I just read a guest post from one of my favorite writers, Jennie Allen. She also happens to be my pastors’ wife, and my friend. She wrote this guest post titled “Called to Bleed” the other day and it really hit me hard. God spoke to me through her, so well written, words. (she has such a gift)
God has been telling me not to fear my story, my past experiences and my mistakes…..but to use them to help others.
That’s a scary proposition, but I’ve been listening to Him. For a long time I’ve wanted to hide everything from the outside world. To keep it to myself (and only those closest to me). It’s not anyone’s business really, right? Wrong. Jennie said exactly what God has been telling me all along. That my story is His story. How can I keep that from others? Who am I to hold onto a story that He is so completely weaved into. A story that He made beautiful.
I’ve been scared (ok I still am a little scared) of people judging me and my past decisions. However, there is only one judge that I should be concerned with, and if I do not share what He has done in my life, how will He judge that?
He and I are still wrestling with this for now. It all comes back to trusting Him with everything. I’m letting go little by little and I know He has big plans for me once I become completely transparent with my life. When I show all that I have been through and all that He has done for me, it can only help others.
After I write this post, I will be working on writing “my story” which I plan to read to a group of college women in a few weeks (thanks to my friends Jennie and Jessica). I’m so excited, a little scared too, but mostly excited to see how God uses my story. One day maybe I can share my story on here….but for now, I think God is happy with my baby steps.
You may remember that I wrote about the “100 Thing Challenge” back in Sept. of 2009. That was really the beginning of my desire to start living with less. Well, I just finished reading Dave Bruno’s book about his 100 Thing Challenge and how it all came about. In this book he writes about how his life was before the challenge and what led him to create this challenge.
Dave then goes on to describe the process of going through his personal things and making decisions on what to sell or give away. He talks about his emotional ties to his train set and how he had been hanging on to those trains because of some disappointments from his childhood. I love how he points out how many of us, himself included, go and buy stuff as an attempt to fix an emotional problem. That is what shopping does for many people. It tricks them into feeling like they are solving problems, but really they are only creating more.
He purged the trains. He says that letting go of those trains ”was inspirational and cathartic.” I have a part-time organizing business and I would love for a lot of my clients to read Dave’s book. I wish everyone could experience what it feels like to let things go. It’s not as scary as many believe.
As I read the book, I felt as if I were sitting down across from Dave and he was telling me the story about his life over the past few years. His writing is so easy to read and keeps you engaged. He writes from his heart and lets you into his thoughts and feelings. He’s transparent, which I love. He’s real and you can relate to him. You really get to know Dave and experience the challenge with him through his words.
I’m inspired by Dave and his story. I have begun my own 100 Thing Challenge and continue to work on it. I’m close, but need to continue to pare a few things down quite a bit. I think it’s a great idea, brilliant really. Living with less helps us to see what is really important and how much “stuff” we can live without.
I applaud Dave for creating this challenge and I thoroughly enjoyed reading his book and learning more about the person behind the challenge.
I am such a supporter of journaling. You can ask my husband. I’m constantly encouraging him to get his thoughts down on paper.
It started when I was a teenager. Whenever I would feel overwhelmed, or worried about a lot of concerns I would write them down. I would make a list of my worries and then once they were on paper I could go through them and think about why they weren’t that big of a deal. I pretty much do the same today.
However, now I do most of my journaling right after I read the Bible and have prayer time with God. I usually start each journal entry with what I heard God tell me. If you have prayer time with God daily, I would highly suggest doing this. It is so interesting and faith affirming when you go back and read all the different words you’ve heard God tell you during different times in your life. You can see more clearly where he was leading you in the past and where he is leading you today.
I can’t say enough about what journaling has done for me. If you’ve never done it, give it a try. You don’t have to write anything profound, just start writing and see what comes out. Write about all the things you are thinking about, worrying about, happy about, thankful about…etc. You get the picture.
Journaling helps you place your thoughts onto paper. It helps give you clarity if nothing else. Once you have all of those thoughts that are swirling around in your head down on paper, they are much less intimidating or overwhelming.
Try it today, and if you are like my husband and do not like to hand write anything then start a digital journal on your computer. It is the same idea and will have the same result. It’s just plain good for you.
Also, in honor of Thankful Thursday today: I am thankful for my mother-in-law, Margaret. Today is her birthday. Happy Birthday Margaret! She encourages me, inspires me and she sends me some great recipes! She is also an excellent editor(she is currently helping me write an article) and a good friend. I feel so lucky to have her as my mother-in-law.