Led by the Tyranny of the Urgent - Managing Life's Demands AND God's Calling

Photo by Volha Flaxeco

Photo by Volha Flaxeco

Do you ever struggle with getting to God’s calling and getting things done that can’t seem to wait? I do. All. The. Time.

If you are like me then you have family, job, church, friends, job, family, job, things that get sprung on you, job, family and all the things you feel God is calling you to do on your plate at the same time. Yes, I know I repeated the job and family a few times, but you understand what I mean, don’t you?

I mean everyone in the house needs to eat (multiple times a day), they need clean clothes, they need some quality time after you’ve worked all day at your full-time job. You sprinkle in church and maybe a little time with friends or the kids activities take up the rest of your time daily and weekly, yet you have the unction from the Holy Spirit there is more He has for you.

Take a breath. That’s right, just breathe. Slowly inhale - hold it - now slowly exhale. And again… Feeling just a little calmer? I hope so. Repeat as necessary.

We all struggle with the demands of life. Often there is more thrown at us than we can possibly deal with, but we have choices to make.

Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.

Colossians 3:2 ESV

I don’t believe that this verse teaches us to shirk our earthly responsibilities. But rather in all that we do, do it for the Lord.

In my case, I believe God has been calling me to write for a long time, but I didn’t even realize it most of my adult life. I am now working from home full-time with my children grow and out of the house. My husband is retired and we are entering another very busy phase of life. In case you’re wondering, we are moving to a more quiet place, with a smaller house and fewer responsibilities. Not so we can play more, but so we can serve more. We feel that God is calling us to serve together on mission trips and service in and around our home. So He has made a way we can let go of some of the earthly things that have held us captive.

So let’s talk about being led by the tyranny of the urgent. Most of us know all too well what this is like. Before we can complete one thing the next thing is calling us and before we know it we’re exhausted and can’t seem to accomplish any one thing fully.

And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 3:17

Take some time to consider the season of life you are in right now. If you have children still at home, is there any greater calling than bringing them us in the nurture and admonition of the Lord? I think not. So all that you do for your family you are doing for the Lord. If you know God is calling you to be a full-time missionary, do it in such a way that your children also embrace the calling. If God is calling you to serve or start as service, do it and include your children. But know this, God wants to use you where you are in all of the capacities that He chooses.

This means you’ll have to say “No” to some things. Those things may even be good things like teaching a Sunday School class or playing an instrument. Trust me when I say I know the pressure others can put on you because they want you to use your gift in their ministry.

Yes, there are things that have to be done. Housework is never ending and needs to be done. Jobs are required in this life because it takes money to live. But you don’t have to scrub every inch of your house with a toothbrush to do a good job cleaning and you don’t have to accept every offer of overtime on the job. You can do a good job and serve Christ in your home and your work AND serve in the areas He is calling.

You may know that your call is to be an author. But you still have to work a job full-time, so writing is a slow process now. You know that one day, writing will become the main thing. So do what’s needed of you now AND develop the skills you need to serve in the capacity that the Lord is calling you. Trust me, He is using you now in the very calling that you are called to do.

I hope this makes sense. Don’t be led by the tyranny of the urgent, but do identify the season of life you are in and how God is using you in this season. Do your best for the Lord now right where you are. As you read scripture, you may think some of the heroes of the faith just up and appeared a hero. If that’s how you see it, read their stories again.

David was told as a boy that he was going to be king of Israel - even anointed as a boy. But it was YEARS before God made him king. After David was told of his calling, he remained a shepherd; he killed a giant as a teenager (because God had taught him to stand before lions as a shepherd); then he grew into a warrior under the king whose place he would take; he lived a life on the run from the present king and developed a following, so he learned to be a leader- all the while knowing God’s call on his life was to be the king of Israel. Don’t you see God was training David for the role God had long ago told David he would serve in?

Squash the tyranny of the urgent. Identify what has eternal importance. Do what’s needed with eternity as the focus. Accept the training program God has you in at the moment.

I would love to hear how God is using you now and where you feel He is leading you! Leave me a comment or email me directly. Our God is at work around us and in us!

For the Love of Doing It

Photo by Nathan Lemon

Photo by Nathan Lemon

What do you do for the love of doing it? Recently, I’ve been sewing. Nothing fancy and certainly nothing that requires a pattern, but sewing for the love of sewing.

I heard someone who quilts say that you start quilting because you want one and then you want to make quilts for your kids and then for your grand-kids and then for friends and then, well, just for the love of quilting. Many folks who quilt end up donating quilts to causes they support because they love sewing quilts so much they just have to keep at it.

So let me ask you again, what do you do for the love of doing it?

They say if your job is something you “love”, then it’s not like “working”. Not sure I’m on board with that one or not. What do you think?

Well, I mentioned earlier in this post that I love to sew. I love to read. I love to crochet. I love to work in the yard and see blooms from my labor (and from my husband’s labor). I just love doing a lot of things for the love of doing it.

When it comes to our faith, what do we do for the love of Jesus? I love helping others. I love being an encourager. I love seeing the light of life in someone’s eyes when they accept Jesus as their Savior. I love studying the Bible. I’m sure you love all these things, to.

34 Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? 38 And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? 39 And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ 40 And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers,[f] you did it to me.’
— Matthew 25: 34-40 ESV

I think when we love Jesus, we want to do good for others. After all, serving others is serving Jesus. How excited are you (am I) to tell someone the wonderful things Jesus has done for you (for me) in comparison to our latest project that we have “loved” doing?

So tell me, what good shall you do this day? I’m going to find someone to encourage!

Content in a World of Discontentment

Photo by Hannah Olinger

Photo by Hannah Olinger

Do you ever find that once you have something you’ve been longing for the contentment that you expected eludes you? Maybe you’ve worked hard to achieve some status or paycheck that you just knew would satisfy you only to gain it and not feel satisfied or content. We all do!

For so long all I could think about was being able to work from home. Three and a half years ago that dream of mine came true. And I am SO GRATEFUL! But I find myself, from time to time, being discontent with it. Now sometimes I think, “If only I were retired”! What! Hold on just a minute! I work from H O M E. Shouldn’t that be enough? Yes, it should. And most of the time, it is. But you get my point, right?

As humans, we all struggle with discontentment at some point. Our goal should be like that of the Apostle Paul who said,

…for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. Phil 4:11 ESV

Easier said than done! But with Christ we can be content whatever our circumstances. The only way we are going to live in a state of contentment is to trust in Christ. We have to rest in Him.

Yes, there are times, I believe, Jesus causes us to feel an unrest when He is leading us to do something that is out of our comfort zone. But I’m talking about being content with who we are in Christ and with what we have in this world. If you’ve ever watched even one commercial, you know that the world system does not want you to be content.

You may ask, “Why is it important to be content?” My first response to that is an answer I heard often from my Mother. “Because God (Mom would say ‘I’) said so.” And my second response is this, we know that God loves us and wants His best for us. Knowing that and knowing His word teaches us that we should be content, we should want to be content. When we’re content, we can listen for His voice and His will. But when we are discontent, we are so busy trying to get more, be more or do more that we miss His voice and His will and we stay in a state of chaos. As believers, we are to be peacemakers. How can we be peacemakers when our lives are full of chaos from discontentment?

So if we are to live in contentment in a world of discontent, what are we to do?

  • Know you are His

  • Know that He loves you

  • Trust Jesus with today and tomorrow

  • Be obedient to His word and His call

  • Rest in the fact that there is NOTHING you can do to make Jesus love you less or more. You are enough because Jesus saved you.

So from today forward show the world that you CAN and WILL be content in a world of discontentment!

Make 2019 Your Best Year Yet!

photo by Paul M at unsplash.com

photo by Paul M at unsplash.com

Do you want 2019 to be your best year yet? I sure do! And I know of one sure fire way to make it the best ever. Want to know my secret?

Here it is…

Giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, Ephesians 5:20

Oh I could go into all the goal setting advice (which I’ve done in an earlier post), but the truth of the matter is to live gratefully giving thanks for all the things God has done for you! Like what you may ask?

I recently heard a story of this very thing. I’m not sure who the author of it is, so if you know, let me know.

Anyway, someone was telling a friend that he/she had nothing to be thankful for. The friend said, “I’m so sorry to hear of your mom’s illness.” The person replied that his mother was not ill. The friend said, “Well, that’s good!…I’m so sorry that you lost your job.” The person answered that they had not lost their job. The friend said, “That’s great! I’m sorry your car broke down.” Exasperated, they replied that their car had not broken down. The friend smiled and patted the person’s shoulder and said, “Then I guess you have a lot for which to be thankful!

We know the moral of that story is that all of us really do have so much for which to be thankful! Even in what seems to be the worst of times, we still have so much for which to be grateful. God blesses us all the time, but we often take His blessing for granted.

Truth be told, if God did nothing - NO THING! - for us except save us we have more than enough for which to be thankful and grateful for the rest of our lives. Wouldn’t you agree? Yet, we often lose track of that and fail to see just what we do have.

So this year, 2019, I am challenging you to write 1 thing down every single day that you are grateful for. If you can’t think of anything, here are just a few that you can repeat if needed:

  • Salvation

  • life

  • breath

  • family

  • friends

Grab a jar from around the house and put slips of paper by it. EVERY DAY add one slip of paper into it that lists just one thing for which you are thankful. You’ll be amazed!

Comment below of things you are thankful for and /or ways you express your gratitude!