Lately I’ve been doing a lot of reading about margin, simplifying, and sabbath in preparation for teaching our Winter Bible Study at the church where I serve. This is one of those ironic (and common) moments where I’m teaching about something I really struggle with rather than something I have a handle on in my own life.
Protecting my margins has always been tough for me. The spiritual discipline of saying “no” is a discipline I’m not .. . well … disciplined in. The gift of sabbath is something I’ve often left unopened and marked, “Return to Sender”. Not for noble reasons, mind you. Most of the reasons have to do with my own insecurities, addictions and fears.
I’m not alone in this. Not in the least. Nearly everyone I speak with or encounter lacks margin in their lives. Everyone is busy, overwhelmed, running the race, meeting themselves coming and going, exhausted …..
A couple of years ago I decided to forego the annual resolution gig. Not that I was always good about making resolutions. Nor was I good about keeping them once I made them. Resolutions tend to make me focus on behavioral changes and result in guilt rather than growth. Honestly, if I made it to February, I would celebrate that as a win.
Two years ago I stumbled upon a lot of friends and bloggers who had sworn off resolutions and instead were beginning each new year with a theme word – a word they would aspire to; a word they would grow toward – rather than a behavior they would run away from.
I liked the idea. A lot.
My beautiful friends. Grab a box of tissues because this video …. Oh. My. Word. Amen and Hallelujah.
Our inner voices can be so loud and so discouraging.
“You’re too fat.”
“You’re a horrible mother/father/daughter/person.”
“You aren’t enough.”
“You are a disappointment to him/her/your kids/God/yourself.”
We need to change our inner voices. We need to tell our negative Nancy inner voice to “shut it”. Because you matter. You are enough. And you are loved by God.
If we could only see and believe the way that God sees us.
God says, “You are My Beloved.” Let’s write THAT on our mirrors.
One of the things I worked on this past week during my Introvert Intermission was a personal mission statement. Sounds like fun, right? Doesn’t everyone spend their vacation working on personal mission statements? It was like taking an adventurous hike through the wilderness … of my mind. I got lost. A lot. Wide open spaces and no sign of life for miles…. You get the picture.
Throughout September, our youth ministry taught on Legacy. It is hard for a 16-year-old to think about legacy. How do you think about legacy when you don’t have a ‘one-of-a-kind’ dress for homecoming and no hottie date to take you either. Your life is basically over. Screw legacy.
But a 41-year-old is definitely thinking about legacy as
she I realize how fast time goes.