Self Help-less

I’ve recently found a new love. Jon Acuff. Okay maybe love is a little strong, and really it’s more of a love for his writing than him as a person. Not that I couldn’t love him as a person, I’ve just never met him, and don’t want to go around saying I’m in love with the guy. Because I’m not…yes I am.

My brother in law recently let me borrow a book he had called “Quitter”. The tagline for it is “Closing the gap between your day job, and your dream job”. I was immediately sold. Talk about relatable! I’m pretty sure I read this book faster than any book I’ve ever read. I was mesmerized by it, how to work toward your dream job, what to do to get there, how to “hustle” your little heart out. After I read this book I used the word “hustle” about every other word I spoke. Don’t worry, I’ve since calmed down. Now it’s only once a sentence or two. I felt great after reading it, I was motivated and had all the information I needed to start working toward my dream. And I did. For about a week.

The excitement from the book wore off. Now that’s nothing against Jon Acuff, it’s just me being lazy…It was time for something new. What’s the next book I can get? I could go to the next one by Jon Acuff. Maybe something else with an equally awesome tagline to get me pumped up about how to make my dream happen. I fell right into a vicious circle of self-help. Actually it took my wife saying, “You know you can read all of those, but you actually have to DO what they say if you want to change anything.” Ouch…it was too true! Wives are smart you guys, or at least mine is. I had all the information, but none of the action. I could read these books non-stop and get all kinds of ideas, and ways to get my dream going. But until I do something about it, I’m just wasting time. Maybe it's because I’m actually afraid to pursue my dream, instead of just reading about how I could do it and feel good enough about myself to get by on that. AHHH too deep!

Well, this blog is actually one of my steps in actually doing something about my dream. I wanted to write more, and that’s what I’m doing. I may not write the most interesting things you read. In fact, sometimes I wonder who besides my mother would actually enjoy reading what I put up on here. But I can say it feels immensely better to sit down and do any work instead of doing nothing and thinking of the work I could be doing. These dreams and ideas have been building up long enough, and I’m thinking it’s time to act. In fact, maybe my next step will be writing a book. I’ll call it “How to Stop Being Lazy and do All of the Things You Just Read About in That Motivational Self Help Book” Okay maybe the title needs some work…but it’s a start.

Joy Full

“I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes your joy will overflow!”

John 15:11

 

You’ve caught me at an interesting time. Times they are a changing. With all of these changes come a lot of feelings, and if there’s one thing I don’t like, it’s feelings. With everything life is bringing my way it’s been easy to just get caught up in it all. Then I read John 15:11 and it hit me like a ton of bricks. Jesus is talking about the Vine and the Branches. In verse 11 He says, “I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes your joy will overflow!” Joy? Overflowing joy? I'll take it! How about we start this first blog post with me telling you about everything in my life and how it stresses me out? Maybe this is more therapy for me, than you actually getting something out of it. I’m not really selling you on reading this am I? Don’t worry I’ll post something funny next time.

 

Life:

Engaged and planning a wedding. Going into it, I was feeling on top of the world. Everything was going to just work out, but when you get two people who aren’t always the best with making decisions, it’s surprisingly hard to make a decision. Shouldn’t we be happier than we’ve ever felt before? We’re getting freaking married in two months. I can definitely say planning a wedding has at times made me pretty anti-wedding. Everything comes back around to being about other people…and that’s the last thing I want to worry about (sorry Mom). Still trying to find the line between making ourselves happy and making others happy that want to celebrate with us. I’ll get back to you in two months about that one.

 

Work:

Currently working at a grocery store full time mostly shifts that start at six in the morning, have a part time job at a radio station some weekend nights, and volunteer for the worship team at my church. My jobs aren’t the worst, but what’s been wearing me down lately is that I know they aren’t where I want to be. I’m 24 shouldn’t I have started to kind of figure this career stuff out by now? What I feel called to do is to be in music ministry for a living, but right now the reality is that…well that’s not reality. This has probably been the biggest joy sucker in my life. Right in front of me is this thing I feel God has called me to do. So why isn’t it happening how or when I want?

 

Family:

I’ve always thought of myself as a huge family person. Family is the most important thing to me. You definitely wouldn’t think that once I moved out and started building a life of my own. It’s hard to try to work out getting together with your family once you’re on your own. Being with my friends and my girlfriend just sound like a better time (sorry again Mom). But when it comes down to it, in some ways and at some times, being away from family turns out to be quite the joy sucker. All I’m saying is call your mother. Don’t worry about calling your dad, he’s probably fine.

 

God:

Alright, here’s the kicker. When it comes down to it, the only reason any of these things would be stealing my joy is this: I’m letting them. I’m leaving the keys in my car, walking away, and letting them take a joy ride. Yay puns! This is where John 15:11 hit me so hard. Our joy comes from Jesus Christ. If we have joy in Him, we have power over any other thing that could come our way. Joy isn’t this intangible thing we have to work for. The Spirit is longing to connect us to Jesus, who is the source of this joy. When His joy is in us, it will overflow into any other area of our life where we are lacking, and will transcend any of our own circumstances.

 

I definitely still don’t have it all figured out, but I’d say it’s a start.

 

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.”

Romans 15:13(ESV)