I’ve done so many things I’m grateful in my life that I haven’t earned, but by the grace of God. I have a beautiful family and a loving husband. I have an extremely satisfying career producing and acting in films. I just wrote a book, yet I still feel pressure from others, to have the “next thing” on my docket. I tend to be so black and white and I don’t have a good sense of balance. It always brings me back to the thought, “Isn’t being a wife and mother and raising a family enough?”
David and I were talking about this last night. We (as in all of us) tend to get anxious about the future while trying to not get distracted by the rat race of our culture. Sometimes it takes me a while, but I always know (and come back to) the answer is that our path is different and separate than anyone else’s, even though we often succumb to the fear and lies that the desires in our heart aren’t going to come true.
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” — Romans 12:2
My friend and I caught up a few nights ago. I was feeling discouraged by the quick integration back into our fast paced life after having a few weeks off with my family and on top of that, a big year with my career. She encouraged me not to copy the behaviors & customs of this world (i.e. Starbucks in hand, rushing everywhere) but to rather let God transform me into a new person by changing the way I “think.” Her words were to remember to put God first through personal time with prayer and reading the Word of God.
“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” –Matthew 6:33
My friend reminded me that drawing our strength from God daily and through our godly friends is where we need to pour our energy. In other words: less draining activities, more that would be beneficial to our spirit, mind, body and family.
Peace and calm heals the body.
Listen to the Holy Spirit. What does that look like? Well, for example, I’ve struggled with a lot of pain, fatigue and migraines. I drink a lot of coffee just to get through the day and carry the load as all mommies do. As soon as I tell myself I am going to do a detox, I immediately fail… or last half a day. So I beat myself up, which makes me vulnerable to be caught up in self-hatred. My history of self destructive eating disorders doesn’t give me a lot of grace to be crazy restrictive or try to eat “perfectly” or follow so much rigidity when it comes to food. See the downward spiral? Instead, I need to be saying, “God my body hurts, I need to feel better. You know what I need. I am going to be lead by your Spirit. I will trust your nudge.” I also had a great revelation that yes, we need to be kind to ourselves and loving to our body, BUT the world has put food on a pedestal as an idol to be our healer. The truth is, God and his love is our healer!!
Are we following the patterns of freedom? God’s spirit is gracious and gentle. (See the way He blessed my trip to NYC last month in my last blog). When we’re lead by Him, there’s freedom, there’s joy and there’s grace. He leads us gently, and when we don’t feel that grace and peace, we need to slow down and ask ourselves- is this a good thing in my eyes or society’s eyes, or is this a God thing? God wants us to persevere, to walk by faith and to trust in him, but he doesn’t want us stressed out, overwhelmed and miserable with the mountains of never ending to-do’s on our plate. He has called us to live set apart and free from these burdens.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”–Philippians 4:6-7
We are on this time schedule created by a fast-paced, unrealistic society. The message in my heart for this year is “being spirit led.” The Holy Spirit is telling me to be still. It’s hard to drown out the thoughts that I should be working out more, taking this or that class, doing more films, etc. It’s a battle, but it’s worth it.
“Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom”
— 2 corinthians 3:17
Can I get an Amen?