Truth Tuesday #2: Humility as Worship

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In tonight’s episode, hear me talk about:

  • my personality–how the extreme extrovert is really longing for God’s attention
  • highlights from the book Unseen by Sara Hagerty
  • a discussion of the scriptures in 1 Peter 5:5-8 and new insights I received while rereading them
  • a reference to my other post about humility, originally written for Beulah Girl

Push play to tune in now!

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Now that you’ve watched, I’d love to hear from you:

  • In what ways do you long for more significance?
  • In what ways is humility difficult for you?

Make sure to share in the comments below.

In Truth,

www.thebeaminmyeye.com

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Truth Tuesday #1: Keeping Our Goals God-Focused

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Hello my sweet friends, and welcome to the first edition of Truth Tuesday.  I hope you are as excited about New Year’s as I am, but I’m going to be honest.

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In a conversation with my husband the other day, I told him that I was not excited about the new year coming. I think the problem is with me that I set goals for myself and then I don’t follow
 through. That’s the reason I started this blog in the first place. I wanted a spot to hold myself publicly accountable. And I’ll be honest, I think I’m a pretty good writer too. I wanted to force myself to do some writing. However, just like many of my other goals, consistency has fallen by the wayside on my writing. The problem that I have to keep reminding myself is that I am trying to do everything on my own. But newsflash..I don’t have any power. The good news is that God’s strength is made perfect in weakness. So it’s really a compliment to myself that I don’t have self will or determination or willpower. That’s God’s job. It is he who works in us both to will and to do of his good pleasure. With all that being said, though, I do have some goals for myself this year. What are they? Well, let’s start with the silly ones first. Might as well 🙂 So predictable.
Number one: It is official that I am busting out of not only my skinny pants and my fatter pants but even my fattest pants. If you’re counting, that means I’m three sizes up from where I’d like to be. Let me take a minute to say that if weight is an issue for you, we can’t compare ourselves. What I’m happy being and what you’re happy being are two totally different things. So let’s remove that little offense that might have come in when I mentioned my weight. Okay, now we’re ready to be friends again. So, my first goal is to get fit and healthy.
My second goal is to start attacking our debt. We have a serious foundation issue and credit card debt which amounts to… let’s just say lots of thousands of dollars. It would be unrealistic to think that we could get all of that debt down this year even if we saved and sold and ate ramen noodles. However, I would like to at least attack it, like I said.
Third, I would like to work on some family situations. I want Dusty and I to cherish the time we have while we don’t have kids and not let that slip away. However, I also want to make sure I do everything medically that I can to assure that we can have a family. You can pray for us about that, or any of these goals for that matter.
Fourth, I would like consistency. I don’t think I have ADD, although that certainly is a possibility, but I do bounce around from one thing I’m excited about to another. The problem is that if something doesn’t excite me, I’m not going to do it. That’s very childish. Adults should know that not every moment of our lives is going to be exciting. We have to do the faithful things, not just the fun things. So I want consistency in my prayer life, my Bible study Life, my weekly schedule, my eating habits, and oh, lots of things.
Final goal: When I was an English teacher, I taught my students to save their most important points for last, so that they would stick out in the reader’s mind. My overarching and most important pursuit for my life, not just this year, is intimacy with the Lord. I know in my head and my heart that if I will give Him everything, He will give me what I need. After all, it’s no surprise to him that I have debt or no children or that I’m overweight. And he is completely capable of taking care of all of that. In Matthew 6:33, he tells us to seek Him first, and He will add all the other needful things.
I don’t know about you, but I have been like a strong-willed horse. God has to put a bit and a bridle on me and turn my head because I’m constantly pursuing how I can do and accomplish and meet all my goals…queue the Martha post I wrote a while back. I’m trying to think of how to raise money. I’m trying to think of what I have done wrong to prevent me from having kids. The key word here is I. And when I listen to podcasts that tell me how somebody else is accomplishing and making it happen in her world, I start to feel anxiety. We know that anxiety is not from God either. In Philippians 4, Paul tells us to be anxious for nothing. God is capable of everything.
So this year, I reset myself again. I ask God to center me on His will and his pursuits, and I know he will take care of the rest. I’ve seen him do it. But I’m just like the Israelites when I forget that He has done it before and that He will do it again, whatever “it” is.
Here are a couple more scriptures to motivate both of us to make sure that we’re pursuing God’s goals:  In Mark 8:34-37, Jesus talks about the peril of gaining the whole world and losing our souls. Remember that He has an upside down kingdom, and in Mark 9:35, we see that the one who wants to be first needs to be the servant of everybody. So if I align those two together, Jesus is telling me to make sure that my goals are the ones that have His heartbeat at the center. If I will press my ear up against his heart and listen, I will know what I’m supposed to do and what my purpose is. I will stop trying to make everything happen on my own, because it’s not going to work anyway and because it will make me depressed, and because it will make me feel like I don’t measure up to anybody.
The cycle has to stop. I have to make my goals the ones that will put Him in the center and put people first. I want to pause here and say to that doesn’t mean that you exhaust yourself so that you’re no good to anyone else. It’s not a martyr complex, Suzy Lolley. However, if we are just self-focused, that is never going to lead to success. I pray along with you, my friend, that we will pursue the right things this year and that we will pursue them with God’s power. We neither pursue nor achieve anything without His very breath filling up our lungs.
Will you do this for me? Will you pray about some God-centered goals for this year? And will you leave them in the comments below? I want to pray with you and believe with you that God will do what he says he’s going to do and that we are going to arrive at the verge of 2019 empowered and hopeful and thankful that we turned it all over to Him.
Much love,
www.thebeaminmyeye.com
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A Call to Generosity

Though I only ever saw the final scene of the movie Schindler’s List, there was something so powerful about it that its message has always stuck with me. In that scene, Oskar Schindler, a businessman who had rescued over a thousand Jews , regrets that he had not done even more to make money available for that purpose. He laments not selling his car or his jewelry–objects he could’ve done without in order to save more people. So generous a man wanted to do even more and weeps over not using his money to do what it could have done.  Let us let that sink in.

I hear information all the time about a budget, and I am (as my husband can tell you), more than willing to talk about one. I believe in saving, and I believe in spending and paying bills and all the things we need to do with our finances. But you know what I believe in most of all?

Generosity.

I believe that one day all of this “stuff” is going to burn, and the only thing that will have mattered about our lives is what we did to help other people. Proverbs says that a man’s gift makes room for him. Some people interpret that to mean that a man’s gift makes room for him to have more friends or to exert more influence or to be seated at a better table. I’ve always thought that too, but now I’m thinking something more.  What I think is that the scripture means that our generosity makes room for us to be heard by people. And Jesus obviously supports that assertion when he says that we should not send a man who is hungry away from our door, tell him to be blessed, and give him nothing tangible.  If I have been generous with someone out of sincere motives, not bribery or false pretenses, it opens the way for me to share friendship and the gospel with them.

It’s time we had a talk about what our money is really for. It’s not just for a house or car or some Christmas presents. It’s not for bringing the latest Pinterest vision to life.  It’s about paving the way for other people’s lives to be enriched. If the love of money is the root of all evil, I don’t want to love it. I want to use it as a tool to bless others and to show them Jesus. I want to be the most generous tipper in a restaurant or the one who supports a variety of ministries. I’m not saying I am that every time. Heavens no. But I want to be. Don’t you?  Mine and my husband’s ultimate goal is that we would be financially stable, not so that we can retire in the Keys, but so that we can bless other people.

Let’s take some time to shift our focus from The American Dream to the dream of Jesus, which encompasses the whole world and how they can come to know Him.  And let’s ask God if our current level of giving is just enough so that we are still comfortable or whether we are giving to the point where it hurts us sometimes…but sure helps others.

I know today’s post might seem harsh, but I think it’s so important that we realize we don’t have unlimited time on this earth, and we may never have unlimited resources.  But will you join me in making the most of your time and resources?  If so, will you leave a comment below?

Want to think about it a little more?  That’s okay too.  Read this post, and see what Jesus lays on your heart.

Be blessed, Friend.

www.thebeaminmyeye.com

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Walking a Meandering Road: How to Finish Well

thebeaminmyeye.comI often think about my own funeral. As morbid as that may be, I have the whole thing planned out. I want people to bawl their eyes out and dive in the casket. (A former student, LB, has already called that role.) I want the saddest songs played, and I want it to be standing room only, even if the people in the room had to be compelled to come.

I’m totally teasing about this funeral of course. My main desire is really that people give their hearts to Jesus there. Why? I want to leave a legacy that people will miss when I’m gone. I want to finish well. To accomplish this is to start in one direction that is God-ordained and to end up there, despite obstacles, with fruit to show for it.

That’s why it was so hard for me to leave my teaching job after eleven years. I left feeling like a failure. Two of my favorite movies are Mr. Holland’s Opus and Sister Act II, probably because the teachers in both persevere against seemingly-impossible odds. They affect their students beyond the sphere of the classroom and help them rise to meet school challenges as well.

In my class, on the other hand, I usually had the highest failure rate. Though I loved my students and prayed for them daily, I was told that I was “leading the league on parent complaints.” And though I always looked forward to the last day of school when I would sing “I Hope You Dance” (yes, it’s cheesy!) for each of my classes with tears, the behavior in one class last year was so bad that I couldn’t muster up the good will necessary to sing them my best wishes.

My whole teaching journey started, like that of so many others, with a desire to change the world, and it ended with what felt like escaping to another job instead. In my mind, I did not finish well…

Like what you’ve read so far?  Check out the rest of this post on Beulah Girl.

Be blessed!

www.thebeaminmyeye.com

Get Down On It: Week One Update

Okay, this one’s going to be short and sweet.  I didn’t do everything I intended, but I did better than nothing:)  I am hoping that this month is really leading to a lifestyle change for me and for you.  It’s not too late to join me.  You don’t have to be perfect; you just have to try.  So far, Rachel has one entry in the contest with a picture, so you really can catch up if you want to join us.  Read the post that started it all to learn how to enter and why we’re doing this challenge.  My stats for the week are below.

get down on it weekly update--thebeaminmyeye.com

Leave a comment and let me know how you did or if you plan to join us!

Be blessed (and be productive!)

www.thebeaminmyeye.com