take the first step.

It has been such a long time since I wrote in a way that made me feel like I was in sync with my spirit. Today is no different, I feel a bit off balance. Maybe it is because the baby woke up extra early, and despite my best efforts, I could not resist the temptation to have a bowl (or two) of the sugary cereal I told myself not to eat. So today I am tired and judging myself. Maybe I feel off balance because there are dirty bottles in the sink, my hair is a mess, and there is laundry to be done. Always laundry. My mind races with a rotating list of mundane tasks that I should be doing, should be completing, should already be done. And with all of this energy spent towards being an adult, there is little space to spend on the things that truly light up my soul. I question whether I have filled my bucket with obligations and responsibilities, so that I would feel less guilt about neglecting the simple things that bring me great joy and bursts of pleasure. 

It all happens so quickly, that you can begin to forget what the unique light in you even looked like. So despite all the trivial things that are not perfect right now, I know that God is. He is perfect. He is my light house. He is my firm ground. He is a clean sink, a sleeping baby, and folded laundry, all rolled up into one. He nudges me to keep going. To fan the flames of my little light so that it may be a small beam to someone else on their journey. I just have to take the first step.

Jeremiah 29:11 (NRSV) For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope.

 

day one (again)

A lot has changed since I started this blog. I am married. I have a baby. I likely gained a few pounds, and then lost a few pounds, and then gained a few pounds back. I have more gray hair. And in a lot of ways nothing has changed. I am still searching. I am still seeking. I am still looking for the right path and most meaningful work that will fulfill a purpose that is greater than myself. As a mother, much of my happiness comes in the work I do with my little girl. Taking care of her, loving her, watching her learn, and grow, and smile and giggle. Filling her with love. That brings me greater joy than I could have ever imagined. But there is more there. There is more that I desire to do and discover and explore about myself, about the world, about humanity, so that she can see me as a living example of someone who never gave up on their life.

The Misfortune of Talking Too Much when Making Commitments to Others

Matthew 5: 34-37 (NRSV) [34] But I say to you, Do not swear at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, [35] or by the earth, for it is his footstool, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. [36] And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black. [37] Let your word be 'Yes, Yes' or 'No, No'; anything more than this comes from the evil one.

This passage of scripture should have a subtitle called "The Misfortune of Talking Too Much when Making Commitments to Others."

Words have power. They can educate, inform, uplift, or get us into trouble. Like that one time when you swore to your neighbor that you would water their beloved plants for a week, when you already had a million other commitments, and then it slipped your mind during the busiest week of your year, and the plants died, and you were desperately trying to figure out how to replace their favorite fern before your neighbor returned from their vacation... Remember that commitment?

Commitments are important. Being a person who keeps their word is important. It is a defining character trait to be a person whose intention matches their actions, and yet time and time again I find myself trapped in commitments I should have never made, and am struggling to keep.

Rather than just saying "Yes", when I can do something, and "No", when I cannot, I am prone to making emotional commitments, which leads to feelings of guilt, and then frustration, as I try to think of ways to get out of the very commitments I should have never made in the first place.

In the future, I will take this lesson from the Bible, and adhere to less is more. "Yes" or "No" to stay out of trouble and walking in His will.

ALL DAY EVERYDAY

Matthew 5: 7-9 (NRSV) [7] Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy. [8] Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. [9] Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.

There are many instances in the Bible where God clearly spells out the character of the people He would like us to be.

In this instance Jesus is giving instruction to his disciples, and what He said then remains true for us today.

He calls us to be merciful, to be pure in heart, and to be peacemakers, and He does not say to be these things some of the time.

This passage of scripture does not say "Blessed are those who are occasionally merciful... Blessed are those who try to be pure in heart... Blessed are those who are peacemakers when things are peaceful, but fall to anger when someone disrespects them..."  It calls for us to be merciful, pure, and full of peace all of the time.

God wants the very best from us, so that we can receive His best, and our lives can be a living testimony to others. When He gives us instruction, it isn't on our terms, when these actions are easy or convenient, He asks us to hold ourselves to a higher standard all the time.

PUTTING GOD FIRST.

Matthew 4:10 (NRSV) [10] Jesus said to him, "Away with you Satan!" for it is written, 'Worship the Lord your God, and serve only Him.'"

It is good to be in service to the Lord.

There are so many things that are meant to distract you and bring you down. Life is filled with dinners, meetings, sales, conference calls, bills, events, and the list goes on and on. Once you wake up in the morning, and go about your routine, it is easy to forget that we are meant to serve the Lord, not ourselves.

I know I can get distracted surfing the web, day dreaming about a vacation, or imagining a Pinterest worthy redecorated apartment.  It becomes so easy to let my mind start serving my own wishlist, that I forget to focus on how God can use me.

But today God gently reminded me that He is the boss, and my time, my heart, my energy, and my spirit should only remain in service to Him. He knows best, He will use me, and He will fill my life with peace and surround me with His angels. No Pinterest board is going to beat that.