Life · Thoughts

…Gentleness and Self-control.

I can’t believe it’s been so long since I last wrote; I also can’t believe that I’m not coming with a funny / embarrassing story for my first post back in so long (there have certainly been many).

Instead, I come as an attempt at self-soothing, as lately I find myself walking around with anger and frustration in my heart that I can’t even pinpoint.

All the amazing blessings in my life (and trust me, they’re abundant) are being lost in this emotion; a black hole in the pit of my stomach that swallows them up. That sounds dramatic, but I’m afraid that’s just honest. I’ve felt like I couldn’t even take a full deep breath lately.

This morning I remembered a video I watched recently where Priscilla Shirer dives into the fact that the Devil is not only real, but is actively at work tempting us, planting frustrations in us, placing doubt in us, stirring up our emotions, toying with our relationships …scheming against us. She paraphrases the Apostle Paul in Ephesians 6 by saying “Come on y’all, pull back the curtain and let the enemy know ‘we’ve got our eyes on you.'”

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.” – Ephesians 6:10-11

…The Devil and I had a talk this morning. Or rather, I insisted the Devil listen to me. I will not be toyed with any longer. I will not have the strings of my emotions pulled. I will not allow myself to feel overly angry with the people I love. I will not let my frustrations at work overshadow the joys of my life. I’m done with the Devil, the enemies, the negativity, the self-doubt, and uncontrolable emotions.

Not only am I exhausted by it all and at the end of my rope, but I am God’s child. I am a women of God. I am a reflection of God for the people around me.

Now let’s be real. Those are some bold statements and while I am all of these things, I’m also “only human” (one with God by my side, but still). So, where do I start?

While Priscilla Shirer’s sermon goes on to talk about Ephesian’s reference to the 6 Pieces of Armor, I’ve decided to start with the Fruits of the Spirit.

When I feel frustrated, emotional, angry, unreasonable… I’ve vowed to slow down, to take a deep breath, to remind myself of the qualities I want/have; the qualities that God claims; the qualities that I can use to fight the Devil’s interferences in my life…

“But the fruit that the Spirit produces in a person’s life is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” – Galatians 5:22-23

When a client has me stressed and is being unreasonable…

Love. Joy. Peace. Patience. Kindness. Goodness. Faithfulness. Gentleness. Self-control.

When I feel disappointed with decisions/actions made by others…

Love. Joy. Peace. Patience. Kindness. Goodness. Faithfulness. Gentleness. Self-control.

When I start picking apart my relationships…

Love. Joy. Peace. Patience. Kindness. Goodness. Faithfulness. Gentleness. Self-control.

When I start picking apart myself…

Love. Joy. Peace. Patience. Kindness. Goodness. Faithfulness. Gentleness. Self-control.

 

I am committed to being stronger in the fight. The curtain is pulled back and “I’ve got my eye on you.”

 

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Life · Uncategorized

A stepping stone…

This week was not ideal.

Long story short, the company I love and work for lost the pitch to keep the business in my area.

I’d be lying if I said it didn’t hurt; that I didn’t take it really personally; that my eyes don’t hurt from crying/trying not to cry; that I don’t feel a little betrayed; that I’m not angry, disappointed, and a little scared.

Leading up to this pitch and Co-op vote, I found and lived my every day repeating this prayer:

God, I know I am impatient, so prone to worrying, to giving up, to losing hope. Help me to rest in Your promises today. In this season of waiting, renew my joy in this moment so that I do not miss Your presence in this place. Thank You for being with me and for never giving up on me. Thank You for always working for my good and for Your glory even when I can’t see. In Jesus’ name, Amen

It’s a good one. A really good one for me, as I have a bad habit of throwing myself into a worry or stress and neglecting to recognize the light and blessings all around it.

“In this season, renew my joy in this moment that I do not miss Your presence in this place”

My joy. His Presence. In this moment.

Here in this place. Here in this situation.

For my good. For His glory.

From here, I vow to focus on three things:

  1. God has a perfect plan for me; a beautiful plan far beyond my comprehension and likely so much bigger than anything I could ever dream up. I’ve been reminded of this on repeat over my last 28 years. I’ve cried over an embarrassing number of things that, looking back, were stepping stones on the way to something much more amazing. God has a plan. And I will trust Him to see it through in me. I will be open to His guidance and I will not doubt His direction for me.
  2. My people … (pause: thankful-crying) … my people are amazing. In response to my bad news yesterday (and really in response to my stress levels leading up to it), my people overwhelmed me with love, encouragement, support, “we‘ll figure it out”s, leads, comfort, prayers, and in one case, tulips and icecream.  I’ve said it a lot that I have terrible luck – and it’s true that wild and sometimes unfortunately things are often happening to me – but having the people I do in my life; people I love and who love me (and so well), easily makes me a very very… very lucky girl. Luckiest in the world, really.
  3. Perspective. Hurricanes are crashing into islands; crushing homes and changing lives. People are being diagnosed with Cancers. Others are starving. Families are watching loved ones suffer. Women are losing children. Children are losing parents.  …I lost a job/business account… How so very lucky and blessed I am that this is my “suffering.”

Thank You for always working for my good

and for Your glory even when I can’t see.

In Jesus’ name, Amen