Proverbs 3:5-6 (NLT) Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.A few weeks ago, my regular glasses were hopelessly bent out of shape at work. So until I can get a new pair, I am wearing my old ones. The problem is that the older glasses have a slightly different prescription for the lenses. Oh, I can see all right, but it's slightly harder to read with them on. Things are a little out of focus.
When I rely on my own understanding to solve the problems of my life, it's a lot like looking at the world through my older lenses. I can see the issues, but often they are slightly out of focus so that I'm not seeing them clearly. At least not clearly enough to make wise decisions.
That's what happened to me at the beginning of this year as I prayed about my focus for the new year
in my daily life and as a writer.
Last year brought about many changes in our lives. I rejoined the work force after being a stay-at-home wife for several years. I need to work in order to help with the household finances. God even miraculously provided the job for me. But in going back to work, I reverted to some old ways of coping with our situation - reverting back to some skewed thought patterns that could get me into serious trouble.
I resurrected Ms. Fix-it, thinking it was my sole responsibility to work enough hours to fix the family budget by myself. She thought I should quit writing so I could work at "paying" jobs outside the home. After all, she reasoned, "you just don't have as much energy as you used to. so you should invest it into something that pays real money."
That's when Ms. Superwoman, piped up, telling me I should continue to do all the activities I already did like writing, ministry stuff and community involvement, without making cuts anywhere. Oh, she's a feisty one! She makes me tired, just thinking about all she tries to do.
Big mistake! Those two gals just argued back and forth inside me, giving me a big headache! At that point some minor depression settled in. It was like the slight headache I felt from wearing the old glasses - not enough to keep me from functioning, but enough to get me down.
Thankfully - I'm not the same person I used to be. God has done some marvelous healing in my life and my current focus was only temporarily skewed. I'm not trying to depend on my own understanding as much as I used to.
Through prayer and the wisdom of a few wonderful blogging friends (Thanks Patty and Niki!), God was able to clear up my skewed vision and help me find my focus for this coming year. Here's what I learned:
- 1. Release the old ways of thinking. I fired Ms. Fix-it and Ms. Superwoman, and reinstated God as the CEO of my schedule / goals to mix work and writing. I'm also working at releasing the things God has shown me are non-essential for this season of life.
- 2. Accept the changes in my life. For a season, I do need to work outside the home again. But God has given me a job I can do that will fit both my lifestyle and my writing schedule. It's not a matter of doing one thing at the expense of the other It's in learning how they fit together and making the necessary attitude adjustments.
- 3. Engage - put the plan into action. Through prayer, God has already shown me how the pieces fit together and what I should do to make it work - His way. His plan requires discipline and focus, but as long as I'm doing it his way, I will be able to manage it quite well without getting over burdened, depressed or burnt out.