The Two-Step to God’s Best: A Dance Move for Your Soul

1) Let God reveal….

Listen. Be still. Be present. Be aware. (This is not an easy task in today’s world filled with these little screens in our hands).

And…. Don’t limit the way He speaks to a sermon, Bible verse, or some seemingly theological insight. He may speak to you through a friend, a movie, the top 40 on the radio, or -most often- a quiet whisper to your own soul.

2)Stay steady.

Remain consistent. Sync your every step with the Maker of your soul.

And notice…. I didn’t say (nor did the Bible) that this is a two-step plan to happiness or to the Westernized world’s version of success.

God’s best may not feel good in the moment. It may not look good or smell right or put you in the limelight.

But it will create a stronger connection to our Creator and to His most favorite creation, other people.

And… in the end, isn’t that all that matters?

“‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.” – Jesus, Matthew 22:37-39

The Toughest Love

I stayed.

I prayed.

For decades.

But finally I knew the marriage was dead and draining the life from both of us. And the only way for either us to have a chance at surviving was to create a necessary ending.

Even though I know that, for me, leaving was the only choice left and became a matter of survival – sometimes the “what if’s” and “if only’s” begin to drop anchor on my soul.

I see friends celebrate anniversaries by sharing social media posts about how they stuck with it through the hard times and prayed and fasted through the tough spots…. As I keep scrolling, I start wondering…. Should I have prayed more? Should I have endured more? Improved myself more? Fasted more? Covered the house with more anointing oil although the place was pretty much slick with it?

But I have to step away from the shoulds about the past or they will shroud my present.

So I blogged the blurb below as a reminder to myself and hopefully an encouragement to others….

You prayed about that decision like crazy. You probably even delayed what your God was telling you to do because of what other people were telling you to do.

Now…. let’s give ourselves the grace to move freely forward. Leaving the “would if’s” and “should of’s” and that piece of ourselves wrapped up in that other person in the hands of our Maker.

Grace Works

“… Until we let the Christ who consorted with hookers and crooks to be our truth, the false, fraudulent self motivated by cowardice and fear will continue to distance us from abiding restful union.” – from Brennan Manning’s writing, The Furious Longing of God. (Read it and weep…. Seriously! Reading or listening to this book will likely bring tears to your eyes as your heart grasps grace).

Have you ever tried to earn God’s favor? I know i have! So I’m lovingly saying this to both of us: STOP IT!!! (And, yes. That was intentionally bold, in italics, and all caps!). Let’s just rest. It’s time you and I stop working so hard for the unfailing love we’ve always had from our Maker God. Grace works so we don’t have to.

Is Your God Too Small?

The more I seek to know God – I mean really know Him as He is not how I want Him to be – the less He seems to fit in all the man-made definitions of diety that religion and culture provide.

If I can fit God into my own understanding – perhaps my God is too small. I’m learning that God speaks through a lot more than just church and shows up a lot of places that we think He shouldn’t.

The Gift of Emptiness

Perhaps some of the emptiness from which we spend much of our lives trying to escape is actually God calling.

Emptiness… it may not be such a bad thing after all.

Perhaps it’s time to seek being HIS more than we seek being happy.

Recommended viewing:

Ragamuffin – the movie based on the life of Rich Mullins

Rich Mullins: a Ragamuffin’s Legacy

Recommended reading:

The Ragamuffin Gospel – by Brennan Manning

Know Yourself. Lead Yourself. Lead Others.

Perhaps much of our struggle lies in that we attempt to lead others when we haven’t yet learned how to lead ourselves.

My new life coach/counselor is having me read the book, Better Than Before: Master the Habits of Our Everyday Lives, by Gretchen Rubin. In this most worthwhile read, the author proposes that there are 4 basic tendencies: the upholder, the questioner, the obliger, and the rebel.

These tendencies cause us each to have different styles of doing everything: living, loving, habit formation, absolutely everything….

And if we haven’t taken the time to assess ourselves – we may just be attempting to apply someone else’s habit-system-solution which may actually be counter productive in a person with our particular design.

So as I’m reading this book in an attempt to finally conquer a life-long struggle with procrastination and become more productive, I am learning that I am a rebelwith just a touch of obliger.

And… I must confess. At first I thought this odd combination of tendencies was just a bit unfair. Perhaps God was expressing a warped sense of humor when He created me. I mean, how the heck am I supposed to get myself to do anything when my natural tendency is to resist outer expectations and inner expectations… mixed with a touch of people-pleasing tendencies!

Oh, and to top it all off – my professional background and passion for changing healthcare for the better tends to land me in positions that are typically filled by the 100% obliger type. (You know, the “You say jump – I’ll say how high” follow-every-rule type?). So… I work in the most highly regulated industry ever in roles that are supposed to enforce those regulations and create structured frameworks to bring about positive change. Yet I have the tendency to want to do the exact opposite of what I’m told. What’s up with that??

So….. This morning I was talking to Father about this. (The Maker-of-my-soul-Father – not my earthly father, Dad, a.k.a my most faithful blog reader who I’ll call later!). And, since Father’s ok with His kids being real with Him, I let Him know my frustrations in a “What were you thinking when you designed me like this?!?” kind of way. And He lovingly and graciously asked me, “You want to lead and make a difference for me, right?”. Yes, of course. Then He softly spoke this simply profound truth to my soul:

If you can lead yourself, you can lead anybody.

So, in other words, if I can convince this stubborn-rebellious-wild-child-wrapped-in-a-sweet-submissive-compliant-looking-shell to do what she’s supposed to, I can lead anyone??

EXACTLY. (If God texted, I am pretty certain it would always be in bold, italicized all-caps).

Huh. What about that. Maybe my Maker knows what He’s doing after all.

So let’s stop over-complicating things and just get to know and love Him, ourselves, and each other. Then we can simply live and love well as we walk out this crazy adventure called life!

Worth the Risk!

‪I am learning that being transparent with your weaknesses and struggles comes with risk. For example, when you share truth with someone they may write off that truth about them as coming from a broken place in you rather than considering the possibility that this could be God-given insight that can heal broken places in them (a.k.a “iron sharpening iron” – see Proverbs 27:17). But living and speaking authentically is still worth the risk.‬