Just a quick heavily accented video greeting for you… THANKS FOR VISITING MY SITE.
Today I am sharing what I have learned and am still learning about practicing peace with the unfinished.
It boils down to realizing that I, myself am unfinished. It is amazing to me how a new attitude can change frustration into forgiveness and disappointment into acceptance of what was just not to be. Frenzied fervor which has whipped me up into a tornado of inefficient, disorganized activities can intentionally be reformed into a planned strategy of purposefully taking whatever comes next, doing my best and realizing that is ALL I can do. If something remains undone I will assess it factually and without guilt. What can I learn in the failure?
If only I had all the energy, strength and time to fulfill ALL the things that I’d like to do. When I was younger I did not have so many considerations; I just thought of something and did it.
However, as age, injuries, obligations and wisdom have hammered on me a bit, I now have to intentionally consider the steps that I take.
The fact is:
I will NEVER have enough time to do ALL the things that:
• I NEED to do,
let alone all those that
• others EXPECT me to do, or
• even those I WANT to do (pleasure, leisure, vacations & hobbies).
As time marches on, seemingly faster and faster like a downhill snow boulder, I have been plagued by all the “should’a, would’a, could’a” done things.
I have felt the pain of failure so many times. The perceived guilt I’ve felt of letting others down by not completing a task may not have been the case at all, as I learned when I honestly analyzed later. I discovered it wasn’t that important to them. It was only a big deal because I “thought” it was a big deal. A part of me believes that a person thinks less of me because I have disappointed them. To look at that honestly, I had taken the focus off of the joys of doing something to help others and perverted it with misconceptions as to what they would think about me?! Yikes!
I think there is a tendency for some people to lean more toward the people-pleasing side of social interactions. On the opposite side of that pendulum swing is that “I really don’t care what anyone thinks of me” attitude. Of the two sides I definitely lean more toward the former.
As I realign myself with the teachings of God’s Word found in the Bible and taught in wonderful church sermons and small group studies, I have learned a far better way that brings sharper focus and overwhelming peace…God’s way is the best way.
My Type-A, driven personality makes sure that the most critical person of what I do or don’t get done is ME! So my natural bent is to be very hard on myself. I used to reason that as long as I demand perfection from myself no one else will be hurt or hurt me. Nope. It’s still sin. I was still putting my own demands above everyone else’s…most especially God’s. But God is working on me to transform my thoughts and actions. He is ingraining the thought that I am not good or bad because of what I DO. Rather I am only good because of what Christ did. It’s not about me or what I do or do not do.
As a reasonably intelligent person, I try to avoid unnecessary pain and learn from my mistakes. This life lesson is obviously still underway, yet I am making progress.
Due to chronic and unpredictable physical challenges I have incomplete “to-do” lists that have items that have moved forward to the next list so many times that I should have them pre-printed on the pad of lists. Obviously, I have to approach my disappointments of undone projects in a new way.
It saddens me to have such great intentions and then not be able to complete that task to the degree I had planned. Therefore, I am trying to be more thoughtful about the tasks that I accept or add to my To-Do List.
Here is my suggestion for dealing with the perpetual to-do list. I ask myself this basic analytical question:
“is this really something I should do?”
Let’s look at that question a keyword at a time.
◽️Really — I need to tell myself the truth! Maybe a reassessment is in order. Maybe circumstances have changed and so should my list. This is especially true if we tend to have a hard time saying “no” to others or get easily diverted by creativity ideas popping into our head that we want to add to our lists. If there are too many demands, we have to intentionally postpone items or even eliminate some from our agenda. There are always more tasks than time to complete them.
How many times have we thought we could do something that later turned out to be so much more difficult than we had first thought?! How many times have we regretted agreeing to take on something without thinking it through first? This is a lesson that one either learns from or repeats often, isn’t it?
We have to say “no” sometimes.
And for me at least, I need to remember that I am NOT a bad person just because I said “no” to one thing (even in helping others). You see, in saying “no” to even some good things, it frees me up to say “yes” to even better things.
⚠️Warning: As much as helping others is beneficial and nobel, if we neglect meeting our core needs (self, God, spouse & family) we will have less to give. Then we may suffer frustration, loss of joy and even dread of becoming involved in other lives and activities.
🚨Not all thinking of ourselves first is “selfishness”; sometimes it is necessary self-care!
✈️ It’s like that famous statement given during every pre-flight safety training: “in the event of a sudden decompression of the cabin, oxygen masks will automatically fall down from the ceiling. Grab the mask firmly. Jerk down firmly to start the airflow through the tubing. Place the mask ON YOUR OWN FACE FIRST before helping to place a mask on your children or others.”
☑️Each and every step in that check list is important. If you just notice the mask but don’t grab it and jerk it and apply it to your own face, it will be of absolutely no use to you. . . And you will be of no use to anyone else!
If you pass out due to lack of oxygen you are suffering and will not even be able to help others. But, if you take care of yourself first, then you are equipped with what you need to help others.
There are times when improper assignment of a task or changes in circumstances meeting the challenges gets overwhelming. How many of us enjoy the spinning beach ball or blank blue screen or all those error codes when the computer interrupts our productivity? I don’t know about you, but there are few greater prompts for turning to prayer. I am stopped…by a solid block wall of inability! I have been forced to address such emergencies when I am not well equipped to do so. I HAD to learn enough to get through or avoiding an emergency. However, I will plan on hiring a computer geek to thoroughly work on my computer. They can do it in a fraction of the time and with great skills that I do not possess nor have the time or desire to learn. This is an example of smart re-delegation; NOT me, but someone else gets this one.
No matter what, the degree of effort that I place in doing my very best at a job — the quality of work — is far more important than the quantity. I have needed to remind myself of this often. It’s not how many things that I get done, rather, it’s the quality of the work that I do that really matters. My character is displayed not only in what I have done, but also in what I have not done as well as my attitude about what I do or do not do.
I can only hope that my sharing these thoughts and hints on handling the undone perpetual to-do list will be of use to you.
For those of you who, like myself, face even harder times managing because of unpredictable health challenges, I pray this has encouraged you to show yourself grace. Be kinder to yourself. Do what you can, take breaks often, and celebrate the accomplishment of even the littlest of steps.
It is said that life is about climbing the mountain getting ever higher. If one tries to look at the top of the mountain from it’s base, he likely will not even see its peak which has perforated the clouds. One could become discouraged and give up trying. But I encourage you dear friend…take a step. I don’t care if it is a long on or short one, fast or slow. Just take a step! Now you are that much closer to the top.
One person’s trek down the hall a few steps to the bathroom may be equivalent to another’s marathon in terms if effort and energy drain. So comparing our journey to another’s may be grossly unfair. So stop comparing your accomplishments to others. Instead, truthfully assess your own self in relation to the load that you yourself bear. Now, take that next step!!!
No matter what any other person says or does . . . NO ONE (including you) can ask for anything more than your best!
So, at the end of the day, if you are looking at an unchecked box or more on your To-Do list …so what? Did you do your best? If you did – then rejoice in what you’ve done; no matter how small, celebrate the victory. If you did not – then ask yourself what you can learn in the truthful analysis of the unchecked box…”is this really something I should do?”
By living this way, there is peace:
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters,”
Colossians 3:23 (NIV)
To those who know about the unpredictability of autoimmune diseases, it comes as no surprise that there are days that I have deemed as “Frisbee Squirrel” days. Those days when all previously made plans must be set aside to deal with a body in non-compliance. When the weight of one’s extremities add boat anchors to the weight of the torso sinking into the mattress, it requires major effort to move. Getting upright to walk a few yards to the toilet and back is akin to executing a marathon. Although, praise the Lord, these days are fewer than past years, I do occasionally get side-lined. Today was just such a day.
I had great plans of getting some painting done on a big set project that has a hard deadline. I did prep work yesterday, so I was ready to execute some productivity today. Awwwwk [buzzer sound]…not gonna happen!
Exactly one day after proclaiming that I do trust that God is in charge of everything in my life…And that ALL of it is for my good and His glory…And that I can actually rejoice in trials because of the fact that God uses trials to make me more like Jesus; here I am “grounded” so to speak. My bones have all the strength of a pile of dust. I am fighting to keep my eyes open and my thoughts of the simplest task in a straight line.
It became obvious that I was forced to resign myself to another lost day. The cold, rainy day outside was adding to the gloom that wanted to throw a big pitty-party to the frisbee squirrel who was of no use. However, God was gracious to me!! Let me tell you how.
Last night’s growth group study, focussing on the Bible book of Ephesians, dealt with God’s gifting each of us with what we need to help grow ourselves & others up in Christlikeness. A godly advisor & another friend each independently spoke of being happy for trials. In my morning Bible reading God’s Word reminded me that God is the strength of my heart. In the midday, I received an unexpected facebook tagging of a very good article about Women’s ministry being more than just casseroles or being a Proverbs 31 woman. And finally, my handheld device allowed me, even while too weak to get out of bed, to follow-up on people who are seeking help with Foreign Accent Syndrome.
That series of events helped me quickly shift off of the feelings of defeat to the intentional pursuit of just doing something…any little thing…that I can do.
As a result, today I was blessed to be able to bring great relief and comfort to two souls that are literally in different parts of the world from me, and each other. Yet all three of us know the pain, suffering & loneliness associated with having such a rare condition as Foreign Accent Syndrome. The difference is, I know how to use social media and the world-wide web to reach out to find those who are not getting properly diagnosed or help in the ignorant or uninformed medical community. I have been blessed to be able to speak with many different people about many different things in straightforward and understanding manner. I care for others and they sense that early on. God allows me to be comfort and His love for them.
It is so humbling to realize that God actually uses ME!
God actually uses me, at my absolute lowest of strength and power to have impact in the lives of others! Is that not amazing?!
So, today as I look back on what I thought was going to be another wasted day in which I was just taking up resources, God instead used this day to teach me a new perspective.
What I thought was a “Frisbee Squirrel” day actually turned out to be a “playdough” day. >> Rather than giving in to the notion that I was of no more use than a dried up dead squirrel and all the negativity associated with that, I was given a different outlook.
God allowed me to be truly flexible; to accept that although things were not as I had planned, that it could be okay.
Allowing myself to be molded by my Maker was very rewarding. In fact it was beautiful. I could relinquish all the strain of trying to “make” things happen and instead allow myself to be moved and shaped as He saw fit, knowing that would guarantee a good result. In fact: the best result was assured. It truly left a lasting impression on me and on others.
As I look back on today, I rejoice even in the not-idealic circumstances of my day. I was able to make a new friend in Scotland and another in Chile who actually cried with relief to hear from me…me?! (a nobody Frisbee Squirrel bedridden in the Midwestern United States). I tell you God never ceases to amaze me. Amazing love; how can it be? It was a good day to be playdough.
What kind of day did you have?
Examining 1 John2:23 in light of people who believe Satan’s lie that they can please Holy God without having a true relationship with Jesus Christ…a pulpit commentary (via http://biblehub.com/philippians/4-7.htm) presents these points for our verification:
Verse 23. – Every one who denieth the Son not only does that, but οὐδέ doth not possess the Father. To deny that Jesus is the Christ is to deny the Son of God, for the Christ is the incarnate Son; and to deny the Son of God is to deny the Father also, for the incarnate Son is the Revelation of the Father; and not only so, but to deny the Son is to cut one’s self off from the Father, for “no one knoweth the Father but the Son, and he to whom the Son will reveal him.”
To emphasize this great truth St. John uses his favourite motive of stating it both negatively and positively. To deny the Son is not to have the Father; to confess the Son is to have the Father (comp. 1 John 1:5, 8; 1 John 2:4, 27; 1 John 3:6; 1 John 4:2, 3, 6, 7, 8; 1 John 5:12).
Note the solemn asyndeta. There is not a single connecting particle in verses 22-24; the sentences fall on the ear like minute-guns. “Every one that denieth.” There is no exception. Even an apostle, if he denies that Jesus is the Christ. thereby also loses all possession of the Father. The history of philosophy verifies the statement. Deism has ever a tendency to end in pantheism or atheism.//
–Definitions——via the Dictionary App
(1)belief in the existence of a God on the evidence of reason and nature only, with rejection of supernatural revelation (distinguished from theism ).
(2)belief in a God who created the world but has since remained indifferent to it.
(1) the doctrine that God is the transcendent reality of which the material universe and human beings are only manifestations: it involves a denial of God’s personality and expresses a tendency to identify God and nature.
(2) any religious belief or philosophical doctrine that identifies God with the universe.
(1) the doctrine or belief that there is no God.
(2) disbelief in the existence of a supreme being or beings.
Sadly, there are many who remain deceived into thinking they are on good terms with God although they deny the Savior. It is not our going to a temple, shrine or place of worship, knowledge, our good deeds, nor anything that comes from us that saves us. It is not a prayer, a ceremony, nor our ascending into a higher state of consciousness, or obtaining some great degree or status. It’s definitely not our own senses or feelings that testify to our soul’s state before God. No! It is not about us and what we’ve done! It is ALL about Jesus and what God has done/ is doing/ and will do for us.
It’s a relationship with Jesus and our devotion to that relationship that many unbelievers mislabel as an “organized religion”. That’s akin to calling the passionate love of my life just “an okay human being”. Or our “marriage vows” to one another just a business arrangement that is only a piece of paper that could be undone with a lawyer and a few bucks!
I’m sorry to say that those who are fixated on dissing Christians as being “religious” just don’t know what a Christianity really is. Unfortunately, unless they allow themselves to intelligently examine facts and dispel lies with truth, they will likely remain in opposition to the very people who try to help them.
Those that don’t really know Jesus do not really know peace. Their souls deep down know that they are at enmity with God. Something is not right. They search and cannot find it. They try the world’s way of selfish ambition and self-rule. The Bible refers to this as the man who built his house on shifting sand. There is no solid foundation, because when the current scheme, relationships, pursuits fail (and they will) they simply try something else and start the cycle all over again.
Our rock-solid, devoted & loving relationships with God and other people is in very strong contrast to their hate for our proclaiming the truth of God’s word.
Christians are accused of being “judgemental” when all they may have done was state truth. It is the truth…God’s truth that judges. The soul that remains unsaved knows it is not right with God so it attacks the messenger. Do you notice how much venom is thrown toward a Christian by a non-Christian? Satan fight’s hard to keep an unsaved soul from being redeemed. As long as Satan can convince a person to remain in sin, he retains damned souls. Those who remain under the curse of sin because of their rejection of God.
God talks about that in the book of 1st John as well. They love the darkness and hate the light. The light of truth exposes lies, sins and that which they want to keep hidden. Those that live in darkness do not SEE all that they are missing. They remain in fear of the unknown. But there is a certainty that awaits all of us…One day …and it could be at any moment….EVERY knee will bow, and EVERY tongue will confess that Jesus is LORD. There will be those who will rejoice at being in His presence and others will trembling when they realize that they have been spitting in the face of the Beloved who came to save EVERYONE who would put their faith in Jesus.
There are only two ways for any person to be:
(1)Lost=dead in our sins, an enemy of God=No Jesus, No peace OR
(2)Saved=redeemed by Christ putting to death our sins at the Cross & giving us grace greater that ALL our sins, a new life IN Him, a child of God=Know Jesus, Know Peace.
I so love knowing Jesus (and the grace, joy, love & hope God has given as a result) that I cannot help but sing His praises and introduce others to the Love of God. Out of love for all people I cannot help but ask:
…do you know Jesus? Not just “about” Jesus
…do you really know Him?
How do you know Him? Is He your Savior?
One day, when you are in Holy God’s presence, being accused by the Evil One, what hope have you?
On what basis do you believe God will accept you into Heaven to live with Him forever?
I’m telling you where I pray that your faith & hope rest…
In the name that is above ALL names…Jesus! For He alone is the Christ, the Messiah, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world, the Only Begotten Son, the propitiation for all of our sin, the ONLY way to obtain forgiveness and enter into a right relationship with Holy God forever and ever. It’s not about if we are good enough to get into heaven; because none of us is. BUT GOD– (my favorite two word phrase) MADE A WAY and his name is JESUS!
If you are not experiencing the peace and joy of being in harmony with your creator and the love He has for you, may I suggest that you ask yourself why you are rejecting God’s will for you? Why do you reject God? Do you think you have got a better way, that you know better, or that you are more powerful than the Almighty? Has Satan convinced you that your sins are “not that bad”? Well, all of that is a lie!
Even a small sin is sin. It is disobedience and an affront to Holy God, therefore deserving of His punishment. God’s word tells us that ALL have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. That means me. That means you. That means the Pope, Mother Teresa and Billy Graham too. ALL of us are sinners in need of a Savior.
Jesus came with the promise that all who will repent (admit to sin of living contrary to God’s perfect, loving intent) and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ will be forgiven and saved from the just punishment which awaits those who will not accept God’s provision of deliverance.
The Holy Scriptures tell us God does not want to punish us, but to love us. However, as a righteously just and Holy God, sin must be atoned for under His perfect judgement! Yet God has never stopped loving us; He always wants what’s best for us. So merciful God provided a way of escape. Either we release our sins to Jesus Christ as having done that for us OR we hold on to our sins and continue to reject God which will ultimately lead to damnation.
Forgiven sinners are at peace in their own souls because they know that God has given them a way to enter into love that casts out fear as Children of God. Having been forgiven, Children of God, just like Jesus, seek to save the lost, help the hurting and show God’s love to a world full of turmoil and hopelessness.
Jesus is the one who said to His disciples:
“Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” John 14:27
Peace comes through having a right relationship with God. God Himself provided the way…His name is Jesus. It is very likely true that if you have a lack of peace that your soul has not been cleansed by the precious blood of Jesus who left Heaven to come to earth, lived a perfect life so that He could be the perfect sacrifice to take all of God’s wrath toward our sins in order that Christ could save our souls through the greatest love of all.
Jesus died once so that we may live forever! The power of God that brought Jesus back to life is the same power that God allows us to partake in through His Holy Spirit, His Word and prayer. We now belong to the family of God. Every human being is His workmanship, but not every person is His beloved child. I, for one, am forever grateful to be His and praise His name! I have the desire that you dear reader will experience this same exhilaration and eternal peace.
“And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”–Philippians 4:7 (ESV)
—I believe that the love of God is ours IF we accept it…IF we accept Him.
You see a gift that is given is of absolutely no use unless it is accepted, unwrapped and utilized. God offers the perfect gift…have you accepted?
I welcome comments and respectful conversation. Be blessed.
May God grant you His mercy, grace, love and peace.