Tag Archives: Girlfriends in God

Striving for a set-apart life.

Today’s Girlfriends in God devotion spoke straight to me today (pasted below in full, my favorite sentiments bolded), I am pretty convinced. It’s about living a set-apart life. And part of that is living a life free of distraction…of the ‘e’ variety. Electronic.

I feel as though I am getting back into the too plugged in variety and this is the kick in the ass reminder I needed to let.it.go. I’ve made some good strides in this area, but I need to make more (writing these posts always reminds me of one of Alicia’s that I still refer to quite often!).

I am, now, more than ever, striving for a set-apart life. It’s as simple as that. No grand gestures or specifics on how I’ll do it, I just will.

Happy weekend, friends. Live it up. Set-apart. 

~~

Today’s Truth
Be very careful, then, how you live – not as unwise, but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. (Ephesians 5:15-16)

Friend to Friend
As Christian believers, we are called to live set-apart lives. To be holy as God is holy. To be in the world, but not of the world. God is the source of all holiness, and in order to live a set-apart life, we must spend time with Him so we can be fueled by His Holy Spirit.
I don’t know what your days look like, but mine are pretty full. They start early and end late. Once the sun rises, it seems that coffee isn’t the only thing brewing in my house. An invisible competition brews daily that vies for my time and attention. The competitors are often “good things” that end up to be “time-robbing things” that keep me from God’s best and God’s presence.

Today I’d like to put our computer lives under a spiritual microscope. I’m an e-girl. I love my MacBook Pro computer, my iPhone, email, instant messaging, and the World Wide Web. Though I’m admittedly fully immersed in the e-life, I’m also cognizant of the fact that the e-world has become a dangerous addiction and spiritual deterrent to many. I struggle with this personally. These electronic forums host a new and efficient opportunity for us to connect with other people 24/7. While much of the social networking, online surfing, and emailing is innocent, encouraging, and fun, they clearly present us with opportunities to sin and be distracted from set-apart living.

Over the past several years, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, blogs, instant messaging, and texting have replaced many face-to-face conversations and, for some, devotion time. They have become a new source of temptation for us, an opportunity to live a fantasy or a momentary escape from the daily grind.

A friend of mine recently said, “My computer whispers to me.” Yikes! Mine does, too! Though it’s embarrassing to admit, I sometimes don’t manage my time efficiently because I’ve given in to the lure of e-life by responding to the audio alert that indicates “I’ve got mail” or the notification that someone has left me a message on a social networking page of mine. As a result, I’ve robbed myself of productive time. Time I have wasted and spent unwisely.

We are warned against this in Scripture. “Be very careful, then, how you live – not as unwise, but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:15-16, NIV).

Now, hear me clearly on this. I’m not saying that electronic forums or computers are bad or evil in and of themselves. (For goodness sakes, you’re reading this devotion because of the amazing electronic world!) I’m simply suggesting that it would be wise for each of us to pray about the amount of time and energy we devote to these things.

How can we be set apart in our e-life? How can we establish healthy e-boundaries that will protect our purity and our time with God? Perhaps we could start by taking an honest look at the amount of time we commit to our social e-lives versus the amount of time we commit to spending in God’s Word and in His presence each day. (Did that sting? Rest assured it stings me, too.)

The good news is that we can turn to God for direction and wisdom in all of this. “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him” (James 1:5, NIV). Our gracious Lord longs for each of us to choose His best and live each day in His strength.

“God, make a fresh start in me. Shape a Genesis week from the chaos of my life. Don’t throw me out with the trash, or fail to breathe holiness in me. Bring me back from gray exile; put a fresh wind in my sails!” Psalm 51:10-12, MSG

Let’s Pray
Dear God, Please help me to “live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light” (Colossians 1:10-12).
In Jesus’s name,
Amen.

 

Learning to ‘sit down.’

Today’s ‘Girlfriends in God’ passage was particularly powerful for me. I continually struggle with balancing do-it-all-let’s-go-go-go, with taking a step back and realizing that sometimes less is most definitely more.

In  my commitments. To family, friends, and last but not least, myself.

In my fitness. Sticking closer to the ‘work smarter, not harder’ mantra.

In my eating. Continuing on the log as a tool, not as a hard and fast rule. In ‘setting it and forgetting it’ (rather than letting it consume my thoughts)

In my faith. In strengthening my relationship with God. In faith in myself. In faith in my life path.

When you cram all of that together, all of those goals, all of those…things, it takes up a lot of space in my brain, in my habits, in my day.

When do I ‘sit down?’

When do I let the process happen.

Rather than poke and prod it to death?

THIS:

We all struggle with balance and the inevitable battle with stress that struggle creates. When we refuse to balance the sometimes overwhelming demands of work, home, family, friends, and personal growth, stress will be the natural result. What we really need is a holy balance only God can bring. The story of Mary and Martha, two very different women, offers valuable truths about balance that we can apply to our lives today.

A balanced life is focused on right things. <-hello epiphany!! 

AND THIS:

Choosing to sit at the feet of Jesus requires decisive planning, purposeful scheduling and a willful determination. Every day, God wants relationship building time with us, which means that time at His feet, in His presence must be our highest priority…It is amazing to me how I can squander away the best part of my day, leaving God with the leftover scraps of time and then have the audacity to complain that my life is void of power and purpose. Distractions come from every side. Some of those distractions are good and wonderful things, but they are all still wrong things if they keep us from stopping to spend time with God. We make daily choices about where we invest our time as we run errands, plan meals, deal with children, clean house, and do laundry – but fail to schedule the most important activity of all, spending time with God.

Investing my time. My time is an investment. Just as is all of our time. It is valuable and it deserve to be made a priority. Not squandered away. Not OVER-planned down to a point of stress and losing sight of that importance. (This Lindsay also makes some great points on prioritizing and simplifying – I am constantly learning from you, girl!!)

I’ve been letting my ‘smarter, not harder’ mantra get the best of me…because I’ve been reversing it. Harder, NOT smarter. For example, when I read Lindsay’s post ‘dear overexercising’ – wow, that hit home. While I think for the most part I strike a good balance with my workouts and my teaching, the lines are blurring a little. I put too much pressure on myself to cram it all in. And instead of smarter, it’s just harder. And it’s not productive.

The same goes with the other areas in my life I mentioned above. I need to prioritize. Not try to do it all because I know I can, or because I am *that* productive. Honoring the investment. Honoring the time. And instead making quality investments with my time. Back to balancing too little with too much and hitting the balance of ‘just right’ in all aspects of my life.

I’m learning to sit down. (Again) going back to basics. And I already feel more balanced and ‘free’ just thinking about it. Take a step back, look at your time ‘investments’ and when you think of them that way, they mean so much more, don’t they?