Don't do according to the doings + customs of the people around you.
Instead, observe God's discernment, follow His directions and walk in them.
Keep His laws and live by them. | Lev. 18:1-5, my paraphrase
I've been thinking about these verses and "the ways" of the people around me and how God might be leading me to live different.
I've been so overwhelmed in the effort to balance--always choosing between family and blog. I feel caught in a rat race to grow and pursue and always be better. There is so much to learn and improve--so many "professionals" to read and listen to. So much information to absorb and process and implement. Conferences + Connecting + Creating.
Amidst it all, I read things that remind me to be true to who I am, and follow my unique passions and God's purpose for me.
Then, I read Leviticus 18 again and it all clicks. The ways of "these people" is fast. Go, do, see, be. Grow now, figure it all out now. Take these steps, or create your own path. Just do it... yesterday!
But I feel God calling me a different way. One that removes myself from the rat race and puts me in the only race that matters--the one toward Him and His Kingdom. The one where slow is better than fast + last is first + service is success + small is great.
I realized it when I stumbled into a blog for something called Flourish Retreat. It's a quiet June weekend in Texas with 15 other women. Time and space to build relationships and grow (or flourish) in Christ. Structured, but with space to slow + listen + be. When I thought of the contrast to Allume (the 400+ person conference I have a ticket for in October), I started to cry.
Lost in a crowd, floundering in my introversion. Drowning in even more information with little time or room to process or implement or seek God in it. Spending all that money to return home feeling like I need a break.
Because that's the simple truth: I need a break.
An opportunity to grow at the pace God created in me.
Because He created me to thrive better in small groups and at slow paces. I believe He wants to meet + lead me from the quiet spaces. And everything I've been doing denies who God made me to be as a quiet, reserved introvert. It denies the passions He's put in me--for simplicity + slowing + focus + deep relationships + creating + growing from the quiet. And it distracts me from His purpose for me--to live and grow in Him, to be used for His glory by living different than the people around me.
Sharing more insights instead of all tutorials, attending retreats rather than conferences, promoting contentment + simplicity rather than Do More: 101.
This quiet moment of epiphany comes down to this realization:
Be still + know that
I am God. | Ps 46:10
In Jesus' name, amen!
PS, I'm taking a bit of a blogging break this week and next. I cancelled a few of the posts I had planned, and instead am sharing a couple guest posts and a couple "I'm still here" messages from me (this post being one of them).
I'm ready for some changes and needed the space to search and grow. I wanted to share a little of this journey with you, and how better to do so than sharing the first draft? That's just what the above post is... so offer me a little grace if it seems a little "off" ;)