Get Up and Do Something (Even if You Feel Inadequate)

Do you ever feel that you are failing? That you aren’t enough? I know I do, and I get these kinds of thoughts often as a person who suffers from anxiety. But I don’t think living in fear is God’s plan for me or anyone else. Remember the man by the pool?

John 5:8 Then Jesus told him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.”

Let’s reflect on this for a moment. Jesus was talking to the man by the pool, who would see all the other people getting water in the pool, and he was paralyzed by his thoughts and beliefs about who he was. Jesus saw him wallowing in his pity and told him to get up!

We all have lies we believe about ourselves that come from the devil himself. They may sound like:

  • I’m not pretty enough
  • I’m not naturally (insert virtue here)
  • I’m not good enough
  • I’m not enough
  • I’m not capable
  • I don’t have anything to give
  • I don’t have time
  • I’m too fat
  • I’m too thin
  • My kids aren’t well behaved enough
  • I’m not doing enough for my kids
  • I should work outside the home
  • I should be a stay-at-home mom
  • I should certain life milestones done by now
  • Too many people are already doing it
  • No one is interested in this
  • I’m not pretty enough
  • I need to wait until (…)
  • I don’t have the right tools yet.

Some of us need to hear this message, some of us don’t. Some of us are Marthas, some of us are Marys. And at different times we need different things. But I think we can both agree that if you have been venting about the same thing for years and years, and you can change it, but you are afraid, it’s time to “get up”! We need not be capable, only willing, Remember Mary’s fiat?

Image result for mary's fiat

I certainly have all of these limiting thoughts going through my head from time to time, especially when I’M TIRED. I put off creating this blog for some time because I was waiting for the perfect circumstances to arrive. I was believing the lie of “you can’t blog until you have 2 + hours a day of completely uninterrupted time and have a regular baby sitter in place”. I was comparing myself to other moms online who had regular childcare, and while that would be great, it isn’t possible in my current circumstance. Thankfully, I found a mom who inspired me to write when my kids were asleep, and another mom who would just write for 15 minutes at a time. From these two women’s separate circumstances, I was able to tailor my writing to a schedule that works for my life. It doesn’t matter that my life doesn’t look like someone else’s.

You see what I want to tell you is you can do it. You can get up. You can change your life. You can’t change everything but the good Lord has given you many gifts and talents, and please don’t bury them in the ground. And when you don’t use them, you must know that you are not only short-changing yourself, but also those closest to you. For example, Jennifer Fulwiler said that she dedicated her first book to her grandfather, who died shortly thereafter. Had she not got up, and got writing, she would have denied her grandfather that beautiful gift.

So specifically, what can you do?

Before you give up completely that you can ever be happy with you life, try to get the basics in, then see how you feel. Then you can REALLY determine if certain things are unchangeable. Do things like:

  • Pray
  • Go to confession
  • Seek spiritual direction
  • Read spiritual books
  • Read the Bible
  • Watch spiritual videos
  • Sleep
  • Eat properly and regularly
  • Attend to any anger issues you may have
  • See a friend regularly for coffee, set a recurring date
  • Take time for your personal interests even if it’s 10-15 minutes
  • Practice gratitude

These things will all help you get in touch with who God created you to be, and see your life in a different way. You will gain the clarity you need to start changing what needs changing. You will realize you might have everything you need to do what you need to do, you just need to do it. So get up, please. Stop saying I can’t, and say with God, I can.

So get up, please. Stop saying I can’t, and say with God, I can.

I think we can all be such perfectionists about the call to use our time, talents, and treasure to build up the kingdom of God. We get an all or nothing mentality. So, we do nothing. We waste away staring our phones,the TV, or computer.

I just had a revelation though.

What if we just did SOMETHING. It doesn’t have to be perfect, and you don’t have to discover what exact talent you should be using, just do something. And keep doing somethings. And do as many somethings as you can. Maybe you will discover your blue flame, maybe you won’t, or maybe your blue flame is a bunch of little somethings. Like Saint Therese. But please, do something!


Don’t Wait for the Storm to Pass

Image result for storm art

Life is so hard, right? There’s always something, isn’t there? I think sometimes we can get stuck in a cycle of saying things like:

“I hate my job”
“I feel horrible”
“I don’t have any time”
“I have too much to do”
“I’ll be happy when..”
“I’ll start exercising when…”
“I can’t do that because…”

We may say all these things, and sometimes they might have some truth to them. And sometimes they are just excuses. What matters is that life is always going to be hard, we can count on that. We can count on there to always be a storm happening or on it’s way.

Recently, I was telling myself an excuse to keep myself from blogging. I’ve seen that many mom bloggers I follow have regular childcare help, whether it’s friends, neighbors, or family – a village, so to speak. I told myself “I can’t blog until I have regular babysitting in place.” The only trouble is, months would go by and I wouldn’t make any progress in finding a babysitter. And getting a regular babysitter would really stretch our budget. And family doesn’t live close-by. And friends are a big help, but they can’t come as regularly as I’d need. Are you getting the picture here? After watching a video of one of my favorite bloggers, The Daily Connoisseur, I was inspired to find a way to blog anyway because that’s what she does. She just writes before her kids get up and works when they go to bed. What a smart lady! Then there are even other people who manage to work on writing books, 15 minutes at a time!

So if life is always going to be hard, why do we spend our time complaining about it? What if we just started to find ways to “dance in the storm” so to speak. We have to remember, there’s much in life that we don’t have control over. But there is a lot we do have control over. No matter how sick you are, how poor you are, how tired you are, how stretched for time you are, how many responsibilities you have, there is something you can do to make your life just a little better, and to improve the lives of those around you.

happy, inspiring, and wishbone image

Let’s not compound the stress of life by thinking such negative thoughts. Why not practice gratitude? Take time to evaluate our schedule and delete the unnecessary and replace it with what we truly value? Practice contentment so we can be happy now , wherever we are? Just try to live the way you really want to live. Even if you only have 10 minutes to exercise, or read that book, or to talk to your mom who lives far away, etc. 10 minutes still counts. 10 minutes can change your life. (Just ask Maggieothevalley, author of the  10-Minute Quit.)   You can do this. You can take the next step. Eventually, with the right choices and actions, you’ll feel better and get closer to your dreams regardless of your circumstances.

Why You Should Create (Even if Your Work isn’t Perfect)

The world needs you to create.

And I’ll tell you why. But first, I love this verse:

Proverbs 13:12:

“Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life.”

Here is my understanding:

It reminds me that following my dreams and using the talents that God gave me will not only develop my talents more but it will bless my family and those around me.

To me, “hope deferred” is referring to when we allow self-doubt, fear, and anxiety to prevent us from doing what we know we need to do. We let our negative thoughts take control and our heart becomes sick. The reality is, we are all sinners and none of us are perfect and that’s okay. But we can still do something, no matter how small. We can’t let our brokenness discourage us, slow us down, or stop us. Remember, Saint Teresa of Calcutta said “Do small things with great love.”

My artwork and remember you don’t have to be perfect.

I drew the tree picture above. To be honest I’m not exactly happy with the way it turned out. But I realized, that’s exactly what this verse is talking about. I just need to keep doing the work. After all, God doesn’t command us to be successful, only faithful. If I listened to my thoughts of “what do you think you’re doing, it’s not going to turn out good enough” and “you don’t have time to draw a decent picture” , it would have never happened. And that wouldn’t have been pleasing to God.

And there may be other voices we hear that try to stop us…

“But you have small children, so you don’t have time”

“You work full time, so you don’t have time”

“You’re too old”

“You don’t have enough money”

“It’s selfish to take time for personal endeavors”

“You should be spending ALL of your free time with your family”

“You don’t know everything about it yet”

“You don’t come close to others doing the same thing”

“You’re not good enough”

“You already have enough to do”

Guys, if you ever have these kind of thoughts, don’t listen. And don’t wait until your work is perfect to share it. The world needs you and what you have to say. You tell those thoughts “yes, I’m not perfect, but I am good because I was made in God’s image and I’m using my talents which is what God wants me to do”. And you can thank God for getting you to where you are now and for the progress He has made in your life and all He has seen you through. You may not be where you need to be, but you are closer now and you are on your way!

Here’s a great memoir for pursuing personal passions as well as some great quotes:

See the source image

 

 

See the source image

See the source image

Remember, it’s not so much about the work itself. It’s about how God is working in us when we listen to Him and do the work. Pursue your creative passions. You might help someone else. You might transform yourself.