Friday, March 30, 2012

Finish What You Started

There has been a phrase going through my heart RELENTLESSLY for the last several weeks and it has greatly increased since attending Hearts at Home. 

"Finish what you started!"

How many times have we said something similar to our kids?  I don't know about you, but in my house some version of this thought is verbalized countless times every day.  My kids have a habit of starting a task and not finishing it.  They are so easily side-tracked.  To be honest, it's so very frustrating to me and it's one of those "button pushers" that gets me irritated.  I'm actively working on how I handle that situation with them and my response.  Some great progress has been taking place. 

Yet, that phrase has been speaking to my heart on many other levels. 

It's a matter of the heart. 

I'm finding that so many of us are just discouraged, overwhelmed, and just exhausted.  If you are feeling that way, you are SO not alone. 

Part of us, even possibly a BIG part of us, are ready to just give up. 



Your individual task that you are ready to just give up on may be different than mine, but it's still the same at heart. 

If God brought you to it, don't give up.  If He is asking you to do something, be obedient.  It doesn't matter if the person next to you thinks you are crazy or calls you a freak (happens often for me!), walk in obedience.

We all face situations that just wear us down and make us want to just give up.  Don't.

Remember why you held on so long in the first place and STICK with it.

For me, it's been frustration over how alone it feels at times to live differently than the world's standards.  It's been a bit of homeschool burn-out that we homeschool moms all tend to face at times.  It's been the extra effort needed to stick with some changes God has put in my heart and not giving up when obstacles have blocked the way.  It's been about doing the hard things and being vulnerable in healing from some deep scars.  It's been about keeping my eyes focused on Christ.  It's been about completing tasks (for many of us that has been this B90 session that ends tomorrow) that God has put on our hearts.  It's been about keeping marriage as the top priority.  The list goes on....and on....and on....

The answer is still the same. 

Don't give up.

Finish what you started!

God didn't make a mistake when He called you to a certain place in life.  You may feel like He made a mistake (I know I feel this way OFTEN), but He didn't.  He doesn't call the equipped, He equips the called!

You may just need your batteries recharged.  You may just need to be surrendering to Him and letting Him overtake every task in front of you, from the smallest to the most overwhelming.

At Hearts at Home, I attended an incredible workshop by Linda Schultz Anderson called "In The Middle of the Muddle".  It was one of my top 3 that I had selected several months ago when I registered.  I have a post planned in the near future about some things I learned in her workshop about saying yes/no to tasks that have been SO beneficial already in my life, but I wanted to share a bit of encouragement I found from her that has really helped me focus lately on finishing my task.  "My task" as one of God's girls, as a wife, as a mother and specifically a stay at home mom, home-educator.

It comes from Hebrews 12:1-3.  It has been so powerful that I'm working on memorizing the passage to help keep it in the forefront of my heart.

"Therefore since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that easily trips us up.  And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith.  Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame.  Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God's throne. Think of all the hostility he endured from sinful people; then you won't become weary and give up."

The three points that she helped us see from these verses are (using "running" as an illustration):

Focus: What are you looking at?  Looking around (comparison trap?), inward (self-pity, mama-guilt), downward (worry).  Our eyes MUST be fixed on Jesus.  NO other way around it! Love God, listen to His voice and Follow Him.  Practice living a Deuteronomy 6 lifestyle. 

Gear:  What do you carry with you?  TMS--too much stuff, TMI---too much information, TME---too many expectations, TMA---too many activities, TMT---too much technology?  What do you need to let go (which will be a future post)? What do you need to lighten up? Lighten up might mean giving up things OR it might just simply mean LAUGHING!

Running Buddies:  Who are you running with?  Who are you buddies and mentors?  You MUST have those around you that support you and cause you to keep your eyes focused in the right direction!  We need to mentor younger women and learn from older.  We need woman around us that ENCOURAGE us.  It's a necessity!  (Thank you to those woman that are truly touching my life right now.  You've been a life-line and I'm so very grateful!).  We aren't meant to run alone.

We can't give up.  WHATEVER your task is:  FINISH what you started.  KEEP going!  Don't become weary and give up. 

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