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I’m a Human BEing

For a long time (and admittedly, sometimes even now) I was fooled into thinking that I needed to keep DOing and DOing…but my DOing was never enough. Not “good” enough. Not “enough” enough. Not “productive” enough. And in so DOing, I lost the me that is just the Being. And the results were horrible. I was almost always exhausted. I was often frustrated, without knowing why. My frustration would turn to anger and bitterness because I had no time to really grow as a human BEing. I was merely a Human DOing.

Instead of simply doing “my best”, BEing okay with my limitations, celebrating the areas of breakthrough, BEing okay with and growing from my failures, BEing wise with my schedule, enjoying BEing with my loved ones, I lost my sense of self. The self that God made me and wanted me to become the best version of. I struggled and fought to earn others’ approval, which only filled me with guilt and shame. I became a perfectionist, which stunted my growth.

It’s easy for shame to come into the picture when our sense of worth is in the DOing over the BEing. Shame is a POWERFUL and dangerous manipulator.

Instead of DOING more than what you and your schedule can handle, focus on BEing a fuller version of yourself. Trust your instinct. It’s God-given. Make goals, yes. Push yourself to become more fully you-absolutely! Grow into the areas you feel called-Yes! Yes! Yes! You’ll never regret the joy of becoming more YOU and in so DOing, you can inspire others to be their best.

For those who live as Christians, we try to grow to become more like Jesus. Not robots. Not like “so-and-so”, but to become like Christ in his character, all while still being fully you!

Don’t let others, especially those with authority and power, guilt and shame you into DOING more when the Lord calls you to BE who He made you to BE. DO that. BE that! THAT is authentic living!!

Episode 9: God Has a Purpose for Your Life

God has a purpose for your life. He made you, me and all of this with a purpose, with a great vision. Eden wasn’t the end, nor was it “perfect”. God wanted it to be developed, worked, and even improved. That’s what Genesis 2:15 says! God thought so highly of humanity (his “adams”) that He wanted us to do His work for Him by reflecting Him, by being Him for Him (that’s what Genesis 1:26-27 says ), to rule over creation the way He would, and take His creation to where He envisioned it.

But God’s humans rejected His plan and wanted to do their own thing their own way. Being God for God wasn’t enough; they wanted equal standing. This reversed the blessings of creation, and brought the curses of death and decay into the world (that’s Genesis 3:21-24). We see the consequences of this all around us, and even within us.

But God did not and will not give up on humanity. He does not and will not give up on you or me. He wants us to become all that He envisions us to be. He wants you and me to become the best versions of who we are right now. And He has a plan to do that!  That plan started with Abram, and Jesus is the center, the way, the point, and the example.

So, the story of the bible is that God has a cosmic purpose for us that goes way beyond our personal salvation. You were not created just to get saved and go to heaven when you die. God wants you as one of his partners, his co-rulers, to be him for him in this creation until he recreates it like Revelation 21 & 22 describes! What an honor!

On the other hand, God’s plan is happening whether you or I get in on it or not. Nothing we do or don’t do will stop it. God won’t hit pause waiting for any of us to decide to get in on it.

God desperately wants you to be a part of it. But he doesn‘t need you. You are incredibly significant, but not necessary for success. You can have a starring role, but it’s not even one bit about you. When I think about this, it makes me feel honored and important, but part of something way bigger than myself. It is exalting and humbling all at once.

God’s plan is like a great story. It has a beginning, a middle and an end. It has a start, a problem, a solution, and a conclusion. Those parts were written down, and we read them in the bible! But we live in this unwritten part between the early church’s writings and the end, kind of a gap in the story. It’s as if we are writing our unwritten part now, with our lives. Our part has to be consistent with the rest of the story, so we can’t go way off on our own with it, but we are writing it.

What does your story look like? What are you writing? We get to write this thing together, let’s keep writing, striving to be like Jesus in His character and ministry, partnering with God to bring about His vision for creation, It’s a cosmic task. God believes in you and believes in what you bring to the plan. He knows you’re up to it.

Do you?

Episode 8: Shoved Out of the Church

On Second Thought…I just listened to episode 8: Shoved Out of Church  and honestly…this episode is not my favorite one. In fact, it might not even be that good. But something is happening because the analytics tells us that it is doing **800X** better than all of our other episodes. IKR?!?! It’s crazy!

With that said, as I listened, three things came to my mind that I wish I would have said. Here they are:

 

  • When Kirk and I moved to Champaign to “recover and heal” from our experience in Madison, we realized within about 18 months that we were not going to get the help that we longed for. (I was told I didn’t need to seek counseling because we would get it within the church…unfortunately, we didn’t get any form of counseling). Within that time frame, we also realized that our specific skill set was not only NOT valued by leadership (because more and more roles were being eliminated AND because Kirk’s ideas were no longer considered or even welcomed), BUT we got an overwhelming sense that we (like many others who are pushed/nudged/forced out of the ministry) were being led “out to pasture”, so to speak. We were always welcomed, but we soon became disregarded, then marginalized…then shut down…THAT led to our leaving…We were PUSHED OUT of our ministry job in Madison (more on that to come) and because we were SHUT DOWN in our current church family, we decided the best thing for us, after a decade of trying to affect change, was to leave.
  • In a previous podcast we stated that many people can feel or be marginalized. We talked about why that could be the case (you will have to listen to that one for more details)…but it occurred to me that MANY (not all, of course!) people who are marginalized are marginalized because they are passionate! They are filled with purpose and passion and want to DO SOMETHING meaningful with their lives for others. And for Christians, they want to do something meaningful for God. Those passions and ideas are not only NOT listened to, but often ignored by leaders who either had other (same-as-always) strategies or NO meaningful strategies whatsoever. THIS is, in large part, why we left. We are passionate. We have ideas and plans that are proven to affect growth and change. We are leaders, influencers…(aren’t we all, in some capacity?!). We began to believe that we could make a greater impact OUTSIDE our local and larger family of churches than we could ever impact within it’s paradigm.
  • In the episode, I talked a little about those who are not “unwilling” but may be ”weak” in their faith…later I say they are “optically weak”, meaning they may not actually have been weak, but appeared to be weak to others, especially those in leadership. Well, I speak from experience on this one. A leader approached Kirk several times last fall asking how I was doing, wondering if I was “in step with us”. For whatever reason, I was being seen as “weak”, even though I had never been stronger in my faith. The difference was…I was vocal and strong and processing through my grief, anger, bitterness…and was coming out the other side. My strength, courage, voice was not seen as submissive and “in line” with the values of my church. I was renewed. Restored. I Reclaimed ME…More fully ME. This is not seen as “in step”, but rather “stepping outside” of the norm. Kirk was warned that he might not see me as I “really” am. This is called “optically weak”.