How have you been surviving this crazy season? I have a confession to make … Some days my stress levels are going through the roof. So, if you’ve been in that place, you’re not alone! One of the ways I’ve been working through my stress, that I’ve found particularly helpful, is by going for walks. While walking I’d spend time just talking to God, thanking him for the beautiful day, the gorgeous fall colors, and the soft crisp breeze. It felt like I was going for a walk with a friend and enjoying some quality time together.
I often feel like my relationship with God ends up getting treated the same way my hunger does. After being distracted with other things, I start to feel a little bit of a gurgle that perhaps I am not in tune with God, and so at my leisure, I pick up my Bible and read a verse and/or turn on one worship song. Then I feel all set until the next time I start to feel a little bit out of touch with God and so I’ll go and repeat the cycle, taking just enough time to feel full and move on with my day to day life. Being 100% transparent, this is a very common temptation for me. It’s a cycle I’m way more familiar with then I would prefer to admit.
When we have a conversation about a controversial topic we need to check our own motives and realize that sometimes, holding our tongue is the best strategy of all. Unfortunately, in our explosive culture we are taught to think that the person who is quiet and doesn’t speak up, is a weakling. But meekness isn’t weakness. It’s wisdom.
Fear of being speechless. Fear of not relating. Fear of not feeling deeply. Fear of not being compassionate enough. Each of these core fears were at the root of an anxiety of mine - not being able to interact rightly with those who were grieving or suffering. How could I grieve with them if I didn’t personally have anything to lament? How could I live into the beatitude “Blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted”? I wrestled with questions like this for years even as some of my own friends experienced loss, injustice, and seeming hopelessness. I just couldn’t seem to relate, no matter how desperately I wanted to.
In movies and media, men are often the ones who get stereotyped as not wanting to ask for help. They won't stop for directions. They won't admit they are wrong. But I think this male stereotype wears thin because, the truth is, pride is a woman's problem too. In fact, in today's third wave feminist world, I think women have a complex with proving themselves to others. Have you ever noticed how women have a tendency to tell each other stories of female empowerment to boost our self esteem? "Who run the world? Girls!" We shout. We always comment on how amazing and beautiful we are and share pictures and stories that make us look put together, on top of our game, and in control.
Anyone else guilty of going all Joanna Gaines when you have the opportunity to decorate??? Swap shiplap for seventies textiles and white interiors for the color yellow, and I am all there!
Hearing of quite a few break-ups recently and having quite a few young women reach out to our ministry for advice, I thought it was time to share a few of the tips I’ve learned in hopes that they might help some lovely ladies that are going through break-ups right now:
The Scriptures are filled with commands for us to listen, both to God and to others. And yet we often refuse to obey this command, choosing to be consumed only in our own narrative.
As we arrive at this new season with the stability of a paycheck, a house payment and a family of three, it seems we are no longer “in the waiting”. In the world’s eyes, we’ve finally arrived. This is “the moment we’ve been waiting for”, or so we are told.
Maybe helping raise my sister and I kept her young. Or maybe I was just afraid of losing her. But I always told her she wasn't allowed to call herself old until she turned 80. That was the rule. Now that she's reached that milestone, I realize that the number 80 doesn't just represent her "old" age. It represents her legacy. She has spent the last 80 years living lessons, and I've spent my lifetime learning them.