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Extend Yourself

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Today’s the kind of day that makes me want to curl up in an over-sized sweater, with my slippers, a nice steaming cup of chai tea and enjoy a good book while sitting on the couch.  So it was especially hard to get my blood pumping this morning.  And quite frankly, it’s been difficult mustering up the energy to get out of bed all week, as I haven’t decided how to best tackle all that lies ahead of me this month.

My calendar this month is full…and when I say full, I mean FULL!  There’s not a single day that I don’t have some place to be.  Sunday, the day of rest, is soon to be my busiest day of the week!

I am blessed, however, that the activities that take up so much of my time are those that inspire me to become a better version of myself.  May it be a more financially sound, more physically fit, more spiritually aware and a more loving and caring individual; I have responsibilities that are molding me more into the type of woman that God desires for me to be.

Oh, sure there are days that I don’t wake up counting these blessings.  There are also many nights that I go to sleep dreading the next day, but as I progress through the hours of work (or whatever task I am carrying out that day), I often find tidbits of enlightenment that provide an ever tiny glimpse of how God is providing in ways that I did not expect or even imagine possible.

Before I allowed my feet to hit the floor this Monday morning, I decided to take a quick glance over my emails that stacked up over the night, and from the list, I selected the one I received from The Daily Love newsletter. And I found the following quote…

The clanging symbols of last week returned to me and I startled from my sleepy stupor.
[Tweet “It’s a new day & I have a decision to make: Will I let go of my need to control?”]
Some people seek fame and fortune.  Others seek solitude and confinement.  Still, others seek to be emptied of themselves and filled by something greater.  Lately, I’m doing my best to do the later of the three; even with my busy schedule!

As I said last week, the themes of letting go, relinquishing control (my phrase of 2013), and being an intentional (word of 2014) sacrifice have been surfacing time and again. Even as I sat listening to the sermon at church this past Saturday evening, I found myself taking notes and writing down the phrase, “let go of your will and allow God’s into your heart”.  I did my best to hold in a laugh as the sermon continued, and I silently thanked God for yet another reminder.

So as the reminders pile up on one side, I had no choice but to glance to the other side to see if I had any answers to how to go about tackling this challenge.

Up until a few days ago, I had no idea how I was going to face all that is before me this month.  I didn’t know what I would focus my blog on, since I didn’t want to take the easy way out for the month of February, and simply talk about Valentine’s day.  I had ASL lesson plans to write, music to learn for the church, and an upcoming play I’m in.  I also didn’t know how I was going to pay my rent because I still haven’t bounced back from the financial setback that I had last year.  And on top of all that, how was I supposed to keep focused on my OBS on Made to Crave and goals towards getting back on track with my weight, when entering into one of the most depressing months of the year for a single woman!?!

As I changed my calendar over to February, I kept drawing a lot of blanks as to how to achieve the things that I am required and aspire to do.

[Tweet “How exactly do I go about emptying myself, to be filled with the heart of God?”]
So as I was coming to the edge of defeat, I did what any stubborn person would do, I threw my hands up and said, “I don’t want to do this anymore!”  And what I really meant by that was not that I was throwing in the towel, but rather that I was handing over the baton to someone else who is much stronger and more capable to run the next leg of the journey for me.

It’s what I call a “Garden of Gethsemane moment” (Matthew 26:36-39 NLT).  When you’re at your wit’s end and don’t want to face the tasks set before you; so you cry out to your Father and ask that His will be done, instead of yours.

And let me tell you, I feel His presence and know that He is here with me, taking me alongside Him as we face the journey together.  Opportunities have arisen that will allow me to extend myself, and reach farther than before (with my blog, with my finances, and with my faith).  I am hopeful and confident that with God’s help, I can overcome.

As I’ve gone forward this week, I’ve found even more tidbits of wisdom that have encouraged me as I face my month-long to-do list.  Here are a few of them:

  • “Getting healthy is not just about having faith, goodness, and knowledge.  We have to add to that foundation by choosing to be self-controlled and choosing to persevere even when the journey gets really hard.”
    (Lysa TerKeurst, Made to Crave – Pg. 73)
  • “The strong individual is the one who asks for help when he needs it.”
    (Rona Barrett, via The Daily Love  – 2/5/2014)

The last thing I leave you with is this…

May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.  (2 Thessalonians 2:15 NIV)

More from my Made to Crave reflections…

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    1. Nancy, it is my pleasure! I just love how God puts together words in your heart than you could ever hope to put together yourself! Be blessed!

  1. I’ve noticed for myself how so many distractions have come since starting the MtC study. With last week’s word being “Determined” & this week’s being “Peace”, I find myself grinning thanking God for His excellent timing. That He’s with me in all this & gives me His strength to do what’s hard. 🙂 Thanks for sharing! 🙂

    1. If it wasn’t for God, I wouldn’t get anything done! I feel the same way, there has been distraction after distraction since I started the study, but I am doing my best to stay “determined” to get through it, even if I am a few days behind in reading occasionally! I pray that your focus will not waiver as we go forward! And thanks for sharing your link, I’ll be sure to stop by!

  2. Hi,
    So glad I found your post. Thanks for tweeting back to me. I feel exactly as you do. But I have to stop looking at all that needs to be accomplished and just do a little bit a minute at a time.
    Blessings to you on a great post,

    1. Janis – you’re a God-send, thank you! I appreciate the time you took to notify me that the link wasn’t working so that I could get it fixed and I’m so happy to know that you were blessed by your visit! Baby steps are sometimes the best way to go about tackling a whole slew of responsibilities. One day, one moment and a time. Be blessed!

  3. I have been extending myself. And although I love what I’m doing, this month is just too much. I have been having to go to four of five different places each day. Endless meetings and just stress and too much. I think it’s time to stop extending myself. Next month will be a restive one for me. At least, that is what I will pray from God.

    1. Joanna, I will be praying for you that you are able to find time in your busy schedule to relax and be rejuvenated so that you may be able to carry out the tasks set before you. Please know that my post is not asking you to extend yourself further, in the means of taking on more responsibilities, but rather extending yourself and the worries and stress of life over to God. Allowing Him to be an extension of you, so that He may carry the heavy burdens and make your life lighter (both from burdens and from wiping away any darkness). Through Him all things are possible! (Philippians 4:13)

  4. Bree, how come I’m just getting to read this? Its so painful I’m reading late but its all good. I’ll subscribe to your blog and hope to get soul lifting messages like this to read from time to time.

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