We leave the church building inspired and filled with Truth and encouragement each Sunday … and somewhere along the course of the week, often we find ourselves in need of a little bit of something to help us through.
Welcome to Extra Strength: a mid-week pick-you-up for the soul. Be sure to scroll all the way to the bottom for extra encouragement and challenge.
Extra Strength for Love Does: I am With You.
I quit. And it wasn’t even a Thursday.
It could have seemed short-sighted, but it wasn’t really.
During a recent breakfast with a friend, she said, “I don’t even know what I’m supposed to be doing right now. All I know is that I needed to clear my plate and be available for the Lord’s work.” I loved that!
This caused me to pause and think long and hard about all of my endeavors in life.
Seven years ago I had experienced that freedom from over-commitment when my husband and I moved our family here and we consciously chose to keep the slate clear for a year. During that time I let the Lord work and move me on a daily basis, showing me only those important things with which I needed to fill my life, without my personal agenda. Truly being Spirit-led.
But over time I let more and more creep into my schedule. Good, good things, too. As I reflected on this summer, one of the busiest I’ve ever had, I realized I had added one too many things and tipped the scales. I’d lost my balance. A recalibration was necessary. So, I’ve taken inventory and begun to quit some things.
While there are a lot of good things I do, there’s a lot that depletes my life. Social media, and media in general, has had to dramatically decrease for me. That extra half hour of sleep—I don’t miss it after all. A few minutes less sleep is far outweighed by getting more accomplished in the morning so there is more space later in the day to say yes.
And this big thing I quit? In reality, the Lord helped me realize that holding on to this bigger commitment that I really loved was actually hijacking someone else’s opportunity to use her gifts. I needed to step aside. And now, good things are pouring out of her because I got out of the way.
That’s all part of the reason I quit.
I am surrounded by people I want to be beside as they walk through life. People I want to love well.
I have a house full of men whose lives I don’t want to miss. There are new neighbors I have yet to spend time with more than a wave and superficial conversation. Friends who I have been too busy to meet for coffee and listen to what’s going on in their lives are still on the back burner. I’ve felt nudges to write a note or give someone a phone call, but I’ve ignored these because I’ve been too busy scurrying about.
If we are called to follow Jesus’ command to walk in love (2 John 1:6), then that requires a slower pace and more space to be “all there” for unexpected opportunities, as well as planned appointments.
The Word of God takes us to where God wants our lives to intersect with those in our path He wants us to love. We need to invite God to take us where He wants us to love. Moment by moment. – Pastor Joe Boerman
May we echo the porter’s call of the Benedictine tradition who stands at the gate and says, “How can I help you on your way?” and be unscheduled enough to walk in love alongside each one with whom God intersects our lives.
Who needs you to walk with them?
What do you need to quit to love?
It’s worth it to live in grace and walk in love. Just like our Father.
Anita Everly is the wife of David and mom to their three sons. She can be found watching the lives of her men unfold, creating a home, and encouraging other women in life and motherhood. She is striving to live life on purpose because she is crazy in love with the One who is crazy in love with her.
- Read and ponder the Love Does guide and discuss it with your partner, a friend or small group.
- Quit something. Quit something that is keeping you from God and from your other priorities (think people not projects!).
- Say yes to God when He puts an opportunity in front of you to love someone. Snap a picture of your moment (if it’s not awkward) and post it to social media using the hashtag #icLoveDoes as a way to help encourage others on the journey.