Tuesday, July 19, 2022

Let's Talk About it Tuesday

 


Happy Tuesday, friends! I have to confess, this week for some reason, I feel like I'm scraping the bottom of the barrel for blog posts. I don't have a lot going on right now and when life is like that, I feel like I don't have a lot of blog content. If you'd like to read about anything in particular, feel free to leave a comment and I will try to oblige. That being said, I thought I'd share a few things from my heart. Hopefully these words will inspire someone who may feel like they're in the same boat right now. 


Most of you know that I am a Christian. I preface this with that statement, because as you know, if you're a believer, just because you walk with Jesus doesn't mean your life is always hunky dory. In fact, Jesus Himself said that we can count on the opposite in John 16:33. "I have told you these things so that in me you have peace. You will have suffering in this world. Be courageous! I have conquered the world." I know that here on my blog I am always very positive and uplifting, but I am like this in real life. I am a firm believer that being thankful makes a world of difference. I also always try to look on the bright side of things. Sometimes though, life just sucks. It's hard! Even walking closely with Jesus, life is hard. I can't imagine what people must feel like who don't know Him. 


I say this because I have had periods lately that I've experienced a feeling of being burned out. You know how it goes—a lot of women burn their candle, so to speak, at both ends, especially the wives and moms who work outside of their homes. I don't work outside of my home, but I do volunteer a lot and it's always the same small group of people who volunteer for things. It's like that everywhere, whether in schools or in churches. Just because it's like that everywhere doesn't mean it can't become tiresome, even when it's something you love doing. (Also, in doing this, sometimes it means that it's harder for me to pay attention during church sermons, which is another big problem—not feeling like I'm being "fed" spiritually.)


I also feel like I'm stuck in this rut right now, and I don't know how else to explain it other than that. I do feel like this could be because here in the summer, everything at church winds down for this season. Bible studies stop meeting, at least the one I participate in, choir stops meeting in the month of July, and other than the grocery store, church and the occasional errand, I don't have a lot going on. Please don't read that and feel like I'm complaining, I promise that isn't my intention. I think it's easy in this season to feel lonely and maybe that's part of what I'm feeling. I'm also alone a lot and I rarely see my friends these days, because they're all so busy. Goodness, now that I'm writing this out, I know that's why I've been feeling this way. I miss fellowship. It does take me a lot to say that, because I'm an introvert, but I also know that I am an extraverted introvert, if that makes sense. Too much of even a good thing can become too much. 


So, what's the point of all this and what's the solution? Well, I don't know that there is one right answer or remedy. I do know that it's of utmost importance that I continue on in my quiet time habits every morning. While I'm saying that, I'll confess something else—my prayer life has been majorly lacking lately. It's only my fault, by the way, because I've not devoted the time it takes to have a rich prayer life. It's like spending time with your best friend—when you don't see each other often, you automatically grow apart. In order to remain close, you have to nurture the friendship. It's the same with my relationship with the Lord. When I don't spend time with Him, He feels far off. It's not Him that has moved away, though, it's me. I love what James 4:8a says regarding this—Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. When you draw near to Him in prayer and in reading His word, He feels near. When you don't do those things, it feels the opposite. 


The second part of my quiet time is spent reading His word. I'm still reading each day, even if I have felt that I might as well not be, as little as it's been sinking in lately. Even so, I've not stopped and I'm giving it my best effort to feel connected and to let the words sink in. I try to go slowly and I always try to make notes of something, to help myself pay attention. I was able to write down a couple of verses from each day the past two days as I've been reading in Isaiah. Doing that helps me to slow down and to try to absorb what I'm writing. Even when I don't feel it making a difference, I know that it helps. I know that if I weren't doing this based on my feelings, that the enemy would be having a great time with me, and it may seem like that is happening on some days even in spite of my efforts to combat his fiery darts. He is good at his job and while I never want to give him too much credit, most people don't give him enough. The Bible says that he prowls around roaring like a lion, seeking someone to devour and he is after those of us who belong to God.


The remedy to the problem is for me to keep on being faithful. It's always tempting to let one area of my spiritual life slide, but once that happens, it's hard to gain footing once again. It's very much like a slippery slope and I do believe that what feeds our minds consumes our hearts, our lives. If I'm watching garbage on tv, what goes into my mind comes out of my life. It's the same with the books I read or music that I listen to. And honestly, social media can do the same thing, by causing us to stumble in our walk with God. I totally get why a lot of people have given it up and I am always tempted to do the same thing. 


So, I'll keep on being diligent in my quiet times. I'll make the choice to turn off the computer and to give up part of my beloved morning routine and to spend that time in prayer, rather than scrolling online. I'll keep on being faithful to God in trusting that He will pull me out of this slump. I'll also be mindful to pray for others who struggle with this kind of thing. I think many of us probably struggle with this from time to time and there's a fine line between it being a normal kind of thing depending on circumstances or seasons, to being the kind of thing that someone needs to seek out medical help. In fact, I wouldn't encourage anyone to wait on that anyway. There is absolutely no shame in people needing medicine to help regulate their moods. These days it's more common for people to be on medicine than for people to not be on any. I'm no doctor, but I think if there's any doubt that you need help, get the help. It's always better to be safe than sorry.


If you're wondering what the point was in all of this, it's to say one thing: you are not alone. I think it's healthy to share in our struggles, because not one of us can say that we have nothing going on in our lives. All of us are worried about something, whether it's our kids, our adult sons/daughters, the state of the nation we live in, financial burdens, sickness or an untimely death of a loved one. All of us struggle. I love what James says in James 5:16—Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is very powerful in its effect. It's tempting to pretend we've got it together, but don't be tempted to do that. I hope you have a friend in real life who you can talk to and have pray for you, but if you don't, know that you've got a friend in me as well. I do consider you friends who read my blog and I do pray for all of you. If you ever want to talk more in another form instead of the comment section, don't hesitate to reach out. My email address is allboys@gmail.com. 


Before I started writing, I'd planned on sharing this video of a song I love right now. It's called Battle Belongs and it's by Phil Wickham. It goes along perfectly with the rest of my post. 



Thanks for reading my blog, friends and for letting me pour my heart out to you. Love to all. 

12 comments:

  1. I'm sorry you're feeling burned out and a bit lonely. It sounds like this is likely (hopefully!) a temporary patch since some of your normal activities like Bible study and choir are not happening right now. I really look forward to reading your blog posts and I'm sure others do too but if I were you, I wouldn't feel pressure to write if any given day seems burdensome to get something posted. Your well being is more important than a post ;).

    You mentioned social media. I have never been on Facebook but I was on IG for a while. I knew I was spending too much time on it and being influenced in not a healthy way with some posts that I read. So I deleted IG altogether. I thought that was a great solution but I did miss a few accounts. So I reregistered but I don't post, don't follow anyone and no one follows me. I also didn't download the app. So I have to go to IG.com and then type in the few accounts whose posts I like to see. It's much healthier for me. I spend so little time on it now but I can see posts of public accounts that appeal to me.

    I enjoy the fellowship of blogs and blogging so much- I am grateful that I found yours. No matter what you post, it's either funny or thought provoking. Many times both. Your authenticity and love for the Lord shine through. It is a blessing but like I said before, please don't feel pressure to post every day if it's burdensome. I hope you have a great day, friend!

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  2. Thank you for sharing this and your faithfulness is always encouraging. Maybe this fall when I am an empty nester we can meet for lunch or coffee!

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  3. Jennifer thanks for being open and honest. I enjoy reading your blog. I love that you are an encourager (my hubby tells me that that is my spiritual gift and I think it may be yours too). You have encouraged me with your words and given me great recipes and made me laugh too. But sometimes we do need to step back and maybe get our lives a little recentered with God. Remember, even Jesus got tired and needed to step back and get alone with God. If it was good for Him, how much more do we need that. I will add you to my prayer list and ask God to encourage you.

    Remember you are loved!

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  4. Thanks, Maria! I do feel like it's a temporary moment in time. I go through times like this occasionally and I never know why, but they're usually pretty quick to pass. I also appreciate the encouragement to remember not to feel pressure to blog. I actually love this little space and consider it a hobby, so I'll probably keep writing. It does seem to help sometimes, just writing out my thoughts. I'm so glad we found each other! By the way, that's a brilliant way to approach social media. I have never thought of that! I probably won't give that up, but sometimes I wish I'd never started. It's too late now!

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  5. Thanks, Marilyn! I appreciate that. And I would LOVE that!

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  6. Cathy- thank you for those beautiful words! You are so right in everything you said. I do forget that sometimes even Jesus became weary. I appreciate you so much and am so glad we found each other here!

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  7. I think even just by putting this down on paper/typing it on the computer you may feel better. Naming your feelings is so important. I think by July the "newness" of summer has worn off and you maybe want the routine/structure that August brings even when you don't have young kids anymore. I haven't seen many of my friends much this summer. It is so hard to coordinate with everyones' different travel plans and their kids' activities. I have stayed off social media more this week and it has really helped. What about putting some friend lunch or coffee dates on the calendar even for a month from now so that you have something to look forward to? Is there a class or a hobby you might want to try?
    It's also ok to say no if there is a volunteer activity that your heart just isn't in. I feel like burn out can be a real thing with church committees. Just because you say no now doesn't mean you won't say yes later?
    Hope you are feeling better already and thank you for your vulnerability in putting this out there. You are not alone!

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  8. This post was encouraging... as you know, I'm not an empty nester yet, but this season can feel lonely, for a lot of the same reasons you shared... Bible studies are on hold, routine is not happening, etc. I get it. I appreciate you and all you share.

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  9. Amy, you were right when you said just by writing this out made me feel better. I do need to do that kind of thing sometimes, because the actual writing is almost therapeutic. At least, to me it is. I have a lunch scheduled on Thursday and some possible weekend plans that I'm looking forward to, so that helps too! Thanks for your sweet words!

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  10. Bri, I used to feel the same when my boys were little! It felt isolating being together all week long with little to no other adult interaction. As much as I loved being home with them, I also loved working at their school for the social aspect. It always did my heart good!

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  11. Hello friend! I am just now getting around to reading blogs this week. Ugh. So here I am starting with Tuesday. And your post started off rather blue, or heavy (and I was so afraid you were gonna "take a blogging break" which would be okay if you needed it but I would so miss your posts and online friendship) but it ended up being so wise and so encouraging! Thank you! "The remedy to the problem is for me to keep on being faithful." You nailed it on the head with that line! Whether we are in a rut, feeling discouraged, feeling the enemy's attacks, feeling bored, sad, etc etc - the first step is the continue being faithful. Faithful in His word. Faithful where He has placed. Faithful in our prayer live. The rest (and the answer) will follow. Thanks so much, Jen. So appreciate the encouragement today!!

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  12. Hello! Thank you so much for that sweet encouragement. I appreciate it so much! You are so right! If we based anything on feelings and emotions, we'd be in a heap of trouble. The enemy is so good at his job...but God is greater!

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