Updated: Jul 31, 2019
After our somewhat failed BBQ (thanks to KY rain) we had yet another amazing discussion about “holding our horses” after the wonderful sermon preached to us by Tyler Mckenzie. As high strung, type A boss ladies we have a little itty bitty issue with slowing down (it’s a very large issue in case you didn’t pick up my sarcasm). In this life we live everyone and everything is telling us to speed up, go faster, do better, reach higher, be successful. Achieving “success” (what even is success???) is the only thing that matters and that is what you must strive for. Sit down and your lazy, be still and your unproductive, take your time and get out of the way you’re too slow. We are in a culture that tells us to never stop. Instagram influences harp on the importance of never being lazy, finding success and keeping it, achieve the highest level! Speakers and famous entrepreneurs tell us that they got to where they are by never stopping, never wasting time. Never once do any of these people tell you to be still. You know who does? God. “Be still and know that I am God” Psalm 46:10. Isn’t it amazing that we hurry, anxiously, never wanting to come in last place when it isn’t even up to us? Take a second to look up.
5, 10, 15, 25, 30…. Can you be still for 30 seconds? Can you be silent (and tell that brain to be quiet too) for 5 minutes? It is HARD. You have to ask yourself why you are so uncomfortable with being still. We discussed today that the main panic that comes with doing nothing is the fear that you’re missing out on something, forgetting something, someone needs you, you need to be somewhere. Why do we do this to ourselves? As Tyler said, God made life to be enjoyed, not endured. He gave us the most beautiful world, yet we live most days not seeing any of it. We get so busy that we can’t even take the time to really talk to our creator. Today I told the girls that I challenge them to take a little time each day this week to do nothing for 5 minutes then take another 5 minute and write down something about it. If you’re thinking ‘there's no way I’m taking a WHOLE ten minutes out of my day’.... Sister you need to!!! If you think you have no idea how to do nothing for 5 minutes I suggested having a hard conversation with God. A while back one of our wonderful pastors (I think it was Scott) talked about praying difficult prayers. Do that. Ask him to show you, to guide you, in some areas of your life. Maybe it's as simple as ‘God, what did you make me for? Why can’t I be still?’ Intentional silence. Amazingly enough, when you turn off the monitor in your brain, you can see things more clearly, hear God more clearly and learn (over time) to enjoy the silence. Olivia told us an anxiety filled story of how she forgot to register her computer for the BAR… which we all know shes taking in one month, and thought she was going to have to take the 7 hour essay portion completely by hand. (I know… heart drop). She said that this was one of those moments where she thought she was utterly going to fail, and she started praying. She prayed some DIFFICULT prayers asking God why he put this in her life and how it was all going to pan out. A few days ago she got an email that the deadline had been extended and she had until 4:30pm to submit her computer… SPEND TIME WITH GOD Y’ALL.
---- From there we discussed an important part of prayer and that is not asking God why… but rather asking him what. He has a reason. We know that. There no point in wondering if He has your best intentions in mind because you know He does. Rather ask “what”... “What are you preparing me for” “What is the purpose of this, please show me, please give me a sign”. Those “What”s lead to those difficult prayers, and those prayers are the ones that build Faith.
Hurry pushing us into the margins
“Most of us are living at the limits with no margin”
As I thought about this quote while preparing the bible study today, I thought about when you type up an essay (oddly enough). The margin is the white space on the sides of your paper that keep the words from falling off your pages. They also cut you off, when your sentence gets too long the words jump down to the next line. I thought that we need to apply this to our lives. We need to live like we are typing a paper and “use the margins as overflow” like Katie said. When we have that blank space, we never feel like we have too much on our plate to where something doesn’t make the cut. Spending time with loved ones, talking to God, reading your bible, going to church, these CAN NOT fall off the page. Leave room in your margins. Create it, manage it, share it. “Hurry pushes us past our limits. Living life past our limits puts us in the danger zone.” The danger zone looks a little different for everyone. For Olivia it might be having so much on her mind that submitting her computer gets forgotten. For others it might be relationship stress, for me its a meltdown. When it all becomes too much hurry, we fall off the page - into the danger zone. What is your danger zone?
Hurry pushes out what fills us up - OH I LOVE THAT. When you know that all the things that once gave you joy are now on the back burner - that's the danger zone. Jessica said when you’re merely surviving and everything you were gifted to do gets left behind - you’re not living. So, we come to the question, did God create life to be endured or enjoyed?
Katie made a fabulous point that we can’t choose our circumstances, but we can choose our mindset. Her whole life she was told over and over to be a doctor, that was the right thing to do, a good title, good paycheck, be a doctor. As she stood with her med school application in hand and filled out she realized that she was doing it for all the wrong reasons. She changed career paths immediately. She admitted that for a long time she was embarrassed to say she was a teacher, like it made her less of a person because it didn't start with D-R and that’s what she had been told meant “success” (there's that word again). However she found her inner peace and happiest life now, being a teacher.
Success DOES NOT EXIST
Society has construed the word successful to mean fancy clothes, fancy cars, big watches, maybe a private jet or two, a big house and stilettos (and all of that all in matte black posed in a giant driveway and posted on instagram). The truth? Success means absolutely nothing. For so many reasons, and we talked about a few of them today.
First of all, its literally impossible to reach “the top” you’ll climb and climb and climb and then you’ll look up and see someone above you. Over and over and over. Everyone telling you it is never enough. Once you have what you thought meant ‘success’ you realize it doesn’t and you want more, you crave the next level. What does southland ALWAYS SAY?!
“A good thing, made an ultimate thing, becomes a destructive thing”
The same is true for success. Your ultimate goal should be faithfulness, not success.
The never ending cycle of craving the next level can be destructive to your friends, relationships, family and your faith. When you start to worship on the altar of money and instafame…. You’re losing sight of who put you there. Look up.
In this life we want to hold onto our control, we like to hurry, we like to rush and forget to let all of that go every once and awhile to lighten our load and remember why we are even on this earth. Today I compared it to riding a horse. For those of you who missed it (or have never ridden a horse) I’ll explain it again (crazy horse girl sorry not sorry)... When a horse decides to run (like realllyyyy run) they lock their jaw, grab the bit and become dead weight in your hands, immediate instinct? To pull back on the reins and hold.. “That’s right isn't it?” NO. See horses are A LOT like life, they become their lightest when you let go, they then have nothing to play tug of war with (and you’ll lose that game every time with a 1500lb animal)... so as they get faster and heavier and heavier and faster and everything in your body is telling you to hold on, you HAVE to release, even for just a second. This is called a half halt - its half of a full halt (halt = stop). When you give the reins away (even for a second) that’s when the horse becomes it’s lightest. Life is the SAME WAY. I got chills when God put that in my mind today because of how comparable it is… hold your horses, slow down, release the reins. Give it up to God and know that when culture says speed up, Jesus says slow down.
Pray for Colt (Katie's husband) as he studies like crazy to take his medical exam (career deciding test y'all)
Pray for Olivia as she continues to study for the BAR
Pray for Julia's health and wellness
Pray for me as I take my Real Estate test Tuesday
Pray for all these Boss Babes in their personal and business lives and ask God to help each of you slowwwwww down this week
Pray difficult prayers
I challenge each of you to take 5 minutes once a day for the next seven days to take time to do nothing - DO NOT look at your phone - set a timer if you need to. Talk to God. Then take 5 minutes to write down anything about those 5 minutes.
NEXT WEDNESDAY: WEDNESDAY, JULY 10
WE WILL MEET AT 6 or 6:30 FOR THE MOONDANCE AMPHITHEATER SUMMER NIGHT OF WORSHIP. I think this thing gets really packed so I'd suggest getting there early. I'm still thinking up of ways to make it easy for everyone to meet. We can meet at my house and carpool if that's easiest! I'll send out real details on Sunday. See y'all next week!