Isaiah 43 is one of the most wonderful chapters in all of scripture. (Of course I say that about a lot of chapters.)
But what draws me to this particular chapter is how many times God draws attention to his own lordship. God is not capable of arrogance as it would sound coming from human lips.
He’s doesn’t repeat this time after time for his own benefit but for ours. He is reminding us that he and he alone deserves to be called the one and only Lord.
He goes on to recount his creation of all living things on this earth, we humans in particular. Paul quotes Isaiah 9b, “Will the clay say to the potter, “What are you doing?” In Romans 9: 20-21, it states that we are his to shape and mold as he sees fit without question.
To give someone else control isn’t easy. Giving our government control over our actions isn’t easy. None of us like being told where we can or cannot go.
But maybe we can use this restriction on our lives as a way to remind us that this is how we are supposed to place ourselves in the Potter’s hands to do with as he wishes.
Think of this portion of scripture the next time you bristle about your restrictions and confinement. Let those feelings of irritation remind you, remind me, that we are usually wrangling with God over these same control issues.
Assuming we are in right relationships with God, his molding of us will only draw us closer to him and his purpose for our lives.
If we are not in right relationship with God, he will have to continue getting us back to that starting point as a lump of clay and start all over again, many times all over again.
Doesn’t it make sense to cooperate with him the first time?
Let’s allow God to really shape us during this shut-down. Let’s think through our reactions about giving up control and try and determine if we treat God this way sometimes. Is there a correlation? Can we learn from this how it feels to give God control?
I wonder why we are all looking for something to do. I’ve even got a post coming soon with some ideas for you. But I wonder, why are we trying to occupy every minute?
I’m guessing it’s because we’re scared and being busy helps. But I’m not sure that’s so good. So while I, too, am getting bored and want to fill every moment, I’m also trying to make sure I have plenty of contemplative time. I want to think about this crisis and how it can make me stronger in my faith walk.Tweet
What about you? Are you taking time during this quarantine to simply think?
God bless and stay safe.
The post,”I am the Lord and there is none beside me”appeared first on faithsighanddiy.com.
Table of Contents
- Lists bring calm to chaos.
- Lists us remember.
- Lists help us prioritize
- lists help us organize
- MakingLists help with depression
- God approves of listmaking
- list making helps us use our God-given gifts
There are six good reasons to make lists. I believe list-making even grows us spiritually. And, God is the ultimate list-maker.
Reasons to make lists:
Lists bring calm to chaos.
On jam-packed days, it brings order. Checking things off our list makes us feel better. Chaos is the enemy of good mental health. I know many people that were they to make lists; their chaos would get better, and they would feel better. There is no mental health professional that doesn’t think the same thing.
Lists us remember.
None of our memories are that good. Mine is very good, and I still have to write things downs. Our minds get so inundated with some particulars. We need a way to retrieve the small but essential details that get lost in the jumble.
Lists help us prioritize
They help us see more clearly. It’s easy to make urgent things that aren’t that important. A lot of things feel urgent. Generally, those are the things that aren’t that important. For example, we might feel an urgency to get on with our day. God says, “Sit with me a spell, first.”
lists help us organize
Sometimes we feel anxious because there is so much to do. Honestly, writing my first novel is triggering some anxiety. Not the writing part; I love that, but all the rest. Now I have to learn about character development, plot lines, the introduction, and the last fifty pages.
I think having already written a book, this would have been easier. But it’s no different. Only the details are. But I learned with the first book that I have to be organized, which for me is hard. Without a way to track everything, I would be lost. I use a BUJO for this, and after two years, I still don’t have a suitable format. The best part of my BUJO is my DUMP page, where I write down everything I have a question about, things about which I’m thinking or wondering. Because I have a running list, I feel I am organized, although I probably am not.
We feel in control.
Having a list keeps our feet slow and steady. Anxiety is caused by fear. And, it’s strange, I know, but I have found having a running list makes me feel I have some control. Fear makes us think we don’t. Plus, when we look back over our day, and even if we only checked off one item, we can feel less anxious about at least we have one item.
MakingLists help with depression
Lack of motivation is a massive problem with depression. It’s hard to get out of bed, much less accomplish anything. If we make a list, it gives us a reason to get up and jumpstart our day. I read a study that suggests making a to-do list the night before rather than posting to a gratitude journal is actually more conducive to good sleep. That makes sense.
A sense of purpose
For many depressives, the thought of getting up the following day and facing the day is overwhelming. That’s why many people don’t get out of bed. But if you have a list of only two or three things, once again, you feel a sense of purpose and a sense of control.Tweet
Yes, God wants us to give him control of our lives but that doesn’t mean we are to excercise none. On the contrary, God tells us we are to discipline ourselves. That means being in control of what is in our domain, while at the same time, giving God control of our lives. It’s possible to do both. Besides:
God approves of listmaking
God is certainly the author of list-making. Think about all the lists God authored.
Immediately, we think of the Ten Commandments. But God gives many lists in His word. How-to-build-an-ark- list. How-to- build- a-temple-list. Genealogies-lists. Our spiritual gifts-a list. No, they are not numbered as in 1,2,3, etc. But they are lists nonetheless.
list making helps us use our God-given gifts
If you don’t believe the importance of making lists, then (1.) you are the most organized person there is, or (2) you think you are. I don’t know a single successful (not necessarily monetarily), contented person that doesn’t use lists. But I sure see a lot more whose lives would be much happier and less chaotic if they did.
That doesn’t mean you can’t get a lot done without one. You can. I can. My contention, though, is that are you doing what God wants you to do, what he considers essential? Does your list represent the gifts and abilities he’s given you?
There was a time mine didn’t reflect any of that. Now that I am writing, they do. They have to. Play around making some lists and see what they reveal about you. Because I guarantee you, they will.
One final thing.
As I was finishing up this post, I looked at my current list. I use the Bullet Journal, and I have a section called “The Dump Page”. I write down a lot of questions I’m asking myself to get better organized.
One of those entries is about my creative pursuits; when should I schedule them? Or even should I? Instead, should I concentrate on blogging and writing and put everything else on hold? Then I thought about what I’d done creatively just this past week. It occurred to me, I somehow just always work it in, at least a couple of times a week.
This revealed to me that being creative and working on something is as natural as breathing to me. I don’t have to schedule it or make it a big deal because I always managed to do it. Therefore, in this case, making a list showed me some things I don’t have to worry about because I automatically make time for them.
Shows what we don’t need to list
So lists can show us what we don’t have to list. But you start with the list first. Does that make any sense? I hope it does.
Try making it for a while and see if it doesn’t improve your moods as well. I think it will.
God bless, have a wonderful day, and stay safe.
Too little time is a problem for most of us. Here’s a story about a woman who woke up one morning with a problem…too little time, too much to do.
Table of contents
- Does this sound like you?
- Here’s the dilemma:
- So what do we do about our time dilemma?
- What if we really don’t have enough time?
- So, what is the call-to-action?
She was in the process of writing a book, blogging, setting up a bunch of new journals for the year, establishing goals, putting away Christmas presents, and a dozen other things.
How would she ever get it done all done and even more, what was the most important?
There was an ever-growing list of books about organizing that she had yet to read.
She set her clock an hour earlier and jumped out of bed within minutes, got dressed immediately, and started her day. Oh, before that she had also begun a wonderful new prayer habit. She prayed before she ever got out of her bed. The prayers looked different each time but she always ended with, “May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in your sight, O, God.” (Psalm 19:140). She even had her BUJO (bullet journal) all set up with tasks for the day. I mean she was on fire.
She had her time with God and her bible study. After the end of the day she looked back and said, “And it was good.”
But by the time she collapsed into bed, she felt like she had not accomplished one thing on her list. Had it not been for her BUJO page that was titled “What I Did Today”, she would’ve felt like a complete failure.
Does this sound like you?
Does this sound like you? Do you just feel like you have too little time for all you have to do?
You get to the end of the day and ask yourself, “Where did the time go?”
Obviously, that woman is me. But I’ll bet many of you could’ve written almost the same thing.
It’s a busy world for everyone. Everyone I know describes themselves. I can say that I am busier today than I was when I was working and had children at home. It’s actually a good thing. It’s when it gets overwhelming, that it’s a bad thing.
Here’s the dilemma:
We forgot the things we automatically do.
We don’t account for all the small things we do every day that are just routine.
We forget that the things we don’t put on our list because we do them automatically are really very important. They just don’t feel like it because they are regular parts of our lives so we don’t track them. But if we didn’t do them, chaos would erupt. For example, “cleaned the pantry”, or “threw in a load of laundry”. And, of course, this all takes time as well.
We don’t take into account the phone calls we make, the people we make above-and-beyond connections with, the time we take to connect with someone if for only a few minutes. And yet all of this does, in fact, take time.
We don’t know how to classify the ordinary tasks of the day. They seem “unspiritual” so we label them unimportant.
We need to quit compartmentalizing our lives. The most mundane things we do every day can be a spiritual as anything else. I can’t think of a single verse in scripture that suggests accomplishing truly necessasry tasks are non-spiritual. In fact, I read just the opposite.Tweet
If we are living close to God, even the most ordinary tasks can be seen as spiritual if we are in sync with God throughout the day.
The truth is, that day, I only accomplished about 10% of what was on my list. However, I actually accomplished the truly important.
So what do we do about our time dilemma?
First of all, record all those things you did that were never on our list.
A great book called, Eat That Frog, states that we should add to our list all day. The point the author makes is that basically if you can’t track it, you can’t change it. So track everything for about a week. If you’re not a” journaler,” or a list-maker, it will at least give you insight into how you spend your time.
For example, I don’t have to list prayer time and Bible study or even my daily walk because I rarely miss any of them. So when I realized that they, of course, took time, (duh), I put them on my list anyway. Then, I added a “What-I-Did-Today” page in my journal so I could record those items that I never thought to put on a list.
Furthermore, that same day I had connected with my small group and connected with some members of a Facebook group. I talked with a friend, and with my daughter. My husband and I took our daily walk. I had coffee-time with hubby at 5:00 (we do this every day) and caught up on the news. (It was a bad news day.) I added all that to my “What-I-Did-Today” page.
Secondly, examine your list.
Ask some questions:
Is there a better way to schedule your day? Only you can know that.
But I’ll bet you have become so accustomed to doing things the same way and at the time every day, you’ve never thought about other possibilities.
Are you doing some things every day that don’t have to do every day?
Believe it or not, because most of us are creatures of habit, we never consider what we do routinely. And in some instances, that’s really good. Fewer decisions to make can be very healthy and anxiety-reducing. But it doesn’t hurt to take a week and examine the things we do automatically so we can make sure we aren’t repeating tasks unnecessarily.
What if we really don’t have enough time?
First of all, don’t be so hard on yourself.
I’ll bet if you’re anything like me, your daily list is far too long anyway. There simply is too little time and too much to do. My mother used to say my eyes were bigger than my stomach. So is what I want to accomplish every day.
Like me, you probably haven’t allowed yourself enough margin. You’ve probably so packed your day, you never could’ve accomplished it all anyway. Then there are the interruptions. Let’s face it, our days seldom go exactly as planned.
How do you plan for that unexpected phone call?
What about that friend whose name pops up and you know you have to stop and pray?
Or you’re in the middle of your Bible study and you find yourself suddenly looking up words and cross-references till you’ve lost track of time?
So, how do you really live a day from a list?
Secondly, be realistic.
There are very few of us who will check off every item on our list every day. Some days we will. Most days we won’t.
For example, if our lists mostly reflect tasks that are not ongoing, then it’s usually pretty easy to check them off. Grocery shopping, returning something to UPS (Aren’t we all doing that right now with Amazon purchases? They now know me by name.)
One click of the button and an e-mail is sent.
There are lots of things we have on our list that are doable and “check-off-able.”
I have a friend who has a daily to-do list and when she gets to the end of the day, she adds those things she did that weren’t on her list just so she can check them off! At first, I thought that sounded crazy. I now think it’s a really good idea. But while we’re doing that let’s do something else.
Thirdly, track your “people” connections, especially when there’s too little time
This is where I messed up. Not because I felt I let anyone down, but because I didn’t track my people connections.
Think about it.
What is going to make you feel good tonight about what you did today?
Yes, you will feel good about the things you check off your list and that’s OK. But you know what?
That only lasts for the few minutes you took your pencil and crossed it off. It is not long-lasting (unless, for example, you just typed “THE END” to your book, finished a painting, remodeling your house, etc. And even with that, it was the process you will remember. )
But the people you spent time with, a family member you hugged, that coffee-time with your hubby, those will be remembered. And guess what?
Those moments are what God remembers as well.
Don’t get me wrong. I love lists and list-making. I love looking back over my day and see what I’ve accomplished.
So, what is the call-to-action?
First, keep a spot in your journal to note all the time you give to people.
In fact, that might be a great page title. (Why didn’t I think of that before I just now typed it? I guess because my brain just fires better when I’m writing.)
You only have to write down their names. That will mean you made some sort of connection with them.
Also, if a number of days go by and you don’t have any names written down? Well, that’s a problem. Maybe you need to examine what was so important on your list that you ignored the people in your life.
Secondly, make people your priority, especially when you have too mch to do
Honestly, it’s just kind of amazing what happens when you do.
Like with God.
When we give God the time he deserves, he hands it back to us one-hundredfold. That doesn’t mean we somehow get through everything on our list as much as it probably means that he makes us more efficient.
And the biggest benefit of giving God the time He deserves is that we learn we can trust God with all our time, all our to-do’s, and all our obligations.Tweet
You know that list I mentioned I felt so bad about? I felt bad about it. It was a feeling. While we should never ignore our feelings, we should remember they are notoriously unreliable.
Thirdly, before you go to bed, make a list of all you’ve accomplished that day and include your people connections.
That one act alone brings peace and helps you remember how you spent your time on what was important, people.
when you feel discouraged about your day, don’t be so quick to judge yourself. Give yourself a break and carry-on.
The post, “There was a woman with a problem..too little time, too much to do.” appeared first on faithsighanddiy. com/underhiswings.
Here’s my latest cute Halloween DIY. (The rest of the story. WP is not working well on my phone these days. I schedule it sand but published! Go figure. I’ve had nothing but trouble posting to WP since I got my i-phone 11.)
I’m not including any instructions as it’s self-explanatory.
I will include the materials:
-Cute Halloween napkin-2ply with 2nd non-printed side removed.
-Mod Podge (any sheen)
-Cork or item of your choice for stem
-Clean jar with lid. (I painted the lid.)
– Felt for leaves
Anyway, that’s it. Easy, peasy.