Let’s get to it! This week we’re talking about FAITHFULNESS!
Proverbs 19:21 21 There are many plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s plan that will stand.
DEFINITION OF FAITHFULNESS: 1: strict or thorough in the performance of duty 2: true to one’s word, promises, vows, etc. 3: steady in allegiance or affection; loyal; constant: faithful friends 4: reliable, trusted, or believed
REFLECTION: Faithfulness looks very much like loyalty wrapped in trust. When we are faithful to God and trust him, we are free to live our lives with less weight and stress. We are free to show up as our true selves. Rhonda and I have circled back to this scripture in Proverbs countless times. When we:
try to create our own solutions only to feel stuck
realize we are forcing our will over His
strive to fit timelines on our own time tables
Not being in control is such a hard feeling. We like the idea that if we can just find the right rythm and stay on the beat, everything will run as smooth as a symphony orchestra. When one instrument goes down though, everything sounds off and we feel compelled to scramble and find the fix or create the solution: tune the instrument, replace the chord, tighten the bow.
We’ve learned that our solutions are not the same as His solutions. Our solutions often amplify the problem or cause us additional stress. Being faithful as a Christian is allowing God to assure us of what we do not see. It is trusting him to share his plan with us when he sees that we are ready. Faithfulness requires us to do the hardest thing: submit.
There are countless Biblical stories of God blessing those who are faithful. Ruth could have gone off on her own to create a new life after the death of her husband, but she chose to remain with Naomi. Sarah and Abraham had Isaac when Sarah was very, very old – after decades of not having a child. Arrested and thrown into a lion’s den for praying, Daniel emerged unscathed. In all of these instances, God rewarded faithful people.
One of the hardest things for me to hear in the age of corona is that we are living in a “new normal.” I don’t like the saying because nothing feels “normal” and it encourages our longing for the past. I, for one, do not want to pine for the pre-corona days. I will put my trust in God and have faith that where he leads us will be better than where we were.
It is ok to be uncomfortable. It is ok to not understand the world around us. It is ok to feel overwhelmed and stressed and unsure of the next right move. You don’t have to carry the weight of the world on your own. My hope is that you will rely on your faith in God and trust that the next right step will be revealed to you when it should be. Until then, keep showing up as YOU.
ACTION CHALLENGE: What is getting in the way of your faithfulness today? Can you give it over to God?
Welcome to MaverickRx Fruit of the Spirit Challenge. We’re happy that you’ve decided to join us to reflect on how to better live in alignment with the nine Fruits of the Spirit. First, we think its incredibly important to note that we are not experts in how to live in perfect Christian alignment. We are simply trying to steer a course for ourselves and engage with you in conversation and action that nurtures connection with one another and God. That being the case, we believe you’ll get more from the challenge if you can join us on Facebook at 8:15 Thursday mornings to talk about the weekly theme.
Let’s get to it! This week we’re talking about LOVE!
Leviticus 19:18 New International Version (NIV) 18 “‘Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord.”
Overwhelmed by messages of hate, anger, division, and unrest – people have become comfortable biting each others heads off, acting out in anger, and disrespecting difference. It is easy to lash out.
Rhonda and I lean in differing political positions. We’ve spent several uncomfortable hours in conversation, certainly rubbing each other the wrong way at times. We don’t yell. We don’t call each other names. We listen and talk. Sometimes it is hard to listen to different view points.
We have much more in common, of course, than we do in conflict. We both love God. We encourage our spiritual relationships, we connect over stories of marriage, mothering, and menopause. Most importantly though, we’ve learned that to love a friend is to respect each other’s right to have her own opinion.
In the book of Leviticus we are asked to love our neighbors. Even when our neighbor is of a different race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or just disagrees with us. Leviticus 19:18 asks us to look at the world and the people within it through the lense of love – and treat them well. It is often hard work to do. But the action of living life through the lense of love is the most critical work of all.
SOCIAL MEDIA CHALLENGE:
This week on social media filter your comments, posts, and images through the lense of love. Is your participation in the social space shining positive light into the world?
Share a message of LOVE on social media with #lovewins and tag @MaverickRx on Facebook. If you’d like to use one of our challenge images CLICK HERE.
We’re walking through unchartered waters. Our cultural landscape has flipped upside down, we’re coping day-to-day, we are unsure where tomorrow will lead.
In these times, I believe we’re given the option of sinking into our worry or leaning into our faith.
It is our choice.
The fact is no one is equipped for the emotional, physical, and mental strain of living through a global pandemic. People who worried before, will worry more now. People who prayed before, will pray more now. People who saw the glass half full or half empty, will see it more full or more empty now.
That perspective is your choice.
I was raised by two of the most optimistic people alive. My mother can make lemonade out of lemons better than anyone I’ve ever met in my life. My dad implores me to see the good in any, especially this, situation.
It is no wonder then that I believe in my heart that we all have the choice to sink into worry or lean into faith. I choose to lean into my faith, wrap my arms around what I can control within the walls of my home, and try as I might to shine a little happiness and joy into the world.
A smile still goes a long way.
Today on our MaverickRx Coffee Clutch, I shared this verse from the book of Esther.
Perhaps you were born for such a time as this.
Perhaps you do not feel equipped for the challenge of today or the road ahead. If you will take each day one at a time, pray and ask God to hold your fear, infuse you with patience, strength, and guidance; I believe that He can hold the worry long enough for you to make this day good.
Today I share this coloring page to lift you up and let you know that you are not alone. You are strong enough to weather this storm, and when you feel weak, lean in.
Do you ever have a day when you just feel totally overwhelmed; like you can’t come up for air? Today was one of those days for me.
Yesterday in the late afternoon my daughter started having what seemed like an allergic reaction to something. Her mouth, feet, knees and fingers began swelling. Her mouth became so swollen the inside of her lip was on the outside of her mouth. I didn’t panic (exactly) but I did call my mom. I was thinking benadryl, and she suggested hydrogen peroxide because it seemed centralized in her mouth and we thought maybe if there was an allergen we could clean in out. Then I watched my daughter like a hawk all night long. The swelling went down, but not away. This morning, she was still quite puffy.
She has a complicated medical history. When she was four she was diagnosed with systemic onset juvenile idiopathic arthritis. At the time, we believed a case of strep throat triggered it. Then after a couple of years of treatment, and only one real flare up, it was gone and she went into remission. When something unusal happens to her, especially if there is any swelling involved, I have to admit I get a little worried. Ok, anxious, I get very anxious. But the reason is very simple, with systemic onset JIA it exists in the body, dormant until something in the body turns it on. It could be strep, it could be a fever, it could be a fall – anything could really turn it on. I have prayed, forever, that nothing would ever turn it back on.
So that was rolling around my head as I dropped the kids at school and headed to work. I went to work, got about half of the day in, and then the nurse called. Grace was miserable. She’d been texting me a bit throughout the morning so I knew she wasn’t feeling well. I called the pediatrician, took my lunch break and we went to the doctor.
My problem today has been a lack of FOCUS. I have tasks I need to accomplish: work, laundry, groceries, pediatrician, workout, dinner. The same tasks I need to accomplish all the time, but when I have a heavy heart, my focus goes out the window. It feels like I can’t move forward because I don’t know what to do next. Have you ever found yourself stretched too thin?
This brings me to tonight’s episode on MaverickRx titled, “Mom Topic Monday: What’s Important Now.” I recently read an incredible book to help me be more intentional.Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown is a book that helps us discern between the “trivial many and the vital few”. According to McKeown, essentialism is the art of doing less, but better.
The art of essentialism truly hit home for me. I am a dreamer, I think big, I go all in. I like action and I don’t sit well on the sidelines; I prefer to be on the field. But while this trait can be totally awesome, it can also create an incredibly long to-do list. Which leads to anxiety. Which leads to underperforming. Which leads to increased anxiety. The book essentialism taught be a few truly actionable skills to apply to my entire life. My biggest take away was from Chapter 19: Focus, What’s Important Now (WIN).
The chapter opens with a brief description of an undefeated high school rugby coach who attributes his succes to WIN. Not the act of winning, the acronym – What’s Important Now (WIN). He teaches his players to apply the acronym to every aspect of the game on and off the field. Rather than focusing on the play that just went poorly, the team focuses on “what’s important now” – to move the ball down the field. Rather than focusing on how the other team is playing, they focus on “what’s important now” in their own play. McKeown goes on to share a hectic night of his own during a conference away from home. He got back to his room at the end of a very long day and his mind was spinning. The following day would be full. He remembered the coach, and he thought “what’s important now.” He realized that by asking that one question he could turn off the noise of the trivial many, and focus on the vital few. He took the steps he needed to settle down and get to bed: he called his wife and kids, he prepared his clothes for the next morning, called for a wake up call and ordered his breakfast to arrive in the morning. He was intentional and so he could perform better.
This concept applies to every single one of us – ESPECIALLY PARENTS. What’s Important Now has been a game changer in my life. Today, for instance, when I was bolting to the school to pick up my daughter, she was my WIN. While I spoke to the doctor, he was my WIN. When we left his office, the pharmacy was my WIN. Getting her home and giving her medicine and making sure she was comfortable was important. Then I was able to work. When I sat down at my computer, and looked at my lists, I applied WIN to determine which item to do first. When that was done, I did it again. I repeat this cycle all.day.long.
The hardest part thing to grasp about WIN is that something DOES NOT GET DONE. Today, for me, it was the phone and exercise. I couldn’t take calls, engage in texts, or stay up to the minute on notifications. I couldn’t make it to the gym to take my very favorite fitness class because, sadly, today it was one of the trivial few. Some days WIN expects that of me. I have to let things that are important to me go so that I can focus on NOW. The fact is NOW is all there is.
I hit the ground running with WIN. First fiber, second coffee, third meditation and prayer, fourth social checks, and fifth the kids. Being intentional with how I use my time has allowed me to be more present in each of the places I need to show up. Getting the day started for my kids, creating a video at work, designing a social media giveaway – when I am focused on the vital few I am more productive, focused and less stressed.
It is NOT EASY TO DO. There are times, like today, when I have to lean in and pray hard to God for help focusing and letting go of worry. I ask for strength to get through each step of the day. Some days that are so very hard. We expect a crazy amount from ourselves and often need to cut ourselves some slack. The trouble is, the list does need to get done. The book helped me cope with my anxiety by giving me some tools to discern between what’s important and what can wait.
Subscribe to MaverickRx on YouTube for more Mom Topic Mondays that will help you live your life out loud on your own terms.
Have you ever read a steamy romance novel by Nora Roberts? I have not. But I have read a trending tweet that quoted the best-selling novelist as saying: “The key to juggling is to know that some of the balls you have in the air are made of plastic and some are made of glass. If you drop a plastic ball, it bounces, no harm done. If you drop a glass ball, it shatters, so you have to know which balls are glass and which are plastic and prioitize catching the glass ones.”
In the constant struggle to find work/life balance Robert’s advice gives us a powerful analogy that asks us to set realistic expectations of ourselves. The idea that we should be doing it all, all of the time in order to feel like “good moms” rubs me the wrong way. We are human and we shouldn’t expect perfection in every area and moment of our lives. There are days when everthing rolls so well – super smooth, no hiccups. Then there are days when it feels like roadblock after roadblock.
If you’ve ever felt inadequate, as if you’re dropping the glass balls in your life, tonight’s episode is a MUST WATCH. We have certainly felt the pang of inadequacy, in fact, it’s our Mom Topic Monday tonight!
We also share an important scripture that gives us strength when we are struggling. Grab the printable coloring page for tonight’s scripture; and, please share the mission of MaverickRx with your #momfriends by forwarding this email to a mom who could use some encouragement tonight!
“I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with you…we are in charge of our attitudes.” ― Charles Swindoll
Yesterday I was driving home, listening to the audible verison of the book Everything is Figureoutable by Marie Forleo and she referenced this quote. I hit the clip and made a note. I do this from time to time when I come across a bit of a book that I am reading that I want to share with you.
I got home and my furnace was out and I quickly employed the 90/10 rule. We did our best all night to keep the house warm, kiddos covered in blankets, and everyone made it comfortably sleeping the night away. When I got in bed the 90/10 idea struck me again as I reflected on a homeless couple I had seen on Sunday in the city. They were bundled up together in a doorway on Washington and Clark. Two bodies snuggled under a heavy mountain of blankets.
I prayed: Thank you, Lord. I am grateful for the roof over my head.
I woke up this morning and started getting ready for work and the kiddos moving for school. I warmed up my shower and ran into the kids bathroom to grab a roll of toilet paper. When I walked in Clay said, “Mom watch this!” He exhaled so that I could see his breath. It struck me b/c that bathroom has some pipe issues; it registered and I thought oh no! I tried to turn on the bathtub. Nada. Frozen.
I grabbed a hairdryer and started to heat up the pipes. The kids ran around and dripped all of the faucets and I called The Hubs. While we were on the phone creating a plan, the pipe burst spraying me in the face and water everywhere. If you’ve ever seen a pipe burst, it really is quite comical. It sprays forcefully – all over the place with no set direction – just randomly hitting here and there, high and low, left and right. Like a lose hose on full blast, attacking you with water. I ran to the basement and turned the water off while the kids hurried around to grab towels and clean up the sopping mess. I swore A LOT and REAL LOUD because when something goes terribly wrong that is what I do. The louder the better. It is cathartic.
Then once the chaose settled, the 90/10 rule struck me again. I tell you this because maybe you’re having a shitty day. Maybe it has been a shitty week or month or year. And maybe you don’t want to employ the 90/10 rule; but, I think believe there is real value in it. Shitty times pass, and they pass faster with the right attitude. A positive attitude can make even the worst of times feel less heavy. I pray a lot (read: all day long) and try as hard as I can to stay in communication with God because he helps me to carry the load of mom worry while staying focused on our big dreams, too. And the 90/10 rule aligns with the teachings I’ve read in the Bible.
Mind you, I can appreciate feeling down. I can embrace it even. When I feel bad, I let it happen. I’m not over here smiling through shit all day, every day. When my daughter is sad, the first thing I suggest is to GET IT OUT. Cry and write it all down, scream it all out loud. But put emotions to it, put words to it and then give it over to God to carry while you address the mascara running down your face. Maybe those days are many and maybe those days are few, but either way, let them be what they are. Because it is ok to feel bad.
I just don’t recommend sitting in it for long.
I believe the 90/10 rule is true and I’m exited to read Swindoll’s book, The Grace Awakening after I finish Marie’s book, Everything is Figureoutable, which I totally recommend.
Do you ever feel like you wear a million hats? We certainly do. From driver to maid to chef, moms (and dads, too!) wear a lot of hats. We often feel overwhelmed by all the jobs we have. While we are beyond grateful to be moms, sometimes it is just heavy work.
Every day we turn to our faith for strength and to stay centered; when we feel overwhelmed by the worry, the to-do list, or the laundry our faith plays a major role. Truly, I never knew worry the way I now know worry. The worry of motherhood is consuming and truly, there is no end in sight. I remember when I first had my daughter I mentioned not sleeping to my mom. She was honest and said, “yeah…. that’s gone until she leaves the house for good…not college, that’s even worse, but for good – when she’s on her own.” I was like “Wait…what?” Truly though, the weight of motherhood isn’t one that anyone shares before a person becomes a mom.
I often feel like we do a disservice to our comrades by not communicating the truth of parenting. We glorify parenthood, because it is glorious, but in so doing we fail to prepare future parents for the reality of job. Parenthood is 24/7/365 – unlike any other role. You are never off the clock, you are never without the hat of being a mother. You might be off enjoying your first girls weekend away after having a baby thinking, “Yes! I can chill!” And then you get a call that your eight month old daughter has croup and will likely need to be hospitalized. So you and your supportive friends quickly pack up the car and bust ass back home so you can be there for your kid. Because, while chilling with girlfriends is essential and so great – in your heart, as a mother, there is no better place to be than at home taking care of the kids that you created.
When all that weight and reality of our emotions connected with the jobs and hats of motherhood feels like too much – lean in. Lean into God, lean in to your husband, lean into family and friends, and lean into the role. Pray and ask for strength, and it will be given. Pray and ask for help, and it will be given. But never assume that anyone just knows you need help – even your husband or own mother – you must reach out. Don’t let yourself drown in the weight of the work and worry. If you’re wearing the driver hat too often and need a break – speak up. If you’re overwhelmed by the dishes, the yard, the cleaning, the cooking – you have to speak up for yourself and ask for help.
Leaning into God when motherhood feels heavy is legitimately the only way I ever get through any of it. He has big enough shoulders for all of your worries and strength to spare when you need it. Take a breath, step outside, and raise yourself up and ask Him for help.
You got this, mama. You. Got. This.
To hear a few verses that lift us when we struggle with the weight of parenting, watch our latest episode on YouTube! We share the ten hats we’re rotating through the most and the scripture that helps us power up for the day!