The Road Isn’t Easy

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(read last weeks post here.) 

The road isn’t easy, and my energy isn’t endless.

Two sad facts that pain me everyday. How do I remain on the path when my mind is so fogged, I can’t remember my own breakfast? How can I remain on the path when every time I sit down, I start drifting to sleep? How can I remain on the road, when all I feel is a heavy sense of defeat?

Does God still take worship from a tired mind? Does He still honor its plaintive cries?

Rocks crumble along the roadside, my step is slow, and my mind is weary. Somedays I can run along the path, keeping my thoughts straight, my mind on things above. But then it seems the fog rolls in, the numbness follows, and it takes all my will to keep from letting go and becoming hollow.

This week has been kinda tough on my mind. It’s reminded me that I’m not perfect, that the world is full of sin and sickness, and that I need to have patience with myself as well as with others. If I could have my way, I would be a super hero who could do everything all at once. But I’m just a girl, with a list of problems. Thank God He’s given me a list of grace to cover each of those problems. It’s just that I hate accepting grace and admitting I’m not perfect.

God calls us to do our best. (Colossians 3:23-24) Not to be perfect. Perfection is unachievable by the fallen human race. (Genesis 3:1-8, Romans 3:23-26) My best isn’t always what I want to do, but that’s where I can practice giving grace.

For me, it’s often times easier to give grace to others than to myself. My mind makes excuses for those around me, pulling at my sympathy and besides, how can I judge and know if they’re doing their best or not? But when it comes to myself, I’m truly my worse critic. In my mind, I can always do better, always be better, and if I fall from my schedule, or from my exercise routine, or if it takes me longer to draft a blog post than I think is acceptable, I’ll beat myself down with a mental metal rod.

I would feel horrible if any other human did this to themselves. But I believe I deserve it. I deserve to be beaten up by myself and others.

Which isn’t true.

And that’s why, this week, I spent a lot of time doing what I would consider “nothing.” I would wake at six, and instead of getting up like usually and working right away, I just let myself lie there and admire the sky. I let myself rest, because for once, I knew that I needed rest.

It isn’t shameful to be unable to do as much as someone else. The sooner you acknowledge you aren’t a superhero, the sooner you’ll be free to be the best hero you can be.

So take a breath.

It’s okay if you haven’t had a clear mind to pray, or if you needed to take a nap today. Keep heart, and remember. Someday we’ll be in a place where there’s no more tears, sickness, or brain fog. ❤

~~Amie~~

I’m Not Aiming for Nationals

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I’m not aiming for Nationals.

Some of you might have heard of the National Bible Bee. If you haven’t, it’s basically a competition where you memorize Scripture on a certain topic, and it’s kinda like a spelling bee in a very different way. Last year was the first year I did it, and I’m doing it again this year.

Last year, my biggest dream was to get to nationals. When that dream didn’t happen, I promised myself that this year I would work as hard as possible and get there. And get as far as was humanly possible.

If you had told me a year ago that I would not be doing my absolute best in the Bible Bee, if you had told me that I would be okay with not taking the test at the end, I would have told you that you were crazy.

Amie? Not doing her best? Amie, not putting in 110%? Amie, not killing herself to win a competition? Is she still Amie?

My whole life, I’ve been the most competitive, I’ve been the obsessive, workaholic, child who has ten projects all at once. The thought that one day I would decided to let a competition slide without throwing heart and soul into it is out of character for me.

But I’ve slowly been learning that giving 110% of your energy to ten different things gives you less reward than giving 35% of your energy to three important things.

And I’ve just lost my whole audience. 😂

Trying to give all of your energy and attention to everything is the quickest way to burn yourself out, and the best way to do a terrible job at everything. In life, we need to put all and everything into the most important parts. Of course, at times it can seem like everything is important, and that’s when having set goals helps us weed down the important things in life.

Memorizing God’s Word is so important to me. But winning a competition to prove that I’ve stored God’s Word into my heart? Not as important. Would I still love to compete and win? Absolutely.

But through prayer and just evaluating my end goals in life, spending 6+ months preparing and devoting most of my energy to this competition isn’t what I need to do with my time or life. So is that a dream? Yes. Is that a goal? No.

Dreams and goals can look very similar, but in reality, they’re very different. Two dreams of mine are winning the National Bible Bee and playing a certain character in an audio drama. Are they goals? Nope. Are they going to happen? Nope. What are my goals? Some of them are building this blog, publishing books, helping people and ministering to them. Am I working towards this? Yes. Is it going to happen? Lord willing, yes.

Goals are more concrete. They’re the things you should be putting all your time and effort into. They’re more solid, they’re things that you can see yourself doing for the rest of your life, doing despite setbacks, pain, and failure. If you simply have random dreams in your head, you most likely will never achieve them.

One of my favorite books is Ishmael by E.D.E.N. Southworth. In this novel, Ishmael is born illegitimately, and spends his childhood shunned by his neighbors and hated by his aunt. That sounds pretty bad, huh? But that didn’t set Ishmael back. He didn’t just pursue whimsical dreams (Oh, maybe someday I’ll be loved. Oh, maybe someday I’ll do something better than starve.) Nope! Ishmael had a clear goal, and he pursued the pathway to reach his goals, despite setbacks, personal emotions, injuries, and at times, discouragement.

Set your goals, and strive for them.

Perhaps you’ll reach your dreams while you do that.

~~Amie~~