Hard, Holy Callings and 4 Ways to Not Give Up
Last week, I vacuumed my house three times.
All of the neat freaks may not think this is a big deal but I prefer a “well lived in” home. I lean more towards once a week vacuuming, unless we have popcorn, of course.
I had my reasons for my sudden desire to vacuum.
I vacuumed because I was alone in my house every single day from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. while all of my children under my roof were at school. I vacuumed because I didn’t want to sit down to write and expose more of myself to the world. I vacuumed because we’ve been waiting over four months for an adoption referral and my patience just took off in a getaway car.
I vacuumed so that I could accomplish something, a quick task to distract me and provide a fleeting feeling of success. It’s easy to say everything happens in God’s timing until hours turn into days and weeks turn into months.
Writing and adopting (and let’s not forget parenting in general) are hard, holy callings. Your calling may not look the same as mine but I know you have just as hard and holy of a calling as me. There are numerous reasons that we may struggle to live out these callings.
Recently, I created a list of four things I fight to do when I don’t feel like continuing on another step and I just want to “vacuum” and forget it all.
1. I fight to take my thoughts captive.
“We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:5
Our thoughts do not own us. We often let them own us but we don’t have to. Staying in God’s word and remembering His truths allows us to make our thoughts obedient to Christ.
Jennie Allen, one of my favorite Bible teachers, is releasing a new book this January titled Get Out of Your Head. It’s all about toxic thoughts and how we give our thoughts too much leverage over our lives. I can’t wait to read it!
Friends, we give our minds too much control. We don’t have to (and I’m preaching to myself)!
Take your thoughts captive.
2. I put on my armor AND use it.
Ephesians 6:10-20 outlines all the armor God has given us to fight our spiritual battles and how to use it. Remember, “Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (v. 12).
Hard, holy callings bring with it vicious attacks from the enemy. He wants nothing more than to distract us with other noble causes that aren’t our God-given calling. He wants nothing more than to twist and clutter our thoughts to make us weary and hopefully give up.
The enemy is sneaky but God ALWAYS provides a way to fight through it all. Open your Bible, get on your knees, and fight it!
Use that armor. (Click here to go deeper on this topic.)
3. I show up.
This is my phrase for the year.
When I am in the midst of an adoption, it’s easy for everything around me to seem less important. I mean, let’s be realistic for a moment, I have a kid on the other side of the world living with a random person right now. That seems like the most important thing that I need to be working towards and thinking about.
I can’t live that way for two to three years though. My kids would suffer. My marriage would suffer. My mental health would suffer. I have to keep showing up for the things right in front of me.
We live in a world that LOVES big gestures and big plans. We even view it as successful.
But there is something so incredible about showing up in the mundane everyday life amidst your calling. Make that appointment with the marriage or family counselor. Take the time to have deep, meaningful conversations with your kids.
Keep showing up.
4. I step back and intentionally slow down.
I know I just told you to show up but we also have to sometimes step back so that we can intentionally slow down. Before you shut your computer or turn off your phone, hear me out.
We run ourselves ragged in our hustle, only excellence matters, world.
It. Is. Exhausting.
Sometimes in order to give our best yes, we have to step back and look at our priorities. It’s the only way we can understand our callings and set healthy boundaries for ourselves.
Slow down so that you can show up.
Friend, if you are feeling weary and tired in your calling, you’re NOT alone. To keep it real, I had to vacuum again today before I completed this blog post. Give yourself grace. It’s OK to wrestle. Just don’t stay there.
The world needs the hope that radiates out of every crevice of the calling God has placed on your life. So much holy work is done in the mundane and wrestling.
And remember, the world needs you to come alive and live out your hard, holy calling.
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