glorify weeks 29 – 46

iPhoto by Hernan Pauccara on Pexels.com

This blog was one of so many reasons I decided to change careers, mid-life-crisis style. I felt my life slipping away in a series of ultimately unimportant conference calls, with barely time to eat in a day. I was tired of trying to grab precious moments with my kids after dance and soccer but before bedtime, while I paid someone else to be there with them in their most meaningful moments. I needed to slow down, take a breath, reflect more often and study scripture more deeply. I even had this crazy idea I might be able to workout a little more.

And I thought I would write would write more. In my new life fantasy I would write a blog post every week. Ideally on Friday on the deck or in front of the fireplace with a tasty latte nearby.

In the weeks leading up to my decision to change jobs, I felt the corporate grind was the main reason I struggled to step into the rhythms of grace, take time to enjoy my family and draw closer to God.

What I’ve discovered surprised me, but likely won’t surprise many of you. Sometimes we understand ourselves less than those who know and love us the most.

It didn’t take long to learn it was never the job. It has always been me and my inability to just chill the heck out a little bit. Slow down. Go deeper in a few things instead of trying to do all things.

Going into real estate during the craziest market in modern history actually caused a backslide in my ability to focus consistently on almost anything besides work. I went from being a little out-of-whack, to being completely topsy-turvy, out of work-life-balance.

I have no regrets about the mid-life career change and I won’t change jobs again. I have some really good reasons (excuses?) for grinding even harder than ever. The market was, and still is, lightening hot. I felt accountable to quickly ramping up and replacing the income and security we left behind. Above all, my heart went out to many buyers I worked with who were struggling to find a home and I felt like I needed to be available to them 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Plus I could rationalize leaning into work a little more in the beginning because I was learning the ropes.

Oh, but the main reason was, I loved all of it. Leaving management and actually working with real, human clients again in such meaningful work has been more rewarding than I ever dreamed. I actually get to pray with my believing clients, and I am humbly and prayerfully seeking to be a light to others in a business which can be fraught with greed and deceit.

When I love something, or even enjoy it a little, I am downright terrible at moderation. I don’t do half way. I seek perfection. And I start at zero every day. It’s partly the way I am designed, partly my environment (all you oldest children feeling me?), and partly driven out of sin and fear. The “sin and fear” part needs a little work.

If I am not the perfect Mom, I am not a good Mom. If I am not at the top of the leaderboard at the gym, I am not a good athlete. If I don’t get all the listings and match all the buyers, and say yes to all the showing requests, I am not a good agent. If I don’t make all the friends and get invited to all the parties, I am not a cool person. If I don’t read my bible and pray every day, I am not a good Christian. If I don’t blog every week I am failing at my commitment to glorify God.

It is a heavy load, one that is impossible to carry no matter how much strength training I do. I am finally learning to lay it down. And He is faithful in helping me do so, even if it is entirely against my will.

Back in May I suffered a shoulder injury which took me out of intense training and competing in Crossfit. I had ultrasound, x-rays, scans, MRIs. I met with physical therapists and surgeons and had a cortisone shot. We decided against surgery and instead opted for taking a step back, doing some therapy and easing back into the volume and weight I trained before. And for the first time since I started the sport, I scaled without feeling like I was somehow failing by not completing workouts “as prescribed”.

It was liberating. I began to enjoy workouts again, not caring if I finished on top or if I set a new PR. In fact I stopped looking at the leaderboard all together.

But unfortunately the pendulum swung, as it tends to do, to the other side of the fitness and discipline spectrum. Due to unhealthy lifestyle choices, I gained 10 pounds and lost consistency in my routines. Work became the focus. Sure I was picking my kids up from school and taking them to dance and soccer, but with my computer in tow the whole way and constantly working as soon as I would settle them into their activity.

I wasn’t present and I wasn’t me. As much as I need to let go of my need to be perfect, I still need to achieve in more than just work. It’s part of the way He wired me. Not living in my “perfect me” as He designed me caused a little bit of sadness to complement my constantly underlying anxiety. I traded one set of extremes for another and began to slowly realize I was failing to achieve everything I set out to accomplish by changing our lives.

I started the year feeling God was leading me to focus on the word “less”, but Bill and I were both uncomfortable with manifesting something that was the antithesis of our agreed-upon abundance mindset. In contemplating my focus for the year, “glorify” came to me. It was so broad and general, and the perfect place to hide from what I really was being called to do. Granted, there was nothing inherently wrong with focusing on glorifying God. Today with the end of this year within sight, I know I have grown in my ability to understand His design and purpose for me and it is what He intended for 2021.

And I no longer feel he is calling me to less. In this moment, I believe I know exactly what He is calling me to do. He is calling me to want less, and to give more. He is calling me to worry less, and to trust more. He is calling me to both achievement and contentment. He is calling me to glory , grace and humility. He is calling me to so much more.

He is calling me not to be great at Crossfit, real estate, motherhood, blogging, or even Christianity. He is calling me to be a better all-around human. And that means He is calling me into moderation and to loving others more completely and fully.

The word moderation, for many in the Western world is anathema. We watch documentaries about G.O.A.T. sports figures and we learn the price they paid for their achievements. Swinging clubs at five when other kids are playing with legos. Lifting and training twice a day in our teens and twenties while others are dating and dancing. Swimming laps on Christmas Day.

These great athletes possess a singular focus on the craft at the expense of everything else because they know championships are won by the less than 1% who do just 10% more, every day over the course of all the days. We celebrate this behavior and honor it because it is honorable if your goal is to be the best “fill-in-the-blank.”

But what if your goal is to the the best human you can be? What do you singularly focus on if the championship ring you are shooting for is your existence? Its probably different for each of us depending on the unique crosses we carry, but I suspect one common thread is being well-balanced and pretty darn good in all areas in our lives while letting go of being perfect in any one in particular.

Yet we do have a G.O.A.T. human who set the example for us, right? One perfect man who could put the metaphorical game-of-life smack down on the rest of us but chose instead to give it all for us. We have His example. We have His life as a blue-print for how to live. And I think one thing I lack but He possessed in almost everything He did was a dual focus on loving God, and loving others.

I hope that my life and this blog has been evidence to you all that I deeply love God. Yet I still struggle daily with loving others the way I should. It is such a challenge for me to really pour into others, die to myself, and have empathy towards other people. Loving people can be really very hard, especially when your insecurity and envy cause you to want to beat them at all the things. Which is why in 2022 I am focusing my prayer and attention on two areas: moderation and loving others.

No singular focus for this girl.

Not next year.

My life is passing by too fast and He still has too much work to do with me.

I will finish out this year continuing to glorify God, and as of right now I plan to maintain the blog under the same name. Because in the end, isn’t glorifying Him what this is all about anyway?

Thank you for coming along in my journey this year and for your grace when I disappeared into a new career. Thank you for your prayer and support as we wrap up this year and head into a new one focused on being pretty good at all the things, but not the best. And thank you for praying for me and loving on us while we love the heck out of some other people along the way.

It’s been a good year. Next year will be even better.

Until then…

Update- it occurred to me as I read this blog again how important it is for me to remember and to share publicly, there is only ONE way to win the championship ring of existence and it has nothing to do with who becomes the best person, but having faith in the only one who was ever blameless. This blog is about becoming more and more like Jesus Christ. However I know I need not be as perfect as He is to enjoy His grace.

Just as I am

Just as I am, without one plea
But that Thy blood was shed for me
And that Thou bid’st me come to Thee
Oh, Lamb of God, I come, I come
Mm

Just as I am, though tossed about
With many a conflict, many a doubt
Fighting and fears within without
Oh, Lamb of God, I come, I come

Ooh, just as I am, ooh, I come
Ooh, just as I am, oh Lamb of God, I come

Just as I am, Thou wilt receive
Wilt welcome, pardon, cleanse, relieve
Because Thy promise I believe
Oh, Lamb of God, I come, I come

Ooh, just as I am, ooh, I come
Ooh, just as I am, oh Lamb of God, I come
Oh lamb of God, I come
Mm

Source: LyricFind

Songwriters: Charlotte Elliot / Loris Holland / William B. Bradbury / Deniece Williams / Cyril Loris Ne

One thought on “glorify weeks 29 – 46

  1. Great story, we were just talking about you having to be perfect, competitive nature…. Remember we are human , there is one only perfect example, Jesus. I think it’s so hard to love one another too. Just need to stay in his word! We will be perfect one day when we’re with him!

    Like

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