One of my favorite songs is Colbie Caillat’s Try. It is such a beautiful picture of the way we try so hard to be all things to all people – especially as we look at beauty. (more on beauty in a brief book review below) But I think it applies to all things in life.
My husband and I have been listening to sermons at home and there is one that keeps speaking to us over and over again about our striving. The preacher quotes John 15 where Jesus says, “Remain in me and I will remain in you. Apart from me you can do nothing.” (my condesnced paraphrased version)
1 Peter 4:10 says “If you serve, do it with the strength God provides.”
Jesus again says, “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
I have been running after what I think other people are doing, taking their advice and striving for success in the world with blogging, writing, speaking, job hunting, direct sales, and the result is I am just plain worn out.
As we have struggled through a summer full of grief, I am tired of trying. I am tired of striving.
And God says I don’t have to. He simply calls me to remain in Him, to stay focused on Him, to practice His presence (as Brother Laurence taught), and when I do this not only will my burdens be easy, but I will see more fruit than I can imagine.
It is past time to trust God. I really should have been doing that all along. So now I remain.
This week’s word for Five Minute Friday is “Try.” You can view other writings on the word here. This post was written in 5 minutes with no edits, simply an act of working on the practice of writing and an opportunity to connect with other bloggers. The Five Minute Friday community is truly wonderful. I invite you to join!
What do you think of when you hear “Try”?
Now the book review I mentioned above.
I knew I needed to buy the book immediately.
More than the cover though, Compared to Who? is excellent and I find myself talking about it with friends all the time. Creekmore is vulnerable in sharing her story, has a knack for making me chuckle about the thoughts in my head, and is able to remain sober about the truth that we have made beauty into an idol and try to make our bodies fit her fickle opinions.
I recently began reading a lot on the enneagram, because I want to understand my actions and reactions to the stress I have experienced in life this summer. It turns out I am a 4 with a 3 wing. (If you don’t know what that means, I also highly recommend the book and podcast with the same name The Road Back to You, but this isn’t the time to go into the beauty of the enneagram. Maybe another time.) 4s and 3s struggle with comparison in different ways. 3s compare and strive to be the best. 4s compare and believe their lives are falling short.
So basically I’m a mess.
But Creekmore’s book is giving me hope and practical ways to overcome my tendency to compare. It begins with recognizing idols in my life, repenting from them, and turning to God. God, as she points out, is not a scary man high in the sky, but like a Father who welcomes His children home no matter what they have done. What grace!
Each chapter ends with questions that invited me to go further, not just reading someone else’s thoughts about beauty and body image, but to look into my own heart and figure out what is really going on. I have struggled with body image since my first son was born 8.5 years ago. No matter what my body has looked like since then I have been unhappy with it. I am hopeful because with these insights from Creekmore (and the real soul-work that has accompanied the reading), I am making progress as I catch myself comparing myself to others and change my focus from them to God.
I have been talking about Compared to Who? to friends whenever body image stuff comes up. Now I’m talking about it with you. I highly recommend it and would love to hear your thoughts on it!
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