Tuesday, September 5, 2017

on letting go

It is September, my friends. We are saying goodbye to the grilled food and popsicles and hello to the crockpot and casserole. We are hanging on to every last bit of summer that we can and also embracing the beauty that is fall. In order for fall to arrive, there has to be a death. A death of the green and verdant landscape we see and an ushering in of vibrancy as we await the long slow days of winter. But I'm getting ahead of myself, aren't I? Let's focus on the beauty of food, football, family, and friends, shall we? Fall is for fun!

My husband and I had a great conversation today at lunch (on Labor Day) about the importance of priorities and knowing my limits. I like to think that I can do it all and do it well, and that is just not the case. I want to be seen as capable and willing to do what it takes to get the job done, and that just isn't a healthy way of processing the world. When I am more afraid of how I look to others instead of how I measure up to God's idea of success, I have allowed a fear of man to dictate my life instead of a fear of God. And that, my friends, is a recipe for disaster.

The quote above was my computer background for a while. I would look at it and think about how there was so much I wanted to get done and so many things/people that I wanted to be and how it was impossible without God. But I think that I've had it all wrong. I wanted people to look at my life, and think, "Wow, how does she do it all?" I've been looking to God to bless the plans that I make instead of asking Him to show me His ways and then walking in them. I'm wanting to lead myself instead of allowing Him to lead me.

One thing that I pride myself on is this sense that I can get a lot done in a short amount of time. But sometimes that just isn't the case. What I see as productivity is actually just a bunch of busy work that isn't contributing to my ultimate goal of knowing God and making Him known. I have succumbed once again to the tyranny of the urgent instead of focusing on what is truly important.

At the beginning of this year, I wrote out a set of goals. Those goals seemed lofty at the time (and still do, to be honest) but I think that the majority of them were pressed upon my heart by the Lord Himself. It is easy to look at them and think, "Wow that's a lot." And it is. But nothing is impossible with the Lord.

Throughout this year, the Lord has redirected me a few times and also given me new dreams and passions. There is nothing wrong with that, in fact, I welcome His suggestions. :) But I don't always make room to process through those things well and to truly embrace His call in light of how I'm living now. I want to hold my plans with open hands. I want to hold everything in my life with open hands. I only have one life, and I want to live it well.

Yes, it is important to reach toward goals and to practice discipline. And in the midst of that discipline and all those goals, it is also important to abide and remember the One who gave you those dreams and goals.

I've made a list of goals for this month, and I'll be sharing them with you later this week. But I just want to share with you all that I am not perfect. I miss the mark more often than I hit it. I try to force things and run ahead of the Lord. But. There's grace for that. I am growing more and more into who He's created me to be, and He is helping me to see what is important in His eyes.
In this last quarter of 2017, I want to let go:

of my pride
of my desire to have my way
of my agenda
of my lists
of comparison
of FOMO (sadly a real struggle of mine)
of my "need" to check in on social media
of my materialism
of myself

I'm not naive enough to think that all of these areas of needed improvement will be "fixed" when the clock strikes midnight on December 31 and we find ourselves in another new year. But I can place my hope in Christ and know that He who is in me is greater than he that is in the world. I can remember the promise that His strength is made perfect in my weakness. And I can know that His love is good, true, and unfailing. And for that, I am truly grateful.

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