Hi friends! Meet my friend Rachael! She is a wife, a mom, a sister, a daughter, a friend, a youth volunteer, and most recently named the FHSD teacher of the year! She is pretty dang amazing! She has been a source of encouragement to me, and I asked her to share some encouragement for women everywhere based on her experience and age and stage of life. If you're wondering about my guest bloggers and all of their encouragement, check out last weeks blog, Girl Power, for all the details. I really do believe this: We are better when we are FOR each other!
Get kids breakfast.
Get them dressed.
Hurry to the car.
School drop off.
Pick kids up.
Feed everyone dinner.
Go to evening activities.
Put kids down.
Pick up house.
Crash at the end of the day….all to do the exact thing over again the next day.
Your daily grind may look different than mine. You could sub out “work” with staying home with your kids, ‘getting kids ready” with feeding your pets, or “evening activities” with cooking dinner BUT we all have our daily routines.
In the midst of the daily life we live, it would be incredibly easy to walk through this life and miss the entire point. We were created with a very specific purpose which is painted beautifully for us in Matthew 28:16-20, This is lovingly named the great commission. We need to go into this world, love people well and bring the good news. God does the rest.
Well if it was that easy, we would all be so much better at it!
If I am being completely honest, there are moments in the daily grind that I feel exhausted, depleted, empty, kind of like...something’s got to give. Those days are so hard. It is written on my face, with my body language, and certainly my actions do not reflect a love for others. When I feel like that, I have learned I need to stop, breath, and talk to God.
Over years of this struggle, God has revealed his heart to me. What He has communicated to me has been crystal clear...YOU ARE TRYING TO DO THIS ON YOUR OWN. He reminds me that my strength is not enough to complete the daily grind...actually he does not want me to “grind” at all. He simply wants me to live for him. He wants me to respond to the Spirit. He wants me to rest in his strength.
You might be asking, how do we know if we are trying to do it all on our own?
One of the most direct ways we can evaluate if we are relying on ourselves instead of God is by how we feel at the end of the day. If at the end of the day we are super impressed with the things “I” have done or “my” accomplishments...then we believe that the success of the day are a direct result of us. Similarly, if at the end the day day “I” feel like “I was not enough” or it was “my fault” then...again our shortcomings are about “us”.
Another way we can evaluate if we are doing this on our own...is by evaluating motive. Am I doing this “thing” because I HAVE to? Am I making this choice to elevate me personally? Does what other people think have more influence than it should? We could simply ask...am I doing this out of obligation or selfish gain?
All too often in this life the daily hustle leaves us feeling divided and not enough. And that my friends is the problem...our hearts are divided and ultimately we are exhausted because we will never be “enough” on our own...and that is where resting in His strength comes in.
By this point, we are all wondering how…
How do we rest in Him????
How do we align our entire lives to the Creator?
Thankfully, God provides guidance.
This first thing we must do is live with a SUPER CLEAR PURPOSE. Everywhere we go and everything we do can teach people about God and we MUST align our lives to that belief.
Your mission field is where you spend the majority of your time: your home, your job, your school, ect. Are we actively pursuing Christ in those places? Do we look to serve his Kingdom when we are cooking dinners, sitting in meetings, or classrooms. My friends, our intent matters. Do we do those things just because we HAVE to or could a little shift in heart posture make it about God? Simple heart posture prayers bring God to the forefront of everything we do. For example, “God I am super tired today. I want to love my kids well. Please let me show them how my love for them pales in comparison to yours.” or try this one, “God, I am about to enter into a meeting where I know I will be discussing difficult topics. Help me love the people in the midst of discussion.”
Another way we can live a purposeful life for God is by having words written on our hearts. This could be a bible verse, a worship song, or a mantra that aligns to a biblical truth. A few weeks ago at a prayer group, I shared that I was struggling to love well at work. As we were talking God revealed it was because I was relying on my strengths. I was then reminded of the song, “Surrounded.” Now when I feel anxiety and stress increasing, I sing (sometimes in my head and sometimes out loud), “This is how I fight my battles” (referring to prayer) and my heart posture immediately changes.
But before we leave, I would love to leave you with an example. An example of how this looks in my everyday life. I am a public school teacher and it would be very easy for work to be seperate from my spiritual life. A few years ago God began to move in my building. He has brought together a community of believers that pray together, support one another, hold each other accountable...and love one another. As a result of faithfully giving this part of our lives to God...he is entrusting us with large responsibilities. And every single step of the way He has shown up in BIG ways. We are humbly serving while working to better his Kingdom. That is where our strength is coming from.
My dear friends, so often, victory for His Kingdom is won by us actively living out his mission exactly where he has us. My encouragement to you….look for ways to live a purposeful life where you are. Pray for Him to reveal himself to you. He will be faithful and then rest...rest in Him.