I remember going on trips with my family as a little girl. I was always in the middle seat in the back, with one brother asleep on my lap and one on my shoulder. Even today, it’s hard for me to fall asleep when someone else is driving, in case my lack of vigilance is the cause of our plunging down a ravine. (Or maybe I’m just a control freak?)
Anyway, when you can’t sleep and have two people lying on you, all there is to do, besides play the alphabet billboard game with yourself, is wonder that quintessential childhood question: “Are we there yet?” Such a question drives every parent to drink (sweet tea) as the answer is clearly that if we were there, we would have already stopped. Obvious enough?
Not to a child, apparently.
Not to us adults either. God makes us so many promises, and He is always so faithful, but all we seem to want is the fulfillment of the next promise — and now. We ask our Heavenly Father the same question I used to ask my earthly one so many times: “Are we there yet?” And with that question, we show that doubt has taken root in our hearts.
I ask Him if we’re there yet on our finances. Our bills are paid, but that beautiful budget that my husband and I never seem to actually implement stares us in the face.
I ask Him if we’re there yet on this fix-Suzy’s-personality-thing. I remind Him that I called a whole blog “The Beam in My Eye” and have drawn attention to every flaw I can think of about myself, but yet, my issues are still there.
[Tweet “have drawn attention to every flaw I can think of about myself, but yet, my issues are still there.”]
I ask Him if we’re there yet on Dusty’s and my future. Kids or no kids? Leadership or no leadership? World change or television-channel-change? Is this it for us?
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I remember sitting in Adams Park in Kennesaw, Georgia, with my husband back when we were teenagers and telling him that I knew I would have a hard life. I knew that I would never have the white-picket-fence life or be the soccer mom, because God had another plan for me. Let me stop here and say that I am not criticizing those who do have a comfortable life — I just have always known I wouldn’t.
But that’s about where the life-plan clarity ended. None of the specifics of my life — having children, making ministry decisions, and seeking job direction — have seemed to follow such a defined path. They’ve been hard for sure, and yet I haven’t had that moment where the sky opens up and God gives me clarity on a specific issue.
In all of my recent seeking for the Lord’s will, I’ve come across two schools of thought about finding it. One of them, proposed in the book What Am I Supposed to Do with My Life? by Johnnie Moore, says that we should, when faced with two equally good decisions and no clear word from God, choose what we feel and trust that God will bless it. The other school of thought, which I find myself leaning toward, says that we should hear a clear direction from God before we act. I may not be quite as specific as Gideon was when he laid out the fleece before God in Judges 6, but I am still looking for big and small signs of God’s will in the world around me and wondering if each one is God’s divine voice of direction…
[Tweet “I am still looking for big and small signs of God’s will in the world around me and wondering if each one is God’s divine voice of direction.”]
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I often find myself in a state of metacognition, a time of thinking about my own thinking.
My dad and I were in a tea house last year (yes, I’m a con-artist to get my dad to go to tea!), and there was a party of ladies sitting near us. The whole time we were there, I noticed that one woman totally dominated the conversation. She sat in the middle of the table and chimed in her own perspective on every topic. I didn’t know the woman, but I couldn’t help but think how obnoxious she was in comparison to her friends. Maybe I felt that because I recognized myself in the middle of that circle.
She was me, and the vision of that time in the tea house has haunted my memory since then.
I have no desire to be an introvert. I enjoy the fact that I can be bold. I like being the life of the party. I like being the center of attention. However, at the end of the day, I find myself replaying every word I’ve said and asking, “What crossed the line? What did people think of how I said that?” It’s not a cocky thing—it’s an insecure thing, an I-will-never-fit-in thing. Who would think that an extrovert who willingly draws so much attention to herself would regret most of the words she so carelessly tosses out? I wouldn’t believe it myself if I weren’t my own eyewitness…
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Every Tuesday at 8:30 PM EST, join me for Truth Tuesday. Here’s the video where we discussed this post:
Here we are at a new year again. I’m going to keep it simple tonight. I want to ponder on the steps that will help me reach these goals, and the scriptures that support them, but for now, here are my non-resolutions for 2016. My resolve is never enough, so I’m depending on the Lord. My challenge to you? Go to canva.com and make your own beautiful goals. Then share the public link here. I’ll post more about each of these soon!
What does that title mean? How do I waste time on youtube and still do it efficiently? I am going to give you some tips in this short(er) post.
1. Watch with a purpose. I will confess I have an Alejandra.tv addiction. If you have never watched “my friend” Alejandra in action, you will love her. She seems so sweet and unscripted…and so unlike me in the clean and organized department. I don’t sit around and look up funny animal videos, nor do I click on every video I see posted on facebook. Where do people find time for that? Instead, when I do have some time to watch videos, I find myself returning to these subconscious questions:
2. Make a list. If you’ve ever found yourself sucked into the blackhole of YouTube or the Internet in general, you know that you can spend a lot of time looking at nothing. Even if the search starts innocently and with total purpose, it’s easy to get sidetracked by the sheer volume of what is out there. I started to notice that habit with myself, so I started making a list. For instance, with every Alejandra video I watched, I would start writing down good ideas from the videos. Here is the link to my good ideas from several of her videos.
3. Use the ideas. By definition, useful means that, um, we are able to use something. If I watch a video and never use the ideas, I am really just wasting time and turning my brain into mush. What I do to make sure the ideas are used, aka useful, is that I have the Google Sheets and Google Drive apps on my phone. Both are free, so that I can take my inspiration list everywhere I go. I feel a trip to The Container Store coming on:) With that said, like I advised in my Pinterest-related blog post, budget has to be key. We can’t go hog-wild at a store buying stuff we can’t afford to organize the mountains of stuff we should probably donate anyway. I want to use the YouTube ideas to both get tasks done and bless others with my financial responsibility.
Let me end with this, a prayer for productivity:
Lord, you know the purpose of this blog is to chronicle my journey of becoming more Jesus-dependent and less independent. I often feel convicted about wasting time. Help me, Lord, to “redeem the time, for the days are evil.” I don’t want to waste a minute that could be used to change the world. In Jesus’ name, amen!
What do you do to become more productive? Are you inspired by the ideas I’ve shared? Let’s get the discussion going below.