Well, I finally got a shower today. Boy do I feel and smell better! Andrew was snuggling with me tonight, rubbing my fleece sweatshirt and then told me how soft I was. Ahhh. Felt like a big cotton ball. (Love it when he’s sick b/c he reverts back to childhood and lets me get close to him). He seems to be getting better although he was still coughing pretty bad tonight. He has asthma so I have to really watch him close when he gets upper respiratory yuck. We have a doctor’s appointment in the morning just to make sure his lungs are clear.
Now back to where we were…I went digging through old journals tonight, trying to remember ALL that God has taken me through. It’s a journey of many years. It’s good to go back and remember. I am looking forward to sharing it with you. I know it will take time and I’ll write as often as I can while also traveling to speak and keeping busy with P31 radio, devotions, etc, which I love. I just sometimes wish I could press the pause button and write everything I want to share all at once. I am going to try to write a little each day. Will you pray for me to be able to blog more often? I love to write but life has lots of things attached to my time these days.
The story I shared about finding the real me and discovering your uniquely you came from a very hard time in my life. In 1999, I came to a breaking point. I had been a Christian for 10 years. I knew Jesus said He came to give us abundant life, but there was nothing abundant in my life except busyness, obligations, guilt and self-doubt. I felt like my heart was shriveling up to die. I had lost the closeness of my first love – Jesus.
He hadn’t moved away, but I had. Although I had been walking with Him for 10 years, somehow I had gotten lost along the path. The patterns of people-pleasing and performance-based living had found their way back into my life and were guiding my every thought; my every decision. I was now bowing down to the idol of others’ opinions.
The odd thing is that it looked like I was living for God and serving Him with all of my heart. I was a stay-at home-mom, volunteering 15-20 hours each week for P31 from my living room or kitchen table (thanks to internet). I was on the women’s prayer team at church. I co-lead a mom’s Bible study. I attended another study at church on Wednesday nights. I reached out to women in my neighborhood. I dropped everything to help a friend in need. My house was way to clean and my family probably felt like they lived in a display case instead of a home. It was my way of trying to be “perfect” – I know it’s sickening and believe me it eventually made me sick, at heart.
Some say to be careful when talking about finding the real me, and I understand. There is an important balance. I am not saying find the real “you” so you can neglect everyone else and be “happy.” I am saying, delight yourself in HIM and He will give you the desires of your heart – to match His desires for you. I am saying find out who God wants you to be. Find out what makes your heart come alive.
One of my favorite quotes is, “ “Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” — Harold Thurman Whitman
My heart was no longer alive. It had gone numb. I was slipping into a pit of depression. Focused on serving other people for the wrong reasons, I felt hopeless when my accomplishments or their compliments didn’t satisfy. I had assumed God wanted me to busy myself with good things in His name. But instead of asking Him what He wanted, I became who my mom and dad wanted me to be. Who my husband and kids needed me to be. Who friends and co-workers expected me to be.
So, today I want to encourage you to ask God to show you two things. First, His absolute delight in you. Just simply be still and let Him love you! Then ask Him to show you one thing that makes your heart come alive. Is it reading? Is it writing? Is it colors, flowers, smells, bubble baths, music, artwork, laughter, order, encouraging others, making something with your hands, exercise, ___________?
- Is there time in your busy life for you to experience this regularly?
- Are there things you may be doing to fill the emptiness but they don’t bring any joy? (ie. tv, email, excessive blog reading, eating, gossip magazines, more tv, overspending, overcommitting)
Let’s share them here by clicking “comments” below, and encourage one another with ways we can carve out little pockets of time to help our hearts come alive. This is just one small thing I started to think about way back in 1999. It brought hope to my heart and helped me find my joy in Christ and the unique desires He wanted to fulfill, instead of me seeking to be satisfied by my performance and others approval.
I pray also that the eyes of your heart will be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints and his incomparably great power for us who believe. Ephesians 1:18-19