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Sunday, September 28 2014

Dear Friends…

Next month, my husband and I will celebrate our 33rd anniversary! It truly is a miracle that we have made it this far. And our marriage continues to get sweeter and sweeter as the years go by. I am a blessed girl.

 

But, I didn’t always feel this way. As you might know if you’ve read, The Perfecting Storm, there was a time when I was ready to give up and quit because the pain was too much and change did not seem possible. I had tried every way I knew how to get my husband to change in order for our marriage to get better and it had not worked. (are you laughing yet or shaking your head in agreement saying, “yes, yes, that’s where I am”!)

 

I had hit the end of my rope. Why, you ask?  Because I was trying to ‘fix’ the wrong thing! I was actually stuck in the viscous cycle of the I….and yes, I mean the I of selfishness!

 

At this point, you might be thinking, how is that type of thinking selfish? Well, that’s what I asked too, until God showed me.

 

Here’s what He revealed to me: It was selfish because I was focused on what I wanted, needed and wasn’t getting from my husband. And what I thought I deserved based on my evaluation of things (and the world and psychology, mind you, backed me up). God in His love showed me what a trap that was and what a small space it left me in.  A small space that was only about me and left me feeling trapped and without much hope. That’s always the end result of I.

 

As God taught me to get my eyes off of myself and back on Him, my Perfect Husband, He began to meet me heart’s needs, and change my thinking. He filled the void of emptiness inside of me. My heart became more content and felt loved. I no longer was dependent on my husband for meeting those needs, but looked to God to meet my needs.  This was huge! What this did was allow me to be unselfish in my love towards my husband and focus on pleasing him more than myself (most of the time anywaysJ).  In turn, guess what happened? He started acting in ways that I had longed for! In following God’s ways, I was able to respect my husband which then naturally evoked loving responses from him to me. Now we both fell more love and satisfaction from our relationship.

 

Now when my husband doesn’t act lovingly or falls short, I’m no longer stuck in the I so I can give grace and forgiveness. For I now understand that we are not perfect people and there will always be problems.  I can turn to my Perfect Husband to gain perspective, understanding which takes care of my heart.  What a change!

 

The I is not all it’s cracked up to be. It is lonely. There is nothing about a relationship or partnership when you focus on just yourself.  Partner with God and watch your earthly relationships change.  Take a leap of faith today and see what happens! Let me know how it goes for you….

 

Philippians 2:3-4 “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others

Posted by: Angel H Davis AT 06:04 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email

Benefits of Weariness

 

WOW! How weary I am. And so are many of you. I know because I hear your cries: in my office, on the phone, online, in church, at the grocery store, you name it! So much of what I hear from people today is about how tired, weary, and worn-out they feel.

Then again, you may not feel weary;  instead you may feel anxious, depressed, scared, lonely, angry, or any mixture of these emotions. Perhaps these are more your prominent feelings.

 

However you may feel, it’s too easy to look for the source or to find blame: social media; busy schedules; technology; work/family demands; the causes are endless. Of course, these have validity, and we can certainly manage them in more appropriate and successful ways.

 

Yet, as I sit with God today, in my quiet time, and look over my journals, what I see is the benefit of weariness—the benefit of our broken feelings and situations.

 I see, time and time again, over the years (yes, I am rebellious and slow-learning, and God is very, very patient), God working in me and through me, enabling me to receive His antidote to this tough life and all of its problems. 

 

It is so simple; and yet it is so hard.

 

It is HIM: Jesus; always more of Him.

 

“But,” you say, “Angel, I have to know what to do with my children,” or, “Angel, these bills are piling up,” or, “Angel, you don’t have a CLUE of how bad it really is.”

 

And I will say, “You are right, I don’t. And you are correct, these things need to be taken care of.” 

 

BUT FIRST, we have a larger need. Oh, the catch is it doesn’t appear like the larger need. Our core need, before bills, children, purpose in life, change in our feelings, is to be convinced, truly convinced and accepting of God’s love for us and our identity as His children.

 

And your heart and head may rebel like mine did.

 

“BUT, I need to know the answer to my problem.” 

And Jesus says:

“I am the answer.”

“I am so tired.”

And Jesus says:

“I know. Let me restore you.”

“I am afraid.”

And Jesus says:

“I know, and my love will take care of that.”

 

That just doesn’t seem like much; doesn’t seem like enough, when we are about to be evicted or our kids are in harm’s way. That support just doesn’t seem practical enough for our human brains to rest on.

 

Perhaps then we’ve hit on the real source or problem of our weariness: ourselves. You and me believing that if we work hard enough, try enough, worry enough, take enough time to figure it out, talk enough to that person, ignore it long enough—whatever your “enough” is—WE can fix it. The true problem is that it’s all about US!

 

We want to stay in the driver’s seat and be our own savior. Or we look to other humans to be that for us. If we believe our answer lies in us or other humans, we are likely to stay in that “out of control” anxious space, and the weariness or depression or addictions are bound to take over. There can only be one driver in our car of life.

 

The benefit of our struggle is to be wooed into the true solution. Life’s struggles are an invitation to know God more intimately. As we allow Jesus, who is ALIVE, who is the same yesterday, today, and forever, to become more real for us, more tangible, as we take Him at His word (Hebrews 13:5), as we choose to focus on Him and His promises, instead of the problems or feelings we are having, then we start to experience the reality of His presence with us.  With this, we begin to experience the peace He promises.


Why? Because our problems have been solved? The bills have all been paid? The feelings change?


NO…  peace comes from HIS presence. And in that place of peace we can see clearer, hear more accurately, and receive wisdom and direction.

 

As we “bend our knee” to Jesus’ love, dare to take Him at His word (John 3:16), choose to look to Him and depend on Him, and keep (John 17) depending on Him, then His life-blood starts to flow through us. It revives us, directs us, and transforms our thinking and feelings. Then life and all of its troubles, which are many (John 16:33), become manageable, doable.

 

Breath comes; rest comes; peace comes.

 

In this place new life springs forth. New ideas emerge and joy is eventually restored.

 

Struggling today? Rejoice in it, because it is calling you back home. Home to His heart of love (Romans 8:38-39), the place of true peace and rest. 

1020 Barber Creek Drive, Suite 203, Watkinsville, GA 30677  ///  706.543.7012  ///  info@angelhdavis.com

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