It's Friday!! Don't make it too complicated. I'm reading The Way of Life by Bill Johnson. Here's today's lesson: I need to make sure my pursuit of His purpose for my life is never stronger than my SURRENDER. ✴💙✴💙
I don't know about you, but my drive has pushed me much harder than my willingness to surrender has led me.
Oh, how we humans can complicate the simple truths of Christ's teaching and His example.
My goal is to be focused but never driven. 💙
This makes sense now why every time I sit down to *plan* God blocks me.
Planning is good but it's not how He wants me focused right now. He knows me too well...I'll grip those plans in my tight little fists and forget to hold loosely to what my human understanding has penned.
I'm forcing myself these days to go easy on the To Do lists. I know how crazy and backwards that all sounds but isn't that just like our God?
He's determined that I'm not going to revert back to the driven girl who was more in love with her productivity than she was with life.
Lest I be tempted to take the wheel and then take the credit for where I arrive, He's teaching me a new way to work.
It feels odd and I'm worried I'm quite possibly misunderstanding Him, but He faithfully reaffirms each day. 💙 Obedience is better than sacrifices. 💙 Trusting Him with my time is holier than the sacrifice of To Do lists. 💙 What does surrender look like in your life?
Surrender. This was my 2018 word.
I used to pride myself on being a "hard worker"... what I'm learning is that it's not about the effort, it's about who I co-labor with and why.
I had reached the end of myself when I heard these words: "We're eliminating your position. Today's your last day."
A physical wave of relief rushed over me that was so powerful I knew that day would forever mark a turning point in my life.
It was the proverbial crossroads, the fresh start, a new beginning.
A severance package and unemployment meant I could take some time to step back and reevaluate my direction, take the steps I'd been putting off to regain my health, meditate on what I should do with the rest of my life.
I had some transition time, breathing room, and permission to rest.
It took quite a bit of time for God's Spirit to reprogram me!! I'm just now seeing some paths I should walk on but He's not letting me see clearly the destinations...that's for my protection.
If I knew the exact destination, I'd program my Enneagram #1 GPS and I'd put my foot to the pedal and grind my way there.
That's no longer how I'm supposed to live. He's calling me to a walk of daily surrender, wooing me to a trust walk, a place of practicing presence.
He's training me to work differently. To work in the Spirit alongside Him so my efforts are greased and the time is redeemed. It's hard to put all this into words except to say there is such peace in surrender even though my mind still bristles at that word. I'm not gonna lie...surrender doesn't come naturally to me...didn't Rich Mullins say that? "Surrender don't come natural to me
I'd rather fight you for something
I don't really want
Than to take what you give that I need
And I've beat my head against so many walls
Now I'm falling down, I'm falling on my knees." Indeed...I've beaten my head against so many walls...walls of legalism, walks of perfectionism, walls of work ethic, walls of try harder...
What does surrender look like for you?
Did you struggle with surrender?
Do you feel like you are drowning in good intentions but not accomplishing any of them? What you should do when your good intentions become stressful shoulds.
My mother used to say that the road to hell was paved with good intentions.
Basically, we shouldn’t just intend to do things we should actually do them. But with limited time and resources, sometimes the things we intend to do end up shoved away in a craft closet or piled up on a cluttered desk…that quilt we intended to make, the letter we intended to write, the books we intended to read, the exercise equipment we intended to use.
And for a while we leave them as a reminder of that great project or noble endeavor we are definitely going to accomplish, but over time the pile of material or the stuffed bookshelf begins to serve as a source of guilt and condemnation, those items calling out to us as we enter the room, “Remember that quilt you promised your granddaughter you would make?” “You spent a lot of money on those books, you think you could pull yourself away from Netflix and read one?” “I told you that you would never use that treadmill – you just can’t commit to anything.” And yet we hang on to it all, the items, the good intention, and the guilt.
Need tips on what to do when your good intentions are giving you a guilt trip? The rest is on my blog. You can link to it from my bio.
I've been working a blog post and reflecting more on this journey of simplifying.
I've written in previous posts about getting rid of things that are attached to a negative emotion or experience or to a person who hurt you.
You may, at first, dismiss that things can tie us to such negativity but as I've been reflecting I remembered how I had to sit with memories, or take time to process as I sorted through closets and even filing cabinets.
Here's one example: in 2005 we bought a house I never wanted to live in. I cried the day we moved in. 😢
Through a series of events that house became an albatross around my neck and we ended up losing a great deal of money on it. 😨
The memories were terribly painful and the entire experience created much shame for my uber conscientious and responsible self!
Preparing to move to Texas I cleaned out every nook and cranny including my files.
When I pulled out that folder labeled Waverly Hill Closing Papers I experienced all those emotions again...guilt, shame, anger, disappointment.
I took a black marker and wrote: "worst decision we ever made" across the folder then I shredded those papers!!!!
That act helped me to let go of what to me was a humiliating mistake and MOVE ON!
A big element of #simplifying your life is processing grief and negative memories as you sort through your possessions.
Don't short circuit this process - let it be a time for growth. 🌱