Tag Archives: writing

Strength in Weakness

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As I reviewed the week, particularly the fact that I had not written any blog posts, I began rehearsing a list of my weakness. I’m messy and disorganized, I’m very impatient, I need to step up my computer skills, our family doesn’t plan ahead, I still struggle with budgeting, and procrastination is my middle name!

During my quiet time, I searched the Scriptures for some relief for the shame and guilt that plagues me. An initial search led me to familiar passages like 2 Corinthians 12:9: “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”  Another favorite verse is, “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses but we have one who is tempted in every way, just as we are –yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”

These verses are great in theory, but how do I live them out in the day-to-day grind? I am juggling many different responsibilities and goals, and if I’m not fitting in blogging, the real question for me was, Should I keep writing?

In this season, my days are full. I am teaching full time and just added the responsibility of mentoring a student teacher. My own children are in high school, so after managing behavior all day I come home to more homework and discipline; in addition, I am taking a course once a week and I am part of a committee that is implementing the new Educator Evaluation system. My husband is in school full-time and working part-time, so the burden of housekeeping falls to me. My son plays varsity basketball, and this week he had three games, which meant most evenings I didn’t get home until 9 pm. In this busy schedule, I want to find the secret of relying on Christ’s strength in spite of my weaknesses, and I continued to wrestle with this problem.

This morning during my devotions, God was so faithful to meet me to assure me of his presence in my hectic days. While reading a portion of Emily Freeman’s A Million Little Ways, the section on “Offer Your Weakness” spoke hope into my situation. She writes, “We must make art, even in our weakness. If we don’t, we are denying ourselves ourselves.” An example written by her father resonated with me. He wrote, “I’m disorganized and messy…Just because I don’t like something about myself doesn’t mean it’s sin.”

When I come home from a busy day at work, the dishes in the sink taunt me. My cranky daughter wants some of my precious time, and I snap back impatiently. The laundry needs to be done so my husband and son have their uniforms for tomorrow, and Satan shames me.

But the Father of Lies does not have the final say. Despite my procrastination and my messy desk and a tiny bank account, and without a writer platform, last year I had 5 articles published, I attended She Speaks, I went to Europe, I received my master’s degree, and I parented teenagers and taught school and lived by faith in Christ.

When you are confronted with weakness, undesirable character traits, messy relationships, and too many responsibilities with too little time, remind yourself, it’s not sin. It’s the ideal situation for God to show up with abundant grace. “I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.” Phil. 4:13

New Year’s Resolutions

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As you can infer from my previous post, I enjoy this time of year as I take stock of the previous year and anticipate the one to come. I have almost always made new year’s resolutions, and this year is no exception.  I recently listened to a teleseminar by Donna Partow and used some of that goal-setting time to finalize some areas that I would like to develop this year.

1. Writing—I am returning to blogging and I am planning to complete 1000 posts.  From what I’ve read, that is about the number of posts it takes to have a strong online presence and build a platform.  In addition, I want to start writing a devotional book. This will take about 2 years as I plan to cull my quiet time journals for the various selections.  I also hope to write an e-book on prayer. Now I’ve made it public, so that gives me more encouragement to stick with it.

2. Career –When I return to work as an English teacher in January, I have some new leadership responsibilities as our school system begins to implement the educator evaluation system established by the federal government. In addition, I will have a student teacher under my supervision. As I anticipate receiving my professional license this year, I am looking ahead, and wondering if I should pursue an administrative license. This is something I am praying about, as my full-time work really becomes a ministry.

3. HOME –I am still working on home management and I continue to follow the Flylady system. We have been in our home almost fifteen years, so at this point in addition to decluttering, some remodeling needs to take place. With our busy schedule, things pile up quickly if I don’t maintain order.

4. Finances—With my husband in school, our budget is strained, and this year I want to pay off some debts as we will be needing a newer vehicle.  It seems this area is a constant battle for me. However, God has been so faithful to provide for all our needs and many of our wants as well. The discipline of keeping a budget makes me disciplined in other areas as well, and I have seen my children become content.

5. Creativity— I have stacks of art magazines and supplies stacked up without finished products to show for it. So, as my “reward” for meeting my writing goals, I am going to give myself permission to work on my art.  If I don’t develop my creativity by completing a few specific projects, I will give or throw away my magazines and art supplies on July 31, 2014, freeing up time, space, and mental energy to pursue something else.

I didn’t include my spiritual disciplines or exercise on my list because these two items are part of my every day routine. When I wake up, I walk the dog, make some coffee, and have my devotions before I start the day. In the afternoon I take a walk or go to the Y.

The verse I chose for the year is “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of POWER, of LOVE, and of SELF-DISCIPLINE.” 2 Timothy 1:7