Shepherding + Obedience

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Ohh friends,

I want to share with you our “focus verse” for the rest of the week. It is soo late in the week, to call it a “memory verse”. But, I really appreciate the truth found in this verse.

The saying is true and irrefutable: If any man [eagerly] seeks the office of bishop (superintendent, overseer), he desires an excellent task (work). – 1 Tim. 3:1, AMPC

I have much to say on this verse, but I want to keep today’s blog post shorter than normal.


Friends, let us consider how we can draw nearer to our Risen Lord today.

I don’t know what you have going on. You may be crazy busy, or physically weaker than normal. Let us consider how we can seek the Lord.


Finding Wholeness in Him

When I seek Him, He fills me up with His Holy Spirit. I don’t want to miss this experience of being full of Him – and feeling complete.

And you are in Him, made full and having come to fullness of life (Col. 2:10, AMPC). .

Normally people give themselves “one word” for 2018, I am finding out what mine is. A bit late? Drawing nearer is my goal for this year. I want to be drawn nearer to our Lord Jesus Christ – despite the circumstances of today.

Plant Based Eating

Today, I am on day 9 of being completely compliant on my new way of eating. I slipped up a bit last night, but overall it is going very well. This is something I am doing out of obedience.

I just want to obey the Lord and follow the direction He is leading me. I am realizing just how much I need to stay on this plant based way of eating.

As of yesterday, I “reappeared” on Instagram. I am hoping to be more vocal about this new way of eating, and maybe share recipes I am coming across and loving. Plenty of things going on, and as the Lord leads – I will share them here.

A Place to Minister

One of the reasons I love our verse is – it reminds me of the gift we have to shepherd others in the faith. As the Lord leads, He allows us to be there to love on and guide others.

This blog is an opportunity for me to live out this passion of mine – to shepherd and lead others closer to our Lord Jesus. Even if my days are filled with sickness or housework busyness, I can meet here and share what the Lord is putting on my heart.

Thank you all for being here, and allowing me to share.

In Him,

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Introvert Speaks: The Hang-Over

I am an introvert.

I recently “came out of the closet” (aka I keep writing about it). It’s not that my “introversion” is some brand spankin’ new discovery. It’s just that, writing is my primary way of processing e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g. Writing is how I share my experiences, and who knows, maybe it will help another soul who feels like they are drowning. There is a remedy. We need to recharge our spirits. There is hope, and a way out of our introvert’s hang-over.

Friends and the Dreaded Word

You know… It occurred to me when I was writing last night that many don’t know what introversion is. I know there are in my life. I can say the word “introvert” and their exact response is “Whaaa?!?!?” At which point, I respond with “… nevermind, because if I have to explain it…”

Yeah, if I have to explain it. I am not sure that it will be worth the hard work of extra mental processing and emotional energy to relay the information… and then, possibly have more conversational pieces to decipher and process at night than I would care for.

So you see, it isn’t exactly personal.

I am going to take a slight detour from my introversion hang-over concept to explain it to you. Right here. Right now.

Not Weird, Just Wired Differently

According to an article from early 2011, there are about 25% of the generation population that are marked by introversion. But, there are probably much more. Some of us spend our lives wondering “… okay, what’s wrong with me? Why am I different?” Anyway, there is a small percentage. So your friends may not understand why a conversation or party can drain the life.out.of.you.

Introverts are wired differently than their friends who aren’t as close on the introversion-extroversion scale.

We are wired differently.

It doesn’t mean we are weird or somehow “not measuring up”.

We are simply different from others of different personality types.

Wired Differently

Introversion is just a way of describing our personalities.

Social situation can stress out our spirits, especially if we aren’t taking time afterward for silence (of some sort) and processing. Shear silence (again, of some sort… Introverts “recharge” different ways. I am not sure if lack-of-silence means you won’t “recharge” as fast… I just know recharging is of great importance, or I am a walking-chaotic-disaster-with-absolutely-no-filter).

We (introverts) need to go into hiding for a time. And, we likely have a variety of ways coping with our external stimuli (sounds, conversations, lights, or a number of other things).

The Hang-Over

External stimuli gives me what I will just refer to as “…an introvert’s hang-over.” No, I haven’t been drinking. No, my head isn’t throbbing. But, my spirit is just… done. It is overwhelmed. It is weighed down to such an extent, that I literally cannot think straight.

There is too much going on.

Things I haven’t taken the time to process.

I just haven’t taken care of myself  like I need to.

And, I am a milli-second away from letting my guard down and utterly losing it – all over everyone and everything. I am moments away from a few scenerios:

  1. Screaming unfriendly terms (possibly expletives) at those around me.
  2. Running far far away, to be alone.
  3. Crying my eyes out.
  4. Using my hands and feet to display the drowning of my spirit.

I am sure there are a lot of well-played out examples of what happens during “an introvert’s hang-over”. But a drowning spirit is the best possible explanation that I have to offer you, dear readers.

When You Just Can’t Deal

I simply can’t deal. I am doing all I can to keep my head and heart above water – just until I can reach that pivotal point of “plugging in” introvert style.

Tonight, this means…

  • Quiet praise music (I rely on Jesus Christ to keep me going. After all, He is my Prince of Peace).
  • Slow breathing.
  • Writing out my thoughts (hello, blog readers!).
  • Completely, empty space where I am alone to be with God and my thoughts.

Just quietly sitting by myself. I just can’t be about other things right now. I have had a long day. A loud day.

The Truth

Saying these things (like calling a day longloud, or drainingdoesn’t mean the day didn’t have absolutely wonderful and beautiful aspects to it. It simply means my emotional battery needs to be recharged – if I want to be able to function tomorrow and not risk an emotion system shut-down.

If I want to experience life at its best, tomorrow, I need to take the time to effective care for my own needs tonight.

Guilt

I have to take the time my spirit needs, without feeling guilty. Being an introvert can mean guilt. You know you need to recharge, or chaos erupts, but how do we do it guilt free? At night? When one should be sleeping vs. writing at midnight.

Reality At Its Finest

Today, I simply could not handle the excessive external stimuli. At one point, it took most of my resolve to merely sit at the kitchen table. alone.

Simply put, I was just done.

I felt overwhelmed.

I needed to plug in, because my emotional center’s battery was down to about 15% remaining. Which as we know. A battery’s percentage isn’t always an accurate indicator of when the device will actually die. Cuts it a bit too close when we are talking about not a technological device. Instead, we are talking about me.

In the middle of relationships.

Situations.

People.

Serving opportunities.

Worshiping Jesus.

I want to give God my best!

When I am drowning from neglecting to process my emotions and experiences, not exactly at my best. How can I give God, others, or myself my best when…

… emotions are heavy?

… self-control is clawing to hang on?

… I neglect me?

I need to recover from today’s “introvert hang-over”. The things I do in this moment, count greatly for how I can overcome the stuff of tomorrow.

Rest Assured (A BookLook Review)

Looking For Rest?

rest assuredRest Assured is a book designed to help the weary find rest. As one in need of rest, I have picked up different books on the topic. Rest. Busyness. Eliminating Social Media. Sabbath. _________ (Fill in the blank, and quite possibly I have considered reading it). I know my need for rest, but like the rest of the world: Knowing I need rest, isn’t always followed by decluttering my life – so that I might find it.

Shear Honesty

I love Vicki Courtney, and her style of writing coupled with shear honesty. Not only does she write on how we can experience rest, she shares the struggle to simply rest herself. Together – we move toward a life of rest and “doing less”. Busyness catches us all at some point in our lives, but we can heed good advice and find joyous rest. We don’t need to keep enduring the “burnt out” stage in every area of our lives.

Real Rest

Through Jesus Christ and the Word of God, we can find rest! The kind of rest that we have only dreamed about. Courtney welcomes us into the reality that we, too, can explore our lives and truth found in Christ alone – and find our own peace and rest. Rest Assured offers us an opportunity to find examples and tips that shine guiding us toward rest.

Highly Recommend!

I invite you all to find soul refreshing rest alongside me!

I would recommend this book, based on what I have read from the book. She guides us into the truth of God’s Word, real life, and how we can begin to find true rest that our souls crave.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through BookLook’s blogger review program, in exchange for a honest review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

MMS – Rest

MMSFor the month of October, I am joining many bloggers in a challenge to write every single day for 31 days. I learned about this challenge through another challenge I participate in most weeks. The “Five Minute Friday” challenge is going to expand to last the whole month! Each entry, will be five minutes unedited of writing on a particular theme – found on Kate’s blog.Today’s theme is “rest.”

Sundays are known as the day of “rest.” But, what is rest? Do we even get it? Rest is the thing that redefines our day. Rest has a few hidden, or not-so-hidden, lessons wrapped up in this gift of rest.

Our Rest Lessons

  • Busyness is not your friend.
  • You need to take care of you.
  • The endless “to do” list can wait.
  • We need to set aside time to rest and reflect.

Our Reminder

More importantly, rest reminds us that we need Jesus.

We are weary souls, who can run anywhere from here to Timbuktu in search of rest. Our weary souls need someone this world cannot deliver. Our weary souls need Jesus.

Rest has to involve Jesus. When it doesn’t, our spirits lose out on the rest it needs. Rest should be something we treat as a blessing. Like many things though – when we don’t rest, we experience the consequences of it. Rest is not only a human-thing, but a gift-thing. Even Jesus rested. After everything was created, God set aside that seventh day to rest.

It is when we rest

that we can slow down

and just celebrate

the work God has done in our lives.

Just Rest

Just rest. This is God’s gift for His child. We can rest and run to Him. Our souls are spent every single day on many things. Every single day, we spend our souls until we are down to nothing. It is time to be replenished. Just take time to calmly rest. However God calls you to rest, celebrate the gift of rest.

“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light (Matthew 11:28-30, ESV).”

Christmas: The One Thing Needed

This Christmas, which of these women’s examples will we follow? I feel like our spirits wrestle with how to be more like Mary and less like Martha all year long. Christmas: the struggle can go into overdrive, as many go into a “Martha” splurge. Will we choose to listen to Jesus?John 14:15 reminds us that if we love Him, we will obey His commandments. Will we choose to just listen, and allow our celebrations of His birth to be more centered on Him than traditions of this world?

May we finally choose to keep Jesus and His Word at the center of our hearts and all we do this Christmas season (and always), while all those close to us choose to be defined by how busy they can become.

Can we do that? If not for ourselves, then to obey the Word of God. I am reminded of what Jesus is teaching Martha. While he lets Martha in on the truth, Mary is commended for doing the one thing that is indeed needed.Let’s go back to this text that we find in Luke 10.

As Jesus and his disciples were on their way,
he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him.

She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said.
But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made.
She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me
to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”
“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset
about many things,
but few things are needed—or indeed only one.
Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

(Luke 10:38-42)

Is our celebration of Christmas a time of stressing out? It wasn’t meant to be. Will we take His light burdens instead of keeping on our heavy ones? May we choose to let this passage be close to our hearts. This is perhaps the Christmas message, we may forget every year. Maybe, this time, our hearts will listen. Our celebration of Jesus’ birth, does not have to be defined by our busyness, but His goodness and love that knows no bounds.