Monday, October 12, 2015

A Better Day or Just A Better Attitude?

Do you ever just wish for a better day? Not even a better day, but a better attitude? I can get so busy. Oh, there are people who think I spend all my time reading. To them I just giggle. Oh, the life of splendor they must think I have. No, I stay busy all the time. 

With my husband's schedule I go to bed around midnight and I wake up around four each morning. I fall asleep at midnight only if I'm not up catching up on a few chores that didn't make it to my list that day. I wake with coffee brewing and head outside with our pup, Stanley, (who I might add keeps me on my toes all day long). Yes, you could say that I need to catch up on some sleep. 

So, throughout the day with chores, on trips to town, grocery shopping and the like, there are times I can feel overwhelmed and become so discouraged. There are people in my life who are demanding of my time. Living with chronic pain isn't a help. In fact it's an added kick in the gut for me. So often I make plans and have to cancel. I let the guilt of letting people down overwhelm me. 

Can I be really honest? I don't just get tired. I get ten times as tired. There are times my little body just says, "Enough, you're done!" At forty-eight years old I have raised my three children and helped raise my two step-children. I chose to teach our children at home. I have served in church and in other activities. Ya know, it's time I get to spend time with my husband and just enjoy. You know? Just breathe in and relax in laughter and love. So much of the time we have spent our lives being parents. Now it gets to be our turn, but even those dates away get canceled. 

I feel like there are so many expectations placed upon me. I can't be everything to everyone all the time. There are times I have to say, "I'm sorry, but I just can't", and then what happens? Guilt takes over and slaps me in the face. Ever feel the same? 

Writing is a passion. Book reviews are fun. But that is only a small portion of my life, of who I am. I have quite the hat collection and sometimes I wear more than one. I wish I could wear more, do more, be more, but I can only do what I can do. That's a difficult lesson to learn. But Jesus is teaching me. 

Praise Jesus, I am not the girl I was ten years ago. Gosh, even a week ago. I knew I needed a change. This guilt wasn't doing me any good. Discouragement wasn't leaving me with inspiration. Gosh, I have gotten to where I think, "Just maybe I should stop writing. Cancel out all book reviews. Stop doing all I do so I can be there for everyone who needs me when they need me". Whew...that wears me out just giving it thought.  But that's what I've been pondering. Oh, Satan loves to drag us down and he loves to use those people we love most.

There are times I lay in bed at night and cry because a migraine has hit and I have to let someone down once again. So, I turned to Jesus and I said, "Lord, I can't keep going like this. I need Your help. How can I be everything for everyone? I need Your wisdom and Your guidance. Most of all I need Your grace and a good dose of mercy." 

He answered me. "My daughter, you raise your head. You are enough. You are loved. You are treasured just as you are. Focus on Me. Allow Me to focus on being Everything for everyone." 

That following day I had to do some shopping for my mom. I got in the truck and realized I had been listening to a lot of different music. Less and less of Christian. So, I tuned the Christian radio station in and you know what? It's been there every since. I haven't changed it. While I'm driving I listen and praise, learn and love my Jesus more and more as I allow His Word into my heart, mind, and soul. 

I turned it on in the house and keep it playing throughout the day. Oh, how it lifts my spirit and sets me on a different track. One that isn't built on guilt and shame, but one that is on grace and forgiveness.  I find that anger hasn't even crept into my space. Really. God is giving me a new kind of peace that surpasses anything I could imagine. Focusing on Him and changing my attitude has moved me into worshiping Him in all that I do. That's huge for me! I have simply given Him everything. I am letting the guilt go. I'm understanding that I cannot be everything for everyone. It has taken me years to get to this place.

Maybe you're feeling that you too need a dose of encouragement. Some new inspiration in your life. Don't allow others to dictate who you are. You know what? I'm okay being me. I love reading. I love doing reviews. Some day that novel I'm working on just may be finished and I'll see it sitting upon a shelf. I love gifting people with afghans and scarves. Why should I stop that to please others? I enjoy so many things. I have this creative mind and if I'm not creating then that's when Satan creeps in and steals away a joy that surpasses all things that try to get my focus off of Jesus.

Everyday I must make a choice to live for the audience of One and that spot belongs only to Jesus. I cannot be everything for everyone. Oh, the expectations we place on others. If we could just look inside and realize we are all a work in progress, imperfect on our own, but perfect in Jesus. We need to just live grace, give grace, and give others the same acceptance that we so desire ourselves.

Live out today in complete love. When we change our focus to Jesus everything changes.

"Now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love." 1 Corinthians 13:13

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