Chains

Welcome to week one, "Jacked Up," of Jen Hatmaker's Make Over.  I'm excited to go through this 30-day study with you.  I've been praying for some direction in my chaotic life and God has put this book in my path. What's crazier is that I don't do anything for more than a few days at a time, except eat, sleep, and breath.  So this feat, I know, can only come from God.  Lord, please help me to stay diligent in seeking you out.

Chains are typically used to restrain something into place or limit movement.  You have your ball and chain, your handcuffs that have a chain in between, your snow chains to keep your tires in place on the ice.  There are so many different variations of chains.  But the ones we're going to discuss are the things in our everyday lives that seem to have a hold on us.

Jen writes, "We're tired.  We worry.  We wouldn't be so over-whelmed if each role wasn't so vital.  How can one measure the worth of a mom verus a wife?  A professional versus a friend?  A servant of God versus a daughter?  We're all those things.  And they still matter." (pp. 15-16)

Friends, I struggle with this everyday.  I don't like to admit it because I like to think that I can handle a full load and then some.  When I start thinking that I can do everything on my own without the help of my husband, my kids, family, friends, and most importantly my God, the roles that I play become heavy chains that end up bringing me down.  Let's see what Jen has to ask and how we can apply the verses she brings to us in our lives.
Question 1: When it comes to balancing your roles, how do you 
feel right now?  Why?
     If I had answered this question earlier this month or even a couple of weekends ago I would have said, "I feel like a failure and it sucks."  However, right now it's still not the best, but it's better than that.  I feel that I should have better control of my life and the roles that I play.  I feel that I should be able to everything and not being able to really frustrates me.  It frustrates me because
I compare my life to everyone else's highlight reel. Mistake #7,458.
Question 2:  Do you ever feel like you're captive to or trapped
by your roles?  If so, which ones feel like chains?  You can be honest.    
Do you have any ownership in this?  Has God been trying to warn you?  How?   
     Simple answer:  Yes.  <Sigh>  The roles that feel like chains to me, more often than not, are Kate the businesswoman, Kate the mom, and Kate the CFO of Headley Inc.
     Ok, I'll own up to it.  All of these roles that feel like chains, I have freely elected myself into them, but didn't know what the job was really about when I requested to work them all at the same time.  I was Kate the businesswoman before I became mom and
CFO.  I was very successful in that role, but it caused Kate the mom to hardly be present emotionally and physically and Kate the CFO to be greedy and a poor steward of God's money.  So God "gently" nudged me out of Kate the over-working business woman to just Kate the businesswoman and now I'm learning how to
balance that new role with the other ones.
Read Isaiah 40:27 How do you honestly think God regards your frustrations?  Do you think He's more "big picture"?  Be truthful.
     The way I look at it is that I know He sees my frustration and uses it to bring me closer to Him.  It's my typical M.O.  I end up so frustrated due to my lack of obedience and reliance on God that He brings me to my knees in order to bring me back to Him.  The awesome part of it all is that He allows me to choose myself, shows me just how silly that decision was, and guides me down the path He already had it mind for me.

Read Isaiah 40:28 Why would God say this to people who've been in captivity for seventy years?
     Because God KNOWS what they're going through.  He understands frustration on a level that we cannot even comprehend.  Man, if I'm frustrated, can you imagine how frustating it would be to be in HIS shoes?  I mean, look at us!  Look what He gladly endures day in and day out.

Read Isaiah 40:29-31 The original word for renew (verse 31) literally means "to exchange."  What is God communicating to you through His word?
     FYI: I'm using the NLT instead of the NIV. ;)  I've read these particular verses many times over, yet today His words are resounding in my ears, "But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength."  He wants me to trust Him with every part of me.  He doesn't just want to the big stuff.  He wants the things I consider little because soon enough those little things, when attempted to be handled without His help, snowball into something I cannot control.  He wants me to rest in Him. 

Prayer time: Thank you Lord for bringing me into this study.  You've known what I've been needing in this season.  I ask that you break down any walls that I may have so that you can work in me to make me over.  In your name, Amen.

Thanks for joining me today.  Be sure to check back tomorrow because we're going to talk about wine...well, maybe have a glass of it. :D
 


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