Mid-week Question of the Week ~ January 30

Revisiting a favorite topic at the close of the first month of the year…

 

“Isn’t it funny how day by day nothing changes, but when you look back everything is different?”
~C.S. Lewis

 

What has changed for you since the beginning of 2019? 

What has stayed the same?

 

 


Look back to previous questions

The CREEP / Repelling the CREEP

I’ve found that over the years, I have rushed away from my life. The past was a rushed jumble of “CREEP.”  CREEP is my acronym for the Circumstances, Responsibilities, Experiences, Expectations, Problems. 

CREEP exists. CREEP is real. I rushed to meet the CREEP as it showed up in deadlines, due dates, invoice dates, bills due dates, surprises (not always good), unexpected situations and events, publication dates, speaking appointments, and boundaries (those I bumped up against and those I needed to create). As with so many intrusions, success comes from grace-filled responses.

Amid the CREEP onslaught, my choices (as I appraised them back then) were to meet the CREEP or flee the CREEP in a rushed whirl of activity. I suited out and showed up.

I attended.

I participated.

I brought snacks to t-ball, printed programs for recitals, sewed costumes for shows, planned luncheons, and town halls.

As food became weaponized in ever-expanding consciousness campaigns, I baked or bought the obligatory 3-dozen donuts, cookies, cupcakes, fruit roll-ups,  ‘Lil Smokes, scones, sugar-free zucchini muffins, vegan carrot cakes, kale chips, granola blondies, fruit kabobs, and lactose-free, gluten-free, non-GMO “bars”.

Rationalization is something we usually do after the fact. Some of the following quips helped me to rationalize my CREEP-induced flurry:

“Do all you can … then do one more thing” (advice from a fellow single mom).
“If it is to be, it’s up to me” (William Johnsen’s well-meaning aphorism on steroids in my life).
“Why put off to tomorrow what you can do today” (my Granny and every other Granny from the Greatest Generation).
“I can do it backwards and in high heels.” (Ginger Rogers, (and who wouldn’t aspire to her elegance and energy?))
“You can sleep when you’re dead” (a spoken tenet of my German heritage).

What rationalizations did you tell yourself?

Rationalization also entangled in a mortgage of co-dependent conditioning, “If I meet the outside demands/solve your problem/deal with the class mom/solve the organizations problems, then, I’ll get time to myself, to worship, praise God, rest, play, and renew.”

Sometimes (most-times) the CREEP crippled my opportunity to live in the hug of His Grace. I think maybe I mortgaged my receptivity to His Grace. The Grace continued as He promised, but, perhaps, I would have benefited from resting in Grace.

While I maintained a Gratitude practice and experienced a few navel-gazing sabbaticals,  I think present-day me would have like more of a snapshot of the me of the past. While avoiding the human tendency toward navel-gazing, I could have stopped more to Heaven-gaze.

Is this just my singular experience? Have you experienced the CREEP? If so, I would love to know about your experience.

 

Nuances of Intention from the book of Isaiah

Because of Grace, we have assurances of our place in His Plan from the book of Isaiah:

“It is the same with {God’s} word. I, {God} send it out, and it always produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it.” Isaiah 55:11 (NLT)

 

Notice the intentionality of His Plan from New Life Version translation

“My Word which goes from My mouth will not return to Me empty. It will do what I want it to do, and will carry out My plan well. Isaiah 55:11 (NLV) italics added

 

…and the declaration of His Plan from The Voice translation

“So it is when I {God} declare something. My word will go out and not return to Me empty, But it will do what I  {God} wanted; it will accomplish what I {God} determined.” Isaiah 55:11 (The Voice translation) italics added

 

Because of Grace, we are invited to His Plan.

What verse(s) remind you of His Plan/His Grace?

a word from The Sponsor January 6

 

But He said ” My grace is sufficient for you'” ~2 Corinthians 12:9 (NIV)

2Corinthians 12 9 Bible Study Tools

 

“But he told me: ‘My kindness is all you need.'”  ~2 Corinthians 12:9 (NOG)*

 

 

 

 

~~~

More words from The Sponsor

*Names of God Bible

Picture Source

Here’s a way to keep resolutions: Old/New/Renew

Resolutions are part and parcel of New Year’s tradition. My daughter and I have written our resolutions for many years. This year I am going to follow a new daily resolution practice centered around three words: Old / New / Renew. There are three verses that I like to think about that address each word:

For the Word “Old,” this verse from 2 Timothy: Continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it, and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings which are able to instruct you for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus (2 Timothy 3:14–15).

For the Word “New,” this verse from Isaiah: See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland (Isaiah 43:19).

For the Word “Renew,” this verse from Isaiah: But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint (Isaiah 40:31).

Here are activities that I resolved to do:

Old: These are activities that I am going to continue to do such as beginning the day with prayer, drinking a couple of glasses of water before coffee, focusing on deep breathing

New: These are things that will help me stay stronger such as doing the stretches I learned in physical therapy. Also, to combat eye strain, I am going to do the 20-20-20 rule: every 20 minutes I’ll look 20ft away for 20 seconds. What

Renew: These are activities that I would like to renew such as connecting with an old friend or colleague, going to bed at an earlier time, getting to church a little earlier.

It is manageable for me to focus on specific, incremental activities instead of big thematic ideas, (Lose Weight, Save Money, etc…). Through small, purposeful actions are easier to implement and give a feeling of accomplishment rather than resolution shaming.

What do you think? What are your resolutions? Would the Old / New / Renew be helpful for you?

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