Oh hey, it’s been a while.
I have been doing the latest Jennie Allen study, Restless with a group of girls on Thursdays during our lunch break. I wanted this bible study because I needed a place where I could grow with women who are in a similar place to me spiritually and in life. We’re all within a couple years in age, similar careers, and years down the road in our relationships with the Lord. It has been the most amazing tiny little group of women hungry for what God has for us. I am excited every week when Thursday rolls around and challenged as I pack up my book and leave an hour later.
This week in the study was about places.
My places as I wrote out my homework questions and prepared to share this afternoon included: my neighborhood, my condo (which is pretty consistently full of people), my church, my work (which takes place at my church), and social media/my blog community. Next we were asked ‘Are you discontent in your places?’ and told to write about it. Then we were asked if our restlessness came from a place of discontentment or if we felt it was God asking us to move toward more.
I started this study restless. I was feeling some discomfort in my life and I was face down before the Lord seeking discernment. I was quiet about what I was feeling in my daily life but I came to this study the first week and laid it on the table. Hey, this is me and this is my stuff and I’m trying to figure out what God is telling me. I had waited long enough for a place to be real, and I wasn’t wasting any time diving in.
What I’ve learned about myself is that when I’m open and honest – I get results. It’s when I keep everything inside and try to figure everything out on my own that I get into trouble. This likely surprises you all not at all but I don’t have all the answers. I need advice, help, someone to relate, as much as the next girl – maybe more!
As we sat in there I listened to each of their places and whether or not they were discontent and then I grinned as I shared with them that the restlessness I felt when I started this study is gone. I was seeking discernment in one particular area of my life that I felt discontent and unsettled in and when I felt the Lord prompt me, I jumped.
I make it sound simple and neat and I can assure you it wasn’t quite either. It was a big, hard life decision. I will say, though, there’s freedom in responding to his prompts with action. I am living in that freedom now. It has taken away the restlessness my soul was struggling with when I came into this study 5 weeks ago.
That was my praise of the week but I should also tell you that this week’s study came with a challenge for me as well. Jennie Allen talked in this week’s video about people around us wanting God because of how we live our lives. As I heard that I wanted to go back and rewrite my vision statements for each of the ‘places’ I’ve listed because I want that. I want the peace, the hope, the joy of the Lord to seep out of me in every single place in my life to the point that people look at me and say ‘I want that’.
This is hardest for me in the mundane. I’m task oriented. I’m focused. I get things done. And on days full of chores and weeks that bog me down with appointments and details sometimes I think that neither my life or my attitude on those days really makes anyone wish they were me. But they could, right? If my joy is there and my attitude is right then even when I’m grocery shopping people could see the light in me. They could be drawn to my joy. I have to choose to live that. And my vision for my life and for each of my places has to be built around that desire – that people would want to know the God I love.
Celebrating this week the victory over my restlessness and planning to spend some time rewriting the visions for my places through a new lens.