I am sure I am not alone in carrying the baggage of bad habits, bad choices, bad attitude from one day to the next. I let the same defeating voices of the outside world and the criticism of my own internal voice. The “I can’t believe you stlll procrastinate!”… “I can’t believe your choices!”… I HATE carrying all of that “stuff” around day after day. I also really tire of seeing it on social media… it seems like it is easier to roll around in the continual defeat than to change the voices I hear.
I work from home and have started to listen to several podcasts often to fill my mind with new voices. I love to listen to Christian authors and Leadership gurus. I have become better with controlling the external voices of public opinion. I also had to block most articles on Facebook about politics, controversial topics, and negative news stories, etc. and chose when I am “ready” to hear what is going on in the world at the sights I choose. I have lost respect for people not for their differences in opinion but in the presentation and resolved if I cannot separate them as a person from their comments and stances, that I need to hide them because I am called to love regardless. If the podcasts are even controversial, I turn them off. Some will say I am irresponsible for not watching the news and knowing what is going on, and I have let those voices / opinions rule me long enough. Honestly, there are days that just my four-walls with my family is bigger than I feel I can even handle, let alone taking in the worries of the world. I often don’t have the energy or wisdom to fight my own battles and sort them out with God, let alone get in a debate or get sucked into the latest agendas on the news.
I can always tell when I get in a stagnant area of life, laying in the self-pity pit for too long, or feeling buried alive with others and/or life circumstances throwing in the dirt on me. A few conversations I have had in the last few weeks, some professional stagnation, and being without my mom another year when I could use her opinion and support have all contributed ad deepened the pit. As a result of laying and staying in the pit I have buried things that keep me going. I have missed some scheduled appointments because I have even avoided looking at my calendar (so not me!). I have not done encouragement that I love to do. I have missed important signs with my own family because I was too deep in my own pit. The surface things are always a signal of a deeper issue for me.
As a people pleaser, the voices can often be very loud! I replay conversations with others over and over in my head. Even when I was confident in what I said or decided at the time, I feel like I need to replay it. Eventually, the conversations become distorted from the replay. I become less confident and start believing them and allowing their voice to become louder in my head than the whisper of God’s voice. The one calling me to BE STILL. God telling me HE HAS A PLAN FOR MY LIFE… The world has many thoughts and solutions for my life… but they need replaced with the Author of my Life. His words should speak louder to me than those around me..
I knew last Sunday I was feeling this pit and was looking for a scripture to cling to after church. It is always a good place to go to for wisdom and comfort, unfortunately I often wait till I have stayed down too long to seek His help. This week three things happened, unrelated to my life, but symbolic for my life. I felt like they were God’s way of reminding me of the scripture I read last Sunday and that I needed to put it in place…
- The kitchen breaker was over loaded and it tripped the breaker…. I feel like that is what has happened to me. Too many things, voices, expectations, disappointment have tripped the breaker on my mind and heart. It was a simple fix in the kitchen.. turn off some of the demands of the energy source. I need to turn off more of the outside voices and demands to keep my breaker from tripping.
- Then the car has it’s “Maintenance Required” light on permanently (until I get the oil changed). I too need some maintenance — physical, mental, spiritual. I am bad about looking at the big picture and feeling like I need to do everything all at one time. I am like my car… I know the maintenance required is just an oil change light and a simple fix with a little time at an appointment. The problem is I often neglect the simple fix with my life and it becomes a whole engine that needs repaired. One simple fix I try to do daily is my Grateful list… a small thing to focus on every day that no matter what the world is saying I can say this is what God is doing. When my gratitude lists stop happening or if they are hard to develop, I know maintenance is required.
- My low fuel light came on the car because I wanted to go just a few more miles before stopping. Well, the low fuel light has been on in my life for a while. I have left my cup go empty spiritually and mentally. I try to juggle that one more thing… ignore the gas gauge on my life for just a little longer as I am sure I can make it… But I don’t stop often enough to even keep me ½ full of all the things I know I need in my heart, brain, and soul. Lately feeling like I am always on the warning light, and filling just enough to get to the next spot.
I know that God knows my heart, my tripped breaker, my maintenance required, and my low fuel light as he allowed the voices I needed to hear this week come across my path. He gave me some scriptures last Sunday, and despite my attempts at just tucking them away, He has been playing it over and over (now a God-given Scripture is one thing that should be on auto-play in my head)
He even gave me a scripture last Sunday that I sort of tucked away and didn’t use it…
Psalms 40:1-3: vs1 I waited patiently for the Lord; He turned to me and heard my cry. Vs 2. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. Vs 3. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear the Lord and put their trust in him.
Wait patiently (not so good at waiting)…. He will hear my cry (but I have to call out to Him and not the world)…. He will lift me out of the pit (not my family, my friends, chocolate)…
But the verse that got me most was HE PUT A NEW SONG in my mouth! He puts a NEW song in my mouth… not the same old complaining song… not the I am not enough song… not the I should not have procrastinated song…. not the that person wronged me song… not the I can do it on my own song… but a A NEW SONG – a Hymn of Praise (not complaining, or worry, or defeat). He gives me new mercies every day (Lamentations 3:23) and wants my mouth to proclaim a NEW SONG every day. I am going to drown out the voices in my head and those of the world and be DELIBERATE in singing the NEW SONG HE gives me. Want to sing with me?