Hey there and Happy Friday! Any big plans for the weekend? The girls and I are headed to the lake after work tonight, but before then how about some serious life stuff?
I started reading Fervent because I felt like there was some type of disconnect between me and God. Like a wall. Sure, I felt and feel connected to Him, but not fully connected. Like something was off. Like I was doing something that was preventing me from really hearing Him, from really talking to Him, from really worshipping Him. I was hoping that reading a book dedicated to prayer strategy would help me to hash that out. By Chapter 7 I was loving the book, but still feeling a desire to get closer without knowing exactly how to do it.
Enter Chapter 8: Your Pressures.
I put a ton of pressure on myself. I am just wired that way, as I am sure a lot of other women are. I expect to get a full day’s worth of stuff out of a day so that I can get a full life’s worth of stuff out of my life.
Shirer points out that this pressure is very similar to slavery and that Satan is behind that. I really couldn’t argue with this, as I often feel like I don’t have a choice but to do what I have written on my to-do list. Something else she points out that I had never considered was that if we don’t rest, we don’t worship God appropriately. Specifically,
“God’s purpose in giving you Sabbath spaces amid your full, productive life is to help you be uninhibited in your devotion, service, and worship of Yaweh. Margin keeps you from marginalizing God."
Good point. Point taken. But understanding this and putting into action are two very different things. Everything I do seems incredibly important in my life. Everything is so precious. What could I give up?
I have tried to put more margin in my life and have had some success, but obviously there is more room. Shirer gives a list of ways to asses your life.
After reading this list, I thought of meals and how much time and thought I spend on meal planning, grocery list making, shopping, food prepping, and making dinner. This, I thought, was a way I could put more margin in my life!
I decided to put this into action. I planned to only make easy meals the following week. I looked up and pinned recipes that were quick or used premade ingredients. I googled how to make meals out of food from Trader Joe’s, was disappointed in what I found, and made a mental note to write a blog post about ways to create quick meals from TJ ingredients.
I promise I see the irony in this now, but I didn’t then.
I went to Trader Joe’s without a list! I just threw things in my cart that I thought would go together. I was so proud of myself and the “margin” I had created in my life until I got to checkout line. The always chatty Trader Joe’s cashier asked how I was doing and then casually asked, “Shopping without a list today?
Me: Yah, I usually shop with a list, but I am trying to give myself a break
Cashier: I understand. I just like to have a list because I like know what I need for what I want to make that week.
Me: I usually do too, but I decided to wing it this week.
Cashier: I get it. I just really like to cook.
Me: Me too. I really do. I just wanted to spend more time with my kids and less time in the kitchen.
Cashier: I usually try to involve my kids in cooking.
Me: Me too. I promise, I really love to cook and meal plan and give my kids healthy food. I am just trying to not do that this week.
Cashier: Interesting. How is it going?
I don’t even remember what I answered, just the feeling inside that I had not done this right. Hmph.
Obviously I don’t have this margin/pressure/rest balance thing figured out yet. So I will pray.Here is an example of a prayer I had about pressure.
(P): God, thank you for all the opportunities you have blessed me with. Thank you for all the loving guidance you give me. Show me it is all through you and show me how to use these gifts.
(R): Forgive me for giving into pressure. I have worked on this and although I have gotten better, I know I still have a lot of room to improve.
(A): Show me the areas that aren’t doing your work. Show me where I am wasting my time and energy. Show me how to rest without giving me anxiety. Give me margin. Teach me to let it go. I want to produce big, juice, and flavorful peaches for you.
(Y): I know that you are not impressed by the strength of a horse and you don’t value the power of a man. You value those who fear you. Those who put their hope in your faithful love.*
It is through Jesus, who I am so, so thankful for.
*Psalms 147: 10-11
Week 7: Purity