When Things get Tough, Should We Reroute or Stay the Course?

Recalculating

Hubby and I were on a road trip. We pulled into a gas station and our little GPS panicked. In a British accent, she yelled, “Recalculating! Recalculating!” It quickly changed to a more placid “Rerouting” once we turned around.

That’s often what I do. I hear God’s voice (through His Word) and I walk forth in obedience. A mountain rises up the distance. I break forth in a run, full of obedience and hope. I climb that mountain. Then another mountain waits in the distance. I climb it as well. After the twenty-fifth mountain, I yell – RECALCULATING!

Rerouting

Do you (like me) tend to want to reroute when things get difficult? I was hoping for fruitfulness, not a continual sacrifice of myself. I begin to doubt, rely on my own strength and then follows the spirit of control. Because of trauma in my past, my home base is sometimes control instead of Christ.

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Control or Trust. You can’t have both.

Trying to control circumstances only leads to disappointment.  Control doesn’t solve the problems, climb the mountains or satisfy. Trusting in the Lord, no matter what the outcome is relief. It shouldn’t matter how hard we must buckle down to be obedient. That’s our chief end, to be obedient to and glorify God.

“For the Lord God is a sun and shield, the Lord bestows favor and honor; no good thing does He withhold from those whose walk is blameless.” – Psalm 84: 11

I don’t need to Reroute, I need to Dig in.

I don’t need to reroute. I need to press in. I need to dig into God’s Word. I need to praise into His presence, to trust that He is in control, and that He will give me the strength to climb the next mountain. Climbing the mountain or trying again in obedience is creating endurance in me. It’s allowing God’s strength to work in me.

When things get difficult…

When things get difficult, we must do hard things. There I said it. I don’t like it. My husband had to listen to my cries of “rerouting” the other evening. I’ve hit obstacle after obstacle in this short year. I’m not complaining, I’m just reporting. I’m okay with a few mountains (not literally) because I can do them in my own strength-ish. What gets totally uncomfortable is when obedience requires strength, abilitiies and resources that I don’t have. When I am in postition of helplessness, Christ can do the work. I can’t take the glory. All glory and honor belong to Him.

“I don’t think the way you think.
    The way you work isn’t the way I work.”
        God’s Decree.
“For as the sky soars high above earth,
    so the way I work surpasses the way you work,
    and the way I think is beyond the way you think.
Just as rain and snow descend from the skies
    and don’t go back until they’ve watered the earth,
Doing their work of making things grow and blossom,
    producing seed for farmers and food for the hungry,
So will the words that come out of my mouth
    not come back empty-handed.
They’ll do the work I sent them to do,
    they’ll complete the assignment I gave them.- Isaiah 55: 8-9

If you are in the midst of some difficult circumstances, hold fast. Don’t reroute. If you are walking in obedience, God will do the work. You may not be able to see what He is doing right now. Often the work is internal. He’s working on our hearts. We want to see outward signs, but He wants us to trust Him for the outcome, no matter what that is.

Circling the Mountain

While I was giving my husband a status update on some circumstances, this analogy hit me. When we circle the mountain, complaining, measuring, planning or whatever it is we do to avoid obedience, we just make a deeper trough. The mountain then appears to be larger and we sink into mud. We walk ourselves into a pit of depression. We glorify our difficulites instead of depend on God’s strength. Our trust is in our ability. We are doomed to fail when our ability is all we have.

Blessed Hope

God promises to give us strength to carry out His will. We have: immeasurable and unlimited and surpassing greatness of His [active, spiritual] power working in us (Ephesians 1:19). Our hope is not in our circumstances, but in His power working through us to fulfill His purpose for His greater honor and glory. Don’t reroute. Climb that next mountain.

Let me leave you with this quote from Hind’s Feet on High Place:

“O Shepherd. You said you would make my feet like hinds‘ feet and set me upon High Places“. “Well”, he answered “the only way to develop hinds‘ feet is to go by the paths which the hinds use.” 
* Our Back to Basics Series continues next week! Catch up on it, by starting here! 

Marcy Holder and Heart Connection 101

Marcy Holder joins Kathleen for a lively discussion on what happens when women are overwhelmed with the issues of life. Marcy is a Spiritually-Focused Personal Coach. In January, Marcy is hosting a four-week growth opportunity for women drowning in the details their lives who want to love their people well and live from a place of purpose but experience anger and anxiety they just can’t seem to shake, symptoms of heart disconnection. Grab a cup of coffee and join us!

Episode 50

Untitled design (2)Untitled design (1)From Marcy:

In Heart Connection 101 you’ll learn how to cultivate growth and deepen your faith by connecting with your heart.
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My own journey to connecting with my heart helped me sort through emotional and religious baggage that kept me from loving my people well and living a life of purpose.
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Every Friday in January, I’ll send you a video sharing examples and principles that helped me reconnect with my heart. You’ll also receive printable materials for reading and personal reflection. I’ll be available for email support or you’re welcome to work through the material privately. On January 30th @ 7:00 we’ll do a group wrap-up zoom call. You’ll also receive several fun printables and a playlist to encourage your journey.
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I’d invite you to message me with questions or more details.
Life can be overwhelming, busy, and messy but when it comes to choosing, Relationships Matter and Lists can Wait. Our relationships with both God and the people we love most become healthier and more rewarding when we’re connected to our hearts.
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 You can find more info and sign up here!

You can follow Marcy on Instagram here.

WHOSE JOB IS IT ANYWAY?- THE MODERN WOMEN’S GUIDE TO HOUSEWIFERY Part II

Yesterday, I gave you a few questions to get the conversation about housewifery started. How did that go?

As promised, I want to delve into some scenarios today.

When a husband and wife agree that she will be the keeper of the home or the home administrator, that job needs to be clarified. A home administrator, according to Proverbs 31:

 She looks well to how things go in her household,

She is in charge of running the household. She makes the schedule for when things get finished,  unless there has been a conversation with her husband and he wants to take responsibility for something. It should be up to her to decide what should be a priority on a day to day basis.

Home Administration

Let me give you an example:

Let’s say Mom is home with the kiddos. They are having a great day playing board games and then the sun comes out. Everyone heads out to enjoy the weather. The lunch dishes are still in the sink when hubby gets home. Should he complain?

In this instance, Mom decided fresh air and some outside time was a priority. She made an executive decision. The dishes can wait. Dad can pitch in if he likes.

Here’s another scenario:

Dad comes home and the project Mom started is still on the floor in pieces. Maybe she didn’t have time to apply the last coat of wax to the desk she painted, so it is still in parts. Maybe something else was a priority that day.

Just to put this in perspective- does dad ever have a day at work when he doesn’t complete everything on his agenda? Does he ever have a bad day? Does everything always work out perfectly at work? Should it at home?

Here’s one last one that I ran into a lot. Hubby would come home and the house was a wreck-

“So, you didn’t do anything today?” he would ask.

Meanwhile, I’m thinking, we had the best day EVER. We hiked on the trail. Read a book aloud. Made cookies. You get the picture.

Another day, he would come home to a sparkling clean house and say:

“Wow, you got a lot done today!”

I would be thinking, I didn’t even crack a school book or play a game. We had a cleaning day. Everyone helped (which is great), but I looked at it a little differently.

This is why conversations about these things are so important. Women tend to be more relationship oriented and men more task oriented. I am a planner. I do love a schedule. But when it comes to being a home administrator, I look at the whole picture- now and the future. A sparking clean kitchen is not what my kids are going to remember. It may be something I teach them to do. It isn’t the first on my mission statement list.

With that said, let’s read some words of wisdom from Sally Clarkson:

  Your home is your domain-it is the part of creation that God has uniquely designed and delegated to you to subdue and rule over, especially as a homeschooling mother. However, homes of disorder get in the way of our stewarding this very important place, and creates an environment of stress and anxiety.

Home administration is a serious job. We must have a plan. We must be proactive. Kids can pitch in and help. Once we have a plan in place, it should be a guideline. If we can’t keep it perfectly, we shouldn’t throw it out. Tomorrow, I’ll get into a few more points and questions for you about being the Home Administrator. For now, if you feel as if you aren’t organized by nature, read this post- Schedules are for Unorganized People.

Whose job is it anyway?- The Modern Women’s Guide to Housewifery

The expectations of a stay at home Mom are often high. Add homeschooling to the mix and often the bar is raised instead of lowered.

  • Your schoolroom/area should be perfect
  • Your kids should be well dressed and clean all the time
  • Your home should be sparkly clean and farmhouse perfectly decorated (or whatever your style is) at all times.

Like in the fifties television shows, Dad comes home from work, sits in his easy chair and reads the newspaper. Mom, wearing her string of pearls and a dress covered by an apron finishes preparing a lovely home cooked meal.

Unfortunately, as beautiful as this picture may be, or maybe this picture makes you downright angry. It’s just not reality.

This series was sparked by some recent conversations with friend and Whole House peeps who need some help, clarity and wisdom (myself included). Some of us gals have hired outside help to clean our homes *GASP*. Yep. Me. I did that. This triggered a text conversation between hubby and I which we accidentally had on a group text with male church friend (YIKES) who finally joined the conversation with:

I don’t know what’s going on with you guys, but I’m praying for you.

Hubby relented to my plea to have some outside help with:

You’ve got a lot on your plate right now, so if it is going to help you- go for it.

It was true. I had a lot on my plate with preparing a workshop, podcasts, writing deadlines, etc… But, here’s the real question- Whose job is it anyway? To clean the house? To manage the house? Whose job is it anyway_Times have changed. It’s not the fifties anymore. Society has changed. One thing that won’t change is stuff has to get done. Houses have to get cleaned ish. Laundry won’t do itself. Meals have to be prepared. So, again, whose job is it anyway?

The truth is – you and your hubby need to have this conversation. If jobs are divided verbally or on paper, it makes it easier to know what your responsibilities are. It’s unrealistic to think that the woman must do everything.

“One way the modern conservative movement has hurt the family is by regarding the man as the head in all decisions, rather than the overall leader of the home and family. Men have been taught they should have control over every decision and aspect of homelife, often requiring their wives to seek their final say on every decision about money and home care. This isn’t true to the Biblical model of servant/servant relationship, or the man as the spiritual and directional head of the home. We don’t see the Proverbs 31 woman seeking permission to buy a field, care for servants, and prepare the house for difficult seasons. The erosion of trust in the ability of Christian women to act like rational, intelligent adults is hurting the family and creating constant stress— men are asked for permission that they decline because they can’t see the need in the same way, and women feel frustrated because the head of the home has essentially forbidden her from caring for the home in a way that benefits everyone.”- Audrey Simmons

Maybe you have never actually had a conversation about who should do what in the household. Here are some questions to ask your hubby to get you started:

1.What jobs do you expect me to do?

 2.What is your definition of a well run, successful home? Is it a perfectly clean home? Happy, well rounded kids?

3.What’s most important to you in how the household looks and runs, and what are you willing to do to help make that possible?

Tomorrow I’ll be continuing the series with some home and work scenarios!

Battling Old Mindsets

Do circumstances boss you around or is it mindsets?

I’ve been wrestling with this for a few weeks. I often think that my reaction to what is happening around me is the only thing I need to be concerned about. What about you?

Being reactive in situations is a difficult thing to sort. Even when I think I am reacting in the right way outwardly, I am often unaware of my inner reaction until someone asks me how I am. Or I read an article or watch a video or hear a song, then the tears flow and I’m thinking, where in the world did that come from?

Often my trigger gets flipped and I don’t even know it. It  is hidden, like a secret switch buried deep within a secure military base. I don’t even know it is there. Outwardly, I am in ‘control’. I am renewing my mind with the Word, praying and doing all the right things. Then some event flips the switch. I don’t even know it. There are no lights flashing. No warning. It’s quiet and subtle. Then I begin to inflate like a helium balloon. Someone says something and  I pop.

I was driving on the interstate yesterday. Lori and I were meeting at the venue for The Gathering to draw our map and fill out papers. I was listening to “You were Made to Thrive” by Casting Crowns on repeat and belting it out at the top of my lungs. I had been in an emotional funk for days. I couldn’t put my finger on why. As I sang, I heard a still small whisper.

You are holding onto an old mindset.

What? No, I’m not. I’ve been reading all these books on the mind, God. Renewing it. Who Switched on My Brain by Dr. Caroline Leaf. Battle Ready by Kelly Balarie. Watching videos and listening to praise music.

You’re holding on to an old mindset.

God is doesn’t give up on us. He doesn’t back down. Like the song says, there’s no shadow he won’t light up coming after me.

Sometimes our battle is not with what is happening to us, but an old mindset that keeps us trapped.

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I have several autoimmune diseases. I won’t go into that in-depth, but suffice to say that there have been two points in my life that I was almost bedridden. I passed out at random times. I couldn’t handle much activity at all. I couldn’t travel.

During those periods, I began to think differently about what I could handle. I began to believe that I wasn’t going to make it. I literally wanted to die.  I just didn’t want to live and not be able to function. My muscles wasted away. My adrenals surged all the time. My hands shook. I had to take breaks walking up the stairs.

So, here I was driving, my body functioning well. I can do more today than I have been able to do for years. I’m not crashing. So, what was that mindset that I had slidden back into that was poisoning everything?

I’m not going to make it. This is too much for me. Everything is going to fall apart. I can’t hold myself together.

It all came bubbling back up. The old way of doing. The old way of feeling. The old way of handling life. I was expecting myself to crash. Not physically. Just mentally. Emotionally. I forgot the truth that I wasn’t there anymore. It was if I were bedridden and unable to function even though I had just left a Pop Pilates class and felt great. Isn’t  it amazing what a trigger can do? I don’t know when it was flipped or why.

After a good cry last night and talking through some things with my team, I realized I needed a mini vacation for my emotions. I needed to think about how I  was filtering things through the old mindset and get a reset. I listened to Lauren Daigle’s , Look up Child and sang along with tears streaming down my face. I read some of Battle Ready

 

Be prepared. You’re up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon. God has issued, so that when it’s all over but the shouting you’ll still be on your feet. Truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation are more than words. Learn how to apple them. You’ll need them throughout your life. God’s Word is an indispensable weapon. In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other’s spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out.- Ephesians 6: 13-18 The Message

 

Do you have old mindsets coming back to rule the roost? Have you been emotional and don’t know why? Is there something I can pray about for you? Leave it in the comments. I get it. Life throws you for a loop sometimes, even when it looks as if everything is going well.