Wednesday, September 7, 2011

#229 - Cut Yourself Some Slack!

Proverbs 31:10 - A capable, intelligent, and virtuous woman--who is he who can find her? She is far more precious than jewels and her value is far above rubies or pearls.
Let me just be honest, is that OK with you? This morning as my alarm went off at 6:30, I hit snooze. At 6:35 I hit snooze again, then again at 6:40, 6:45.... and so on until after 7:00 I heard Tyler downstairs and jumped out of bed just because I didn't want him to leave with my Bible still in the car (I accidentally left it at church Sunday so I had to pick it up yesterday.) 

Why do I say all of that? Well, to be transparent, because I've felt as of lately I've been in a bit of a funk. As I sat down this morning to begin journaling and talking to the Lord... the first 10 lines or so of my journal was equivalent to a whining session to the Lord. Really just telling Him all the areas I feel I've maybe dropped the ball, or felt 'dry' in certain areas, lacked motivation in others. One clue that quickly revealed my state to myself has been the 'snooze' button. Where at one time, even not too long ago, my alarm went off, and I looked forward to jumping up, getting out of bed, beginning my morning routine of writing in one of my books, spending time with the Lord, talking, fellow-shipping, then writing a daily devotion from the insights the Lord gave me. I enjoyed delighting in getting up. I enjoyed the fact that I looked forward to getting up to spend time with the Lord. I anticipated that I would hear from Him. I looked forward to what He was going to say to me. Would He direct me in a certain way? Give me insight into something? Reveal a break-through revelation in the Word? Or maybe just pour hope & belief into my heart?

After my brief whining session, the Holy Spirit cut in. Well... I actually took a brief moment to stop whining and decided I would focus on listening. What did He have to say? Was I off-base in my frustration? My failed attempts to be the super woman of productivity, would He give me some insight into how, why & where I failed? Would He give me a 3-step solution to being better, more productive, more accomplished in my days? Being a stay-at home mom, I am the one in control of my daily calendar. "If only I was a 'female version' of Tyler," I've often thought, "I'm sure I would get more done. Have a system of execution. Be better. Be more. Be SUPER!" You see, I am married to a 'self-starter,' someone who constantly is working on improving himself. When he is not diligently (& consistently) reading in one of the 3-4 books he's reading at the current moment, he is planning, watching some amazing leader or minister on-line, listening to a pod-cast or audio about 'improvement'.... since he was 17, he has been a walking, living, breathing reflection of someone always getting better. Indeed, amazing! You may also be able to see where it COULD be easy to compare myself to him? :) Praise the Lord I'm married to such an amazing man.

Well... as I stopped this morning, and chose to stop & listen to give the Holy Spirit a moment to maybe give me some insight, He did. Praise the Lord. Here are just a few of the nuggets He shared with me in the 3 pages that I journaled....
You will have seasons of what seem like great productivity. You will also have seasons of rest, preparation. During this time, don't get discouraged or be despaired. Take this time to enjoy Me. To sit & drink in from My well, from living waters, to get refreshed daily in My communion. Amy, I don't want you to feel pressure from Tyler about being "productive." I don't even want you to feel "pressure" from Me. My intentions are not to push. My intentions Amy, are to mold & make you, through TIME, into the woman I have created you to become. The key is - TIME. It's a process to develop & does not, can not be done overnight! Trying to do it overnight causes burnout & frustration. 
His Words led me to flipping open to Proverbs 31, verse 10, like I have done countless mornings. What more could be hidden in this Word? What more could He have here? As I read the first verse that talks about this amazing godly woman, I realized, like it jumped off the page to me, it coincided exactly with what the Holy Spirit said to me. One word, TIME.

I decided to check into how long it takes a precious gem to form. You'll notice some of my "inserts" in parenthesis. Here is what I found (
There have been attempts to try to date inclusions in different parts of diamonds, and those have largely been unsuccessful. It may be that diamonds (Godly Women) form over periods as short a time as days, weeks, months to millions of years. Typically, as with many crystals that grow on the Earth, it's not a continuous process. The diamonds (godly woman) may start to grow and then there may be an interruption for some reasona change in conditions (marriage), temperature  (job change), pressure (having a baby), source of carbon (moving), whatever—and they could sit for millions, hundreds of million of years, and then start growing again. That's part of the problem of trying to put some sort of a growth period on them; things don't always occur continuously...
I found similar information about the formation of a pearl. The one common thread between diamonds and pearls is this, TIME. It takes TIME.

What can we conclude? We are a work in progress. We take time to develop. This woman of God, this Proverbs 31 woman, is said to be more valuable than rubies or pearls. We can conclude, she does not become this woman overnight. She isn't just born with all of these qualities & attributes. It has taken her time. And maybe, just maybe, like the formation of the diamond, there are interruptions at times. The growth process is halted, or may even temporarily stop for a season of rest or change. Ultimately though, it is ALL part of the creation of this beautiful gem. Ultimately the pressure, the pauses, the time, the growth, is all part of the process of this rare & beautiful woman forming into who we know as the Proverbs 31 woman.

So.... today.... cut yourself some slack! Allow time to be on your side. Allow time to do it's work. Relax in the TIME. Relax in the process of becoming. Let God do His work in you! Because we know according to Philippians 1:6, I am convinced and sure of this very thing, that He Who began a good work in you will continue until the day of Jesus Christ [right up to the time of His return], developing [that good work] and perfecting and bringing it to full completion in you.

God is not going to leave you! He is going to COMPLETE the work that He has begun in you! So... cut yourself some slack! Rest in the Lord. Enjoy the process. But mostly, cut yourself slack! You are becoming. You are in the process. Love yourself where you are. You are a process!

Xoxo! Have a blessed day! :) 


Tamara Heidenthal said...

Thank you so much Amy for being transparent...for typing your words of encouragement. I felt the Lord's encouragment as He strengthening my spirit through your words :) I am at that exact place that you mentioned....

Thank you for sharing!!! <3

Isaiah 40:28-31

Anonymous said...

I actually said 'Whoa!' as I was reading this! Thank you for laying out your heart and what God is speaking to you for all of us to read.

Amy J. McCart said...

Thanks Tamara & "Anonymous". :)

Praying you both are having a blessed day of NO PRESSURE! :) *wink wink*

Kimberly Bestul said...

Thanks Joey!! With school back in session, life has become pretty busy and a few areas have been lacking. I was feeling pretty guilty about it, but this message has helped me. Guess I can allow myself to "slip" in certain areas during this "season" of my life. I'll still try to fit it all in, but I'm not going to "pressure" myself about it anymore. Thanks!!

Daniely Wright said...

Wow, thanks Amy! I'm a guy, but I found this to be very helpful. When I take time to think, this post reminds me of me and my girlfriend. I am just like Tyler, and she's come to find herself feeling just the way you were. This is simply amazing! It also reminded me of a lot of things I've learned in the growing process and in relationships with others. Thanks Amy!

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