Thursday, January 19, 2012

Cultivate: Remember Your Progress


photo source via Pinterest

With cultivation, I envision slowness.  In many ways, then, cultivation is the antithesis of the rhythm of my day.  What I realize now, though, is this:  If I take in things that are happening around me and to me with a pace that is frantic, hurried, and fast, I am unable to recall the lessons that God has taught me previously.  However, if I take in these events or words or relationships and mix them into the soil of my life, I can more readily either see how they fit in.  When I digest events instead of attack them, more than likely, clarity ensues.

Example:

In the past, I have always freaked out about money.  If an expense popped up that I didn't expect, even if we had money in savings to cover it, I would chose to deal with the situation often with worry, anxiety, fear, and a fair about of tears.  Even if we could pay for something, I viewed the expense as something that took away my security (i.e. my savings account) and that left me vulnerable (i.e. What if something else happens and we've spent all our money here and then don't have money for this?).  When the new expense popped up, I immediately reacted, which meant that all the times that God had provided meant nothing to me at the moment.  I couldn't assimilate this new happening with those of the past because I was too busy trying to figure things out with an anxious and restless heart.

Today when the heater repairman came to diagnose my unusually loud A/C unit and then, about 15 minutes later told me that the motor was out and it would cost approximately $1100 to fix, I went through this process:

1.  Okay, we have the money in savings to cover this.
2.  It doesn't leave us with a lot, but God is faithful.  He will provide if we need money for something else.
3.  Oh my goodness!  Maybe I need to go back to working part-time so these things don't require us to take so much money out of savings!
photo source via Pinterest
4.  Wait, God did not say anything about going back to work.  He has called me to do what I am doing, even if it's not making any money right now.  God is faithful.  He will provide.  He is my security.
5.  Breathe and continue folding laundry.
6.  God will provide.  God will provide.  God will provide.
7.  When the repairman says, "Oh, I forgot to add on the $69 diagnostic fee," repeat step 6, coupled with the phrase, "Do not hit the repairman."

It wasn't a perfect process, but I didn't call my husband crying.  I didn't start looking up part-time jobs on the internet.  My stomach didn't tie itself into knots.  And on the whole, it's a heater and we need heat, so I'm just going to be thankful that we have the money and pay the man.  With joy!  (that last part, I'm totally being sarcastic -- I'm still a work in progress)

I just wonder how many times I have gone through the same thing over and over again simply because I chose to ignore the lessons God had taught me previously and instead react with worry, anxiety, and fear. This little (expensive) event has given me new insight on how I can react to new events with the spirit of cultivation instead of a frantic panic.

What about you?  Is there some trigger that normally sends you over the deep end?  How would a spirit of cultivation help keep you sane and grounded on His foundation?

10 comments :

  1. We would be friends in "real life" you and I. I have the exact same issue with money and I go through all those motions. I work hard at not allowing money to become my security and allow God to guide how we use it. So you know what he did? He called us to adopt again. Internationally. To the tune of $30,000 which we don't have. So I think while my word this year is FREEDOM, there will be a great deal of TRUST and FAITH involved. Maybe that is part of FREEDOM as well: freedom from worry about money, knowing this can only be done with God's HELP. I'm with you, sister.

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  2. God surely brought me here for a reason...a wonderful lesson in remembering all He has done int he past for me....My issue is not about money but about issues that come up with my children. Right now one of mine is having a really rough time with a new business and is very discouraged and immediately I wanted to panic.....God reminded me to stay calm and trust Him and your post today is just more confirmation....

    We are have different issues with trusting our Father rather it be money, children, marriage, jobs, etc. but this post applies to them all....Thank you so much for reminding me of the faithfulness of God....

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  3. Jen, my triggers tend to come more from time pressures than from finances. Sometimes I feel as if I need to be in four places at once. Yet, Jesus fulfilled His mission without ever having to hurry.

    But Gaby, like you, we still need the Lord's guidance about how to use money. I love your point about trust and faith bringing FREEDOM from worry. That applies to any area of life!

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  4. love this perspective. tackle each problem as it comes. such simple advice if we would only do it! my husband doesn't understand why i freak when we have money in savings to cover emergencies. you explained it well - and exposed the sin involved!

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  5. I hear you here, it has to be sooooo intentional with my response or mine looks like that which you just described.....why do we question his faithfulness when we know better? I watch this with my family and friends around me with the economy the way it is and the Lord always comes thru not the same for everyone but He always shows up. Yes, we need to remember!

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  6. Very good lesson with much to think about. When I ponder the word cultivate, I also envision the plow digging deep within the soil to mix things up. That tells me I can't just cultivate the surface to be transform - I have got to go deep and that may hurt a little or make me really change which can also be frightening. But I do like your approach here - not relying on old habits but relying of God.

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  7. Thank you so much for sharing this! The description you shared above - that's me. I was panicking like that a few months ago when my car needed a major repair. The Lord provided the money, and I needed it fixed, but I was still freaked about spending it rather than keeping it in savings. What was I going to do if something else went wrong? I wish I was better at remembering the Lord's faithfulness and trusting Him. He's always taken care of me.

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  8. Jean you write such wisdom - I might have to sticky note "cultivate-the plow digging deep within the soil to mix things up - you can't cultivate the surface to be transformed! Jen, as you know I have been cultivating choice. One of the greatest gifts / qualities is choice. We can choose how to shine the light on what might seem dark. We can choose to trust in what we know in our heart. We can choose to shift our perception. We can choose abundance, opportunity, growth and love or we can choose fear, lack and toxic negativity. Keep cultivating lady and let it be known if you were that kinda of person you could totally take the repairman - I've seen those pipes...HA!

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  9. I've pulled the working threat with my husband and God, many times. Even though I was home schooling my children and didn't have a car. In fact, once I got a job at Dunkin' Donuts. I could walk there. But my shift started at 4:30 am., and I had to walk in the dark for about a mile each way. I ended up injuring already weak knees, and had to quit. I could have saved myself the trouble had I just listened to my husband! Oh well, live and learn. God has always provided, and He always will. The thing that bothers me is that I want to be able to give more. So, my culvtivation scripture when it comes to finances is: Thank you Father that you make all grace and every earthly blessing come to me in abundance so that I am always and whatever the need, self-sufficient requiring no aid or support and furnished in abundance for every good work and charitable donation. I Corinthians 9:8

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  10. Such wisdom here: "When I digest events instead of attack them, more than likely, clarity ensues." I too tend to panic instead of pray and worry instead of rest in God's grace. And really, He always provides when we need it! But how easily we forget. Thanks for these sweet words!

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