Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Holding Things Loosely

I have taught multiple times the importance, as a function of living faithfully, to hold work, relationships, opportunities, time, possessions, dreams, ambitions—to hold in your hands and your hearts loosely--so a sovereign God does not have to painfully pry it out of your stubborn grip—or you miss a greater walk because your hands were full and you could not grab hold of something new.

Classic—who is going to argue with that? Even a non believer would agree with that (minus the sovereign God part).

Yet, when that theory becomes a reality in life—when emotions are the additional variable to the otherwise tidy equation—suddenly the principle that is easy to talk becomes dicey to walk.

I love encouraging others to embrace bold change. Yet, under the umbrella of irony, change is something I tend to RUN from (I boast of my ability to live with my furniture in its “correct” God ordained spot for well over a decade—same story for hair).

Welcome to my now. In a few days I will walk a brand new path as a full time staff member of a wonderful, impactful nonprofit. It’s an exciting, challenging path. However, to walk it, I have to walk away from some things I love.

To do my new job, I have to let go of some of my soon to be former work that I have loved, through which I have thrived. I understand it; don’t resent it, but it, well, it hurts. I am leaving some environments that have so blessed my life, and I don’t want to let go.

However, letting go, I must. The question is: what is the best way to let it go?

• Remember with gratitude both what was and what is and what is to be.

• Remember God is everywhere and in control.

• Give some space to be sad and also dedicate some space to be excited and thrilled.

• There are seasons, Scripture ALWAYS portrays life as full of change, transition, movement. It’s a good thing and a God thing to experience shifts.

• Faith is who I am, not something I do. Faithful work is 24/7.

So, I have to let go of teaching Bible study (for now), to learn and grow and go to a new environment. I pray that my walk and my talk match up. Would love your prayers too!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Stringing Pearls: Advocate For, Not Defend Against

Quick thought.  I was in a meeting the other day and suggested something that was rejected.  It was not the typical case of I see it one way and you see it another--that does not bother me--I enjoy that kind of tension, it's interesting. 

No.  this person objected in a way I found offensive--she was wrong, I was sure.  So now what? 

I could feel that defensive monster creep up my spine, pinching every last nerve in my neck and pushing against my temples. 

Thankfully I knew to pause, I actually pursed my lips together not trusting my mouth to obey my mind which was processing too many emotions. 

Of course, I thought of not much else for a few hours.  I kept "praying" which was telling God what I wanted to say and asking for words that would not speak into my offense or emotions.  I wanted him to make me sound good and appropriate. 

Later, it hit me.  Advocate for, don't defend against.   Speak into what I want and why I think it has merit--don't speak at all into what I find objectionable or ill advised about someone else's position. 

I want to share the details, but knowing myself--I would frame them so I look cooler than I am or more gracious than I deserve and I don't want to violate a confidence, even if from the context of a meeting.  So I leave you with this...advocate for don't defend against. 

In the future, over coffee I will fill in all the blanks in a way I know you will absolutely agree with me. 


"May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, my Rock and my Redeemer."  Psalm 19:14 (NIV)


About Me

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Roswell, GA
Loves to find the answers to three questions of a sound Bible study: what does it say, what does it mean, what difference does it make?