It's time to pull up your chair. Do you know you have one here in this space we call Soli Deo Gloria? You do. It's reserved every week only for you. This place would be different if you weren't here and we miss you when you are gone. This is a place filled with women who seek to honor your words, you heart, your tears, and your laughter. Scooch in close. You won't want to miss a word.
*********************************************We've been talking about surrendering small, but the last week or two, I realized that I have something big to give up. It's not my house or my car or my blog. It's not even a tangible thing, but it is something that eats away at my soul and causes me to be my own idol:
EXPECTATIONS -- those that others hold of me and the ones I create for myself that are not God-given.
I've spent so much of my life trying to live up to them and each time I failed, it felt like a long drawn out process of dying. And I know that rhymes and it sounds a bit on the cheesy side, but you know friends, it's the truth.
Trying to live up to someone else's expectations put you on the path to death.
I used to think "if I could just please, then they will be happy, which means I will be happy."
But we all know that happiness is fleeting, yes?
And what if "those" expectations are contrary to God's expectations?
What if we toil and we strive and we try to live for someone else? What if we try to make our lives and our homes and our children and our words look so good on the outside? What if we do all that?
What do we gain if we succeed? What if we make them happy? Do we clasp our hands together, dance with joy, and let it all go?
No. Because there will always be more expectations. The bar could always go higher. And just what would people think if you just stopped trying so darn hard?
If you didn't fail the first time, you could still fail the second.
And when it's not enough even when we have tried our best, tried our hardest, and not given up until we thought it was near perfection --
Failure becomes our reality. It squashes all hope because all we can see is our own wrecked heart or mind or life.
I don't know about you, but when I can't measure up, I feel destroyed. Dead. Hopeless.
Why, my soul, are you downcast?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise him,
my Savior and my God.
Psalm 42: 5
How many times have I put my hope in man? How many times have I turned my ears to hear the sounds of praise of me instead of turning my mouth to praise Him?
I have to repeat that again for myself to really hear --
Which would I rather do?
Turn my ears to hear praises from others about myself
Turn my mouth to sing praises about my God?
It's hard to be talking and listening at the same time. It's hard to be self-focused and God-focused. We have 2 eyes, but they can't look in two different directions at the same time. And the hard reality of trying to measure up to other people's expectation is that what we are really seeking is
praise from other people.
At some point there has to come a severing. All these invisible cords that tie us to the expectations of others, we must unwind ourselves from them, and then hand over the ropes to Jesus.
In that moment of turning them over to Him, aligning our face to His and His alone, we can find freedom. We can find joy. We can find hope. We can find rest.
And when words come to pierce our souls, we have a Shield, a Protector, a Rock.
By day the Lord directs his love,at night his song is with me—a prayer to the God of my life. Psalm 42: 8
*******************************SDG Community Builder: 1) Here at SDG we have small groups! If you would like more info about this, please click here. If you would like to join a small group, please leave me a note in the comments or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. 2) If you are new, please write "I'm New!" as your caption so we may come and give you a bit of extra linky love and extend a warm SDG welcome. 3) Register. For the incredibly awesome retreat that we are planning for October.