Plus a Giveaway
Friends, I’ve missed you! I hit the pause button on new posts in July while I’ve been hither to the Northeast and yon to the Midwest. (Following are a few photos of favorite moments.)
But how can it possibly be AUGUST already, the last full week of summer? Is anyone else dismayed that back-to-school products appeared on the shelves in June, and stores were fully stocked with fall décor by July? Sure as tinsel on a tree, Christmas decorations are on offer now that August is here.
Other than the stultifying heat that has gripped many places in the world this past month, wouldn’t you like to press pause when it comes to the too-swift passage of the seasons?
I’ve just returned from a professional writers conference at Taylor University in Indiana where I had the privilege of delivering two keynote messages on character traits we need to allow the Divine Editor to strike from our lives as well as those we need to embrace.
What do we most want to jettison from our lives as we grow older?
When you see references to America’s “aging” population, it’s a bit of a disconnect, isn’t it? The desired goal is for each of us to get older every single day.
My children are aging. One child’s luxurious chestnut mane is threaded with gray, while another has hair that’s receding like the tide. And the grandchildren? The lively littles are not so little any longer. They’re aging too.
It’s never too early – or too late – to ask the Author and Editor of our lives to help us lose certain character traits that hinder our spiritual and emotional growth.
Here are three.
Have you known people who are habitually pessimistic, antagonistic, and narcissistic? Cranky and crochety? Sulky, surly, and snarly? Me, too, and the impression they’ve left is one I never want to inflict on others.
But the kind of negativity I’m asking God to excise from my life is self-directed. It’s the “I don’t, I’m not, they won’t, they’re not” kind of thinking.
I don’t have what it takes so they won’t hire me.
I’m not young enough/ smart enough/ capable enough to take on that task.
They’re never going to take me seriously so why should I even try?
The kind of negativity that’s prejudiced against my own future self.
Lord, forgive me for the times I’ve allowed my brain to hold my body back.
“His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness." 2 Peter 1:3
I’ve got what it takes – and so do you – because it’s been given to us.
One of the first pieces of advice given to new authors is to use the active voice, not the passive. Too much passive voice indicates lazy writing, just as too much physical inactivity leads to lazy living.
By the time I return from my daily walk (spelled “trudge”) up the hill behind our home I’m soaked with sweat. I’d much rather stay home in my recliner, but I force myself to keep moving. It’s counter-intuitive, isn’t it? As we age we need to carefully steward our energy and our activities, but if we default to a prone position on the couch too often we’ll lose what energy and muscle tone we do have.
Lord, teach us when it’s time to rest and when it’s time to get moving again.
Whoa, wait a minute here. As Christ-followers, aren’t we supposed to be sensitive to the needs of others? Discerning about their cultures? Receptive to their voices?
Yep and yep and yeppity yep.
But the kind of sensitivity I’m asking God to edit out of my life is over-sensitivity to self.
How I’m perceived.
What others think of my achievements or appearance.
Where I rank in comparison to peers in my field.
Healthy self-esteem is not thinking more of myself or less of myself but rather thinking of myself less. What the late author and pastor Tim Keller described as the blessed freedom of self-forgetfulness.
God is the divine Author of our stories, and He’s the only Editor we truly can trust with our lives. In these waning weeks of summer, I’m asking Him to wean me from self-directed negativity, unhealthy passivity, and over-sensitivity.
Anyone want to join me? I'd love to hear your thoughts.
I have a special gift to share with one of you this week – the beautiful 365-day devotional He Holds My Hand written by my dear friend Carol Kent during a time in her life when she was desperate to hear God’s voice and feel His comfort.
If you could use the same encouragement Carol received from God, please leave a comment below and include the word “devotional.” We’ll choose a winner at random on Monday, August 7.