My story is no different from the story of many others, yet we all think our story is unique and somehow more difficult than those around us. This myth is perpetuated by silence. Keeping our story to ourselves in order to protect it from the world gives it an air of mystery. It also lends it to holding more weight and having greater strength over us. Holding on to the most painful parts keep us at arms length from others who have cried the same tears and lived the same shadow, afraid to life their eyes and hearts to a God who can heal their deepest wounds. Our stories were given to us by a loving Father who desires to use them to help us grow, and in so doing, use us to help others spread their wings and fly above the fears of suffering and rejection that haunt them until we are obedient to His direction. Who is waiting to hear your story? Who is withholding a story that could help you to rise above and soar on wings of power over your past?
Connecting again today with Five Minute Friday and Write 31 Days for 31 days of Five Minute Free Write Challenges during the month of October. We write on a given prompt for just 5 minutes without revision and pour out what’s on our heart. Won’t you join me?
In focusing on enough this year I have seen that my value is not in how many steps I walk or how often I win the “workweek hustle” on FitBit. It is not tied to being the first car in the parking lot or the last one left at work each day. It is not in how many Starbucks stars, LulaRoe leggings, or tubes of LipSense I collect. It is not even tied to getting my preferred seat at church on Sunday mornings. My value is not in the percentage of times I win at Words with Friends, not even when that friend is my brother 😉 It is not in how clean I keep my house or car, how well behaved others believe my children and grandchildren to be, or how neat I write in cursive. It is not in the price of my house, car, or other material things. My value is in who God says I am and who He made me to be. He is my Father and I am His child. He loves me unconditionally regardless of any of these things.
The biggest thing that I am learning in this focus is that my “enoughness” is not based on how well I was parented or how well I have parented my own children. I keep being brought back to this and having to remind myself that even though there are pieces of both that were not and are not perfect, they are best left to God as I, myself aside from Him, do not have the tools to take them on. This does not mean that I am any less of a daughter or mother. It just means that I need to learn what areas of my life to turn over to God and let go. No matter how often they return to my sight and thoughts, they are not mine to pick up again unless and until God gives me that skill set and tells me to go slay those giants.
Linking with 5 Minute Friday today.
Control is something that I have spent a lot of time trying to gain. From a young age I think I felt that life was out of my control and I was determined to correct that. I was a perfectionist in a lot of areas. I wanted to do my best, but never felt that my best was good enough to please others. I would make bargains and try my best, but yet again I would come up short of the goal that I set for myself and had assured others I could reach. These bargains were attempts to find acceptance. They were ways of proving my value. They were ways of changing the way others felt about me so that maybe I would be loved. Of course those things never made me feel accepted, valuable or loved. After years of trying to find those things in people, I now know that they only come from God. He has shown me very vividly in recent months that I am His and that not only is He enough, but I am enough. It’s an amazing feeling to give up the control I have fought so hard for years to maintain, and let God be the ruler of my life. There is a peace in knowing that the God of the Universe, the King of Kings, is my Father and that He is in control of not only my life, but the lives of my family, the lives of others who might seek to pull me down or destroy me, and the lives of those who strive to build me up. He is in control. I can let go.
Linking with Kate Motaung’s Five Minute Friday, a time to write for just 5 minutes without editing. Today’s prompt is control.
Knowing that you are enough and that God is enough means thanking Him even when you’re in the middle of the journey. It means knowing that you are on the right path even when you cannot see the light at the end of the way. It is being alright with who you are and who He is creating you to be. It does not mean that it is always going to be a comfortable place; growing pains are not comfortable. They are, however, necessary to get you to where you are ultimately destined to be. You have every tool you need to succeed. God has made you for a purpose, and becoming that purpose should be your ultimate goal in life. I am capable of doing and being everything for which I was created. I am enough for the pitfalls as well as the victories I will face along the way. Sharing my story, even in the middle of that journey, is my job. It is the expectation of God that I share with others who may be walking along a similar path, in order to lift their faith and build their courage in who they are and who they will become. We are always growing. We are always climbing. We are always in the middle of something, even when we are not sure where it will lead or if it will ever have an end. God is in control, even in the middle. So, thank Him where you are, for what you have overcome, for what you have learned, and for what you have yet to see before you.
Linking with Kate Motaung’s Five Minute Friday, a time to write for just 5 minutes without editing. Today’s prompt is Middle.
For 2016 the word “trust” was my one word for the year. I studied about trust, read about it, and learned a lot about activating my ability to trust. God has been so faithful in teaching me to trust others, myself, and most importantly Him. It has been a journey of learning to listen to God, allowing Him to be in control of my steps and actions, and making my own wants take a back seat to what was best for me and my family. This included a very clear directive that it was time for our boys to go back to their mother again. It was a difficult thing for me to do on my own without leaning on Him and knowing that He was making the path straight before me. The night in April that I took them was a big stepping stone in my journey to trust. It was a turning point for me. Since then I have left many other decisions in His hands and felt at peace in situations where I would not have previously. I have set aside some, but not all, of my controlling ways, and am learning through each hold I give up that He is more capable of making decisions than I ever was. This process has taught me more about the importance of consistently reading my Bible and spending daily time in prayer as well. I now know that I must have a relationship with Him that gives me confidence in His lead in order to relinquish my own control to Him. I have started reading books by authors such as Shauna Niequist, Lysa Terkeurst, and Ann Voskamp who tell their own stories of allowing God to direct their steps and lead their lives from very low places to the most amazing everyday experiences in the shadow of the almighty. These women and others have been quite an inspiration to me in many ways and I highly recommend their books listed below. As 2016 comes to a close, I am beginning to see through trusting in Him that I am enough. I am learning that the experiences of my childhood, any failings of my parents, and any failings of myself as a parent do not define who I am. Not only is He enough, but I am enough. In 2017, I plan to focus on the word “enough” and seek His face for more confidence in who I am and in the knowledge that I am who He called me to be. Ann Voskamp wrote, “The world has enough women who live a masked insecurity. It needs more women who live a brave vulnerability.” I pray that you too will find a word for this year to focus your lives and give you more reason to “trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding” (Psalm 3:5) as I find a place where He is enough for my trusting heart to believe in myself and His will for my life.
I listened to and highly recommend the following books on http://www.Audible.com:
Present Over Perfect by Shauna Niequist
Uninvited by Lysa Terkeurst
The Broken Way by Ann Voskamp
One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp
All are also available in print, but believe it or not I am not a fan of reading for pleasure. I have made much better use of these texts in audible format while driving or walking.
Linking in with the Gypsy Mama, Lisa-Jo this morning at www.thegypsymama.com for just five minutes straight from my heart.
Running a little late this morning. Fighting a nasty head cold all week, but thankful that God has supplied all of my needs according to His riches!!
Funny that this would be the topic today because I have been really struck this week by articles pertaining to how God’s GRACE is ENOUGH for us.
In 2 Corinthians 12:9, Christ tells us ” my GRACE is ENOUGH for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.”
I was really struck by the thought that we know we are weak and accept the GRACE of God to cover our sins, yet we do not provide the same courtesy to our friends, acquaintances, and family members. We expect them to be ENOUGH without giving them the benefit of the doubt, or an ounce of GRACE.
Christ models GRACE and sufficiency for us. He shows us how we should treat others, and yet we fail time and time again to model that same grace for others.
I ask today that you take a moment to think about your own inefficiencies and how Christ has cover them with His GRACE.
Can you extend the same to someone in your life who you have been holding to a higher standard than you hold yourself?
For more on Grace check out my inspriation for this post at http://beckfarfromhome.blogspot.com/2012/07/gift-of-right-expectation.html or http://beckfarfromhome.blogspot.com/2012/07/enough.html