I wanted to share the Bible study I am about to start at our church because I am so excited about it:
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Recently, while reading
It’s Not Supposed to Be This Way: Finding Unexpected Strength When Disappointments Leave You Shattered by Lysa Terkeurst I was struck by her observation that when we find ourselves overreacting to a person or situation, it’s often caused by past hurts that haven’t been healed.
I began thinking and praying about that statement, and felt like God was encouraging me to deal with a few things in my past that I thought I’d already forgiven. Since another friend had mentioned this Bible study to me, I was happy to discover that our church already had it in the library, and I’m looking forward to learning a lot over the next 6 weeks!
I’ll be sure and update everyone when I complete the Bible study. Who knows, maybe it will be something that you want to put on your “to do” list for the year!
Along with forgiveness, I’ve also been struggling with feeling like I’m not enough.
Do you ever feel like you are not enough? I bet you do. I know that I do. Once when I was feeling particularly full of angst and teenage drama (about 3 years ago, when I was actually around 40 and far from being a teenager) I wrote a poem called “Wretched Trinity” about how I was a wife, daughter, and mother…but there wasn’t enough of me to do a good job in any of those roles.
I laugh when I think about that poem now. Oh, not because I don’t still feel that way sometimes, more because I recognize that fact that everyone feels that way at times.
The funny thing is, the times I feel the worst are often the times when I am beginning to make progress! For example, this year I decided to try the Organize in 5 Diary that I read about on moneysaving mom.com
It’s a great resource that you can print out or use online, with one, 5 minute project each day to help clean and organize your entire house. Now, I’m not sure that the creators of this project meant to take on the Mt. Everest of laundry/paperwork/clutter that is MY house, but I and my girls are trying it, and actually enjoying the projects and seeing a noticeable difference each day.
One of the main benefits I’ve found is that I may see such a difference from the little project that it encourages me to complete a bigger project.
For example, today’s 5 minute project was to clean off the refrigerator. Get rid of old pictures, mementos, recipes and only leave the most current or necessary items on the fridge. In some houses this may not be a big deal at all. I wish I’d taken before and after pictures. After removing 4 recipes, 37 pictures, 11 paintings/drawings, 2 bills, a calendar from 2017, and approximately 1042 magnets…my refrigerator is beautiful!
Not only is my refrigerator beautiful, but my entire kitchen looks significantly better. It looks better because I looked at the shiny, newish looking, freshly decluttered appliance and thought you know, my refrigerator really deserves a cleaner kitchen than this! So I spent the next 30 minutes in a frenzy of cleaning countertops, washing a window, storing crockpots and instapots that should have been put up last week, going through 3 days worth of mail, sweeping, and spot mopping. Voila! A clean kitchen; all inspired by a 5 minute project.
Sounds great, right? I thought so. The problem started as I was going through the house this evening, locking doors and closing blinds and generally getting the house settled for the night. I looked at my beautiful kitchen and sighed contentedly. Until I looked through the kitchen at the laundry room. There are 2 baskets of clothes piled in front of the chest freezer, and I mean PILED. There’s an ironing board with jackets and hats on it, and various cleaning supplies in the walkway.
Turning off that light, I tried to shrug off the laundry room and walked through my lovely kitchen into the dining room…where books were spread all over the table, ready for tomorrow’s extra math lesson because we are struggling with figuring the area of triangles and need to do some extra work. Amidst the math books and problems, there’s a theory book that should be on the piano, 3 more envelopes that need to be opened and sorted, and a stack of paperwork on the computer desk…and darnit is that a reindeer in the corner that didn’t get put away with the Christmas stuff? This is the END of JANUARY for goodness sakes!
As you can tell, my mood was plummeting. I’d gone from peacefully enjoying my clean kitchen to critiquing every area of the house that I hadn’t dealt with yet. Instead of being satisfied and content that our house, along with each person in it, is a work in progress, I was feeling drained, discontent, and almost depressed. In that moment I seriously believed that I’d never have everything done at once. I’d never be organized enough or have things clean enough or be prepared enough.
In short, I’d just never be ENOUGH.
The worst part is, I don’t just do this with my house and the physical part of my life. I do it with the spiritual and emotional parts too.
God has moved mightily in my life over the past year. While I’m not a spiritual giant, I’ve definitely had a growth spurt! That often happens with adversity, you know. God is changing my life and my relationships…and giving both Johnnie and I the strength to break some bad health and financial habits that have been part of our lives for a long time. It’s amazing to see how He keeps working in us and through us, even when we mess things up.
The problem is, just like with the clean kitchen and the messy laundry room, I find myself focusing on what still needs to be changed in my life. Maybe I used the exercise bike 3 times this week, but why am I not a Ninja Warrior? Maybe I’ve developed the habit of reading my Bible and praying with Johnnie daily; but why haven’t I memorized more than 2 verses in the past year? Maybe we’ve done a LOT better about eating at home, which has to be healthier than Taco Bell; but shouldn’t we all be vegans by now? I’m pretty sure we should be! Maybe we’ve made quite a few changes and grown a bit; but is it enough?!
I have good news and bad news. The bad news is: I will never be enough. Not on my own. The good news is: I’m not on my own, and if you know Jesus, you aren’t on your own either. And because of Him, we are enough.
Why? Because He’s not finished with us. Philippians 1: 6 says that we can be confident of this: that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
As long as you keep waking up, God will keep working on you. He began the good work and He will finish it. It’s not just up to you and me. On our own we can’t be enough. But God IS enough, and he says that he will keep on working on us and with us and through us…until we are complete.
So tonight I am going to rest in that, my friends. I am going to rest in the fact that God says He will keep working, and that He is doing a GOOD work in me. My kitchen is clean, and one day more of my house will be clean too. God has strengthened and healed parts of my life over this past year, and one day He will heal the rest.
I am a work in progress and you are too. I hope you can rest in that tonight my friends; and as you rest, know that as I pray for myself and my family tonight, I am praying for you, too.