I've deemed 2017 my Year of Stewardship. Can you see me pounding my gavel all official-like?
If stewardship is what we do with what we've been given, then I have to admit.... I've been less of a good steward and more of a selective clinger. Life's been swirling, sometimes faster than I can handle, and I've been frantically grasping at some of those gifts, while totally abandoning others.
Now that we're in a season that feels slightly less chaotic and uncertain, it feels like the right time to take a closer look at how I've mistreated some blessings, and what got me to clinger status in other cases.
The past few years were full of so much change and flux that we often felt like we were just surviving our circumstances. To climb out of that mentality I know that it will first take some major shifting of the ole' mindset, followed by some practical changes to help us get to a place where our family is thriving once again.
I think a lot of ways I've fallen off course, stemmed from a lie. In fact, I think there's a lot of lies floating around about what will bring us happiness and contentment. And what we should do when we're not basking in all those rainbows and unicorns.
I sat down with a notebook and started to write down the lies I've allowed myself to believe. Some of them actually hold some truth, under certain circumstances, and understanding that distinction is key.
The most effective lies have an element of truth (which makes them so believable), but that truth has been twisted. And it takes the God of Truth to undo the damage from the Father of Lies.
Sadly, there's a lot of untruth I've allowed to occupy my head-space.....
"You should lose 10lbs before you wear that"
"If I just had this one more thing, then I would love it and never want/need anything else"
"Too much time has passed. They won't care and it doesn't really matter anymore. Some friendships don't last forever"
"It's not on the list or in the budget this time, but I'll just borrow from another category. It's so cheap, it really won't make any difference"
"If I don't act right now this opportunity (or price) will be gone forever"
"You're so selfish for wanting to pursue hobbies and/or a career outside the home, away from your family. That's where you should be until the kids are out of the house."
"Your desires, career, happiness and personal fulfillment are more important than serving your family. Your personal happiness is the highest priority."
"The dishes are more important than creating"
"Creating is more important that making sure the kids have clean clothes to wear tomorrow."
"You would be happier on your own."
"You're not a good mother. So many other women are more patience, loving, and selfless - they nurture their kids far better than the crap show you're running."
"All he sees are my lumps, bumps, and wrinkles. Hide yourself."
"I can't do this anymore"
"My kids will be embarrassed by other kids for not having as much, or the latest and greatest, or..."
"Just accept that this is the world we live in"
"Your dreams will have to wait"
"But it's not perfect yet"
"If you devote yourself to family life, you will lose yourself"
Some of these still sting when I read them, because at my core, I struggle to reject them.
There is an undoing that needs to happen in me. An untwisting of the truth, and a reminder of what is in fact true, good, and worthy. Then there is the work moving that truth from head-space to heart-space....because it is one thing to know something and another to live it. That's where grace comes in - thank God!
When we operate from a place of exhaustion, lack of purpose, or skewed clarity, it's easy to just put our head down and go through the motions to survive the day. And it's also really hard to pick your head back up, especially when the whirlwind isn't slowing down. Yet, God promises that we can set our feet on solid ground no matter the circumstances. And boy, am I in need of that.
Tomorrow begins the season of Lent (a time of prayer, almsgiving, and fasting in order to draw closer to Christ and be renewed in his grace). I know that not everyone who reads this blog observes this liturgical season, but I can't think of a better time to pull some of those weeds masquerading around as flowers. I hope you don't mind that we tackle some of that work here over the next few weeks.....and don't worry, I have plenty of house projects to update you on too! #winkwink
Our entry floors are finally done and they're completely different than what we planned. The happiest of accidents indeed. I'll have an update on that space later this week. In the meantime, I would love to hear from you....are there certain lies you find yourself falling for? What helps you stay grounded in truth during a season that demands more than you feel you can give?