No, O people, the Lord has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God. Micah 6:8 NLT
The word I’m focusing on this week ishumility. I’ve talked about humility here before and it’s not something I’m great at. I’m not great at being humble because I don’t do a lot of things I’m not naturally good so it feels like its all me, but it isn’t. God gave me these skills and gifts so if I’m good its because of him not me. When I read this verse what stuck out to me was walk with the Lord.
The non humble person wants to get out ahead of God because they think they have the best plan. Do you come up with a plan and then ask God to bless it after? Doesn’t seem like a big deal but that’s not humility. We talked about being a perfectionist last week. That’s not being humble either. If I’m walking alongside the Lord, I don’t think I have all the answers or everything depends on my abilities. He wants us along side him for a reason so that he can step in when we need him to, so we can make sure we don’t get ahead of him, so that we can actively engage him in our plans.
Humility can be hard. Its having to admit that I don’t have it all together, that I mess up. Humility is being vulnerable. Nobody likes being vulnerable. I don’t anyway. But the benefits to being humble far outweigh the discomfort of being vulnerable.
Prayer: Lord we ask you to help us be more humble as we move into the new year. Help us as we are making our goals for 2021 remind us to talk to you first. Where do you see us going? What gifts and talents do you want us to use? What lessons do you want us to learn? How do we need to humble ourselves before you? Remove any obstacle that may be standing in the way of our being humble and submitting to you. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.
I make this statement tongue in cheek but follow my logic here.
I say this because on one hand productivity is great. We were made to get stuff done, not lay around all time surfing Netflix and Instagram. On the other hand the constant need to be producing and getting stuff done can be a hinderance. Its a hinderance to rest, to enjoying the Sabbath, to enjoying your family and friends.
Last week was the first week in 6 months that I didn’t post at least one blog post. The work week I had was insane! Insane. I had a massive project that I needed to finish and I only had a week to get it done. So every night I was working late making sure everything was going to be complete by the deadline. It was! I finished with a little bit of time to spare. Unfortunately that spare time didn’t go to the blog. I need to celebrate the small win.Win: I set a goal back in June to post everyday and I was able to exceed that goal. That’s a good thing. I’m going to silence my inner critic. I’m going to give myself some grace for not meeting my goal this week and move on.
I talked about rest a few weeks ago. Toxic productivity knows nothing about rest. How often do you push yourself to get something done?How often do you feel that this thing just can’t wait?Do you enjoy your days off or are you rushing to complete to-do list items? A day off should be a day off. Even the Lord rested one day of the week and He certainly didn’t have to do.
Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array. By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done. Genesis 2:1-3
Being a creative and this concept of always producing, always putting out content, it makes the work more difficult. I want to make sure what I give to you is the best of me every time. Not perfect, but my best. That sometimes gets lost in translation, in trying to hit goals, deadlines, get more followers, sell more product or this urge to get stuff done.
As we close to the end of the year think about this: Did you spend more time producing or enjoying? Is there a way to do both? Do you believe you get enough rest? If not, this is the time to make those adjustments so you can go in the new year with a new habit in place.
These are all good concepts to think about, to put into practice week by week. God wants all of us, any way he can get us and putting pressure on ourselves is only hurting us. God is not condemning you, he wants you to be free and seek to have relationship with him.
Such a true statement. People always talk about not comparing yourself to other people. Easier said than done but you can work on that. It’s obvious why you shouldn’t compare yourself to other people so I feel like its easier for me to not do that. How often do you find yourself comparing yourself to the person you used to be? How often are you comparing yourself to the person you thought you would be?
These two questions are the one I have the most trouble with. I have drastically cut back on comparing myself to other people by cutting down on my social media usage. However, its really hard to stop comparing this self to my former self.
I look at old pictures in my phone, like man I wish my skin still looked like it used to, even though back then, I thought my skin looked bad. I’m sure we can identify with this meme. I have certainly been there. Or how I used to party and have such a great time out and now every time I go out its wack. You can compare how one friend treats you compared to another friend or you can compare how your boyfriend treats you vs how he treated his ex. Its all comparison.
I like this quote by Iyanla Vanzant. I never thought about it like this before but its very true. Quickest way to put yourself down is start comparing. When I try to compare myself to where I am supposed to be vs where I am, its a recipe for disaster. Its so unnecessary too. If I wasn’t supposed to be in the space I am in, I wouldn’t be here. Nothing is by coincidence. God laid out every day of my life before I was born. Remembering that brings me great comfort because I know, nothing is happening to me that he is not aware of or has not ordained.
The devil comes to steal, kill, and destroy. He doesn’t want to us to be happy. I feel like sometimes I am doing ok and I feel bad out of nowhere, its because the devil wants to knock me off my block. I’m not going to let him though. I am not accountable to anyone but me and I am perfectly fine where I am. My story is mine alone. It doesn’t matter where I was or where I am going as long as I am content right now. The past has already happened and the future will get here in its own time.
My friend dropped this in the group chat the other day and it was great reminder. Even though we are at the end of the year doesn’t mean God can’t show out. Its funny in our human mind it feels like there isn’t enough time left to start something new or break a bad habit or let something go. Not true.
With that in mind, I decided to pull out the vision board I made at the beginning of the year.
Did you make a vision board this year? Do you still look it at? If not pull it out. Now is a good time to evaluate and see the progress you are making on your vision. I completely understand that this year probably looks nothing like you had originally planned it to be. That’s ok. This is a great time to make adjustments if you need to.
One thing I plan on doing with my vision board before the year is over, is finding scriptures to match the pictures and phrases I cut out. I believe it helps to have a biblical backing that way you know what you want is confirmed in the word.
I also need to tweak some things I put on there. I was in a different headspace back in January/February then now. This is ok. We are not people who are meant to be static, change is fluid. We aren’t locked in to anything.
I have something easier for you if you don’t feel like making a vision board. I wrote out a prayer and then I found a scripture to match my prayer. Having that scripture to go along with my prayer helps me when I feel like what I am praying for isn’t happening or its moving slow. Having the scripture as the foundation lets me know that what I am asking for is in God’s will because it is in his word. For the word of God will not fail. Luke 1:37
We ask God to give you complete knowledge of his will and to give you spiritual wisdom and understanding. Then the way you live will always honor and please the Lord, and your lives will produce every kind of good fruit. All the while, you will grow as you learn to know God better and better. We also pray that you will be strengthened with all his glorious power so you will have all the endurance and patience you need. May you be filled with joy, always thanking the Father. He has enabled you to share in the inheritance that belongs to his people, who live in the light. Colossians 1:9-12 NLT https://bible.com/bible/116/col.1.12.NLT
God please give me wisdom to be a good wife, mom and leader. Help me instead of taking on my friends problems pray for them more. Help me count my blessings and be thankful for everything I have. Help me not compare my life to anyone else’s.In Jesus name I pray, Amen.
I use a lot of DJ Khaled gifs in my writing. I don’t know why it just seems appropriate lol
I don’t want people to be mistaken and think that I’m bragging on myself. I’m not. I wouldn’t have anything, I wouldn’t feel this good if it wasn’t for God.
If you have read this blog long enough then you know it wasn’t always like this. I had many years when I suffered for the most part in silence. I’m not saying my life is all sunshine and rainbows because it’s not. The difference is my perspective changed. My perspective changed because I decided to try God’s way instead of my way or the world’s way. My way wasn’t doing anything for me. I felt even worse because now I added guilt om top of all the other things I felt.
People ask what’s the secret. How can they feel like this too? I go to church, I read and study my Bible on my own, I go to Bible study in a group, I cut back on my secular tv shows and music. I do all those things because I need God all the time in all the ways I could get him.
That’s not sexy or interesting though. Its not fun or fast. It can be tedious at times.
I didn’t always do that. I thought once I had my baby I would be cool, my suffering is over, God answered my prayers. That happy feeling didn’t last long.
Once I went back to work my happy bubble burst and I had to figure out how to get it back. That’s why I worry so much about maintaining the momentum. I’ve been on the other side of this feeling and I don’t want to go back.
I continue to work on finding a balance on being in the world and my relationship with God. Spending more time with him definitely helps with that. Age has helped with that, the pandemic has helped with that too. I am not telling you it will be easy, or fast, but it will be worth it.
Rainbows are a sign of Gods promises. He put up the first one after he flooded the Earth and saved Noah and his family.
My birthday was Sunday and it also reminds me of Gods promises. I got pregnant around my birthday two years. On this day as I’m writing this (9/10) I was told I wouldn’t be able to get pregnant on my own. So every year since then it all comes back and reminds me that God is a promise keeper. He does what he says he will do. He doesn’t lie or change his mind. I know that in theory but its nice to have a reminder.
My birthday has always been a big deal to me even from when I was a little kid. Its at the tail end of summer so it could be blazing hot, last year it was 90 degrees! Or it could be cool and chilly. It has always signified new beginnings for me, even more so than the beginning of the year.
I remember my 33 birthday that was supposed to be my Jesus year and that didn’t happen. Last year was just survival mode in learning how to be a new mom. 35 though…will this be my year?
I dont want to say so and it isn’t but this year feels different. I think the biggest change is consistency. I have been exercising 5 days a week consistently since August 3.
I have been going to noon day bible study on Wednesday at church since May.
I’ve been doing the work to make lifestyle changes that I can sustain. Sustainability is key. I used to start off super hard but I couldn’t maintain that momentum.
I used to worry about what I could do to keep the momentum going. I was so worried about the something disturbing the joy I was feeling that I wasn’t enjoying it.
Not anymore. I am making sure to take each day one at a time and that has helped tremendously. I am learning how to stop my negative thoughts in its tracks. I am exploring new things and becoming open to new ideas and thought processes. I am learning how to be 100% me, 100% of the time.
I set that goal in December but I didn’t start working on it really until we were forced to stay in the house. The last six months have been a lot of work but I have definitely reaped the benefits.
Hey girl! How you doing? Life is treating you pretty good right now huh? You finally have the kid(s) you prayed so hard for. You have a new job and Jesse has one too. Did you see how God worked all that out for your good? How all the rushing and plotting and planning you were doing didn’t speed anything up? How even after you got what you wanted you still weren’t 100% ready? Do you see how everything God had you go through was preparing you for these moments you are experiencing now. There is no room for selfishness as a mother. Shouldn’t have been any as a wife but you let that slip by you. You have people who depend on your every mood now. You thought you had to be perfect at everything but do you see how that is holding you back? Nobody is keeping score but you. Does it matter what anyone thinks outside your house? No it doesn’t. I’m telling you these things now because you think you’re over some things but you aren’t. You are pushing forward like you don’t need help but you do. Ask. Fumbling along is not doing anyone any good. Enjoy each moment you are in now. Life will give you ups and downs.
Today is July 9, 2020. All these things did happen, even the not being 100% ready for the blessing. As I reread this letter to myself, I think the biggest thing I notice is that I am being a little hard on myself. I definitely remember this time in my life vividly. I was still trying to get pregnant and having no luck, but I could sense that God was making a move in my life, I just didn’t know what and I wanted to be prepared. I was starting to relax and have more genuine fun. I wasn’t so worried about when I was going to get pregnant or what the future held. I wanted to enjoy life and God in the present and worry about the future later.
I wrote this letter when I got back from visiting one of my best friends in Chicago.
3 months and 1 day later from my writing this I would find out I was pregnant. I never would have thought. I write all this to say, prepare for the blessing you are praying for, but allow yourself grace as well. God sees the work you are doing and He is pleased. Remember also what is for you, is for you. Nobody can mess that up, not even you. God doesn’t want you to be perfect, He wants effort.
In less that a year, one of my friends has gotten married, bought a house, got a new job and had a baby. She is definitely having the best year.She is living her best life. All the things that many women are trying to accomplish she had it happen in no time, so it appears. It looks like she has everything. How many people do you know that have everything? I used to believe that you couldn’t have everything. Life just cannot be that good. Even Paul one of the greatest biblical figures of all time, had a thorn in his side that he prayed that God would take away, and God didn’t.
I wrote before about being happy but not really being able to enjoy it because I was waiting for the other shoe to drop. I feel like that is a pattern in my life that I can be really happy but I don’t have everything. I am still wanting for something. I am not wanting like that never satisfied wanting but really truly waiting on God to answer prayer. Although I have never seen God show up like that in my life yet, I now believe you can have 90% of what you want.
I am not talking about prosperity gospel or any name it and claim stuff. I am just saying that I believe God wants us to be happy on this side of heaven.The bible has lots of scriptures about having an abundant life. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. John 10:10
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us. Ephesians 3:20
I say 90% because I think about Serena Williams who people would consider to have it all, nice husband, daughter, tennis champion but she cried because she missed her daughters first steps because she was out practicing. That Oprah quote really resonates with me. I want as much as God has to offer for me and I want to be in a position to give back to others. That is why we are blessed, not for ourselves but to be a blessing to others. So when we have it “all” we can be in a position to help someone else get their “all”.