Motivation

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Well I have to admit it has been pretty hard for me to get things done around the house, even without the hassle of an 8-5 job. Yesterday afternoon I applied for three jobs and revamped my resume. I thought these were good accomplishments for a day well done. Nick, my husband, was playing basketball with a group of guys until late. I took this opportunity to watch two movies.
When Nick arrived home he wasn’t too happy that his wifey had done nothing for the good of the “team”, no grocery shopping (we have no food), no cleaning the kitchen (you can’t see the cabinets, because of all the dishes), no putting away the laundry (that he washed). I apologized and he accepted admitting that he was mostly just hungry. I had let him down. I had plenty of opportunities during the day to do even one of those tasks, but I didn’t do not one. I don’t know how other wives can keep a home, it’s so tiresome. Nick’s disappointment kind of bothered me, but after all women don”t become housewives over night. However determined to do better this morning I tried to will myself to get started. Nothing. I read some cute sayings on Pinterest on motivation. No movement. I finally read a few short verses in my Bible and said a short prayer for motivation. I made myself get up and started to put away the dishes. It was hard to do it right then, because I had no plans for the day. I knew I could do the chore anytime.”Well it won’t be hard to get up tomorrow,” I thought still working. “I have to meet with people tomorrow.”

Then God does what He is good at and revealed deep sin in my heart. “Brooke, you don’t get out of bed to serve me, you get out of bed to serve other people. That’s what you live for, others.” Ouch. This probably doesn’t seem like such a bad thing to some of you, but if I’m getting out of bed for people (the creation) and not God (the creator) we have a problem. It’s called idol worship and its clearly spelled out in Romans 1:25 “because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.” If people are what I get up for in the morning, no wonder I have been so down. A lot of people depended on me at my former job.  Two Fridays ago when my boss let me know I was no longer needed, it crushed me. Of course these people NEEDED me.God took away this destructiveness in my life. People don’t need me, they need the savior. Having people as my point to living is a very small god to serve because no people=no motivation. I have lived for too long completely dependent on something other than God to save me from laziness. That’s why the “what’s next” question has been so hard to answer. I needed not only a job, but a group of people who were completely dependent on me to get out of bed.

Yes, I know what you are thinking shouldn’t you be trying to earn your husband’s approval? I don’t. I never have. That’s why it is amazing to me he wanted to marry me in the first place.It’s possible that God in His mercy has saved me from making Nick an idol so he can see for how I really am and point me back to Christ.

If we truly worship the God of the Bible He should be our motivation in everything we do. The Proverbs 31 woman is a good example of this. How does she do it ALL with joy? Don’t see these verses as a checklist as I did. These verses are an illustration of how our lives as God-fearing women can look. How fulfilling a life centered around God can be. She serves as unto the Lord. (Ephesians 6:7). In our strength we accomplish nothing. In His strength we can accomplish all He puts in front of us.

love -b

Depressed?

Upon recommendation I read through the book “Christians Get Depressed Too” by David Murray. I never thought I was capable of being depressed. This was something that happened to the other 4 out of 5 people in the test group, because I was too smart for depression right? Wrong. This past year I haven’t really felt like myself. Nothing motives me. The thought of starting anything new makes me tired. I often have wanted to stay in bed and ignore the world. Somedays I have done just that.Normal right?
This past year I’ll admit that I have carried a weight I shouldn’t have taken on. If Jesus was on Earth today it would have been the equialvent of me looking Him in the eye holding up my hand saying “This burden is mine don’t touch it. I can carry this on my own.” To God I’ve probably looked as silly as a three year old girl struggling under the weight of an elephant. I’m at a point where I know I can’t carry my idols any further. I’m tired. My husband is tired. It’s too hard. It’s uneccessary. Murray really nailed it on the head of what my problem is when he wrote this:
” If you feel like you have failed in the eyes of other people, and your success and the opinions of other is of critical importance, you can slip into depression. Can you see the spiritual roots? Your sucess and the opinions of others have become your gods, they are more important to you than serving Christ.” Ouch.
Dont’ get me wrong sometimes depression in Christians is caused by a chemical imbalance and needs to be met with medication to help the Christian battle out of the darkness. This is not one of those cases. My depression is my own doing. I’ve chosen to cling to other gods trying to reedeem and prove myself to them with my success and what happens? I get fired from my job. The epitome of failure. There is no better time than the present for me to repent and give over everything to Jesus. What does that look like? It means me saying in a very unamerican way “I don’t got this.” “I can’t fix this.” “I am not enough.” “Jesus help me.” Still there is hope. In the book this passage really stuck out to me:
” Do you remember Naaman, who wanted to be cured of his leprosy? (See 2 Kings 5.) If he had been asked to do something glorious he would have been happy. Because he was asked to bathe in the murky old Jordan he wasn’t so keen – yet this was God’s plan for him, an it cured him. God has better plans for us than we have for ourselves…However strange it may seem to you, God wants you to go through this depression-so look at it positively, not negatively. What does He want you to learn from it? What can you gain from going through it?”

This passage was a comforting reminder to me that everything the Lord does is for a purpose, even something like depression. How beautiful it is that our lives and the trival things that happen to us or not for nothing?

Saw this on pinterest today, it brought me some encouragement. I never knew this was a Lewis quote, but it doesn't surprise me.

Saw this on pinterest today, it brought me some encouragement. I never knew this was a Lewis quote, but it doesn’t surprise me.

Let Go

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O hello. Remember me? The girl who disappeared off the face of the Earth? Well I’m still here and should have a whole lot more time for writing lately since I was let go from my job. Yep that’s right I was canned, but there is something so freeing about it. The job was giving me all the wrong kinds of stress and taking my eyes off of Christ and focusing them onto smaller kingdoms. I let go of my work the day I was fired asking God to take my burdens, asking Him to be my strength. He answered by taking me off of the path that was stealing my joy and putting me on my knees in front of Him. How glorious.

I’ve spent the last few days resting, praying, chatting with friends it has been a little piece of heaven. As my husband keeps sweetly reminding me I am not my job. I am not defined by what I do. Praise be to God that He has made us much more complex than that.

The peace filling my heart right now is not my own as my husband and I have lost half our income and I don’t have any real leads for a new job. My joy doesn’t make sense, but I know its coming from what I haven’t lost in this whole messy ordeal, my faith.  Our faithful God will take care of us all we need is to be still. What are you holding onto in your life that you need to let go of and give to God?

This verse was very encouraging to me this morning: “Not one word of the good promises that the Lord had made to the house of Israel had failed; all came to pass.” Joshua 21:42. 

I can’t help, but smile at all the good things the Lord has promised to those who believe.

 

image by paperblog.com

Today the strangest thing happened…

I am homeless.  Not really like living on the street or anything, but in one showing the house that I am now leasing has been sold. So, now my challenge as well as for my three patient roommates is to scramble to find a place to live and move in that place in nineteen days or less. Oh boy.

In this moment I could have turned and pointed a finger at God and said that He has failed yet again to take care of my every whim, but, instead I choose to trust Him with this one. I’ve been mad a God a lot lately. It’s easy to make Him the scapegoat for my problems instead of the one who leads me through this difficult life. However with this interesting news that as made a quick change of events the peace of Christ which surpasses understanding is telling me everything is going to be okay. That is a peace that can only come from God himself. So, how can things be anything, but good?  Please pray for our search for a new home. Night friends. -b

I gotta feeling…

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*I want it to be noted that I wrote this post before I got engaged. Oh yeah I’m engaged!*

Recently I’ve started reading A Year with C.S. Lewis the book has daily quotes from his classic literature. I love C.S. Lewis. Don’t you? His work is so great at capturing small parts of the wonder that is our God. I may or may not flipped ahead in the book to find these words on marriage 🙂 This quote is from his book The Screwtape Letters which chronicles a hypothetical correspondence between two demons trying to deter a man from knowing Christ. The two evil ones correspond about Christ as the enemy and the lies they tell humans. Granted this book is fiction, but the characters ideas of what we seek in marriage ring true. Here is the letter:

“In other words, the humans are to be encouraged to regard as the basis for marriage a highly-coloured and distorted version of something the Enemy really promises as its result. Two advantages follow. In the first place, humans who have not the gift of continence can be deterred from seeking marriage as a solution because they do not find themselves ‘in love’, and, thanks to us, the idea of marrying with any other motive seems to them low and cynical. Yes, they think that. They regard the intention of loyalty to a partnership for mutual help, for the preservation of chastity, and for the transmission of life, as something lower than a storm of emotion. (Don’t neglect to make your man think the marriage service very offensive.) In the second place any sexual infatuation whatever, so long as it intends marriage, will be regarded as ‘love’, and ‘love’ will be held to excuse a man from all the guilt, and to protect him from all the consequences, of marrying a heathen, a fool, or a wanton.”

How interesting. Could it be true? Have we all bought the lie that we should decide how to spend our lives by “the storm of emotion” called love and nothing else? Jeremiah 17 says: “The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately sick, who can understand it?” Although we can’t understand our own hearts this Tuesday we will celebrate them. We will spend the whole day worshiping an emotion. We don’t celebrate happiness, silliness, sadness or anger. We have chosen love to lift above all others feelings. Anything else we feel we acknowledge as something that will pass with time, but love for some reason we believe will never change. Our divorce rate alone shows this idea doesn’t work, but still we believe it. Why?

Now I’m not trying to rain on your heart parade, but I am asking you to think of what that lowly character wrote in his letter:  “Yes, they think that. They regard the intention of loyalty to a partnership for mutual help, for the preservation of chastity, and for the transmission of life, as something lower than a storm of emotion”  Loyalty is more than when I feel like it, partners are more than lovers, chasity more trusting than friends with benefits and children such a blessingSometimes I think we sell ourselves short. I think of all the wasted days I spent looking for love instead of living the life God has given me. In relationships we shoot for butterflies and miss everything else that marriage is suppose to bring responsibility, maturity, selflessness, humility and holiness. Makes you wonder if we even need love to love. Have a great weekend friends. -b

Today

Today I want to do something for pure enjoyment.

– Not to get ahead

– Not for attention

-Not to make me great

– Not to make money at it

-Not to please someone else

I want to do something I enjoy because those are the quiet moments where life is truly sweet.

Ecclesiastes 2:24 There is nothing better for a person than that he should eat and drink and find enjoyment in his toil. This also, I saw, is from the hand of God

What are you going to enjoy today?

Deserving Nothing

Sometimes this world covinces me to believe I deserve this, this and this. Not that houses or corner offices are bad in themselves, but when my heart tries to find its identity in what I have achieved I become wholly dissatisfied with my life right now which breeds unhappiness! I have to constantly repent of these things becoming the goals of my life and not Christ.

In my repentance the Lord grants me humility through verses like 1 John 2:15. He reminds me as a sinner I truly deserve this, this and this.

However do to Jesus’s death and resurrection it says I’m getting this.

That love is nothing I can imagine. It’s not anything I can achieve. That is something that can only be given.

It is always good to remember how wonderful it is that we are not getting what we deserve. Thank you Lord. -b

Aside

Together

photo via simple gifts farm

“Mission is when we use our lives to make a difference in the life of someone who’s not here. Community is when we use our life to make a difference in the life of someone who is here.” – Pastor Bill Clem

These words are so true. Sometimes I live in the future of all the people I will help someday and forget to be present  with the believers God has surrounded me with now. I forget that I need help now.

 This week was my wake-up call. For the first time in a long time the past threatened to crush me with its pain, but God in His grace intervened in roomie confessions and chat over cinnamon tea with a friend to remind me that I don’t have to hide. The result was transparency on my part came to healing, because I shared my doubts and fears with them they were able to apply the gospel directly to my situation. Which aided in me in taking down idols trying to rule my life. I don’t even want to think of where I would be spiritually at this moment if I hadn’t turned to outside help for my sin.

I’ve felt much more at peace since these conversations. This morning in a before sunrise jog  with a brave buddy my heart gushed with thankfulness for honest God-driven community. In the best kind of workout we talked more than we jogged. On the road back to the warm house my partner and I shared recent struggles in our imperfect lives. Although we are not perfect I can’t help, but take joy in the fact that our struggles our proof that we are being made to be perfect and we don’t have to get there alone.

Due to a lot of holiday travel I missed worship at my home church four weeks in a row. I can’t wait to be back this Sunday to worship with the community that has become my family and be changed to be more like Christ together.

See you Monday friends. -b

question

Hello friends! I’ve missed this blog. As with most infrequent bloggers I have found new energy for my little space in the big Internet world with the new year. With this second wind I’ve decided to expand my blog to include more of my life as I’m living it. Because that’s what living in truth is all about – living! So in 2012 look for pictures, stories, misadventures and God’s sweet lessons.

That being said there is no time like the present to get going! Last week I read this great article by Jen Schmidt. This brave woman wrote about the controversial topic of submission. Primarily the article was about encouraging women to submit to their husbands. But as I am figuring out submission isn’t just for marriage it is for the here and now.

Let me be perfectly honest this was big news for me because I’m realizing more and more how much I loathe authority. I don’t like it when people tell me what to do or when they call me out on my sin. I want to be my own authority and ultimately I want to rule my life and put each piece of it in its place to make a perfect picture. In my sin I only submit to authority when it benefits me. I’m comfortable here. Pushing submission to the back of mind.This is where the issue of submission has nicely stayed until Jen asked me the true million dollar question: “Am I truly going to submit my life to Christ?”

For me that question included submitting my:
– career
– future marriage to acknowledge my husband as the leader
– words to only be up building
– family planning on if I will have kids and how many I will have
– time and how it is spent
– money and offerings
– image on how others perceive me

These are big topics. Some of them that I don’t want to give up control of even to my God. But, through prayer and the word I am working through it. Every day I am amazed about how much lighter I feel about giving a little more of myself, my hopes, my dreams over to Christ. It’s a scary process. With each one I’m saying “Are you sure you can handle this?” (Yes. I am that arrogant to ask God daily, my own creator, if He can handle something as small as my daily worries.)What I’m learning is submission isn’t just an obedience issue. It’s a faith issue. Literally I’m putting faith in God to have the final say in every decision in my life. Meaning it isn’t my life anymore it is His. Instead of saying “can you handle it?” I’m saying “I completely trust you to do what is best even if I don’t understand why.” Submission gently carries away your selfishness and anxiety to the foundation of knowing you have put God in ultimate control of everything. Scary? Yes. Amazing? Double yes.

So here’s the question: Are you going to submit?

-b