“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.”
This past week has been pretty fun and exciting. God not only called me to change my mindset to a thankful heart (and thus, joy and peace in Him), but also to share my journey with others through blogging. He has given me a purpose - and I am so thankful!
At first, it was about me. This blog is a way for me to be held accountable. A set plan with a goal. Then I realized that I would need to be constantly reminded of the thankful things God showed me. The easiest way to do that was to post them in a place that I might need it. Thus, I came up with the idea of lists in various rooms. Then God began to expand my narrow vision. I wasn’t the only one who needed reminder lists. If I created lists of various struggles, and applied thankful things to them on the blog, it would help me and everyone who read it. Thus, Lists was conceived, to explain the labels.
As God continued to show me various ways that He could use my blog for others, I became both excited and anxious. Being used for your purpose is a humbling thing - and I didn’t want to screw it up. God just replied that if I screwed up, He would use that, too. Of course I’m a sinner. Of course I’m going to screw up. As long as my heart is bent on serving God to the best of my ability, God will honor that. How God uses what I post is up to Him. My job is to be honest about my journey, to make sure that I’m not spreading false teaching, and to bring God the glory.
God showed me recently that I have been focused on myself far more than I thought. I’ve been feeling like a failure - not a good enough mother or wife. I feel like I should be able to do better, to be better. Through biblical counseling, God has revealed this attitude as self focus. When “beating myself up,” I’m saying that I’m better than I’m acting, and that I deserve better. That sent a chill down my spine. Am I really that prideful? Yes.
At that point, I am also getting my worth from what I’m doing. I had forgotten Love. The truth is, what I do doesn’t make a difference. It’s who I am. Who I am isn’t what I do. Who I am, is a chosen daughter of God. My worth comes from who He is. Being thankful automatically puts you in a mindset of humility, not pride.
So I have started working to implement this new mindset of a constantly thankful heart in my everyday life. Since my spare time has been used in setting up this blog, I have not yet created my room lists. Lacking that, I have been working on catching myself when I start to feel down - more specifically when I start to feel frustrated, anxious, or depressed. This was exercised rather vigorously when my 8-month-old son had a rough go of it a few nights ago.
He woke up at night in a bit of a panic and nothing we did helped. It was beyond fussiness - something was clearly wrong. Trying to keep a thankful heart in the middle of the night through the desperate cries of your baby for over an hour - twice - is somewhat challenging. (Certainly not to say that others haven’t struggled for longer bouts, but an hour will begin to wear on anyone.) However, I was successful to some degree.
I utilized Opportunity to Serve. “It is the Lord Christ whom [I] serve.” (Colossians 3:24) So the question was how I could serve God and bring Him glory while serving my son. Being thankful for the opportunity to serve Him was the first step. There wasn’t much I could do for my son, but doing wasn’t the point. I was there for him, and that was what God was calling me to do. That fulfilled my purpose in Christ, which gave me peace. As long as I could keep that mindset, the frustration and stress didn’t seem to touch me. As long as my mind was centered on Christ - not myself - there was very little room left for frustration, stress, and worry.
That’s not to say that I didn’t lose the mindset and have moments of serious frustration and stress. Yet I can be thankful for even those moments, because God is using them to Teach me. They give me more practice to steer myself toward a thankful heart.
As I continue to find more thankful things, I arm myself with more ammunition against the ways of the world. Thank you for joining me on this journey. May it bless you, too.