This last Sunday and the time that I spent with my lifegroup was a big day for me thanks to starting a new plan in the Bible app called 30 Days of Heartwork. After reading the devotionals, reading the prayers, and discussing it with my group, my eyes have really opened as to the things that are holding me back from doing what my heart is calling me to do in this life.
The plan pointed out how our generation is focused on ourselves and how that can lead to darkness rather than fulfillment. “In the deep places of our hearts where we seek entertainment, popularity, and new stuff, we all really desire God’s light to rise.” The teachings discuss how we should be spending ourselves, not just our money on all of those other things that will eventually lose value. However, as a Christian who lives in America, it is easy to get caught up in things like wanting a nicer car, a bigger house, or just to have a general goal to accumulate more and more stuff. Our culture has become centered around spending. We walk around looking for something to spend our money on and then we go to work so we can do it all again tomorrow. And then I thought, is this what my life is going to be about? Working all the time so I can buy more stuff?
You Only Live Once, Make It Extraordinary
For me personally, I struggle with the feeling of fulfillment. It’s not because of my husband or my kids, I love them more than anything. And I’ve tried filling the void by buying a better car, or better toys for my kids, or thought maybe I’d be happier if I got a new wardrobe. But no! Those things don’t make me feel better. They make me feel guilty for overindulging and for spending money that could have gone towards something more productive. And then I realized, I only have this one life to live and with the short time that I am here, I want to make my stay extraordinary. And I know what is extraordinary for me, is going to be different from what is extraordinary for others.
What Is Extraordinary For Me?
One of the questions in the plan is “what could our story look like if we weren’t fearful or selfish?” Oh my gosh this question! I really took this as, “if nothing was holding you back, in what capacity would you choose to serve?” This question cleared a lot of the fog from my mind and made me question, what is holding me back? My answer: The fear of financial instability (not being able to pay my bills, not being able to afford to send my kids to college or retire). The next question it made me answer was, “If I didn’t have to worry about financial instability, in what capacity would I choose to serve?” My answer: I would choose to live in a third-world country serving in some capacity where I would also be afforded the opportunity to teach others about Jesus.
I want people to look at me and ask, “why are you doing this? Why are you able to live so differently and with so much joy in your heart?” And with that I can tell them about Jesus. This right here is what would make me feel as though I’m living an extraordinary life. Obviously this is not right for everyone but for me it is right and it is what is on my heart.
With this plan that has been made a lot clearer in the last week, there are obviously a lot of details in between that we have to figure out! When I told my Dad about this plan of mine a couple of days ago, he immediately came back with 100 reasons as to why I shouldn’t do this. One of the reasons being the threat of terrorism all over the world and why I would put my children in that situation. He also brought up my own fears, the fear of financial instability. Thanks Dad! But in all seriousness, over the next year and a half we will be doing our research and figure out where we want to go, how we will serve, and how our kids can be involved as well.
“Don’t worry about the wicked, or envy those who do wrong. For like grass, they fade away. Like spring flowers, they soon wither. Trust in the Lord and do good. Then you will live safely in the land and prosper. Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desire. Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust him and he will help you. He will make your innocence radiate like the dawn, and the justice of your cause will shine like the noonday sun.” Psalm 37:1-6
Just as though Jesus chose to spend himself on us, it really has opened my eyes as to what will fulfill me living in this world as a Christian and how I should spend myself. And whether that is ministering to your children, welcoming people into your Church or working as a missionary, find out what will bring you freedom through fulfillment. Money isn’t going to bring me happiness but it is a tool. It’s a tool to use to propel me and my family to do the things we wish to do. Being free from our current lifestyle that is full of bills, one that society tells us we need, and working everyday to pay those bills feels like prison. We want freedom, and to us financial freedom means getting rid of all those things and living a minimalist lifestyle. What is going to bring you freedom and happiness?
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