Thursday, January 7, 2016

Continuing the Refining

I don’t know where to start.  But do know that this is something I want to write about.  Have you heard about the Meyers-Briggs personality test?  Some people at work had it done and I thought it sounded interesting.  I found a free test online and it said that I am an ISTJ, introverted-sensing-thinking-judging, which makes all kinds of sense to me.  I like to think things through, figure out why something is done a certain way and want order.  Now, lets rewind to my life in the last year.  It has been so hectic and I feel like I am constantly treading water and getting nowhere.  I read that the biggest anxiety for ISTJ people is to be unorganized and have chaos…well, well, well, welcome my last year.  I mean, I sort of had it together when I had my oldest but when the twins came, it all went out the window.  But at the same time, I hate to feel that way because I do love them so much, but I keep thinking of how laid back (granted, this is in hindsight) that my life was and there goes the guilt cycle and boy, does the devil like to get a hold of that!  After much thinking and reading, I’ve come to the conclusion that it is God, growing me in places I didn’t even know about.  He’s steadily refining me and making me into a person that he wants me to be.  I don’t have it all together and I doubt I ever will at this point, but I do know that God has walked before me and he has a path laid out just for me.  I couldn’t do it without him.  I’m so thankful that he puts messages in my path (especially when I don’t have any idea that I need them!) and people to talk about their struggles because in the age of “everything’s perfect on Facebook” it’s easy to feel like you are the only one.  He’s brought people into my path that speak of grace and are real about their walk with God and it has given me hope and some new perspective. I have seen some people post their “word” for 2016 and thought that was interesting but as I was thinking about it, I couldn’t narrow it to one word so here they go:  

  • real - I want to show the good and the bad, so people can see that my life isn't all put together all the time.  I try so hard but I will always fail and I want to show that it's ok to do that too.
  • intentional - Be more intentional with my friends and family.  We've all fell into the trap to just send a text message or email and see how someone is doing.  It's ok to do that but not as your only line of communication.  I want to reach out to people who I haven't seen or talked to in a while, just to let them know I care.
  • kind - I need to try to be more kind.  This one is  the hardest for me because I don't understand people and expect certain things, which is crazy I know.  I don't know where some people have come from or the hard things they've dealt with in their life so I shouldn't judge when I think their actions are dumb or not what they should be.  I have also gotten so focused on my family and myself that I have forgotten to reach out to others and be Jesus’ hands here on earth. 
This year, I want to make some positive changes that hopefully will shine Jesus’ light to others.  This thing called life is never figured out, we constantly have to change because God is always changing us for the better.

In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your father in heaven.  Matthew 5:16 (NIV)

Saturday, January 2, 2016

He's all we need...

God is always on time and He definitely knows what we need.  Every so often, I get weighed down by things of the world…they aren’t always bad things, but things that distract me from God’s word.  Whether it’s taking care of the kids, or cooking, or cleaning or at this point, just wanting to take a nap, they are the things that get in my way.  But thank goodness He always has a way to bring us back into focus.  He gives us a desire to want to be near him and to hear him.  I know when I was a young Christian I thought that was the most bizarre statement.  It wasn’t until I started studying the bible and getting into the word, that I fully understood what that meant.  Let me give you an example that I recently shared with a friend.

With having 3 kids under three (I still can’t believe I have 3 kids!), I feel so torn because I can’t spend the time with God that I feel I need.  There is always someone wanting mommy, or some chore that has to be done, or me just needing five minutes alone to regroup.  I long for the time where I could do my bibles studies with 5 days of homework…but in our life right now, it’s just not in the cards.  I felt guilty and really overwhelmed and then God does what He always does to show me/reveal to me what He wants me to hear.  I joke with a friend at church that God hits me over the head multiple times with a message before I “get it” and this is no exception.  I listened to a message at a conference this spring that basically said I don’t have to have a rigid study schedule to have a relationship with God.  I need to seek him when I can and live my life like I have a relationship with him; be the example to my family, and really everyone else for that matter.  It was so refreshing to hear that.  Then I started listening to a podcast of a mom who has great guests that are also moms and over and over they are telling the same story, a story of grace to mothers with young children who can’t focus for 2 minutes, let alone hours to study the bible.  My time is coming, when the kids can entertain themselves longer or when we can even study together.  I can’t wait for that!  So to sum it up, the same God, who wants us to walk right beside him, has the same grace during times in our lives to carry us when we can’t juggle it all.  We just have to keep lifting our eyes to him and He will help us through!

I’m not sure where he is taking me right now.  It’s definitely going to be an interesting journey.  But I do know that wherever I go, He always has his hand on me, leading and guiding the way. 

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, and faithful in prayer.  Romans 12:12 (NIV)