For Christmas this year I got this fabulous knife set.
Don't judge the gift giver, I asked for knives for Christmas. I specifically asked because I've been married for 13 years and all of my knives were "starter" knives, and are all pretty worthless as tools in my kitchen, even after sharpening them.
I am at a training conference this week in Denver for Youth for Christ, and just before I left, I noticed that my new fancy knives were still in their packaging.
It struck me that I used excuses as to why I couldn't take them out and use them yet. Some nonsense like I didn't have a good place to store such nice fancy knives. Maybe I started to take them out, but decided I would rather save them for a "special" occasion.
Then I thought about how my most precious gifts and skills that God has given me "stay in the packaging" because I don't know where to keep them. Or I don't think it's a "special enough" opportunity.
Then that still small voice said to me (as I put them on top of the fridge - in their package) -
My daughter, why don't you think you are valuable enough for the good stuff? Why do you hide away some of my favorite things about you because you are afraid they won't be enough? Why can't you take those parts I made in My creative power and use them, in the knowledge that I made them in you to be used?
A good end to this story would be that I took those knives down and used them right then to make a sandwich.
But I didn't.
I left them on the fridge and told the small quiet voice that I would use them later.
When I got back from my conference, when I had time.
Do you do that? Do you hide away some of the best parts of you, because you are afraid or don't feel like they are valuable enough? Do you save the best for later?
I am telling you, and ME TOO... God wants us to enjoy our lives... it's called abundance, or a full life.
John 10:10 says "A thief comes only to rob, kill, and destroy. I came so that everyone would have life, and have it in its fullest."
Sometimes I hide away my best things because I am afraid that they will be taken away or destroyed... I am not talking about material possessions... I am talking about spiritual gifts and the way God made me for a purpose.
I don't know if you can relate... I am a mature believer, yet I still am afraid sometimes to really let my light shine, because I am afraid that it won't be as bright as I hoped.
What about you? Do you ever struggle with this?
So, here are three spiritual disciplines I am finding to be effective to reclaim those moments when I "forget who I am".
A - Abide in God.
Spend time with your creator, sit at his feet, read his Word, ask for His presence in quiet moments and really lean into Him. John 15:5 "“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing."
B - Be self-aware.
Try to recognize and stop those negative thoughts that creep in and take away your abundant life. Try to not allow yourself to be taken in by self-talk that tears you down or minimizes your potential. Begin the process of asking the Holy Spirit to reveal to you the baggage you might be carrying around that you need to lose so you can live. Proverbs 20:5 "The purposes of a person’s heart are deep waters, but one who has insight draws them out."
C - Capture those thoughts
The brain is an interesting place. Every thought you think creates a little pathway, the more you think it, the deeper and wider that pathway becomes. Thoughts are powerful things. When you start to mentally beat yourself up, stop the thought and determine where it is coming from, then grab a hold of it and tell it to take a hike. Shake it a little if you need to (that really scares mean thoughts). Tell it to get lost "AND NEVER COME BACK AGAIN!" Seriously - tell it to shut up and instead focus on who God made you. 2 Corinthians 10:5 "We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ."
So, tell me... If God makes everything wonderful... what does that make you?
Now go and enjoy your life in that knowledge!! (Oh, and use your good china for dinner sometimes... just because... and I will use those new knives) :)
Side note: THANK YOU to my new followers! I love new friends! Welcome!!