Too many times I rely upon my own strength to get through difficult situations and the stresses of life. I have struggled with perfectionism since I was a child. I tell myself that if I just work longer, push harder, or stay later I can get it all done. Too many times I tell myself that I can do it all, just to get someone else's approval.. In case it isn't obvious, this is an exhausting way to live, and even though I say "I'm fine," it turns out that all I am saying is that I am Frazzled, Irritated, Neurotic, and Exhausted (thanks for that Renee)! Do you ever feel this way? I am learning that this is not the way of life that Christ has planned for us.

This week in chapter two of A Confident Heart, author Renee Swope talks about Sam, her nickname for the Samaritan woman who Jesus meets at the well. Sam has come alone to draw water from the well at noon, the hottest point of the day. I can only imagine how weary she must have been at midday, hot and traveling without the company of friends. I don't have to walk to a well for water, but I do get weary at the mid-point of the day, or in the midst of life's difficult trials. As I write this, I am home from work recovering from the flu. For the past two nights weary has been an understatement, but God is healing me day by day. If you're anything like me, being home from work (not for vacation) can increase stress. Being home from work means more work to do when I get back, playing catch up, etc. If I miss one day of work, will they miss out on going to college?! Will the kids burn down my office if I'm not there?! (See what I mean by neurotic?) These are the thoughts that run through my mind on sick days. Which is exactly why I don't like to take off, even when it's possible that I really need to. Yet one more time I hear Jesus whispering to me, "Slow down, Stacy. My grace is sufficient for you.. We will cover this lesson until you get it."

I hear Jesus calling me to rest in Him, yet it is so hard to break away from the old patterns and bad habits of boundary-less living. Over-committing to activities, putting my hope and trust in man(kind), not saying NO enough...all the things that take me away from His rest. In John 4:13-14 Jesus tells the Samaritan woman, "Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life." While reading this I realized that by putting my trust in man I am expecting to be fulfilled, but my bucket keeps coming up empty. People don't keep their word, people can be unforgiving, and they love me conditionally. But as the memory verse of the week says, I will only be fulfilled through trusting and hoping in Christ. 

The more I grow in my walk with Christ, the more lies are washed away and replaced with His truth. Because of Christ's #perfectlove for me, I don't have to be perfect. I only need to seek approval from Him. Looking to man for fulfillment will continually lead to disappointment. Those who hope in the Lord will not be disappointed. God has plans for me, a future and a hope. Jesus wants me to have abundant life! It is my prayer through this study that not only do I believe God for more, but that I can be confident in resting in Him, knowing that I am missing nothing by taking time to rest and restore. By setting boundaries and saying no, I will gain more of the abundant life that Christ has called me to. Are there any areas of your life where God is calling you to rest? Are there any areas where you need more boundaries to protect your rest time?
Then you will know that I am the Lord. Those who hope in me will not be disappointed. - Isaiah 49:23b NIV

The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life and that they might have it more abundantly. - John 10:10 KJV

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you, and not to harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11 NIV

10/18/2013 11:47am

Great post. Hope you feel better soon!
Lauren, P31 OBS Blog hop team

10/18/2013 12:49pm

Thanks so much Lauren!


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