I really, really, really don’t want my faith to be academic — I want it to be real and applied and life changing. The wonderful things God has given me to share with all of you have been just that for me — life changing. However, there is a time when what you have learned must be put to the test. That happened for me this week.
In preparation for each week’s episode I spend several hours reading Scripture and putting into practice the Bible Interaction Tool Exercises I share with you. After I have completed this “research” phase, it takes approximately two hours of writing for me to prayerfully put all of my thoughts together in an orderly fashion. Finally, it takes another two hours to record the podcast, create the show notes and freebies, create the memory verse resources, upload to the appropriate servers, and prepare my weekly email that I send out to my subscribers. All of it is a joy. I have had listeners pray that it never becomes a chore. I am here to testify that God has answered that prayer. It is a joy each week — a crazy-fun adventure to think that God chooses to use little ol’ me to reveal truth and inspire others.
I have best friends and writing friends that I reach out to on a weekly basis for encouragement and prayer. I reached out to them this week suggesting that I was a little over-burdened and had not made significant progress on the next podcast and asked them to pray for wisdom and inspiration. You see, at my full-time job we had two evening meetings the first two days of the week and my middle-school daughter had an all-day-into-the-evening cross-country meet the next evening. I actually cooked dinner ONE NIGHT this week and we had a meal together as a family AT THE SAME TABLE…just one night. The next night we were all in different directions with football games and sleepovers. Needless to say, I had no margin this week and though I had spent a good deal of time in Scripture throughout the week, I never felt it had anything to do with what God wanted me to share on the podcast. Ugh. Square one.
One of my writing friends (she’s an amazingly talented poet and writer and you can find her work here) suggested I take a week off…that my listeners would understand. And perhaps you would understand. But I have made a commitment to myself and to God to be consistent! So, sorry Christina, I actually blew off the suggestion.
Then my bestie texted and said this…”I bet it would speak more to your listeners if you pulled out the Jonny Diaz episode ‘Breathe.’ Isn’t that where you are? Isn’t it an opportunity to share with the listeners God’s grace as we run the race?”
Why, yes, friend. It is such an opportunity.
Do you know what I did after I got the text and decided to take this path? I BREATHED. I put away my writing and listened to a political speech with my husband and then we discussed it afterward. I went with my husband and girls to the Sweet Dough Pie Festival (it’s a Cajun thing…and you are really missing out if you have never had one.) We wandered around the festival and I BREATHED. We welcomed my husband’s father and uncle over for coffee and a chat and I was able to stay and visit with them instead of sneaking off to write…and I BREATHED. I went back and re-read the area of Scripture I had been in (Judges 13-16 for those of you wondering) and didn’t worry about what I needed to write about it, I just pondered it for myself…and I BREATHED. I went to an LSU football game with friends (we won, Geaux Tigers!) and got stuck in traffic for FOUR HOURS and didn’t get home until three in the morning, but I knew I had created margin…and I BREATHED. We slept in and enjoyed coffee and cooking shows together as a family, I had a GREAT conversation with my 13-year old, made cookies with my 9-year old and even added some words to the manuscript of the book I am writing…and I BREATHED.
So, friend, I hope you take the same opportunity. Sit at the feet of Jesus and BREATHE. Listen to this episode replay for the first time, listen to it again, or skip it all-together. I give you permission. Whatever you do…slow down and BREATHE.
On this episode I discuss:
- Our pride in our own self-sufficiency
- Our tendency to #hustle and then celebrate our perpetual state of discontentment with addiction
- An example of characters in the Bible who could have “Breathe” by Jonny Diaz as their theme song, too – Mary and Martha in Luke 10
- Taking a B.I.T.E. out of Scripture – our Bible Interaction Tool Exercise this week is:
- Write out Scripture by hand
- Slowing down and writing out Philippians 4 in the Amplified Version
- Uncovering Paul’s secret to being content
- Contentment is not complacency
- The book, “Margin: Restoring Emotional, Physical, Financial and Time Reserves to Overloaded Lives” by Dr. Richard Swenson
- Quote by J.I. Packer, “Contentment is essentially accepting from God’s hand what He sends because we know that He is good and therefore it is good.”
- Investing in sitting at the feet of Jesus through time in His Word.
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This Week’s Challenge
Read Philippians all the way through – it is just 4 chapters. Follow this week’s Bible Interaction Tool Exercise and take chapter 4 in a translation you are not familiar with and write it out by hand. Slow down. Breathe. Sit at the feet of Jesus. It is the SECRET to learn to be content.