I’ve always been “all over the place.” My mom always called me a “busy bee” when I was little. I was bossy & into everything & in everyone's business. As an adult, my colleagues call me a “butterfly.” I book flights & hotels randomly. Last minute plans (or cancelations) never offend me. It’s just what’s worked for me over the years. I’ve always been proud of who I am. The light hearted, spontaneous, curious, information seeking, growth minded, people loving, adventurous me!
As I’ve gotten older, I started feeling like “who I am” wasn’t good enough. I don’t know where or when I learned this but something was trying to harden me. Perhaps, the details of my divorce. Maybe the pressure of my career sinking or swimming resting on my shoulders. Single mom-ming. Maybe the Desire/Fear to “have it all together” or I might lose everything I’ve worked for.
Spoiler alert: It’s not possible to have it all “together.” At least not all things at the same time.
No one put this pressure on me but me. It’s taken me a minute to realize that who I AM is valuable without constant S T R I V I N G.
One time a friend of mine and I were talking about what our lives would look like if they were food on a plate. And she said her life would be all the yummy foods like mac n cheese and cobbler on one of those school lunch trays with dividers & all the yumminess spilling over the sides and running into each other. (Sounds about right!)
At the time, I closed my eyes and envisioned a tall cake stand with a bunch of beautiful and ornate cupcakes on the cake stand. The weird thing about this is that I don't even like cake! But I envisioned a bunch of beautiful, elaborate sweet treats perfectly placed representing my life. My life looked like something I thought other people would enjoy, looks beautiful on the outside but doesn't really bring any satisfaction to me, personally. Because pretty little cupcakes just aren't my thing.
Over time, I’ve S L O W L Y started untangling & loosening the grip in my quest for perfection & "approval from all" to leave pockets of time for...rest. For quality time with my kids. For whatever I want, really!
A huge benefit of leaving corporate America was the extra time I could make with my kids. But it’s taken nearly two years to unlearn corporate habits & allow myself to make the choices that work best for me.
I think I’m getting closer everyday to BECOMING a little more of all that God's called me to be by looking for the truth of God in every opportunity. When I make choices based on God's word & truth...there's no room for fear. No room for second guessing. No room for striving.
A sermon by Christine Caine recently said,
“Your level of crushing shows your level of anointing."
The more we allow ourselves to crush wrong thinking, endure the crushing of letting go of things that no longer serve us, crush things that threaten to separate us from God...the more capacity we have for J O Y & C O N T E N T M E N T in our lives because they’re led and filled with purpose from Jesus. And if you get off course, the Lord has shown me that he'll quickly pick you up and put you right back where he wants you, when you’re ready to seek & put him first in your life.
I am T H A N K F U L that I’m learning to create breathing room for my soul that releases me from gripping control, fear, and carrying the heavy burden of life never meant to be carried by me. I create breathing room by obeying and seeking the Lord. ABOVE all else. ABOVE the opinions of others. ABOVE the pressure I put on myself. ABOVE what culture says is “acceptable.” His yoke is light. Much lighter than trying to “be better” by STRIVING. I am good, valuable & worthy not because of my “doing” but because of the magic that happens when we allow ourselves to be crushed. Like grapes, we must be crushed to produce new wine. And sometimes, plants need to be pruned to produce fruit.
It’s not fun to be pruned or crushed. But the Lord promises us that temporary crushing is always WORTH the reward in the end. The reward is peace, joy, self control, patience, gentleness, love, kindness, goodness & faithfulness.