Finding how…

This time I know it’s for real. This feeling that I feel. I know if I put my mind to it. I know that I really can do it. 

Sound like something you’ve said regarding exercise? Eating right? Revisiting those goals you set back in January? 

Actually, I’ve had this song STUCK in my head. Like it’s a broken record. Like the CD keeps skipping and playing back the same lyrics. But what really struck me today is the chorus,…I got my mind set on you…I got my mind-set on you…It’s gonna take time,  a whole lot of precious time, it’s gonna take patience and time to do it, to do it, to do it  right, child.

 

“Let’s keep a firm grip on the promises that keep us going. He always keeps his word. Let’s see how inventive we can be in encouraging love and helping out, not avoiding worshiping together as some do but spurring each other on, especially as we see the big Day approaching.” Hebrews 10:23-25

One of the things I’ve noticed when God is trying to tell me something is that I begin to see a common ‘theme’ among things.  I mean every devotional, every bible study/message, the encouragement from significant people around me all begin to flow and connect. I remember hearing someone describe this as “pearls of wisdom”, each one being strung together creating a beautiful strand of wisdom for me to live by.  And when you’re in a relationship (regular consistent prayer) with Christ; don’t doubt that He would do something as clever as ‘connecting the dots’.

So I’ve been on this “theme” of celebrating freedom. It started as a clever opportunity to motivate folks leading up to the 4th of July aka Independence Day.

I get these clever ideas for themes and I run with them and get quite giddy. Kinda like going into Party City for a little inspiration for an 80’s themed party and walking out with pop rocks, grape now-and-laters, orange hubba-bubba bubble gum and a knock-off Run DMC outfit (see exhibit A) humming songs like 8675309…

Anyway, It started  as research on the true meanings of independence and freedom and in my ‘search’ I believe I became vulnerable (Praise God) to ‘finding’ my own identity and search for my own freedom, liberty & significance. (Pearl) I was really looking for a way to just be free from the frustration of eating healthy without the annoyance of counting calories and all that craziness. I was hoping to find some liberty to use my own mistakes as a way to help every woman who said to me “I just need to tone up” or “I don’t know how I let myself go” and to take the shackles off my feet so I could dance without tripping over the scale.  

You know God has an interesting sense of humor and will speak to you in ways that you might find odd. I found part of my significance in a freakish encounter with the register at the grocery store. Weird I know. But the bible does say we are a peculiar people… But this one, was all about patience

So I’m learning to be patient in everything, spirit, soul, body, finances and relationships! I’m learning that in being patient I literally set myself up for blessing and having my prayers answered.  it’s gonna take time…a whole lot of precious time…it’s gonna take plenty of time…to do it right.  

When you make the decision to exercise, eat healthy and set a few boundaries, you lay the basic foundation for finding your freedom.  But establishing what’s going to be your key motivation is what keeps you movin’. 

Patience is a MUST!  Without it, or even the thought of a quick fix, you’ll be rudely interrupted with a jolting flash of reality. Even while you’re celebrating, it will only be for the moment.   Don’t allow the cost to determine how much you are willing to give.  Whatever you put into it, you most definitely will get in return. Your motivator needs to be something that will keep you focused, it needs to be stable so that you remain stable. It needs to have your best interest in mind and give you hope. It, in its own respect, should be your how!

2 Corinthians 9:6-15 6 Remember this – a farmer who plants only a few seeds will get a small crop. But the one who plants generously will get a generous crop. 7 You must each make up your own mind as to how much you should give. Don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. For God loves the person who gives cheerfully. 8 And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others.

 I’m adding to that patience daily with every bit of motivation I can find praying that God keeps me balanced.

1 Peter 1:5 So don’t lose a minute in building on what you’ve been given, complementing your basic faith with good character, spiritual understanding, 6 alert discipline, passionate patience, reverent wonder, 7 warm friendliness, and generous love, each dimension fitting into and developing the others. 8 With these qualities active and growing in your lives, no grass will grow under your feet, no day will pass without its reward as you mature in your experience of our Master Jesus. 9 Without these qualities you can’t see what’s right before you, oblivious that your old sinful life has been wiped off the books. 10 So, friends, confirm God’s invitation to you, his choice of you. Don’t put it off; do it now. Do this, and you’ll have your life on a firm footing, 11 the streets paved and the way wide open into the eternal kingdom of our Master and Savior, Jesus Christ. The One Light in a Dark Time

And so off I go armed with patience, searching and longing (another word for craving-oh yeah, gettin’ crazy revelation on that, stay tuned) in a deep desire to find motivation for the HOW God instead of the WHY God…

Today’s prayer Lord help me to search after you, to set my mind on You. To seek you first because you know exactly what I need. You are my how. You are my provider, you are my peace, you are my How to stay fit, my how to eat healthy, my how to keep a healthy marriage, my how to nurture my children, my how to encourage others without exhausting myself. In this ‘how-ing’ (I know that’s not a real word) I’m becoming. Thank you Father for who you are and for teaching me your ways. Amen.

Have you had your mind set on other motivators that have caused you to doubt and wonder why?

Has patience felt like too much of a cost?  What ‘HOW’ can God be for you?

(EXHIBIT A): photographers note-notice the date stamp was mistakenly set at July ’89…actual date of posing…Oct ’09… seriously  I couldn’t have planned it if I tried!

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