Aug 23, 2012

Thursday SHINE.....

Today's Reading: Acts 27

Happy Serve-Day Thursday, sweet SHINE girls! I challenge you to serve someone today. Serve them a compliment, a kind gesture, a random blessing, anything. Just serve. The blessing will fall right back on YOU.

Isn't God cool like that? When we bless others, He in turn, blesses us. Ahh!

So, I was mopping my floors yesterday. Yes, you know by now that when I mop, God speaks to me. Every.Single.Time.

I used to mop with music on, but now I keep the house silent so that I can clearly hear Him. Oh, girls. Does He talk to me!

Not always what I want to hear, but He speaks none the less to this little heart of mine.

Yesterday, I was talking to Him right back. He and I were going over some "things" that He has been dealing with me about. It's been several months now, and we are still "dealing" with these things.

You would think I would be good to go, and on my way by now. But, as you know, I can be hard-headed and rebellious at times. Which only, in turn, slows the growing process. Shoot.

Let me let you in on a little secret. I like validation. I do! I love to be affirmed, encouraged, and liked! (don't we all?)

Well, here is the problem with that. I have always looked for my validation from "people", rather than God.

Yes, I said it. Out loud. Kind of.

Whether it was from my older sister, my Momma, my Daddy, my friends, my husband, , my kids....I craved it. Like a drug, I craved it.

And, to be quite honest, I still do sometimes.

Here is the problem: God wants me to crave HIS validation alone. 

Girls, it is hard. Like, really hard.

In the past, I have gotten myself into some big messy jams, because of my wanting -to -please- people ways.

I was one big fat hot mess.

Well, the Lord took His big red marker and circled this part of me and basically said, "Umm, sweetie, we are getting rid of this. It's not good for you. It's not good for anyone. Hang on tight, because we are doing some surgery on this part of you."

Oh my.

It has been hard, my friends. SO stinking hard at times. I have had to wean myself off of some things and some behaviors that were just not His best for me. So hard. But so worth it.


Yesterday, I went to an exercise class that involves a bike. It's called "spinning". Hot, sweaty, and tired,  I heard the instructor say to stand up and keep your bootie close to the seat of the bike. Well, if you know anything about spinning, you know that keeping your bootie close to the bike while standing and peddling is hard. It burns. Badly.

It would be easier to bounce around instead of having a controlled stance hovering that bootie over the seat.

But, guess what? The power, the muscle, the strength comes when our booties stay hovered and start burning. That's where the sweet spot is.

At that very moment, bootie hovering over the seat and all, I heard the Lord tell me:  just like my bootie staying close to that seat, He needs me to stay close to Him.

I'm not gonna lie, it can be painful at times. It goes against the very grain of this world--and our flesh--to stay close, like really close, to Him.

Girls, you know exactly what I mean. Sometimes, we get curious and think it will be fun to tip-toe out of the realm of His presence and protection just to see what's going on over there.

Don't do it.

Just like with Him molding me to depend on Him for validation, He is molding us ALL for excellence. He is molding us to stay close to Him. To crave only Him and not the world.

It feels good to be "wanted", and "needed", and "desired", and "talked about", and "praised" by the world...doesn't it? Oh, but that is the furthest place He wants us to be, sweet friends.

I honestly did not even realize my "addiction" to this approval thing until He started weaning me away from it. Oh, sweet girls, it has been a sucker punch to my flesh. But, a much needed one.

We, as His SHINE girls, read one chapter of His word a day. Just one. It doesn't seem like a whole heck of a lot, but oh girls, it is. It is molding us. Word by word, chapter by chapter, day by day. He is changing us--slowly, deeply, and beautifully.

I know some days can be hard to find the time to hover with Him. Everything is thrown at us and we are just too busy to stay hovered. Fight it, my friend. Busyness is the devil's playground. Fight for Your Man, Jesus. Seek that time with Him. Make it your priority, girls. Let Him wean you away from anything that is hindering your walk with Him.

Let that bootie of yours burn if you have to while you hover with Him, sweet girl. I know the burn, I know it well.

I know it's hard to stay on the narrow road when everyone else is having (or seeming to) a jolly old time on the big wide road.

Oh, friend. There is only emptiness there. Trust me on that one.

I have learned that lesson all too well with this "validation" struggle.

 I would crave the approval of others, get my fill, only to need it again so quickly it would make your head spin.

However, when I look to Him, and not the world,  for my validation, I find a never-ending supply of fulfillment. Oh, and it feels so good.

He is teaching me, daily, to stay close to that well of fulfillment. Not to look back and revert to my old ways of being an approval addict. There is nothing there. Only emptiness.

Girls, whatever is tempting you to bounce off the narrow road and onto the highway that leads nowhere, I urge you to stay hovered with Him. You are not missing a thing. I promise you that.

Our strength, our power, our peace, our purity, our grace......only comes by hovering right there next to Him. Stay hovered, despite the invitation of this world to come and play.

"'Come to me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."
Matthew 28-30

What do you say, girls? Hover, anyone?


finding that sweet spot,

jill


8 comments:

  1. Anonymous8/23/2012

    I'm hovering too! I struggle with the same approva stuff. Thank you for this!

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  2. Anonymous8/23/2012

    Oh how I can relate!!!!!!! We are very similar!!!! Thank you for this analogy!-Gina S. (-:

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  3. Jill, this is soooo good and I'm so impressed with how God was speaking to you through spin class...as I was just trying to keep from dying you were calm enough to hear and learn from Him.
    Love that, love you!
    Thank you for sharing. xxoo!

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  4. LOVE this!!! He has really been speaking to me too about this Jill! A daily struggle...love u!!!

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  5. LOVE this!!! He has really been speaking to me too about this Jill! A daily struggle...love u!!!

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  6. Anonymous8/23/2012

    As I first read this post this morning, I agreed with the content, thought it was a nice post and went on. As my morning progressed, this message came to life. It brought me though a unexpected moment of uncomfortableness and vulnerability. Knowing God supports and loves me and only his opinion really matters is what got me through this morning. Thank you for this timely post.

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  7. I have a serious addiction to approval from others. It has kept me in bondage most of my adult life. One time, I was "hovering close" to the Lord and got distracted by another's harsh judgement only to look so frantically around for a "quick fix" approval that not only did I forget my Lord that was right beside me, but I "fell right off my bike" onto my face. Sadly, I'm still recovering. Still healing from those injuries, I have just gathered my dignity and climbed back "on the bike" with Jesus. I am ashamed. But I can hear Him saying, "come on my girl. We've got this. I've never left you. I have great things for you on this path. I will not leave you here to cry and quit this race!"
    I'm so thankful for my sweet, loving, always accepting Jesus! Even when I make a total fool of myself, He is still my biggest fan! So blessed and thankful,
    Laurie Duncan

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