Thursday, May 16, 2013

Seeking God

Pride- That was one of the topics on the discussion list this week in the Stressed-Less Living online Bible study. I sat down to look up the definition of the word and WOW! I was hit right between the eyes with a lightning bolt!

As a teacher and a mother I had always focused on the definition of pride which revolves around building your self-esteem. That would be definition number 3 at
a becoming or dignified sense of what is due to oneself or one's position or character; self-respect; self-esteem. 

And then there was definition number 4: 
pleasure or satisfaction taken in something done by or belonging to oneself or believed to reflect credit upon oneself: civic pride. 
The lightning bolt hit me when I looked at definition number 1: 
a high or inordinate opinion of one's own dignity, importance, merit, or superiority, whether as cherished in the mind or as displayed in bearing, conduct, etc. 
I have always taught my English students that the FIRST definition in the dictionary is typically the most frequently used one. If this is the case, then PRIDE has a very negative connotation most of the time. 

As I read Chapter Six of the Stressed-Less book, titled "I Can Do it Myself.... or Can I?" I found myself becoming a bit uncomfortable. This chapter focused on how our pride sometimes adds to or creates our stress. I think that is a big part of my problem. I often find myself jumping in and accepting a lot of duties that I do not HAVE to do. With more things added on my plate, my stress level increases. I can't get things done as well as I might have, simply because I am over-stretched. When I don't do well at something, I feel even more stress.

Why do I do these things? Why do I take on the extra responsibilities? Probably for a combination of reasons. 

I take on extra paid responsibilities because I have always felt that it would mean more money to help pay bills for my family. After all, isn't that a parent's job.... to provide for the family? Through this Bible study I have come to realize that when I do this, I am actually jumping the gun... accepting a role or a job when I have not stopped to consider whether it is something that God sent my way or even planned for me to do. Even worse than that, accepting these jobs is sometimes a sign of lack of faith on my part. Instead of praying to God about the debt and having faith that he will provide, I find myself taking on yet another duty at school, attending another paid seminar, or squeezing in time to make another craft item to sell, trying to take care of debt on my own.

Even worse, I have to admit that PRIDE is a big reason that I do things. I want to be THE ONE who was in charge of that successful program. I want to be THE TEACHER who prepared and taught that wonderful unit. I want to be THE PERSON with "the answer" to whatever the problem or question was.

Our focus verse for this week reads:

I am trying to do that. I can see that the last 6 weeks have changed me quite a bit. I am taking the time to read my Bible each day, digging into each week's chapter in the Stressed-Less book, and thinking more about God and his will for me. I find myself sitting quietly and listening to conversations, where previously I would jump in and just blurt out my thoughts. I am taking time to carefully put together my words before I do speak them. I am spending more time in prayer and conversation with God and I am listening carefully, closely, for whatever way he chooses to speak to me. I am trying to take a back seat, focusing not on what I   can do, but what GOD wants me to do.

I know that the change won't happen over night. I also know that there will be times when I still jump in to try to rescue someone or something, but with God's help I can change. I just need to refine my focus- placing it on him, his will, and his purpose for me. I need to remember to put God first in my life and in my decision making process. I need to remember to stop and take a breath and ask him, "God is this what you would have me do?" I need to remember to turn my problems over to him and trust in him to solve them or to strengthen me to find the solution. I need to stress less over things and just put my faith in him.


  1. Thank you for sharing your heart! YES, an eye opener for sure :) Praying God continues to work with you and through you thru this amazing study! He's already using you through this awesome blog. <3

  2. Great post. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, it helps to know we are not alone in our struggles, doesn't it?

  3. Hello! Loved your blog!! One of the things you mentioned that I can totally relate to is:'I am spending more time in prayer and conversation with God and I am listening carefully, closely, for whatever way he chooses to speak to me. I am trying to take a back seat, focusing not on what I can do, but what GOD wants me to do.'
    I also love how you acknowledge the change won't happen overnight. That is SO the truth! I've been working on myself for a couple of years now and although I do see progress, I still have a long way to go. The important thing is we're choosing to walk HIS direction, seeking His will for our lives and His Love for our hearts, souls and minds. Amen!!

  4. Stella, you and me both, sister! Seriously, that pride that wants to jump in and get it done well is an ugly trait I see in myself sometimes. I love your reminder there at the end to refine your focus. I'm going to be thinking on that phrase as I continue to seek Him first! Loved this write - it so resonated with me.

  5. Thank you Stella for sharing. Your post has really made me think about areas that I may have pride in as well. Thank you again and be blessed. Kerry