There is one chief way which I use to drive myself crazy. “But aren’t you pretty much already certifiable, Ashley?” The answer to that is, nope! Not yet, anyway… I LOVE to focus on all of the “little” things. “What kinds of little things,” you may ask? The daily things around me going haywire. The people around me who are driving me crazy. The things that I wish to accomplish, but haven’t yet. Or the things that I wish I could have gotten the chance to do, but probably won’t get to until after my children are grown and out of the house. I love letting myself “go there” when the going’s get rough. OK, so that really isn’t “one” chief way to drive myself crazy, but I can tell you that even though I can’t narrow it down to one specific thing (that would be WAY to easy) it is all rooted in the same thing I
feel KNOW I’m lacking: a seasoned spirit of contentment and joy. I’m not sure why. I’m the defective model, I’ll just put it that way. I’m the little human that could, if you will. I know that we all are in one way or another so hopefully we can encouragement one another as we go.
I know what scripture says, I know what God intends for my life, and to what degree He wants me to live with joy and peace in the shadow (or rather, light) of what Christ has already accomplished. But as of late, my “joy bubble” has been a bit deflated. I can reiterate to myself what God “is.” Merciful, kind, loving, sovereign, powerful, a healer, gracious, giving, a provider, bringer of peace, lover of my soul. It could go on and on. And while all of these aforementioned things are so very, very true, how true do they ring in my life? With how much conviction in these things do I live my day to day life? How much passion do I preach these things to myself, preach them to others and live them because they ring so true to me? How personal and meaningful are these things, which are found in scripture, which is full of God’s good news for us, His hope for us, His instruction for us, His promises for us and his intentions for us?
Do I want to live a life that is sprinkled with moments where I feel a oneness with God, or do I want to embrace a life where this oneness and close meaningfulness can permeate into everything I do, say and feel? Obviously, it is the second. The problem? Me.
I don’t want you to read this as a letter of condemnation to myself. There is no condemnation for those who are found in Christ Jesus (Romans 8: 1-2 ” There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life ihas set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.) I’m free from the wages of what my actions should rightfully earn me. But without confession and repentance there cannot be reconciliation. I cannot spend my time justifying my actions when they are sinful. I do this to myself often, I remind myself of which things need to be worked on to make it all “just right.” I say to myself, “it it were only this way,” or “once this is finished,” or “if I can get a handle on this, then it will al be alright.” No. No matter how organized my house is, no matter if my children are well behaved, or let me get 10 hours of sleep a night, no matter if my marriage is perfect, if I’m a terrific friend, if I had gotten to finish college before I got married or had stayed in the work force so that we could make more money, that does not make me a well rounded person. Accomplishments, no matter how large or small that are apart from a spirit which wishes to glorify my heavenly father are fruitless.
Thats a hard pill to swallow in this day and age. People are MEANT to have a laundry list of accomplishments these days. A college education, a perfect marriage, 2.7 children, the clean and organized dream home, savings, a good income – all of these things that help you store up earthly treasures, but you can drive yourself crazy striving for. These things in themselves aren’t bad. But when we forget that we cannot accomplish anything apart from God, that we should be striving to glorify our heavenly father in all that we do and say and we start investing in things that are not eternal than we loose sight of what Christ died for. For a relationship with a God who loves and adores us.
So session 1 will end on this note:
Ashley needs to get herself together. OK, lets try for something that is a little bit more specific. I need to get myself together, true. But I confess that I am a discontented woman who wants it all, “it all” being measured by her own earthly standards. I confess that I cannot fix this restless spirit within me on my own; Ashley herself is not an inherently peaceful, loving and joyful person. And the first step is I desire, the second is that I realize that I cannot. The third is now that I cast. God, I’m casting this upon you. I cannot do this on my own. None of us can. I need you! We need you. But I need you, right now. I need things in my life to go topsy turvy and have them for a change be in the right way.
I hope that you find this as an encouragement to you. It is meant to be. It has been relieving writing it all out. And while I’m sure that you think I’m nuts, I’m just being honest.