Today's Reading: Matthew 22
Good morning, SHINE girls! I sure hope you are staying connected with our reading. Oh my goodness, it is insatiably delicious. I'm licking my lips as I read it. Such goodness found here.
Are you feeling the same way? I sure hope so.
My sweet and precious friend, Lisa, is posting today. This girl speaks the truth and gets to the nitty gritty. Don't we like nitty gritty?
Oh, I sure do. I have never been good at small talk. Ever. I like realness, openness, and deep down conversations. Don't you?
Be blessed today, sweet SHINE sisters. The Holy Spirit sure speaks through this girl. Get ready. :)
by: Lisa Inlow
Hey Y'all. Going to share a story with you today. A part of my journey of giving it my all, to be all I can be for my husband and children, first and foremost, prior to any other humans. And I love and adore all the other humans in my life, but have gently moved them to my peripheral (near the surface or outside of; external.)
I did a Bible study Summer 2009 where the author, in the first chapter, explained how my husband should get the best of my day. Excuse me?? You mean when he who walks in the door at 5:30 PM !! At this time I had a toddler and a little girl barely 1 year old.
My first thoughts were this was crazy because of the business of life with 2 small children...
But the longer I thought about it, (and the Spirit tugged at my heart) I started to look at what I allowed to zap my "Lisa-goods" all day. Of course, caring for little ones, but my kids were healthy, good sleepers (finally!), both took naps at the same time. My days were not bad at all.
What was I allowing to dip into my Blue Powerade. Yes, explanation needed! :-)
The further along in the study I went, I started to see this, albeit wacky, word picture.
When I get up in the morning, I picture myself full-up of Blue Powerade. Why Blue Powerade? I couldn't tell you, I actually love Orange G2!!
Then I started thinking about the straws dipping in drinking up Lisa-goods, ie, my emotions, energy, mental time, physical time...
Of course my husband and children, home and all that entails. They had first dibs and could take from me all day, every day. I loved this, welcomed it, no problem here. (But did they have first dibs?)
Then I noticed there were some straws I was freely giving out to others. And some, I had a drawer full of back-up straws for them, in case they left theirs at home and needed some of me. I could not imagine not being accessible by them...I needed them to need me.
What about those things I signed up for, said yes too, committed myself too. Not one who (used) to say "no" easily, and if I did, had tremendous guilt. "I can do it all..."
Prior to this realization, when my husband would come home, my Blue Powerade bottle was bone dry. I had allowed other humans (remember I love these humans) to dip their straw in all day and take all my Lisa-goods; emotions, time, mental energy, away from me, then I had nothing left. And remember too, I had back-up straws for them. I had to be "fed" by their need for me.
This dry Blue Powerade bottle caused me to be short or cranky. Not very warm or welcoming. Possibly impatient, maybe some sighing or eye-rolling. (So not cool for the hubs to come home too.)
Things were topsy-turvy for sure.
Along this same time, I found this verse, 1 Thessalonians 4:11, and it was not in my Bible study, it's just one the Lord put in front of me: Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you...
I made this verse my screen saver. I was convicted y'all, flat out, in my face convicted. Cuz let's be real here, leading a quiet life is the opposite of how the world pushes us to live. How 'bout minding our own business? Yowzers. I was so busted by the Lord!
And to be brutally honest here, when I was minding my own business, well, others weren't checking in on me either...not near enough. I can't speak for any of you, but for me, I realized I needed to be too involved with others...I was feeding a need I had, to be needed.
But who really needed me?
Oh for goodness sake, what about my Savior? Who wanted to be my Everything! Was I spending my 15 minutes with Him, then moving quickly along to human relationships to get my tank full?
What about that broad-shouldered man I married who I really, really dig?
How about those precious babies, at this time, more a little 2 1/2 year old boy who was really needing a fully-emotionally-available mommy.
I had to step back, way back, and take a long hard look at who and what I was allowing to take my Lisa-goods from me. Lisa-goods that needed to be saved for the peeps who live under my roof. They deserved, needed and desired, the best of me. And I really wanted to deliver.
Of course I didn't cut people out of my life, become a hermit and disconnect my phone.
I did however, make some changes.
And most importantly, I started praying. I asked the Lord to keep showing me where I could tighten up my belt in this area. I told Him I desired a quiet life, "please show me how to do that..." I told Him that I knew I was too needy of others interactions...I knew I needed Him to fill me up to over-flowing.
So who's drinking up your Blue Powerade? Do you have back-up straws for those who you can't imagine not needing you?
It's hard to take a look that deep within and be honest with yourself. But, for me, so, so worth it. I have been more at peace. Oh ladies, the peace, it's crazy good!
Dear Father, show Yourself to us. Are there areas of our lives that are out of balance? Do we need an emotional tune-up? Guide us Father. May we see all we are in You first, then in our loved ones. We praise You for who You are. We thank You for Your unconditional love. May we seek You and let You show us Your perfect way for us. Amen.