When weakness becomes strength.

“Never be so busy making a life that you forget to live one.”

This quote echoes through my mind several times a day. “You work too hard,” people comment. “You’re too hard on yourself. You deserve a break.”

The thing is, I can’t. I literally have tried to relax and I just couldn’t do it.

I feel like I’m wasting time when I shut the world out and try to focus on only breathing, on refocusing, on taking this “break” that everyone talks about.

Waste of time.

Is it, though?

I discovered the quote above earlier this year and wrote it down on a Post-It note. It now stays tacked on my wall right next to my desk, which is the place I go to escape from the world and focus on the homework, the blog posts, the writing, and all the work that “needs” to be done right this second.

Your biggest strength can become your biggest weakness, we all know this. But what about the reverse? What happens to your weakness?

Through time, I’ve realized that I struggle with letting go. Yes, it’s come as no surprise, but I still struggle with completely letting go, 100%.

Through work, through structure, through organization, through lists on lists on lists, through checking things off, through keeping a schedule… I may say I can completely let go, but when it comes down to it, I’m just a girl trying to keep it all together just like you.

I never could juggle, but I feel like I’m juggling a bunch of different tasks, things to do, and deadlines, struggling to keep them in the air when any second, they could come crashing down.

What if they did?

They would come crashing down and I’d be left standing there, my biggest weakness revealed… I can’t juggle to save my life.

With all the pressure I put on myself, I sometimes feel like I’m driving myself crazy. Has this happened to you?

I haven’t found a solution to this problem that seems to be one of the many themes of my life.

I just know that I can’t do it all and I’ve realized this time and time again. I try to be Superman, but juggling is my Kryptonite.

The expectations I put on myself are far greater than what they should be. That could be a great strength, but it’s also a great weakness.

The good thing, though, is that although I don’t come close to measuring up to my own expectations, and even though I could never in 10000 years measure up to the perfect standard that Jesus sets for believers, I am free.

I am free from the struggles.

I am free from the worries, the stress, the pressure, the expectations. The hurt, the anxiety, the need to control, the need for structure.

I am free because although I fail every day and I will never ever EVER have it all together, even though some days may be better than others, even though I will never measure up…

Jesus did. And He does. And He’ll always continue to, because on the same day that I found the quote I began this blog post with, I also read Hebrews 13:8.

Hebrews 13:8: “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.”

Although on most days I’m so busy making a life that I forget to live one, Jesus is so busy giving grace to me, even though I don’t deserve it. He’s giving me life every day, grace every day, forgiveness every day. He’s the same forever and for that, my greatest weakness is my greatest strength.

2 Corinthians 12:9, “But He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” 

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the joy of simplicity– midnight musings.

Currently, it’s twenty seven minutes past midnight.

It’s freezing.

Ice is on the ground.

Snow fell a little under twenty four hours ago. I can’t see the green grass. They’re covered with a thin blanket of white.

My first day of spring semester classes is behind me. I survived the first of many long days.

Sometimes, you have to be thankful for the small joys.

Like your car not skidding on black ice.

Or the fact that the Starbucks line was short today and I got my coffee in a matter of minutes.

In every day, there is always good. Although not every day will be good, it’s your attitude that makes the difference.

 

It’s the little moments that pass you by, the little moments that secretly disappear when you’re not looking, that make up the days.

Will your day be good?

Or will your day be bad?

Choose joy and keep choosing it.

It’s thirty minutes past midnight and although I don’t know what today will bring, I know that if I choose to look for them, 

there are good moments hiding from me,

waiting to be found.

We simply have to choose joy and keep choosing it.

So you’ve had a bad day…

Have you ever heard a message so many times, but then you hear it one day, and it’s like you’ve heard it for the first time?
You have a total “OH MY GOODNESS!!!” moment.
Your whole life makes sense. Or, at least, some parts of it.

You have an epiphany of sorts.

That happened to me yesterday. Yesterday was not one of my better days. Everything seemed to be going wrong. To be honest, I felt hopeless, insignificant, lost, and utterly speechless and incapable of doing anything. I wanted to give up. I started doubting myself. I started wondering why a lot of things were happening to me.
A little dramatic, are we now? You may be thinking.
Oh shush. Haven’t you had one of those days, too? Of course you have. It’s called a bad day.

I’ve blogged before about my Type-A personality. Sometimes, it can be a good thing. But other times, it makes me my own worst enemy. I put pressure on myself to do well in whatever I do, no matter what the cost, no matter how hard it may test me physically, emotionally, mentally, etc. I put pressure on myself to succeed because Type-A personalities do that. It’s weird; I don’t know why, but it happens that way. Like I said, sometimes, it works to my advantage. I work hard to play hard. But then, sometimes, I work too hard and don’t play at all.
You can call me a perfectionist, or a psycho, or a perfectionist psycho, but whatever the case, that’s how it is. That’s how it’s always been for me and once in a while, it overwhelms me to the point of a breakdown. Yesterday was the point of breakdown-ness.

The day happened. I somehow survived. I was talking to my really good friend/sister in Christ last night, completely having this aforementioned mental break down, and she said something I’ve heard over and over again, but this time was different. Something clicked. The phrase I’ve heard thousands of times became a phrase that I’d only really heard once.

“YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE PERFECT. Can I say that again? YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE PERFECT,” she said.

As I heard this, and thought about it, I started crying [I’m such a girl]. OF COURSE I don’t have to be perfect. Of course this pressure is unnecessary because aiming for perfection is the unreachable goal. “Practice makes perfect,” but you can never be perfect. Debatable, you may say. But no, it really isn’t. You know why that is, right? You know why we’re imperfect all the time, right? Because, if we were perfect, we wouldn’t need a Savior. We wouldn’t need grace. We wouldn’t need redemption. We wouldn’t need forgiveness. We’d be perfect from it all. We’d be perfect from imperfection.
Of COURSE that’s why it frustrates me when I make failed after failed attempt at being this, because I CAN. NEVER. BE. PERFECT.
That’s why JESUS came down to earth and died for me, for you, for us. Because HE. IS. PERFECT. His perfection gives us grace. His perfection gives us forgiveness. His perfection gives us love. His perfection gives love and life to our failed selves. He’s perfect because we aren’t. He’s sinless because we’re sinful. We need a Savior. We need Jesus.

As you can probably imagine, this is only a spec of this epiphany I had last night. Bad days can turn into good days sometimes, as it did yesterday. It doesn’t change the circumstances or the obstacles, but it changes the perspective and the outlook we have. It can change the way you end the day and fall asleep. It can change the reason why you cry. It can change the reason for the bad day. It can put us in check; show us that not everything will be happy and fantastic all the time.

Sometimes, bad days happen so that we can realize just how much we need Jesus…

You know how much we need Him?

All day. Every day.

What if…?

Sometimes, we just need some motivation. some inspiration. some encouragement. some positivity.

What if we let every fear stand in our way?
What if we let the opinions of others control our lives?
What if we really did believe that we weren’t good enough?
What if, when every obstacle came in our way, we gave up?
What if, when everybody told us we weren’t good enough, we quit?
What if we really did believe that we can’t make a difference?
What if we backed down from every challenge?
What if we refused to have adventure?

Dare.
Trust.
Have faith.
God’s got this.

Remember my motto?