Abiding {Day 6} – When It’s Not Perfect

photo credit: Heart and Soul Reflections

Well here we are on Day 6 of my series on 31 Days of Abiding.  Thank you for coming along with me on my journey.  I realized from the start that God was very strategic when He put this topic on my heart.  You see, He did not ask me to write on a topic that I have already gotten the victory over.  But rather, He asked me to write on a topic that He knows I am still working out.  And when I started to write, I honestly wasn’t sure I could continue. 

May I be real for a moment?

I do not have a perfect prayer life.  I do not always “sit still before Him”.  I struggle to get up most mornings to be with Him.  My quiet times are sporadic, swaying between some amazingly lengthy and intimate times, to short, uneventful moments, and everything in between.  And when I do sit still, my mind races at the same time, and I often feel like I do not hear Him clearly with all of the clammering going on in my head.  And mornings?  Let’s just say I am not a morning person.

I was reminded this week that I am a broken and imperfect vessel.  I carry deeply rooted wounds that have become a part of my life.  And as I began to write this series, a few of those wounds have come up to the surface and are staring me square in the face.  And Abiding is hard, when you are confronted with your lack and you find yourself having to undo your way of doing.  He is challenging my heart to come closer, to abide.

I want to run and hide. 

I know I cannot hide from Him, really.  But I’ve gone through the motions on more than one occasion over the last few days.  I’ve checked off my “prayer” box, and double checked my “worship” box, and I’ve written blog posts that have spurred wonderful conversations and comments.  But I still hide.  I’ve done the homework, the laundry and the shopping.  And still I hide.  Maybe it has something to do with the fact that I began reading Emily’s book, Grace for the Good Girl, right before I began this series.  The reality is that there are still parts of my life that I am trying to hide.  I don’t want others to see my imperfections.  I don’t want them to know that I don’t have it all together.  And I don’t want God to see me as less than perfect.  So this journey has turned into one of introspection and healing.

In many ways I am still trying to do it perfectly,  checking off my boxes along the way.  My heart is in the right place — longing, yearning, desiring to be close.  But I find myself more in “performance” mode these days than “abiding”.  And sometimes life throws me for a loop and it’s hard to stay balanced.  I know that I must continue to choose Him first, above all other things.  But it’s often in the late hours of the night, after the children are tucked into bed and the house is quiet.  And then I realize that the day is done and I have to wait for the morning.  But then He is there, full of mercy and full of grace.

Through the LORD’s mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not. 23 They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. (Lamentations 3:22-23)

This was not a planned post for this series.  But I felt like I needed to be real.  I struggle to be still.  I struggle to remain in His Word, to apply His truth to my life.  My heart gets anxious, and even though I know it is only Him that can bring peace, I am still striving.  I tend to overlook the fact that He is standing right beside me with open arms, ready to take my burdens.  Oh that I would cease from my striving!

So friends, this is where I am tonight.  Will you stay with me while I work this out?

I was reading the following passage of scripture this morning in the Prayer Room:

“Come, all you who are thirsty,
come to the waters;
and you who have no money,
come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
without money and without cost.
2 Why spend money on what is not bread,
   and your labor on what does not satisfy?
Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good,
   and you will delight in the richest of fare.” 
(Isaiah 55:1-2)

In all of my wanderings and my rushing to and fro, the Lord asks, “why are you laboring on what does not satisfy?”  I love the way He gently corrects me.  He spoke to my heart about all of the things that I “do” to try and please Him, my family and myself.  These things can never satisfy me.  He is the only one who can satisfy my hungry heart.  I am thankful that He is teaching me as I write.  I love how He comes and takes my hand and leads me.  Even when I neglect to put Him first, He still chooses me.

My friend Kimberly at A Planting of the Lord is writing 31 Days of Rooting Deeper.  We have similar themes of abiding, being still and being deeply rooted in His love.  I would love for you to stop by her blog and say hello.

 

*This is Day 6 of a 31 day series on “Abiding”. You can find all of my posts in this series here. And be sure to stop by some of the other 31Dayers. Over 700 bloggers have linked up so far! There is something for everyone!

 

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Comments

  1. says

    Barbie ~ You are perfect in His eyes! He loves you and is growing you to be like Him. May you continue to be still, as I am on the same journey. ~ Wendy

  2. Kristi says

    I can so relate to the “checking of the boxes,” and trying to do things perfectly….that wears a girl out, doesn’t it? Thank you for your honesty, your beautiful heart shines through every word.  God will grant the desires of your heart!  You are dearly loved!

  3. megan says

    Thank you so much for sharing your heart.  You are not alone in facing the struggle of becoming still and falling into performance mode.  I am ordering Grace for the Good Girl this week and reading your posts too.  Joining you on this journey. Be blessed!

  4. Tammyrude says

    I’m so glad that I’m not the only one with this inner struggle. Well, not glad, but your honesty revealed to me… I’m not alone. I love your writing and look forward to reading your thoughts ( God’s thoughts) every day.

    In His Grace~Tammy

  5. jkhenderson3 says

    You are so, so sweet to include a link to my series, Barbie. And please know, the place I am writing from? It is absolutely one hundred percent from a place of need. I am writing this series not because I have it together or get it, but because I myself NEED it desperately. 

    Hugs to you! 

  6. says

    I thank you for your honesty Barbie.  I’m glad to know that I am not alone!  I have my daily quiet times.  When I wasn’t working full time, I had the time to dwell in His presence and …I loved it.  Nowadays, I spend time with Him but not nearly enough.  I find my mind racing as I’m praying and then I ask Him to quiet my mind.  Time is so limited and I feel rushed.  I don’t like that.  But how thankful I am that He never leaves me and He knows my heart’s desire is to …abide.

    Love you,
    Debbie

  7. says

    Amazing and honest post, Barbie!  I find myself revisiting subjects that I have taught, and written about, because I need the refresher…it all keeps us dependent on Him, the best place to be!  Have a beautiful day :)

  8. says

    Barbie, I just read a great CS Lewis quote on another blog that said (paraphrase) “We do not write because we understand, we write so that we will understand.”  As writers, part of the process to gaining understanding is writing!  We don’t have to have it all figured out take people on a journey!  Being real, means we can walk together!  That is what I love about sweet Emily’s book!  You genuinely feel like you are on the journey with her! 

    Love your transparency!  Keep writing! 

  9. says

    Thank you Megan.  That book is really speaking to my heart.  God wants us walking in wholeness, and this book is helping to set me free.  Glad to have you along on the journey.

  10. Missy Kemp says

    I am staying right with you– thanks for your vulnerability. I’ve seen my own brokenness so clearly in that all my striving, even when I think it is for Him, still all about ME. With you, I want to release that and just  receive He who is “full of mercy and full of grace.”

    Thank you for writing. 

  11. says

    Thank you SO much for being honest – because I struggle too.  I want to find time and make time to just sit and be still in Him, but my mind races with all the things I do and the moment I finally sit down, there is a little one demanding my attention or I’m reminded of something else I should be doing.  But I love that verse – that His mercies are new every morning…and, even more, they are new every MOMENT.  He is constantly making me new, so, thought I may mess up in one moment of the day, He wipes the slate clean and gives me a fresh start every time I come to Him, seek forgiveness, and allow Him to change me.   Also, in writing my own 31 Days of Devotions, I was really scared to write, because I’ve been so sporadic in my own devotions time and have struggled to really abide in Him.  But, I knew He wanted me to write it and, in writing and focus on Him day by day, I am learning to abide in Him again.  Isn’t it wonderful how that works?

  12. says

    I sit here in awe of what God is doing.  I wrote today about my similar struggle, and Jen @ Finding Heaven shared the same.  God is certainly speaking to our hearts, and while it maybe a struggle, I’m sure it is going to be worth it.  Many blessings, Barbie!

    • says

      Yes, he is speaking loud and clear.  He wants us to abide in Him, so that our lives will be filled to overflowing.  Thank you for stopping by!

  13. says

    Barbie, I’ve been reading your Abiding posts, and this one was written not just for you but for me too!  I check off the boxes, I strive for perfection, I try to “do” it all.  And none of it is necessary in His eyes.  I often find myself scrambling to get my prayers in the rest of the hectic day.  Sigh . . . thank you, Lord, for Barbie and her gift of writing, and thank you for teaching us both through her writing.

  14. says

    We really are all broken. I love this post and I love your writing and I love YOU! I so get what you’re saying about quiet times. I have both extremes and everything in between, too. And too often it’s rushed and hurried and something I do out of a sense of duty more than anything else. But I miss Him when that happens. Isn’t it funny how He works in us when we simply choose and topic and start writing?

  15. says

    Barbie, your transparency here is powerful.  You encourage us to be honest with each other:  you invite us into this safe place with you.  Thank you.  My focus on “forgetting myself” in my 31 days series is completely because this is an area where I need to stay, with Him.  I don’t have this down.  I am so grateful for how He loves us as we reach for Him as He reaches for us.  He loves us no matter what, but how beautiful to partner with Him as we trust Him with our weaknesses! And together, we get to see Him — and rest in His strength, rather than our own.  Thank you so much, friend.

    • says

      Thank you so much Jamie. This writing exercise has been more than a commitment to write for 31 days. God is rearranging my heart. It’s been good, yet overwhelming at times. Thanks for your prayers!

  16. says

    Barbie, you are such a beautiful person. I know that your striving will eventually bring you to the place you want to be with the Lord. He sees and hears your heart… He knows.

    I am there. I reached that point several years ago. For as long as I’ve been saved, I’ve had a close fellowship with Jesus. But just after Jerry (my second husband) and I married, I was digging into the Bible and praying as never before, talking endlessly with God, and suddenly, I “got it.” I finally “understood”… and since then, I have such a deep personal relationship with the Lord that words cannot even begin to describe. It’s like I reached a whole other plateau of abiding with the Lord that no one has ever told me about, that maybe some do not know about themselves! I have cousins in ministry who have been struggling to reach that point, but I don’t know how to explain it to them. All I’ve been able to tell them is, “when you get there, you’ll know… and then, everything will fall into place.”

    Keep striving, Barbie. Praying with you, friend!

  17. says

    Oh, Barbie….your honesty has truly touched my heart. So much of this is where I am! You are not alone in this journey to Abide! Bless you as you strive to be still!

  18. Liz Otteson says

    Thank you for being real, honest, and vulnerable.  I am so right there with you.  You created a moment of stillness for me this morning, and I am grateful.  Thanks for opening yourself up to let the Spirit shine so brightly through you!

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