Friday, February 20, 2015

simplify

Yes, it is mid-February, and I am just now writing about my one word for 2015. So sue me. Grace over perfection, right? If you've been following along on this little blog for a while, you know that I have a tendency to over-commit. To say yes to all the things all the time. For years now, that way of living has kind of been my modus operandi. The root of it all is found in a desire to please others and to be found worthy in the eyes of man instead of God. It all starts with pride and selfish desires to be well-liked.

Earlier this year, I read a couple books that helped shape my vision for this year. The Best Yes and Make It Happen are two books that the Lord brought to me at just the right time. While reading The Best Yes, tears were constantly flowing. It was as though the words were written just for me. One take-away that I constantly come back to from Lysa's wise words was that "The disease to please is not the same as the command to love." Boom. Drops mic. In Make It Happen, author and entrepreneur Lara Casey candidly writes about her struggles and shares the story of how she lost almost everything when she chased perfection. As a female eldest child, I know a little something about the desire to be perfect. I also know something about the exhaustion that ensues when chasing perfection leaves you coming up short again and again. It just is never worth it.

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The word simplify has been one that the Lord has been stirring around in my heart and soul for quite some time now. To make time for what matters and to cut out the needless filler stuff has long been a desire of mine. However, it is much easier said than done. To live a life of abandon to His purpose instead of my own and to seek His glory and not my own is so much easier to write about here than to walk out in the flesh. But the Lord calls us to do what is best for others and for His kingdom.
I don't know about y'all, but at the end of my life, I don't want to be found faithful to programs, but rather to people. My life is not about what I can contribute to a program or a ministry, but rather about how many people the Lord has led to the cross through my testimony. I'm in awe that He even chooses to use me, hot mess express that I am.

One thing I've struggled with in recent years is a genuine desire to change that lacks a plan of action. This year, I've been using the Power Sheets from Lara Casey's shop, and I am somewhat obsessed with them. To some, they may seem like a crazy type A resource that is a bit intense and overhyped. But to any devoted Power Sheets user, they are anything but. Writing things down has always been a way of commitment for me- to write something down means that I am serious about it and want to take action. The Power Sheets system is different from traditional goal setting in that it takes you through a preparation stage that allows you to think through and envision your year. Each step has purpose and forces you to think through whether or not the goals you are making support your vision and your core.

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In thinking through what I wanted this year to look like, I knew that I wanted to guided by love- not for myself, but for the Lord and others. And in order to love Him and others well, I knew that it was time to take steps toward the thing I feared most- simplifying my life. So many questions, fears, and doubts ran through my mind as I wrote out my goals for this year. What if people are disappointed in me because I don't say yes to everything? What if people need me and I am not available? What if I can't stick to a budget? Blah blah blah...the questions go on and on.

But God
is faithful
is strong
is true.

And His love never fails. His purpose for me is good, and He will not let me fall. I don't check off every little box on my Power Sheets each week. I still sometimes say yes to too many things. But I am not to be all things to all people. There is only one Savior, and it's not me. So I focus on how to love Him and others by ensuring that I'm at my best.Will I fail? Oh yes, I will fail. I will fail my own expectations and those of people around me. But I find my peace not in others' thoughts and their opinions, but the security of my Father's love. And when I do that, I find that His restful peace far surpasses the fear of failure. In fact, He compels me to keep moving and pursuing Him, which, after all, is what He created me for in the first place.

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