My original post was going to be about creating a summer evening routine that actually works.
In saying “how to live presently,” I wanted to emphasize on the fact that it’s possible to live presently during the summer if you change up your routine intentionally and approach it with flexibility, etc. It’s a helpful post, which I saved for a later time, but it doesn’t really reflect with how my life is going right now.
I have to admit that I haven’t been “in routine” (like I usually am) for several months now. And for a while I felt like it was my fault, that I couldn’t come out of it for XYZ. But recently, I learned that it has little to do with me.
For the longest time, I tried to be in control of my calendar, my routines, self-discipline, and motivation. Or, in other words, I relied on myself a lot. So it was interesting how I’ve been interpreting this season, thinking that something was off because I couldn’t control it. But after conversations with my husband and some close friends, I realized I asked for this.
I asked God to help me grow in my character, to help me change for the better, and I think that’s what’s happening and what I need to share about. I’m all about motivation and enjoying Monday mornings or whatever, but I have to be honest when I’m truly not motivated, not “sticking to the plan” as I’ve shared in previous posts, and really, don’t have it together.
We live in the information age and I think that’s good and bad at the same time. It’s good that we seek and crave knowledge, even Proverbs talks about it a lot. But it’s also not good, because we end up relying on ourselves rather than on God.
As I look on these months that have gone by, I realize that this “funk” I’m in, where I’m not “on track” like normal, is because God has been stripping me of my knowledge, schedules, routines, and overly disciplined self. He’s making HIS strength perfect in my weaknesses and areas where I come up short.
Even several of my friends have pointed out that when they first met me, I appeared intimidating because I “have it all together” and am “perfect,” that I “know what I’m doing” and where I’m going in life. But… I think that’s what is breaking off now. I tried to be that, tried to control so much, but have come to terms with the fact that I can’t. I’m not where I am today because of me, but only by God’s grace and the help of other people.
It’s as if God is stripping me of my confidence, pride, and “self” discipline, and teaching me how to let my confidence be Him (Jeremiah 17:7), to boast in the Lord (2 Corinthians 10:17), and to get disciplined by Him instead of self (Job 5:17-18). It’s put me in a place of having nothing to hold on to but Him instead of these routines, knowledge, and self-discipline.
In a world that promotes self-discipline, self-care, self-help, self-this-and-that, I think it’s easy to lose sight of what’s actually important. We get caught up in and with ourselves that we forget there is more to life than knowledge and survival, which leaves us in insecurity.
Insecurity results from seeking security in yourself. You withdraw, you dwindle back; you feel less; you feel small, and that’s the thing. You draw in to your own security. You turn your eyes on you. You focus and zoom in on yourself, because you’re looking in to be secure.
I realize with Gods help that in the areas I don’t feel enough, in the areas that you don’t feel enough, it’s not on us to “work our way up” or to “muster up enough-ness” and get busier with tasks and our agendas, or whatever else our coping might be.
To stop feeling insecure or less than, we have to stop looking IN and at or on ourselves, and recognize that Jesus FILLS us up in the places where we’re not enough. He completes us and qualifies us to be MORE than enough, because HE is enough.
Ephesians 3 says: 20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, 21 Unto him be glory…
It says to him that is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us.
We often focus on what we can get for ourselves with this verse. But it’s still about Him. He is the one that is able to do more. He is the Source of the power that works in us. He is the exceeder and the provider of abundance. He came that we may have life, and may have it abundantly (John 10:10).
Verse 21 completes verse 20 by pointing it to the one who made it possible: to him be glory. And this reminds me of where to turn my eyes. Instead of looking in and at myself, I can look to the one who does deserve the glory, the one who made it possible to even BE enough, and not “just enough,” but more than enough.
In the areas I feel less than or insecure, or not able to control my schedule and routines, I have to change my perspective and see that Jesus completed, fulfilled, and provided exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think.
We forget we can ask. Or maybe we turn to ask ourselves instead of asking God. We look for the answer in ourselves, with our eyes still on ourselves. Whereas we should turn to God and ask Him to fill the areas that feel partial.
Along with that, we forget God gave us a powerful tool where we can get continual transformation: In our minds. This is where our thoughts live, including the ones that need renewing. If Jesus can do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, we ought to get our thinking on track by uniting it with His Word and will.
If we keep looking in ourselves for security, stability, and a sense of worth, we’re only going to get disappointed.
Because the need for God is already in us. He is the life which we crave.
He is the filler of empty spaces.
He is the one who leads us into all truth.
Without Him, I’ll never do, feel, or be enough for myself or anyone else.
With Him, I am more than enough because He’s completed me and made me whole.
With Him, I may have life abundantly.
He is literally the one who holds it all together and helps us live life presently.
I understand what you are saying and can relate. I like order in my life. I like to feel in control. It seems like God is dealing with me in this area, too. Some nights when I crawl into bed, I tell Him how out of balance my day felt and ask Him to help me keep my eyes on Him and not my “to-do list”. At 75, I am still discovering what God has plans for my life. With all my heart, I believe He laughs at my “to-do list”. Taking up my cross, or crucifying self, is never easy and I believe most of us will struggle with it as long as we are in this world.
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Wow, thank you for sharing that Deborah. These are words of wisdom and very encouraging and inspiring! I appreciate your input ❤