appreciate responsibility over certain things because it means that I have power and am able to work my magic to see things through to the end (much like Hermione Granger).

I like to let God think He has control over certain areas of my life. I’ll pray or journal about what’s going on in my life, but leave out the details/situations that I’d prefer to handle myself.

A prayer may go something like this: “Lord, I’m really struggling with being content in this stage of life, so if You could help me be content that’d be great.”

Meanwhile, in my head, I’m saying to myself: “But I’ll continue to pin wedding ideas on Pinterest, talk obsessively about this guy I have a crush on, not spend time in the Word seeking out Truth for my life, and eventually I’ll get over this discontentment when I feel like it…”

I’m sure God hears that and gives me this look:

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The problem with this nasty idol of control is that I really don’t have it. Even in my sinfulness, God has control. He is the one orchestrating my every move, even when I think it’s on me.

As a basketball player, one of my favorite moves was a fake reverse dribble. That could be a move my mom made up, but whatever. When I was younger and more nimble (aka: high school), I could fake out a defender and get the ball down the floor with one swift, fluid movement (for those of you wondering if I’ve ever been “swift” or “fluid” the answer is, yes, at one point in my life I was BOTH of those things). I loved it. I was in control. I was dictating the moves on the court.

I can’t do that with God. He knows my every move before I do. I’ll never be one step ahead. As much as I want to hold on to certain areas or actions in my life, ultimately I have no control over them. The Bible says that God knows me so well, even the hairs on my head are numbered! How can I think that the One who knows me that well doesn’t know my heart and motive?

The only thing I can control is my surrender to the Most High King.

Control is simply an illusion that I need to let go of.

May we all be willing to truly surrender to God and live in the freedom of having no control.

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