Tuesday, April 22, 2008

What would Jesus Say I'm Passionate about?

Does what I say I'm passionate about line up with my actions? I surveyed my closest friends and family and asked them what they would say I'm passionate about. Here are a couple of quotes:

"Your passionate about your life goals and making your family life the best possible. You are always looking out for them and making the decisions to make it happen. You are currently passionate about photography and learning the most you can. You are passionate about the Lord being in your life and being the best person, mother, wife, and friend you can be."

"I think when it’s something your really interested in you are passionate about it. Of late: photography comes to mind. Since you were seventeen your kids come to mind and making sure they are raised with good morals & ethics." This will bring about a few questions: yes I was seventeen when I had my first child, yes my husband and I have been married for thirteen years and our son is thirteen, yes he is the father of all my children, and no we did not ever use fertility assistance; apparently we're just fertile and/or passionate about what we do in our spare time! Believe it or not I've had perfect strangers ask me all of these questions.

"You are primarily passionate about our kids, the care of them, and what they stand for. Your secondary passions are photography and writing. Your passion for writing comes through in your care for others with the words you use whether it be a Thank You note or e-mail. You are passionate about your writing being spirit-led."

The first is a quote from my closest friend Patty and the second from my mom who are both not born again (yet!). The last quote is from my husband which are all nice things but it makes me sad that he doesn't feel as though I'm passionate about him. I'll have to change that! I have to find a way to translate how I feel about him into tangible action. I can't tell you the level of joy it brings to know that I have good fruit in my life, evidence that is recognizable to others regarding my passions, faith, and prayer life. It is exciting to know that I talk about my passions and share my goals with my friends and family and it appears as though my actions demonstrate my passions as well. My children would tell you I'm passionate about cleaning! In reality it's my feeble way of trying to control something in my life.

If I'm going to be completely honest with him though, I have to confess I still spend more time in front of the TV than I care to admit and certain areas are completely out of control. My life is out of balance in a lot of areas. If you could see the condition of my basement and garage right now you would know they are a physical manifestation of what is going on in my heart. The main living areas that are seen to the outside world are clean but the less traveled paths that aren't revealed as much (the stuff behind closed doors), not so much. I must also confess that in my own opinion I am more passionate about myself than I am anything else. I am more passionate about what I want, like to do, and need than I am about those around me. I have to take a second and laugh to myself because I watched an awesome message from Joyce Meyer this morning and was hoping to find a way to incorporate it today. I guess while I watched and took notes I didn't really get it, but I do now.

The basic message was a teaching regarding choosing to walk in the spirit versus walking in the flesh. Obviously if I find myself being too selfish than my flesh is currently stronger than my spirit which I don't want. If my flesh is stronger than my spirit I can't be used by God because he can't trust me. More importantly it's likely I'm not obeying either.

My husband and I are at a cross roads in making some major decisions in our lives and we are both digging deep and studying daily to make sure we are obedient and not making fleshly decisions but prayerful decisions that are spirit led and in agreement. It's funny how God works through all aspects of things in our lives to bring what we need to hear in a full circle so we get it. I've learned this morning that it's good to listen to messages on the radio and TV but essential to have our own time with God as well so he has an opportunity to bring all those things together to demonstrate how it needs to be applied in our lives to bring about personal change so we can be used to help others.

I have a list of verses on my vision board that I try to say aloud daily and this morning one jumped off the page at me as it often does because I'm in the process of seeking God for the next steps in my life. Romans 12:2 NLT Don't copy the customs and behavior of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God's will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.

That was my light bulb moment of the day! All I need to do is stay in the word and study it, not just read it. I have to allow God to change me when I am convicted instead of continuing to sew in the flesh which reaps ruin, decay, and destruction. I can't strong-arm my flesh or blow my weaknesses out with dynamite because they will never go away. I must study God's word and stay in a spirit of worship and learn to walk in the spirit where I will reap life and life everlasting, learn to not submit to that temptation, and ultimately be revealed his good and perfect will for my life! This may all seem obvious for some of you. I've been saved for 12+ years but still feel like such a baby christian.

Revelation 3:19-21 NLT I correct and discipline (convict) everyone I love (because I love you, I'm going to tell you what's wrong with you; don't we do that with our children?). So be diligent (enthusiastic and earnest) and turn from your indifference (allow God to change you). Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends (intimacy). Those who are victorious sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat with my Father on his throne.

Which door of your heart is God knocking on today: finances, your time, wrong friendships? How do we get our spirit stronger and our flesh weaker to finally get our breakthrough in finances, to stop over-committing, etc.?

Don't think you can just do it without prayer. Don't look at prayer like an obligation; God doesn't need us to pray, we need to pray. So prayer is first. For those of you that have been at this a while have learned to repent and allow change in your lives as soon as you hear God speaking to you. Others of us need to "circle the same mountain" one-hundred times first! If we insist on circling the mountain, God will use circumstances to press on us. With God using circumstances to press on us from the outside and the Spirit pressing on us from the inside we are squeeze in the middle until our flesh is broken. We like to control things and God will use circumstances that are absolutely out of our control to press on us. Circumstances like traffic, the attitude of the cashier at the check-out, an unexpected bill, etc. Some things are beyond our control and God will use those circumstances to press on us and break our flesh. "Broken" is not a bad word! It means our flesh is broken BUT our spirit is stronger which is exactly where we want to be.

The spirit is willing; the flesh is weak!

6 drops of sunshine:

Erica Young said...

I have to say after this long of reading all your blogs, you have opened my eyes! Today has been a very bad day for me with my family and after reading today's blog I now know what I need to do. Thank you.

Shanna said...

Thanks for stopping by my Spot ;) Sure, I don't mind if you use the Munchkinisms idea - my kids always give me plenty to put in there LOL

Erica Young said...

Love the new layout! I plan on updating mine this weekend, Kevin has to work on Saturday!

Brooke said...

whoa your a pretty deep women :) thanks for your sweet comment I still plan on learning tons more but yeah I started charging. it was hard for me to do cause I kept telling myself you just started in December....but people pay for pictures that look way worse than mine so I set up some prices :) as for actions nothing special. cali just had beautifully detailed eyes plus perfect lighting and a little dodging and burning in photoshop. I checked your photo blog and saw jasmine star on your list. she like ...my FAVORITE! good taste you have :) cant wait to check back and see some of your work up :)

Leslie said...

Oh Kari- great entry and so many points... seriously.. I am so glad that you share so openly and honestly, I mean how many of could say Im more passionate about myself than I should be, and boy do I fall into that boat sometimes.

Praying for you and your hubs at the crossroads, sometimes it feels like they are all to close togethor.

Loving your spot here.

Wendi said...

Found your blog on Leslie's today. Wow, really dynamic post! Loving your honesty and directnes!