Living Unburdened

Are you staying strong with your New Year’s resolutions or goals yet? My focus on the word ‘joy’ for 2017 has led me to dig deep. My life stems from who God calls me to be. But this week, I awoke overwhelmed wondering “why am I doing all of this?” I quickly heard “because I asked you.”

Ok then.

Clearly, to do what God is asking me and not feel overwhelmed, something must change. I sought God’s help and found a great devotion and guidance in His word.

Our people must learn to do good by meeting the urgent needs of others; then they will not be unproductive. ~Titus 3:14 (NLT)

Great, what I do meets many needs, but it feels like I’m not managing it well. So I kept seeking…and read this:

But now you must be holy in everything you do, just as God who chose you is holy. For the Scriptures say, “You must be holy because I am holy.” ~1 Peter 1:15-16 (NLT)

This one hit me. How are we to be holy? God shares this original scripture referenced in Peter in Leviticus as He’s teaching the younger generation of Israel before entering the Promised Land. They needed instruction on how to live as God’s holy people. First, God dealt with sin and what NOT to do. Then, in Leviticus chapter 19, He explains what to do: be Holy like Him as Peter later quotes in the verse above. But we cannot be holy due to the sin that separates us from God.

Enter Jesus.

Jesus is the bridge to our Holy God.

Earlier in the text, Peter describes how we accomplish being holy through Jesus:

So prepare your minds for action and exercise self-control. Put all your hope in the gracious salvation that will come to you when Jesus Christ is revealed to the world. 14 So you must live as God’s obedient children. Don’t slip back into your old ways of living to satisfy your own desires. ~1 Peter 1:13-14a (NLT)

Self-control is practiced by sinful people like me by putting our hope in Jesus’ saving grace. This grace saves me for eternity but also saves me today in my overwhelmed state. I can let go of old ways to live overwhelmed by His grace, not my burdens. The more God gives me to do, the more self-control I find in Jesus’ saving grace. [tweetthis]Jesus is the Bridge to live overwhelmed by His grace, not my burdens. #FindingJoy & #Wellness[/tweetthis]

For the last few months, habits have been circling around in my brain and it’s my MemoryMinders word for 2017. Memory can be improved with habits and more joy opportunities exist with habits. Adjusting or deleting the bad and adding good habits help me do what God is asking, allowing margin to be flexible, be still and listen to God.

As a dear friend  reminded me last week, joy isn’t something I need to work at; it comes from abiding in Him. It’s found in His grace and why my first habit is seeking Him.  But I’ve dropped other good habits as life got busy. Picking those up and adjusting priorities has led to some habit do’s and don’ts.

Just like God did in Leviticus, let’s begin with the don’ts.

Habit Don’ts:

  • Linger on Social Media: This can be a fun way to connect with others, learn new things and share ideas-except when it interferes with real life. To that end, last week I began taking Sunday’s off of social media. I call it my Social Media Sabbath and I don’t engage on Sundays. So far, it’s refreshing. I’m connecting with God and my family more on a day to rest and refresh in Him and those I love. Try it! Share your plan with your friends ahead of time and I bet you’ll get support like I did!
  • Watch TV: While I don’t watch much, when I do, it sucks me in. I’m limiting TV to after my responsibilities and to relax with my family by choosing wisely.
  • Multitask: We think the more things we do, the more we can cross off that proverbial to-do list. But it’s really smoke and mirrors which divide our focus and weaken our ability to function and remember well. I’m renewing my commitment to do one thing (or as few as necessary) at a time. It works. Prioritize what’s most important. Do that, and then move on.
  • Worry: I’ve written whole blog posts on this, so won’t go into detail here. I’m reminding myself and others of God’s provision and to not worry, just pray. Let go of worry and let God work.

Eliminating what isn’t working is the first step on the bridge to being Holy like God and following His footprints. Revising or replacing bad with new habits is next. I’m working on those will share the “Do’s” and my progress in a few weeks. In the meantime, think about your habits. What do you need to stop or revise? Let me know for some added encouragement.

Remember the habit loop we discussed from our Holiday Wellness Plan? It applies to our daily life habits too. Let’s review and eliminate habits which prohibit walking in His ways. Understand your habit don’ts and exercise self-control through Jesus’ saving grace. Let’s walk over Jesus’ bridge into God’s plan!

Linking up with Suzie Eller at #liveFree, Holley Gerth at #CoffeeForYourHeart, Crystal Twaddell at #FreshMarketFriday and Brenda Ottinger at #ChasingCommunity

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12 thoughts on “Living Unburdened”

  1. Oh this is so good! I really like the idea of a social media sabbath. I definitely need to stop habits like that an tv so I can truly spend more time with the Lord and get to know Him better! Thanks for the post and the great ideas in how to better my relationship with my Father! Visiting from Chasing Community 🙂

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    • It’s the little habits that sometimes turn us from what’s most important isn’t it, Elaine? Thanks for stopping by, happy to be #ChasingCommunity with you!

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  2. Good reminders to start the new year off well, Jill. Literally “well.” 🙂 Oh to be overwhelmed by His grace rather than our burdens. Sign me up for that! 🙂 Thanks for linking up at #ChasingCommunity today! Always great to see you. 😀 xoxo

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  3. Jill, I’m blessed by this post, especially the quote about joy not being something I need to work at, but it comes from abiding in Him. So good. And yes to cutting out lingering on social media. Now that I’m 9 hours ahead of CT, here in Izmir, I find it so tempting to hop onto social media in the evening, even after 9 or 10. I think I need to evaluate limits. What’s easy is that my engagement in the morning is almost none because everyone in the US is asleep!

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    • Yes, abiding brings joy and peace for the moments that lie ahead. Spending those moments well is becoming increasingly important. Thanks for visiting Betsy, always a pleasure to see you!

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    • I’m so glad it blessed you Penny, words from Him to you (through me). Thanks for the encouragement to me as well, my friend!

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  4. Jill, thanks for breaking down some of the barriers to starting our journey across the bridge. I love the “habits don’t ” list and look forward to the do list. Blessings from your neighbor at Holley’s

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