Not Too Pretty
Although He was a Son, He learned obedience from the things which He suffered. Hebrews 5:8
My word for the year is BE. I’ve spent the last two weeks praying about what God wants me to BE most. I’m here to tell you, he’s made it perfectly and painfully clear. I sort of forgot how clear he can be when I honestly and humbly ask him to show me something. It has been an ugly couple of weeks. On the outside I looked ok…my shoes matched and my teeth were brushed; you know, the important stuff for the world to see, but on the inside I’ve been a train wreck. Of course I didn’t want anyone to see that, I just tried to keep it all tucked away because as a general rule, we don’t like folks to know when we’re a hot mess but for some reason part of my “BE-ing” is to tell you what he’s shown me. Even though he’s been challenging me in a gigantic way, he’s also lovingly allowed me to stumble across some mighty words from some Holy Saints to guide and direct me.
“The nation doesn’t simply need what we have. It needs what we are.” St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross
I tell classes and audiences all the time that God calls us each to serve in a unique way according to the gifts and talents he’s blessed us with. He has clearly pointed out that I haven't been taking that statement to heart. He has thrown a spotlight on the fact that I spend too much time yearning to “make it big” instead of serving wherever he sends me. While I’m dreaming about speaking in huge convention centers and being noticed as a “Catholic Rock Star” he has made it very clear that I’m being prideful and wishing for someone else spot. He very clearly pointed out that whether there are 15 gathered in a church basement, 22 sitting in my classroom or a thousand in an auditorium; they are all HIS. My talents are about serving HIS children not my ego. He has made it very clear that I am to serve where he puts me. I’m wrestling with BE-ing content and BE-ing in the present. The world tells me to dream big and go for it; God is inviting me to be humble and use the gifts he gave me to bring glory to him.
To live is to change, and to be perfect is to have changed often. -St. John Neumann
While part of me sees the need to be content; he’s been glaringly pointing to the areas of my life where I desperately need to make big changes. Like a pebble in my shoe, he’s been pointing them out many times each day. I made my list of things I needed to do better in 2018 and he keeps pointing them out like a bad movie stuck on rewind. For at least a decade a few of the things on that list have remained the same. He’s asking me to be serious about those changes. If I really want time to read more or pray more I have to hack away some things to make that time; like Facebook and Twitter. One day as I was pondering more prayer while scrolling my newsfeed, my computer went completely black…message received! If I really want to be stronger and healthier I have to change what I eat and how I move. Those are changes that I have always struggled with but one day last week as I was thinking about all the reasons it’s so hard to make those changes, the chair I was sitting on literally broke beneath me. I’m telling ya, he’s challenging me in every corner of my life!
It was pride that changed angels into devils; it is humility that makes men as angels. -Saint Augustine
Pride and humility are a big battle in the life of a christian. Humility has nothing to do with weakness and complacency but rather has everything to do with living the Gospel message and acting like Jesus. In the past two weeks I’ve had several people point out mistakes I’ve made and places I’ve fallen short. Those situations have been uncomfortable and embarrassing but God has called me to look at myself honestly and react humbly. I guess I didn’t get it right the first few times so he’s given me a few more opportunities to get it right. I’m truly a work in progress in this area and it’s clear he isn’t going to let up until I get better. Stay tuned because I have a feeling I’m going to be doing some studying about humility and pride and I just may have to share some lessons.
God is good, even when he isn’t easy on us. The past two weeks haven't been pretty! I’ve cried, felt defeated, embarrassed and frustrated. There has been darkness, sadness and then times of joy as I have felt his loving presence throughout this whole process. This was a tough post to write; it’s pretty raw and perhaps not as joyful as others but it’s real!This tiny little word, BE has turned out to be mighty. As I get ready to hit the publish button, I have to BE confident that he’ll use my “hot mess” of a life this month to touch a heart or two.
A Seed To Plant: Spend some time in prayer asking God to show you what he desires for your life and then see if you’re getting in his way.
Blessings on your day!
1/15/2018 09:31:04 am
Good reminders! I like your word and it reminded me that I have not even had time to pray about a word for the year, yet!
1/15/2018 10:19:26 am
1/15/2018 05:52:29 pm
ABSOLUTELY THOUGHT-PROVOKING READ.THANKS SO VERY MUCH & HAVE a BLESSED EVENING
1/15/2018 06:17:38 pm
Nice to know you’re as human as the rest of us and have the same difficulties and emotions. I’m keeping you on my prayer list and asking the Holy Family to stay close to you.
1/16/2018 07:52:08 am
So thankful that God has placed you in our little corner of the world. My life has been blessed by your words over and over again. Remember, those sometimes small groups you speak to take your wisdom with them when they leave and implement it into their lives at home, at work, at school or wherever they happen to be. Your ministry reaches farther than you can imagine. God bless you!
1/17/2018 06:03:32 am
We need to remember what you say about ALL IS HIS! thanks for the reminder
1/18/2018 07:42:45 am
AMEN! I have felt a lack of confidence and motivation. I work at a Fitness Facility and am truly inspired by those I encounter & the obstacles they have overcome, but I need to continually focus outward even while at home instead of focusing inwardly on problems I face! I need to stop & realize those "ah ha" moments as GOD presents them to me!
1/19/2018 07:53:36 pm
Thank you for sharing....
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