Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Releasing Self-Inflicted Pressure

HEY Loves!

I hope this blog post finds you well.

This is going to be a short and sweet reminder to you, my sweet blog friends. I do sincerely hope that you can use this little suggestion on a daily basis.

I'm (still) battling the slow struggle that is getting over procrastination (once I figure this out friends, I will share-I know I'm not the only one on the strug with this ever-frustrating problem) and I bought a book called Life Management for Busy Women by Elizabeth George that I have to share a thought from.

This book has allowed me to take off all the pressure I am putting on myself because of me feelings of procrastination, and that exact statement was this:

"God's word is ALWAYS a good use of your time - you NEVER have to worry about wasting your time if it's being spent reading God's good and useful and helpful word."

Do you know how much stress that statement released for me friends? SO MUCH! 

I am here to release you from feeling like you don't have time to read your bible in the morning, or pray to God when you're feeling stressed, or take that 30 minute break with your friend who will build you back up again with God's word. YOU ARE FREE to do that! And in fact, you should do that! 

God loves when you dwell in His word, because that is Him speaking directly to you. And guess what friends? It may seem obvious, but God has ALL the answers! And when you're feeling stressed, diving in to his word will allow God himself to whisper to you, telling you it's going to be ok, and that he loves you forever, and that this 10 page paper does not define who you are. 

So don't be fearful of your God time friends.  Embrace it and cherish it, and allow it to release all your stress and fear.

You will always be stronger than you think you are.
Love and hugs,

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Isaiah 6: How to Beat Procrastination (And Everything Else that Drives you Crazy About Yourself)

Hey, diligent blog friends!

I was reading my bible and praying this morning (at my fav spot in Lawrence, of course) and just felt like I should share what I was reading with you!

As a quick back story, I've been a struggling procrastinator my whole life (if you haven't yet read that about me on my blog, you will learn it soon enough) and honestly friends, it rips me apart to struggle with this.  I can't stand wasting time, and yet it's almost as if I have an addiction to it-I simply can't get myself to stop.

The amount of procrastination I experience comes and goes in phases, and yesterday was, in all honesty, just a huge day of waste when it comes to productivity.  I hate to say that because no day is ever a waste, but I didn't do much at all yesterday.  So this morning, I knew that if I wanted to get anything at all accomplished, I needed to start my day with some serious prayer and help from God.  

I decided to randomly open my bible in Signs of Life this morning and just read.  This is not an ideal solution to daily bible reading; I will rarely promote this as a way to really dig deep into God's word.  However, it was EXACTLY what I needed to hear today (God works in simply amazing ways, sometimes, doesn't he?).

I opened to Isaiah 6.  Isaiah can be a really hard book to read; there's a lot of cryptic wording in this particular book, along with tons and tons of prophesy, which can be sometimes difficult to understand. 

I'm going to provide the whole chapter for those who are interested, but I'm also going to call out verses that resonated with me.

Isaiah 6: 
 In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him were seraphim, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. And they were calling to one another:
“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty;

    the whole earth is full of his glory.”
At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke.
“Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty.”
Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the altar. With it he touched my mouth and said, “See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for.
Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?
And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”
He said, “Go and tell this people:
“‘Be ever hearing, but never understanding;

    be ever seeing, but never perceiving.’
Make the heart of this people calloused;
    make their ears dull
    and close their eyes.
Otherwise they might see with their eyes,
    hear with their ears,
    understand with their hearts,
and turn and be healed.”
11 Then I said, “For how long, Lord?”
And he answered:
“Until the cities lie ruined

    and without inhabitant,

until the houses are left deserted
    and the fields ruined and ravaged,
until the Lord has sent everyone far away
    and the land is utterly forsaken.
And though a tenth remains in the land,
    it will again be laid waste.
But as the terebinth and oak
    leave stumps when they are cut down,
    so the holy seed will be the stump in the land.”

Awesome, so if you made it through that chapter, then CONGRATS!

Transparency time: the first time reading this chapter I was thinking "wut". 

I decided to just google 'Isaiah 6 meaning' and see what popped up.  Surprisingly, this was incredibly helpful!  If you're ever confused about a bible passage, might as well try googling it to see what comes up! (a word of caution though-take anything you read on the internet with a grain of salt.  The only truth you will ever read is God's Truth!! Can I get an AMEN AMEN AMEN. yup.)

So, what I discovered is this:

Isaiah 6: 5:  I see my sin
Isaiah's eyes were opened to the fact that his lips are unclean, and that he is not worthy to look upon the Lord, who had just shown his self to Isaiah.  This is the truth for all of us, dear friends.  I know that for some of us this is hard to deal with.  But God would not be God if he wasn't ALWAYS higher than us!  And we are creatures of sin, unworthy of God's enduring love.  Guess what though you guys?  God doesn't care-he wants us for LIFE! Thank goodness that God loves me so well.

Isaiah 6: 6-7: That must have been painful!
Hot coals were placed on Isaiah's lips.  I mean, ow.  Seriously, can you imagine that kind of feeling?  I can draw two conclusions about this statement; a. that Isaiah was so in awe of God's majesty that pain did not register in his brain; or b. that the pain of this coal was incomparable to the gratefulness that God was taking away his guilt and sins.

Isaiah 6: 8: God wants us to take action
God wants us to take action!  But don't just go, if you're going to act then be willing to act for God ("Here am I.  Send me!").

Isaiah 6: 11: "Preach" until sin is destroyed
Of course, in the traditional sense this statement does not apply to all of us.  We all aren't going to be preachers.  But what if you replaced preach with pray?  Pray until God destroys the sin that plagues your life and your world.

My god loves me so much that he allows me to see my sin, so that I can begin to correct myself.  Going through these changes might be painful, but God is so glorious that he will take away all my guilt in the process.  I am meant to take action, and diligently pray until ALL sin is destroyed.

Thanks for hanging through this rambling bible dissection this morning, sweet friends!  If this has blessed you in any way, let me know in the comments below :) I love each and every one of you who visit baby blog!  I can' wait to see what God has in store here.

(Quick update: Justin and I celebrated ONE YEAR of dating last night! Thanks Jesus for blessing me with this lovely man)

P.S. huge shoutout to Unsplash - they are a website that posts ten FREE stock photos every week! 
All the photos in this blog post were provided by them.  Thanks for being awesome, Unsplash!  And thanks to Dale Partridge for suggesting this site.  If you guys don't know about Dale, check him out NOW.  RIGHT NOW.  He's a game changer.
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