31 days: lesson 8, being flexible


The simple fact that I must be flexible is hard for me to grasp.  I love making plans and lists, and I love to follow said plans and lists.  When I set a goal, I like to accomplish it.  I find satisfaction in checking things off and achieving all I set out to do.  I don’t know when exactly it happened, but sometime around the 3.5 child born I really had to be okay with things not being perfect in my home.

I realized that I put lots of pressure on myself to clean the entire house top-to-bottom every week, do every bit of laundry and put it away, be at every church event, go to every shower or party I was invited to, spend spare moments tending to my husband, and never run out of anything we needed for the household ever!  That pressure got to me at least once a month (guess when).  I’ve learned over the years to just chill out and not be so regimented.  Relax a bit.  I’ve opted to have a personal quiet time when the kids do instead of using that time for work.  The result has been great for my sanity.

I won’t lie.  There’s always dishes to get done at night, and laundry to fold while spending time with my husband.  The house never gets a complete scrubbing every week, I don’t make it to everything on the calendar, I substitute ingredients for what ever I have on hand, and we run out of coffee creamer.  I’ve even worried if we had enough toilet paper to last until the next day.  One thing that makes all of these inconveniences worth it, is that I can take a deep breath and feel more graceful in running the household.  I no longer feel like I’m on the edge of a breakdown.  I don’t get anxious if I go to bed with dishes in the sink.  If I meal plan, and then I don’t have time– due to the days events– for “Tuesday tacos”, no big deal.  I have what I need for spaghetti. Go with the flow.

Let me just point out a little something before you think I’ve gone hoarder-relaxed, or nothing-to-eat calm, or everyone’s out of underwear.  I plan still.  I’ve mentioned before that I am loving Organizing Life as Mom.  I plan out my days and weeks.  I make my shopping and packing lists.  I just don’t follow it to-the-tee.  I use it as a wonderful guideline to help me see in plain writing what “the plan” is.  I don’t allow myself to feel defeated and less of a wife if it doesn’t all get done.  If a friend needs me, I throw out the plan for the day.  If Nick wants to pack up and have a family day, I don’t say “no” because it’s laundry day.  If I set out to write a post everyday for a month and only seem to write half of the posts because we get sick and life happens, and ministry gets tough– that’s okay.  I am still a work-in-progress, but I’ve learned to be more flexible in life.  The more you’re stretchy like a rubber band, the less you’ll snap like a stick.  That’s better for everyone right?

2 Corinthians 12:9

 And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

31 days: lesson 6, persevere

One of the most tangible lessons I learned as a new Christian was the idea of perseverance.  Keep going for Jesus even when it’s so much easier to give up and do what we want.  I had come across some tough opposition and didn’t really know when or if it would ever end.  I was single then, and having really difficult family drama.   I had a couple of flat tires (and I was flat broke), I was having a hard time finding a job that would give me the hours I needed, and a bunch of other little things that kept coming up.  None of them were as big a deal individually, but all at the same time.  The constant “one thing after another” seemed overwhelming.  I felt like if one more thing happened I wouldn’t be able to handle it.  A dear friend and mentor showed be a couple of verses that still speak to me whenever life gets to be a bit much.

Matthew 11:29-30

Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.  For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

Hebrews 12:1-3

 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.  For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.

 

I know I shared the first with you just yesterday, but that’s the same verse that was shared with be over 11 years ago.  I’ll never forget what that meant to me in the middle of a big trial, seasoned with lot of little discouragements.  You know what?  I made it through that trial and all the little things that were going wrong were corrected as well.  As the years have passed (and time literally seems to “fly by” as soon as you hit your twenties) I still hold on to those verses when thing get tough.  We all have moments and seasons which seem to be a never-ending pouring out of bad news.  Hold to Jesus the author and finisher of your faith.  He never fails to make things turn out better than we hoped, if we would just come to Him and let Him teach us.  His yoke is easy.

Just a couple of months ago a serious “game changer” happened upon our family.  One of those turn-your-world-upside-down things.  But, in just a couple of months things are looking as great as they can.  It seems Nick and I are in the middle of a never-ending bombardment of honestly tricky and complicated ministry.  I know that Jesus always gets me through.  I have learned so often that He is able.  No matter how bleak, dire, hopeless, or taxing a situation is, there is always a plan.  I don’t know what the plan is, but God has proven himself trustworthy and constant time and again.  Always.  All I have to do is not give up.  Persevere.

31 days: lesson 5, be teachable

I suppose this should have been the very first post.  One of the greatest and most important lessons I have ever learned is that I need to be teachable and moldable.  Humility while learning is even more important.  Knowledge without humility is nothing more than pride and arrogance.  And those two things lead to thinking you are better than other people…which is bad too.

Proverbs 16:19
Better it is to be of an humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud.

Proverbs 9:9
Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be yet wiser: teach a just man, and he will increase in learning.

Matthew 11:29
Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.

Philippians 4:9
Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.

That’s it.  Nothing long or complicated.  Just be humble and teachable, using what you know for good.  Given yesterday’s post I think you know where and whom to learn from :)