Awkward

via Daily Prompt: Awkward

awkward-causing or feeling embarrassment or inconvenience

Why is everyone so scared to be awkward? Issa Rae had a book and YouTube series about being an Awkward Black Girl. (the language is pretty bad, but its also pretty funny) I can identify with some of how she felt. I don’t think I am super socially awkward but I am human, so I am sure I have my moments. I think a lot, so I make sure I avoid it at all costs. Sometimes I avoid being awkward so much that I let things linger that probably shouldn’t. How long is to long to not talk to someone? How long is too long to not hang out with them? There is no beef but so much time has passed it feels awkward to make the call.

chuck swindoll

My friends say you don’t have to explain your absence, people just want to be reached out, thought about. Which in theory makes sense, but that initial conversation, what if its weird? What if the person is mad? What if the magic is gone?

I wrote a while back about spiritual growth being about reacting differently to the same situation and I want to, but then the whole issue of being awkward comes up and I start to think is it worth it? Embarrassment is a hard thing to get over and vulnerability is too. How do you tell someone its not you, its me? Would they even accept that? Can we go back to being what we were before? Do we want too? Can you trust me again? They say time heals all wounds but I just don’t know about that.

time heals

I try to look at it if one of my friends came back to me after a long hiatus like hey whats up we should hang out. Would I be upset? Probably not, but things don’t necessarily bother me like they bother other people. I am going to take the plunge real soon and see how it goes. I have held this off for too long. God doesn’t want me holding on to anything. I could be blowing this situation up in my mind and making it worse than what it is. I won’t know until I pick up the phone. I will let you know my progress.

 

 

 

 

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Steps to refuel when you are running on empty

Read this post to see what led me to running on empty.

  1. Pray-I know this seems like an obvious solution but I really took some time to pour out my heart to God concerning how I felt. It wasn’t a quick 15 minute devotional. I wanted him to know exactly how I felt and even though he already knew, writing it down and getting it out, I did feel better.
  2. Listened to different sermons-I listened to different sermons about what to do when your cup is empty or you feel like you are running on E. John Gray, TD Jakes, and Rick Warren to name a few.
  3. I did things that I like to do-I read books, hung out with my friends.
  4. I changed my thought process-I read a lot about how God loves me and has a plan for me. I know these things to be true, but when you feel like God is withholding something from you, you don’t always see that love. Reading those verses really renewed my spirit.
  5. I got myself off my mind-I have been volunteering in the food pantry and at the day care at church.

I feel much better. I am so thankful that I had time to really unplug from everyone and plug into God. I decided to run towards him. He is truly a God of comfort. I appreciate that. I hope that I won;t get back in this spot again. I am also debating about a therapist. I have even called a few but none seem to be working out. I don’t really want to see a therapist but I don’t know if I have tools to take myself to the next level. I’m working on it. Only time will truly tell.

Confession: I didn’t take my own advice

Backsliding can be more subtle than I thought. I originally wrote about backsliding a while back and talked about not getting down on yourself when you do it. The post also mentioned recognizing your triggers so you will be less tempted. It all makes sense. However what if you are moving so slowly back you don’t even notice at first? I foolishly equated backsliding to a one time act, things that are easy to recognize and fix. Unfortunately this is not always the case, other types of backsliding are more subtle.

This article talks about four different types of backsliding.

I knew that something was wrong but I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. That’s what made me research condemnation vs. conviction. I thought maybe the devil was messing with my head. I thought maybe I was not pleasing God in some way. So I asked him what did he want me to do. God told me all I needed to do was love him with all my heart, all my soul and all my mind. I had all this information but still something wasn’t right.

i-cant-quite-put-my-finger-on-what-is-missing-5c993

In the background of all this, work was crazy, I was not sleeping through the night and quality time with my husband was suffering.

I went back and read my journal entries to try and see what was wrong. Where did the subtle shift start happening? Way back in February. Pretty much when Lent started. This 40 day’s has definitely been rough.

I didn’t realize all these little separate events were pulling me away from God because I was still more or less doing my normal routine. My husband called it to my attention that backsliding was happening. My spirit knew something was happening but flesh just couldn’t get it together.

Why? I didn’t want to admit that I didn’t have it all together. I didn’t want to admit, I was encouraging others but couldn’t encourage myself. I thought I was over some hurts but I’m clearly not. Calling something by name makes it real and means you have to deal with it. Proverbs  30:15-16 says four things on Earth will always be unsatisfied and one of those is a barren woman.

Now I strongly believe that God will bless us with a baby of our own. I do. I don’t know when though. That is hard and all the things I chosen to distract myself with aren’t working. They work for a little while but when is always in the back of my mind.

I got tired off doing good because I didn’t see the reward. I didn’t want to admit it because I know I am not supposed to feel that way.

brink of victory

Unfortunately this is where I’m at. I don’t feel like I am on the brink of victory. I can’t stay in this space. What do I do? What do you do if this is where you are?

I wrote this a few weeks ago and thankfully I did come up with a few solutions. I will post that tomorrow. I didn’t want this post to get to long.

Explore

via Daily Prompt: Explore

Explore-travel in or through (an unfamiliar country or area) in order to learn about or familiarize oneself with it.

I was talking to a friend today. We haven’t talked in a while so of course we went through all the catching up stuff. I typically kind of freeze up at this point because I don’t have anything “new” to report. I give the typical answers of, I’m good, just living life. This time, I gave a different response. I said, I am making internal changes. Nothing that may be seen on outside but on the inside its huge.  I am exploring myself, searching out new possibilities and it feels good. I wouldn’t normally tell someone that because there is no tangible evidence for this kind of expedition. The results of my exploring only matter to me and that is ok. It is not about anyone else.

I am on spring break this week. It has been great. Nobody else I know is off this week  and the weather has been pretty icky  so it has been a great week for reflection and exploration. I have really been able to talk to God and listen to what he has to say. I was getting close to a burn out. March was a pretty rough month. God is always on time though. This break came at the perfect time. These three days were just what I needed to recharge my batteries. I will explore more this month about being intentional, what to do when you are feeling burned out and how to respond when it feels like the “wicked” are winning. National Infertility Awareness week is this month and I will talk about that a bit as well.

I am excited to move into a new month and new season. The first quarter of the year is over but there is always time to get things done that we want to accomplish. I am looking forward to what the next three months will bring.

Greater expectations

I was at leadership meeting at church and the guy leading the class asked us what God is working on in us. One person said self forgiveness. He said he felt like he was putting expectations on himself that God had not put on him. I have been thinking about that statement all week.

This week was rough. I just have a lot of things going on right now and I felt like I was doing a disservice to God but I couldn’t put my finger on why. It lead me to do a lot of research on condemnation vs conviction, which I will post about next week. I still didn’t feel like I had the answer though. I have been pretty diligent. Usually when I feel this way, I fall into a Netflix of Hulu binge but this time I didn’t. I’m still reading everyday, through the bible in a year plan on YouVerse bible app and having my quiet time. So I asked God, what do you want me to do? What do you expect of me? Just a few days ago.

He gave me the answer today. In Deuteronomy, God says all he wants you do is fear him and do what pleases him. That’s it. Sounds pretty simple. In a way yes, but in a way no. I have been doing a lot of research on what pleases God for quite sometime. There are a lot of things in the bible about what doesn’t please God but I feel like there is less emphasis on what does please him.

deutloveGod

I think that is because God doesn’t want us to work ourselves to death in trying to please him. Loving him with all your heart, soul and strength is not an easy task. This is why he gives us grace. Grace to mess up, grace to mistakes. He sees our hearts and our intentions.

what-is-grace

He just wants us to do the best we can. I lose sight of this because I have placed expectations on myself that God never did. I never noticed I did that before. I have been trying to grow so fast. I want to be as close to perfect as possible, which really isn’t humble. I want God to know I’m paying attention, that I’m not just being a reader of the word but a doer of the word. James 1:22-24.

Are you being too hard on yourself? Try not to be. Don’t run from God when you feel this way, run towards him. He will always give you answers and typically sooner than you think.

Confession: I don’t know

Not knowing things is not something I’m comfortable with. I like to have a clear plan outlined with action steps. Things don’t always happen that way in a growing season. You only can do some much planting and then you have to sit back and let it grow.

I’m in a growing season right now and growing hurts. The term growing pains is definitely real. It hurts to be stretched more than you thought you could handle. It hurts to let things go that you thought would always be there.

Growing requires more faith than planting. I believe that because you don’t know how the seeds you planted are going to develop. You can’t see on the the outside how the seed is doing or if any growth is happening. You have to trust the process.

I don’t feel like I have been in a real season of growth in my life in a long time. I have had seasons of change but nothing to this extreme. I feel like I’m going through a metamorphosis. I feel like God is working on me about a lot of things. Sometimes I feel like it’s too much. Why do I have to go through all of is?

I feel like everything in my life is in transition and I am questioning a lot of things that I thought I knew for certain. I thought I was on a solid career path but where I see myself headed is different that what I originally envisioned. I am afraid. Am I ready for where God is leading me? I don’t know. I do take comfort in knowing that he won’t leave me on this journey and will give me what I need to be successful.

God is working on me to take me someplace but I don’t know where that is. I have to just walk beside him one step at a time. I am not going to run out in front of him or move to fast. I have done that before and the results were not great. I know I sound sad or down but I’m not. I’m restless. I sense something coming but I don’t know what is. I’m going to continue to keep the junk out so I can hear Gods voice and know it’s him. I’m going to pray and I’m going to wait. I’m going to continue to do meet God half way and I know he will make up the rest. I will have to just continue to be patient and trust the process.

Getting myself off my mind

 

I told my friend I was trying not to pray for myself and she looked at me like I was crazy. I am definitely trying to do that though. I have my quiet time in the morning before I go to work. I read the bible for about 10-15 and then I journal before I get in the shower. Recently in that quiet time I have been trying to limit how much I pray for myself and focus more on praying for others. Some days the prayers are focused like I may pray for my husband all day or one of my friends or my mom or little brother and nephew. I say the same short prayer for myself every morning before I get in the shower. Lord help me have less of me and more of you. John 3:30

That’s it. God already knows what I need and what I desire. If I receive less of me and more of him, then I can handle any situation that comes at me. It will help me keep my flesh at bay and respond to things in a way that He would think is appropriate.

This article on Crosswalk speaks to exactly how I am feeling.