in all of your ways

In all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight,” (Proverbs 3:6)

you know, we’re about to get real personal. are you ready to go there with me, because i’ve decided this blog isn’t going to be about pretty stuff all the time. if we’re going to hang we need to be real with each other, right? ok, so let’s go there. i don’t do small talk very well. let’s talk heart stuff.

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this picture has nothing to do with anything, but it’s so cute, hey? and i hate posting without pics. 

my favorite part of the God story is that He gave us the Holy Spirit. it’s something astounding and yet i take it for granted so much. lately i’ve been feeling little like some little stuff is bigger than i thought. i think this is called sifting and i think i’m being sifted. let me back up to the beginning. i used to think there were like tiers of sins. i know the bible says that’s not true, but i still believed it. in fact, in the core of my being, i still did until very recently. you know way at the top was stuff like murder and abuse and i’d never done those things. under that we have sex before marriage and drinking too much. and honestly, guilty there, but hey, i got married and sex after marriage is totally cool, so that one was under control. drinking too much… not awesome, but in the life of a housewife, drinking too much really just ends in neglected dishes and and early bedtime. but still, i got that under control. but still God wants more from me. that’s what it felt like. kind of like God was nagging me about one thing and if it’s not one thing it’s another. so then it’s gossip, envy, materialism. moving right along to where i find myself now, sifted fine. not that i don’t still occassionally shoot my mouth off or drink the better part of a bottle of wine, i still do sometimes. but now i’m starting to understand the process and the why. and i don’t see God as a nag anymore. in fact, i see him more like a father than i did before. i now get it. that he really wants the best for me, and just like we set rules for our children for their own good, He does too.

i find that this ‘small stuff’ is harder than some of the more clear laws. thou shalt now kill. so don’t. that’s a no-brainer. ok. but the spirit is more… vague? no, that’s not true at all. get quiet and ask anything about anything and you will find that he is not vague at all. i think the word i’m looking for is subtle. there is a discomfort that lets you know you are doing something wrong. maybe not wrong for everyone, maybe not a sin, but not the best thing for you right this second. let me give you some examples from my life. here’s where things get really open:

  • when i’m eating cadbury eggs in my car like an absolute spaz, hiding them from my kids, packing on weight. and if i touch base with the spirit it’s all lit up. God doesn’t care if i eat a cadbury egg. but eating 3 at one time is not good for me. he wants what’s best for my body. and the wrappers littering my car is evidence of a lack of self control because i’ve been squashing the spirit every time i reach for the delicious gooey egg. 
  • when i’m feeling guilty because i haven’t done much housework. i don’t think God expects me to have a perfect house. but i do think he doesn’t want me to be idle and he does want me to nurture my family. and my lack of peace is because i’ve ignored the spirit when i was prompted to get to work.
  • when i’m feeling discontent because i’ve spent too much time surfing blogs and pinterest and focusing on all that i want that i don’t have. i know simple browsing has turned into self-pity. and that’s evidence of a lack of joy because i’ve been ungrateful.

i could go on all day. it’s these things that aren’t necessarily sinful that turn sinful because we squash the spirit, who really only wants what’s best for us. we have a wonderful counselor living inside us. have you ever been in counseling? i’ll fess up, hands in the air! can you imagine if your time is up on the leather chair, but your wonderful counselor stood up and came on out to the car, hopped in and came home with you. and you had the benefit of having a wise companion with you every time you had a little dilemma. free to just chat and share what’s on your heart and they would help you sort it out. that’s something i want to take advantage of. what could be better?

we could spout it off: ready? the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. not that the spirit is not always there. but we don’t always let him do his thing, do we? if we did, well, the fruit would be the evidence. gosh, i would actually be smaller, my house cleaner, my character much… milder. 🙂 imagine if we really let the spirit have his way with us. i don’t know about you, but i’d be stinkin’ delightful. and i intend to listen more and let him work and let’s just see what happens. what is the spirit making clear to you? maybe not everyone, but maybe just you?

Do not put out the Spirits’ fire.

1 Thessalonians 5:19

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7 Comments on “in all of your ways”

  1. bkmauch429 says:

    Beth, Thank you! The Lord is working in me with this. Raising awareness to His guidance that I tend to miss or downright ignore. Funny thing is that um, all 3 of the areas you mentioned…yeah, guilty as charged! Except I don’t like cadbury eggs…for me it’s Dove Chocolate! 🙂

  2. Brigette says:

    Thank you!! This was amazing!

  3. I’ve been in a 12 step program for yrs(actually, more than one, how’s that for honesty?) and what I have found, is that recovery is much like my Christian walk, like an octopus. Lots of legs. Put one down(under the Spirit) and sure enough, another pops up. Which reminds me, I can’t do THIS (or that) without Him. It’s a reminder of Who He Is, who i am not. And I am grateful. Grateful, He doesn’t put me on the surgeon’s table and cut it all out at once, cause it’d be the death of me(which is why Dr’s don’t do this either, the patient wouldn’t survive). 25 yrs later and God’s still peeling layers/revealing stuff. And yes, I STILL got stuff. Love you Beth. Thank you, for being you.

  4. Jenny says:

    I just love this post so much. It is so convicting for me right where I am. I have been feeling a similar “sifting” lately and your post just put the words to what I’ve been feeling and thinking. Thanks for putting yourself out there, Beth. It’s so hard to do but I hope you know that your transparency is encouraging and inspiring.

  5. memeof3 says:

    Beth, when I read your reply, I cried(yeah, I know, I ‘m a sap). Long story, and will share more in a personal message, some time, But God has called me to live out Isa 58 in a more radical way this yr. I’m still waiting, talking to the powers that be(other than THEE power) about when to begin and what it all might look like. But, it involves a blog, FB pg and it scares the living daylights outa me. I have CAPD, so doing a blog feaks me out. I am now working through “Wrecked” and it reminds me again that, when you get Wrecked, you can’t go back to what or who you were before. And that being wrecked, involves doing things that are rough, hard, scary, and totally out of the realm of possibility. It’s gotta be God. So, thank you Beth for your words(bet ya didn’t know that your two tiny lines would evoke such a verbose response. Which I guess proves, I do need a blog. Help me Sweet Jesus…)

  6. Sara says:

    I’m with you… I feel like I have to take baby steps, otherwise I get burnt out and just say screw it, I’m never going to be perfect, so why try?? So my baby steps right now are- 1. eating more real foods, less crap to be nice to my body that God has beautifully created, 2. exercising- this goes along with the taking care of my body thing. 3. speeding… I feel like everyone does it, but God said to obey authorities, ie- don’t break the law… so, don’t speed.

    There are lots of other things that I feel like they need to change, but those are the 3 that I’m really focusing on right now.


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